In the dream, she was in a dark place. She was with a man, tall, like Jack, with dark hair. The man left her for a time, and other rough men surrounded her where she sat. It was confusing; they began touching her, prodding at her. She was frozen with a sharp stab of fear. She felt fragile like glass, tried shifting to the side, wishing they would just stop. Wishing that the man with her would save her.
In the dream, she hated their awful touches. She knew she could do nothing if they attacked her. She was frightened, wondering what she should do. The man like her Jack stepped in, and all hell broke loose as he fought off the men around her. She was dizzy, disoriented; was she hitting the men trying to grab her? Was she screaming? She couldn’t recall.
In the dream, one of the men rushed into her and she fell back against the wall. She turned, she saw the man with her—her lover—and she saw another man about to stab him. She shoved at him in abject terror. Another of the men knocked her forward and into the knife that sliced right into her belly. There was no way to turn aside. She felt it go into her. She heard a voice that said, “And so she who was the only one he had ever loved died in saving him.”
In the dream, she could not speak to him. She could not tell him she loved him, and it was her only wish in that moment that to tremble, the pain too great. But she would have endured all of that acid agony again if she could merely reach out and tell him she loved him, and when he looked at her…
In the dream, they shared that last long look and she drifted, releasing into the cold gray paleness, sliding into oblivion. The pain in his eyes; he looked like he was about to shatter.
Shauna Aura Knight (2014-06-22T05:00:00+00:00). The White Dress, The Autumn Leaves (Kindle Locations 32-48). Jupiter Gardens Press. Kindle Edition.
Being awkward and shy can be hard enough, but add to it a sensitivity to the supernatural and it is easy to see why Meredith wouldn’t be comfortable approaching Jack at a Pagan festival. When he introduces himself there is an immediate connection, and it is not long before they are making plans for the future, but the future has something different in store for them unless they can change their fate.
The story focuses on Meredith and Kevin and they are very well written. In a short span the reader is given a real sense for who they are and what motivates them. So often novellas fall short in this regard and the reader is left with a story without depth, but this book does not fall into that trap. While I am not personally knowledgeable in the ways of modern Pagans, the story is so well written that I could not help but feel that the author is speaking from a place of knowledge.
There is not much to complain about with this book, but there were moments, specifically when the characters are fumbling their way towards intimacy, where the dialogue felt a little stilted, but it may well have been an intentional effort to communicate their awkwardness with the intimacy and the emotions at play.
This is a wonderful little novella. It is erotic, romantic, spiritual and touched with the supernatural, but it is not overloaded with any one of these. The genre bending of this story is wonderful and a testament to the author’s skill that it comes off so naturally. If you are looking for a quick, enjoyable read, this novella is worth picking up.
Shauna Aura Knight
An artist, author, and presenter, Shauna’s work is inspired by the mythic stories of heroes, of swords and magic, and of the darkness we each must overcome. She’s a fantasy artist and author of paranormal romance and urban fantasy including Werewolves in the Kitchen, A Winter Knight’s Vigil, and The White Dress, the Autumn Leaves. Her mythic artwork and designs are used for magazine covers, book covers, and illustrations.
She travels nationally offering intensive education in the transformative arts of community leadership, facilitation, and personal transformation, and is the author of numerous articles and books on those subjects including The Leader Within, Dreamwork for the Initiate’s Path, and Ritual Facilitation.
Fiction Blog: https://shaunaknightauthorartist.wordpress.com
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