I heard I had a lot of visitors. Even the Queen came, though that is a sad thought now. I heard Nathaniel sat with me constantly and read. I heard my father only left my side when he absolutely had to. Lady Siansa and Princess Aislyn and Lady Renata all spent time with me, as well, and I didn’t know any of them.
Renata says I appeared to wake once and I called for my mother.
Lady Siansa says when she visited I would never let go of her hand. I’ve had so little time since I woke I haven’t had a chance to tell Nathaniel what happened, all of it, and I don’t think father told him very much. I worry that father is upset with me somehow, but there’s been no time. So much has happened, since I woke up.
I had a vision, and it felt important. It was a vision about the future of our land.
I told father and Lady Siansa about it, but it was overshadowed by Princess Aislyn, so tired from tending the King and holding the sithen. I don’t know how she does all this, just one sidhe, all on her own. I told Aerodine about it as well, since she featured in the vision, almost as a heroic figure.
Lady Siansa and Prince Blaise decided we should do a seer’s journey around my vision so they could better understand it, so we could better understand it, so we could somehow figure out what its significance might be.
I remember the vision. I remember the journey.
But everything after that is a bit blurry. I did the invocations, we all went into the vision, and I took it step by step, but things got weird. I kept getting distracted, finding myself in another place, like some kind of prison except it was comfortable and warm and felt like home, only I was trapped there and couldn’t get out. Lady Siansa and father helped me find my way back from that digression more than once, but it kept creeping in and creeping in.
It felt like it would never end, and then when I thought it was over, we were attacked in the dreamscape by a dozen redcaps, bloody hats and all.
My father became a lion first, but I knew they were after him, after Lady Siansa, my protectors.
I knew only I could save them. Something made me raise my right hand, and when I did, when I did. From the heavens, a summer hail storm, except the hailstones were points of crystalline ice, bright and rainbow reflective, and four redcaps dropped right away. I think I hit father. I told him to get out of the way, but he wouldn’t. I couldn’t stop it. I killed more and more with the ice, but I was getting tired, and finally when I knew I couldn’t fight any more, I just … ended it. I stopped the vision, wrenched us all away. I couldn’t have done it, they say, without power from Blaise and Sia coursing through me. I took it, power they’d lent to me for protection, to shut the vision down. I remember screaming that it would end then, and then there’s just nothing.
There ought to be a song that begins, “I remember me.” I’m sure there is, somewhere.
I know now with certainty that my mother, whoever she was or is, did not give me away willingly, but I have a feeling she somehow held on to me in a way I did not like at the time. I cannot reach far enough to find her face. I am filled with doubt as to whether I ever even saw it. And some memories of my caretakers, who thought they’d hit the jackpot with their beautiful blonde baby girl, only a few weeks old, surprised by my prescient intelligence and the way I stared and stared.
In the end, Queen Isabella came to me, and I remember this clearly.
She told me I couldn’t stay there, in the dream world, in the little forest clearing where I could see all the possibilities of the world like light through the Forest King’s horns, where I didn’t worry, where the ache in my legs was a vague worry. She said all the magic would consume me. She showed me the way out, showed me how to get back to the forest glade, how to find it again, but said I would not remember everything that had happened this time.
But, I can go back there now. And I can get back again.
When I woke up, they were all there: father, Aislyn, Lady Siansa, Nathaniel. One of the healers or one of the white ladies had put me in this see-through gown: I had to glamour a pair of jeans and a blouse because ew. My father seems to think he woke me by smacking me on the bum. I haven’t had time to disabuse him of that notion: so much has happened.
I kept thinking my legs ached, and then I saw myself in a mirror. Everything feels strange when you’re suddenly about two feet taller than you were before. I keep trying to fold up my legs so they won’t be so noticeable. They are crazily long. My ears are longer. My arms are longer. I suppose I look properly sidhe now. Folks round the sithen are talking to me more, which makes me resent them a little bit because of the way they treated me before.
So I was stolen somehow from my mother, even though that wasn’t a perfect situation. And whoever did it made me look human somehow. I haven’t discussed this with anyone, but I think somehow what happened blew away all the spells they’d cast on me to make me look human.
And there’s more. There’s always more. I was so exhausted when I woke up. I had to sleep a lot. The healers encouraged that. I was asleep when Queen Saone offered her life for the life of her son, King Llwyd, asleep when he awoke and came out into the sithen only to be quickly absorbed into the Hunstman. Asleep when so many of our seelie sidhe followed the Queen into the wild energy surrounding the marron tree. But I was the one who had to tell Aoibheann what happened. I invited her for a picnic, told her what I knew even though I didn’t know the whole story. She was upset and immediately began making plans to save Llwyd.
I asked her to talk to Aislyn with me in hopes cooler heads might prevail.
I was having a fond hallucination, of course: Aoibheann, when she gets something in her head, won’t be swayed, and she all but accused Blaise of making a power grab for the sithen. I won’t believe that of him: he makes mistakes, but power hungry he is not.
Of course, later that night, Aoibheann went off and got herself kidnapped by the Huntsman; Aerodine came by the sithen and told us what had happened the next day.
If things seem to be running together, it’s because they are, a bit. I can’t seem to keep my head in the present. I keep slipping into dreams every so often, but I won’t tell any of them; they’ll think I’m crazy.
Even though Nathaniel’s been here a lot, it feels as if I’ve hardly seen him. While he’s been complimentary and kind about the changes in me, we haven’t been together since I woke up. Even though the practical side of me says that has everything to do with time and nothing to do with me, I can’t stop the doubts. So many changes in such a short time, and him in this weird place between being a vampire and being alive, not sure what’s going to happen to him — it makes for very uncertain thoughts in a girl’s head. He has so many things on his mind, I have so many things on mine … but every time I look at him, I just want him to cup my head in his hands, kiss me, and whisper to me that he would rather be on a blanket at Val’s with me, in my bed with me, taking the clothes off me, anything like that. Because I’m sad, I guess, and my priorities are all screwed up, or something.
It could be just the adult onset thing: I’m suddenly feeling a very strong desire for sex, and lots of it. Nathaniel would probably laugh and say nothing’s different, but this is different. I feel like I could go for days. I think about our times with Val and just want to do that over and over again. I have dreams where Nathaniel comes to me and doesn’t want to talk, no preamble, just … yeah, and he’s always supernaturally strong and powerful, telling me how beautiful I am, going over my body in such detail … and I want it to be his idea, his choice. I want to be irresistible to him.
I should stop writing, because this isn’t my little porn journal. But … sigh.