I SLEPT MORE soundly than ever in my eight hundred and thirty-nine years. I was warm, comfortable, carefree and safe. My entire life, once I came of age, has been as a warrior for the Tuatha de Danann. These feelings of security were mostly foreign to me.
The distant sound of a horn stirred me. Familiar, but still I stayed rooted in slumber, unable to move. Not wanting to move. A second sounding of the horn and I had the gnawing feeling I should get up. There was something of importance in the sound, but I couldn’t wake. I wouldn’t wake. The third sounding of the horn and my eyes shot open. The horn from a white sacrificial bull blown three times. What was going on?
I stood and I drew both my swords in a single movement. The smell was of damp rotting earth mixed with stagnant air. My nose curled at the scent and the stale air held heavy, making it hard to breathe. There was a small light, the size of a pebble, the only light in total darkness. It began to grow though I hadn’t moved. I looked around. My fellow Tuatha were around me, swords readied as well. My King to my left. None of us said a word. None of us moved.
Confusion took over my thoughts. I was in the middle of a great battle only a moment ago. Wasn’t I? What had happened? The King looked to me, just as dumbfounded as I felt and spoke, “Morrigan?”
My eyes didn’t leave the light as I whispered, “Be ready.”
A silhouette walked into the center of the light though I couldn’t make out the face, my eyes having trouble adjusting to the contrast from the darkness. The walk was familiar but nothing else. He wore unfamiliar clothes. Loose pants that went all the way to the ground in a shiny grey, a material I’d never seen. Sturdier than silk but flowing as he moved. He didn’t wear boots but black shoes that wouldn’t hold up for a day of walking across the countryside. His shirt was the crispest of white and a jacket over it matched his pants. He stopped and smiled. Recognition hit me.
I whispered the familiar man’s name, “Emrys.”