I had trouble sleeping this night, so whatever would have been responsible to churning out dreams normally just have leaked into my wake self or something. I ended up switching on my writing desk / bedside slight, grabbing my pen and notebook, and started banning this to paper in the wee hours of morning. It’s a standalone short of only 1232 words, so it’s about the average length of an ATC instalment. Have fun. Comments welcome.
by Anyara Laeevah Asani
I had this most peculiar dream…
For some reason I was lying on a large slab of stone, one that had more than just a fleeting similarity to an altar. And for some reason my cousin was bending over me and fastening my wrists and ankles to conveniently placed metal rings let into its surface. That should have made me think, but I trusted Kay. Whatever she did would be all right. It wasn’t until she raised a knife and stared to cut away at my body that I realised I was in danger, but it was by then it was already too late. I wasn’t strong enough to break free and my life force was slowly sapping out of me. The last thing I heard was Kay intoning some ancient conjuration formula, gifting my life to a demonic force in exchange for the resurrection of her father.
I woke up with my heart beating like a drummer in steroids, but I quickly calmed down, when I realised it had just been a nightmare. That was when I heard Kay sobbing. She had climbed into my bed and snuggled up to me as she sometimes still did, so I simply reached over to her and gently stroked her head while I asked what was the matter. She looked at me with her big eyes.
‘I love you,’ she said, ‘and I would never ever hurt you. You have to believe me that. Even if I could bring my father back.’
That last bit hit me like a wall at twenty kilometres an hour. Get her father back? That was too much of a coincidence.
‘Tell me your dream.’ I urged her, and she did. It was the same one, every little detail except for the point of view. My danger sense tingled. I believe in a lot of things most people wouldn’t and have learned to accept even more, but shared dreams weren’t one of them. Something was up and it was my life that was on the line. Not that Kay would ever do such a thing as long as she had a say in the matter, but who- or whatever had intruded our dreams would more than likely have more tricks up their, or its, sleeve.
‘I had the same one.’ I told Kay, and I could see eyes widen with fear. She might be my minor by seven years, but she wasn’t stupid and had a much better grasp than me on all things mystical. We both knew that there was no time to lose, so we headed straight for grandma’s bedroom. Halfway down the hall we met her. She looked somewhat worried, but the moment she saw us, her face lightened up.
‘I just wanted to look after you.’ she said. Look after us? In the middle of night? I got the uneasy feeling I knew exactly why.
‘You had a nightmare, didn’t you?’ I asked her. ‘One where Kay was sacrificing me.’
The expression on her face was answer enough.
‘Yes, we had it, too. Both of us.’
‘We have to go see Yavin immediately.’ she said.
Yavin was the obvious choice. Not only was he one of the elders, he also was the designated expert for dreams and the subconscious in general. Crossing a hundred odd kilometres at night too see him, was not such an obvious choice, especially since the remaining glider was struck with engine troubles of late; grandpa had taken the other one for his trip to the port and wouldn’t be back before the day after tomorrow. [I actually wrote yesterday at this point, can you believe that?] Did I mention that I didn’t believe in coincidences? Still, we didn’t have a choice. Nothing good could come of a dream like that, and there was no time to lose if I wanted to see the end of this. The dream had been very clear about that point.
Unfortunately, in the middle of nowhere, the engine of the glider broke for good. Grandma just managed to do an emergency landing, but part of the ceiling came loose when we hit the ground and knocked her out. She was fine physically, as far as I could tell, but it might have been hours until she came around, and we didn’t have that kind of time. In retrospect, walking through the forest, at night, wasn’t the most clever of ideas, and I’m not talking about the fact that we were still in out night clothes, complete with fluffy slippers. It seemed like a good idea then and there, though. I say it was the nightmare still lingering in the back of my mind. Try and prove me wrong.
Unfortunately, in the middle of nowhere, the engine of the glider broke for good. Grandma just managed to do an emergency landing, but part of the ceiling came loose when we hit the ground and knocked her out. She was fine physically, as far as I could tell, but it might have been hours until she came around, and we didn’t have that kind of time. In retrospect, walking through the forest, at night, wasn’t the most clever of ideas, and I’m not talking about the fact that we were still in our night clothes, complete with fluffy slippers. It seemed like a good idea then and there, though. I say it was the nightmare still lingering in the back of my mind. Try and prove me wrong.
Anyway, after a quarter of an hour or so we found ourselves in front of a windowless, massive looking building, more a large, dark brick than anything you would willingly enter, but guess what I did? Right, I went in. How stupid can one be? The answer is, of course, very. The first thing you do after dreaming of being sacrificed to some ancient evil is entering a foreboding, dark building that positively cries evil temple, and that has, naturally, a large stone slab sitting in the middle of its single room. That was awfully familiar…
Then something hit me on the back of my head and the next thing I remember is lying on a large stone altar with Kay Kay bending over me and fastening my wrists and ankles to the conveniently placed metal rings let into its surface. She gave me a sardonic grin, and then stared cutting away at my body with a large knife made of black stone. I tried to break free, but to no avail and slowly but surely I bled to death, my life force leaving my body with the liquid that once coursed through it.
Which is when I wake up, drenched in sweat and with my heartbeat rivalling the noise of a jet engine fired up next to you. It takes a minute or two for me to calm down, then I notice Kay lying next to me and sobbing uncontrollably.
‘I love you,’ she says, ‘ and I would never ever hurt you. You have to believe me that. Even if I could bring my father back.’
Sometimes, I just can’t help but hate myself. There is only so much you can chalk down to the in-flight catering, after all. I mean, Kay loves me like a sister, even like a child a mother at times. She would never ever hurt me, but there has to be something deep inside me that could.
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