I felt the snake slither across my stomach and knew this time I would need my wits about me. It all went very quickly, which is not the norm, but then I already knew it would not be. One minute I lay there covered in winged insects with my hands dug into the ground, in the next the roots had closed in, dragging me under. I could taste the dirt in my mouth and I could taste blood. The first thing I noticed when the winged ones left me was that she was waiting in the shadows, her hand outstretched and she was covered in blood. I looked down and realized that I was as well, but I took her hand anyway… that was why I was here. I could feel things moving in the dark and her hand felt like a dry cicada shell. I told myself to calm as I trailed along behind her like a child. I concentrated as best I could on the damp earthy smells and not those moving beyond my sight. I had been with them before, I realized sometime later… the white one brushed against my ankle to reassure me. I gave him a smile of thanks. I was not without protection here and the brown one would hold the gate. I had my bag of tricks and the fiery one was waiting on the other side to call me back if need be… calm. “You haven’t been listening,” she said… “I know,” I replied. “I have something to show you,” she said… “I know,” I replied.
We worked our way further into the darkness. I could see but I couldn’t. She stopped abruptly and told me that I was to be here. “Where is here?” I wonder… but I didn’t ask, knowing there would be no answer. Here somewhat resembled a large rabbit burrow, the white one seemed content. I could still feel the movement around me and I still could not see them… calm. She was staring at me like I should know something, like she was waiting. She seemed kind of melancholy but maybe it was because I was not hearing her. I felt a pull on my chest like my heart was trying to leave my body and she grabbed my ankle… I found it odd because I was sure she was standing right in front of me, but it didn’t matter, I knew I had to stay. There was water(?) dripping and the air was very cool. I sat and she handed me an uncomfortably large spider as she took her leave. The white one settled next to me as we began the task at hand… but what was the task?