2) I literally came up with the kernel of this idea three days ago, and have pretty much been making this up as I go along. I have NO idea where this is going. So again bear with me as I stumble about in search of a plot. My first chapters especially tend to be sucktacular as I work out the kinks and get to know the characters. Who again are being made up as I need them.
3) Your bad comments could crush me and stop me from trying to reach my goal. At which point your lives are forfeit, and you will be crushed by my minions of zombie hordes.
I figured doing this would help ease some of the complaints of all the NaNo updates, such as never seeing any of the work behind it. And it's long past time I showed everyone I can't write for shit. =)
Chapter One - Dreams and Decisions
"I'm coming for you."
I always hated dreams like this. A dark, shadowy figure comes up to you, stepping out of yet more shadows, makes some vague pronouncement, then bam, you're awake again.
Although, this time it wasn't exactly a vague pronouncement.
And the worrysome thing? Those statements had this terrible tendency to come true.
I knew this was another dream. I'd been having these all my life, and knew what they looked like, what they felt like. Heck, what they tasted like. Forget virtual reality, kids, we've got it right now, and it's live inside my head.
This was different though. I'd never seen this before. It was some forest, from what I could see. A full moon hung directly overhead, bright and that dull, ghostly white of moonlight, shining down through a clearing in the leaves overhead, a perfect circle in the trees, letting the moon shine like an eerie spotlight into the clearing my shadowy vistor and I were in.
The shadowy figure moved through the circle, his feet not making even the slightest noise on the twigs and leaves underfoot. I couldn't tell if he was wearing a cloak, or if it was all shadows. The edges of...whatever it was, along the detritus along the ground seemed to lap and curl like small whipping tendrils of smoke, or snakes.
"What do you want," my voice showed no trace of fear, I hoped. I learned pretty quickly in life not to show fear. Red hair, freckles, gangly young girl? Pretty much a target for teasing and ass-kickings in school. So, I acted tough. And kicked ass right back. I pretty much had peace once I broke one cheerleader's nose.
I could feel it's eyes...what I thought were eyes, staring at me as it circled, like a tiger stalking it's prey when it knows it has been cornered.
"I want you, Siobhan."
No, not a him. That was a woman's voice. I think. A woman, but sounding like she was buried under a pile of leaves, her voice barely a whisper, but the terror it tried to convey was palpable in the foggy air of the dream forest.
I started to circle myself, almost mimicing the movments of my visitor. I wouldn't give it even an inch. Let's see how she liked to be stared down.
"What could you want with me?"
My feet stopped moving. I stared at the figure, opposite me in the clearing, the edges of her form flicking out like little tongues, tasting the air of the grove. What she wanted, it didn't make any sense.
"My life? My life isn't all that interesting, really. I work in the library, for Gods' sake. There's gotta be better lives out there for you to take?"
"Your life may be nothing, but it is the life I can take. And it is more life than I have. For now."
"You cannot escape destiny."
Oh, there's the vague proclomations I'm so used to.
"I've done a good job of it so far."
"Your destiny, is my destiny."
Yeah, we had definitely moved into familiar territory now. "Right, if we're just going to skip to the vagueness now, I'm going to wake up."
"I'm coming for you."
"Especially if we're going to go into reruns."
The figure stared for a second, then took a step forward, almost a lunge for me, and I leapt back, and I stopped short. I could have sworn the trees were further back...
Cold hands wrapped around my arms and twisted me around. My dream stalker was no longer in the circle, but had suddenly appeared behind me, and now had me in its grasp. I could feel the chill from it's touch sinking into my skin, down into my bones, as my fingers went numb, my arms soon to follow.
"You cannot escape," she spoke, the darkness of her head almost nose to nose with me, as her face pushed out of shadows clinging to her skin, her hair, revealing a pale face, the barest hints of freckles on her cheeks, made all the more visible by the paleness of her skin, increased only by the sickly moonlight shining down upon us.
"You cannot escape...yourself."
Not my face. Her eyes, they were gone. Empty sockets. I could see right through them, as blood began to trickle down her cheeks, blurring the freckles underneath more red. I could feel myself being lost in those gaping, empty holes, something deep inside pulsing, drawing me in further, until, unless...
I struggled to get away, barely able to even feel my arms, those sockets holding my attention, continuing to pull me in, entrance me, like staring into the eyes of a viper.
I couldn't win, I was lost. I could barely move, let alone fight.
Her mouth opened, just as dark and empty as the eyes, no tongue, no teeth, just a hole, going back, back into blackness, and a sound came forth, a buzzing, a droning sound, drilling into my brain...
...And the dream was over. My eyes flew open, and I briefly tried to sit up, but I was still cold. And unlike the movies, it's very difficult, even when your body isn't numb, to sit up and scream bloody murder after a nightmare. The most I ever managed was a loud gasp, struggling even for air, and only a few inches off the pillow before falling back down.
I reached over, hands shaking, and smacked the alarm clock. I thought it was the sound coming from my...my visitor's mouth, but it wasn't. They didn't even sound the same. I've had many dreams where sounds from the real world will overlap, but this wasn't one of those times. Whatever that sound was, coming from her throat, it was a real sound of hers. If that thing was real at all.
But I couldn't fool myself like that, I knew she was real, as real as any of those dreams. Deep down, I knew. And I knew my life was in danger.
What a way to start a day.
The dim red glow from the clock told me what I already knew. It was four in the morning. I had an early shift at the library that day, and I always liked to get up early. I was far from what anyone would call a morning person, but I didn't mind getting up early. Gave me time to get some coffee in me, catch up on the news, and take my time before getting to work.
Fortunately I only needed about five or six hours of sleep a night, unless I was ill or had a really rough day and needed to recuperate. Everyone I knew hated me for it. Spend the night partying, hop out of bed before the crack of dawn, and show up to work with a smile on your face, and be bright and cheery.
Truth be told? I did it to piss them off. Show up in the morning with a chirpy greeting, and watch everyone either glare, or shudder at the happy person. A gal has to get her laughs where she can, right?
Also, there was nothing quite like sitting out on the fire escape with a cup of coffee in your hands, while the sun starts to poke through the buildings. Many people failed to see the beauty of the city, but it was there, in its way, if you were willing to look for it. Not exactly stopping to smell the roses, but we take what we can get. In a way, I've come to think of cities as man-made forests. They're not organic, and not as beautiful as getting out into nature, but it's not totally devoid of it either. I could spend just as much time admiring architecture, as I could admiring a canopy of trees overhead.
A flash in my mind of the pale moon overhead, and the empty black pits of the dream visitor's eyes shocked me out of my reverie, and I threw the sheets off of me, watching them crumple up at the foot of the bed, looking like a dark caterpillar laying atop my mattress, only visible in the dim glow from the pale, orange glow from the streetlights outside.
I stumbled through that pale glow over to the far wall from the bed, and smacked at the wall beside the door. The familiar thud echoed out into the room, and I found the switch, bathing the bedroom in a dim glow from the few lights I kept in there, and still caused me to hiss softly under my breath. Light is not our friend at four in the morning.
We're not particularly close at four in the afternoon either, but there's little to be done about it then. At least not until I can block out the sun using only the powers of my brain.
I'll get back to you once I get that working.
Rubbing my eyes, I turned back to my bed, for the briefest second, I saw the lingering image of my spectral guest, the shadow barely visible and the light filtering through, as if it were just a haze in the air, a cloud of smoke given life. I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me, I was still half asleep, or maybe even still dreaming, but I could see it clearly.
It didn't fade as I stared straight at it, straight through it, as the tendirls along its edges flicked and lapped at the air, trying to grow, reach out almost...
Aside from blinking, trying to clear my vision, and make it go away, it's just an after image, a remnant of a dream, I didn't move. This was a first. Never before had any of my weird, sort of prophetic dreams decide to wake up with me, and stand at the foot of my bed, even if it was rather faded.
The image persisted though, standing there at the bed, only adhering to the basic human form, looking like someone with a cloak draped over them, leaving only that rough outline to give it any form, but you know it's human, just bu the shape.
Or in this case, thinking of that buzzing, gutteral sound, it's empty pitted eyes and mouth, at least something humanoid. For all I knew, even that was an illusion, as real as the eye sockets, or my face.
"It is your face."
And with that, I was wide awake, I knew it, even staring at the apparition still there, I was awake. No dream, no vision, no cataract with a little more life than most.
Pure, simple concioussness, inhabited with the creepiest thing I'd seen since "The Crying Game".
"I am you, as you are me."
"And we are all together, goo goo gajoob." One of these days, my sense of humour masking outright terror was going to get me into trouble. Might as well be today.
"I can sense your fear. And you are right to fear. Even your jokes can not hide it. Your life was forfeit the moment you came into being. The time has finally come."
Why won't it go away?
"I am bound to warn you, make clear my intentions. I am not yet strong enough to act beyond this, but soon. You can run, but it will do you know good. Your thoughts are my thoughts. I know what you know. And I can go wherever you can.
"It is only a matter of time."
And with that, it was gone.
Or at least, that was what I wished for. Instead, I had to watch it slowly fade, like smoke spreading into a room and becoming to thin to be seen, until it was gone. I hoped it was gone, anyways. It was very likely still there, somehow, somewhere, just not able to be seen.
That was something that was really creeping me out, knowing that whatever that thing was with my face, could still be there, just too spread out to be seen, filling up the air of my bedroom, my most sacred place. This thing was violating my dreams, and now my home. If I wasn't just going bugshit crazy, I had to get down to the bottom of this.