Friday, December 21, 2007

Strange Dreams and a Merry Christmas Wish

Here's something weird. I hardly ever dream, but I've been having some weird ones over the past couple of weeks. One from the other night had me punch the wall in my sleep. This one was the one I had the night before last:
The village was in an uproar. Mothers grabbed their children and turned them away, others weeped uncontrollably. Men stood still and hard, keeping a brave front for their families, but their fears shone in their eyes like tiny suns. Some began to panic, they were unsure of what this could mean. What would cause someone to do this? It was begging to be punished by the gods.
Attanak thundered into the area on his mare, it's beautiful black mane blowing in the breeze, looking both fierce and lovely. The horse seemed to have been made from the black clouds that had been covering the village for the past few hours. Lightning flashed and thunder rolled, and both accented the horror of the day.

Attanak was immediately put off by the crowd. Something felt wrong; he could feel it in the marrow of his bones. He dismounted and noticed a stray peddler walking with his hat in his hands, wringing it absentmindedly and muttering to himself as he walked. He looked half mad, but Attanak needed answers.

“You there,” he said, trying to keep his voice casual and curious. He thought he did pretty well, he thought he hid the terror that was gripping his balls pretty well. “What's happened?”

The man was very short, and his large ears pointed sideways from his head almost like tiny wings. The rain that soaked his hair poured down his head and splashed behind his ears, making it look like two tiny waterfalls were on the sides of his head. His eyes were wide with horror, so wide that his red veins were easily viewable. He bit at his lower lip while scanning with his eyes, as if searching for an answer.

“I never seen nothing like it, and I thinks I never wills again. Things is gonna start happening, guardsman. Bad things, and I isn't gonna be one to stick around for them to happen to, no sir. No sir, I isn't.” With that, he wandered off, repeating that same thing over and over again, while continuing to shake his head and wring his hat in his hands.

Attanak walk forward, terrified to see what could scare the villagers so. He heard women, housewives, whispering to each other, gossiping already, but few were doing that. Most were being held by their husbands, or they were holding their own children and consoling them.
“What could make them do such a thing?” Attanak heard on lady say. Another to his left said, “What would make them choose eternal damnation. The gods have surely forsaken them now.”
Attanak paused, his eyes closed as he took deep breaths to calm himself and hopefully loosen the vice-like grip that his fear had on his stomach.

The town looked drenched and dreadful already, and seemed to have thrown off the happy, healthy look that had been there only yesterday, on the last day of the Celebration of Waning Nights. The whole week people had been eating and drinking and playing music and dancing. Now the village had taken on a cold and deadly feel, as if whatever had happened had frightened not just the villagers, but the very trees themselves seemed to be drooped with fear. Lighting crashed again, and in the distance, a wild cat's woman-like scream sent chills through Attanak's spine.

Turn around. Just turn around, pack your things, rent the soonest ship you can, and move to an island where to the south where you can escape all this. Duty, responsibility, danger, you don't need any of those things in your life, he thought to himself, but as he thought it, he knew he was lying to himself. He parted the people before him sternly, swallowing the lump in his throat and looked.

“No...” and that's all he could say.

Attanak stared up the tall tower, the Holy Tower of Western Light, that marked where the sun set and the god of Light conceded his power to the god of Darkness. In the night's darkness and the ferocity of the storm, the turrets looked twisted and perverted, a horrid black hand clawing for the sky, like a corpse crawling its way from its grave. Attanak's heart stopped, and he felt nausea and horror course through ever vessel of his body. His legs gave way and he vomited until he was empty and continued to retch. People tried to help him, but he threw them off. They didn't understand. No one could understand what this meant, the ignorant fools. No one, save for him. He had to get the warning out. He had to spread the word.

He climbed to his feet, falling several times before enough strength returned for the task. He rushed to his horse, clambered into the saddle, and reached in his saddle bag for his wine skin. He took a deep, long draft from it before replacing it.

One of the villagers approached him, a portly man wearing a white apron. He was the butcher, Lesmiof. A once, fierce looking man, he looked like a small petrified child behind his big, bushy mustache, and rolls of fat.

“Hey, what do we do?” he called to Attanak.

Attanak turned and raised an eyebrow grimly. “What?”

“You're supposed to protect us and give us advice. What does this mean? What do we do?”
Attanak laughed coldly and the smile that he bore reminded the villagers of the grins skeletons wore. He closed his eyes for a second and took a deep breath. When he opened his eyes again, there was no light, no humor, no fear, nothing. Only emptiness.

“Pray,” he said, and kicked the horse into an instant gallop. It gave a startled yelp and began charging through the town as fast as Attanak could force it to go. At the edge of the town, Attanak couldn't help but look back at the horrible sight. The wind whipped and blew the bodies of the five priests who used to reside in the tower as they hung from crude, self-made nooses. Attanak wiped his rain soaked hair from his eyes, and rode off with the Tarranian Bells' Death Tolls following him out of town.

Thunder exploded again, and all knew that doom was approaching.

Pretty weird, eh?

That might be all for me for a while. I might be back on once more before Christmas, but if not, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and a absolutely great New Year.

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