A few nights ago, I had the most interesting dream! It must have been a dream, for I awoke in my bed the next morning, but words cannot describe how very real the locale and events felt to my ethereal person. I found myself in a dark field by the edge of a thicket of trees and brush. Clouds rolled by, casting shadows and moonlight every which way. Cold droplets spattered my exposed hands and face, raising the hairs on the back of my neck along with pin pricks of goose pimples beneath my sleeves and skirts. Despite the inclemency of the weather, I perched upon a swing.
As lightning arced across the sky and the rain began to pelt at my skin, a whisper in the wind beckoned me across the field. I stepped into a circle, ringed with ancient drums and lutes, that I found awash with flickering firelight. The leaves in the canopy above stretched out to their brethren in such a manner as to perfectly shield the circle from the storm. A foggy wisp formed before me. I reached out and touched it. With a shiver, I drew my hand away – and just in time, too. As I watched, my mouth agape like that of an insipid schoolgirl, the wisp expanded. In an instant, I no longer stood before a lone cloud of fog, but before a creature I well knew: the Dame Sans Merci.
Her eyes burned bright as she gazed upon me. I licked my dry lips nervously. What did she want? The demon, Lord rest him (if, indeed, that is possible), is dead. What can his servant want with me?
We spoke at length, although the conversation is hazy. I remember that she offered me something… something precious and valuable. Some sort of power, it seems like. However hard I wrack my brains, Diary, the answer will not come. And there was a price. I recall the chilling effect of her laughter when I told her that I had nothing to give. My worldly possessions are so few. The fae have little use for property, she explained. No, she wanted something else. A portrait, a classic nude, with myself as the subject. What use a fae might have with such an object, I cannot divine. A potion? A spell? Perhaps the magic is stronger when an image of the intended target is present?
Regardless, I awoke with the strange urge to try my hand at painting. I had been trained during finishing school, of course. I am no famed artist. I am competent, however, and so I hope my efforts will pass muster. Now I have only to decide whether or not the reward is worth the price.
Or do I? La, diary! I let my fancy run away with me. It was only a dream, after all!
–Miss Palabra Puddlegum–