PHOEBE’S DREAMSTONE VISION
Phoebe looked deeply, and began to flow into the stone, as if she were swimming in the deep blue sky. She found herself in the sky above Middletown, and the sun was setting behind her. She glided down lower, attracted by the sight of her high school soccer fields. The players were gone, and shadows covered the wide fields of grass and dirt. Phoebe noticed a dark spot in the corner of one of the fields. In the fading light she could see a hole, a large circle of blackness maybe eight or ten feet across.
"I never saw this before," she thought in shock. "Someone could get hurt." The hole had sides of dirt and stones with roots sticking out, but no visible bottom. Her heart jumped as she saw a flicker of light on a reddish hand. A figure climbed out over the edge and began walking over the grass. Small and bent over, it appeared to be an old woman. Long gray hair spilled over what might have been a dress, but a dress reduced to rags. Phoebe ran after her, desperate to offer help.
"Hello, are you okay? Is there anything I can do?"
The woman turned, and Phoebe saw a light shining like stars from her dark eyes. "Then follow me," the woman said. Phoebe had to hurry to keep up as the old woman walked down a side street. Soon Phoebe realized she had lost her in the darkness. A black shape moved in the shadows. She jumped back, her heart pounding. "Phoebe?" came a familiar voice. "Abby?"
They embraced in relief. "Quick," said Abby, "she’s gone this way." They ran down the dark avenue, heading toward the forest. Around the bend they came to the edge of the clearing, and the haunted house arose ahead of them. It too was glowing, but with a pale, flickering light. On the lawn pale shapes were whispering and laughing, with a terrifying undertone of fear and anger. There were hundreds of them. The voices became menacing. Just ahead the old woman moved forward. With all her being Phoebe wanted to follow. She fought against the rage and took a step.
Suddenly, hands gripped her by the shoulders. Phoebe found herself standing back in the cavern. The old man stood before her and looked into her eyes. "I’m here," he said gently. Come back, it’s okay."
"Oh!" Phoebe cried. "The old woman! She said to follow her! Please. . . was that the woman they call Her?"
"Yes, that’s Her, our leader in this great struggle, the crisis of our time. We have a leader when we need one the most, a champion for the earth." He put his hand on her shoulder. Somehow it was a formal gesture, like a blessing, a sword on the shoulder conferring knighthood.
Phoebe hardly noticed the way back, or her exhaustion, or her fears at all. She felt that no fear could be greater than what she had overcome already.