The Seeress and the Stone 19
Angelia viewed the deserted city before her as she ran from house to house keeping to the shadows. Then she saw him. Fear gripped her heart and her breath caught in her throat as he stepped out of the shadows. His eyes gleamed gray-green in the moonlight and he smiled wickedly stepping toward her.
She awoke with a start, her forehead wet with perspiration. It was a dream, just a dream. She crawled out of bed and moved to the window. Pale grey light touched the sky. She sat on the seat, her thoughts racing back to her dream. She had seen the attackers again, but this time the scene was different. She couldn’t tell if it was real or just her mind playing on her all-too-poignant fears.
She forced herself to calm down and tried to think clearly. She had to find some way to tell Geoff about the dream, but her father watched her too closely. She knew he suspected her of sneaking out. She would have to send a message through Scotch who was quickly becoming her only resource to contact Geoff. She stared out the window for a little while longer and then got up to get ready for school.
When she arrived at her classroom five other students were already in their chairs. Few of the other students ever spoke to her, most just whispered behind her back. Word had gotten out that she had been chosen as the seeress in the Awakening Ceremony and that she had seen a vision like her grandfather. Most of the students thought she was crazy.
She pulled out yesterday’s assignment ignoring the stares of the five students who were already seated. More students filed in and eventually the class began. Angelia did not enjoy classes in the city. The teachers always asked for long essays about government laws and policies. They never studied ancient history and they rarely touched on nature studies. Angelia felt like a caged animal and she knew Sparrow did too.
She turned in her seat to look over at her friend. Sparrow sat with her arms folded listening to the teacher with bored contempt. After a few minutes Sparrow turned in her seat slightly and caught Angelia watching her. She rolled her eyes with a silent yawn. Angelia forced back a laughed and tried to keep a straight face.
Next Angelia turned to watch Scotch. They had all become fast friends since school had started. They stayed together in all of their activities. Scotch remained cheerful and helpful through everything that had happened during the last month. They had traveled to the caves several times together. But her father, suspecting something, had put a stop to it. Scotch treated the whole thing as a great adventure, but not necessarily something he believed. His skepticism solidified the wall Angelia had carefully built around her emotions.
The only thing that marred their friendship was how he kept Angelia’s gift at a distance. Every time she mentioned a vision he distanced himself. Finally Angelia stopped talking about them when he was around. Sparrow was getting along fabulously with him and they were always talking together in a corner, drawing daggers from the other girls in their class. Angelia was glad for her friend, but seeing them together reminded her of how much she missed French.
She absently grasped the crystal in her pocket and let the images fill her mind. Everything was vague and hazy. Occasionally she caught a glimpse of random things that made no sense. She was pulled back to the present when her teacher rapped his pointer on her desk.
“Miss Galashad, did you hear me?” The teacher was staring at her impatiently.
Her face flushed. “Um, sorry. No, I didn’t hear. What was the question?”
“I am warning you, I will not have daydreamers in my class. Pay attention or I will be forced to speak with your father,” he said sternly.
Angelia tried to focus on the lesson, but her thoughts began to wander. She still held the crystal in her palm. When she began thinking about her dream, the room grew hazy and she found herself wandering through the deserted streets of the city.
She felt an overwhelming urgency to get out of the city. She moved quickly from house to house, shadow to shadow. As she moved she could see the soldiers marching in the streets. They were searching for something.
Then she saw the king. He rode down the street on a huge black horse. She moved deeper into the shadows and thought they had moved past when the ring of steel shod hooves on cobblestone stopped. She froze in place and her heart stopped when she heard the cold voice of the King call out.
“I see you Seeress.”
She looked up as his cold green eyes met hers.
“No,” she gasped and then fainted.
She awoke to something damp being placed on her head. She struggled to sit up but firm hands held her still.
“It’s all right, Angelia. It’s me, Scotch. I’m not going to hurt you.”
Angelia could hear the noise of the classroom and the teacher shouting to regain control of the class. Angelia opened her eyes.
“Wh—what happened?” She stammered.
“You fainted,” Scotch replied.
Sparrow handed Angelia a glass of water. “You stood up in the middle of class. Your face went pale and your eyes glazed over. The teacher demanded you sit down, but you just stood there. Then you gasped and fainted,” Sparrow recounted. “Scotch caught you just before you hit the desks.”
“The whole class erupted in noise and surrounded us. The teacher was yelling and so I picked you up and brought you in here. Sparrow brought water and a handkerchief. You woke up when I placed the damp cloth on your head,” Scotch finished.
“You had a vision, didn’t you?” Sparrow asked.
“Yes,” Angelia replied. A look of understanding passed between the two girls. “Oh dear, what will my father say?”
“What was it about?” Scotch asked suddenly. Both girls looked at him with surprise. He smiled.
Angelia looked at Sparrow. She had told her about all of the dreams and visions she had seen. “It was the same as last night.”
“You had one last night too?” Sparrow asked with concern.
Angelia nodded. “I saw him again.”
“The king? What happened?” Sparrow questioned.
“I was trying to escape the city and I saw him riding through the street. He spoke to me. I wake up every time he starts to say something.” She looked at Scotch. “I need to let Geoff know. Can you take a message to him?”
“Yes, I would be glad to,” he agreed.
Scotch looked to the door. “I think we’d better go back. The teacher will be after us.”
The girls nodded. Scotch pulled Angelia to her feet and steadied her. They walked back to the classroom and found their seats. Everyone stared at Angelia.
The teacher cleared his throat and asked, “Are you all right, Miss Galashad?”
“Yes, sir. I’m fine. Thank you. It is a little warm in here and I wasn’t feeling well, but I am better now. I am sorry for the disturbance.”
It was a silly explanation, but it was the best she could come up with. The teacher nodded and class continued. Angelia had no more trouble that day.
After school Scotch insisted on walking Angelia and Sparrow home.
He looked up at the overcast sky and wiped the raindrops from his face. “This weather is crazy. We’ve had more rain this year than normal,” he said conversationally.
Angelia nodded. “And snow. That was interesting. I don’t think the children in the city have ever seen snow before.”
“Angel, how often do you dream of the King?” Sparrow asked suddenly.
“A lot. Lately it has been several times a week. I’m worried, Sparrow. I think it is getting closer.”
“Well Geoff says they are ready if anything happens,” Scotch replied.
Angelia and Sparrow looked at him in surprise.
“When did you see Geoff?” Sparrow asked.
“This weekend. I hiked up to the caves. My father wanted to throw a birthday party for me and invite all the ‘lovely ladies and gentlemen in my class.’ Humph.”
Sparrow snorted. “That’s a laugh. And just who are the lovely ladies and gentlemen in our class?”
“Well, that’s when I decided it was time to head up to the caves. I told him I needed to pass a message to Geoff, but maybe we could have the party another time. It worked. He’s not likely to have time to try and plan something again.”
“I’m glad Geoff is ready. That makes me feel much better,” Angelia replied thoughtfully.
She didn’t really feel much better because she knew so many people would be hurt or killed when the attack did come.
“Angel, what can we do to help you?” Scotch asked. “Everyone can see that it is a burden for you.”
“It is my responsibility to be ready and to help the people be ready,” Angelia replied stoically.
“You can’t take this on yourself. The best you can do is make sure those who are more inclined to believe you are ready and warned when the attack comes,” Scotch replied.
“No one believes me. Even you are skeptical, Scotch.” Her temper was beginning to flare. It did that a lot lately.
“I’ve already told you that I am inclined to believe you and your grandfather. It is—”
“Logical. I know, but that doesn’t give one much encouragement and support,” she threw back.
Scotch sighed. “I can’t argue with you, Angel, but if something does happen I will be supporting you one hundred percent.”
He smiled a winning smile and Angelia was forced to concede.
“I guess I have been a little focused lately. My mother suggested a visit to Oceana and I walked out of the room. I just don’t feel like I can leave.” She shook her head. “It’s strange.”
“What’s strange?” Sparrow asked.
“My mother didn’t even say anything to my father about my behavior. Usually I am punished severely for something like that.”
“Your mother has been a lot nicer lately,” Sparrow agreed. “She even invited my mother and I to tea this weekend.”
“I know. I feel like she is trying to make friends, but if I ever ‘see’ something in her presence she won’t look at me and she leaves the room. It’s like she knows what is happening to me, but she doesn’t want to believe it.”
They reached Angelia’s home.
“Sparrow, I don’t think my father is home yet, do you want to come up?” Angelia asked
Scotch bowed. “I shall leave you ladies to chat.” He left whistling.
Angelia and Sparrow went into the house and up to Angelia’s room.
“Angel, you need to give Scotch a chance. He has been very nice to both of us,” Sparrow complained.
“I know, but he doesn’t act like he believes me. I don’t like it and I don’t feel like I can totally trust him.”
“I think he believes you more now after today.” Sparrow put her hands on her hips. “What did you really see?”
Angelia shuddered. “Sparrow I keep having the same dream. I am running through the city. It is deserted and dark and he always finds me. It frightens me. I’m afraid I’m seeing what will really happen.”
“You know we won’t ever let him catch you.”
“Yes, but what if something happens and I don’t have a…a choice.”
Sparrow couldn’t come up with a response.
Angelia nodded her head. “Exactly.”