Startled, you shake into consciousness. There is soft music playing and
the sounds of a light rain around you. You carefully open your eyes to find
that you are still in the gazebo, glowing orange under a dark overcast sky.
Droplets of water are blown in making dark spots on your robe and cloak where
they land. A small wooden box sits in the center of the gazebo, and the music
is coming for it. Pushing yourself up on tired arms you see someone leaning
against the edge of the doorway. He appears to be using a small dagger to clean
under his fingernails.
"So you are finally awake?" He
appears to be regal, but has the mannerisms of a rogue. His white shirt is hung
loosely, buttoned up only halfway. Loose sleeves end in tight cuffs. A golden
hued belt holds up black pants tucked into knee high boots - the kind a pirate
would wear, with buckles and the top folded over. His face is quite angular and
clean shaven, topped off with brown hair, brushed back. His smile is wide,
filled with white teeth and his eyes are pools of liquid silver.
who are you?"
He starts towards you, pocketing the knife. "Do
you like the music box? I brought it here for you. I like this gazebo, come
here often. Wasn't expecting rain. What brings you here?"
walked through a doorway and appeared here..." He stops about 2 feet from
you. "Oh really, nice. I walked here myself, long journey. Needed to
rest." Standing with his feet crossed, he reaches out his hand, "m'lady?"
out of curiosity, you reach out your hand to hold his, and he helps you up on
your feet. Without letting go, he starts to turn to the left and continues
talking, "I love your outfit," you blush red remembering how sheer it
is, afraid to look down, "but that's not the sort of dress to wear to a
You shake your head and realize you are surrounded by
people... talking, laughing, dancing... The music stops for a moment, and a new
song begins. He lifts his hand, and pulls you in close. His other hand is in a
fist at his waist. He begins to dance around, his steps are complex. He
accomplishes them easily.
"But I can't dance..." you whisper.
follow my lead," he says, silver eyes twinkling.
You are in a
vaulted hall. Warm orange wood lines the walls and the vaults along the
ceiling. A giant chandelier, at least 20 feet across hangs above you, far out
of reach. Below the vaults, wooden beams reach from wall to wall and hold up
large tapestries of intricate design - interwoven with all sorts of fantasy
creatures in brilliant color and definition. Your gaze darts from tapestry to
tapestry, who could be the architect of such imagination? Periodically, along
the wall, are stained glass windows, easily twice your height. Inlayed with
more scenes of fantasy, their color even outshines the tapestries. And you come
to a realization... the closest window is 'Strength' followed by the 'Wheel of
Fortune,' 'Death,' the 'Lovers...' It appears that there is a window for each
You are surrounded by people of all types... tall, short; large,
small; fat, skinny. They all move in a rhythmic fashion like a field of flowers
in the wind. Most are dressed in fine outfits, reminiscent of noble outfits
from the middle ages, and everyone is wearing a mask of some sort... all except
you and your host, but no one seems to notice. You are wishing you could wear
more, as your eyes come back to your host, his silvery eyes having never left
You have been dancing for a while, maybe not the best, but you
can't remember, your feet seem to be moving on their own. You aren't even sure
how many songs it has been. Your host is still showing off his limber prowess,
when you think you see a spot of darkness across the hall. His arm grabs around
your waist, spinning, losing your bearings, and when you stop, you can't
remember where to look. But wait, there it is again, something dark against the
wall. His body passes in front of you, and when he moves out of the way, it is
gone. Keeping in step with the beat, you turn and scan the entire room... Over
there, amongst the swaying grass of colorfully clothed people, a dark spot - not
dancing, closer than before. Could it be? You are feeling a bit flushed, as if
beginning to sweat... Something grabs your arm, pulling you back to face those
silver eyes, to tip you back and look at the ceiling. Back to standing again,
and you turn to rescan the hall. This time you see nothing as you turn
completely around and come back to your host. The music quiets down and stops
again... and a new song starts up. The beat is familiar, but you can't remember
the name. It doesn't sound like something mideval noblemen and women would
Your host begins to dance again, and your feet join in. "You
dance wonderfully," he says, his voice ending in a hiss.
appearing, the Shadow steps out from behind your host. He touches the host's
arm, his spectral voice reverberating in the wide hall, "may I have this
dance." The host, looking reluctant, backs away. The Shadow steps in
close. He takes your left hand with his right, places your right hand around
his body and then his left hand around yours, pulling you close. He begins to
move in a dance-like fashion, your feet moving also, effortlessly, no pressure
from the floor. Moving slowly, you and the Shadow contrast sharply with the
rest of the room.
You press against him, leaning your head against his
shoulder. "I was wondering if you would be here..."
down to your face, his face still invisible in his hood. "I have always
"You said the same thing to me in my dream, the
"Yes I did..."
"I was there." He is smiling.
not sure how long you have been dancing without music, but music is not playing.
You look up, the hall is empty. "Where did everyone go?"
is no one here."
"But all the people? There were a lot of
"That is a part of you and me, but there is
no one here."
"And what about the music?"
music is inside."
You realize you are still dancing, and come to a
stop. "What's it like outside?"
"There is no outside,
just a stairs at that end over there..." he gestures to the right.
what's on the other side of those windows?"
would happen if I broke one of them?"
to the stairs it is!" And you turn towards the stairs, practically
dragging the Shadow with you.