http://leannareneebooks.blogspot.com for all chapters)
When I thought I had the very worst luck a girl could possibly encounter, the heavens proved me wrong in giving me a helping hand, extending down into my tired, addled brain and granting comfort and a useful turn. God or the angels, or merely my clever subconscious, granted me my wish. Unsure what to thank, I said a prayer of gratefulness to all.
A dream. At last.
A shared dream.
Like Jonathon and I used to have when his soul was bound to a painting and I was his one tether to the tactile world. Some part of that original bond of soul to soul held on and connected. Love and truth will out.
Never mind the dream ended in nightmare. My dreams always did. My dreams forecasted unerring doom on a sliding scale. It would be up to Jonathon and me, our waking selves, to make the tragedy into a happy ending. My nightmares were riddled with roundabout clues, gifted from some power higher than I could give myself any credit for, and their ignominious end, those terrible moments right before I woke, were the worst-case scenario that we had no choice but to risk our lives to avoid.
But what I was presented with in the depths of my fitful rest was no solution, only information. But a tether to a missing lover was far better than no exchange at all.
I was getting very tired of the endless dark corridor in my mind where the dreams and nightmares took place, the narrow playground of terror, the dark, dank space where all things came to pass, where all clues were unfurled amid various horrors, my vulnerable mind unable to suitably brace itself against the inevitable onslaught. I wondered if at some point in my future I would see that hallway in my actual life and I would know that something important, if not abjectly horrible and life-ending, would take place there.
I did not know what of my dreams was clue and what was fancy. I had never known that balance or how to structure it. I dreamed, and then I woke. How else could one live life, but to make sure their waking life was full of love and actions of grace? I could not be held accountable for a mind in shadow that revealed what it would.
But there he was, Jonathon. Paces ahead of me down the dimly lit corridor that had no discernable light source and yet was luminous as if by an eerie phosphorous.
The British lord stood stiffly elegant in his fine black frock coat, navy waistcoat, and an azure ascot, his striking figure a greyscale palette with a splash of blue highlighting the spectacular color of his eyes. He was all the more striking for being against the run-down corridor, like in an old grand house but with wallpaper and paint peeling, wood panels cracked and splintered, foundations slightly askew so that the world was like a carnival mirror.
Jonathon's innate grandeur set against this sickened space made him all the more beautiful in contrast, and I could feel, with a swift punch to my gut, his absence from me. I could feel his distance as though a needle were pricking into my skin and drawing away something precious, threading out my heart in a thin, bloody line of passion.
Immediately, upon seeing him there in my mind's eye, in this corridor where our minds entwined, I somehow knew that he was no longer in New York City. I shuddered as I tried to take steps forward in this rotting corridor toward his handsome form. But my feet were uncooperative and the length of the corridor just kept lengthening, drawing us ever farther apart.
He stared at me longingly, then turned that beautiful head and began to walk away. As he did, a low and rumbling chant began to lift into the air as if a storm were rolling in and fast. I called to Jonathon, and he stopped. He cast a sad look over his shoulder.
"I've gone back to England once more, darling Natalie," he said. With great effort, I raised my lace-swathed arm to achingly reach out to him. He continued, with a weary, grim tone. "I have gone where you cannot follow. There was no time. I was dragged along, bid not to write to you for fear of tracking. But you've got to look to the numbers. The toxin will go wide. There was a sequence. Find it before it finds the city."
And then the corridor around us started to collapse. Jonathon in his paces ahead began running. But not to me, away from me.
"Let me go and save yourself," he cried. If he said anything further, his voice was lost in a horrid din, and I lost sight of him in the shadows.
There rose into the air, filling my ears like a violent swarm of insects, a chant of terrible numbers. A fog of red smoke rolled in like water, filling the moldering corridor. And then the walls came crashing down.
I fell beneath the force of the rubble, and my last sensation was of the life being pressed out of me as my lungs filled with acrid, stinging smoke...
I awoke with the gasping cry of, "I have to go to him."
No one was with me in the room, one of Mrs. Northe's fine guest rooms where I was still bound to a bed. I couldn't be sure when I'd be well, released, or safe around anyone, let alone the man I loved and was desperate to join, no matter the danger. Was I not in danger here in New York? Was I not in danger no matter where I went, where the demons seemed always able to pinpoint me, their insidious instincts by now having trained on my scent?
I closed my eyes, moaning in pain, burning physical aches. I thought about what Jonathon had shared. His words. There was something in them to stir results. I had instructions to give. I couldn't find any numbers or any sequences while tied to a bed. I figured I'd better start being useful by screaming for help.
(End of Chapter 13 -- Copyright 2013 Leanna Renee Hieber, The Magic Most Foul saga - If you like what you see, please share this link with friends! Tweet it, FB, + it! The Magic Most Foul team really hopes the audience will continue to grow and it can only do so with YOUR help! If you haven't already, do pick up a copy of Magic Most Foul books 1 and 2: Darker Still and the sequel: The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart and/or donate to the cause! Donations directly support the editorial staff.
Cheers! Happy haunting! See you next Tuesday!)