Healena is walking around the safety of the cloister. The familiar hymns can be heard in the other room filling the humble building with loving praise to the preciousness of life. She enters the hospital wing and begins her work aiding those who are injured or sick. She helps to calm rattled nerves and offer guidance when she is able. Each patient and loved one she aids encourages her to learn more.
An inkling had crept its way into her heart without her notice. It had laid passive and dormant waiting for her failure to illuminate the path the omen of her birth foretold.
A giant of a man was rushed in after a terrible accident. His thick jet black head of hair and beard were caked with his clotted blood. The injuries to his skull were beyond anyone’s capabilities to heal in the cloister. Healena attempted to speak with his family; a wife, two young children, and an infant. The babes were wailing and his tiny wife was tight lipped in rage and bitter sorrow. All of her knowledge and previous experiences were feeble and useless. The gravely injured man succumbed as quietly as a shadow’s whisper. His wife closed his lifeless hazel eyes with quaking fingers. Healena offered her condolences to his wife and children. At first the wife made no reply, just stood stock still staring down at the blurring of colours. Black hair resting on white sheets surrounded by red blood. She closed her eyes, turned to Healena, and stated in quiet clarity “You know nothing child of Evering White Hamlet.”.
The colours all continued to bleed and spread like gallons of paint pouring from numerous containers. The swirl of colours touched Healena’s steady shoes and locked her in place.
People around her seemed to move quickly, as if in a fast forward. The residents who worked in the hospital wing took the cadaver to be treated for burial, the family followed behind. The sunlight passed from afternoon to dusk in mere moments. Candle light soon flickered feebly, their wax melting at an alarming speed. Still Healena was anchored watching helplessly as people zoomed around the room, faster with each heartbeat.
Suddenly the paint solidified into an unsteady tiled path leading away from her towards the tall thick wooden doors that led to the outside world. Her body moved forward of its own volition. Every step was inside of each tile leading to the darkness.
Healena panicked for a moment at the sheer absurdity of walking away from the safety and familiarity of her life and hesitated. Her left foot landed awkwardly between two tiles and Healena’s hopeful heart tumbled out of her chest beside it, severed and beating. Her momentum carried her right foot forward and she couldn’t stop herself from trampling her own heart. She heard the sound of chains echo while insubstantial hands lifted the broken organ, placing it back in its proper place. Her feet did not stop and carried her to the open doors. She could only see blackness beyond them.
A veil engulfed her as she exited the building. It stretched and strained her movement to a crawl before it tore and she broke through.
In front of her stretches the tiles. Along the path is a thing that should not be. It is dark yet brightly multicoloured, always changing and emanating all that is foul. The god, Black Raven, is towering above Healena facing away. Her strong back is tense with anticipation while holy light gathers itself to become one with her skin. Healena’s feet are relentlessly moving along the winding path. She sees Black Raven’s featureless face expressing revulsion and anger targeting the dark ever-changing multicoloured un-thing. Healena is startled to see Black Raven dwarfed in its presence like a spider to an elephant.
Shreds of the torn veil slowly cascade off Healena, pulling her downward. Her eyes strain to see and her mind spins in an attempt to grasp what no mortal should witness.
Black Raven concentrates the holy light into a sun in the palm of her hand, radiating holiness beyond comprehension of the waking world. She springs full force toward the un-thing, but is blocked by a towering being smoothly stepping between them, stopping Black Raven’s feeble attempts and knocking her prone.
Sinking rapidly, Healena can barely perceive the towering creature. This being is graceful beyond any measure with a full helmet carved in the shape of Corellon, the god of magic and of the elves. He stands between Black Raven and the un-thing. In one fluid motion he turns forward to face it himself.
Healena lands with a thud on the wooden floors of her first home. Her twin tilts her head and smirks. The room smells of home – Lavender soap, logs of apple wood burning slowly, and a roast on the spit. She can hear the distinct sound of liquid dripping into a shallow pool but the sunlit room is shadowed and murky. The kitchen table is heaped with a large mass of…something that shouldn’t be. A mental wall sweeps half of the cottage out of existence removing the table and the familiar shape laying on top of it.
A loud pop from the open hearth startles her. The spit is slowly rotating what is skewered on it, but the trussed-up form is completely wrong. Burnt skin seems to be melting like wax and gobs of it fall onto the hot coals. Steam rises from the heat but does not obscure the disfigured features of her baby brother’s face liquifying before her eyes.
An inhuman sound erupts out of Healena and she wakes up screaming in an unfamiliar room. Suddenly another person’s cries are attempting to drown out her own. Robert turns to her first with his uncannily quick reflexes and bellows at her to stop screaming before all hell breaks loose, then grabs a random scholarly fellow and slaps his shrieking mouth.