Me was mentally exhausted.  Deep sleep came quickly as she hung tight to Freedom’s coarse mane.  Soon her mind began to open to the universe.  Color and form came forward, taking her into her dreams.  She was back at the county garage, twelve years earlier where the incident occurred. She saw herself lying in a pool of blood after falling from her bicycle… motionless. Melody was perched next to her left ear.  She was witnessing her invented friend move into another form, no longer imaginary in her mind. She was acknowledging that they were no longer separate…they were one. They now spoke without verbal communication. Me needing only to listen: to feel.

Going deeper into her universe of dreams, Me spiraled slowly, awkwardly, inward.  A bright energy was drawing her in as an unidentifiable dark force was pulling her out.
She came to identify the bright energy as Melody and the dark force as Self.  Her person was fighting between who she was and what society had defined her to be. It seemed forever: drawing in, pulling out, lost in time.  Visuals began to flow through her mind.  Words that held emotion: love/hate/fear/guilt/anger/forgiveness.  It was the visual emotion of fear that stopped the chaos in her dream. She suddenly realized it was fear that controlled the dark force in Self. Fear had absorbed her person. Fear was the villain that held the power to invade and destroy her journey, her search, to fill her Naked Slate.

Me woke into darkness, still hanging tight to Freedom’s mane. It was late evening.  Freedom held evidence of the day’s journey.  His body now damp and dusty.  His gate slow and awkward.  Melody was balanced between his alert ears. They were speaking softly as Me moved out of her dreams.

Melody are we there? Are we where we are supposed to be?
My child it is you that must tell us so. It is only you who knows the direction of this journey.

 Me raised her head looking into the darkness in front of her.  She could see nothing but was aware of what felt to be a wall surrounding her. Her sense of smell was aroused like never before. She felt as if she was wrapped inside a cocoon. It felt claustrophobic yet safe.  Melody do you know where this is, where we are?
Yes my child…I do.
We just entered into the Forest of the Naked Slate.

Me looked behind.  It was just in time to see the last trace of light before the cocoon of darkness closed upon them.