I get the girls in the car and check the time. 6:48. Her game is at 7:00 and it take 20 minutes to get there alone. Seriously mom? I look back and see the girls contently sitting, Lottie with her music in and Lena sketching. I can’t wait until today is over and I can have a redo tomorrow.
We arrive home way past nine and the girls are dragging, along with me. Lottie is dragging her feet into the house after playing her butt off and winning yet another game and Lena is just out of it. We go inside and the only light on is the one in the front hall. Mom’s car is gone. I’m not surprised. The girls pull themselves upstairs and right into their rooms. I do the same. I walk into my room and my bed beckons me. Walking out of my shoes and towards my bed, my eyelids begin to droop and when my head hits the pillow, I am out of this world and into the one that can make me forget my problems.
The town is quiet and it is unnerving.
I look for some sign of life and not a trace could be found. The road that runs down the middle of the city is usually bustling and loud, people buying and selling things at the different markets and shops but there is nothing. No sounds, no smells from the bakery that makes these cinnamon rolls that melt in your mouth. The bell on the book store is dinging, there are no children, no happiness. I walk down the center of the dirt road and the stale air makes my silent breathing apparent. Stale, and scared; that is what it feels like. The abundance of fear is noticeable and I don’t like it.
I walk out of the town and further into the village, with bare feet and a dress made from scraps, where the leaves are changing from a vibrant green to the fiery oranges and reds that stand out amongst the darkening sky. My shadow leaves me and walks off with the sun and I feel alone, frightened and utterly alone. Doors are shut, windows locked and the only noise is the eerie wind chimes that hang outside the door. I give a small ‘hello’ and hope that someone hears my plea for help.
There is nothing.
Then when my hope is almost gone, the creak of a door makes me jump and the face of a local town -goer, a short man with greenish skin and moles on his nose, looks out and beckons me to the house. I run to him and as soon as I am inside and the door shuts does the sound of a blood curdling scream cut through the air. It makes the hair on the back of my neck stand and as I look in horror to the others in the house with us, an eerie silence falls upon us.
Another scream and then silence.
Not another sound.
I look to the others and their heads are hung solemnly.
“What was that?” I ask in a hushed voice.
“The Aisling Diabhal is looking for her, the one who will blanket the land in an endless snow” tells the green man.
“The Aisling Diabhal?”
“The Dream Devil. He haunts our minds and our thoughts, weakening us, trying to get us to break and tell him where ‘the one’ is.”
I give a questioning look but the past comes flooding back, with a man telling me about seven sunsets.
That was yesterday.
“What is going to happen if he finds this person?’
“From what legends tells of, in seven sunsets, the Aisling Diabhal must find and kill the chosen one who is believed to be the one to blanket us in a snow that will clean our souls but without her, with her dead, the heat will rise and we will be sent to our death, rotting in the hell we created with our wrongs.”
“So she is important?”
“Yes. She is vital to our survival. Those screams are of the girls that have had their memory filled with horrible actions that he is going to do if the one does not turn themselves in.”
“What must she do to defeat him?”
“When one wants to defeat the dreams that haunt them, they have to overcome those fears. Her fears are what bind her and the Aisling Diabhal, making their fates intertwined.”
“What are these fears?”
“Not one of us knows, but if she does not find these fears and overcome them in two fortnights, then we are all doomed!”
His eyes are ridden of any happiness.
“I lost my daughter to him. He is a wicked man and must be stopped.”
“I am sorry” I say, giving him a heartfelt hug to soothe him.
“The bell on the church rings in a melodramatic repetition.
Over and over and then I am falling through the floor?