Ferris looked down at himself, at his new self, and laughed again–and then regained his focus. He needed to work quickly, and precisely, if he wanted to avoid the attention of other…things that were lurking here in the dark. Most of the beings in the dream realm had little interest in mortals–but they were the cause of much of what mortals considered to be their dreams, the energy of this realm bouncing off the mortals memories and thoughts, experiencing dreams like the wake of a boat moving by them. A lucid dreamer, however, can channel their own energy to create dreams, and just like how the closer you are to a wake, the more powerful the waves, an adept lucid dreamer could create dreams powerful enough to change, well, reality.
He wanted to be young again. He wanted to see Ellie again. He wanted to much, but he needed to focus on smaller things, on things he could do now–because the fact was, he didn’t have much experience in any of this. Still, youth was doable, reversing the aging process–but he needed to craft a dream around it, as big of waves as he could manage, waves strong enough to push beyond him into the world and reality beyond.
College, that would be a good anchor. College, an athlete. A good athlete. He focused, recalling his own school years, the tudor style buildings, the large quads, the smell of a locker room, the feel of grass, the sound of laughter and bells in the hals. He could feel it forming around him, and when he opened his eyes, it was there…kind of. He…hadn’t imagined it being dark, or this quiet. A true dark–he looked up, and there were no clouds, and no stars, and no moon–just the yellow sodium lights flickering along the path he was standing on…and there, at the end of the path, there was darkness too, even darker than the dead sky looming over him.
This… wasn’t right. This wasn’t his dream, not entirely, not anymore. He turned around and began walking away, and he heard the darkness shift behind him and come closer. The sound of it, it was so many sounds. Popping bones and claws dragging along concrete. It smelled of mildew and frosty evenings. It felt like a dying sun, slowly collapsing behind him, pulling the ground towards it under his feet. He ran faster, but it was eating, everything. There was only one thing it could be, only one thing that would do this. He tried to wake, did his usual routine to try and force himself to return to himself, but he couldn’t feel the tether. It was there, but cold somehow–not severed, but it was holding onto it. Looking back, he could see it, the thin strand running into the darkness, feel it tugging on it, and he was tugged with it.
This was a night terror. A true night terror. A beast of dreams that could feed on mortals–those who died in their sleep, without explanation? It was, more often than not, this very thing which had killed them. There was no fighting it–it was much, much too powerful, and it was to late to run. It reached out for him, gripping his arm, and it was so cold, so cold it burned him, singed into his soul, and it was…hunting. Hunting for his fears, for his greatest terrors to use against him. It found what it wanted, and they began to grow, feeding off him, expanding beyond him and creating…a new dream. Corrupting this into something else–a trap. Something the terror would use against him, use to keep him here so it could feed of him, and his fright, until he too, likely expired in his bed, unless he was strong enough to withstand it.
For all the world, it felt like he fell asleep yet again, and woke with a sudden start. However, he was not in his dream anymore–not really. He was somewhere else. He reached for his tether, and was relieved that it was still there–if he could keep it together, then at least come dawn, the being would lose its power and would have to release him. But dawn was a long time off, even longer in dreams, and his fears would be…great.
What are the fears driving his new nightmare?
Votes will be counted on Sunday sometime!