A bell tolls.
My mind stirs from sleep.
Stretching and yawning, I sit up, my fingers brushing a mushroom, a spark of energy bites my skin from its big, red cap. Not just one mushroom, but a ring.
Beyond the circle, beautiful creatures dance under the stars, their eyes reflect the golden light of the moon.
The low tones echo through the trees, draping over the branches and settling on the cold ground. A forest.
One I don’t remember entering. I spin, gazing at the moonlit clearing, the flowers bobbing in a breeze, and other people. So many others. They climb to their feet, bewildered creases lining their eyes as they stare at the trees, at the ground, at the winged beings fluttering around their heads.
A haunting melody weaves through my head, scattering my thoughts, banishing my confusion, and leaving the desire to dance.
More and more creatures stalk out of the trees.
Claws scratch the air.
Teeth shine from too big smiles. Pointed ears sway as they stomp over the grass, converging in the center of the clearing. I stand, enchanted, as the music swells and pierces my emotions.
The creatures form a circle. They dance, arms flailing and talons clicking.
I want to join them.
I need to join them.
I step out of the ring.
The world becomes a blur of shadows. My mind empties of worry, of thought, of memories…
Only I want to remember. I trip, my feet faltering as I scramble to grasp onto where I was, who I was…
My life. My family. My friends.
Bodies collide with me. Hands push me to continue. Harsh voices whisper.
Join us. Dance.
The music crawls through my mind, calling me to forget, to leave behind the woes of life…the stress of school, the fight with my best friend, my parents trying to force me to be what they want. I could forget.
I shuffle forward.
I can forget. I can dance. I can follow the glowing lights and disappear.
A hard hit on my side, sends me out of the ring of revelers. A person, like me, staggers past. Eyes dull, empty. Cheeks hollow.
Do I look like that? Dragging my fingers over my face, I can’t stop the panic. I didn’t used to look like that. I don’t want to look like that.
The need to dance taps at my mind. I shove it away and rush towards the person, one with a life like i have…had?
I want my life back, and I’m taking them with me.
I grab the reveler by the shoulders, dragging them from the circle and shaking them free of the spell. Backing away from the beasts and tiny twisted beings, I spot others. So many.
Sneaking through the rave, I pull the others from the ring, constantly watching the creatures. Will they trap me again with their music and dancing? Will they care that I interfere? As I yank others from the magic, they join me, help.
Soon we race through the trees, running for home, for our lives.
Until the bell tolls again.
The creatures flicker and fade. The music falls silent.
My shoulders droop with exhaustion. I yawn.
The ground cushions my fall, and I curl up in the soft grass and relax.
My eyes close as the fourth gong rings like a command. I am free. So, I sleep.
The Witching Hour. A fabulous show. A fantastic season full of work and triumph. For that’s what The Spirit of Woodlan did…triumph.
It has been an honor and pleasure to be a part of this season. I have enjoyed every moment spent with the band members and band parents, decorating, cheering, laughing, and blogging. So…til next year, this is band-mom-blogger Kathy signing off.