Cosette wrapped her arms around herself with tears streaming down her face. It was dark and quiet and she turned around, looking in all directions as she tried to find her way. Finally she sat on the ground and cried into her knees, feeling very lost and alone in the darkness.
"Do not be afraid," a soft voice called from behind her. The small girl gasped and she turned around, wiping her face with the back of her hand. There was a lady dressed head to toe in white, light radiating off of her pale skin. She extended her hand to Cosette and the small girl could feel a feeling of warmth and comfort wash over her.
"Come to me…take my hand," she said. Cosette stumbled to her feet and rushed over to the woman, grasping her hand tightly. Soon the light surrounding the lady in white expanded and filled every crevice of the bright room. Cosette's face lit up as she looked around at her new surroundings, no longer feeling any fear.
"Where are we?" she asked quietly. The woman kneeled in front of her and took both of her hands. "This…Cosette…is your very own castle on a cloud."
Cosette's face lit up even more. "A castle?" she whispered in child-like wonder. The woman nodded. "Yes Cosette…your castle. Where nothing can ever harm you," she spoke softly.
The young girl smiled and released the woman's hands, twirling around and laughing in glee. She bounded out of the castle door and out into the open, still in awe and delight of what met her eye. The woman stayed back with her hands folded as she watched the child spin in circles, not a care in the world.
After a moment, the woman's pensive smile faltered a bit and she extended her hand again.
"Come to me Cosette, the light is fading."
Cosette looked up at the sky which was, indeed, beginning to dim. Her smile turned to a worried and frightened frown and she ran towards the woman, wrapping her arms around her legs and hugging her.
"Shh…don't you see? The evening star's appearing," the woman in white whispered, pointing to a sparkling star in the sky. Cosette looked up at the sky as the woman kneeled and took her in her arms, allowing her to rest against her shoulder. They stayed together and looked at the evening star before the woman shivered.
"Cosette it's turned so cold…" she whispered quietly, tightening her hold on the small girl. Cosette looked at her with wide eyes. She felt perfectly warm to her. "Why do you say you're cold? You don't feel chilly," the girl said innocently.
"As long as you are warm, my dear," the woman replied with a sad smile, pulling Cosette back into her arms and closing her eyes. "Oh how fast the minutes fly away…" she whispered to herself, kissing Cosette's hair. "Cosette…listen to me. I have to go soon."
"Go? Go where?" Cosette cried, gripping the woman's white clothes with her small fingers. She didn't want her to go. She felt safe and warm with her there.
"You see…there's a darkness which comes without a warning…but I will sing you lullabies my dear. And you'll awake in the morning."
Cosette sniffed and nodded. She didn't want to cry. Not on her castle on a cloud.
The woman began to sing softly, gently rocking the small girl back and forth as she sang her lullabies. The sky grew dimmer and dimmer and the woman's voice got softer with every song.
"Soon it will be night…" the woman whispered to Cosette after she finished her songs. "And then I'll have to go."
"No…" Cosette cried, moving away from her. "I don't want you to go. I don't want to wake up. They're mean to me there, they don't like me. No one loves me," she sniffed, shedding a tear. The woman shook her head and pulled the girl back into her arms, stroking her hair.
"No…no…" she whispered softly, holding back tears. "Cosette…I love you very much."
Cosette squeezed her eyes shut. "Then don't go."
"I have to. But do not fear, my sweet," she whispered, her voice getting more and more distant. "For I have sent you an angel to protect you. Trust in this angel and he will take you from this place and raise you to the light. I will always be with you in your heart, Cosette. And remember, to love another person is to see the face of God."
The woman started to hum again, rocking the child back and forth soothingly. Cosette's eyes began to feel heavy and she eventually felt herself drift off into a quiet, peaceful slumber.
Fantine released her daughter from her arms gently and set her upon the soft ground of her castle on a cloud.
"I'll see you when I wake," she whispered before moving on to the place where love is everlasting.