Chapter III: Darkness into Light [13]Mature

As he tried to remember, his legs were carrying him down the hallway, and his hands were reaching out to the doors, but none of them would open. His shoulder began to itch – and distantly he remembered there was a reason why – but he shook the feeling away and continued walking until he reached the end of the corridor. There, on a table below a portrait of a woman with curling blonde hair was an asphodel blooming before his eyes, its white petals quivering to life.

Another voice: “This is all for your benefit.” It belonged to a man, but it was unfamiliar, and lined with an arrogance that made Will shiver. He reached out for the flower and felt its satin petals on the edge of his fingers. Then, he saw something bright in his peripheral. The corridor extended to the side, where there was a single white door, and before he could consider otherwise, he was approaching it. The door handle was ice cold, but it twisted open. Blinding light streamed across him as he stepped through, and as he saw between dazed stars, there was somebody running towards him. By the time he realised it was a girl, she had grabbed hold of him. Her eyes were red and streaming with tears, her dark hair was curling wildly around her young, pale face, and her nails were cutting into his skin as she fisted his shirt in her hands.

          “Willow! Willow, please!” she screamed, just as somebody wrapped his arm around her waist and tried to rip her away. Will looked at the man appearing from nowhere, but his face was a smooth surface of flesh, without features or identity, but somehow he was looking at him. From wisps of air, others just like him appeared, circled around them, still and dressed all in black robes.

          “Willow! Willow! Help me!” the girl screamed, his name a desperate litany. She refused to let him go, and whilst he resisted, her strength and that of her apprehender was pulling him forward. Suddenly, there was a hand on his collar pulling him back. He turned around and saw that there was no longer a door or a corridor behind him. It was the open door of a carriage, and leaning out from it was Wilmina, a scarf tightened around her head to hide her features, her thin teeth bared angrily, not at him, but the girl.

The End

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