“We’re running out of time! You need to remember me, Cael.”
“Remember you?” I ask confused, staring over his shoulder down the stone path leading deeper into the forest. The moons are out but the trees are so thick that the light is barely reaching us.
The man grabs my head and directs my gaze to his shadowed hood, “We’ve been here before, Cael. I’ve tried this before. But tonight I’m not the only one in this forest, I can feel them. They are coming for you. They will find you this time if you don’t focus.”
My eyes are drawn back to the stone path. It’s dark out but the path is so clear, almost like a painting. He shakes me hard. “Listen to me! This isn’t just a dream!”
“A dream?” As I say the words a shiver runs up my spine. I look around at unfamiliar trees. This isn’t my forest, this isn’t my home. I don’t know this man. My feet become rooted to the ground like the trees all around us. I stare into the figures hood, but no face can be seen. No eyes, no mouth. Just darkness.
The pounding of boots shatters the silence.
“We’re too late! Follow the path, Cael. You need to run. NOW!”
I race down the path. Following the twists and turns, hurdling over fallen branches. As my feet fly over the stones my heartrate settles. It’s all so familiar. Even being chased… I have been here. This has happened before. I burst through the brush at the end of the stone path into a clearing. I turn back to check if those things are still chasing me, but I already feel safer. They’re gone. Nothing can hurt me here.
A subtle golden hue highlights the trees that surround the grove. I move slowly towards a small pool of water in the center. Pushing aside the long bright flowers encircling the water I stare into the blue.
It’s impossibly deep. Almost like it goes straight to the center of the world. So pure and clean. I hadn’t realized how thirsty I was. Maybe just a little sip before I go.
I dip my hand in and as the cool water touches my skin, everything disappears.
I fall to the ground and immediately my heart begins to race. The green forest a moment before is replaced by a dull grey and brown one. My eyes dart upward to the sky and relief washes over me as I recognize the twin moon’s above. But as my eyes fall back to my surroundings, I realize I’m still lost.
Where am I? What in Finra’s name is going on with me? If I’m lost, I’m going to get in so much trouble. Breathe. Calm down. Think. Look for something familiar. I was dreaming again. It’s always these stupid dreams!
Well, I couldn’t have gone too far. Only as far as I could walk in a night. There’s just fields to the west so that can’t be it. There’s a small lake to the east. I guess I could be in the forest over there. If I had gone north I would’ve had to go through town. Someone probably would’ve seen me and hopefully woken me up, but if not I’d be near the tannery and that smell certainly would’ve woken me. If I went south, there’d be a river that I’d need to cross. My feet aren’t wet so . . .
I sigh in relief at the sound of moving water. I must be near the river. I didn’t cross it though so that’s good. At least I’ll have a direction to move in.
“Ow!” I mumble as I climb over a stone opening thin cuts all over my arms. I touch the dried blood gently and a sharp pain shoots across my shoulder. This is just great. I’m beat like a lazy mule. How did I end up like this? These nightmares are getting worse. If I end up looking like this every night there’s no way mom won’t notice. They’re definitely going to think I’m cracked now.
I need to hurry back. I spot the river and begin following it upstream. As I start walking back home, the forest begins to wake. Squirrels and birds begin making noise all around me. It’s better that there’s animals here; it’s not so scary.
A heavy crunch catches my ear. I turn towards it and try to focus. Everything’s still so dark. It’s so hard to see this early in the morning, everything’s just a big blend of dark blue. What is that? It almost looks like there’s something over there. It’s probably just my eyes playing tricks on me. I’d never be able to see something that far away this early. But what if it’s….
Leaves crunch behind me and I sprint towards home. I don’t want to know! I just want to get home! I throw myself over a large stone and land near a familiar small stream. I glance over my shoulder. Nothing. These dreams have me acting like I’ve lost my mind.
I definitely remember this stream, it feeds the river. There should be a game trail I’ve been down before. If I just follow this it’ll lead right home. I can relax. It was all just a silly dream. Probably just a deer or something making noise back there. What are these dreams? And why is it always in the same place? I should tell them about it, but if they think I’m cracked… No, if it gets worse maybe I’ll tell them but not yet. I don’t want to be taken away.
I break the tree line and let out a deep breath. Home, finally. I walk up the hill and get a sudden urge to water the old dead tree. I lean against it and yawn. I’m so tired, I just want to sleep. I finish and quietly creep inside, collapsing on my bed. What’s happening to me? It’s like I’m not even in control of my own self anymore. What if I go back into the woods again? It’s almost morning, I’m too exhausted to work this out right now. I hope Father won’t have too much wo…