Karissa in bed at brothelTossing and turning in her sleep, the dream replayed over and over in her head, only it wasn’t a dream, it was real; it happened. In her dream she remembered waking up to see Bryantt holding a gun to Barnard’s head. The look in Bryantt’s eye was crazed. She could hear screams over and over, louder and louder “Don’t do it,” and realized it was her own voice, her screams. She pleaded with Bryantt to stop, but he dismissed her and sent her off with Gregor. She was scared she would not see Barnard again as she felt Gregor’s arms around her carrying her to the horse. Why couldn’t she walk? Wincing slightly she felt the pain in her feet from the caning. Her mind flashed back to the debatable lands. It was dark as she rode through the woods, keeping in between the trees, limbs smacking her face. She stopped in the brothel to collect the few items she wanted to keep, things no one would notice if they were gone or not. She returned to find Barnard furious with her, scared that she would be caught. He made sure she couldn’t run again any time soon.

Barnard on his KneesShe cried out softly in her sleep as the “dream” continued. She refused to stay at the castle. Bryantt was firm in his demand that she do so. Looking at the countess as she stood there in disbelief, she knew that she could not spend one night under the same roof as her, especially when she started making remarks about people “like her” which made her blood boil. She begged to go back to the brothel. It was the only place she could go. She needed to be alone, away from everything, everyone.

She Gus for help. He applied a healing ointment to her feet, smiling as he knelt to tend to her. He handed her a vial and told her to drink it. Too tired to argue, she obediently drank it. Bryantt’s voice boomed in her ears, demanding answers. The voices became fuzzy, saying something about the priest hurting her. She whispered, “You hurt me too.”

She fell back onto the bed in a deep sleep under the effect of Gus’s potion. She was grateful to be swallowed up by the blackness, escaping. She was not sure how she got to the brothel. She vaguely remembered voices, soothing touches, but none were his, none were Barnard’s. She thrashed about, knocking over stuff on the small table beside her bed.

Barnard and Bryantt fightFear gripped her as she saw something different. Was it real? She saw Bryantt and Barnard fighting again and she heard her own screams, “NO STOP IT BOTH OF YOU!” She loved them both and couldn’t bear to see them hurting each other. Didn’t they realize the pain they were causing her by fighting? She could see the glint of the sword blades, hear the sharp sound of them clanging together, ringing in her head. She heard them both grunting as they thrust the swords higher. Screaming out as an invisible hand tightens around her chest, she struggled to breathe as she watched both men fall to the floor, surrounded by pools of blood.

She woke with a start, her body wet, covered in a thin layer of perspiration. She bolted upright In the bed, screaming out. She looked around herself and found that she was safe in the brothel. Her heart pounded, as she fells back against the bed, falling quickly back to sleep to start the nightmare over again.

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