5 Painful memories

Astila stops Aisling from heading back right away .he takes her hand.

" the dream journey we just took . How did you know ? I'm sure you do not share this with others why me?" He searches her face to see if he can get a read on her.

" last night when I was praying I saw the two of us here. Your right most find me scary or strange. I'm neither I am just me. I just can't explain how I know these things . It's instinctive for me. For some reason I feel safe with you. That you won't freak out when I do something . " she holds her breath waiting for him to reply.

" you can trust me but you have to understand with you not having proper guidance. Not having proper instruction you are putting yourself in danger. The man yesterday wants to use you for something dark. I know to your family you are strange and to them your gift is wrong. God gives us gifts to be used for helping and healing not for hurting others. The simple prayers you say is what keeps you connected to the energy and spirit around you. With me you do not have to hide." His voice feels like velvet to Aisling. His words touched her very soul with warmth.

" That man in the cave is Daniel . He is a boy who we thought moved away when we were children. He was at school one day and the next his family had disappeared as if in thin air. He was a twisted child always torturing people and animals. I had a cat when I was small . When she had kittens I had all my friends come and see them . He was among them. He got this look in his eyes when he saw the black and white one . I thought maybe he wanted to hold it so I gave it to him to hold. He twisted its neck within seconds of having it in his hands. My father saw what he did and took him home . The next morning when I came out to the barn to feed them . They all had been butchered including the mana. Blood was all over the place. I was heartbroken . That was the first time I knew about my gift. I ran to my great grandmothers house I asked her for sage and lavender. She looked at me like I was someone else. I was only seven but I knew that I needed to cleanse the barn and bury them with salt , sage and lavender or they would be restless . I do not know where it comes from. I only know that if I don't do certain things I have the most horrifying dreams. This man is often times in my dreams . Ever since we were children. The same day my cats were buried him and his family disappeared." Astila can see how anxious she is by telling her story. He needs to have the shaman to come help them. She needs proper explanation and guidance into her gifts. He pulls her into his arms giving her his warmth.

" I'm here it will be ok. I will help you and protect you I promise. Let's go back now so that you can tell the sheriff who you think that man is. Also do you know where that cave is . Did you recognize the area or how to get there?" Taking her hand he leads her back the way they came. She shakes her head no.

" Because of the vantage point it looks like it from the Maryland side of the river. Seeing the railway tracks they are on Maryland side. Terry will need to ask for help from them. " they walk the rest of the way back in silence.

By the time they reached the edge of the garden the search team had assembled. Debra had directed them to put up their work tents by the tree line behind the house near the picnic tables and fire pit. She had food already laid out waiting for them. Aisling slips into the barn to put her basket away . She will cleanse her dishes and stones later. Greeting everyone she pulls Terry aside .

" can you do a background check on Daniel. Before you ask yes the same Daniel from our childhood. I think it might be him we are looking for. Please don't look at me like I'm possessed or crazy. Also can you check the security cameras from the store at the bottom of the hill. You might find him on them. I think he may go past there and into Maryland." She is wringing her hands hoping that Terry is going to think she has lost it.

" you realize that means I need to get cooperation both Virginia and Maryland police departments." He gives her an exasperated look. He also knows she normally isn't wrong when she gets these feelings. He has been around her to long to doubt her.

" I know it's just this feeling I have. Please can you look into it?" Looking at her oldest friend hoping he will trust her in this.

He mussed her hair and smiled at her.

" of course I will you know I can never tell you know. Now let's go back and join the others I'm starving. I saw you made fried chicken you know I'm a sucker for your cooking."

They walk back to join the others . A tall elder stand up and blesses the food. He is the girls uncle . He is always wary of Aisling and her witchery. As a man of God he had hoped that he would be able to steer her the right way. It saddens him that she still clings to her strange ways.

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