In answer to the weekly writing challenge Build Your Own: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/build-your-own/
I had been there before, a long time ago. Yet everything looked the same: just as I remembered it.
As I walked carefully making sure I did not place my feet where the stones would be so slick I might slip and fall, I took in my surroundings. The small trees held onto the sandy cliffs, their roots visible like many fingers trying not to let go and risk falling into the river.
The stream was calm at this time of the year, low enough that I could walk in the middle of it without the waters reaching past my ankles. It was chilly almost cold though it would be colder soon with the winter months approaching. Even the light seemed to promise a foggy and damp afternoon; the sun was veiled and the skies greyer than they should be at this time of day. It rained the day before as the bright green of the foliage showed and if the skies’ story were true, it would again today. Maybe before I reached my destination.
Still even the light, even the clouds were exactly the same as the first – and last – time I was here. It would have been unnerving except I knew why and I had to focus on where I put my feet. I also needed to keep in mind where I was going: because really that was the point of this journey.
I was young the last time I came and I remembered now the sense of awe I felt as I took the path I was presently following. There had been some excitement too though now it was accompanied by something else. I was older and I knew more about these things, maybe more than I cared to. In fact though I would not say it out loud to anyone but my husband – who would have guessed anyway – this was not a journey I relished making. It scared me and yet what was I to do? And now that I had thought of him, my thoughts turned to Endymion. Against his will he allowed me to come here alone. But he had not been here that first time: and I knew it must be so today as well. In truth Endymion had barely left my side since bringing me back from the North. I was grateful for it though I knew some of the dangers of that: everyone at court knew we were in Heron and I guessed the rumours that would fly about. As unlikely as the queen and my brother were to believe some of what would be said – talks of treason and religious heresy – pressure from the peers of the realm might end up being too much. We must return to St-Dome sooner than later. But before I must come here. When I saw the river as we crossed that bridge two days before I recognized the place. I was barely eight name days when I first saw it in my dreams, long before that first horrible vision with Thierry in the temple.
My premonitions were rarely wrong and though I had prevented a few, I felt in my heart that this one must start this way: I walking alone along the path the river made. Endymion would come after me if I had not returned by the following evening. He had prepared my bag though to ensure I was as safe as I could be without him. It was at once light and filled with everything I could need for an autumn night in Heron. He probably would have scolded me for removing my boots and walking bare feet in the cold river but he was not here. Not just yet. My meeting with the goddess and her daughters could not be witnessed, not this time. Of course I could only truly embraced what I was here. Of course this was the destination of all the journeys I had taken until now and probably the point of origin of all the ones I would take after. An acknowledgment of who I was; I was of St-Dome and of Heron. Etienne once said I could bring healing to the two countries, that I was chosen. I didn’t like today more than I did the day he said it, but there was truth to what he told me. And after what I went through in the North it was time. Yet how could I have known I’d find some answers in the dreams of an eight year old girl?