I kept the first sessions short, to get used to it and to just cleanse ourselves for the main session. I tried to teach Ela how to interact with her aura and she quickly picked up on how to change it by remembering certain things. And then we both just … drifted. The next thing I knew, I was looking out across the sea from a cliff. At first I thought I had fallen because my point of view was rather close to the ground, but I had turned into a dog. Something big and black, from what Ela later told me. I couldn’t speak, but I didn’t want to anyway, Ela had to do this on her own. We walked around the lighthouse standing on the cliff and found a little girl that I think was Ela herself. They talked about who she was – Ela has hidden away much of what she is, I already had learned that much. This is not a good starting point if you want to grow and she felt that, so that’s what the vision was about.
I cannot quite remember how we came back or what happened directly afterwards. Ela says that I asked her who she was, mirroring what the girl said in the vision. And that I sounded weird. At first I had no idea what to make of that – there were a lot of really unpleasant things that could have caused this. But I soon noticed that I kind of did what Ela wanted in the days after the vision. She didn’t even have to say anything, I just picked up on it. Not the most pleasant feeling there is, I can tell you that. She hit me with her power to influence when I wasn’t fully there just yet and it worked far better than it normally would have. Good thing I’ll be away for the next week or so, I hope it will have worn off by then. But in any case, the ritual worked and Ela can now mask her aura.
Dog came to visit me after that, I drifted off again after Ela had her vision. It’s been a while since we had talked and for a while we just walked, next to the stream where we usually meet. He asked me how I was and I said okay. Next thing I know, he’s taken me down and bitten me, just a warning, though. Deep scratches on my arm from fangs that could have taken off my hand. “Stop it with the lying”, he growled, held me down for a moment longer and then backed off. I wasn’t in a hurry to get up, I don’t think I could have anyway. And I told him the truth, how fucked up I feel, how angry I am at myself, at Whistler and at the world in general. He listened and then told me to get on my feet again. “You need some time for yourself. Take it, your people can take care of themselves for a while. Get your head right again. Speaking of which, that dragon-girl really did a number on you, didn’t she?” He looked at me with his head cocked to one side, which is actually kind of cute (please don’t bite my head off for saying so). “You know those little mana-things you can make? Try doing that with a piece of clay. It’ll do you good to work on that.” Before I could ask that the hell he’s talking about, I was back with Ela. Dog has this very elegant way to avoid questions he doesn’t feel like answering. I’m going to do what he told me. The woods will be nice this time of year and the house is a bit crowded for my taste anyway.