Secrets of the Night

"Brenna!" the voice calling out from the darkness was soft and coaxing, a child's voice. Brenna felt a memory tugging at her mind. She sat up on her bed looking around. The bed of course was as it had been when she went to sleep, but the room was engulfed in darkness. She traced a finger over the patterned quilt her grandmother had made for her many years ago. It had been too long since she had come home. The voice persisted in the darkness, "BRENNA!"

"I'm over here," she replied, and the voice that left her lips was not that of the adult female she knew she was. It was a child's voice. If she could have remembered so long ago the sound of her own voice she would have been comforted with the recognition. Her hand touched her throat as if touching it would change the tone. Her skin was soft, too soft. She traced her hand up to her face and it felt wrong.

"Brenna! Where have you been?" a little boy appeared beside her, and touched her arm. "What's wrong Brenna? You look frightened. Did you have a bad dream? I'm here, and I'll always protect you."

The boy had dark curls that tumbled around his ears, and his eyes were so dark they reflected black when she looked at him. His nose was delicately formed. She looked at him without recognizing him, and then with a jolt the name came to her. "Auberon."

"Of course its me silly!" he answered settling down in front of her and crossing his legs Indian Style. "What happened at school? Is everything ok?"

Brenna shook her head afraid to test her voice again. "I'm not a little girl anymore Auberon. I grew up."

He tilted his head, and laughed at her, but his eyes held concern. "Of course you are a little girl, your hands aren't any bigger than mine." To demonstrate he took one of hers and held it up to his tip to tip they matched.

Brenna ran her hand over her chest expecting to feel the pesky things she knew had grown there 10 years ago. She was flat as the boy in front. "Something's wrong."

"Brenna, tell me what's happened," the boy insisted panic lurking behind his eyes.

"Pinch me," Brenna begged.

"It'll hurt, don't be silly." Auberon declared. "Come on, let's go play."

Brenna pinched her arm, and it did hurt. "No, no, no."

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