“What do the runes in my dream mean and why is a raven surrounded by a silver glow appearing?” Ravyn Wyng finished the slice of pizza, eyes on the screen, but not seeing the words. She stretched and grimaced; her left shoulder ached, throbbing in time with her heartbeat.
Ravyn rubbed her shoulder and debated whether to take a pain pill. A rumble of thunder rolled over the house rattling the windows.
“What does what mean?” Jennifer Wells entered the office, coffee mugs in hand.
Ravyn grabbed a mug and kissed her wife. “The damn dream I’ve been having. Had it again last night, and this time a raven surrounded by a silver glow appeared. As if the runes, the voice I don’t understand, and the map aren’t weird enough.”
“Which explains why you were up before me. Make an appointment with Doctor Samson.”
“Why? It’s not like the nightmares of the car accident and beating. I wish I understood the damn voice. Besides, going to see Dr. Samson never helps; I still have the nightmares.”
Jennie caressed her cheek. “You’re losing sleep with these strange dreams. You need to talk to your therapist.”
“I suppose. I’m sorry for being grumpy.”
“It’s all right.”
“I’ll think about seeing Dr. Samson. Maybe make an appointment for next week. Right now I have work to do. Anything going on at the bookstore?”
“Sherry called yesterday and sounded excited about a box of books she bought at an estate sale. She said she found a handwritten journal. What are your plans?”
“I’m working on revisions for the next book. Don’t want to miss my deadline.” Ravyn sipped her coffee. “I might stop by the bookstore today, too.”
“You up to driving?”
“I’ll be fine once the rain stops. Supposed to be sunny and warm today. You know, you don’t have to work at the bookstore every day. Rob and Sherry can manage whatever comes up.”
“I like working there.” Jennie set her mug down. “Don’t forget we’re expected at Lyta and Nicole’s this evening.”
“The anniversary party is tonight?”
“Yep. I already picked up their gifts. I commissioned Uncle Ray to make two more rings and medallions.”
Ravyn eyed the ring on Jennie’s left hand; a gold band set with ruby, topaz, beryl, emerald, sapphire, and amethyst. The medallion on a gold chain she wore contained the same stones in an arc and inscribed with the words Together Always & Forever.
“At least you have a family,” Ravyn said.
“Still no luck in finding information about your parents?” Jennie put an arm around her.
Ravyn set her mug on the desk. “No. I sometimes wonder if Wyng is my last name.” She closed her eyes, waiting for the heartache to pass.
Jennie pulled her close. “Tell you what, I’ll be the designated driver tonight, so you can drink as much beer as you want.”
“Why? You enjoy drinking, too.” She pressed against Jennie, and a welcome warmth filled her.
“Because I love you.” A gentle kiss followed.
When they separated, Ravyn had a mischievous glint in her eye. “Since I own the bookstore, why not let Rob open this morning?”
“Last time I didn’t show up until late afternoon.”
“It was worth it.” Ravyn released her. “Off with you, you great tease. Before I forget my manners.”
“What manners, love?” With a laugh, she left.
Ravyn returned to work. The sounds of clinking coins announced a new message on her phone.
‘Will stop by this morning at ten-thirty. Time to go over your finances. Jason Mays.’
Oh bother. I don’t want to see him today. The clock showed ten twenty-five. Ravyn loved her lawyer and financial adviser, but worried she disappointed him. Too late to call and cancel.
At ten thirty, Ravyn opened the front door. “Come on in, Jason. Isn’t this weather grand?”
He shook his umbrella. “Good for the flowers. Hello, Ravyn.”
“You want coffee? I can make a fresh pot.” She hugged him. “How are Marie and the twins?”
“No, thank you on the coffee. They’re fine. Before I forget, Marie wants you and Jennie to come to dinner on Sunday.”
“Tell her we’ll be there. I promise any toys we bring for the twins will be quieter than the drums Jennie brought last time.”
“Thank you. How are you doing?”
“You know, good days and bad days. With the good ones outnumbering the bad more often than not now.”
“Good to hear. Are you getting enough sleep?” He removed a sheaf of documents from his briefcase, and handed them to her.
“I’ve had strange dreams lately, but not the nightmares. Nothing I can do about them.” Ravyn read the papers. “Excellent! Thank you for setting up the trust fund for Jennie. If anything happens to me, she won’t have to worry.”
“The health insurance is set for the two of you.”
“Good.” She signed where indicated. “I take it the investments are doing well?”
“Yes.” He ran his fingers through his hair. “However, your bookstore barely makes a profit. I recommend selling it.”
“I don’t want to sell Curious Words. I like the place, and you know making a profit isn’t why I own it.”
“You should consider moving to a gated community.”
“What for? I don’t want to live someplace that has rules and regulations on how a place should look. There’s nothing wrong with this house or neighborhood. It’s not as if I live in Detroit, and Livonia is a quiet suburb. Besides, this is the only place that feels like a real home.”
“Which is why my parents left it to you. They loved you, Ravyn, and I know they planned to adopt you before they died in the car crash. “How’s the book coming?” Jason placed the papers in the briefcase and closed it.
“The aim is a release date within the next couple of months. I was working on the revisions before you arrived. Also finished writing another article about lost civilizations.”
“I don’t see how you can write about places no one can prove existed.”
She rubbed her left shoulder to ease the muscle spasms. Maybe I should take a pain pill. “I believe they existed, there’s more evidence out there than people realize.”
“All right, no need to get defensive. Mainstream archaeologist don’t believe it, so many people feel the same way.” He stood. “I have to get to the office.”
She walked him to the door. “Give Marie my love.”
“I will.” He retrieved his umbrella.
Outside the rain had stopped, and the sun peeked through the clouds.
“Take care and thanks again for all your help. If I had to keep track of my finances and legal stuff, I’d screw it up royally.”
“Give Jennie my best.” He hurried outside.
After he drove off, Ravyn headed for the kitchen and grabbed a Pepsi from the fridge. On the deck she set the bottle on the rail and lit a cigarette.
As she watched the storm clouds head east, Ravyn tried to recall more details of her dream, but came up blank. The voice bothered her the most, since she believed it held an important message. Wonder what the raven means? Motion on the garage roof caught her eye. A large black bird with a silver glow landed and stared at her.
“This is too weird. It must be a reflection of the sun and clouds or something.”
Maybe I’m going crazy. They say there’s a connection between creativity and madness. Ravyn brushed aside the idea. Enough! You had one nervous breakdown two years ago and spent time in the hospital. This doesn’t mean you’re nuts. Think of the good things in your life, Jennie the best of all.