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A Typical Dream

Started by Johan, March 02, 2008, 03:40:30 PM

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The sun danced with the clouds in the sky as Temmit bounced along nestled in front of his sister on her tall spotted horse. Nalla had come home from school only days before and their parents took the opportunity to ride out to the forest as a family to check their traps and to hunt for food and skins.

Temmit's father was a bit ahead of them, his mother just in back of them, and Nalla kept poking Temmit in his ribs, raising continuous guffaws from her little brother.

Then all at once they were setting up their camp. Mother and Father hanging lines, rubbing down horses, and toiling as they needed. Temmit's job was to occupy Nalla, and he did that with focused and energetic glee.

The food was good, but gone too fast. The play was good too, but exhausting. Sleep was the merest of moments, but he awakened to his mother and sister tending his whims. And yet, it seemed that there was never enough time. They were always doing something else at the same time.

Then his father was there, hiding his eyes in the crease of his hairy elbow while Temmit peered furtively out through the prickly bush that he had carefully climbed into. It had scratched him pretty badly, but at least his father, if he spotted Temmit in his hiding place, would have trouble extracting him from that tangled mass of shrub.

His father was counting slowly. Temmit watched with gleeful anticipation; the shadows of the swaying trees behind his father caught at Temmit's young imagination and he fancied that the very trees themselves had come to walk about, helping his father to locate Temmit. It seemed that one of the trees was reaching for his father, who still stood, counting loudly for Temmit's benefit.

Out of the corner of his eye, Temmit spotted his mother and sister running towards them from the camp. They pointed and yelled incomprehensibly, and Temmit pulled back a little so that they would not be able to see him.

Then time slowed to a crawl and Temmit found that he was keenly aware of everything that was transpiring. His father called out the last few numbers that signified that he would now begin searching for Temmit. His large, powerful arm came off of his eyes so that he could look about. Nalla and Temmit's mother sounded like they were afraid.

The tree's shadow touched Temmit's father's back. The man's eyes widened impossibly large and his back arched, his broad chest pushing forward. Gleaming white spikes erupted from Temmit's father's chest: three of them, long and wicked. Blood spattered across the several feet that separated them, covering Temmit and soaking his few clothes. It was warm blood. Temmit's heart pounded forcibly as cold understanding crept upon him.

Temmit realized several things. There was danger. His father was in a lot of pain. There was a lot of danger. The tree was an enormous Kulh'Thul, who was now holding Temmit's father above his bestial head. The monster pulled and twisted at Temmit's father, ripped him in half, and threw him through the air. His legs, at any rate.

Pain erupted through Temmit's terror. Something heavy fell upon the child and as he was under the prickly shrub, hundreds of thorns punctured him and tore at his flesh. He struggled, making the situation worse, but what else was there to do?

Temmit was suddenly aware that his mother and sister were in combat with the beast. They were both trained fighters, but Temmit was frightened anyway. Noise filled the forest. The cacophony of arms and melee. The roars – both pained and angered – of a demon. Temmit clawed his way out of the shrubs; out from under his father's legs. The thorns tore open more and more of his flesh.

His mother fell, her face clawed and chewed from her head. As his mother fell, Nalla lunged at the monster, burying her long blood-covered sword into its middle. It screamed - or howled - and reached for her. Then Nalla screamed, but Temmit was screaming too. Fear-driven anger swelled in Temmit's breast. Nalla's head hit him in the stomach, and he fell back into the prickly bush.

The Karh'Thul pulled Nalla's sword from its middle and snapped it in two. It turned its white, glowing malevolent eyes upon Temmit. The first step it took towards him was on his mother's stilled body. He could hear it break and crack.

Then he was picked up by the demon. The rough skin and bristly hair of the beast scratched him deeply. The beast drew him slowly to its fanged and hideous maw, and Temmit's mind snapped.

In the darkness of his dorm room, Temmit awoke in the oft-visited depths of misery. He had awakened to this dream countless times over the last dozen years. When it was a new dream it only got so far as the attack on his father, and at that time he had relived it every single night. Over the years it became less frequent, but progressed further and further until now, at last, the dream would progress until he could just about smell the fetid breath of the monster. Of course, it was only once every few weeks that he was able to sleep deeply enough to have any dreams, but this was what his mind invariably presented for a dream. Other nights deep sleep eluded him entirely.

He was shaking, as he always was. He was crying, as he always was. He was as scared as he had been on the day that it happened. In the lonely dark he gripped Smokey so tightly that the little crystal hurt his hand. Smokey was silent, but his presence was undeniable and calming.

Temmit wished that he didn't have the need to sleep ever again.
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