Darkness had closed on me. Yet when I opened my eyes I was back in the attic room of the old manor. It was the home of one of the men my parents worked for long ago. I was maybe 10 or 12 years old, but didn’t look older than a tall 7 year old human. I was dressed in my rags of my kitchen girl position. I remembered coming here when I could steal away. It was a place the masters of the house wouldn’t’ find me, and it was out of the staff’s way. There was a large full length mirror I would dance and twirl in front of. Then I wasn’t as careful as I am now. I wouldn’t dare do the thing things, or say the things I did in front of an un-known mirror. In this dream, at least I hope it is a dream, as I stand there I see another me in the mirror but she is dressed as a lady of means. I see my father, my real father come and scoop me up in a hug. I watch a life of one where my father found his fortune, and remarried, instead of drifting off and leaving me behind. I was good there, but I could see that I wasn’t really happy. Yes I had a nice home, and dresses, but I was being forced to be a lady by my new step mother. I was a barraging tool for her when it came to social alliances. I wasn’t allowed to cook as I liked, or tumble and climb. I was allowed to dance but I wasn’t as good as it as my step mother wanted. I didn’t have the graces she wanted.I watched myself cry and walk away only for the mirror to go black, and in the darkness came a teenage girl, myself I could tell from after my dark time. I could see myself going about the rituals of the Phsarma temple. As I helped walk the dead to their final resting place. I was doing well, I could see that but the spark in my eyes was not there. They were dull from the overwhelming sadness around her. She would do as she must because otherwise someone would kill her. She had nowhere to go. She crumpled into the grass by a grave and sobbed.
The mirror blurred from the rain sheets that fell against it.
When the rain past, it was the view from the gate of a small meadow. Inside were a couple ponies, and two sheep dogs, with a small herd of sheep. I found that the mirror was gone, and I was standing in the meadow itself. I was dressed in the clean but slightly worn clothing of a farm girl. I carefully made my way to the cottage. From inside the cottage I heard humming and singing. In the cottage, a woman sat at a loom making wool cloth from the yarn. I stood next to her and watched her. She smiled and patted my hair. I sighed and knew this person loved me. She sat me in her lap, even though I knew I was a bit big to be there. She showed me how to weave the wool. We did that for a while before a kettle whistled. She got up and made me a cup of hot herbal tea that calmed my nerves and warmed my empty stomach. I wanted to say her name but the finger on my lips told me no to. Here she let me dance to the songs of the birds. At the hearth she showed me how to cook the fruit and berries from the surrounding woods so they tasted wonderful. I was allowed to run and chase the rabbits, and climb the trees like the squirrels. Here I was happy and I was content, yet I would continually look to the meadow’s gate. I was missing something. I had all I wanted in this place but as I looked at the gate I felt the woman walk up to me and wrap her arms around me. It was then I cried. I cried like I never had before. I told her everything. I told her of everything that happened me with father’s neglect. I told her everything of how I was treated as a servant. I told her what I had done to the man that hurt me. She listened as I told her of my time at the tavern, and of my friends. I told her of what we found in that warehouse, and how we had to stop the men that were killing all the people. I hold her I wanted to stay with her, but I knew I must go back and help. I wasn’t rich back there. I was cook for god sake not some noblewomen, but I was happy doing what I was done. I loved working with my friends, despite their quirks. I didn’t know how I knew but, I knew they were drying out there. As much as I wanted to be there with her, I couldn’t let them die. I was just so tired. So very tired.
She wrapped me in her arms and kissed my forehead and said I would rest soon, one way or the other I would rest. If I needed her, I had but to close my eyes and think of her. She wasn’t far away. I kissed her cheek and hurried to the gate. I had turned around to wave good bye to her when I felt someone reach over the gate and yank me back with them.
My eyes opened to the sounds of battle. I knew what I must do. I grabbed my swords and jumped into the fray.