all I need to give
is a little compassion
to feel it deeply
all I need to give
Eternity is a never-ending knot
ff the heart and loyalty,
friendship hands wearing a ring
pointed toward the body,
changing of the seasons,
on and on I grow,
pure and unstained.
‘Beatrice, it’s morning, lovey―time to get ready for school.’ Gwen’s voice penetrated the fog of Bea’s sleep. She put her head under the pillow and tried to ignore her grandmother. She had almost fallen back to sleep when she felt her grandmother’s hand on her shoulder.
‘Come on, sleepy head. You can’t spend all day in bed.’
‘Is it morning already, Gramma?’ Bea’s voice was muffled by the pillow. ‘Couldn’t I stay home today, just this once?’ She rolled over and stretched sleepily.
‘You already know the answer to that, young lady. Now hurry up before you are late.’
Gwen tried to sound stern but Bea knew she had a soft heart. Her grandmother could never really be cross with her.
‘You get ready while I fix you some breakfast.’ Gwen smiled as she walked out of the room and closed the door behind her.
Bea swung her feet onto the cold floor and stretched again before standing up. She reached for her school uniform and stood at the dressing table studying her face in the mirror. Her eyes were bleary from lack of sleep. They were normally a vivid blue but this morning they were just a pale grey, like the winter sky. Her skin looked red and blotchy. Bea thought about the woman from her dream. Her skin had been smooth and fair, with just a trace of freckles across the nose.
As Bea looked at her own reflection in the mirror she wished she knew more. She wondered if the dreams had anything to do with her loss of memory. Her grandmother had said that dreams meant nothing and she should stop worrying about them but this was the third time she’d had the same dream. Each time the woman came closer. This was the first time she had touched her.
Bea ran her brush through her hair. Did the dream just reflect Bea’s own memories?
The sounds of Gwen moving around in the kitchen downstairs stirred Bea from her reverie. She could smell the cooking wafting up the stairs―scrambled eggs and toast as usual. But Bea wasn’t hungry. She never felt like eating first thing in the morning. It made her feel sick.
‘Hurry up, Beatrice. You don’t want to miss the bus,’ Gwen’s voice rose from the kitchen. She said something else but Bea wasn’t listening. Her mind had wandered back to her first day at the new school a week ago. It had been hard when she didn’t know anybody. She had overhead some of the girls say she was stuck up because she had come from London. She didn’t even know what that meant and she could never remember being in London. She couldn’t remember a lot of things—not since the accident.
Bea pushed her hands into the pockets of her blazer and looked out the window. She felt like she should cry but she didn’t know why. She closed her eyes and tried to remember, just like she did every morning. The world outside was shrouded in grey fog and the sun was just a faint glow on the horizon.
Echo breathes from her lips
With the first stroke of the dead poet’s pen
Bea sat and looked up at the stars. Their twinkling brightness in the autumn sky was comfortingly familiar. At least one thing wasn’t all screwed up.
The moon was large on the horizon.
Mist drifted slowly over the precipice, shrouding the valley far below.
Bea couldn’t remember how she’d gotten here but she knew she was being followed. There wasn’t much time. She had to keep moving.
Then she heard it. At first it was just a dull drumming on the breeze. It got louder. Wind swirled the trees violently.
A voice came from behind her and Bea quickly stood up in fright.
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 dark curls hung over the woman’s shoulders.
Bea found herself reaching out. She had no control of her own body.
Her heart was racing.
As the woman moved closer Bea was pressed back 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. The woman stroked Bea’s hair and then closed her eyes as she began chanting.
I call on thee
Awake this child
From her dream.’
‘Who are you? Who are you?’ Bea cried out.
There were tears on her cheeks.
The woman hesitated for a moment then began to fade.
Bea woke in the darkness of her bedroom.
She was shivering uncontrollably.
Through the curtains she could see clouds slowly clearing to reveal a full moon. Stars were beginning to appear and the bright moonlight cast shadows on the ground below. As Bea laid her head back on the pillow a shadow moved silently away from the house.