She walked slowly. Her footsteps echoed in the cold, stone halls. The house was huge; it was so easy to lose your way as she found out the first time she came. But she knew exactly where she was going now.
The oaken doors that blocked her path were huge, and almost a metre thick. Yet they swung inwards silently as if they were made of feathers. She could see her destination now, just one hundred feet away.
Her pace quickened. Her breath clouding in front of her face as the temperature dropped lower and lower. She could hear their footsteps behind her now they came every time she did and always found her. But recently they’d been getting slower, or she’d been getting faster.
“Why can’t they just leave me alone damn it!” she shouted.
She willed the doors to close and they instantly slammed closed. She glanced over her shoulder nervously. The doors wouldn’t hold them for long. At last, she thought, I’m here. I can finally know what this is all about!
There was a huge crash behind her as the doors were blasted off the hinges. She sprinted forwards, her hands reaching out to snatch the orb from the table. There was a blinding flash of light as her fingertips brushed the edges of the glowing globe. She heard an angry shout behind her as she pulled the orb to her and a whisper…
Sally jolted awake, startled by her own shrill cry. Her heart was racing, her breath coming in ragged gasps.
The door connecting her bedroom and her parents’ bedroom opened quickly as her dad rushed in to comfort her. To her six year old mind, he was her only sanctuary. He was always calm and comforting, he was never scared or angry and there was never too much anybody could ask of him.
“What is it, love?” His faint, familiar Scottish accent soothing her ragged nerves.
Sally was trembling from head to foot. Even under the thick duvet, she felt cold to the core.
“Something’s going to happen, daddy, something scary and bad,” She whimpered. “It’ll happen soon…”
Her dad, Sean, sat down on the bed beside her and gathered her up into his arms.
“I know Sally,” he sighed. “But you’ll have to be strong for your Mum and Paige when I’m gone. You will, won’t you?”
Sally frowned, “Gone? Gone where, daddy?” Sean smiled at her kindly, shaking his head.
“Can’t say, love. But I’ll always be here for you, even if you can’t see me.”
She looked confused “But …”
“Don’t worry about it just go back to sleep. I’ll take a day off work, yeah?” Sally nodded, still looking intently at the floor.
A voice drifted through from the bedroom: “Sean?”
“Your Mum’s up now,” Sean turned to the door joining the two rooms. “In here, Claire.”
Sally heard her mum shuffling around in the bedroom for a moment before she appeared at the doorway.
“What time is it?” She asked, blinking sleepily. She rubbed the sleep from her eyes as she looked at her husband cradling his favourite, her youngest daughter.
“Don’t know, should be getting near morning now, I’m taking the day off.”