The Demon Who Wanders The Dreamscape
This story exists as a companion to a previous post. You can find that post here.
There’s a word you humans use for when something excites you. It’s used to say that something is giving you freedom. Freedom that comes after being chained down. And that freedom is addicting. You never want to let it go.
Yes. That’s the word. Intoxicating. When I go into your dreams, when I place my shadows upon your rays of sunlight, it feels intoxicating. I don’t want it to stop. I don’t want to stop. I don’t stop. There’s something I’ve come to love about there being so many of you pathetic creatures on this planet: one of you is always asleep. In my travels, I’ve come to know that your species has created an illusion to track your days. Your lives aren’t endless, as mine is, so you must define. Time your species call it. And because of this “time,” one of you is always asleep.
I love time. Yes, time is my ally in finding you. If I know this “time” that you go to sleep, I know when I must remove myself from another’s dream and go to yours. Because of this illusion you humans created, I have become stronger. My will divides and reaches across your lands and falls to the rooftops of your homes. I become many things in this world, many shadows that fall upon rooftops. These shadows watch from the edges in patience. One of you is always asleep, they say to themselves. A lamp goes out, a window closes. Shops close their doors, and villages fall silent. Cities that never sleep are hell to ones like me.
Then they strike. Just before the window is fully closed, my divided will makes its way in. The curtain makes not a noise. They- and I- are in, and we are that much closer to gaining even more power.
One of you is always asleep.
When you go to sleep, Rebecca, I am finely tuned to sense it. Never have I tasted a dreamscape so wonderful as yours. My shadows take joy in you because your dreams are so easy to slip into. Yes, there are others like you, but they resist. You- you never resist. This brings me joy.
And then one night you summon me. No human has ever done that.
On the night it happens, I am pulled from the dreams of a baron. His dream is of gold crowns and bigger mansions. Just as I cause a riot upon his throne, I feel you sleeping, Rebecca. But I’m pulled from the baron’s dreams; I do not go willingly. You… summoned me?
I find that amusing. You, a frail little human who hasn’t had a good night’s sleep in months, has summoned me. Interesting. I leave the bedside of the baron and phase through time and space to be at your side. Even before I’ve slipped into your dreamscape, you are experiencing a nightmare. A nightmare I have seen before.
A nightmare that haunts even me.
It starts in a forest made not of trees but statues. Above me, the sky is blood red with clouds as black as night, and its sun is a white gem sparkling in its place. There are wooden statues of people whose nightmares have brought them to their death. Their faces contorted in screams that Rebecca does not hear because she does not move like a shadow through the dreamscape of others. Screaming surrounds me, and as I continue to follow Rebecca, it occurs to me how unnatural it sounds. They’re not screams of terror, and yet they are- but there’re no cries of help, no pleas to be released. Just…. noise. Terrible, terrible noise. Noise that pounds my temple as Rebecca starts to run. A raven flies ahead of her- my companion… how is she here? The raven lands in a clearing, and Rebecca stops there. It’s then that I notice the bloody footprints trailing behind her. Audibly, I gasp. My companion sits on a half-buried chest, one that Rebecca reaches.
I know what happens next.
Now it makes sense.
“Don’t open that chest!”
I rush forward, but it’s too late-
The dream collapses around me, and I’m thrown into reality.