I slammed against something hard and the world became suddenly still. When the pain in my back and head settled, I opened my eyes and sucked in the breath that had just been knocked from my lungs. I blinked several times, getting my bearings, trying to make sense of the last few minutes of life. I looked around me and realised I was lying under an old stone bridge.
I rolled to one side. Next to me, a door was set into one of the pylons. I could see old worn steps leading upward. I climbed to my feet and stepped toward the door as a gust of wind barrelled under the bridge and slammed the door shut. There was no handle to turn - just a keyhole and nothing more. I pushed at the door. It didn't move-I was stuck in this place and had no idea where I was.
I raked my hands through my hair and spun around. There was no one nearby. Up the hill, the road disappeared into forest. Downhill, the road swerved to the left and ran down to a small village. I rubbed the back of my aching head where a lump had begun to rise. I needed to find somewhere to hide, until I figured out where I was. I headed off down the cobblestone road, following its curves, trusting it to lead me to safety.
Around the corner, the road continued on but a path veered off to the left. A broad leafy tree grew at the side of the road, its branches forming a green swaying arch over the path. I stood in the shade of the tree and looked down at the town below. It skirted a coast where dozens of boats dotted its shores.
Some distance off shore was a small island. I stared at it, disbelief clouding my judgement. On the island was the place I had dreamed of the night my mother went missing. The sun was inching its way down through the sky. It would be night before long. After such a long search, I knew this was place. I had found it at last. I stepped from the shade of the tree and made my way down the path into the village. I felt for the coin in my pocket. It hummed beneath my fingers and without even looking, I could tell it was already aglow.