Solo Dream Killer

A nightmare comes for Madeira

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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Dream Killer

Postby Madeira Craven on June 24th, 2020, 1:24 am

Dream Killer
78th of Summer
1st Bell

Madeira was first aware not of light but of an absence of dark. It first shimmered around the edges of her vision, ghostly and insubstantial. Then, slowly, as if it were a shy creature emboldened by her silence, it reached out to her, deepened, and took shape.

Out of the dark a hall began to appear, with tall pillars that reached high into the blackness and a table set with a feast fit for kings. People appeared, billowing up from the ground like columns of smoke. She recognized all of them. Her family were there, resplendent and noble, and, to her confusion, emaciated. They ate with fingers dripping in grease and sweet juices, and looked to the head of the table with smiles of gratitude on their faces. Ssanya was there, taller than she had ever been. Wicked and gleaming she picked the seeds from a pomegranate with the point of a bone dagger. Jomi and Emma, Hurik and Autumn, all her old ghosts drifted between the rows, their forms solid and real and powerful, smiles lighting their untroubled faces.

Dev'ania held a spread of cards in her hands to the delight of Chiona. Ambrosia raised a glass brimming with ruby red wine to Asterope, who shimmered beautifully in her true form. Moritz and Amelie laughed with their heads together, plotting mischief. Lani, Zach, Savis, Maro, more and more people appeared at the table. Everyone she had ever met was there, and they were all beautiful and grateful and happy. They looked to the head of the table with faces alight in adoration.

Madeira caught a reflection in the golden plate on the table in front of her, and saw something that put awe in her heart.

She saw herself sitting in a tall chair as if it were a throne. Her tongue was unmarked, her hands were both her own. There were no shadows under her eyes, no sinew showing in her wrists. She was healthy and strong and beautiful, smiling benignly as the people at the feast shouted their devotion. On a cushion at her feet Allister sat in comfort, looking up at her as though in worship. He was alive and whole, with no glint of metal in his smile, no press of bone beneath his shirt. She passed the palm of her hand lovingly over his cheek, and discovered a thin gold collar settled neatly against his throat.

Looking out over the crowd, she saw more glittering gold collars. There was one around every neck.

Madeira spoke then. Her voice came clear and strong through a mouth painted pretty and red.

"I will take good care of you."
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Madeira Craven
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Dream Killer

Postby Madeira Craven on July 7th, 2020, 3:52 am




They didn't say anything, they didn't need to. Reflected in their eyes was joyous devotion. Yes, my queen! It was silent thunder. They belonged to her, every single one of them. Here were her beasts and her allies, her fools and her broken things. This was her kingdom. She was their queen.

Somewhere in the cavernous hall dogs began to howl.

It happened slowly at first. Madeira noticed that the floor was wet. It was soaking into her gilded slippers. Alister folded himself underneath her to keep her feet off the floor. The rich, lush food was being picked away, and underneath the skins of the jeweled toned fruit and glistening meats the insides were festered and rotten. The atmosphere was changing, evolving. The hunger turned ravenous, partygoers grabbing fistfuls of maggot riddled meats and fighting their neighbor for the last blackened apple. The air closed in and became heavy and pregnant and watchful. The dogs were still howling.

No, not howling. Dying. Screaming.

"Is this all you have to give?" it was her father, his voice crystal clear even as he spoke over the destruction of the feast. His eyes, the same pale, fishy blue as his daughters, stared back at her from over the table. She was fourteen and scared all over again.

"Its everything I have", she pleaded. The kingliness was running out of her voice and pooling on the golden plate in front of her.

"It's not enough."

"I know."

The answer echoed in the empty space. I know I'm not enough. I'm not the nourishment you need. I'm rotten on the inside, too.

Blood was clouding the water beneath her chair. The weight of her feet were breaking Allister's fragile bones. The howling was getting closer, and it came with a smell that crawled beneath her skin and skated across her nerves. It was ashes and sour decay and eternal life. The Desolate One, Uldr's priest, resurrected in smoke, appeared at the other end of the long table. As the smoke coiled it was made solid, hardening into shape, building itself from the bones outward. Eyes filled the empty holes in its head, their iris a bright periwinkle blue wobbling in bloodshot yellow. A thick wormy tongue built itself in its mouth and its meaty lips pulled back into a parody of a smile. It opened its mouth to speak but all that came out was the frightened screaming of drowning dogs.

Madeira stood, facing the same death she had before. Bones splintered beneath her heels. "Protect me!" she demanded of the guests, reaching for that loyalty she had worked so hard to inspire. The one they were so quick to give. The gold around their throats began to tarnish and crumble.

Save me. Protect me. Oh gods, don't leave me alone!

"Please, I need you!"

But they didn't need her anymore. She was not enough. As one they turned away, a pack of starving animals looking for something else to satisfy them. The priest lunged.
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Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 1601
Words: 1402855
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
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Medals: 10
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (2)
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Donor (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
One Million Words! (1) Lhavit Seasonal Challenge (1)
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Dream Killer

Postby Madeira Craven on July 7th, 2020, 3:54 am




Madeira woke in her bed.

The Desolate One followed.

She couldn't see it, but she could smell it. It was a physical thing clouding her nose and mouth, burning her from the inside. It was on her legs, it was pinning her arms. Her eyes rolled in her head. She couldn't move, she couldn't move, she couldn't-

Something brushed against her consciousness, soothing the roughened edges of her panic. The Infinity Manor groaned around her, the wood stressing like it was trying to reach out and touch her.

It's okay, it spoke into her mind. You're safe. It's just a nightmare.

Save me, she begged.

And it did.

Its mind tangled up in hers, comforting her with thoughts and words and feeding her its happy memories. Gently it pulled her out of the paralysis, using its own perceptions to wash away her lying senses until her muscles could bend and her mind could surface fully into wakefulness. There was no priest, it kept insisting to her panicked thoughts. It's gone and its never coming back.

Madeira finally sat up, shivering and drenched in sweat, alone in her bed. The room was just as she had left it, in a confused state of organized chaos. She pushed her fingers through her tangled hair and exhaled shakily. She wanted to cry, but even alone in her room she couldn't bring herself to do it. Why now, after all these years, was she dreaming now? Why like this?

"Do you love me?" she asked aloud to the empty room.

A pause. Yes, Infinity replied.

"I will always take care of you."

I know.

Never leave me, she didn't say. But the words lingered in the air regardless.

"Don't tell anyone about this."

Never.
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User avatar
Madeira Craven
long may she reign
 
Posts: 1601
Words: 1402855
Joined roleplay: October 11th, 2016, 7:45 pm
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 10
Featured Contributor (1) Featured Thread (2)
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
Donor (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
One Million Words! (1) Lhavit Seasonal Challenge (1)
2018 Mizahar NaNo Winner (1)


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