“I think we were supposed to cross that canyon.” She pulls free of my hand and stops. “If we don’t move through to the next level, you could be trapped here.”
I spin on my heel and face her. “I am not playing this stupid game anymore!” I shout. “That thing should not have been here! I am not”
Thunder cracks and lightning explodes across the sky. The beautiful blue day is gone. The skies are a dark, mottled gray. The clouds are roiling and churning. The thunder is pounding in a rhythm and the wind is picking up again.
Chimera’s face pales. She steps towards me, and her body shifts in the two steps it takes to reach me. She is back in her original form, her black wings spread across the sky. Her tail flicks across my face. Her fur is soft, and I plunge my hands into the down of her back.
The torrent is whipping up a frenzy around us, and I’m clinging to Chimera as her wings get buffered about around us. The shift that I am wearing is whipped around, and the clasp breaks. The fabric floats away, leaving me naked and scared. I don’t want to be scared, but that choice is out of my control.
Out of my control. I hate those words. And I hate this feeling.
I stand up and scream as loud as I can. I scream at the winds, the thunder, the feelings of inadequacy, the rage that has been hiding deep inside me and increasing in density year after year. I scream until my throat is hoarse. I scream until there is no sound left.
The sky splits above us, and the wind dies. In the silence, I can hear my breath heaving.
“Are you all right?” Chimera leans over me and places a hand on my back. Her skin is warm, making me feel cold.
That is a good question. I’m naked and cold, but I’m in control.
I stand up and look at Chimera. “I have never been better.” I grab her hand, pick a direction, and head off into the sea of green.
I let each step fuel my rage despite the tempest flaring about us. I am so tired of feeling less than deserving of my Dreamwalker status. Anne of Cleves’ nightmare was not my doing. Her death in reality was completely separate from me.
Reaching behind me, I clasp Chimera’s hand tighter and feel her wings flutter against my skin. She is airborne. It takes me a moment to realize why.
My steps are getting more difficult because I am sinking. I didn’t notice the grass had disappeared. When did that happen?