For the first time in a long while, I hear voices. I don’t know for how long I have slept. My body is stiff and in pain, but now I can slowly move my eyelids and rotate my eyeballs. My vision has improved somewhat. Tree branches are cutting the sky at regular intervals. I can see strange red fruits hanging from many of them. Sometimes, they transform into white birds and sometimes white birds come from somewhere else and become fruits.
The canoe is sliding quietly downstream, moving with grace over the river’s calm waters. I see the face of a middle-aged man smiling at me. I try to smile back but my lips are still too stiff. The faintest try to move any part of my body throws me into an ocean of pain. The man is pouring again something from a wooden cup in my mouth. This time I can feel my throat swallowing a warm, bitter liquid. Then the girl’s head appears above, also smiling. They are probably father and daughter as there are obvious similarities in their facial features. They speak in an unknown, musical tongue that sounds vaguely familiar. Is this the same language I’ve heard at the palace during dinner time? I can’t remember what it sounded like, but I think it was not very different from Latin. The effort to recall facts and things is still beyond my weakened powers, and I fall into a deep slumber again.
When I come back to my senses, I am in a bed inside a room full of light. I can lift a bit my head and move my lips, but the rest of my body is still completely stiff and sore. The bed is made of an unknown type of dark, wood. In front of me, a table and two chairs from the same material are the only visible pieces of furniture. Further ahead, a large window opens towards a garden. The Sun is just rising from behind a far away mountain ridge that marks the horizon. I am alone and spend some time trying, without success, to lift myself in a sitting position. The whole room looks surprisingly similar to a typical room from my world. Nothing really exotic about it.
Soon, the young woman comes in and looks at me. She says something in her musical language, but I can’t understand her talk. I am trying to answer back. My lips are moving, but no sound is coming out. She is smiling and adds something that sounds like encouragement. Then she brings to my lips a cup with some kind of herbal tea. The taste is a bit bitter, perhaps similar to what I was made to drink during the previous days, but every sip seems to pour a little more strength in my body. Then she closes her eyes and moves her head to the side with the joined palms next to it, suggesting that I should go back to sleep.
(excerpt from "Butterfly's Dream", a novel by Marian C. Ghilea; photo by Marian C. Ghilea)
12 sample chapters available here: http://nivitx.blogspot.ro/2017/08/final-proof-reading-novel-almost-done.html
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