I walked for what felt like several more hours when I heard a sound in the forest. This surprised me because I had gotten used to the silence surrounding me. I stopped in my tracks and listened. It was a faint crackling noise, like leaves crunching beneath someone’s feet.
I whirled around searching for the source, but seeing nothing. I continued on carefully searching the trees and bushes as I walked. The noise got louder and I slowed my steps moving cautiously.
Ahead I saw the faint flicker of a light in the trees. Anxiously I moved toward it. It looked like a fire, but again the colors were off. Instead of the cheerful yellow glow from a fireplace it was a brighter colder color, like the sun on a foggy winter morning.
As soon as I reached the strange fire it got dark very quickly. I reached out my hands and felt the warmth from the fire. I examined the wood. It looked like ordinary wood, but I noticed that it burned differently. It was like looking at the fake logs of a gas fireplace. The logs burned and yet they didn’t. Shaking my head I glanced around. A tent had been set up in a flat, grassy area and a small loaf of bread sat on a metal plate next to the fire.
I stepped back. This was way too convenient for my taste. I was certain the moment I sat down or ate a morsel of the bread I would turn into a mouse or something. I turned away from the cozy campsite to return to the road, but stopped suddenly.
A terrible feeling struck me in my stomach and uneasiness gripped my heart. I tried to moved but I felt frozen to the ground. It was then I heard the voice I had been hoping to hear since this whole dream started.
“It’s not safe on the road, you should stay here,” he whispered.
It was the voice of the many from the tower. I turned around expecting to see him standing next to the fire. I was still alone.
“Why?” I asked quietly.
“Stay in the circle. You are protected,” his voice whispered ignoring my question.My eyes immediately scanned the ground. At my feet I saw several tiny white flowers spaced evenly. I followed the line. They made a complete circle surrounding the campsite. I had not even noticed them as I stepped into the camp.
I took a step back and felt an instant relief from the terrible feeling, but I still felt uneasy. A sense of being trapped crept into my mind and settled in comfortably berating me for even thinking about approaching the fire.
“You are safe here for the night. Just trust me,” he whispered answering my thoughts.
“Who are you? Where are you?” I asked hoping, but not expecting an answer.
“Soon,” he whispered back.
Deep down I knew the voice would not return that night.
to be continued...
to be continued...