While the castle was quiet and calm, my dreams were nothing of the sort. I probably twisted and turned in my bed when the dreams took me. Vividly.
Darkness, blackness, emptiness.
Surrounded by nothing.
While it all sounded very dramatic, one thought in my head was curious if you could be surrounded by nothing. There was nothing to surround you. And can the absence of something really make you feel constricted? I relaxed, trying to reach out into the darkness.
No heat, nor cool. No substance whatsoever. There did feel to be air here though. I had no problem breathing and when I moved my hands quickly it created enough wind to cool me slightly.
"Nice to see you again."
"Did you have fun so far?"
"Don't feel lost in here."
"You don't hate us, do you?"
The voices of all five girls suddenly were all around me. When I looked around they were standing evenly spread around me. I turned around to recognize each of them. Life, Air, Earth, Fire, Water. They were all dressed differently, now that I saw them all together. But there was a sort of unity to their clothing nonetheless.
I didn't feel in danger.
"Hi. Eh, I'm not sure if I had fun, but I don't hate you."
The girls giggled, mixed rhythms made it almost sound like music. Though there was a hint of nastiness to it. It felt to me that they had enjoyed toying me just a little bit too much. But, I supposed, that was normal for a receiver of their treatments.
"You understand now what we are?"
"What we do?"
"What we're trying to teach you?"
"To help you further?"
"To make you stronger?"
They spoke in turn, so neatly timed that I just turned around completely as I attempted to follow them. Were they one? I smiled at Zoe, the element of life. She looked to be in charge, for some reason.
"I understand. You are all sisters, each element worth the same and all work together to make the world. When I remember what happened with each of you, I see an element pure."
The girls giggled a little again, softer this time.
"I suppose we can let him go now."
"But he was fun! Do we really have to?"
"Yes, he deserves some peaceful nights."
"Be safe, Taran."
The girls all waved and faded away to darkness. Almost immediately after they were gone I fell through the ground, I think. It was hard to tell, I just had a feeling of speed, but there was nothing around me that my eyes could fixate on. All was black. But I could feel myself falling faster and faster.
And hit the ground.
I felt Deirdre's arms around me as I stirred. Her soft voice soothed me immediately. "Sleep. We'll talk about your dream tomorrow."
Thankful I cuddled closer to her. I didn't know since when she'd been near me, but I didn't mind. Not at all. I liked it very much that she had decided to come sleep with me.