Hilda was dreaming. She was walking through a forest. It was neither day nor night. Rather an unearthly light filtered down through the branches illuminating a mossy path ahead of her. On either side, stained glass windows hung in the air, glowing eerily as if candles burned behind them.
She looked at one. It depicted a man in a black robe, his hands raised in celebration. Another man lay before him. The robed man had one foot pressed against the head of the fallen man.
A breeze blew around her playfully. It carried the scent of soap. She looked behind her to see her kidnapper. He also wore a black robe and those black leather gloves. He reached out to her and Hilda backed away. His expression was not angry or threatening, but sad and pleading.
She turned away from him and – as only happens in dreams – she ran forward achingly slowly, as did her pursuer. Something at the end of the path was drawing her. Each step was bringing her to something strange and new, yet also familiar.
Then Hilda was in the meadow next to her home. Beatrix was standing there, arms outstretched. Her eyes were clear and her thick white hair was piled high in a bun. She stood tall and straight. This was the woman Hilda remembered from her childhood and she embraced her.
“Do you see the amulet?” said her grandmother looking up into the dark sky. Instead of the moon, Hilda saw her amulet. She nodded.
“My child can you see and speak with it? Do you remember your true name?”
Hilda nodded again.
“It is your legacy. But for now you must keep it a secret.”
Suddenly Hilda felt another presence behind her. She did not have to turn; she knew it was her kidnapper.
“What about him?” Hilda asked.
Her grandmother looked past her, a small smile on her face. “I don’t know. You will have to find out what his part is.”
Beatrix began to shimmer, then glow brighter and brighter. A strong wind surrounded the two of them. Hilda wanted to ask more questions but her voice was gone. Her grandmother was metamorphosed into a whirling column of light which suddenly exploded out!
With a jolt Hilda awoke. Her heart beat like a hammer.
As she sat up the details of her kidnapping came flooding back. Her hand dug into her pocket but her amulet was gone.
She took a look at her surroundings. She was in a room that was empty except for the padded bench on which she’d been sleeping. Light from a small fixture on the ceiling revealed nothing but drab grey walls. And a door. The door had a tiny window near the top with thick smoked glass.
Hilda didn’t need to try the knob. She knew it was locked.