Chapter 26

Help! Aveny called through the vast, echoing chambers of her mind. Help me!

“I begged you not to trust her,” the voice said. “I showed you what she was. Now she has what she wanted – a lineage restored – and she cares not for what your life has become as a result.”

Please help me, Múireann. Help me transform, Aveny pleaded, eyes closed tight, suspended in the soft liquid of her subconscious. You know how to do it. I saw you – please help me.

“That is not my name,” the voice replied stonily.

Mary Catherine, then, Aveny pressed. Please. Please show me what to do.

“You don’t ‘do’ it any more than a newborn baby opens its eyes or a crone releases her last breath,” the voice intoned. “It just occurs. And if it doesn’t, it’s because it’s not who you are.”

The words turned Aveny’s heart to lead, pulling her down, threatening to drown her. I can’t be stuck this way, she sobbed.

“You shouldn’t have trusted her,” the voice replied. And then she too, was gone.

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