I sit bolt upright in the mass of sweat soaked bedding, my heart pounding and my head aching from the onslaught of external feelings and ideas that has suddenly overcome me. I stifle a scream, at the distressing thoughts I have stumbled across, not wanting to wake the other occupants of the stark white room. The training I have been undertaking in order to close my mind to others’ thoughts doesn’t seem to be working properly, as I keep receiving the images night after night, of families torn apart. I see the same things. A Asian woman shot by a invisible assailant, while her husband watches helplessly, as he is held against the wall. The third floor of a detached house exploding, and destroying the father and daughter who live there, while a black eyed woman flies out of the inferno, her clothes and body unaffected by the flames. Sunlight sparkling across a woman’s glasses, as she aims a arrow at a quivering and terrified man, her face hidden by the purple and white hood she has chosen to wear.
The images of the destroyed house, are stronger than ever before, it almost feels as if I am directly inside the black eyed woman’s head, feeling everything that she feels, as she enters the building. I see Alexander Elliot fall to the ground, his eyes still fixed on his daughter’s face, and the scarlet glow emitting from the black eyed woman’s hand as she advances on the little girl. The terrified cries coming from the four year old, don’t affect the woman in the normal way, the same sense of pride and righteousness that she felt before entering is emanating from her, as she reaches out, the light expanding and building in intensity.
I dress without thinking about what I’m doing. I just know that I have to try to see if I can stop this from happening. The dreams have been going on for too long, and I’ve had enough now. I’ve experienced these dreams for the last three months, and in my mind, that’s three months too long.
I’m glad that my skin runs a few degrees hotter than most people as I step out of the front doors of the Great Hall, into the freezing cold wind. Pulling the hood of my cloak up to hide my face, I glance around, making sure that there aren’t any witnesses to my disregard for the council’s rules. They’ve outlawed direct interference in the matters of lower life forms, but I’ve never been one for following the rules, especially when somebody’s life is at stake.
I climb the steps to the marble surrounding the large pool, which shimmers when I approach, discarding the cloak at the top. I prefer to feel the wind on my skin when I fall, it’s a extraordinary feeling and makes me feel alive. I fall forward into the orange pool, keeping my eyes tightly closed. I know from training, that it burns. The first time I had gone through, I had been unable to see for twenty minutes, and had no desire to repeat that.
Air rushes past me, my hair flying around my face with the speed of my fall. I revel in the freedom of falling, wondering how far the fall actually is, and I hope that I’m going to end up in the right place. It’s a gamble as the portal’s exit shifts, unless you remain utterly focused on that place. My thoughts are interrupted as the rush of air slows, and people’s worries start to intrude on my consciousness again. The scent of pine blasts up my nose, just before the journey ends.
I land within sight of the Elliots’ house, and am relieved to see that the black eyed woman hasn’t visited them yet. I can hear the little girl laughing. The reason for her laughter becomes clear as I get closer, seeing the two of them in the living room window. Her father is entertaining her with flashes of multi coloured light which emits from his palms. I don’t know how he’s managing to do that, with the amount of energy it must be costing him.
I am sure that the dream is going to become flesh tonight, as despite the fact that many of the residents are gearing up to enjoy New Year’s Eve parties, there is a hint of trepidation. It takes me a moment to realise where it has come from, isolating the feeling to the boy who is backing away from a woman in a black hooded cloak. I know that it’s the woman from my dream, shivers of fear run through me, as I see the flash of red at her palm, while she debates whether to hurt the child or not.
I reach for my magic, to protect the child, but then the woman decides against it, refocusing on the Elliots. She walks slowly up the path, heading for the front door. I listen hard, to locate them, as they have disappeared from the living room. Alexander is on the stairs, trying to persuade the nanny to carry his daughter to safety. He’s determined that she at least will survive. “I hope this works.” I whisper, closing my eyes. I have found that it’s easier for me to do this if I shut out external stimuli, and I pull the shutters down in my mind, blocking out the excitement of the neighbours.
Quickly I find the blue ball of my magical energy, nudging it out of my palms, as I have been taught. The woman crosses the threshold, her conviction that this is right, gushing from her. I increase the power I hold in my hands, as I get closer to the house, as I know that the woman has immense reserves of power at her disposal, whatever else she is. She says something that I can’t quite hear, the light exploding from her skin, and I react.
The light streams from my palms, seeking out the energies within the three people I’m trying to protect. A light blue glow fills the house, spreading from my hands, to Alexander and then expanding to include the nanny and Alexander’s daughter. My protection bounces the red light back onto the woman, leaving Alexander stunned but unhurt, as she flees.
I pull back my magic, let it sink beneath my skin. “Okay that was sort of impressive.” A voice comments, and I turn to see that a redheaded girl has appeared while I was concentrating. She’s flanked by a brunette, and a stocky man which is clearly related to her. You don’t do things by halves do you? the redhead shifts into a silent conversation.
Are you from the Council?
No. They’re all amused, as the brunette joins the conversation. We’re definitely not Council members. I’m Amy, this is Harley and that’s Allie.
We have much to discuss with you, but we can’t do it here.
Where then? I follow them into the shadows of the trees. I can feel the humans’ confusion and know it’s best to leave while still undetected.
We know a place Harley informs me, a smile quirking his lips.