The Princess and the Dreamer…Part Two

…Light streamed through the window. It was not a bright light, like the ones in stories about near death experiences, but a bead of light that seemed to paint her wall as it danced back and forth. Ashling, who had spent many an hour immersed in a fairy book, slid off her bed and moved to the window. She opened her window further and leaned out, pressing her elbows against the frame as she spied what appeared to be a swinging lantern in the distance.

Curious, and completely distracted from her mother’s request, she pulled her shoes on her feet, slid a jacket over her arms, grabbed an apple off her bureau drawer and bolted into the darkness of the fields below. She wandered toward the road that lie adjacent to her parents’ farm. As she approached the road, she noticed the light she had seen from her window swinging in the distance, across the field in the opposite direction. She knew that this direction headed to a roadway into town, and she knew there would be help for her father in town. The dutiful daughter turned and began to follow the sure path. Just then, the same black mouse that had appeared at her bedroom window ran across her path, down the embankment and into the woods away from town. Startled, she ran after the mouse, leaving behind all thought about either of her parents. She could only see the tip of the mouse’s tail in the distance, like a magic thread leading into the dark. Then, as she reached the edge of a brook, it disappeared again.

Through the tip of the trees, she could barely see a crescent moon smiling down at her. As the mouse had disappeared, so had the light source she followed. Her eyes adjusted to the darkness, and before her stood an impossibly long stream, sparkling like diamonds. The water moved swiftly, and she decided not to try to wade through it. Slowly, she hopped across the stones that lay above the water, using them as a bridge. When she reached the other side of the stream, she searched for some sign of the mouse. However, as she saw nothing, she began to wander, deeper and deeper into the darkness that lay ahead of her, hoping that somehow, something would eventually present itself…

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