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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

ANNE'S OGRE -- Excerpt #11

"Not all people." She caught hold of Anne's hands, squeezing gently. "What's more important is what happened to you recently, what were you thinking about, that brought on the dreams again?"

"I'm not really sure. Something was just nagging at me…" Anne shook her head. "It's weird, but it started when I met George. I looked in his eyes and it was like I recognized -- or I heard -- or -- you know how you think you hear something, or you remember something, but it's not all there? And you just keep gnawing at it in your head, and you can't make it come back all the way?"

"And the harder you try, the further into the shadows it goes?" Elizabeth nodded. "Something about George reminded you of the Ogre?"

"His face," she whispered, seeing in her memory more clearly than she did the woman's face in front of her. "The scars on his face. Burn scars. Like I was burned. That was when the Black Prince came in, when the Ogre was about to pour boiling water on my face." Anne flinched, feeling the sting of boiling water splashing across her hands and feet, just for a moment. She tugged her hands free and pressed them together, palm-to-palm, fingers interwoven, and squeezed until the dream memory went away.

By some miracle, her hands and feet weren't scarred from the burns she had suffered. She had no loss of sensitivity, no loss of dexterity, and had gone on to run track in high school. How had she managed to escape that damage?

"That's what brought it on. The scars on his face." A gasping little laugh escaped her. "I started thinking about the Black Prince because he kept me from being burned on my face." Another burst of laughter, and a cool sensation washed over her, relief at having an explanation. "I think I'm disappointed."

"You were hoping for some great psychological breakthrough?" Elizabeth shook her head, smiling, and reached for the teapot to pour. "We need healing from splinters just as much as we do from broken bones."

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