Black enveloped Alex, cutting her off from everything. It gave her the feeling of aloneness. She was just there, suspended in the dark. She didn't particularly mind the feelings. She was rather suited for it, only really getting along with a few people.
Then lights began to flicker on. Small ones and then larger ones until the night was full of them! Then one, so large and close appeared, that nearly blinded her. It lit up the black to a light blue, much like the sky on the horizon, and none of the other light s could be seen.
She couldn't stare at his source of light for long, and had to turn away from it. She took notice of the fact that she had no shadow that could be seen. Then shapes began to form in the blue, large and green, with hints of greys and browns. She could see they were continents. There were two to be exact. She recognized them from her father's maps he would show her of his adventures.
She looked where Araluen would be on the smaller of the two, and that's when she began to fall. Wind rushed by her, whipping her hair about. The continents were getting bigger as she got closer. Her breathing got more rapid as she fell.. She soon could only see the island where Araluen sat as she came closer to the earth. She could begin to make out individual mountains, and forests.
As the ground came forward, she began to become more scared. She didn't like falling, and that is what she was doing now. She didn't like the loss of control of her body. She had no way to control where she was going, or what was going to happen next. She only knew at the end of it was pain.
She got closer and could see castles across the land, rivers, soon even individual trees, but she was lost to the beauty of it all. She was concentrated on where she would land, and what her mutilated body would feel.
Then the birds came, crows and eagles, hawks and even the smallest of sparrows. They flew around her, spreading their wings wide, telling her to do the same. She tried, but was paralyzed by the blinding fear of what waited on the ground.
As she came to pass the tallest of trees the birds flew away from her in a flurry. She screamed for them to stay, to come back and help her, but they only flew away. She looked to the ground. It was right there. She could touch it if she was only able to reach her arm out, but just snapped her eyes shut praying for her death to come quickly.
She slowly opened her eyes, only to be back in her room. Slowly, heart racing, she sat up. Her bed was drenched in sweat, and her cloths clung to her. She heard the squeak of a mattress and looked to see her brother getting out of bed. She checked the window, where the stars were shinning in. Still dark. She sighed and looked back at Liam.
"Did I yell?" she asked.
"No," he said looking at her curiously. She asked him that more mornings then she could care to count, but never told him about the nightmare of falling. Her mother and father agreed he didn't need to know. "You never do." He came to sit beside her on her bed, and wrapped his arms around her, his stuffed teddy in his arms. "You okay now?" he asked looking at her with his big brown eyes.
"Yeah, I am now," she replied, returning the hug, and kissing him on the head the way father did to them. "Thank you."
Light leaked in the room, as the sun announced the morning. It couldn't yet be seen over the horizon, but it soon would be waking the rest of the sleeping. She sighed again. Everyone was still sleeping. Only Rangers got up before the sun. She rolled her eyes, and apparently the kids of Rangers too.
She got up, and grabbed her clothes from the closet and left the room, telling him again that she was okay, and giving him some privacy to change. She found her mother already up, and had started to get breakfast ready in the small kitchen.
"I am going to the river to wash," she said.
Alyss looked at her, an expression of worry on her face. She knew that Alex only went to the river to wash was when she had the nightmare. She nodded, knowing there was nothing she could say that Alex didn't already know.
It was still dark in the courtyard, and the guards were only just opening the gate. She nodded hello, and they waved back to her. She continued to the river. Where she was going was to a hidden place one hundred yards into the tree line, to a small pool fed by the river.
On the way, she passed by where her father was gathering water for the cabin. He let her be. She knew he would stop her on her way back, just as he knew he would. She didn't care at the moment, and continued on.
Finally reaching the clear pool, she laid her clothes on the bank, and striped from her sweat soaked ones. She didn't have to worry about anyone bothering her from the village. Her father would stop anyone who tried to go near the trees.
She started with just her foot into the pool. The water was crisp and cold, just as she liked it. She slipped the other foot in and slowly waded to her mid shins, letting her legs get used to the temperature. She then turned to face away from the pool, before falling backwards into it. There was no better wake up in the morning for her, then shocking herself awake with face full of cold water.
She floated to the top, and lied there on her back, soaking, as her nightmares came to mind. The cold water helped to numb her, and her fear, so she could sort through it all, and try to deal with it.
She had been afraid of falling for most of her life. She thought of all the times she stood on the battlements, and looking out the window in the apartment or from the towers. Heights themselves held little problem for her. In fact, when she was little she used to climb, a lot. It was a habit, she was told, that came from her father.
Then one day she was pushed by one of the ward children from the battlement. He was several years older than her, and a closed minded, superstitious, foolish child. He had learned her father was a Ranger, and believing all the rumors pushed her over. Lucky for her the ground was soft and muddy from the spring rains, but she still broke several bones.
The boy was punished with extra chores for a year, down at the cabin. Her father gave the boy hell.
She was luckier still that they could all be mended properly, but they had hurt for months. She also had to sleep very uncomfortably in the casts. She didn't necessarily mind the pain. For a while it didn't even bother her, but it seemed unending and wouldn't go away, and she despised the uncomfortableness of it all.
As for the fall itself, it was something she had no control over, and she hated that. Being only a young child when it happened really took a toll on her now, being unable to handle heights as well.
It was suggested to her to try and learn to swim underwater. She was told that it was similar to falling, and it might help her get over it. That's where the pool came in, but she still could barely jump from anything over two feet tall. It had the added bonus of being clean as well, so when she would have the nightmare she would come here and swim it off.