Wake Unto Me

A tingling mix of excitement and fear ran over her skin, and a deep feeling of familiarity and recognition settled in her gut, as if she had at last
come home

Because some information is better than no information. Life does not give you big, simple answers, Caitlyn. It demands patience, focus, and an open, intelligent mind to gather the pieces of a puzzle and fit them together into a coherent whole. Nothing worth knowing is ever easily learned.

Caitlyn, s’il vous plait!” Madame said, whacking the blackboard with her stick, its end pointing to the irregular verb devoir, “to have to.” She
wanted Caitlyn to conjugate it.
Caitlyn felt the class’s attention turn to her, and a clammy sweat broke out in her armpits. Her brain stopped in its tracks, unable to move under
the pressure. A vague sense of having known how to speak French in her dreams tickled at her brain, but the skill was as lost to her in the waking
world as was Raphael.
“Devoir,” Caitlyn croaked. “Er. Je dev? Tu dev?”
Madame gaped at her, horrified.
Caitlyn shook her head; she knew those words were wrong. “Er … I mean, uh …” And then out of nowhere came, “Egli deve, lei dovrebbe …”
These words felt right. He must, she must …
Several girls burst into laughter.
“What?” Caitlyn demanded.
“You’re speaking Italian!” one girl shrieked, and collapsed into hysterical giggles.

Death is the force that will create your new life. It is a mechanism of transformation. Welcome it.

Don’t ever scare me like that again, swinging on the rope.”
“I won’t. I’ll find a new way,” she teased.

Except Caitlyn. High school dating, drill team, school spirit—it all seemed silly to her. Why did it feel like high school was crushing her soul? She
had nothing concrete she could point to. All she knew was that she didn’t belong here.
She preferred old, used clothes to new ones; her iPod was full of classical music; and photos of castles and reproductions of old European art
covered her bedroom walls, including a Renaissance painting of a young girl in white, named Bia. It should have been pop singers on her wall, or
movie stars

Foolishly romantic, yeah, sure, maybe: but she'd rather have dreams of Prince Charming than the reality of Mr. Wrong.

Hi,” Caitlyn said.
“I’m Caitlyn.”
Mathilde grinned. “The Wild West girl who rode bareback! Yes, I know. The whole school knows! Can you shoot a gun, too?”
Caitlyn’s cheeks heated in embarrassment. “Urg,” she gurgled, “no.

It’s a good thing you didn’t get out of the workshop much. The girls of Rome would have been in
He grinned and waggled his brows. “Do you think so?”
She pushed his shoulder. “Naughty boy.”
“I could be much naughtier.”
Caitlyn sucked in a breath, alarmed and thrilled by the dangerous look in his eyes. She clasped her hands primly in front of her

I will talk to you again in my office, at nine A.M. tomorrow morning, to
give you a more thorough orientation to the school and to explain what I will be expecting of you as a scholarship student.” She turned to Greta.
“Greta, please see Caitlyn settled in her room, and see that she showers.” With a nod she turned on her heel and left.
Caitlyn raised her arm and sneaked a sniff at her armpit. Was Madame Snowe saying she smelled? She caught Greta watching her and lowered
her arm. “Just checking,” she said sheepishly.

Keep listening. With open ears, you will be one of the few who learn.

Monsieur Girard grinned at the effect his story had had, and moved on, grunting disparagingly at another student’s efforts. As he approached her,
Caitlyn went back to work, afraid to be caught slacking. He came to stand behind her, watching her attempts, and despite her best efforts her arm
slowed and then dropped as she was overcome with self-consciousness.
“Do you, too, have a brilliant artist locked in your head?” he asked.
“No. I’m beginning to think I don’t know a thing about art.”
“Class! Do you hear? She knows nothing about art! And she proves it in her drawing.”
Caitlyn cringed.
“This,” he went on, laying his hand upon her head, “is the proper state of mind for learning to draw. Your mind must be blank of your old ideas and
old ways of seeing. You must start fresh, like a baby who has never seen the world.” He dropped his hand from her head and pointed to the area
she’d shaded with parallel lines. “This is nice.”
“Thank you,” Caitlyn said in soft surprise.
He nodded in acknowledgment. “Keep listening. With open ears, you will be one of the few who learn.

No! It can’t be!” She screamed, “Raphael! I need you! Raphael … !”
But there was no one to answer, and there never would be. She would haunt these halls forever, seeking him.
For she was the Woman in Black.

Overall, books and art were a safer escape from reality than sleep.

She spent all her free time either drawing the strange things she saw in her dreams, or with her nose inside historical novels. The world held in
the pages of history felt like the real world, and the present day an illusion she had to suffer through until she could escape back into the pages of a

Some hopes were better nurtured in private, where the words of others could not harm them, and where disappointment could be borne free of the pitying gaze of friends.

Some people say that love itself is the most powerful magic,” Caitlyn said.
“But would true love make a man go against every principle that had guided his life, and make him break vows he had made to God?” Raphael
shook his head. “Simon brought Eshael here, to the château, but she would not give up her goddess and so he could not marry her. The local men
were frightened of Eshael and her strange ways. There were stories of firelight in the caves that pierce the cliffs beneath the château, and the
dancing shadows of local women that Eshael had converted to worship of her goddess.
“Simon’s love for Eshael began to fade; he started to see evil in all she did and all she was. The final straw came after Eshael bore him their first
child, a daughter. When Simon discovered Eshael consecrating their child to her goddess, the last vestiges of his love turned to hatred. In his rage,
he killed her.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing,” Caitlyn protested. “I’m sure it keeps you out of trouble.”
“Thierry told me I was cold. He wasn’t the first boy to say that, either.”
Caitlyn winced. “Ouch.”
Amalia turned toward Caitlyn. “I wish I could be more like you.”
“Me? Are you kidding? Why?”
“You let your emotions show on your face. They’re right on the surface, for all to see.”
Caitlyn grimaced. “I thought I’d learned to control that.”
“See?” Amalia copied her grimace. “Right on the surface!”
“Mmph,” Caitlyn grunted unhappily.
“Mmph,” Amalia copied.
Caitlyn threw up her hands in defeat, then cast a quick warning look at Amalia. “Don’t you do it!”
Amalia chuckled.

The driver bumped his way through the door and plopped down Caitlyn’s “luggage.” Caitlyn watched Madame Snowe’s eyes go to it, widening as
she took it in. Caitlyn’s cheeks heated.
Her “luggage” was a Vietnam War-era army green duffel bag, bought for a dollar at a garage sale. Cloud-shaped moisture stains mottled its
faded surface, and jagged stitches of black carpet thread sealed a rip on one end, Caitlyn’s clumsy needlework giving the mended hole the look of
one of Frankenstein’s scars.
“Is that all you brought?” Greta asked.
Caitlyn nodded, wishing the floor would swallow her.
“Very good. You will have no trouble unpacking, and then you can burn your bag, heh?”
“Reduce, reuse, recycle!” Caitlyn said with false cheer. “We’re very big on living green in Oregon. Why buy a new suitcase when someone else’s
old duffel bag will do?”
“We’ll see that it gets … disposed of properly,

We don't put much stock in genealogy where I'm from [...] It's assumed that you're kind of a loser if you have to sink to boasting about your family in order to impress people.

Why hadn’t the Woman in Black called for Raphael? Mathilde’s idea that she’d stopped looking for him seemed out of keeping with most ghost
stories; ghosts didn’t change their behavior, did they?
Whatever the reason, Caitlyn was glad of it. Raphael was hers, and she didn’t want to share him. She hated the idea of a long-lost lover roaming
the halls of the castle, looking for him. It meant there was someone else in his life.
She was, she realized, jealous.
That’s stupid! How can I be jealous of a ghost, over a guy who might not even exist?
And yet, there was no other word for what she felt. Since the moment she’d seen Raphael riding in the valley, her heart had claimed him as her
Knight of Cups

You’re American, yes?” Daniela said.
“New York?”
“Dónde?” Where?
“It’s a state on the West Coast.”
“Near Los Angeles?” Brigitte asked.
“North of there. Just south of Canada.”
All three sighed, “Ah.”
“You’re from the ends of the earth,” Amalia said, a teasing smile on her lips.
“Not quite that far!”
“Almost!” Brigitte said.