Posts Tagged nightmares

[partim] Shotrox.

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I got as close to the violated circle as I dared.  Could anyone make it out after all?  There was still a lot of magic there they hadn’t fed on yet, but it would take a lot to shake off one nightmare, let alone a swarm of them.  The late arrivals stood around the place of power, watching on in horror. Were they losing family, friends, as the light diminished?

A wave of helplessness came over me—I might have been too close to the circle indeed—but I remembered, then, that I wasn’t too late—I still had my extra time.

I ran.

The nearest circle was a good way off to the north of town, far enough that most people from around here didn’t go—mostly folk from the countryside.  It’d be most of an hour’s walk—but with my extra time, running fast as I could, I hoped to make it in ten minutes.

Hopefully there’d be at least someone who could hold on that long.

Now, our kind may be good runners, but I wasn’t in the best of shape, my trade not being a physically demanding one.  So while I managed to charge through the forest without flagging, when I reached the fields beyond I was already starting to overheat, and I was really starting to hurt by the time I jumped the hedge on the border of the northern woods.

I made it over, but lost my footing, falling flat in the mud.  I guess the rain had come to this end of town.

It felt good—the impact of falling over was nothing next to my aching muscles, but while it would have been nice to just rest there, the nightmares were devouring good maccans.

I pushed myself up against my body’s protests, and started running again, panting hard.

The light of the northern circle was already in view.

I ran into the place of power, yelling, “Sahamma, sahamma, sahai!” I collapsed again as I crossed the threshold. “Nightmares at the town circle.” I couldn’t say any more.

An older maccan got up and stood by me and started directing people.

Spent, I passed out.

[partim] Shotrox.

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Most of us don’t have enough friends to come together and create what we need—so every calends everyone who can comes together to help.

I sat in the circle near the center and focused on my need.  It was the same as always—I needed more time.

I’ve always been afraid, since I was young, of not having enough time—life is short, and even a full sixty years wouldn’t be enough to create all the art I wanted.

So I started wishing for time, to fit more into the day.  The way it works, I see things going slower, and get nearly twice as many hours in the day.  I have to stop for sleep around midday, and I end up eating twice as much, but I can afford it.  I sell a lot of art, and my skill keeps increasing with all the practice.

The magic usually runs out around the middle of the month, though.  We can do a lot, but we’re not omnipotent.  And there’s always more I want to bring into the world, so I keep coming back for more.  Some desires are addictive, and this may be one of them, but I’m not hurting anyone.

The circle of light continued to brighten.  Many come in covering their eyes, but I found inspiration in the illuminated air, and gazed into it as long as I could.

As the threshold of power was crossed, I saw the movements of the other maccans begin to slow.

Ah, sweet time.  I lay back to look up at the sky.

It was absolutely dark, and it wasn’t the rain.

I leapt up immediately, yelling “Nightmare!”, escaping the circle and making a good bit of distance before anyone else had a chance to react.

There was a terrible grinding noise as the darkness penetrated the light.  There wouldn’t be any opportunity to go in and save anyone—it would already be too late.

[partim] Isaac.

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Now I say I had the planet to myself, and that was mostly true.  Far from Martian habitation, there are not many of the nightmares; but they are out there, so there is still some danger.

And danger it was really… determination notwithstanding, I was still at an age vulnerable to their influence.

I still remember very clearly the first time one was on me.  I was only about twelve feet tall at the time, still very young but already too large to fit into the shelter.

I couldn’t move—I just lay across the ground, my head full of darkness, unable to see anything but the gruesome images the nightmare poured into my brain.

They say the nightmares don’t go for the most cherished images—love and home are usually stronger than its corrupting influence.  Instead it goes for the subtle, the day-to-day things that are always all around you but that you barely notice—the ground you walk on, the air you breathe, the clothes on your back, converted into loathsome, fetid, pustulent, ichorous…

I lost consciousness before they got me underground; they said I was lucky to wake again at all.