Prologue

There were colorful lights ahead of her, but she couldn't remember how she got there. Everything was out of focus and she felt herself spinning in all directions, dangerously tilting sideways as her brain frantically searched for a way to catch up with her body. Her mind grasped at the distant notes of music playing in the background, but to no avail. She closed her eyes tight and blinked - once, twice, and then again.. squeezing hard, willing it all into focus. When he laid a hand on her arm, she nearly jumped out of her skin and the startled way she looked at him wide eyed and full of fear, broke his heart. She clearly didn't recognize him but there wasn't time to worry about it right now. In one swift movement, he yanked her to her feet. She lost her balance and almost toppled them both but he stood his ground as the old man stepped out of the shadows. He was carrying the ornate box carefully in both hands, heading straight for her.

"Over my dead body, old man!!" 

He glanced briefly at the water churning behind her, already hating what he had to do but knowing it was their only chance. Turning quickly toward her, he held her face in both of his hands. Forcing her eyes to meet his, he whispered with more urgency than he'd ever felt in his life... Trust me! Grabbing her around the waist, he threw them both into the water and yelled.. 

SWIM!!