Moonlight shined through a paper window, dimly lighting a small room. Mina rested peacefully on top of her tattered sheets, listening to the waves crash against a pebbled beach outside. She could hear the stones jostling under each wave--a relaxing sound that was her favorite lullaby--and her mind vacillated between sleeping and waking. She began to dream of her mother. Did her mother fall asleep to the same lullaby?
Something felt strange. Mina’s eyes fluttered open and the world around her appeared hazy. She sensed something. Perhaps she was partially dreaming--No. Someone was in the room with her. Her vision came into focus and she looked toward the doorway. A decrepit old woman was there. The crone’s eyes were hollow. Its dress was covered in shadow and its grey skin was translucent. As it glided towards Mina, its feet dragged, rhythmically thumping over cracks in the floorboards.
The woman stood, bent over, by Mina's bed. Her breath rasped in her lungs, sending a dry stench across Mina's face. "Are you awake, child?"
"Of course I'm awake," she replied. "Nobody likes reading a story where someone wakes from a dream."
"Don't I know it, child," the crone chuckled. "You should hear what they say about waking up to a stranger in the room."
"And if the room just happens to be white?" Mina added.
Their laughter was nearly audible over the jostling pebbles.
Opening: Matthew.....Continuation: Anon.