Today was one of the strangest I have ever experienced. The beginnings of it are lost to me, like the tingle of some strange dream that lingers on the edges of one’s remembrance – only flashes and feelings remain. I remember a feeling of oppression and of fear. Remember a road bathed in the light of the moon. I remember walking that road, almost dreamlike, for what seemed an eternity. The fear of being chased. Yet I remember nothing of before. Where I have been, what I was doing there. It frightens me. I have a very good memory and have never lost time like this – it has to have been at least three or four months. It was the middle of summer when I last saw my family. Now autumn leaves begin to fall from the trees and the air has turned crisp. They must be crazy with worry. My first thought when I started to remember myself was to go find them and let them know that I’m alright. I want to see my son Zak and give him and my husband Tristan a tight hug and never let go.
When I came to though, I was in a darkened alleyway with no sense of where I was. The world can be dangerous, at night especially, and I crept as silently as I could towards the beginning of the alley to try and figure out where in the world I was. The streets were darkened as far as I could see though, except a lone storefront. At first I began to slink away from the light but I heard a noise and saw a shadowy figure on the wall. Frightened, I crouched down in the shadows and tried to make myself as small and invisible as I could. But my fears were unfounded. The gentle lady that emerged on the stairs was one of the least dangerous, most kindly-looking women I had ever seen. When she called out, I breathed a sigh of relief, straightened up, and made my way over to her. Maybe she could tell me where I was and I could finally make my way home!
The lady Sophie, who was as kind and grandmotherly as she had first seemed, calmed my nerves considerably. She went upstairs to make a phone call and, clutching the delicious cup of chamomile tea she had given me, I noticed that she had a beautiful, uniquely organized bookstore that seemed to be her home as well. I smiled. Anyone who obviously loved books as much as she did couldn’t be all that bad. I let myself relax, set my tea down and waited for her to come back downstairs. When she came back downstairs, she said that she was going to take me to some sort of leader or something. I had only wanted directions but she had been so kind to me that I was willing to go along with her for awhile. We talked a little longer, during which she told me to look in the mirror. Curiously, I did so. At first I was startled at the alien creature that stared back at me, but I quickly chalked it up to nerves or maybe some kind of trick mirror and we were on our way.
When we arrived, it was to some sort of meeting. A meeting of some of the strangest creatures I had ever laid eyes on. A pumpkin-faced man with disturbing tufts of a grass-like something growing on his face was the only other one who seemed as lost as I was. There were leaves littering the ground that seemed to randomly disappear. A proper-looking man who looked like something straight out of a turn-of-the century novel, a blue lady with sorrow in her eyes, and two others who were just as strange leading the discussion. The only explanation I can offer for the strange costumes is that perhaps there was some sort of early Halloween party going on. The mood was anything but festive, however. They talked of things I didn’t understand. I felt so out of place. I usually have no problem following a discussion and understanding what is going around me. Since I’ve returned to myself, however, all I’ve felt is confusion and a sense of being somehow disconnected from the world I know. I don’t understand anything anymore. They named me a changeling, whatever that is, and told us that fate had decreed that we needed to do something important. Something that the fate of the world hinged upon. I felt like I was in some sort of epic fantasy novel. At least one of the women, Ainsley, let me stay with her for the night. She was beautiful and unearthly graceful. Her skin was tattooed with flowing drops of water and even her hair seemed to shimmer subtly. She seems kind enough. Perhaps in the morning I can finally figure out directions from her or one of these other people and make my way back home to Tristan and Zak. I just want to go home. Home…