He walked down the streets of Paris. Feeling oddly drawn to Notre Dame Cathedral he found himself walking slowly into the building. Above him, statues of saints stared down at him impassively, yet though they were statues, incapable of movement, or thought, or feeling he still felt as though he was being judged.
“What did I do?” He asked; the statues gave no reply.
On top of the feeling of judgement, there were other feelings. A feeling of something wrong, bad happening, and another feeling that was desperately telling him to turn around, go back home. His hand clasped around his sword in preparation as something unseen pulled him deeper into the church.
Every step he took the sense of foreboding deepened and the desire to walk away grew stronger with every single step.
Yet something else, perhaps the judgement, the feeling that something was wrong, or even the fact that he felt pulled in this direction forced him to continue on this track.
He made his way to the stairs and found himself climbing up the stairs, each step echoed in the empty church, he placed his hand on his sword, in case he would need it.
It would be fine. He had been through worse for the sake of The King.
(But it wasn’t himself he was worried for)
He entered what had to have been the bell tower, with the massive bell hung, silent, in the darkness, on the other side of the tower was a door. He walked towards and hesitated for a moment, the feeling of something wrong stilled him for a moment. He heard crying on the other end and pushed the door open.
A young girl with auburn hair was kneeling on the floor of the walkway hands pressed to her eyes as she cried.
A boy almost as tall as he was was leaned over the ledge staring in shock at something out of his view.
At the same time, the auburn-haired girl and the tall boy turned to glare at him.
Now that they were facing him he could just make out who they were.
Tom Bailey and Sally Deschamps.
Their glares were dark, promising violent ends for him. Tom had a hand on an especially large sword with a moonstone on the hilt. White knuckles told him how tightly Tom was holding the sword.
Acting more confident than he felt he walked over to the edge and looked over the edge.
There he saw Christopher hanging from his neck by the sash he often wore. The one he used to save everyone at the part only a few days before.
He barely had a chance to contemplate the horror of what had happened before Tom and Sally spoke again.
“This is all your fault!” Tom and Sally hissed in unison.
Then he felt their hands on his back and before he could do anything they pushed him over the edge.
Ashcombe gasped as woke up from the horrifying dream. He looked around wildly half expecting that he would find himself in Paris staring up at Christopher’s broken body.
But now he was in his room in The King’s estate in Oxford. His heart beat rapidly and he pressed a hand to his chest as though to will in to stop beating.
Just a dream. Just a dream. Ashcombe thought to himself.
Still even as he told himself it was a dream, the nagging feeling lingered.
He swung his legs off the bed.
It had been a dream. So why was the fear still there?
Because you know it could happen. A voice said.
He stood and walked to his dresser. On the wall, a mirror was hung, and on the dresser was a bowl and pitcher of water. He poured the water into the bowl before wetting his face. He used a nearby hand towel to dry his face.
He stared at himself in the mirror. He looked so tired the shadows under his eyes were far more pronounced than they usually were. Her servants were going to have fun attempting to hide them when they came to dress him.
At least you were able to give Christopher and Tome one good day before you sentenced them and that poor girl to die.
The King had insisted he send Christopher and Tom. Who was he to turn down the King?
You could have talked him out of it. You’d done it before.
That was true. Charles could have been reasoned with, but Christopher and Tom had solved harder mysteries in the past. There was no reason to think that they nor Sally wouldn’t succeed in France.
Besides… He’d prepared them as best he could.
Yes. Give Christopher a sword without any instruction on how to use it, and only give Tom two weeks' worth of instruction on the sword. His inner voice scolded darkly.
His hands started shaking and he looked away from the mirror. He shook his head trying to get rid of all these thoughts.
He couldn’t afford to think about it.
What was done was done.
And he had work to do.
(If only it were that easy.)