Celta Thursday, cut scene from Heart Duel (book 3)
"Rrrrrowwwwllllllll!" the yowl pierced Holm's ears.
"Huh?" he grunted.
He opened his eyes. On his chest, just beneath his chin, sat Meserv.
"Rrrrowwwwllllllll" The kitten howled at the moons.
Holm winced. His kitten might have been plumper than his brother, Phyll, but Holm would wager his howls were more piercing, as piercing as his sire Zanth's.
The ground was cool beneath him. Long, dewy grass tickled Holm's ears.
"I'm awake!" Holm said, shifting to cradle the kitten on his arm as he sat upright.
Where are We? Meserv asked, a whimper in his telepathic whisper.
Holm sighed and looked around,. but didn't need to see the path or the clearing or the tall trees to know that he'd sleep-teleported. Again.
For some reason he'd thought Meserv was a charm, and that now he had the kitten, he wouldn't find himself in the middle of the ancient labyrinth in the dark of the night. He rubbed between Meserv's ears with two fingers. The Fam's little tongue came out to swipe a few times at Holm's cheek. Salty.
Sweat, Holm assured himself, just sweat, nothing else. Though the cool summer breeze rustling the trees dried his skin and made him shiver. He looked down. He wore his loincloth. He'd started sleeping in it after the third time he found himself awaking in the labyrinth.
"We're in the labyrinth," he said.
One side of Holm's mouth lifted. He put the kitten down, stood, and shook out his body, testing for cramps or stiffness. None.
"This is an old, old place. It is used as a meditation tool, a journey to calm the mind or lead the spirit to deeper understanding." Ironic that he'd never been able to find that still center inside himself, yet when he sleep-teleported he was transported to the center of the labyrinth, as if he'd already travelled the path in, and needed to walk out. He shivered again and rubbed his face. At least he hadn't had the nightmare, too. Or if he had he didn't remember it. Not that he ever needed to recall the nightmare since it so vividly reflected a past experience. The past experience that had harrowed him to his soul. The time he'd failed to save his brother's life...and his brother had had to save his.