She crawled carefully through dancing feet, under clanking swords, and a rain of blood. She heard whisking and whipping, thumps and thuds, grunts and groans, curses, prayers, and the blasting beat of a thousand hearts, the world yet spinning round and round.
She prayed the warriors would be too engaged in battle to bother with her. Her gown kept catching under her knees, pulling the neck down around her shoulders. Metal feet slammed down around her. Something wet poured over her neck and dripped down her skin curving around her throat. It smelled like blood. However, everything reeked of blood. She kept moving, forbidding tears, wishing she'd drank a second glass of wine, for the elixir seemed to distance her somewhat from the horrors she normally felt.
Ahead, on the outskirts of the battle, she glimpsed a lone oak tree ahead of her, looming there, a live thing, like a mother bidding her to come and fall upon her breast.
Thinking only of the tree, the tree, the beautiful tree, she found herself more quickly there. She dropped her shoulder against the fragrant bark, and curled into a tight ball, very still, afraid to move, lest a knife come flying at her, the way Kayenté had once told her it could.
Her eyes were closed, but the image of swords and bludgeoned bodies flashed erratically in her mind. This battle was like the one in her nightmare: warriors, swords, arrows, blood; and she curled against a tree in a dirty white gown, trembling. Would The Cold One appear next?
Her arm was snatched. Someone pulled her forward so swiftly, she felt like a shooting star. Her vision blurred, so fast they did run. When they stopped, she fell to her hands and knees in the thick foliage, panting hard with burning lungs. Someone stood next to her. Would she now behold The Cold One? What was, was; and what was to be, was to be. She could not change it, so she sat back on her knees and looked up to see dust covered leather pants, and a sword dripping blood. Raising her eyes further, she saw Kayenté's face. It was Kayenté who towered over her!
Her hand flew to her heart. "You aren't The Cold One."
He squatted, resting the sword over his knees. "I don't know about that."