69 ~ Mara

Nightmares woke her with a scream. In her panic she spun in her hammock and fell to the ground, legs tangled up in the ropes.

She freed herself and stumbled to her feet, crashing into the wall. The sharp pain woke her fully and she remembered where she was. She calmed down, slowing her breathing, and tried to remember her dreams.

She’d had nightmares for years, and a long time ago she realised that remembering them and writing them down gave her power over them. They sometimes shared information with her – mostly the truth about how she felt about a certain situation, like that nightmare she’d had about Morgan Meriweather. The dreams didn’t solve her problems, but the information they revealed sometimes gave her insight into her reactions and how she might change them.

Sometimes they were just frightening.

Regardless, she tried to remember them. It was if she was thumbing her nose at them, saying “Ye’re just dreams and I control ye.” She had no writing materials here, but she could draw the dreams out of the darkness of forgetfulness and memorise the details. She closed her eyes and concentrated.

A dark road. A clatter of hooves on cobblestones. Loud bangs and a cry. Anala collapsing, wounded. Flight down the mountain. Being met at shore by…no one.

Her eyes snapped open and she gasped. Anala was coming. They had to send the boat to shore.

She was flying out of her room in a trice, heading above decks. “Jerome! Tha boat!” she shouted for the oarsman as she burst onto the deck. He was running to the boat already, sailors following him to lower it into the water. Her shout had caused a bit of chaos on deck.

Seeing her chance, Mara ran across the deck and flew over the railing, landing in the boat as they lowered it to the sea below.

“Mara! Git yer butt on deck, girl!” came Uncle Merry’s voice from above.

“Nae!” she shouted back, although terrified at the risk she was taking. The men lowering the boat paused for a moment, unsure if they should listen to Anala’s sister or their captain. She gestured impatiently. “We’d be losing time! Uncle Merry, I’d know where they’d be ashore! I can help!” she shouted up at the captain desperately. The boat moved again.

Uncle Merry’s craggy face appeared at the edge of the boat as he looked down at her. “What’re ye talking about? How can ye know?”

She could only shrug at him, for the boat was in the water and Jerome was rowing already.

She’d tell him when she returned. She hoped.

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