Bea reached the top of the mountain pass and stopped to catch her breath. Mist was drifting slowly over the precipice, shrouding the valley far below. She couldn’t remember how she’d gotten there but she knew she was being followed. There wasn’t much time. She had to keep moving.
There was a noise behind her and Bea quickly turned. Her heart was racing. A woman appeared out of the mist, reaching out her hand. She wore a long red velvet gown with strange symbols embroidered in golden thread. The gown closely fitted the elegant, shapely figure beneath. A wild tangle of auburn curls hung over the woman’s shoulders.
As the woman moved closer Bea found herself pressed against the rock wall. She couldn’t move. All she could do was watch the red dress coming closer. The golden patterns swirled hypnotically in the mist. Bea felt the woman’s breath against her cheek. She could smell her perfume.
‘Lady Avalynn,’ the woman whispered.
‘No, my name is Beatrice ― I’m Beatrice,’ she cried. There were tears on her cheeks.
The woman hesitated for a moment, then she began to fade.
Bea woke in the darkness of her bedroom.
She was shivering uncontrollably.
Through the curtains Bea could see clouds slowly clearing to reveal a full moon. Stars were beginning to appear and the moon cast shadows on the ground below. As Bea laid her head back on the pillow a shadow moved silently away from the house.