Needless to say, my brain was swimming through a dirty sea of contradictory information. Doubt sailed in a philosophical boat, heavy laden with questions of reality and a prisoner in a cave. The only air I could gasp was the familiarity of pulling on my clothes from the previous day. The ketchup stain on my pants from the over-priced airport burger seemed oddly comforting in its mundane way.
Tsillah paced, barking no urgent orders this time around. Vision argued with memory about her body. Though still far better looking than most women with whom I'd shared a hotel room, she wasn't as mythically hot as memory seemed to insist. Her curves were a little more ample, still lovely, just not olympic-athlete-perfect. Her hair was still lovely, though perhaps not as perfectly suspended in place. Most telling however was her eyes, as they actually looked tired.
"Am I awake now?" I asked once both shoes were laced.
"Yes," was her curt reply.
"Was I awake then? I mean, the first time you were in here."
"What makes you think that was the first?"
"That doesn't help."
She just paced over the window and snuck a quick look through the curtains. The red light broke in happily for the brief moment before going back to being just a muted wash through dingy drapes. Somewhere outside a cat was either being strangled to death or having the time of its life. I'm really not sure which possibility I envied more.
Trying to get the conversation going again, I had to ask, "The dream. Was that the future? Or in other words, shouldn't we be fleeing about now?"
Tsillah sighed, showing at least a cup size descrepancy from the previous night, "Dreams aren't the future. Nothing is the future but the future. Dreams can be portents, allegories, omens, symbols, and a reality unto themselves. But they are not the future."
It all seemed vaguely familiar, like a really annoying sense of deja vu. Question after question crowded the dock from my sea of thought to the reality of the uttered word. I felt so without direction, bereft of chart or compass, all I could do was bob aimlessly there on the edge of my bed.
Perhaps sensing my hesitence, Tsillah said calmly, "You have many questions. This will answer them all." She approached me in two gliding strides, leaned in close, and whispered in my ear, "We are Benandanti."