Fairy Rider by Leonie Roderick

 

 

Chapter 15

Dillon rides over to Delia O’Shea as he said he would. He takes a short cut through the dry veld. At the fence he stops, wondering how he is going to get Darling to the other side. He dismounts and examines the situation. Could he do what he saw a man doing once in a movie? Between posts he pulls the fence up and let it lay on the ground. Luckily this fence is old and sags a little. He should tell his father and ask him to see to a new fence. After today it might not be possible to go over to Land’s End again. With care he leads Darling over the wires lying in the grass. He doesn’t want Darling to get hurt from the wires lying at odd angles. Fences are there to be respected and not to be ignored. Once on the other side he secures Darling to a branch and pulls the fence back into its original upright position

Today, he feels the grave is calling to him and not the twin peaks. He rides around the mound and slides down from Darling. Slowly, he walks over the cultivated lawn and stops in front of the marble slab. Once more, he reads the simple words.

Elva Fionnghualla.

Suddenly an inane idea flashes into his mind.

This could be Dream-Girl’s grave. That could explain the reason why she isn’t coming to him. Shaking his head he rejects the idea. This grave is at least a few years old and D.G. stopped coming to him for only the past months.

He turns away and returns to the patiently waiting Darling. He can’t help himself. He glances back at the grave, listening to the silence around him. There isn’t even a bird call in the air. Darling stamps his feet and twitches his ears.

“What do you hear, Darling?” he asks softly.

He can’t help but smile at himself. Is he really asking questions of the horse, waiting for answers?

Sitting on the horse’s back he wonders if it was the peaks calling to him all along, or the grave.

He doesn’t want the grave to be D.G’s. He wants her alive and well, coming to visit him, taking him with her to her world.

Once more, he turns back. The grave is calling to him so strongly!

The grave is beautiful in the strong sunlight. If there is such a thing as a grave calling to a person.

He stops suddenly and listens. The same eerie feeling besets him. This calling is more a feeling than a noise. He shivers.

Trying to rationalize the thoughts of the grave he realises he dreamed of her long after she had supposedly passed. Could it be that this isn’t Dream-Girl’s grave? He sits there trying to gauge his feelings. Does he believe Dream-Girl is buried here?

Closing his eyes he concentrates on the name, the grave, trying to form a picture in his mind of the person who is buried here.

Nothing comes to mind. It’s like a big emptiness in his head – a big black hole! There is nothing! Not even the smallest shiver dancing up his back!

The only idea forming in his head is of nothingness! He feels as though the grave is empty – but it can’t be. Those Baintree cousins told him they were here when the sick child was buried, as was the rest of the community.

It’s a good thing his mother can’t read his mind. She would have taken him back to all those doctors and psychologists and this time, they would have called the people in white, to lock him away for life.

He rides off taking the direction where he estimates the house should be.

At last he sees it through the curtain of tree trunks and leaves. The house looms up. Big, white and modern! It looks cool and inviting with the windows winking in the sunlight. At the back of the house he draws Darling in under a tree and slips from the saddle. He walks around the house to the front door and rings the bell.

A very old woman opens the door. Her hair is nearly all white and she looks fragile. She is busy drying her hands on her apron.

“Good morning. I’m Dillon Young and have an appointment with Mrs O’Shea.”

Even the old dear’s voice sounds feeble.

“Morning Sir, Madam is waiting for you in the study. Please follow me…”

Dillon follows in her wake and they walk slowly down a passage. At a big mahogany door she stops and knocks.

”Come…” the voice invites them.

The single word uttered in that soft English with the slight, musical, foreign accent, makes him wonder why she never lost it in this harder accented English used in this country.

The soft lilting Irish tone sounds cool and pretty but he knows it’s not true. She is a formidable, forbidding, person. He knows behind that solid door is an actual angry and weary woman, waiting. At the same time he also knows he must confront the lioness in her den! This doesn’t bode well for a successful visit.

The old woman pushes the heavy door open and Dillon takes a deep breath and crosses the threshold. And then gasps.

It’s the same room Dream-Girl brought him to. The room with the shelves from the top of the ceiling to the floor, filled with shelves of books upon books upon more books. Between the shelves long windows are fitted and the heavy damask curtains are now pulled open to allow as much light into the room as possible.

Delia is sitting behind the desk.

He realises it’s the same desk they worked on in his dreams. That glossy wood covered with a thick slab of glass to protect it.

“You seem surprised?” she asks without even giving a polite greeting.

“I’ve been here before, many times…”

Delia looks unimpressed and rather cynical.

A blush steals up Dillon’s cheeks. Why does this woman always make him feel uncomfortable? He, who seldom blushes, is once more, nearly beet- red.

“I know this room from my dreams,” he tells her. “I know it sounds bizarre, but I’m telling the truth. I’ve visited here on many an occasion. There was a girl. She brought me here. We looked into your books, seeking answers for my exams.”

Delia still doesn’t believe him. Her lips curl with distaste. “Who told you to say this? Did those people get you to tell me this story? They are not going to get to me.”

And why is he always apologizing to this woman?

“I’m sorry if you are angry. I can only tell you the truth. I really dreamed of this room and all the books in it. I have worked at that table, sat on that chair and read out of some of these books.”

She is still angry and scoffing at his story.

“If I have never been here before, how do I know you keep a ream of paper in the third drawer of the desk and pens and pencils in the second? I can show you where we looked for the biology books. It’s on the left side nearest to the door, in the third shelf.”

Delia’s eyes have widened and then all colour vanishes from her face, leaving her face white and strained.

“So you believe you have been here in my house, even in this room? You are right, it does sound bizarre. What did this girl look like, the one who brought you here? You mentioned her that day I found you trespassing.”

“She has dark hair, either black or dark brown. She wears it long, sometimes in a thick braid, sometimes loose and sometimes in a ponytail. She has big dark eyes – almost black. She’s tall and willowy but graceful. She looks like a fairy, a human fairy.”

Now Delia is frowning.

“I see…” she says softly. “I shall keep my eyes open and if I see a girl looking like a fairy, I shall direct her to you,” she tells him sarcastically.

“I dreamed of her for years. We used to play together and then she stopped appearing in my dreams.”

“Listen to yourself! You are talking about dreams… For goodness sake! It was your childish imagination working overtime. Besides,” she says angrily, “don’t you think this girl might have changed her mind and found better things to do? Girls are famous for changing their minds…”

He immediately takes advantage on the small opening she has given him.

“You sound confused yourself. You are not sure yourself if she is real or only an imaginary friend…” he confronts her.

“I was born in Ireland. There are many of us who have the shine – it’s a way to describe second sight. We know things… I have seen many strange things in my life, even experienced stranger things. Under normal circumstances I would never make you out for a liar. I have always been proud of myself for keeping an open mind. The girl you describe sounds like my daughter. She is gone and I’m confused. I don’t understand. I thought when a person stopped walking the earth, her body was put in a grave and she was gone forever. But you are telling me such an impossible story. Do I look stupid to you? You want to tell me my daughter who has been gone for two years is going around like a ghost and making contact with you… Not only do you sound bizarre you also sound sick. Have you considered going for help? Maybe a psychologist can help you?”

“You think it was easy dreaming of a playmate that came to visit me at night? My parents took me to a battalion of doctors. That’s what I remember from my earliest childhood. Sitting in consulting rooms and being tested! What wonderful memories to have of a childhood which should have been spent enjoying life and getting to know the world! As for my Dream-Girl, I can’t explain it either. I can only tell you I have been friends with her. We had good times together before she disappeared. Why she stayed on for a time after her death, I can’t explain. I can only tell you what I experienced.”

“Who sent you? How did they find me? I will not let you spoil my life! Go back and report to your authorities. There is no girl here, fairy or otherwise. I shall not tolerate their interference!”

“What are you talking about? Who are these people you are referring to?”

“Don’t make me angrier than I am. You know who sent you here, Diolmhain.

Oh you awful… person! Get out of my house and stay out!”

“I came here to warn you! I wanted to do what was right – I should have left it!” “You came to help me! That’s a new one.”

“There are children that heard a story about a night rider – a girl and a ghost at that, who rides around here, at Land’s End, at night. These children want to organise a ghost hunt. I didn’t want them to bother you or stalk you.”

“Oh it must be those stupid Baintree children. They are a pain in the neck. But what you are doing is so much worse. I hate you. Go back and tell those monsters there is nothing left for them here. They can go and bark up another tree!”

Dillon immediately turns on his heels. His business is finished. He has done what he came to do. He has delivered his warning and even if the woman is nuts he did what he considered right. It isn’t his fault she doesn’t know whom to trust.

Maybe she is one of those freaky people who hears voices and sees hallucinations.

One moment she appears normal and the next she turns around and is as mad as Alice’s hatter.

He should get out of here and stay away. He shouldn’t care what happens to her.

When she told him about having the ‘shine’ he thought she was going to open up to him. He saw those cold eyes getting warmer and then she got even colder than before.

“Get out and stay out!” she orders him for last.

With another angry look over his shoulder he rushes to the door.

“This time you can call my parents and tell them I was here. At least I came on invitation. It’s not my problem if you can’t recognize sincerity when you see it. I won’t bother to warn you in future. I can see you are brave and strong enough to fight your own battles. Have a good day!” he gets in the last word and closes the door softly behind him.

He is halfway down the corridor before turning back. He rushes back, throwing the door open without ceremony.

“You should have let that so-called shine of yours work for you. I can’t imagine you’re really good at it. It should have warned you that I came to help!” he nearly yells at her and this time he slams the door closes behind him with satisfaction.

He immediately is ashamed. Never before has he lost his cool this badly. To throw a temper tantrum like any three year old! He would bet any amount of money her daughter never dared to confront her. He is so embarrassed – yet somehow a small smile of satisfaction spreads around his mouth.

He bets there has never been another person who let fly at the old cow like he just did. Serves her right!

Outside he mounts Darling and spurs him into a fast trot. He can’t wait to get shot of this place.

Then he stops, pulling poor Darling hard on the bridle. Darling shakes his head, indicating that he doesn’t care for this rough treatment. The most delicate part of a horse is his mouth and Dillon was abusing it with a vengeance!

He has been cheeky to an older person – and that a lady!

This woman gets to him. He is never cheeky, except to his mother when they wanted to move here.

That, that cow! Look what she is making him do! She brings out the worst in him. She really ought to get what she deserves.

He kicks Darling lightly in the flank and rides on, this time in a gentle gallop, while his mind is working overtime. Who are these people she is confusing him with? She must be afraid of them.

He pulls to a stop again. Immediately Dillon feels bad. He is confusing Darling!

All these negative feelings are making him feel worse than before and poor Darling is paying for it.

He pats the horse’s neck. “Sorry, Darling. You are wonderful and don’t deserve to be manhandled but that witch got to me.

Then suddenly he pulls up again – this time at least, with a most gentle hand flip!

“She didn’t say her daughter had died! She talked of her as ‘gone’ and “not walking the earth”, but not once mentioned the word, dead. Does it mean anything? His mother lost baby Elizabeth and she uses the word. Could it be that to Delia O’Shea the death is too recent to call it by name? It could also mean the woman is too far gone in her hallucinations to realise what is going on in real life!

He sits there in the middle of the dirt road, rethinking the situation.

Delia was angry! Really angry! She didn’t act like some delusional! In his estimation she behaved strangely but not crazily!

What is wrong with this woman?

Obviously something big is making her behaving so irrational!

Did she accidentally give him a glimpse into her deepest secret when she mentioned the ‘shine’?

He has never heard the word used before or in that context before. He must remember to ask his mother. Surely with his grandmother coming from Ireland, she would know what Delia was referring to.

With a shrug of his shoulders he rides on. At the foot of the first hill he ventures to the left, taking the shortest path home.

This time he doesn’t care about the grave or its significance.

Darling has other ideas.

The horse keeps to his own path and slowly mounts the hill, to the spot where the grave is.

”No Darling, we need to get home. We’re not wanted here.”

The horse doesn’t do as bidden and Dillon pulls softly, but with meaning on the bridle.

The horse ignores him and slowly makes his way up the steep hill!

“Do you want to go to the grave? What is going on, Darling? Is that grave calling out to you too?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 16

The grave looks like an ordinary grave, gleaming softly with a pink hue in the sun.

Dillon slips from the saddle and for a few seconds they stand in the sun looking down with bent heads.

“Come Darling, we aren’t wanted here. Let’s go.”
”But you are wanted, Dillon Young. I want you,” the soft words vibrate in his

mind.

He pulls up sharply and looks around him. “Dream-Girl,” he says softly, amazed. He knows she is there at last, even if he can’t see her.

“Yes, I’m here,” the words form in his deepest inner essence.

“Where are you? I can’t see you. Why did you leave me? Please come back,” he begs, blinking his eyes in the sunlight.

He turns in small circle’s seeking her in the bright light.

“Are you really ready for me?”

“Yes, I need to see you.”

“Turn around, Dillon,” she orders and he obeys, turning in a half circle.

She is there, leaning against the rock face, in the shadows, nearly disappearing from view. At last she moves, strolling over to him, hair gleaming darkly in the sun, her eyes nearly closed against the brightness.

He is seeing her for the first time in real life, but she is unmistakably his friend from childhood – the girl who has come to him – now all grown-up and beautiful!

“You are real,” he says in bewilderment and then with a laugh: “My Dream-Girl is alive and as wonderful as I dreamed.”

Taking him by the hand she leads him to the little bench standing on the edge of the grass. The rocks throw deep shadows over them as they sit down.

Dillon, who has been clinging to her for fear that she would disappear again, relaxes his hand.

“Why did you leave me?”

“I needed you to come here. I thought it was the only and best way.”

Could this be Elva? Suddenly everything falls into place. She is his fairy rider and she has been here living on Land’s End, waiting for him.

“Elva,” he tries her name out loud and then with more conviction.

“Elva,” he says softly. “Your name suits you. You look like a lost, fairy child.”

She laughs. “I’m not a fairy. You used to call me that, when we were children. I’m a bit tall for a fairy.”

“No, you are just right. There are so many things I want to ask you – I don’t know where to start. How did you get Darling to bring me here?”

“I talked to him, the same as I talked to you. Actually it’s much easier communicating with animals. I heard you making the appointment with my mother and thought it was time for us to meet – face to face.”

“Did you have many playmates, like me?”

“No Dillon, you were the only one.”

“Why did you choose me? There must have been numerous kids you could have chosen to be friends with.”

“I wanted you – only you. I peeked into many lives before I settled on you. You had something that attracted me – call it sensitivity if you like and an affinity for animals.”

“I never had pets. Animals were in short supply in my old life.”

“You had the potential. It was buried deep in you but it was there. Believe me Dillon, I looked and saw what I wanted in you. You were the only one I wanted then and now.”

“Why then have you shut me out these last few months? I missed you.”

“I wanted you to come to me. I thought it was the only way.”

“You only had to ask and I would have arrived on your doorstep…”

“I needed more than a short visit from you.”

“It was you who were behind my parents moving here?”

“Yes, I gave them the suggestion to come and live here. I never thought you would feel betrayed. I’m sorry for hurting you. After I started and your parents decided to move it was too late to change their minds. I never thought you would be so angry. When you didn’t want to come and visit them I thought it was only what I deserved for messing up their lives. I was taught never to interfere or be impolite. I know peeping into minds is just that but sometimes I needed to.”

“Why did you fake your death? Why create this illusion of death and even a grave? The Baintree cousins told me they were actually here and attended your funeral.”

“We thought it was necessary…”

When it was obvious she wasn’t going to explain he asked his next question.

“Why didn’t you tell your mother we knew each other – even if it was only in dreams?”

She is silent for a few minutes, measuring him with those dark eyes. After the longest time she says:

“Dillon, to understand the setup, I will have to go back in our family history. I will have to share my deepest secrets with you. After peeping into your mind all these years I know I can trust you, but it’s not easy to discard a lifetime of upbringing. It felt as though the end of the world was about to happen, shall I trust any person with our secret. Or rather, it could have meant the end of the world as I knew it.”

“You know I will never put your life in jeopardy,” he tells her and then, remembering his tantrum when he left Delia O’Shea, he feels embarrassed.

“I know what happened this morning. I peeked. Don’t feel bad, Mom deserved it! You only wanted to help and she went ballistic on you.”

“Why didn’t you tell her we were friends?” he repeats the question.

“You saw her this morning – how she reacted. Do you think she could have handled it? I don’t think so.”

“But I told her. Is she going to make things difficult for you?”

“Not today. We have bigger problems awaiting us. Children going on a ghost hunt are nothing compared to the horror that is coming in the near future.”

“Can you tell me what is bothering you? I know you were always afraid when we met. You wanted to play it safe – even in dreams.”

“I want to tell you, Dillon. I have this precognition that you will be able to help me. But it’s a long story – a very long one!”

“I’m not going anywhere…”

She sighs, reaching for his hand, clinging to it as if it’s the only life line for her to hang on to.

He gives her hand a squeeze and holds tightly. He is suddenly feeling very manly! He rather feels as if he is her safe harbour. He likes the idea of looking out for the delicate Elva, his fairy child!

“It all started a long time ago. My mother’s only problem is that she wants to keep me safe and doesn’t know how to accomplish it. She is afraid of doing too little and then she does too much. You know what parents are like.”

“Are you in danger – what danger? Those Baintree cousins aren’t worthy of all this worry. It must be a considerably bigger danger than they could provide.”

“Oh, you have met the cousins. They are a pain, but small, strictly small, light entertainment – like minnows. There’s no danger in them…”

Dillon can’t help himself; he likes Dream-Girl more and more. She has a way about her.

“If the cousins aren’t the problem, what is? I should tell you they are organising a ghost hunt. They heard about a ghost riding through the woods at night. I presume that is you?”

“They are such idiots. Let them come, they won’t find me or any ghost.”

“You used to ride in the night?”

“At first, after my so-called death, I did ride in the night. The house may look big and airy but at times it got too much for me and I needed to get away – out in the open. I also took you to the bush when we met, as children. One night some people saw me. I don’t know how I slipped up so badly! Maybe I needed the fright they gave me to keep me alert.”

“What is this danger to you? I assume you are talking about people?”

“It’s a long story…” she repeats.

“I have all the time in the world to listen to you.”

“First of all, Delia O’Shea is not my mother; she is my aunt – my mother’s oldest sister.”

“Why the deception?”

“The deception is another way to keep me safe. It started when I was born. My aunt was left, holding the baby, afraid and bewildered. Then my birth mother contacted her and told her what to do.”

“Who are your parents? And why couldn’t your mother look after her own baby?”

“I trust you, Dillon. Perhaps I shouldn’t burden you with my life’s story, but I’m going to.”

“I shall never hurt you by any means.”

She gives a small nod.

“I shall keep your secret.”

“This is where the long story begins. My grandparents were ordinary people, although they were both born in families where second sight was regarded as ordinary – or “the shine” as it’s called in Ireland. Dear Grandpa and ‘ma both knew of this ability and was familiar and both knew my mother was born with it. Their families were known as having the shine – except for my parents. They were so very different – they were like changelings. The Grandparents even told anyone who would listen how much they despised the ability; however I think they both secretly yearned to be part of it. They were excluded from the tight clan, not sharing this talent. As I told you, they must have felt different and by far not as good as their parents and siblings. They started resenting the ability the others had. They grew up near each other and perhaps because of their common feelings and backgrounds fate led them to meet each other and they fell in love. They married and had four children. The oldest a girl they named; Delia. Delia was a teenager when my grandmother had another baby, also a girl who was named Niamh. From the start this baby was different from their other children. They immediately knew what they had in their arms. Some of their children had the shine but to a lesser degree, like my aunt Delia. She knew things but never as my mother did. My mother was gifted above comprehending. This new baby was everything my grandparents secretly wanted for themselves but convinced themselves they hated with a passion. The baby was a humiliation to them, or so they said. They told themselves they didn’t want her and when people came and asked to have her they gave her up without regret. They gave their baby away like an unwanted kitten. They didn’t care! They must have been the most disgraceful couple alive. This all happened in the country where they were born and grew up in – Ireland. The place my mother was taken to was situated deep underground, in a mountain, where she was kept and studied by scientists. My mother had the ability to read minds and speak to people. She lived in this institution for many long years. She started peeking into minds of people who were outside the institution, especially into her family’s. I think she first did it to try and understand what had happened and then because she was seeking love. That was when she discovered that her sister Delia often thought about the baby that was given away. She did what I did with you… She made contact with Delia and they grew close. Many children were kept in this underground facility. My father was another one. That was where my parents were kept for most of their lives and where they grew up. My father had the uncanny gift of knowing the future which he predicted without failure. He was very good at it – until the most awful of days! To go back, my parents fell in love and decided to escape and live a normal life. They made their plans carefully. My mother contacted her sister Delia and she, being the older sister, went ahead and found them a place to stay in London. She thought with all the people living there the bad people would have difficulty finding them. The small flat was only temporary until they could escape to a country and a place where they would be free and safe. My parents got away from this mountain refuge. How they managed to escape was never told. They arrived at this London flat and got married. They stayed there for months, trying to get new identities. At last they had documentation and then only needed money to get away. By that time I was on my way. My father studied the future, or what he could see of it. He and my mother decided to wait until after I was born. A heavily pregnant woman is more noticeable and people remember something out of the ordinary more easily. My mother gave Aunt Delia’s name when she was taken to hospital and she was registered as Delia O’Shea. I was registered as Elva Fionnghuala O’Shea; Mother Delia O’Shea; father unknown. My parents waited until I was one month old before they went ahead with their plans. They needed a bunch of money and where is an easier place to get it than a casino? Luckily Aunt Delia stayed home with me. This money-making scheme was a big mistake. They won an enormous amount. That night they learned a big lesson: Casino people like to receive money but they don’t like to pay out. Winning that huge amount immediately sent up all sorts of red flags. My father insisted that the money be paid into Aunt Delia’s bank account. And it was done before they were caught. The black night arrived: My father with all his predictions never anticipated it. My mother thought a new child with a wonderful talent was used to track them down. She contacted Aunt Delia and told her what happened, how they won the money and then was discovered. The people of the institute came and took them back to that mountain facility. Aunt Delia immediately made her plans and left the country as soon as she could, taking me with her. When my mother contacted her, she told her to come here, to buy a small farm to live on, quietly. I grew up as Delia O’Shea’s sickly daughter, who was home-schooled, who was too delicate to live a normal life and needed to stay out of harm’s way. My mother contacted us from time to time and then she suddenly stopped. We don’t know what happened. She could have died or she could be monitored. There were all sorts of strange children in the mountain refuge. Aunt Delia thought a child with the ability to read minds thousands of miles away could be there now, spying on them or on us. My mother made me a promise: she would never tell about my existence. She told me she and my father doesn’t have much contact with each other but she peeks into his mind from time to time and he promised her he would tell her if she was about to die… She made plans for that day. What she was going to do I don’t know. She was afraid an autopsy would be done on her and it would be discovered that she had had a child and she wanted to prevent that by everything she held sacred.”

“I see now why you needed to disappear but how did you manage to be buried with a whole community present?”

“My mother and I had help. Our neighbour, Uncle Willie Retief helped us. A young girl died on his farm and he told the parents he would organise the funeral. Her body was taken to the cemetery on his farm where the girl was laid to rest but beforehand she was brought to the funeral parlour, where I was supposed to be. She was cremated with the parents’ permission. Some of her ashes were taken back and put in the prepared grave. To outsiders it looked like a normal funeral. Afterwards I gave up a lot of blood and it was cremated and put in the empty grave mixed with some of the other girl’s ashes. The undertaker never knew there were two funerals. He only knew of the one. This grave has a beautiful casket with an urn in it. The cremation was done because there is always fear of a D.N.A. test. We were afraid it could open up a new packet of problems and a new scenario of unanswered questions. We hope if this should happen it will give me time to disappear again.”

“My poor Elva, you didn’t have a normal childhood, always being afraid and in hiding.”

“It wasn’t so bad, because I had you. Your presence and friendship made things worthwhile and gave me a peek into an ordinary life. I liked to see what you were up to and lived and relived many of our experiences.”

“I wish I could have done more.”

“When we were children I didn’t think to look too deeply into the future but since I stopped meeting you I have been studying all the possibilities to know what it holds. I have seen one fact very clearly: You will find a way to get me out of this darkness. I think I sort of knew it from the start. It could be one of the reasons I befriended you. You see, I’m not unselfish. I may not have known definitely that you would be able to help me, but I sort of guessed it.”

“You are scaring me. I don’t know if I will be able to help you! I’ll try my best, but will it be possible?”

“I saw you helping me. I’m not sure how, but you are going to help me have a normal life. Unfortunately a whole bunch of bad things are going to happen before that good day. The scientists of the institution, of that Irish mountain refuge, will arrive to come and look for me. How many and when it will happen I don’t know. But they are coming. I don’t dare peek! They may have ways or people waiting for me to show up on their unholy radar. In my mind’s eye I see another child sort of scanning for me. I don’t know if I know this by my own instincts or if my mother put the image in my mind. I only know I daren’t try to get into touch with my parents. They may even have put out traps, waiting patiently for me to make a mistake. It may even be possible that they don’t know of my existence but they are surely seeking children with unusual abilities.”

“What is this institution called? Like all things it must have a name…”

“I don’t know what the real name is but Aunt Delia called it: The Incentive…”

“When they come where will you go and hide?”

She smiles sadly. “You don’t understand, Dillon, the hiding isn’t the issue. It’s the mind- reading that could give me away. I need to be on alert, without using my usual method of peeking.”

“Don’t be fooled, Elva. They may be good at the mind-reading thing but there are many other ways to see what is going on with sophisticated equipment. I’m sure they will have people equipped with the most modern and advanced infrared equipment. Usually infrared is used in the armies during combat showing soldiers how and where the enemy is hiding and how many there are.”

“These scientists of the Incentive you are talking about will have the money and the skills to use the best weaponry. Yes, I’m sure they will be organised and have all the latest and best artillery to help them as well as experts who know how to use it. They will look and find you, no matter where you are hiding.”

“Oh Dillon, now I’m really scared. What am I going to do? I don’t want to go and live miles beneath the earth with scientists probing my mind. That is what my mother tried to get me away from and she sacrificed so much to let it happen. She wanted me to have a free life.”

“Do you know how they will look, these scientists?”

“They always travel in groups of four or six or eight, wearing formal suits and they drive around in minivans. That is all I can tell you.”

“I will think about a solution. When will I see you again?”

“Tomorrow morning the same time… I know you are studying and helping Peacy. You won’t believe how I envy you.”

“Even when I’m studying and worrying?’ he teases her.

“Even then, it’s part of normal life. I want to share it with you. Being free and going places. Parties…? I don’t know if I’ll enjoy parties. Somehow, I don’t think it’s my way but to have the choice… must be wonderful”

“I’ll see you tomorrow, Dream-Girl,” he tells her and mounts Darling to ride away.

He has so much to think about…

 

 

——–

ShadowWhisper says:

Now the story gets interesting, doesn’t it? Where Dillon and Dream Girl meets is a very special part in the story for me… oooh now it is going to start to get interesting….