I felt like I was having an out of body experience. That’s the only way I could possibly explain this. I knew I was at the waterfall’s edge, but I could also hear every word that the three women had said. The conversation came like an echo.
Through this conversation I was over hearing, I finally figured out the woman’s name...Kenna. What a perfect name for a beautiful creature such as her. When I glimpsed at her for the first time after being rescued she looked like an angel. Her fiery red hair frizzed out around her face, and because the sky was a burning red, her hair glowed like a halo. Her eyes were even more exotic. They glowed a golden almost caramel color that made them shine. When she touched me her fingers were warm and smooth. I tried to tell myself that the touch was supposed to comfort, but my body didn’t listen and would flinch every time her delicate fingers came near.
I’m really not sure what to think at this point, because I know I’ve been moved, but then again I’m still at this ledge of water trying to get down. I’ve been hearing voices both female and demonic. For some reason the demons have strayed from the water and pass back and forth on the river's edge instead. You can tell they still want me, all of them. The female voices on the other hand don’t know what to do with me, and the one called Kallan seems upset with herself. Among all the voices I tune into one in particular; sweet like honey, but has a burning edge to it like fire.
Kenna’s been near me longer than all the others, and talked to me almost all the time. I’ve figured out when she’s not talking she’s drifted off to sleep. I know she still hasn’t left me though, because I can distinctly feel her warmth. I’ve also timed when each sister will come in and check on her. First it’s Kallan. Then its Camira, the shy, quiet one. And lastly, it would be Kaia, who I still haven’t figured out yet.
There was a rustle of some sort of heavy cloth, and then a sister stepped inside.
She sighed, watching as Kenna slept. I knew this because Kenna’s breathing was even and slow. Turning and leaving the sister let the heavy fabric fall back into place. It may have been Kallan who had entered according to the heavily stressed sigh. But it also could have been Kaia because the footfalls were both heavy.
The time started to pass slower and slower as the sounds became the same repeatedly. I felt like I was drifting off more and more with each breath that was expelled from Kenna. At this point that’s the only thing that’s keeping time. I can tell when it is day or night according to her sleep rituals.
Every time I drift I feel like I have to fight my way back. Fight my way back to Kenna. It was always easier when she spoke my name or talked to me directly, but lately I feel like she’s giving up on me...on us.
She’s speaking to me now, and she sounds afraid. I tried to understand what she’s telling me but it was no use, so I felt myself drift again. This time I drifted so far that I could totally tune Kenna out. Was that a bad thing? Some how that felt bad. Like I wouldn’t be able to hear Kenna again; listen to her stories. Somehow I felt like I was running out of time. Time for what though? I never realized I had a time limit.
When I finally fought back to where I started, I heard Kenna in the distance again. “Calder, please wake up. I know you’re in a dark place right now, but I can’t help you. It’s up to you this time to get yourself out.” She paused and I could hear her shaky breathing, like she was trying to hold back emotions. “Please come back...for me.”
I couldn’t hold myself back anymore, my anger and frustration flowing like the river I floated in. “I don’t know how!” A tear trailing down my cheek, and every demon stopped to stare.
What was I supposed to do? The woman that saved me wants me awake in the present...needed me there. But how in hell was I supposed to get out of this stand-still, time-lapsing experience.
“You have to believe.”
Who said that? Was it Kenna? It sure didn’t sound like it. What was I supposed to believe in?
“Something that makes you happy.” Was that my inner voice? Have I gone so far that I’m starting to hear my other half...in a way? “Something you don’t want to leave.”
As my thoughts drifted towards Kenna, it was like an explosion went off inside of me. My body was burning...like the first touch of hell’s rotten air. I was boiling...like the touch of a demon. Melting? I’ve never felt so hot in my entire...death. I started to panic and felt myself pull away from an unseen heat. Then I heard a familiar, smooth voice. A voice I've come to love.
"Come on Calder. I know it hurts and you’re burning up. But you have to get through it. Please...just please. It'll feel better once you've rejoined." As she spoke I unintentionally moved closer to that heat...to her voice.
The more she spoke the closer I became. The closer I was to the heat, the louder her voice was. I wanted to hear her voice at full volume. Loud and clear. I wanted to see her again. I was starting to become a desperate man. What did that say about me? I really didn’t care at the moment. All I wanted was to be whole again, because clearly my body and soul were divided. I’ve figured that much out. Eventually the burning became so intense that my body became numb. Then all of a sudden every feeling in my body stopped...froze, and with a start my eyelids flipped open. When I started to feel again there was a lightweight lying over my body. It felt like another body in fact. In that instant panic over took me, and holding back a fearful cry I threw the body off me.