The little clock Becca had received as a present on her twenty-fifth birthday whirred and chimed the time. One small, tinkling chime. Two. Finally, twelve in all. Midnight between March twentieth and March twenty-first. The vernal equinox. The day when light and dark, good and evil, love and hate all balanced on the finely tuned axis of mother earth.
Voices, strange with lilting accents, whispered somewhere in the darkness of her dream.
“She sleeps,” said a soft voice, feminine, one Becca didn’t recognize.
“Aye.” The second voice was deep, male, arrogant.
“Will she remember?”
“Nay, she’ll not.”
“How then will she know what to do?”
“She’ll know.” He sounded confident.
“What of him?”
“Aye, he’ll definitely know now. He should have known the last time, but she was too afraid, and he was too full of himself.”
“What is so different this time?” She was skeptical.
“She was young then, not matched well to him. Now, she’s no young soul. She’s had all those lives without him, the lonely nights, and the ache in her heart for all time. This time, she has courage born in the fires of suffering. She’ll know not to run from him, but to him.”
“You’re sure with the knowing of it this time?”
“And, if it doesn’t work?”
“Ciaran dies. Again.”
A sharp intake of breath came from the woman. “That cannot happen. Too much went wrong the first time.”
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