Part IV: A Walk in the Night
I had another dream that night. I was back into the darkness, all alone and naked. I cried out and the darkness separated, leaving me standing in a dark vault. There was no light but I could see regardless. The chamber was made of loose stones stacked upon each other without mortar, the ceiling was made of natural stone, roughly chiseled.
The center of the room held a well, covered in a dark stone, howling wind sung as it emerged from the cracks. I came forward and my fingers touched the stone. Whispers filled my ears, promising secrets and reward.
“Come child… Come to us…”
That was when I woke up, drenched in cold sweat and goosebump scouring my body. I went out to take a shower to clear my head and body. As no one else was awake yet, I got dressed and went out for a walk in the night. At night, Ravenhold was relaxing, peaceful even. I walked around and found my way to the park behind school, admiring the statues, columns and the meticulously maintained garden.
“Can’t sleep either, eh?” A girl asked, speaking in an Irish accent. I turned around and saw a white girl, wearing an apple green hoodie from which her fiery hair poked out. I noticed that a gray cat stood at her feet. “It’s the dream isn’t it?”
“How do you know about that?”
“They’ve been keeping me awake too. Beside you got the feel on you.”
“Can’t you feel it, that touch from someplace else, like bad vibe in my aura?”
“Oh, you’re new at this aren’t you? A baby witch.”
“I… You could say that.”
“What got a baby witch here of all places?”
“It’s a long story.” I answered.
“It’s a long time till dawn.” She said walking a few feet and sitting down on a bench overlooking a fountain, the centerpiece shaped like some hero I hadn’t heard of; metal plate armor, matching helmet, flowing cape and holding a sword up in the air.
Something about her made me trust her. I wasn’t sure why, so I sat down beside her and I told her everything; getting my powers, the Shigeo-kai chasing me, escaping with Abraxas’ help, being brought here for my protection. All through the conversation, I could help but notice that she didn’t make eye contact, instead stating at the ground while her right hand fiddled with a bike-chain bracelet on her left.
“Shite, that’s one hell of a week you just got.” She said.
“Tell me about it.” I said. “You know, you never told me your name.”
“Aye you’re right, I didn’t. I’m Síthmaith, you can call me Sith, everyone one does. And this lad here is Malk.” She said, rubbing her cat’s neck. Although she’d pronounced her name Shee-moh, her nickname of ‘Sith’ had been said just like the Star Wars villains.
“That’s a pretty name.”
I blushed at her comment.
“So, what bring you here?” I asked her.
“Nothing as complicated as you. Wanted to do something with my life, not just read musty tomes and sit on my arse. My mum didn’t appreciate, ‘magic isn’t meant for the world out there.’ she said. Hitchhiked my way through the country doing my thing until I met up with the Merlins up in Dublin.”
“Aye, call themselves the ‘Sons of Merlin or children of Merlin if you ask the younger, more progressive ones. Bunch of folks like us, just want to help folks and protect them from what they don’t even know exist. One of them had a friend working here and got me a place.”
“How did you end up mingling with magic?”
“It’s in my blood, been there since before we started writing history down. My family’s been dealing with the Sidhe for centuries.” She said, pronouncing Sidhe as ‘she’
“Old world Fae.”
“So, Fairies are real?” I asked.
“As real as you and I.”
“I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, I had Japanese demons try to gut me. What else is real?”
“Everything. Even the stuff that isn’t real can be real. Met with a hook-handed killer while traveling, it was right out of an urban legend. It’s like whatever some folks believe become real.”
“That sounds terrifying… Makes me want to burn my H.P. Lovecraft collection.”
“It isn’t all that bad; for everything that can hurt you, there’s something that can help you.” As she said that, she ran her hand on the back of her cat.
“Do they allow pets here?”
“Malk’s not a pet, he’s a familiar. Might be a cat’s body but the mind’s ancient.”
“You’d know that if you knew how to use the sight.”
“It’s what let us see into the secret world behind the veil.”
I sighed. “I feel so useless.”
“You think I knew these things on the third day of my studies? You’ll know all of those things in time.”
“I don’t even know where to begin. It’s not like my powers came with instructions.”
“Didn’t that Abraxas fellow help you?”
“Yeah, but apparently he can’t teach me much of anything.”
“That sucks.” She said, going quiet for a second. “I could teach you something if you want.”
“You aren’t going to make it long if I don’t. This world’s dangerous.”
“Close your eyes.” She said authoritatively.
I did as she asked and she hesitantly put the tips of her fingers on my temples, almost as if she didn’t want to touch me, before she muttered something in a language I didn’t know, Irish if I had to guess. I felt a jolt come out of her fingers and come into my brain. My eyes reflexively opened and I saw the world differently.
Sith was there, still holding my temple, but she wasn’t as she’d been a second ago. Instead she radiated an array of colors and there were cords that stretched out from her heart, reaching far away. One of those cords linked her to Malk, who like she’d said wasn’t just a normal cat; there was something else in him, a kind of shimmering mirage that I couldn’t quite grasp surrounding him.
I turned my head gently and she let go of me. The world was basked in a strange silvery hue and everywhere I could see things… It was hard to describe, it was like every plant and every stone glowed like a firefly. I grabbed on of the stone and held it in my hand. I focused on it and saw cords linking it to the world become visible, they were just like the ones Sith had.
“What’s that? I can feel like there’s something in there.”
“That’s the spirits, they’re everywhere.”
“Even in a stone?”
“Aye. Though a pebble spirits isn’t going to make for an interesting conversation partner. Can you see the bonds?”
“Everything has those, if you know how, you can influence them, create new ones or break them. But that’s for another night.”
“How do I return to normal?”
“Close your eyes again.” I did. “Now, just breathe in and out, whatever goes through your mind, let it go until your mind is empty.”
I did as she instructed and when my mind was empty, I opened my eyes. The sight had gone, leaving Sith’s bright green eyes which looked away and her pale freckled face as my sole sight…
“That was amazing…” I whispered.
“It’s only a beginning. To bring the sight back, just focus on that feeling you had, force it to the front of your mind.”
She got up, yawned and then stretched her arms.
“Alright, I better go try to catch some Zs before class.”
“What about the dreams?”
“Should be okay now, I’ve had it before coming here and the worst always happen a few hours after midnight. And if that isn’t enough, the day is safe.”
“Alright. Thanks for the help Sith.”
“Don’t mention it.” She said, getting up. “See you around baby witch.”
She left to the other side from which my Dorm was and I walked my own way. When I came back inside, I found Charlie and Caroline in the kitchen making muffins. Rather than talk to them, I went back to my room and lied down for a few more hours of sleep.
I woke up not long before the start of class and rushed through my routine, taking another shower. Our first class of the day was Phys Ed which had always been my least favorite class in school; Being fat and out of shape it meant being tired and in pain, being mocked by others and always being last to be chosen whenever an activity required teams. Resigned, I followed the other to the training center.