Emme looked around. The room was filled with black robed figures whose faces were hidden behind conical hats. One of them shut the door and the rest stood behind a woman in a blood red robe. Emme sucked in a deep breath. Her heart pounded and her entire body tingled. This can’t be happening.
“Esmaralda Gossling, step forward.” The woman in center of room
whispered as she stepped forward.
The others formed a circle around the two of them. She started to shake. Another hooded figure took a step forward but was stopped by the woman in red. Emme gasped.
“Do not be afraid, Esmeralda. You have been called.” The woman in red crossed to her and extended her hand. Emme moved back but didn’t get far as the circle closed in further.
“Don’t touch me.” This was the best she could muster under
the circumstances. She had no other options.
The woman grabbed her hand. Emme felt the pull. The room spun, her stomach lurched, she felt weightless. Was she floating? Seconds passed and she felt as though she was being torn apart, vanishing. Moments later Emme and the woman in red were alone in the center of a clearing.
The nausea clawed at her throat and she tried to force back the bile, but she couldn’t. Her stomach clenched and she dropped to her knees, heaving.
“That will pass, Esmeralda.”
Emme wiped her mouth and looked around. She knew this place. Her grandmother spoke of it often, but she thought
it was a myth.