Both mother and father came running, though both acted like they had just woken when I screamed. Father still had dirt staining his nightshirt and I knew I had really seen him burying and burning the teddy bear.
Mother sat with me and held me, rocking back and forth while father went to make me tea to calm me. She murmured a song while she rocked me and I could feel my tensed muscles start to relax.
“When the nyhtengale singes, the wodes waxen grene…” she sang softly and I wondered at the words that seemed to remind me of days long forgotten.
She only stopped singing when father handed me the mug of dark tea sweetened with honey. The first sip of tea burned my lips but I didn’t mind. The pain seemed to tether me to the present and keep the me-not-me and slack-jawed woman from my thoughts.
“What was the nightmare about?” father asked when the mug of tea was halfway drunk. My mind felt tired, yet clearer than it had been in days. I stared at the floor when I spoke.
“It was… ghosts… the ghosts of the plane that came to me.”
“We bound them,” father said. “You need not fear them.”
I nodded. I opened my mouth to tell them of the me-not-me, but decided against it and rather gulped down the last of the tea.
“There,” mother said. “You should be able to sleep now.” A sad smile pulled at her tired eyes.
They left the lamp burning in my room, the light lifting the shadows of the night. Once the door had closed behind my parents, I turned the light up as bright as it would go. I wanted to banish all the shadows from my room.
I fell asleep when the dawn had already started to banish the darkness outside. No dreams or ghosts bothered me this time. It seems the tea and light had banished the shadows for now.
Little did I know then that, over the buried teddy bear, seeds not sowed by any mortal hand were sprouting and growing, stems were knotting together, and all to keep us from harm.