And then the motion stopped. False light made her wince, made her cry. The voice soothed her even as tears fell onto her face.

One day, little one. You’ll understand we did this for you. One day, you’ll remember us.

A door opened and closed. Lots of little breaths, like hers. The warmth left, replaced by a hard bed surrounded by bars.

One day, my love.

Maggie startled awake, her heart racing. She could swear she heard someone speaking downstairs, but when she strained to listen, there was nothing. She sank back into the pillow and her eyes drifted shut again. She just hoped that dream didn’t resurface.

Instead, there was a woman. The silhouette of a woman, really. She was in a tower, alone. She sat on the floor, a drink in her hand, sorrow emanating from every aspect of her being. It made Maggie want to cry, to reach out to her. But there was a wall she couldn’t see between them.

* * *

Maggie brushed away the insistent nuisance pawing at her face. Sweat rolled down her back and her neck ached. The images of the dream merged and faded, but the voice stayed with her. She opened her eyes, and Blech sat beside her face, his paw raised for another push at her cheek.

“I’m okay. Thanks.”

He stared at her with his big yellow eyes for a second before turning and jumping off the bed. Maggie had heard about animals knowing when their owners were sick or distressed and hadn’t really believed it. But clearly Blech knew she’d been having a bad dream. She stretched and headed for the shower to wash away the sense of pervasive loss.

Under the hot water, she wondered why the dream had felt so real. Like a memory. Most of her dreams were run of the mill stuff—being chased, falling, saving the day, being made love to by a hot woman. This didn’t feel like that. It felt important, but the more she tried to remember the details the more they slid out of reach. By the time she was out of the shower it was gone, but it left an uneasy itch behind it.

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