A helping hand

Molly’s first reaction is confusion. It wraps around her mind like a cage, keeping her from moving. The trees in the background are where she really belongs. Although it will take just a few steps to get there, it seems like a whole world away. Her first instinct is to run as far from here as possible, but invisible barriers hold her back. It is not safe in this place. Back home she was the hunter, but here she is the prey.

She can see the matron in her snow white coat, blocking out most of her view. She reaches out with helping hands and Molly lets them pull her forward. Behind her stands Mr Nevil. He does not belong here either. The black suit and polished boots he wears are out of place in the dusty background. He smiles welcomingly at Molly, but in his eyes hides pure resent. He studies Molly’s skin, worry contorting his face. Why? What does he want from her?

Footsteps mark a clear path up to the wooden church, but they are not hers to follow. Her path is not marked like the others. It is a path that has never been taken before, yet it is the only path she can see.

The soft voices fade into the background of her thoughts as she tries to block them out. Scorching sun beats down on them all, striking the rock-hard dirt. A warm hand grips her shoulder, but it is not her mother’s, and it does not comfort her. Above, in the pale blue sky, nothing can be seen but the sun, many universes away. The spirit bird is not there. She will have to do this alone.