The Wrong Road

I was in a car, coming home from some sort of event out of town.

I was a passenger in the car, and my sisters Bird and Julie were also in the vehicle. Bird was driving. Julie was in the back seat.

Mum and Dad did not appear in this dream and, unusually, my late brother Sean did not appear either. Just my two living siblings.

The road kind of looked like the back road we used to take to get to the folks' in Brynteg, but I could tell that this was somehow the wrong road. I told Bird, but she did not believe me.

I was, however, fully vindicated because around the very next bend the road came to an abrupt end with a hedge cutting straight across the narrow single lane road. I told Bird to reverse down the road again, but she went straight instead of following the bend - and we ended up crashing through the flimsy hedge on the side of the road.

On the other side of the hedge was another narrow road; one which had not apparently been used for years, judging by the overgrowth. We were still only halfway through the hedge. I told Bird that we could still get back if we reversed course and backed out onto the main road.

But no, Bird knew better. She reversed the car further into the lane so she could turn us around, despite my warning that if we came fully onto this mystery road we would not be able to get back - and that we would all be killed.

Once again, Bird knew best. She pulled us through the hedge and onto the new road. She turned to me and said something like "See? It's just another road. Nothing special."

I pointed back. Bird looked.

The hedge had sealed up. There was not only no way back; there was now no sign of that other road at all. Just this road remained. Whatever happened to us, we were committed.

I remembered this road. I'd been down it - or rather up it, since it seemed to be gently rising in both directions despite that we'd been driving along on a flat plain in the previous road - and I knew where it lead, whichever road we took: the Chessboard, an ivy-covered ruin of gigantic stone chess pieces in a narrow gully nestled amid trees and carved rocks, the remnants of a small stone quarry.

I told Bird to listen to what I had to say. I had been here before. I knew some of the rules. And if she and Jules wanted to get back alive, she would have to follow my lead.

Otherwise, she and Jules could kiss goodbye to any chance of seeing their kids alive again.

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