Dawnstar heard the now familiar click of the door downstairs. She sat cross-legged atop the soft bed, in the centre. She unfolded her wings, and allowed them to hang loosely over the bed. She vigorously rubbed her hands together over the saucer of dried granules, focussing intently on the heat being generated. She gently blew across her fingers and closed her eyes. She quickly opened her eyes again, watching a bright spark of light appear. The granules on the saucer moved slightly, but nothing else happened.
She went through the process again. More intensely she focussed, this time not only on the heat being generated but the ignition of the flame. She blew across her fingers again, closing her eyes. When she reopened them this time, the spark of light was brighter, but still the flame didn’t appear.
She tried a third time. The spark generated this time was hot enough to ignite a small flame on the saucer. Again, she gently blew, across the saucer this time. The small flame grew slightly larger, drawing the granules into it.
Dawnstar noticed the scent of sage mixed in with other aromas. The flame vanished and a small plume of smoke rose from the saucer. She reached back for the cup on the bedside table and circled it around the smoke. First she circled clockwise, then anticlockwise. She passed the cup through the smoke three times, and then inhaled some of the smoke. She took three sips of tea, and returned the cup to the table. She inhaled the smoke again, and then swallowed the cooling liquid. She folded her arms and closed her eyes.
In her mind, her eyes were open. The circular room looked dark, with rays of light becoming more visible through the swirling smoke. The smoke lessened in intensity, becoming more of a yellowish mist. An altar was before her, with two wooden poles either side. As the mist cleared further, she could see the different sections on each pole, each section holding four faces looking out in four directions. At the top of the left pole, she saw the head of a wolf carved into the wood. On top of the right pole, an eagle’s head was carved.
“You now see the totems, child.” A male voice cut through the silence. “Your ancestors are gathering. They await your question.”
“Welcome, Dawnstar.” A female voice followed. “We are ready. Our connection is weak. The mists are circling again.”
“You are out of time.” Another male voice said.
“No.” Dawnstar answered firmly. “I have yet to begin.”
“You interrupt, child.” The second male voice continued. “You are out of time on the Ancestral Plain. Your physical presence exists prior to your astral one.”
“That is the reason I am speaking with you.” Dawnstar heard her voice echo around the room. “I have become trapped in the past. A surge of energy has brought me to this place, this time. I need your help to return home.”
“Do you know the source of the surge, child?” the woman’s voice asked. “Finding the source will provide the answers you seek.”
“I know not the source.” Dawnstar stated. “It was an accident. An explosion.”
“It was not an accident, child.” The first male voice said. “We can see a second being with you in the physical and outside of the astral. This being holds both the answers and the means you seek.”
“Who is this being? Where are they?”
“We see that they too are seeking answers.” The second male said. “Remember child, they seek what you seek. We see that you sought them prior to the temporal rift. Therein exists one answer. Therein exists a pathway for your journey.”
“Who is this being? Are they here with me? On Earth? In this time?” Dawnstar noticed the echo of her voice diminishing. The room was filling with more of the yellow mist. She could no longer make out the heads of the wolf or the eagle atop the poles.
“Our connection weakens further.” The woman said. “We see you will find your answers. We see you will return home. We can help no longer with your journey.”
“Wait!” Dawnstar shouted. “Who is the being? Please mention a name, or give me a description so I can track them.”
“We can help no longer with your journey.” All three voices said in unison.”At this time.” the woman’s voice added, feebly. “You already have the answers.” She continued.
“Please!” Dawnstar shouted again, her voice’s echo now completely gone. The altar and the totems had now been consumed by the yellow mist, and the light was beginning to fade. “Please, tell me a name at least…” Dawnstar noticed a loud bang from outside of the Ancestor’s Realm. “A n…” the first male voice cut out entirely as the whole room was swallowed by darkness, replaced by a third male voice. “Nan? Who are you?”
Dawnstar blinked tightly. She reopened her eyes and was still surrounded by darkness. She could smell a faint hint of sage. The room was silent. She felt cold. She could also feel her body shaking and became aware of pressure on her right arm. Somebody was physically shaking her. “Who’s there?” she tried to ask but made no sound. She blinked again. The shaking stopped. She could no longer feel anything, see anything or hear anything. The hint of sage still surrounded her. She became aware of a falling sensation as she realised she had become trapped in a world between worlds.
“Ryan? What are you doin’ here?” Mabel asked. “And what’ve you done to her?”
“Nothing, Nan. Auntie She asked me to come round to check on you. I got no answer from the door so let myself in, and shouted you. I got no answer and noticed a smell of burning which brought me up here. Then I saw her on the bed. I tried to wake her up, but she just fell back like that. Is she dead?”
This is the sixth instalment of my fan fiction tale based on the DC Comics character Dawnstar. The first part can be found here, the second here, and the third here. The fourth part is here, and the fifth here. Dawnstar was created by Paul Levitz and Mike Grell. All other characters are of my own creation.