An aura of reds, golds, yellows and whites flashed outward, sparkling and sizzling as it gobbled up shrubs and dry grass. In the center was Mary, curled into a ball, one hand reaching outward. The Brownie gasped in shock at what he saw. The fever had obviously taken over Mary’s body. Was it too late? He hoped not. There was no time to lose. He was in the girl’s dream world. Or, more likely, her nightmare. And he had to work fast to save her life and take her back to the real world, to her real home.
Seeing Brunny, Mary let out a pitiful wail. “Brunny. Help me! Help me!” She unwound her body, half sitting on the bed of smouldering leaves and twigs, smoke streaming from her ears, nose and mouth. “What are you doing here? Where are we? It’s so hot.”
“We’re in your dream world,” Brùnaidh said as he hesitantly took a couple more steps forward. He could feel the scorch of the heat on his skin, making the hairs on his head and arms spark as if surged with static electricity.
“You’re the same size as me,” Mary noted. “How come? I don’t understand.”
“In your world, you are very sick,” Brùnaidh tried to explain. “You’re burning with fever. I’ve come into your dream to give you some medicine to make you better.” He reached into his pocket to retrieve a small vial. Uncorking it carefully, he bravely took the remaining steps to bring himself to within arm’s reach of the girl. “Here, take this.”
Mary cringed and inched backward. “It looks disgusting. It even stinks! I can’t take that.” She held one hand in front of her face and waved him away with the other.
Brùnaidh was not surprised by the girl’s reaction. It really did look disgusting. Considering the root crops that had been added to the berry concoction, it was not at all appealing in looks or smell. The contents were quite old, too, well aged and potent, as the king would say. “Here. If you take it quickly, it’ll be down your throat in no time and you won’t even taste or smell a thing. It’ll make you feel better and then we can both leave this nightmare.”
Mary shook her head vehemently. “No way!” She continued to slide back, becoming more engulfed in the roaring flames.
“Mary, you must.” Brùnaidh was starting to get antsy. If Mary didn’t take the medicine, she could very well die and then he’d be dead in the real world but stuck in this nightmare of a place forever.
Before either could react, the vial was snatched from Brùnaidh’s hands.