Day and Night Part 2

It was a gross sunlight, crooked beams and haunted memories of things called dreams. Those mysterious visions of Felicia’s rule. She had always been able to dream, that sweet embrace of Night. And now she would try and let others take part, lead them in one dream that spanned many minds.
The Night Queen slipped through the entrance of the inn, and not a soul noticed. She kept to the shadows, not wanting to betray herself, as the people would be on the lookout for strange travelers. Cursing her outfit, Felicia went to the innkeeper.
“A room for one, please.”
The innkeep gave her an cursory glance, hesitating on agreement.
“A room for one, at the top, if you please,” she insisted, dropping a small pouch onto the table. The innkeeper’s eyes darted to it, heard the weight. He fumbled for a key and gave her the room number.
On her way to the stairs Felicia realised it had been some time since she had eaten a hot meal. Swiveling on her heel, she glided to the kitchen.
As she ordered the daily broth and a mug of Raymead, she overheard some of her fellow patrons, a group hunched over near the fire.
“Sundown draws near, mates, and I fear the other side brings bad news,” said one, an older man, his red beard nearing the ground.
“What? Bad news? Surely you can’t be serious?” said a younger man, taller than the rest, bronzed and built. “When we stir, news of war will be on everyone’s lips. The Night Queen has returned, they say.”
“Och, and what of it?” said yet a third, a burly woman with a crimson eye patch. “Let me tell you, I fought when she fled, and if it’s half as bloody after this Sundown I’ll never forgive her.”
“Hear, hear,” said the first. “War and battle, you don’t want it. We’ve never had it bett–”
“Oh, I doubt that,” the young one interrupted. “Unlike you, I’m not afraid of Ears. The Night Queen promises balance. I’ve heard the stories–I long for a True Sleep, a Deep Dream. Curse Solar, I could settle for a Nightmare!”
Felicia had heard enough. This kid, and others hopefully like him, would get his wish sooner than they thought. The corner of her mouth twitched up into a smile, and hung there for the first time in months.


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