Fire painted Kitty's cheeks. She stood and turned away,
arms folded across her chest. "You're only laughing at me
because I laughed at you."
"No!" Claire said, suddenly also standing. "I used to
have a cat named Kitty. That's not a little girl's name
Kitty giggled in spite of herself. She sat down again,
arms wrapped tight around her knees. She smiled."My real
name is Katherine," she said.
They laughed together.
"Excuse me, Ma'am."
A white-clad orderly was gently shaking Kitty
Hastings' arm. She opened her eyes.
"Visiting hours are over, Ma'am. You'll have to leave
"What? But it's only..." She looked at her watch; it was
eight o'clock in the evening. "Oh, Jesus," she said. "I've
been sleeping for hours."
The orderly nodded. He smiled and backed away.
"Come back tomorrow," he said. "Visiting hours start
again at eight in the morning."He disappeared from the
Damn it, Kitty thought. What's happening to me? Her
whole body was stiff. Her neck throbbed dully as she
turned it slowly left, and then right, loosening it.
And what are these dreams, she wondered? What do
they mean? Like forgotten childhood memories, dredged up
by Gramma's illness... an event, a meeting. With each
recurrence, the images became clearer, stayed with her
The setting was the Beaumont farm. She'd played by
the creek a thousand times as a child. But the fantastic
elements of the fairy and the strange little girl...She was