What Once Was Lost: Something’s Wrong


          I woke up the next morning tired and sore.  I’d slept funny, apparently, and there was a light dusting of snow on the ground outside.  It wouldn’t last, and I knew it.  It never did.  Not this winter, anyway.
          Saturdays on campus, for me, have always been reserved for sitting at my desk, attempting to get some homework done, and this weekend I had three papers to work on for three classes.  That was atypical, and meant I’d gotten unlucky.  I rolled onto my stomach and stared at the clock.  Seven AM?  It’s a Saturday and I’m awake at 7 AM.  What’s wrong with me?  I buried my face in my pillow although I knew I wouldn’t be able to get back to sleep.  Curling up, I thought about the dreams for what seemed like the thousandth time.  Even after having them for the entirety of the school year, they still weren’t making any sense to me whatsoever.  I’d managed to puzzle out that I was Shai of Clellan, a warrior that was apparently close to one Lord Craig’Ian of Malcolm.  There was the blue magi, Jude, and someone named Miral, another one named Kittyhawk, then the guy who looked like Lance, the one whose name I’d never really caught.  Each equated to someone I knew in life, right down to page that had arrived in the last dream.  Except for one.
          Who was Sha’dan Tyree, the entity we were fighting against?  Who were the Dan’ling?  They were the same questions I’d been asking since the beginning.  Who were they?  What made them important?  And more importantly to me, who did they equate to?
          I rearranged my blankets as I rolled over and stared out the window at the already melting snow and the sun that was beginning to shine over the campus.  A cool breeze was blowing into the room through the window, the one that we never closed.  I watched the early morning joggers and the few other people up at that early hour.  The answers I sought just wouldn’t come.
          I finally got up about two and a half hours later, as Jude was hauling herself out of bed.  Rubbing the sleep from her eyes, she squinted at me.  “You need to get into the bathroom?  I’m going to take a shower.”
          I shook my head.  “Go ahead, I’m all right.”  I ducked under my lofted bed to my desk, where I booted up my computer and hauled out the various books and sheets of notebook paper that I’d need to write my papers.  Jude shrugged and ducked into the bathroom.  As I settled down and began to write, I was able to lose myself in the work.  The questions were still there, though, when I finally finished five hours later.
          “Something’s wrong, and I can’t tell what it is,” Jude said from my right.
          I looked up to see her staring at me from her own desk.  She didn’t even look like she’d been doing anything except for watching me.  I frowned and turned back toward my computer screen.  “What makes you say that?”
          She shrugged.  “I don’t know.  Something’s just not right, you know?  I can feel it.”
          I sort of laughed at her, knowing that she knew I didn’t put much stock in that sort of thing. The laugh was hollow, though.  She was more right than I was ever willing to admit.  I think she knew that, too.


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