If I would have known about it earlier, I would have mentioned it in my previous post: Amalia T. is holding a Dream Sequence Blogfest. And, boy, do I have dream sequences!
The following is an excerpt of Chapter 4 of Lucinda at the Window, which is currently on sale at Amazon.
The hill slopped gently away from her feet. Lucinda Harris gazed out over the field and the view took her breath away. From the bottom of the hill to the horizon was an ocean. The thigh high grass waved in the wind, shimmering almost as water would. The sun was high in an abundance of blue unblemished by clouds. The wind was strong. It hissed through the grass to tease at her skirt and blow strands of hair in her face. Lucinda didn’t care. She laughed instead.
She hadn’t been here in so many years. Why had been so long? A shadow passed over the sun. When Lucinda looked to see what kind of cloud it was, there was nothing but the sun in the sky, still unblemished. She squinted shading her eyes. Still nothing but the bright sun. Almost too bright, it bleached the very color from the grass. Lucinda shut her eyes.
When she reopened them, she was standing by a pond. The pond was the one hidden in the tall grass about a hundred paces from the bottom of the hill. One hundred and seventeen, she remembered without any effort. We found it a few weeks ago and counted. No, surely you meant years, Lucinda chided herself. You haven’t been here in years. The shadow passed over the sun again. Lucinda shivered.
The pond was small enough not to be noticed from the hilltop. Indeed, Robert nearly fell into it as they walked. It was a jagged oval, obviously deep because the middle was a dark, forbidding greenish-blue. The pond had no banks and seemingly no life in it either. Lucinda sat at its edge many an afternoon and cooled her feet in it. Nothing ever disturbed the surface of the pond except her legs.
Scandalous really, Lucinda thought, a lady with her feet and a good part of her legs showing. She wasn’t a lady then, just a girl spending time in the country.
Sometimes when the sun was just right, the pond was a mirror of the sky. She could watch clouds without straining her neck. There were no clouds today. Lucinda knelt at the side of the pond and stared into the water; blue with a glisten of sunshine.
A cold wind blew by her, but didn’t disturb the face of the pond. Lucinda was convinced that if she reached out and touched it, the water would be solid. Cool and smooth, not like ice but glass.
She caught a reflection of herself in the mirrored water: a small round cherubic face, hair escaping the long braid that reached the middle of her back, and two pinpricks of light accenting her blue eyes. No, certainly not! Lucinda pulled away. An older, more matronly face peered at her with its hair in a bun and the high collar of a sensible dress. That was better, how it should be.
A black silhouette of a man appeared behind the reflection of Lucinda.
"Robert?" Lucinda twisted around, but no one was there.
Sometimes Robert would creep up on her and push her in when he knew she was daydreaming. Insolent boy. He knew she couldn’t swim. She drowned when he…
No, that is wrong. Robert was the one who drowned when she…
For an instant, the whole world went too bright again, and Lucinda was forced to close her eyes.
When she opened them again, Lucinda turned to the pond and frantically searched the surface. What was she trying to find? Had she lost something? Dropped something in? She remembered an old fairy tale about a princess losing a golden ball in a pond and a frog prince helping her. Is that what happened? The pond was simply blue, an incredibly deep blue in relation to the washed out grass and sky. The sun was simply too bright this afternoon. A wind blew past her and continued on to whisper through the grass.
"You know why you’re here." The grass whispered in a voice that was strangely like her brother’s. In that instant she knew why she was there.
The black silhouette appeared again, this time dominating the entire pond. The only feature Lucinda could make out were pinpoints of light in its eyes. She couldn’t bring herself to turn around. She was afraid he would be as he was when they found him. She saw his body when they dragged it out of the pond. It was greenish and bloated. His blue eyes, the mirror of her own, stared blankly at her. She was afraid to turn around and see those eyes.
"I’m sorry," she whispered weakly. "I didn’t mean to. I tried…"
Tears streamed down her cheeks. She tried to make herself small and avoid what was coming. Always a hand, warm and living on her back, but this time a cold grip roughly tipped her forward into the water.
The pond bottom dropped off into nothingness only a few inches from the edge. Lucinda frantically tried to find footing and couldn’t. She clawed at the water, surprised to find it suddenly all around her and bitingly cold.
She broke the surface once to see the black silhouette standing at the pond’s edge. She still couldn’t make out features, just the eyes. They were no longer points of light but icy blue. Lucinda tried to scream. Instead of air, she inhaled water as cold as her dead brother’s eyes.
Chapter 4, part 2 of Pas de Chat is entirely two dreams as well. If you’re so inclined, please check it out. New chapters of Pas de Chat are available for free every Sunday and as a part of #TuesdaySerial. Thanks for reading!