The attack that had taken place just nights before still had the little druid shaken. Morning after morning Kelebek found herself waking up short of breath and drenched in cold, panicked sweat. She was only able to sleep for moments at a time, for every shift in the building and every chirp from a bird startled her. Every time she closed her eyes the nightmares were always the same: the laughter, the embarrassment and fear, his scent, his voice, the blood. The anger and revenge that had ripped through her during that moment when she had been taken over by feral reactions did little to settle her nerves. More than ever she felt the press of civilization around her, and she was terrified.
Her day began much like the others since Dax Grey slipped into her life, with a startling nightmare jarring her back into consciousness. The druid bolted upright in her bed, sheets clutched to her leather clad chest, breathing erratic and labored. It took her a moment to realize that she was in fact one again alone in her room, that she was safe. Birds were singing cheerfully outside her window in the dazzling afternoon light and no rogues were to be seen lurking about her pillows. She rubbed her face with her hand and swore quietly to herself.
Following the events of that night Kelebek's employer, Mandy Bremsworth, had given the druid several days off for some personal time. While Kelebek had appreciated the time to mentally and physically recover from the attack, she had accomplished little outside of driving herself crazy. She had long since run out of materials to do any personal crafting, she couldn't bring herself to read the sad story about the girl and the wishing well yet again, and there was nothing else to occupy the druid's mind inside that small boarding room. As much as she hated the idea of throwing herself back into the crowds of Darnassus, Kelebek felt that she had to get back to work for fear of losing the last bit of nerve she had. Having already dressed prior to her failed attempt at sleep, Kelebek washed her face in the water basin she kept in her room and quickly ran a comb through her long hair. Within minutes of making up her mind to leave the little room, she was ready to go.
The bright sunlight danced through the trees of the bustling city, gently warming the autumn air to a pleasant temperature. Kelebek quickly moved through the crowds that mulled about in the Trader's Terrace, trying to hasten her arrival to her employer's stand, which located on the other side of the city in the Craftsmen's Terrace. By the time she arrived at Mandy's place of business, she was short of breath and shaking.
"You alright there, love?" inquired Mandy worriedly, for the druid's usual pale complexion had turned a sickly shade of white.
"Yeah, I'm f-fine."
"You certainly don't look it."
"I'm just..." and with that the world around Kelebek swirled as her face went numb and her knees turned into jelly.
Mandy rushed across the booth and knelt down at the druid's side where she fell. "Bek honey, wake up." The Gilnean gently placed her hands on the druid's cool, clammy face. Mandy, concerned about the woman before her, turned her head towards the back of the booth and yelled "Jimmy! Be a love and get me some water and a clean cloth, will you?"
Jimmy did as his wife asked, bringing a small jug of water and a cloth to the pair on the floor at the front of the shop. Never one for words, Jimmy simply stood out of the way and watched as Mandy attempted to revive the druid. She tipped some of the water from the jug onto the cloth, then proceeded to press the cool cloth onto Kelebek's face. Eventually the druid began to come to.
"Here, drink a bit of water. That's a good lass."
The druid did as she was told, sputtering a bit as she drank the liquid. As she drank, Mandy motioned for Jimmy to come over and help her get the druid back on her feet.
"Let's get you up into that chair over there. Easy does it. There you go."
Kelebek sank into the chair, hands and knees still shaking.
"Feeling better yet?" asked Mandy as Kelebek took another sip of the water.
"A little. Everything is still fuzzy though, black spots everywhere."
"When was the last you ate?"
Kelebek simply shrugged and laid her head in her hand in a failed attempt to make the world stop spinning. "I don't remember." The druid began to cry, shaking her head while furiously trying to wipe away the tears. "I don't remember anything!"
Mandy was surprised at this outburst. She had always known Kelebek to be calm and collected, if only a bit nervous. Never had she suspected that the druid would have been prone to such a show of emotion. With a simple glance Mandy relieved her husband from the situation, then she just sat at the druid's feet, waiting for the storm to pass.
Many minutes passed before Kelebek's frustrated sobs began to lessen their intensity. She sniffled a bit more as Mandy rubbed her leg in a motherly fashion. Several more minutes passed before she felt some of her calm return to her.
"So what was that little episode about? Seems to be a bit more to it than what happened the other night."
The druid sniffled a bit and Mandy handed her a handkerchief. As Kelebek busied herself with mopping up her face, she debated on telling her employer everything; the details of the attack, her worries about Taloris, this missing parts of her memory, the strange girl in her dreams, Kiya, how much she felt as if she was choking while she remained within the boundaries of so-called civilization...all of it. The idea of completely confiding in someone, having someone to listen to her worries and greatest fears, was both something she dearly wanted, and yet something that was completely terrifying. What if she completely lost herself, like she just nearly did a moment ago? What if this woman judged her severely, causing Kelebek to both lose her job and to be chased out of town? What if? What if...
"It's nothing, I just haven't been sleeping or eating well is all. I think I'm a bit delirious."
Her employer raised an eyebrow to this claim but didn't push the conversation any further. Instead she simply handed the druid a little bit of bread and cheese. She accepted gratefully, slowly nibbling at the bits of food as she thought of how she would word her next sentence. Minutes ticked by as she chewed and Mandy had returned to work, tidying up the little stand and hanging new items up onto the thin walls. Finally Kelebek worked up the nerve to ask Mandy the question that had been burning in her mind since the moment she decided that she would confide in no one.
"I know this is asking a lot, but could I possibly have a bit more time off? I think I need to take a trip."
"You think you need to take a trip?" Suspicion was written all over the Gilnean's face. "What sort of trip would this be now?"
"I've been worried about a friend of mine. He was supposed to contact me weeks ago, but hasn't. I need a change of scenery for a little bit, clear my head, and I figured I would go look for him while I was at it. I know it's short notice, and that I haven't been much help for the past few days..."
Mandy cut her off. "You did more than your fair share prior to the...incident. We have a surplus of stock for now, and so long as you get back here within a week or two, Jimmy and I should manage. Take your time, mend, then get back to us when you feel able. Though, if you want any pay before snow flies, you best mend quick. Once the pre-winter push is over, we won't see any business until spring."
The druid grabbed her employer's hand gratefully. "I understand. And thank you Mandy."
She watched the druid exit the little booth with her hand on her hip and eye brow raised. Kelebek vanished into the crowds of the early evening shopping crowd, so Mandy Brewmsworth simply shook her head and got back to work.
Kelebek had returned to her room with haste. She didn't return to the room to pack, for what she had in mind didn't call for supplies. The druid grabbed her staff, took a quick and dismissive look around the little room, then simply stepped back outside. Once the door was locked up again she shifted into her cat form, then sprinted towards the nearest city exit.