Ember shrieked and stopped dead in her tracks as Perhluna bounced from one shoulder to the other.
"Gotcha, " he giggled.
"Haha. I should have known. Where have you been?"She tried to catch him as he popped back and forth, playfully.
"Here and there. There and here. Miss me? He paused a moment too long and Ember was able to grab him and plant a kiss on his head. "Oddly, actually... yes," she said, grinning as he wiped the kiss from his head with a look of disdain.
"Humans! Always with the hugging and kissing! Yuck, yuck, yuck!"
Laughing, "you love it and you know it, " Ember teased, before coming to an abrupt stopin front of an ornately carved wooden door. "Well hello., that came out of nowhere."
Ember reached for the large simple silver knob and as her hand wrapped around it, she felt her heart stop and instantly filled with dread. The knob was warm to the touch, yet it sent an icy chill up her arm and down her spine. She felt trapped, unable to let go of the knob, yet terrified to turn it. She instinctively knew that she must open the door and go through, yet she was frozen with fear at what awaited on the other side. She was unsure how she knew it, but she felt death beyond the door. She was overwhelmed by the sorrow and grief that were filling her. She didn't understand the emotions that were suddenly raging through her. She desperately wanted to close her eyes and re-open them to the happy banter of the moments before she stood in front of the door.
"Perh, I don't want to open it, but I can't release the knob. Do we have to go in?" Her voice was a whisper.
"We, no. This is not a place I can go. You must face the Dew alone, yet you will not be," he said with uncharacteristic reverence.
"The Do? What is the do? Do, as in a task? I feel death. Is that it? Is it a due,? A fee that must be paid? Is that it?"
"Gather yourself child. So many questions. Tsk,tsk, never waiting for answers."
"No riddles, Perh, please. This door frightens me."
"The Dew is a fearsome place, but it is enlightening as well. It is where all things must pass and be acknowledged. One must face their biggest fears... they must face themselves and come to terms with there past, present and future. The Dew has been called many things by many species... the Fade, the Veil, the Between...
It is a place out of time and a time out of place. In your world you see the evidence of it every morning. It is the tears the universe sheds in joy and sorrow each morn. It resets the rhythm of being, so the universe can begin anew. That is the Dew. Each of us comes to a point where we must face it. It has chosen this time and place for you. So I must bid you adieu."
"wait, Perh... I will see you again, won't I?"
"I be here and there, hehe, there and here..., " with that he winked, making her smile, and he disappeared.
Ember shook her head at her silly companions riddled departure. Her hand still on the knob and her body heavy with apprehension, she slow turned the knob. She stepped back slightly as the door swung open towards her. In what should have been a doorway, was a mirror. She tentatively reached out and touched her reflection.
"Yep. It's solid. Now what? Do I just stand here and stare at myself?" She stood back looking at her reflection and turned from side to side. Then she stepped up close and stared into her own eyes. She felt slightly uncomfortable just staring at herself, as if she was supposed to be seeing something important and she was missing it. "Should I talk to it? Hello self. Now I'm talking to myself, hmmm guess I wasn't quite bonkers enough." Ember continued to stare at her reflection, making faces. She then knocked on the glass. It sounded solid enough. Pressing her hand to the surface, she tried to feel something, a vibration, a sense of what it meant. It was icy cold to the touch but void of everything.
She felt around the edges to see if there were a hidden latch. Finally, after satisfying herself that there were no hidden triggers, she stepped back and reached to close the door. "Well this is ridiculous. It's just a mirror in a doorway. I think I know what I look like. maybe if I close it and re-open it, something will happen."
As her hand closed on the edge of the wood, she saw a word appear across the surface of her reflection.
It looked as if someone had written it with their finger on a steamy bathroom mirror. in fact, she could almost make out what looked like a woman's delicate hand writing it out. As Ember reached out to touch the surface again, her fingers went through and she felt a warm hand clasp hers....
To be continued....