For luck, Carmen had worn her mother's cross. She hadn't worn it since the dream that helped her make up her mind and flee before she lost everything. Seeing and speaking to Essie in her dream had been the first good thing that had happened to her since her father died. She needed that bit of luck or blessing or whatever one wished to call it.
Clutching the cross through the protective layers of inadequate shawl and jacket and shirtwaist, Carmen stepped under the overhang of a doorway on a side street. She tipped her head back and she closed her eyes and prayed. For good measure, she focused on Essie's face as she had last seen her imaginary friend, and called silently with all her force of will. Perhaps she wasn't being so fanciful, wishing that Essie would turn out to be an angel sent to guard and guide and advise her?
The crystal rose warmed and vibrated through the wet layers of cloth. Carmen gasped and stepped back, slamming her shoulders against the wall. She uncurled her fingers from the cross and tried to catch her breath. No, she was not imagining -- the tiny spot where the back of the crystal rose touched her bare skin, under her shirt, was warm. The contrast with the icy rain soaking her clothes was far too clear to be her imagination. She hadn't warmed the cross and rose with her equally cold hand. Then, before she could brace herself to clutch the cross and rose again, the vibrations stopped and the warmth faded. She felt as if the wooden sidewalk rippled like waves under her feet. A more deeply recessed doorway, offering better shelter, was only a dozen steps further down the side street. She needed to sit down, out of the rain, just for a few moments. Hunching her shoulders, Carmen staggered down the sidewalk, aiming for the darkness of the recessed doorway, praying it was dry and deep enough that she could hide from sight while she regained her balance.
From Desert Breeze Publishing.