"My name is Kalen. I am Champion to our queen,
"For some time now she has been plagued by nightmares,
brought on, we believe, by the High Priest of her greatest enemy, King Wilfred."
"Why is he her enemy?" I interruptted
"She refused his offer of marriage, and in so doing made
an enemy for life."
"And the nightmares, has she been having them for the
last year?" I asked
"Yes, just about that." he said
"So have I, and they were getting progressively worse.
"As were hers, and the last few mornings, she has woken
with injuries sustained in the dreams, and filled with terror."
"She said she felt as if someone were trying to steal
her very soul."
"Yes, that's it exactly! I've felt the same. I would
fight sleep for as long as I could, dreading the moment when it would come." I said
"As would she. She told me to be prepared for anything,
so I was. I would check on her several times each night, and the last time I checked last night, I knew it was not her in the bed. Oh, don't get me wrong.... um, forgive me, but what is your name?"
I blushed with embarrassment, "I'm so sorry, I didn't
even think to introduce myself. This has been such a disturbing morning."
"No need to apologize, it is easy to see how waking up
as someone else would be a little unsettling, but, um, you still haven't told me your name."
I blushed even deeper, "Tara," I mumbled "Tara. So very close to the queen's name. I doubt,
somehow, that is a coincidence. As I was saying, Tara, you look exactly like my queen, but I could tell you were not her."
"Your queen?" I asked
"Well, yes, of course, she's my queen," he said, then it
dawned on him what I truly meant. "Oh! No, not in that way. I am but her Champion and Protector, and I've done a poor job of it, at that."
"You can hardly blame yourself for this," I said, "Where
exactly am I, though, because I'm sure not in Kansas anymore."
"Um, nevermind, just a bad joke, but seriously, where am
"This is the Kingdom of Angelus."
"The Kingdom of Angels?! I'm in heaven?!" "Heaven? Nooooooooo, the Kingdom of Angelus." "Angelus. Oh, sorry, my mistake, um...but I've never
heard of it. What country is it in?"
"Country? We have no countries, only kingdoms, and
Angelus is the greatest of them all. How could you not have heard of it?"
"Um, well, Kalen, I've got the feeling that your queen,
wherever she is, is having the same problem. I've never believed in that hocus pocus, other dimension stuff, but I may have to change that. Everything here is the same, yet different from where I come from. Where, exactly, are we, Kalen?"
"I've told you, the Kingdom of Angelus." he said "Yes, yes, I've got that, but what planet are we on?" He looked at me as if I'd lost my mind, and I wondered
"Why....Earth, of course."
"I was afraid of that." I said dejectedly
Terri Lyn Stanfield
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