Davide Castel Davide Castel
Recommendations: 39

Yep...that does happen.

Davide Castel Davide Castel
Recommendations: 39

Yep...that does happen.

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Clare Martin Clare Martin
Recommendations: 12

Where I Stood and Watched

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She had a friend.

Where to begin with this one! We're to write an essay for English on a dream we've had. I think of what I have written here as practise for that, but also as an opportunity to write about something I've always wanted to get off my head, but never had the chance. I've had this dream many times; it always begins the same, but the outcome is different. This was the one where I woke up sad, but content. Since many of my dreams actually make some bit of sense (I'm a lucid dreamer, hence why I could've woken up if I wanted to), this isn't what I'll be presenting to my class. But I feel good to finally have written this. If any of you want the actual story behind this dream, tell me and I'll post it in the discussion section. Thank you for reading! -Clare.

Helpless, I watch, frozen in ice, as my champion battles her way across the dark, dimly lit tomb.

It’s a scene I’ve seen so many times before, and hers a face I’ll never forget. Shrouded in my mind’s dull prison, I see it all as clearly as I would if it were truly happening. The place is a tomb, buried deep beneath a lake. Here, several of her kin rest in the water. I forget why we’re here exactly, but I know it’s to defeat the intentions of a villain who plans to use her ancestors for his own sinister purposes. I take in the straggled mess of seaweed, squelching beneath my feet like the stuff on the beach. The smell of blood and sweat. I’m surprised this finds my senses. The tiles, adorned with glyphs and sinister traps, as hot as concrete under the sun. I suddenly become aware of the fact we are not alone; of course we’re not. A girl is with her, a young lady. It takes me a moment to remember that they are hardly ever without each other. The thought makes me smile, and suddenly I long for someone who loves me as much as my champion loves the girl. They are not related. They can’t be. 2 comments

With that, I take in the details of the heroes around me. My champion, whose name I know but cannot place, is surprisingly not the tallest. She looks weak and tired, and while her pale-pink lips are contorted in an effort to remain serious, I can’t help feeling sorry for her. This is because I know what is to come, what she will morph into after her work is done, but of course, in the dream, this does not come to mind. I also realize she is not human, but not alien either. Her skin tone would be the same as mine, only a little paler and perhaps tinted blue. She has the body of a regular human being, as well as the voice. But her eyes glow white, and I mean glow. I wonder what she sees when she closes her eyes. Her hair is the same texture as mine, wavy, knotted with every blast of wind that takes it in their cruel fingers. It is a bizarre colour though; purple, bright, glowing purple, the colour you’d see and envy in the streets. But nobody seems surprised about this. Her ears are tall and pointed, and at this point I realize she must be an elf. Her eyebrows are the same purple cue as her hair, as are her lashes, which are so long, I wonder how it is she blinks without them getting all tangled up. She does not see me staring. I doubt she even knows I’m there.

The girl beside her, who I decide to call my hero, is much shorter. She looks young to be my champion’s lieutenant. Somehow, I know that she is. Her face, unlike the champion’s, is fresh and pale, untouched by fatigue, untainted by war and unharmed by poison. Is this her first mission? Perhaps it is. But I get the suspicion they’ve been friends for a long time. Her hair is tied back in a braid, but it is an average humane black. My hero isn’t a human, though; she is an elf too. It’d make sense, though. Would it not? My hero whispers something to her mistress (or I think she does. Either way, I can’t hear it) and smiles. The look of concentration melts off my champion’s face and she grins. I feel my stomach jump in shock, and know that to see her smile must be a rare thing. I suddenly notice she is suited in gold armour, and is holding a helmet in her hand. I wonder how long these two have known each other. Through the daze and glare of contempt and devotion, my champion seems to warm entirely to my hero. I get a vision of them somewhere else; a lake in the middle of a forest, with standard bows and a ragged quiver of flint arrows. It appears their hunt is finished, as they are sitting by the tree, sipping a flask dripping with condensation. My champion’s face there is different to now. It is still scarred, yes, but not worn or tired. Well, perhaps it is. But not as much. And without the drops of blood and sweat adorning it, she looks millennia younger. Which is bizarre, because how old can she truly be?

As the scene melts away, so does the ice and I find myself free to move. My champion and my hero disappear off into the tomb. It matters naught to me that I cannot follow them; I have been through it all before. It’s a scene I regularly bear witness to. I know that my champion will find her enemy and that her enemy will collapse the tomb, thus ensnaring her in the rocks and seaweed, to remain prisoner there for all eternity. It is a scripted story, and I know that my champion is to escape…but my hero is to remain behind. It saddens me, and I presume this is why my bonds have shattered. So I can run from it all. I suddenly long to wake up, because I am afraid of what I’ll see next. But I choose to remain unconscious. I don’t know how my dream will twist the story, but it may be in the best way possible. So I wander aimlessly throughout the tomb for a time, until time itself defies its masters. Because suddenly, I am by a lake (not the lake in the forest, but by a shore) and my bonds have yet again ensnared me in their relentless, frozen nets. I have no choice but to watch. Perhaps I should wake up? No, I want to see what happens. She’s back. My champion is back. Perhaps she knows I am here, that I may offer her a hand if she just freed me from this dreaded prison. Her future is somewhere in the back of my mind, but I can’t place it. Or maybe I just choose not to.

As I watch, helpless yet again, I see that the shore is drawing away much blood. My hero is with my champion. So, they have both escaped. Usually, this does not happen. Usually, my hero dies in the tomb alone. But now, here she is, alive and breathing, far from the hell she would’ve endured if she’d remained behind. The future is not inevitable. Perhaps my champion’s fate is not as unavoidable as it seems. Will she return home with the little elf under her wing? Oh, no. She won’t. Because now I see that my little hero is dying. The blood the water craves belongs to her. A wound, unseen through the pinkish cloth drenched in her draining mortality, must be fatal. Even if not, she’s already lost too much to survive. I don’t know how I could possibly know this, but I do. I suddenly feel so sad that I have to watch this. I want to wake up but I can’t, and I regret not shaking myself out of this nightmare when I had the chance earlier. But now it’s me that has to stick it out until it’s over.

While every piece of me wants to take my hero, whose name is still hazy beneath the serotonin, and hold her close to me, I realize I don’t need to. She is already cradled in the arms of the gold-armoured woman. This is everything I wanted it to be. This is always how I wanted my hero to die, if she was to die at all. Not alone, crushed under falling gravel, buried forever in the dark, but in the arms of the only person she loves. And I know she is. The look on her face…is that a smile? No, it’s a grimace. But her eyes, her glowing, soft eyes, are warm and peaceful. The water laps around the shore, falling about her bare feet and taking the strands of her blood with it as it washes back out. Saffiracle blue rays rain down from the clouds and a golden moon breaks through. The scene is shockingly perfect. It is the place I’d never leave. I suddenly no longer feel sad that my hero is dying and that my champion’s fate is somewhat inevitable, but happy that I can actually bear witness to this beautiful scene, the kind of place that only used to exist in my head. And that warm, auricular glow in the dying girl’s eyes melts away my remaining grief; she would have died anyway. I always knew it. Even before, as they stood together in the tomb with me bound in icy chains beside them. I have already grieved her death. I am a little afraid, because I haven’t seen this before, but I am glad that I am here.

I turn my gaze back to my champion, whose words I cannot comprehend. She looks solid and whole, and there are tears running down her face, catching strings of blood and dirt. Her stained lips are moving and I can hear a voice of pure steel, full of the duress and capability of a warrioress. I recognize it, and while I still cannot place her name, the letter ‘M’ comes to mind. The metallic voice, however, has been tampered by iron too much. It is broken, resonating grief and mourning. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her like this. She is still holding the young hero, one arm around the shoulder, the other caressing her face. They both suddenly seem so much older. I watch as the hero takes my champion’s hand and presses it against her lips. When she speaks (I still can’t understand the words), her voice sounds purer than the gold-armoured champion, and I can hardly tell, from the way she sounds, that she is dying. She just sounds really, really tired. And perhaps she is. How am I supposed to know?

The next few minutes break my heart. My hero presses her head into the armoured chest of my champion, still gripping her hand against her mouth. The champion seems to be trying to compose herself. Her head is bowed down over the face of her lieutenant, and she seems to be relying on my hero’s fingers as much as my hero is hers. I can almost feel her attempt to stay calm. She gently lifts the hero’s shoulders a little higher than before and presses her lips into her forehead, leaving a lip-shaped stain in the sweat. She looks like she never wants to let her go. I know the feeling. I’d never stop holding her. I want to hold her…I want to be there too, to take the hand that is occupying itself by touching the champion’s face. I think I know why. The only part of her body that isn’t armoured, excepting her hands, is her head. The only natural warmth emanating from her; I think she wants to feel it all one last time. At long last (it felt like years), her hand falls back onto her body, onto the stained cloth that no longer drips. And my champion…I suddenly realize my champion is all alone. That she has nobody left. I want to cry out and hold her, tell her it’ll all be okay, that she’ll be okay or that she has me…but I can only stand and watch.

I find her fading from my vision and, as she does, my frozen shackles disintegrate again. Now I know I can wake up and end this, but I choose not to. I don’t want to wake up and know that I’ll have to mourn in my waking hours. I want to grieve my last here, by this cold shore, the place I never want to leave. I never want to wake up.

But I know, eventually, I’ll have to. Dreams and reality are their own separate prisons; they merely occupy opposite sides of the eyelid, and I must always remain in one. I’ll never truly be happy in either.

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