What was she seeing? It couldn’t be. She stared into a room not dissimilar to her own, yet there was a sense of a dark foreboding in it. It was as if the room, every surface was covered in blackest black. Even the bed upon which lay a beast withering in pain were doused in black. The thing’s eyes bulging, its fur as if drenched in blood, glistening. It had great big bull-like horns jutted out, reaching high in the air. The heavy iron chain on its feet tied it to what looked like metal posts of the bed that was welded to the floor. It was something out of a nightmare and Mona didn’t know if she had the courage to approach the thing let alone help.
She drew in a sharp breath, unable to focus on the beast. Her eyes drew heavy, her hand, which had tried to stamp the blood flow from her punctured side went lax. A thought drew out finally, that there she thought she’d finally die, watching the beast, unaware of her, crying in despair. Then, she knew not how, she let out a little moan, and saw the thing turn to her with great surprise.
Could it be her eyes fooled her? For the briefest moment she thought it was Lucifer, not the way she knew him of course.
As the beast growled, jumping swiftly off the bed towards her, Mona felt the darkness take her. She was going to be supper to the thing and there was nothing she could do about it.
Mona couldn’t believe she was still alive. In the pitch darkness she couldn’t really see where she was, but each breath she took felt like a thousand needles piercing her side as deep as they could. She tried to sit up, letting out a pained yelp, but felt a force on her shoulders, pinning her down.
‘Don’t move!’ The deep throaty voice commanded and Mona felt all her muscles siege movement.
‘Why?’ She asked breathless. At least she thought she had.
‘You did a lot of damage to yourself.’
What? Here she had thought she was meal for the unknown animal.
‘I can’t feel my legs, or arms, or anything,’ she thought panicky.
‘The thorn tips were poisoned,’ came the reply. The voice sounded more and more like Lucifer’s, and in that moment she actually missed him. He had been nothing but kind to her.
‘Yes, you are.’ She felt strong arms lift her from the floor and had the strange sensation of floating, which she probably was. She felt the warmth of his body against hers, his heart pounding away like war drums, loud and resolute. Had he saved her from a gruesome death just in time? The light diffused into her world again, certain breeze touched her skin once again.
‘What do you desire the most in the world at this moment, Mona?’ His voice pierced her consciousness again. ‘Anything.’
‘Anything?’ Her thought immediately rushed to her father and to her home. ‘I miss them terribly.’
‘Your wish is my command.’
Mona heard the eager squaks of the birds that lived in the reserve behind her home and suddenly opened her eyes. She was in her own room, on her own bed. It was early morning and the house was quiet as no one had got up yet. She looked around and found her room as she had left it. Even her satchel hung from a hook on the back of the door, next to them hung her cafe uniform.
Surprised or relieved she couldn’t tell. Had she dreamed the whole thing, from the cold dome room to Lucifer’s accommodating home; the doors that were mysterious and the beast tied to the bed? A dark thorny door? Somehow his voice was still ringing in her head. ‘You shall find yourself home. To heal as your heart desires.’
She rushed to sit up and suddenly felt the pang of pain shoot across her chest. What in the world? Her breath held in her lungs and she felt the pain reminiscent of the dream. She pulled the duvet off herself and gasped in shock.
She was wearing one of the dresses she’d made in that enchanted room that granted her wishes. Then she looked up to see her sewing corner intact with her mother’s machine. How so was it then possible she was wearing a dress she had dreamed? Or explain the cut marks on her forearm from the deadly door? Or the pain in her chest from each breath? And more importantly, how had she gotten home? Father? Her father. Lucifer had said they’d trade places!
Despite the pain and the light head, Mona scrambled for her door. She needed to see her father.
It had only been a dream, yes. Only a dream.
Then explain your dress! Or the pain! The thoughts barged in like uninvited guests.