Gareth dreamed of blood. It wasn’t much, just a few drops and splashes on the pages. The smell of the ancient tome invaded his nostrils bringing memories of death and dirt, ageless stone walls closing in on him and trapping him beneath the moist, dank earth with only one escape: a tiny hole too small for anything except the stink of fear.
A small mouse stood atop the stacks of leather bound books and turned his head. In his tiny outstretch paw he held a candy nestled carefully in soft leather. As Gareth got closer his nose was suddenly filled with the essence of lemon, driving out the putrid decay that threatened to drive him back to unconsciousness. The mouse’s ochre eyes twinkled as he gestured with his paw, inviting Gareth to take the lemon drop. “Go on, it’s good for what ails you,” those eyes seemed to say.
Gareth retrieved the pale yellow lozenge and stuck it in his mouth. The aroma of fresh lemon and green, growing things swept through his head and washed over his body draining the stink of death and fear, calling up a beautiful hilly park and him watching the sun rise over the lake. The mouse and his cartoon-like woodland friends scampered down off the jumble of rocks and boulders to wards the water.
“Told you,” the tiny creature said over this shoulder. “Come join us.” And with that they all dove beneath the surface of the swirling water.
Gareth stood, brushed the clay and grime from his jeans as best he could and put the battered leather notebook in the inside pocket of his canvas duster. “Not today, little friend. I think I have an appointment.”
Then he climbed the polished aluminum steps into the ancient but well-cared for De Havilland and settled back into the pilot’s seat for the short hop over the lake. He glanced at the registration plate mounted below the yoke: Designed and built by de Havilland Aircraft of Canada, Ser. No. 0000, Date 01-04-00.
“It’s going to be a long flight, isn’t it,” he murmured softly to himself. And then he smiled and slowly pulled back on the yoke, relishing the feeling of the weight of the world pushing him down into the familiar and comfortable seat of the Beaver.