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  • Aside from the searing, excruciating pain. All I could feel was the coolness of the hilt of his blade against my chest. Not the pressure or the warmth of his embrace or the snow which had begun to fall around us and collect like starry constellations on his hair and armor. "I wish there was another way." He whispers with tears in his eyes as I look up at a crimson moon and everything takes to black. The dream had been the same since I was a child. I'm walking in a forest at dusk. The trees are abnormally large and I'm being led down a path that steadily twists and turns. Until becoming fully enveloped in darkness and silence. We then reemerge into a small Glen surrounded by stones of varying shapes and sizes and filled with lillies. In the center of the sea of white there was a huge fire its crackling sounded as if it were breathing and roaring. I had never seen a fire so great. The man leading me is wearing polished armor so pristine he seemed luminous in the moonlight. His cascading waves of get black curls had a life of their own. Coming to a rest upon his breastplate and back. Despite the ominous tone, I am always captured by how beautiful he is. There are no sounds coming from the forest. No animals or crickets. The night air is thick and warm because of the fire. The man is talking to me. His hands are on my shoulders and he's pleading with me. I don't understand what he's saying and can barely hear him. Women are now surrounding the fire. They look to me and I nod my head giving some kind of permission. I can hear them chanting, but I can't comprehend the words. While chanting they begin to rhythmically sway and make their way closer and closer to the fire. So close, their skin begins bto burn. Yet their swaying simply became dancing. No screams or hesitation and they also didn't miss a beat. I am watching them intently. Then, just as their circle seems to be about to enter into the flames. The man pulls me in close to him. "Are you sure?" He asks. 'Yes' I say the word but before it dawns on me that I'm just along for the ride. He kisses me. Long and deep, taking my breath away. Grasping the small of my back and caressing my face with the other. I caress his in return. Finally when his eyes, black as morning coffee and reflecting the glowing majesty of the great fire behind me, locked on mine. He drives his dagger through the very center of my chest. The blade is extremely sharp and he's unimaginably strong so it goes straight through to the hilt. Before my mother died she would say it was just my over active imagination and that I should watch so many scary movies. I was eight years old when they started. She made me promise to not tell anyone. She told me that my father didn't like imperfection and that if he found out he would be very angry with her. I didn't understand but I did as she told me. At ten years old they intensified. I began having the dream every single night. It had become a full fledged nightmare. I tried to avoid sleep as much as possible. Pushing my body to insane limits. Until at thirteen, when my mother died; I slipped into what my doctor called a Sleep Deprivation Induced Psychosis. I journaled A LOT during that time. I don't remember much, honestly and I haven't gotten up the courage to read them yet. But what I do remember is that, the nightmare became my waking personal hell. Lots of therapy and an antipsychotic later. I sleep unincumbered. It's my thirty-second birthday and instead of waking up filled with excitement, I'm emergency journaling. Because, after sixteen years, my brain decided it was a "good idea" for me to feel a dagger being plunged through my sternum. A swift, hard knock on her front door, broke Circe's thoughts. "Key!" Came ringing through the door. By the high pitch and melodic tone she knew it was her younger sister Pasiphae or Passy for short. Their mother named them after the Greek myths in honor of the fact that their father's name is Helios. Without fail, even when Key was studying abroard. Passy would always be at her door, on her birthday. With coffee, apricot danishes, and roses in tow. After a long, overdue hug, the young women sat down to catch up with one another. It was while laughing about the recent shenanigans of their father and his much younger new wife, that Key pulled her long and curly auburn hair up into a ponytail. "Good God sis! What did you do? Try a lil BDSM for your birthday?" Key just sat there looking confused. "What are you talking about Passy?" Passy got up and gestured for Key to follow her to the nearly wall length mirror in her hall. "So, you mean to tell me that you didn't notice the giant bruise gooing from your neck to your boobs?" Dark purple and oddly shaped, there was indeed a bruise. Beginning at the base of Key's neck and going down the dead center of her chest. She hesitantly lifter her shirt. The bruise continued to the space just beneath her sternum. Taking off her bra and separating her breasts, her we're fears we're realized. Passy just watched not knowing what she was doing "How did you know it would go down that far?" Key stood looking at the ornately, intricate design that seemed to darken and becoming almost black in color. It was undeniable. "I don't know. But I had the dream again. And this time, I think things are going to be very different."

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