Sorcha walked through the night to her cave. “You seem to be settling in,” Colwyn said, emerging from the shadows.
Sorcha stopped and turned to face him. A cold breeze blew through the valley, sending shivers up her spine. Or was it the look of Colwyn’s face in the moonlight that chilled her. “I’ve only been here a day,” she said. “I’m not sure I’ve been here long enough to know if I’m settling in or not.”
“You’ve already chosen a profession,” Colwyn said. “Something most of those who came in with you haven’t even attempted yet.”
“Manus and Dermot made it sound like I had to make my decision right away,” Sorcha said.
“You could have taken time to figure out what you wanted to do,” Colwyn said.
“I’m happy with my decision,” Sorcha said.
“I hope you don’t come to dislike your decision. Once you’ve made that choice you aren’t able to change it,” Colwyn said.
“Did you really think I didn’t notice you were trying to force me to fall behind?” Sorcha asked, hands on her hips. “I talked to the others. Now you’re trying to tell me I don’t know my own mind. Do you have any respect for people, or do you make these decisions based on some need to feel superior to everyone else?”
“I respect those who have earned it,” Colwyn said.
“And what would I have to do to earn it?” Sorcha asked. “Never mind. Don’t bother answering me. I don’t think I want to know.” She turned and stalked off back to her cave.
She stumbled in through her door, muttering some words her aunt would have taken a broom to her to hear coming out of her mouth. She still hadn’t remembered to ask the others about how she was supposed to light her lamps. She stripped out of her clothes and curled up on her bed. She closed her eyes and tried to go to sleep.
Her hair was tangling in the wind as she flew through the air. A strong arm held her in place as the horse beneath her surged and ran. “Faster papa, faster,” she cried.
“If we go any faster we’ll be flying,” her father said.
She giggled. “Make the horse fly, papa.”
“Only magic could make him fly, little dreamer,” her father said. “Let’s go back to mama now.”
“No. More riding,” she said.
“It’s almost time for lunch,” her father said. “We need to go back.”
“All right,” she said. The horse slowed as it turned but picked up speed again. She laughed and clung to her father’s arm.
Sorcha woke up with tears running down her cheeks. She wiped them off with the back of her hand. It was obvious she’d been loved, but by who? Her dreams had died out over the cycles, only coming once in a great while. Now, two days in the valley, and she’d had two dreams. The first one was a common dream, one she’d had many times especially when she was a young child. But the second, that one was new.
“Is it that goddess Lord Mikhael spoke of?” Sorcha wondered aloud. She shook her head. She didn’t believe in the gods, though her aunt and uncle would be shocked to hear her say it. She felt privately that the gods had long since abandoned the world. In her village alone, there had been two men who’d beaten their wives to death, a mother who murdered her own children because she thought they were demons, and more brawls and theft than her uncle had felt comfortable with. That was why he only went into town once a lunar, and why he’d started taking Paskal with him when he went in instead of going by himself.