As Dre’s mind raced, all she could hear was her pounding heartbeat, darkness enveloped her sight removing the shadows, the pain, the light . . . when she awoke, she heard voices, yet, although familiar she could not match them to faces. She opened her eyes and was immediately blinded by the streaming light of the sun invading her chambers. Shielding her eyes from the brightness of day, she turned toward the door. Her friends stood inside the room, speaking softly. Dean and Keith stood in front of a dark shadow where another solemn voice resounded. She saw their faces, their slouched and serious forms, and she knew how close they were, but their voices still seemed so distant. She still felt numb as she stood up, and even though she saw nothing after her friend died, she remembered everything. As she walked toward her friends, she felt as though she was watching a play. It was an otherworldly feeling she possessed, and she felt as though she was watching herself move, and when she finally spoke, she knew why her friends’ voices felt so distant, they were just as detached as her own broken whispers.
“So, what now?” Deirdre looked from one boy to another. Their tearstained faces turned to her, their eyes dead to the world, just as she was sure hers appeared. Ren looked the most serious.
“We keep moving,” as he wiped the tears from his face they knew exactly what he meant to say. It was never more apparent to them what they had to do than right at that moment. With Mo’s death a part of each of them had also died, and if they hadn’t to that point realized, it was absolutely crystal clear that this was not a game, nor could they treat it as such.
“. . . We have to complete this; for Mo’s sake. She wouldn’t have wanted us to give up, yes, we’ll all miss her, but,” Deirdre stopped and closed her eyes tightly, warding off tears. She had no need of finishing her sentence, as they all understood. As they awaited the sunset down in the tavern, they were greeted by thankful citizens. They were treated as heroes and royalty, they were celebrated and offered drinks even; but they didn’t feel much like drinking, nor celebrating.
“We apologize for your loss, this must ‘ave been quite a bitter-sweet victory for ye,” one patron remarked in passing. They all looked down, Ren clenched his fists in anger, and Dre rose.
“Bitter-sweet? No. There was nothing, absolutely nothing about this that was sweet, I wouldn’t even go so far as to call it a victory!” She finally felt tears, real tears streaming down her face, “I lost my best friend and you call that a victory!? You throw my friends and I a party?? How heartless could you possibly be!?” Keith and Ren stood, attempting to get the angry maenad to sit, as they noticed a familiar glow shining in her eyes. Eyes burning she broke away from them and stormed out. Once again the tears refused to come as they were merely evaporated from her face. She continued to run, not even halting for her friends as their voices called to her, but as she approached the woods a vision of Dante’s broken and battered form stumbling back into the darkness ran through her mind and she stopped in her tracks. She wanted to tear her hair out, she wanted to fall to the ground sobbing . . . she wanted to go home.
Ren, Dean and Keith stopped nearly 20 feet from her, cringing at her blood curdling scream. They cautiously stepped toward where Dre stood, shaking. Ren put a hand on her arm and her eyes opened. A determined glare shone from them as she stared out into the wilderness. She pulled her arm away as she stepped forward.
“Do you have our things?” her formerly quivering voice spoke strong and solid.
“Yes,” Keith responded.
“Good, let’s be on our way than, shall we?” Deirdre motioned for the others to follow as she started into the woods. There was no longer any doubt in anyone’s mind of the dangers the world held for them, but there was also no doubt of their task. They had to get home.
After a few miles of walking, the party heard rustling. Keith jumped, pulling out his weaponry and the others soon followed suit. Back to back they stood, ready for anything, when out of the darkness came a canine figure. They all jumped but Dre recognized the creature.
“It’s ok boys, calm down, it’s only Shadow.” She kneeled down and pat the excited looking wolf. “Why aren’t you with your bastard of an owner?” she questioned the creature, as if it could respond to her inquiries.
“Maybe he is . . .” mentioned Ren. Keith glanced around a little uneasily and Dean retorted loudly.
“Well let that asshole come and find us! We’ll show him who he messed with.”
“Even if he is nearby we’ll take care of that later, our main concern is getting home right now,” Deirdre remarked as she started walking once more. . .
That morning they made camp, not that any of them felt much like sleeping, but they laid out their straw mats, ate their dinner, and assigned watches. Soon they let themselves fall to sleep, uneasily dreaming as they tossed and turned on their straw mats. A breeze rolled through the tall trees and a figure crept up silently. Slowly kneeling beside Deirdre’s pale and exhausted frame, the dark figure leaned ever closer, gently caressing Dre’s cheek as he moved her hair away from her tightly closed eyes. Leaning forward in a rush of boldness, his lips carefully brushed against hers.
Deirdre opened her eyes. The wind blew gently through the empty forest, and suddenly she felt alone. She looked over at the tree Ren leaned against, shaded in his dark hood, facing away from the party. As she glanced around at the darkening forest, and up at the colorful sky she noted how quiet the world gets just before darkness and the creatures of the night take over.
She looked over at the other guys who laid on their backs, watching the show of colors between the branches.
“What do you think happened to her?” Dean questioned, asking what no one else had the nerve to. They all looked over. “I mean, do you think she went home? Or do you think she’s actually. . .”
“I don’t know. . .” Dre looked at the sleeping wolf beside her, “I guess we’ll see when we get home.”
“If we ever do get home,” Keith murmured under his breath, but in the silence of twilight, they all heard him, and though none would admit it, they all felt the same.
**NTR: FINALLY EH!? ^_^ hehe, not quite the ending yet but i'm getting there. be patient. Did you like my presents to you? *points at the post before this* Sorry if its only 2 pages, heh ^_^() its also not as good as before, but i have to get back into the swing of things. sorry bout this. well, enjoy it anyway. And dont worry, there will be some comedy. oh, and can anyone pick out when Dre is dreaming? *nudge nudge wink wink* well, ALL UP SIREA OUT!!**