…As Ashling hopped off the last stone, she looked up at the night sky and noticed the stars. The sky seemed to stretch over her like a bedspread, and the stars looked so close, she caught herself ducking her head so that she wouldn’t bump against them. She chuckled at herself and fell on her back against the grass, musing at a sky so clear that even touching the stars seemed possible.
As she lay pondering, her eyes began to feel heavy, and she caught herself beginning to nod off. Drifting on the sweetness of the moment, Ashling felt her mind relax and open. Before her eyes, three pools of water lay. Each pool was a different color and each had a unique scent…violet smelled of water, clean and sweet, yellow, like an orange peel sugared by the heat of the summer sun and dark water that smelled rich and spicy, like the soil her father tilled as he grew the herbs her mother used to make her wonderful soups. She felt a rush of wind whoosh past her and she fell back hard against the grass on which she still lay.
A stream of water flowed from each one of the pools, and in spurts that must have reached 20 feet tall, they bent to mix together as one and poured across the space in front of her forming a rainbow that revealed the entrance to a cave. Ashling stood up and scampered over to the cave. She saw the water dripping, as though the cave entrance was made of wet paint dripping from a brush. She reached out to touch the dazzlingly colored water, and as she did, her fingers began to glow. Through the entrance of the cave, she saw what seemed to be a mirror image of the wooded glen in which she stood..
With no thought to any possible dangers, Ashling immersed herself in the colorful waters, and felt the fragrance of the waters rushing through her body, straight to the center of her belly. She turned around and looked toward the gateway though which she had just come, but she saw nothing but the rich land standing in front of her. Not even a shadow of her watery cave was left behind her. She felt a finger tap, tap, tap her shoulder. With a start, she turned around and saw a boy dressed in green standing before her. His smile was infectious and warm…