Taken: Breaking the Darkness Book 1(10)

By: Felicia Starr

My body became less aware of its physical state. My eyelids lightly hung over my field of vision and I could feel my eyes drifting to the back of my head. The tingling sensation on my scalp started again and traveled down my body straight through to my toes. My internal energy and sense of self lifted away from physical attachment, from the bed and my cage. With my thoughts still focused on that blueberry scone, I found myself standing at the wooden gates of my favorite café.

I must have drifted off to sleep. If I'm sleeping, why am I thinking about sleeping? Who cares? I was just so glad to have my mind anywhere but that dungeonous room of darkness.

I just stood there for a minute and took the time to survey my surroundings. Just as I was about to reach out and open the gate to the front walkway, I noticed the planter boxes. They weren't as I remembered them, now much more mature, flourishing with bushes of herbs and too many fruits and veggies to pick for one day. I guess my mind was making up for lost time.

As I turned to look at the street, I realized I was about to be run down by a young girl wearing a green-and-brown tie-dyed shirt and khaki cutoff cargo pants. I couldn't believe how fast she approached. And then it happened; she blasted right through me. "This is a really strange dream," I whispered to myself, not expecting an answer.

"Kasha, this isn't a dream," came a gentle familiar voice behind me. It nearly startled me awake.

When I turned, I was surprised to see her hovering behind me. At this point I looked down at my feet to find they, too, were not planted on the ground. "Patience... What are you doing here? Where? What? Why? Oh, God," I whispered. "Don't tell me you're--am I--are we... dead? What's happening?" She looked as beautiful as ever, except she somehow looked younger and her silhouette glowed with a shimmering transparency.

"Please, sweetheart, calm down. No, we aren't dead. You're having an out-of-body experience. You're a projection of yourself. Well, some version of yourself."

"I'm what? I'm sorry, this is way too out there. How are you-- How am I-- What did you say?" I pressed my fingers to the bridge of my nose. "Seeing my dead Gram was hard to believe, but you, here, now... It's is just too much to process."

"Honey, Mage came to see me too. Axel and I have been worried about you. When you didn't call to have your bookshelf delivered--" But before she could continue, I interrupted her with my confusion and rush of excitement.

"Mage! Gram? How do you know her? How do you know it was her? How do you know Gram's name?"

"Sweetheart, slow down. There's so much you need to know, but right now we don't have a lot of time. I'll try to tell you as much as I can."

She must have spoken with my Gram because she sounded just like her. It made me nuts when Gram talked around things, leaving me to read between the lines. This time, it made me feel safe and added to my trust of Patience.

"Let me first explain that I am a descendant of Franz Xaver von Schönwerth. For over two hundred years those in my family have been story keepers. Of course, there were many families that kept history before mine."

Everything she said was spinning in my head. The words were like speeding bullets. I couldn't dodge a single one. I'm not even sure I heard everything she said.

I could tell she knew I wasn't focusing on her words. I'm sure my bewilderment was plastered all over my contorted face.

"Kasha, dear, do you remember I told you I have some special books for you? That is what I do. I keep the tales, stories, and folklore of many families, many unique and special families. There are histories that don't ever make it to the textbooks, but they make it into mine. There's a fine line between reality and fantasy. I'm not even always sure where that line begins and ends."

"Um, okay. Now, about my Gram, you said she came to you?" I was still having trouble sorting out the craziness she was dishing out.

"Mage came to me just before her passing. She and I have crossed paths a few times over the years. She asked me to make contact with you. That's when Axel and I started to set up shop at The Flea. She asked me to get close enough to you so, if the time came, I would be able to help guide you. This isn't exactly the path she hoped you would find, but here we are."

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