“Amongst the sea of stars, beyond the cloak of darkness, let the lighthouse lead the way.”

The whisper faded, as did the blinding light. She blinked once, twice, trying to refocus her vision. Yet there was only milky white stretching across her sight.

She was not alone, the presence of someone was all around; yet the keeper of this realm she was constantly thrust into to had still not been unveiled.

By some instinct, Shay curled her bare toes, and they were buried in a substance both soft and silty but also firm. Looking down, she lifted her foot and saw that the lightly tanned grains trickled between the spaces of her toes like heavy water, leaving only the very tops of each digit covered.

What is this? She asked, mostly speaking to herself, but an answer spoken aloud was returned to her.

Sand.”

She jumped, startled by the voice, which seemed to have bounced in from all directions. Looking all around she saw nothing and everything all at once.

With one flutter of her lashes, the milk white scene was instantly filled in with brilliant colors of all shades and shapes of all kinds. This sand was everywhere, as far as her eyes could see. And water, so much of it, blue-green, roared in from some unending horizon, taking giant laps at the sand before it retreated just as quickly and ferociously, leaving a moist trail in its wake. And then the cycle repeated again and again. The sound of the water crashing into the sand was like a great beast, but it was also like a sleep-song.

Her mind wandered then trailed off to flashes of memories that were not hers. Children playing in the sand, near the water, adults sitting nearby, in perfectly relaxed poses, staring off at some unknown, unseen point in the far distance.

And then a light touch on her bare shoulder. Soft, gentle, too quick to know if it were that a man or a woman.

She turned fast, but still no one in sight. But what was in her sight was a tower, spiraling up hundreds of feet into the air, piercing the azure blue sky above. Every few seconds, a flash of light from the very top circled back around toward where she stood. The tower itself was stark white with a midnight black swirl wrapped around it from top to bottom. At the very base, a closed wooden door.

Lighthouse.” This time Shay did not move or flinch. She wasn’t sure if was because she were becoming use to the voice or because she was hoping not to scare away its owner by her own movements of fear. Still no one appeared.

But one parting phrase, not spoken aloud, pierced her mind.

“In darkness, become Light.”

Then the whole scene folded in on her, as she tumbled far away and back into her own consciousness, where a more familiar voice called her further into awareness.

“Shay!” It was Ethan, his words filled with heavy worry, with a barely contained hint of fear, “Shay! Wake up!” She felt his strong hands grip then shake her shoulders, once then again. “…please,” he pleaded.

It was the desperation in his words that called her completely back into their world. Her lashes fluttered, and she was home. Back into a world living existing on the fringe of twilight and dawn.

But something had changed, some deeply rooted seed had been planted. Within her, within the air around her. She sensed it within the center of her being.

She focused and looked around. Faces began to appear in her vision. Ethan, of course, his forehead strained with worry. Dakken, his shadowed features twisted up curiously. Was that concern? Or some obscene enjoyment? And the children. Who weren’t really children. Somehow, Shalise understood this now. They were others. Not from the realm she was being pulled into at random, but definitely not from this reality.

“Welcome back,” as always, the pair spoke in unison. Each smiled, the boy, his darkly tanned cheeks lifted high, and the girl, her freckled face glowed with excitement. “You have learned a secret.” The spoke the words not as a question, but as a fact.

“Yes,” Shay answered. “I have. I have seen the world before this one. I have seen the beforetime. When the world still glowed with possibilities.”

She looked up at the sky overhead. Then used her own strength to stand. Her companions cleared back, giving her space. “The storm has cleared. We know our powers. Now we begin.”

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By Moonlight: A Post-Apocalyptic Fairytale. By Q. Lenise Lee. Copyright Lenise Lee Publications. All Rights Reserved.

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