Here’s a selection from, “A Dance Through Time,” to whet your appetite. Coming out soon. Can you tell what’s going on in this scene? If so, please feel free to leave a comment.

 

 

Heather tumbled through the white door and out of the great awning — sliding to a stop face first in the grime and muck of the rain soaked earth: the scent of torn grass assaulting her, as the blades found their way up her nostrils. As soon as she came to a stop, she sprang to her feet, and pivoted on her heel — charging forward to barrel her through the sturdy door, and find herself within the warm embrace of the awning’s atmosphere. To hear the lilt of the harp’s strum, and the song of the violin’s strings brushing against the bow.

Her shoulder found no purchase on sturdy oak or ash, and she tumbled forward onto the ground once more. No awning stood, instead there was only the grey of dawn peeking through the nearest horizon. Where was it? Where was she? Her eyes darted through the grey morning light, finding no answer to either of those questions.

All around her were grey, almost white mushroom — about two score, maybe more, arranged in a perfect circle around a portion of grass: laid low as if trampled by many feet. She spun in place: maybe she missed it? Maybe it was thinner than it seemed. No, no, no no no no. There was nothing but the rolling Welsh countryside, and the strange circle. There was no going back — no going back to the frivolity of the dance. No going back to the sweetest fruits and wines that she had ever partook of. No going back to the softest meat she had ever chewed, that melted in your mouth like it was made of snow. No…there was only the dull-drum of reality waiting for her.

It must have been a dream. She looked around, it must have been. A quick glance down told her that she no longer wore that violet dress, sewn of wild heather, and instead wore her muck stained, and sheep smelling gown. She patted her side, and sure enough she felt the heft of the metal sheathe of the dirk that her father had given her yesterday. So it was all a dream? Maybe she passed out after her jaunt through the countryside and imagined the whole thing. Her soaked and dirty clothes confirmed that for her. She’s had vivid dreams before — usually when she was in the throes of some awful fever, but this would have all of them beat. It must have been one of those.

Her hand wandered to her neck, and brushed against the cold metal of the chain. She grabbed at it again and pulled, and pulled and pulled, until the golden clasps on the back dug in to the bare skin on the back of her neck, and blood trickled down the small of her back. She looked around once more: where was she? Home? An uneasy wind blew past, and she shivered. Was it always this cold in May?

There was a hill on the opposite side of the circle: that must have been where she tumbled down into it…into wherever she was. The dawn was rising behind her as she set off over the hill.

Getting up was tough: the leather soles on her feet found no purchase on the slick grass, and four times she tumbled down the steep slope, before she gave up whatever dignity she still held and dropped to her knees, and dug her fingers into the muck to pull herself to the top of the hill. As she crest it, a roar of some great beast broke through the silence and bird song, and she looked overhead: a giant tin bird glided above her: several hundred meters above her head, far higher than anything of that size had a right to be. The sky screamed in the distance, and she covered her ears.

Heather stayed perfectly still until it was but a black dot in the horizon, before moving forward again. It was followed by a couple others, which she hid from by ducking into the tall grass around her and burying her face in the mud. What else would a beast of that size — a great dragon, a great eagle, eat besides man? The ground shook, and she stayed down for hours, quaking in the mud. She stayed there until it was safe: until the roaring stopped, and a birds — fewer than they were before, flew back over her and disappeared in the eastern horizon.

Dawn had passed by the time she found the courage to move once more, and the yellow sun was well on its way to the southern sky, or at least she thought. It could have been the northern sky, or the western…or maybe this land didn’t have simple concepts like, ‘east and west.’ Where was she to go? There was only one place that she could go — forward to lord knows where.

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