Dreams of Fire and Death
This is a bit of ‘extra’ material to go along with the SEEDS trilogy. It’s a character-building exercise I did to get in the head of one of our characters, though I won’t say who – that might give away plot points from the books! It’s a very dark scene from the head of a man with a very dark history.
Last night’s demons were the flames again. They’ve found me often. The contour map they carved into my skin was enough to change the topography of my subconscious.
As always, I woke up panting, frantically patting my sheets and nightclothes, trying to smother the flames. What little boys don’t realize is that the nightmares don’t go away when you grow up. They get worse.
I splashed my face with water and went back to sleep. They don’t like water, demons.
This time the dreams were different. No flames, no gunshots, no knives. The demon that haunted me was a woman, blonde and fair skinned. She chased me through the same Sector streets I grew up defending – grew up loving. We played a deadly game where both were predator and each was prey.
I was unarmed, as I was in that final fight when she carved the symbol into my face, and I the heart from her chest. In this incarnation of our unending battle through my dreams, she chased me through an unending maze of shadows that have dogged me my whole life. Shadows, grey and dark as life itself, spoke to me, called at me, hounded me, and insulted me, though they never touched me. Even those scars, deep in the hidden recesses of my mind, know that my weaknesses are mental, not physical. They know how to reopen the wounds; how to cut deeper, always deeper than the last.
Abruptly, I found myself, not in a dismal, deadly maze, but on a cloud, the sun shining bright and the sky like lilacs in May. Then the blonde woman, whose beating heart I’d once held, stretched out her hand and said ‘I’m sorry.’ The clouds crumpled and I fell, tumbling through the fluted air, to my death.
Oh yes, my dreams know my weaknesses.