With swift steps, she left the yard and went into the house. Her white raven followed her and landed on her shoulder. She stroked the bird absentmindedly. “I must do something against the shade, Lukas.”
The raven croaked again.
Lysande smiled at him lovingly. “I know you’re hungry.” She clicked her tongue and spoke a word. Suddenly, she held up a mouse by its tail. The raven croaked happily and bent forward. The mouse cheeped and desperately tried to escape. It succeeded biting the witch’s finger.
“Ouch!” Lysande opened her grip and the mouse fell to the ground. Before it could flee, Lukas snatched it. His claws cut through the little body like daggers. With his sharp beak, he tore it to pieces and gobbled it down.
Lysande nodded contentedly. “What a pity that we cannot take care of the shadow with equal ease. Come, darling, we’ll have to think.”
Many miles away from Lysande, Melissa looked around with surprise. Her skin tickled as if someone stroked her, and the sea lay in front of her. It reflected a sky that changed slowly from red golden to blue and that got brighter with every minute. When the sun rose over the horizon, hundreds of sky blue birds rushed of a high cliff screeching. Soon, they returned to their nests heavily loaded with fish.
Melissa pinched her arm. I must be dreaming. Why does the sun set one second and rise again immediately? Have I been unconscious? Maybe I walked in my sleep. Her head was sore and she found it difficult to keep a clear mind. She could hardly bear the screaming of the birds and the thundering surf. Nevertheless, she considered the situation. She was quite sure that she hadn’t been unconscious. But where am I?
She remembered the last sunrise she had seen. Herbert had taken her to the beach one early morning, and together they had admired play of the colors till the sun rose over the cliffs in their back and made the sea sparkle. I cannot be at the Baltic Sea. She glanced up to the sun that hung over the sea. There, the sun would rise behind me in the east. The tickling on her skin finally eased. She rubbed her arms. Perhaps I am really dreaming and Aunt Freya is right with her assumption that I cannot tell a dream from reality.
The screaming of the birds became louder. Melissa put her hands over her ears. She got up and turned around once. The beach was a narrow, crescent-shaped stripe of sand by the sea. Right behind it, steep rocks reached far into the blue sky. They enclosed the bay and it seemed that the beach was only accessible from the sea. Fresh green grew at the top of the cliffs, and the ledges served the sky blue birds as nesting sites.
I have never heard of sky blue birds. Melissa turned once more and looked at the beach more closely. Nearby, something shone white. It looks like broken eggshells, almost as if the birds bring their garbage here. She walked closer. It really was a pile of innumerable eggshells. They lay buried in the sand, slowly weathering.
Melissa walked even closer. Surprised she noticed how gigantic the shell-fragments were. My oh my, they must be monster birds. She put the head back and looked for the sky blue birds that seemed so tiny and that were nearly invisible against the sky. However, the eggshells told Melissa that the chicks were almost as big as a human. She swallowed. As quietly as possible, she crept back to the place she had come from. Suddenly, intense pain shot up her leg. A small piece of eggshell had cut through the thin sole of her sandal. Her foot burned, and she sat down and took of the sandal. Blood dropped into the sand. Suddenly, she realized that she did not dream. The the gigantic birds were just as real as the cut in the sole of her foot or as the beach of the Baltic sea where she had sunbathed. I still don’t know how I got here. Did someone drug and kidnap me? Why should somebody do something like that? She put the sandal back on and got up. The foot was sore but she would be able to cope.
If only I knew where I am. I should explore the beach. Maybe, there is a village nearby or a town or at least a house where I can phone. Her heart beat faster as she looked around.