Night Falls on the Dream

Time doesn't work the same way in the dream incubation chamber as it does anywhere else.

There were no set days or nights, really. Shadows did not lengthen in the evening, nor did the sky brighten at noon. There was no noon, and no evening.

No morning, and no moon.

The sky just darkened, a slow dimming that was hardly noticeable until I realized I was squinting to make out things that had been easy only an hour or so earlier. Once I did notice it darkening, however, the light fell away in the blink of an eye.

In the absence of a moon and stars, there was a vague white-blue light with no source. It was just enough to see by, if one was very patient and sat to wait for their eyes to adjust.

Of course, that wasn't me.

I tripped over debris and skinned my knees. I bumped into pillars and walls until I finally found a sheltered corner to huddle in, my back pressed against the two sides as if that would be enough to protect me. For all I knew, Cthulhu's really pissed-off lapdog could be running around somewhere out there, or a really crabby tarentatek.

That would be fun.

Wishing for the priestess' ability to conjure fire with focus and the wave of a hand, I curled my arms around my legs, rested my head against the wall, and waited for light.

Perhaps I dozed, I don't know. All I know is I opened my eyes and it was a little easier to make things out.

That's when I saw them: eyes. Eyes, looking at me.

I blinked and they were gone.

I blinked again, rapidly as if trying to clear an eyelash out of my eye. They didn't return. Had I hallucinated?

Well, I was in a dream incubation. Technically, all of it is a hallucination.

Existential questions about perceptions of the mind all being hallucinations tried to distract me, but I rolled my eyes at my own inner narcissist taking herself way too seriously right now, and put it out of my mind.

Out of my mind. Ha.

It had happened so fast I almost didn't even realize what I was looking at. Eyes, right over there where a missing chunk of brick in the wall made a sort of window. And then nothing. Knowing that racing to the window would accomplish nothing, I got up and crept along the wall at my back until it tapered to nothing and followed the other side until I came around the backside of the corner where I'd spent the night.

I peeked around the corner. Nothing. Not that I was surprised, really. I followed along the other wall and around the opposite corner and peeked. Nothing. Even the ground right beneath the teenie window was undisturbed.


Searching my memory, I looked for any details that might've escaped me in the shock of seeing a pair of eyes in these ruins.

Both eyes had fit in this window, so I knew whoever it was had to be small. An adult head was too wide to look straight-on through the small hole. Aside from that, though, there was nothing else I could discern. In my memory, skin tone had matched the surrounding bricks, and it was too dark to pick out eye color or any other detail if, indeed, there had been anything else.

The height of the hole was high enough that I only had to bend over a little to peek through it. So...this being was either super tall and teenie --like some elongated alien-thing-- or it had other ways of getting around. But there were no signs of scuff marks on the wall, or of anything else around the area to give a hint as to how.

Not one.

By then, full light had brightened the ruins and the oppressive silence seemed less a thing alive. I knew better, though. And now I knew there was something else here with me.

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