The Romary were camped by the lakeside just off Serpent Road. Their vardos were parked along the stretch of it and I could see children laughing and swimming in Serpent Lake. It was dusk when I arrived at their camp.
The sun was halfway down the horizon and the sky was a fiery red which reflected off the lake’s serene surface. I felt their eyes following me as I walked past group after group of Romary folk. The air was abuzz with whispers. I recognized some of the faces from when they performed on the streets back in town.
I stopped in front of a red colored vardo with a gilded body and a green roof. I knocked on the door and it was her who opened it. She introduced herself to me as Catarina, the leader of the Romary folk. She had olive colored skin and jet, black hair that flowed down her breasts like a river. She had moss colored eyes framed by long lashes. Her nose was pierced with two golden studs, one on each nostril, and golden bracelets adorned her arms.
“You,” she said, her lips curved into a small smile. “The man who came from another world, I knew you would come to us.”
“How did you know about my dreams?” I asked her.
She stepped down from her vardo and held my hand. Catarina then started to lead me towards the lake. “I know of your dreams because I saw them when I touched your hand as clear as I see them now,” she said.
I pulled my hand away without meaning to. Catarina laughed. She sat down at the edge of the lake and patted the space beside her.
“Do not be afraid, Mister Galloway,” she said, “I will do you no harm.”
Hesitantly, I sat down beside her. I could feel her eyes studying my every movement.
She said, “You are an interesting man, Mister Galloway. Your body feels of this world but…your soul does not.”
“You…you can feel my soul?” I asked incredulously.
“I can feel a lot of things in this world. It is my gift. It is the reason why I was tasked with leading my people.”
“Do you know what is happening to me? Why am I having these strange dreams?”
“Unfortunately, I do not have the answers to that. But, I believe, you do not need to look far for them. They are right here,” she touched the middle of my forehead with the tip of her finger. “We just need to unlock your memories.”
“How do we do that?”
“Simple,” she said, her smile growing wider. “You just need to die for a short while.”
And with that, Catarina plunged a dagger right into my chest.