Nightfall at the Oak Fort
The air was stiff within the cold, dank walls of the prison cell, yet, she was surrounded by many familiar characters. It was one of those dreams, a swirling wall of shades from which there is no respite, in which she becomes haunted, consumed almost by the ghosts of forgotten memories. She tries to counter this by cultivating memories rich, like gardens, from the compost of experience; however, this is a dream in which she feels totally out of control as if forced to ride in the passenger seat of her own mind.
The walls dripped silent echoes, a peculiarity not lost by her, as she fades in and out of consciousness. In one moment of brief lucidity she pulls her hair back and looks up from the bench to the familiar scrawl “Crazy Mike wuz here” etched into the stone wall. She reaches up and begins to trace the indelible marks with her finger when suddenly she is struck by a sky-splitting sound and falls to the floor.
She finds herself standing in front of the Oak Fort.
: Phantom Orchid approaches the Fort
: Phantom Orchid sits among the gnarled roots, slowly, and then stretches out her weary legs
: Phantom Orchid pauses, then takes a deep breath
: Phantom Orchid inhales, then slowly exhales and smiles as a crow perches itself on a branch above her head
: Phantom Orchid centers herself in the present, worlds away from dank jail walls, sharp tongues, and broken dreams
: Phantom Orchid opens her Book of Dreams
She dreams. The shades return, but, interestingly enough, this Time none of them glance her way. She feels her pendant glow dark against her chest and, quickly, she curls into a ball against the base of the Accursed Growth as darkness engulfs her. It feels like a mirage. Some clarity, a few details, but whatever focus of attention exists vanishes as soon as it comes. She does not know this Time why she is here, and it perturbs her. So she waits.
After waiting for what seems like years, she sees her. She is crossing an abyss, and then she suddenly, fleetingly, remembers that this is why she’s been waiting. A stomachful of butterflies, a fast-paced heartbeat, a thief in the night.
“Ready?” she asks after a brief hug.
“Yes.” She answered. She has been ready ever since she had met that small girl with the three candles.
“Do you want to know where we are going?” she asks.
“No. It matters not so long as it’s this way.”
: Phantom Orchid closes her book of dreams
: nadrolski collects water
: nadrolski collects treebark
: Phantom Orchid wiggles her toes into the topsoil and feels her pendant glow warm against her chest
: nadrolski high fives lady Phantom Orchid
: Phantom Orchid blinks, then high fives the boss
: Phantom Orchid looks around, zealously, then returns her gaze to nadrolski
Phantom Orchid: Do you
: Phantom Orchid pauses
Phantom Orchid: *raises her arms* See that?
: Phantom Orchid thinks about how quiet it feels
: Phantom Orchid takes off her clothes, runs, and dives into the lake
: Phantom Orchid splashes around ecstatically
: nadrolski quietly enjoys NATURE
: nadrolski collects treebark