The Reality of Dreams: Part Five
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I once heard that dreaming is like viewing reality
through a filter. I have never paid much attention to my dreams, as the source
of my dreams is usually obvious. Before a test, I might have a nightmare about
forgetting everything I've learned and failing. After hang-gliding with Infernus,
I had a dream about flying in an airplane. Simple really. Then one night, everything
End of Prologue
Location: Sabreur's Room
Time: 11:12 PM NST
I stumbled into my room,
exhausted. It had been a week since the incident at the restaurant, and life
was more or less back to normal. I had just passed some exams at the Neopian
National University, and my fencing instructor had corrected a problem with
my lunge technique. Infernus and I had perfected the technique to making the
Improved Firebomb, and I now had 2 completed prototypes sitting in the lab.
A minor mishap had caught a workbench on fire, perilously close to some flammable
chemicals. Fortunately, Infernus had been quick with the fire extinguisher and
had prevented any serious harm from occurring. His wing had healed nicely, and
he and I were considering another hang-gliding attempt the coming weekend. Today
had been spent in the lab, trying in vain to repair my damaged saber.
I collapsed into bed. "I'll take a shower tomorrow,"
I muttered, throwing the covers over me. I collapsed into sleep as if into a
It was dark. Of that much I was aware. I was
standing on an empty plain, dark green grass waving in a wind I couldn't feel.
The skies above were overcast, and lightning rippled across them periodically.
Wind pulled the clouds into twisting, swirling shapes. I began to walk forward,
aware of something I needed to do. Something urgent.
The plain gave way to hills, then mountains,
rising forebodingly into the sky. As I looked around, I realized with some discomfort
that the ground simply disappeared a short distance away. I walked over to that
ending and looked down.
Far below, the ground moved past, as if the hills
I stood on were the gondola of some giant zeppelin. Screeching noises interrupted
me. Without knowing why, I was scared. I drew my saber, battered and nicked,
and turned to face the sound. Flying creatures wheeled back and forth in the
sky, coming closer. My dream-vision was indistinct, preventing me from seeing
them clearly. But I was afraid of them, that much the dream allowed me to perceive.
I began to run.
The mountains loomed closer, and I pelted towards
them with all my might. Behind, I could hear the creatures coming closer. I
began to tire. My limbs felt like lead... I wasn't going to make it.
I slammed to a halt as I passed over a small
rise, arms wheeling frantically. The ground abruptly ended mere feet in front
of me, and a bird flew lazily below. I turned, and the creatures were on me.
I swung at one with my saber, dimly aware of slashing claws and a fanged mouth.
The creature pulled away, but another swooped in from the side. I frantically
parried and saved myself from injury, but was forced to give up precious inches
of solid ground.
Despite my immediate peril, something caught
my attention. Watching a short way off was a ferocious looking... thing. It
was completely black. Red eyes blazed like hot coals, and it paced back and
forth with a motion similar to a tiger. Six legs, three on each side, worked
in a steady rhythm. A tail lashed back and forth. I tried to focus my eyes on
it, but my sight refused to cooperate. Two other figures stood beside the creature,
too indistinct for me to even be sure they were there.
My attention had been distracted for too long.
A creature swooped in from beside me, lashing out. I raised my blade in a circular
parry, but it was too little, too late. A claw slashed my arm, cutting me slightly
and knocking me backwards, arms flailing. Wind whipped through my hair. And
a pair of red eyes watched me as I fell.
"Gah!" I awoke with a start. I looked around,
realizing groggily where I was. "I hate falling dreams," I muttered. Light coming
from the window indicated it was morning. I sat up, thinking vaguely about breakfast
and a shower. "Ow!" I exclaimed as an unexpected pain shot up my arm. I examined
my arm, thinking I had perhaps slept on top of it and numbed it. Then I froze,
and unnameable fear creeping into my heart.
In the place where the dream-creature had clawed
me, a cut marked my arm.
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