Failure

She is swimming and the water is getting darker with every minute. Her breath is coming in short gasps; her chest hurts. The weeds are getting thicker, making visibility even harder. She pushes them aside, but they are tough and wiry, cutting her arms and legs. She has to get through, she has to. Gabriellle…

She continues to swim and to fight the weeds, but she knows as she does so that it is hopeless. She has done this before and she never succeeds. Gabrielle needs her and she is going to fail her. The cuts on her arms and legs sting, and the weeds lash around her, immobilising her however hard she fights against them.

She screams when the creature comes at her from amongst the weeds. Its teeth are bared and its long fingers are reaching, reaching, scratching at her arms and face and body. She twists to escape it, trying to swim away, but its long fingers catch her ankle. There is another one now, gouging at her flesh, reaching for her eyes.

The weeds are tangling around her, she cannot get free. Her chest is heaving. She cannot breathe. She cannot breathe. The creature's face leers at her and she knows she is going to die here. She screams again.

Gabrielle, Gabrielle!

I am sorry, I am sorry. Gabrielle!

"Hush, love, hush. You're okay, you're okay, Fleur. Hush, hush."

She is safe in her own bed and Bill's arms are tight around her. She clings to him, sobbing and gasping, and he strokes her hair and kisses her and tells her that it is alright, that it was just a dream. She is safe. Gabrielle is safe.

It was just a dream.