“When did you rename --- or should I ask what’s this Perhluna you’re dreaming about sleepy head?” a deep voice behind her chuckled.
Ember’s eyes flew open and she almost toppled from her chair, sending Nym, Nuet and her keyboard flying. “Wyndel!” she exclaimed launching herself into his surprised arms.
“Is it really you? I thought I’d never see you again! Especially after the Water Tart had you…and then there was the cheese and the dragon and the”
“Whoa there, little sis. Slow down. Wow, that must have been some dream.”
“Are you going to sleep all day?” Misty calls from the hall. Ember lets go of Wyndel long enough to grab Misty and pull her into the hug. “Alrighty then, nice to see you, too, sis.”
“Well, what am I chopped liver? Where’s my hug?” Fossylia teases as she enters the room.
“I’m back! You’re all here! Oh, where’s Elspeth? You’re never going to believe where I’ve been. I thought I’d be stuck… and gosh, I missed you all, but it was exciting, sorta scary at times, but…wait what day is it? How long…”
“Em, breathe. You were just dreaming. Aunt Ellie said you’ve been up here on the computer since dinner yesterday. You must have fallen asleep. You really need to stop these all night computer sessions and get outside more. You’re lucky to have a job that lets you work from here, but there is a whole world out there you are missing. We worry about you always being cooped up in here with your computer.” Fossylia admonishes.
“Yeah, you need to hit the town with us tonight. My firm is in charge of the opening of a new gallery in Epirotes Falls and I want to show off my beautiful sisters. Well, we’ll have to comb that hair of yours and see if Aunt Elspeth can do some real magic and make Fossy presentable, but….owww!” All three women playfully punch, Wyndel before he can continue. “I’m just saying. But first, I think I smell some of Ellie’s fine cooking downstairs. Race you…” The four take off for the staircase, playfully dodging and pushing each other; looking more like children than the adults they are.
“You sound like a pack of wild animals, “ Elspeth chides, shaking her head and chuckling. She removes a pie from the oven and sets it on the counter to cool, only to be grabbed from behind by Ember.
“Oh, Aunt Ellie, how I’ve missed you!” Ember gushes, as she presses herself against the woman who raised her. “And I didn’t realize how hungry I was until I smelled your roasted chicken… squash casserole and… is that your soda bread?”
“Well everybody sit down and let’s eat while it’s still hot, “ Elspeth says as she extracts herself from Ember’s embrace. “Ember, why don’t you tell us all about that adventure story you’ve been working on, “ she adds with a wink.
Ember’s jaw drops, but Elspeth just pushes her chin up to close her mouth, then pats her shoulder and gives her a knowing look.
“Is that what you were babbling about upstairs?” “Story? What story?” Fossy and Wyndel say at the same time.
Clearing her throat first, Ember begins to tell them of the adventure her “character” is experiencing. They all begin passing dishes, filling their plates and eating as they listen to her story, occasionally interrupting with comments and questions. As the meal wore on, Ember took a moment to really see her family, while they enjoyed a new animated side of their shy sister, Ember was about to tell them about the Druid Derrick, when suddenly she was jolted awake by Perhluna’s chattering.
“NO!!” she cried, “No, no, no! I can’t have been dreaming!”
Perhluna disappears from his perch on the windowsill and reappears in Ember’s lap. “Dream? Is that what you human’s call that motor sound you were making when you sleep?”
“I do not snore! And no… dreaming is…. Oh, Perhluna, I was home. I was with my family. We were eating dinner and I was telling them about you and this place. It was so real! I can still smell the peach pie…. No, no, no! It’s not fair…”
“Well, this world must not be through with you yet.” Perhluna said with a shrug as he popped back to the window, then added, “Derrick is up to something strange in those woods.There are strange sounds and lights coming from them when he goes in… look he’s about to enter them again. Come see!”
Perhluna continued chattering as Ember crossed to the window, just in time to see Derrick turn and look behind himself before he disappeared in the trees.
“We should follow him…” Perhluna encouraged.
“I don’t know. You saw how upset he got when I was wondering around before.”
“Hmm. What do you call it…hmm… oh yes… CHICKEN!”
“What!?! Fine, but if he gets mad, I’m telling him it was yooouuuuur iiiidddeeeaaa!” As Ember opens the bedroom door everything goes black and she has the sensation of falling….
Back in Tennessee, just outside Epirotes Falls city limits, Ember’s family is gathering around the breakfast table.
Yawning, Misty says, “man, I had the strangest dream about Ember…”
“ I had a dream about Ember. We were all eating dinner…” Fossy adds before Wyndel finishes her thought, “and she was telling us a story about a woman who gets drawn into the internet world.”
Fossy and Misty simultaneously exclaim, “Yes!”
Aunt Elspeth chuckles, “Well it seems we all had the same dream. Maybe Ember is trying to speak to us from where ever she has gone….”
(Originally posted 7/22/10 on CC-Chronicles.blogspot.com)