[[I’m in a strange mood lately, not feeling inspired to rp, not feeling like drawing, etc… So I decided to write a bit. I might add some open or semi-open threads in the future, if this mood persists.]]
When the small woman yawned for the third time in less than five minutes, he could not ignore it anymore. Derek Davies, a young and good-looking young man, closed his newspaper and touched her forehead lightly with the back of his hand.
"I am not sick, Derek. I am not even sure if I can be sick."
Her protest was dampened by yet another yawn, but Prof. Strix van Allen - often known simply as "the Professor" - was a remarkably stubborn woman. She wouldn’t take a defeat so easily, and Mr Davies knew it. He decided to tackle the problem by another angle:
"Sick or not, you are not getting enough sleep. Maybe I should sleep with you, holding your hand? You know, to help with the nightmares?"
She rolled her eyes. "I am not losing sleep over nightmares. I just keep waking up after having small snippets of dreams. It is most annoying, and it prevents me from resting properly. It is happening since the beginning of the month."
He tilted his head, curious. "What were you dreaming about? Last time you had random insistent dreams…"
She cut him, with the kind of frown she used to discourage students from haggling for bigger grades. "It is not the same. And I cannot remember, I forget everything minutes after I wake up."
He scratched his chin, looking at the ceiling. "What about a dream journal? If you record your dreams as soon as you wake up, you may discover something about them. Perhaps they will stop."
She yawns, and then smile. "Perhaps. It was actually a smart idea. Thank you."
"You should stop to look so surprised every time you say I’m smart. It’s a given." He retorts, with a fake pout.
The Professor stands up and scratches his head, right behind one of his big pointed ears. He closes his eyes and lets a happy (and very bat-like) chitter. She leaves the room before he can react, prompting him to whisper a "That’s not fair…" that is both parts pleased and annoyed.
Last night, I dreamt five times with the same scene, to my chagrin.
It starts with me in Zee-Captain clothes, examining some sort of map. In this dream, my suspicions are true, and it seems that even the Neath’s unusual vitality could not make me get any older than I was when I [the word is heavily scratched] first died. My hair his more white than hazel, which is the only thing that changed in my appearance and my only clue that it happens in a moderately far future, instead of the next month. The map I am scrutinizing has a golden apple seal at the corner, as many of the other documents scattered in the table. My countenance is severe, almost grim, but I cannot fathom what feelings lie behind that mask.
There is a hurried knock in the door and a clay man enters. It is consistent with my habit of only employing clay zailors. I do not turn my head to him; there is only a stiffening of my lips to show that I acknowledge his presence at all.
"CAPT’N, WE FOUND A STOWAWAY." He says, and it is clear that he is trying to convey some deeper meaning in this simple sentence.
"You know the protocol, why are them not on board yet?" I do not look at him as I answer. My voice is so sharp that he winces. I know, I know, claymen have faces made of, well, clay. Yet, I can say that he winced in his mind.
"HE IS A MONKEY." There is still that weird undercurrent in his speech, that hint that he is trying to say more than his words can.
"It does not change anything. Just keep him out of my way." I am still more interested in the map than anything else.
At this point, the clay man starts to fidget. It is weird, to see a large stone-like man like him to fidget like a scolded boy. He tries, now almost begging:
"LOOK AT HIM BEFORE WE BRING HIM ON BOARD, PLEASE, M’AM."
His voice is so desperate that it tugs on my heartstrings (both my observer self’s and my dream self’s). I finally put a tack on the map and follow my second mate. I do not know how I was so sure he is my second mate.
As we walk along the small ship, I can get a glimpse of its name, painted in the dark hull: "Curiosity III". As I suspected, this scene happens not too far in the future, but ‘not too far’ might mean a handful of decades in my expected lifetime. It seems like a fine, but not fancy, research boat. The crew we pass is clearly frightened and uncomfortable.
There, in the black and oily waters of the Unterzee, I can see It. There is a small lifeboat floating along my ship. Inside it, there is a Thing. I have to give credit to my second mate for identifying it as a monkey (presumably from the Empire of Hands, since he was using tattered remains of gentlemen’s clothes). At first glance, I was not so sure. The Thing is twisted and scorched almost beyond recognition. It is in equal parts a mummy and a charred remain that could have been found among the remains of a particularly bad fire. It is so still and dreadful that I wonder why would I even want that monstrous corpse on board.
At this point, it opens its eyes. They are horrible, hungry glowing eyes. And still, I can only stare at them, horror-struck, unable to articulate a sound or go away. There is something unnervingly familiar about those eyes. No, no. Even implying it is monstrous enough. I shall never write the mad thoughts that this Thing’s gaze brought to my wavering mind. Then, the burned lips that seemed melted shut suddenly part. A rasping, imploring voice just lets one word out:
I awake at this point, chilled to the bone, every time.
How could something like that still be alive? What were those unmentionable implications I had when I met the Thing’s eyes? Whatever the answer for those questions is, I could not bear it in a single dream. I equally covet the truth and fear it. I do not know which one of those feelings is wise and which one is a folly, but I know that, if I were any wise, I would never have started this dream journal in the first place.
edited by Professor Strix on 8/11/2016