"Please don't talk around me as though I am not here." A high-pitch timbre spoke close by.
Startled, she looked around but didn't see anyone.
"Ignore him, he only wants attention," the urchin said.
Another urchin creature suddenly appeared on the opposite side of the table. "Where did you come from?" He opened his mouth, but she held up her hand to prevent him from speaking. "It doesn't matter. None of this is making sense, and as for your master, I am forced to pass on the opportunity to meet him. I do not visit anyone without my clothing. Excuse me."
Turning, she started to walk away. Shaking her head, she wondered if her mind was trying to turn this into a sexual fantasy. Not that she would object to a good wet dream, but she wanted a sexy male, or even a female to play the opposite role, not one of these ugly creatures, and they were dreadful. Not horrifying or scary, merely terrible. She had a feeling she would not feel the same if she met them, especially while alone, in the dark of night.
One of the urchin creatures called after her, stopping her departure.
"All must go before the master when they arrive. You will not be allowed food or drink until you do."
Hesitating, she glanced at them over her shoulder. "Then I shall not be staying long." Turning slowly, she faced them. "Where is this, exactly?"
Eyes rolled, chins twisted, and mouths flattened as they considered her question. The first dog-like creature held up a finger as though he had reached a solution. "This is exactly where it has always been."
"No, I mean the town, where is it located?" Scratching their heads, they considered how to answer. Finally, one shook his head, but at his side the short one raised his finger. "We are in our world, you are from your world, but now you are in our world. Is that correct?"
Sighing, she nodded. "Yes that would be a correct answer, yet not the answer I was looking for."
She marveled at the bright, rich colors surrounding her and the solid construction of her dream. The whole place, including the odd creatures, appeared so lifelike. Could this possibly be real? She noticed a short man with a humped back, and a face so wrinkled he could pass for one of those wrinkled dogs sitting on the ground at the corner of a building.
"Nonsense." Perhaps she was ill, and her fevered brain was inventing all of this.
Her mind returned to the events before she had awoken on the hillside. The warm spring sun was heating her skin, and the wild flowers in the meadow created a serene setting. She hated everything about her life. Her only solace was coming to the meadow on the hilltop. Below, the lazy villagers plodded along the dirty lanes. It was as though everyone was under a curse or spell, except her.
All of her life she had been filled with energy to spare, unlike her family and neighbors. While she romped and frolicked, the other children had sat watching. In her youth, they lazed in the sun, and huddled before the hearths in the winter. Now as an adult, it frustrated her that she couldn't get them moving or motivated about anything. While she buzzed around cleaning, arranging, cooking, sewing, and tending to their general needs, her family and neighbors acted as though they couldn't be bothered. If she wanted anything done, she couldn't depend on anyone but herself.
It was exhausting doing things, and providing for her family and neighbors. When defeat was pressing in on her, as it had been today, she would escape to this meadow. She was always alone on the hilltop. It would force any of the townspeople to exert themselves to climb the hillside.
Coming back to her surroundings, she strode down the street admiring, and smiling at the creatures she passed. They scurried past her, or stood gawking until she had passed. No one else attempted to speak with her. It appeared she needed to talk with someone, to enlighten herself about this dream.
creature, with rainbow hair stopped walking past on the street, and looked at her. Sweeping his arm out, he bowed low. "I am Yurgee. How can I be of assistance, my lady?"
"Where is everyone going?" She indicated all the chicken-like people, walking up and down the sides of the streets.
Yurgee looked at her with a serious expression, his gaze never leaving her face as she indicated the people on the street.
"They are messengers, my lady. Delivering. Most are on the street, to deliver instructions from the King."
"King? Is he also called the Master?"
"Indeed. Have you spoken with the Master?"
"No. I do not plan to stay long, so there is no need."
"Oh, but you must. You cannot do anything until you have spoken to the Master. It is forbidden."
"I plan to observe, and then I shall be…."
Her new friend was already shaking his head. "You must obey the laws. Do you wish to have all of us punished?"
"Certainly, I do not want…."
"Then you shall come with me. I shall direct you." He waved his arm, indicating for her to follow. "The King will be expecting your visit."
Sighing, she flattened her mouth, but remained in place.
"I will ask him to forgive your impertinence. He is a just
Master." His body swinging with his long strides, he strode away.
"What gives with this King?" Her feathered brows pulled down.
"Gives, he is the giver of everything. You should have gone to see him when you arrived." Noticing that she didn't follow, he stopped and turned to face her.
"I would like a few explanations. Why was that urchin stirring an empty skillet?"
"But you said
the King provided everything."
"Oh he does, but you didn't go to him. No one will eat or drink until you see the master."