The dream I just woke up from: two people were trying to survive some kind of distorted imitation of reality, kind of silent hill style but they also had to "blend in" and not call attention to themselves so this reality wouldn't "realize" they were actual real humans.
I saw bits of them wandering dark, vast stairwells and hallways but I most of the dream I just watched them sneaking carefully through the crowded bleachers of some kind of sporting event inside of a school, and it was harrowing because the crowd was rhythmically moving up and down (the "wave" thing that crowds do) in perfect order and nothing else. Their arms were just straight down and they were smiling but making no sound whatsoever. The two real people were like trying not to freak out or cry as the crowd members nearest to them would actually turn to look at them with their big, dead silent wide eyed smiles but still not do anything else.
At some point I noticed that the "fake" people's heads were hairless and a little concave in the back, like the force that created them didn't know what humans really looked like from behind. They also had many different unnatural skin colors and the crowd was organized by color in perfect squares.
The sports game (which I couldn't see) had announcers who sounded authentically human and excited but their conversation was still weird and nonsensical. The only dialog I remember clearly was one voice saying "how long does it normally take you to get the ball from Micheal?" and the other just repeating "thirty minutes. Thirty minutes."
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Daily Writing Challenge 2021
Day 1: Afterlife/Reunion
Warm breezes rolled across amber fields and ruffled the fine feathers on their cheek, rousing them from comfortable slumber. The sky was alight in glorious pinks, reds and golds, and this was most pleasing, so that they stretched their wings and let out an exultant cry to greet the morning, and the morning answered in kind with another strong gust of comforting heat across their chest.
As they launched from their perch to join the morning sky, surging and rolling in simple joy for the sun and the warmth and the open air, the first cry was followed by another, and another, until it became morningsong that shimmered like sunlight on the sea. It was only proper to give praise to the brothers and sisters of Belore alongside him, as they had the grace to stand aside for him in the day.
A sharp crack of cold struck them like a whip, stalling their voice and leaving them beating their wings in rhythmless confusion. A moment later, silver-edged black feathers fluttered across their vision, and a tiny black body tumbled from the air, flailing one wing pointlessly as the other, limp, was at the mercy of the air whipping past it in its descent.
They tucked their own wings and dove, only to be struck a second time and with pain behind it, leaving them tumbling for a moment as well before they righted themselves and found their quarry. The dive began again, and again, the cold stung ever more brutally in response. Still, they crept ever closer, until finally great talons could wrap around the miniscule crow with the broken wing and bring both to a landing in the rolling fields.
Before they could speak to the weakened thing, it shimmered and morphed, bulging and writhing in sickening undulations as it took a different shape entirely, and the sky darkened in revulsion above it. Frost blue light coiled from empty sockets and a cold metal shell encased it as it stood, towering over them and speaking in the creaking of rusted iron, the screeching of clashing steel. Chains erupted from gaps in its skeletal armor and whipped forward of their own accord like striking snakes at legs and face and wings, forcing them to back away but preventing them from taking flight.
The voice of the cold, lifeless thing as much an assault as the chains that threatened at any moment, they almost failed to comprehend anything but the increasing volume of their own desperation for escape, for altitude, for warmth. For help.
A shackle came together with a final, baleful crash around one leg, and they shrieked once more to the blackened sky as they felt themselves dragged at once toward the beast and into the dirt. From what felt like worlds away, an answer finally came, not the roar of a flame, but the ringing of a great bell stampeding across the universe until its sound crashed into the beast and sent it toppling.
Verdant green twined with shining gold in a grand pillar of rage and defiance that tore a hole through the darkness above them, and slammed into their assailant again and again, pummeling it to pieces in the stalks. When the deed was done and the field was silent save for the soft rumble of receding thunder in the parting clouds, they saw not a crow, but a human carved from stone and frozen in a defensive stance without an ounce of fear on its chiseled face.
The warm morning air finally tickled across their feathers again, but carried with it the faint scent of fresh rain, and both quietly implored them to stand, to find the falling bird, to catch it and see the deed done. As green and gold voiced their wordless pleas, the phoenix watched the stone begin to wear away, pitting, growing moss, cracking, darkening in patches, shearing off bit by bit to expose that baleful blue light underneath.
As a steel gauntlet broke through the stone of the man's fist, the cold shot through them straight to the core, and Caythaes woke up.
If the dull ache around one ankle hadn't been enough to convince them that that dream had meant something, the tattered black feather stuck in their hair certainly did.
( @daily-writing-challenge @mekandawn @shedwyn )
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