When I was a little boy, between five and eight, growing up in New Jersey, an enchanting girl would visit my dreams on a regular basis. I never knew her name or heard her voice because an invisible wall always separated us. I could see her face clearly, though, and imagined what she was saying when her lips moved. She had a beautiful smile and a presence about her that even at my age induced feelings of pure love. Often we would hold our hands up to each other, separated by only a quarter inch of whatever that damned wall was made of. I longed to hug her, to unveil the voice, to run and play with her among the flowers on her side of the barrier.
I spent many a dream trying to figure out how to get across that invisible wall. One time I even climbed a tower to its highest point, thinking I might clear the force field from above. But when the time came to take the leap, I was too afraid. I regret that decision to this day. After all, what did I really have to lose? It was a dream, for crying out loud. No one ever dies in a dream, no matter how far they fall.
Anyway, I’m all grown up now and haven’t dreamed of my beloved friend in forty years. It’s funny how after all this time I can still picture her penetrating eyes and frizzy red hair. It’s hard to say what would have happened if I had dared that leap off the tower, but something tells me that if I had, I would not be questioning the existence of heaven today.
And now Enyalda McFadden calls me her creator, as if I simply concocted her out of thin air. Yes, it is true, I gave her a name, and a voice, and a plethora of quirky mannerisms stemming from a fabricated trauma. But to say I created her can’t be any further from the truth. Of all my characters, she is the one most real to me. The one I feel I’ve known all my life, and possibly beyond.
So Enya, my dear, call me what you will, but know that you are, and always will be, my prized gem. I gave you your voice because I had no choice. I could never hear your words through that cursed barrier. And now you’re all grown up, and I need you to use those words on Barusta; need you to be present in his dreams as he slips away to another place, just as you were with the colonel when he suffered his smoke seizures on the rooftop and you whispered Muma’s blessings through the leaves of the beechwood.
Your days as the victimized healer are over. It is time to fully unveil the voice and become the powerful woman I’ve always known you to be.