Request Completed! TDS: Dreaming of their Nightmares

There have been a few of you who have asked me for even MORE Dream-Stalkers.  At first, all I could think of was, “Well, Damn, and I thought I was the crazy one!”  However, you seem to be chomping at the bit for more Dream-Stalkers, so I’ve decided to oblige you. 

At first, though, I honestly was terrified of the idea.  The whole writing was based off of a nightmare!  How could people want to read it?  A discussion with another would-be author helped make sense of it.  She told me that people love to read drama and see strong emotions in the writing.  Drama?  Check!  Emotion?  Check!  Hmmm…  Luckily, some “inspiration” helped get it started after the, oh, tenth or fifteenth request.  Hope you like it!  Oh, and if you’re looking for “No Way Back,” don’t worry, it’s coming.  =^_^=

It is posted here, but I’m giving some warnings.  First there are a few mentions of nudity, but nothing descript.  There is, however, a fair amount of descriptive pain and some blood/gore.  You Have Been Warned.

TDS: Dreaming of their Nightmares

He runs almost blindly into the darkness. The large trees tower overhead, keeping out the majority of the sunlight, but it was still far too dark to be daylight. He was used to the dark. He’d spent the majority of his life as the night-walker he is, but this was different. The dark, powerful howl that sounds behind him reminds him of what happened to his twin brother, and he did not want to have his unnatural life ended in this nightmare.

“How fast can you run, watcher?” The werewolf’s growling voice seems to come from several places at once, and the adolescent-looking man slides to a stop on the loose ground. He looks around for the black-furred animal that had made him his prey, darting from left to right as he scans the forest floor. The sinister voice laughs at the panting vampire before it continues its taunts. “You know, you should never leave family behind. It’s rude. Maybe you should go back and,” the werewolf pauses with a chuckle and finishes with a loud growl, “Help him.”

“This is only a dream! Why can’t I wake up?!” The black-haired man yells into the air as he continues to search for his own stalker. The irony, he thinks to himself, that Keith would try to stalk him, only to die here! He turns once more and finds the shadowy figure that is the unnamed werewolf standing on his hind foot-paws, half-human, half-wolf, and very angry. His right hand brandishes a faintly-glowing sword, intentionally pointed outward from his body in a display of power, and the left balled in a fist slightly behind him. “Why can’t I wake up?!”

The beast glares down his snout at the tan-skinned vampire, his eyes that were blue when he and Keith first saw him now ablaze in a fiery red, leaving what looked like a trail of smoke in his wake. With a snarl visible, he answers quietly in a dark voice, “Because this is my dream, and you invaded it.”

“Y-you… You can’t keep us here forever! Sooner or later you have to wake up!”

The dark werewolf throws his head back with a hearty laugh. “I may wake up, but that doesn’t mean I have to let you free.” He begins his slow advance on the vampire yet again, closing the distance step by patient step. “I’ll give you the same chance as your brother, Kyle. If you can survive my dream, my life, then I will let you free. If you fail… Well, you don’t want to fail.”

The trembling vampire steps away from the advancing wolf while trying to maintain an appearance of strength and courage. “Same chance? I wouldn’t have a chance! I’m not a stalker, I’m just a watcher!” He then stops suddenly and cocks his head. “This is a dream. What good would a sword do you?” The wolf reacts, lunging forward and broadsiding the vampire’s face with his blade. The force of the impact was nothing compared to the inferno that was the searing burn from the blade, the same burning feel that would have come from a ray of sunlight! Kyle falls to the ground screaming in agony, his hand covering the scorched flesh of his cheek. The smell of his own cooked skin fills the air around him and he realizes that he’s in far more trouble than he’d ever been in his long life and undeath.

“Last chance, watcher. If you surrender quietly, I’ll simply keep you trapped. I might even let you be comfortable. If you resist and fail, you will suffer until I choose to set you free.” He brings his blade to a stop mere inches from the vampire’s eye. “And, obviously, I know how to do that. If you survive the traps, I will let you free.” The black wolf pulls his sword back and rests it on his shoulder. “You have five seconds to choose.”

Kyle pushes away from the werewolf and begins running once again. I can survive. I’ve lived this long. I can make it.

 He turns hard left to hide behind a tree and rest. When he does so, he hears the wolf’s almost-evil laugh once again permeating the air. “So, you think you can win? Foolish child.” With a snarling growl, he sounds as if he’s run off, although there’s no way to tell where he’d have gone.

Kyle runs his fingers through his long, sweat-slicked hair as he tries to catch his breath. His mind wanders for a moment to when Keith convinced him to go along with this insane plan. “It’ll be easy!,” his twin brother had told him, “We simply follow the dream to the oldest, most powerful being on the planet! That’ll have to be the one that Tatiana found!”

“Keith, a half-dozen other stalkers and watchers have not woken up in the months since that girl failed. I don’t like it.”

Keith laughed at Kyle’s fear. They were always that way. Keith had always been the headstrong, courageous one, and Kyle was considerably more cautious, watching for every possible mistake, but was far better at thinking things out. “She failed because she was a girl. The other ones failed because the stalkers were girls. They aren’t strong enough to capture something who’s been alive so long!”

Kyle frowned, making his dark-brown eyes seem to glower. “Keith, I know you’re strong, but we’re talking about an ancient!”

“Oh, we don’t know that those girls really were hunting the ancient. Besides, it’ll be fun! Just like when we used to catch the wolves that were threatening our livestock. I know you miss those days.”

It was true. Kyle loved tracking those animals. He’d gotten good at tracking them, and Keith would capture them or kill them. They never failed, so why would this be any different? “Alright.”

“Yessss!”

“But only if you promise to be careful!”

Keith laughed loudly, then brought his hand down hard on his brother’s shoulder. “Aren’t I always?”

Hours later, they’d begin their trances. It didn’t take long for Kyle to track down the wolf; it was almost as if he was intentionally sending out a beacon, like he wanted to be found. That made Kyle even more nervous. Never track any beast that’s waiting for you. It puts you on the defensive. His father’s words struck him as insanely true for the moment, but Keith was adamant that they try. In moments, they were there, prying into the dream…

There was almost no resistance. Keith quickly entered the dream, with Kyle trying to hide in the background as all watchers should. It was impossible, though, as the dream formed a room, perfectly square, where the gray, featureless walls went out for quite some distance before joining the perpendicular walls. In the middle of the room was a large stone throne and on it sat a white-furred werewolf in his halfling form. He had propped his head on one of his paws and never bothered to look at the two vampires who’d entered. As Kyle cleared the swing of the door, it suddenly slammed shut, becoming as featureless as the wall.

Keith didn’t wait. He rushed at the werewolf as he sat and found himself stopped short and, instead, fell backwards when the old creature looked at him, then at Kyle. It almost looked as if he’d run head-long into a wall! “That wasn’t very dignified of you, young one.” The beast’s voice filled the room as if he were right next to Kyle. “Tell me, why have you come?”

Keith slowly stood and shook of the surprise. “We’ve come… We’re here to meet with you,” he lied. “There is some rumor that you exist.”

“I can assure you that I exist. But, I am waiting for… Someone… And you are not them.” He smiled at them, Keith ten feet from him and Kyle half-again behind his brother. “I’d suggest you leave. It would be a shame to have to harm such nice young gentlemen coming to pay me a visit.”

Kyle quickly ran up to his brother. He pulled the Keith’s shoulder slightly and whispered into his ear, “Keith, maybe we should just go. I’m getting a bad feeling about this. It doesn’t feel like any dream we’ve ever–”

“I’m afraid we can’t do that, sir.”

The white werewolf glares down at Keith with dark-blue eyes. “You can’t, or you won’t”?

“Won’t.”

As the beast stood from his seat, his fur began to darken, shifting first to silver, then gray, then slightly darker as he walked up to the invisible barrier. The pleasant nature gone, he growls at Keith. “So, you intend to harm me? We’ll see.” With that, the wolf turns quickly around, his tail snapping just out of reach of the defiant vampire. He strides past the throne and makes a vertical slashing motion with his hand as he nears the far wall. The gray barrier parts, causing a cascade of light to pour into the room. “Follow me, if you’re so determined.” With that, he disappears into the light.

“Keith, please! I really have a bad feeling!”

“Shut up, Kyle! I’m going to catch this pompous asshole! Then the Queen will let us sit with her and not that ugly, skinny bitch!” Keith pushed his brother away and dashed towards the seam in the wall. Kyle shook his head in dismay, then chased down his brother.

A moment later, the room was gone, as was the portal. Instead, all that was around was the forest. The twins could see that the tree canopy held back most of the light, but it still seemed far too dark to be natural.

Kyle tried to touch his sleeping body as they adjusted to the light. “Keith? Can you… I can’t feel my body.”

“Stop it, we’re fine! Just get up and try to track–”

Its laugh stopped him mid-sentence as they both tried to find where it was coming from. “You think you really can track me? I lived in these woods for hundreds of years, trained vampires of all shapes and sizes here. I’ve loved, lost love, and killed in these trees. You really think you can ‘track’ me?”

“Look, just let me back out, werewolf!” Kyle’s voice sounded shaky, even to him.
“I really don’t want to be here!”

Keith looked at Kyle in astonishment, which quickly faded to anger. “You’d leave me here?!”

“No, you’re coming with me! We can’t do this, this is beyond us!”

“If you didn’t want to come, silly boy, you should not have crossed over.” The wolven voice seemed darker and angrier as he spoke. “Stalker! I give you a chance to surrender. If you choose to be quiet, I’ll not hurt you. If you choose to try to leave–”

“Stow it, beast! Show your fucking face!”

Kyle began to walk backwards slowly. “Keith, stop! Shut up! Don’t make him angrier!”

“Piss off, coward! This is where the fun-AARGH! AHHH!!! NO! Get’em off!” The man’s agonizing screams filled the woods as the werewolf, now dark as the night’s shadows, launched himself at the unsuspecting vampire, slashing, clawing, and biting it’s way into his flesh. Kyle stood, frozen, as he watched his brother’s blood flying from the claws of this powerful werewolf, his brother’s cries for help filling his ears. He wanted to help, but his body refused to respond, fear holding him in place as he watched the werewolf devastate his brother’s flailing body. Then, suddenly, a lighting’s strike cracked through the woods and they were both gone, taking the sound and the sight with it.

The terror that held Kyle fast finally broke and he turned, running hard and fast. Where to, he didn’t know, but he had to find a way out of these woods…

A tree branch suddenly fell from the canopy, letting in a narrow ray of sunlight that was aimed directly for his body. The sudden shock of the burning light pulled Kyle from the horror of his memory as he jumped away from his hiding place. “I’ll gift you that as a trap. After all, you did want to leave.”

Kyle’s head feels like it’s on a swivel as he looks to find the wolf. He yells so that he can be heard, “You killed him!”

“No.”

“Yes you did! I watched him die!”

“No. He is merely trapped. It was his choice.” The growling voice circles around him, impossibly fast. “You, however, seem less inclined to do harm.” His voice becomes more powerful as he continues. “Why are you here, then, if you already fear for your life?”

“He’s my brother! I wanted to keep him safe.”

The wolf, his fur now black as night, appears again in his halfling form just out of Kyle’s reach, a smile across his maw. “I think you failed.”

Kyle tries to back up but finds himself pressing against the tree that he had just rolled away from, the sunlight near his feet dangerously close. He looks down at his feet, then back at the ancient were. “Please, let us go,” he begs, “and I’ll make sure he never comes back. Please…”

The werewolf’s red eyes dissipate into the blue they where when he and his brother first showed themselves, and his voice becomes that much more gentle, sounding as if he were a teacher offering a lesson. “I can’t. He chose his own fate. I wanted you both to save yourselves. He made the choice to be foolish. You made the choice to follow him. I can’t just let you leave now, Kyle. You have to earn it.”

Kyle tries sliding away from the sunlight, but stops when the wolf moves to intercept him. “Can’t I earn it any other way?”

“You can’t earn his freedom, young one.” The wolf turns to leave, but looks over his shoulder, the lupine maw showing what looks to be a sad smile. “But you can earn yours, and then warn the others.”

“Wait!”

Looking away, the wolf responds. “Yes?”

“The others. The ones who came before us. Are they dead?”

“They will be, if she doesn’t show soon.” He sighs as he hangs his head. “They’ll starve to death. Morons, I swear. I didn’t want to do this. I don’t want to do this. I just want to be left alone.”

Kyle steps away from the tree slowly, catching a twig with his feet and snapping it loudly. The were spins to see that he’d moved a half a pace from the tree. The vampire freezes when he realizes the wolf’s gaze is on him. “Do what, exactly, sir?”

“To…” He smiles wide again, then shakes his head. “Nuh-uh. That would be telling. I’ve give you a hint, though. There are only nine more traps to avoid. Any vampire that I trained would have about a fifty-fifty chance. Any that they trained afterwords I’d give about three to one that they’d survive. Anyone else…” He closes his eyes and shakes his head. “I wish you the best of luck.” With that, the werewolf runs into the shadows, dropping to all fours in his full-animal form and racing off.

What does he mean, ‘Anyone I trained?’ What vampire would ever be trained by a werewolf? For what reason? Kyle thinks to himself as he slowly works his way through the forest. He moves cautiously, deliberately, and keeps his eyes to the ground. He doesn’t know what exactly he’s looking for, but he knows that traps would usually have something obvious about them.

It didn’t take long for Kyle to find the first trap. It was a simple one, a pit deep enough to drop anyone who would step onto the very weak lattice of leaves and twigs almost ten feet. A vampire would have survived the fall, but not the surprise at the bottom: wooden spikes that were at least three feet long. He decides to take the long way around it, moving completely past it by going around the nearby trees that had hidden it so very well.

The werewolf appears to him as he cleared the circle of trees. “I’m impressed. Any training before?”

“Are you just going to follow me?”

The beast simply chuckles. “Depends. If you would rather be safe, you can give up.”

“I want to go home.”

“Suit yourself.” The wolf seems to just disappear into the air as he gives what Kyle believes to be a farewell.

The vampire inches his way through the dream-forest that belongs to the wolf. In quick succession, he manages to spot a tripwire that would have sent a large, sharpened wood rod swinging down to impale him, another pitfall trap, and bucket that would have dropped something onto him had he pressed a branch wrong. Kyle’s confidence begins to build as he nears some low-lying brush. He stops, looking over the the shrubbery for something obvious. “This is too easy, wolf…” He steps down into the plants in a relatively open spot to hear the snapping and crackling of twigs. A split-second later, a pair of sharp metal jaws snap up around his ankle, cracking the bone inside as they come painfully together. Kyle’s pained scream fills the air and hides the sharp twang that sounds. A pair of wooden arrows, their tips shaped into a perfect point, streak through the air and catch the wounded vampire, one through his right hand and the other burying itself to the feathers into his abdomen.

“I warned you…”

The vampire falls to the ground, writhing in pain. He grits his teeth so not to scream again as he grabs the arrow in his hand by its fletching and pulls the wooden shaft out. The blood-coated projectile is then discarded as he sits up and tries to pry open the bear trap that had closed itself around his ankle. As he moves, he feels the arrow scrape against something internally and cries out, but fights the urge to just lay down and give up. I have to get out and warn mother. The thought of others being trapped here grants him a surge of adrenaline and his cold, blood-stained fingers suddenly find the strength to stretch the steel jaws apart long enough to remove his dangling foot from the torturous device. The shattered bone will heal but, at the moment, all he feels is hundreds of sharp pains as the fragments shift within his skin as it comes to a rest on the underbrush. He rests for a moment, or tries to with the surging pain of both his ankle and the impaling. His lungs burn with each breath, evidence that the arrow had at least rubbed against them. With one last surge of energy, he brings his right hand to the arrow and slowly removes it from his side. Each inch it moves makes him cry out, the feeling becoming more and more unbearable, until it finally leaves his skin, scraping along his tan shirt that now is stained a dark crimson. Finally free of the attacking objects, he lays down to rest, his back on the cold grass and his legs resting over the low-lying scrub.

The rest didn’t feel long enough. He waited for his ankle to heal, concentrating on that in case the werewolf decided to attack him while he was briefly incapacitated. That attack never came. He didn’t take the time to let his hand or side heal, as painful as they were. He needed to get moving. He’d survived four of the traps, although the last one just barely. Any higher with the arrows and he’d be dead or close to it. His lupine stalker had gifted him one for surviving the sunbeam, so he only had five more to go.

Kyle slowly stood and put weight on his ankle. The freshly-healed bone creaked slightly as he did and sent pain shooting up his leg, but it could hold him as long as he didn’t run. Finally mobile again, he carefully re-inspected the brush, then stepped through it without incident.

“Ready to surrender?”

Kyle slowly turned around to face the voice of the werewolf who appears to him now in the silver fur of his halfling form. Through ragged breath, he responds, “I still… Want to… Go… HOME!”

“I know you do, Kyle,” the lupine sounds truly sympathetic, “but I don’t want to harm you. The rest of the traps are far more difficult to detect.”

“You could just let me go.”

The wolf just shakes his head with a smirk. “No, I can’t. I’ll ask you one last time, Kyle. Surrender so I can let you sleep peacefully.”

“No.”

“Then good luck.” And he was gone.

Kyle soon discovers that the were wasn’t joking. His trap hiding became considerably better, leaving Kyle falling flat to avoid additional swinging spears, three of them in one trap. Next, he was hit by a shield covered in wooden spikes that swung at him from a spring-loaded board. He barely managed to prevent the shield from slamming into his chest with his arms, but only just barely. Another few steps later, he clipped a trip-line attached to a container of fluid that actually did manage to land on him. The blessed liquid burned his skin and seeped into his clothing, burning him further as it did. The man quickly removed his shirt and pants, leaving him naked but no longer burning from the holy water.

He sits for a moment, thankful that this dream was lacking briars. He looks over his arms and legs, each one scarred from different attacks in the dream, but none of them missing. His muscles burn with the exhaustion of his actions, but he realizes he’s only two traps from home. That realization makes him jump up in anticipation, and he turns to continue…

His first footfall lands into some leaves. As he presses his weight into it and lifts the other foot, the world slows around him. The were’s voice sounds as if it’s right next to him, “I’m sorry…” The thin weaving of the twigs gives way under the pressure of his body and he momentarily feels weightless. “I tried to protect you…” He feels gravity begin to pull his weight into the hole that was covered by the camouflage. “You wouldn’t listen…” Kyle’s arms flail to catch the dirt, but he finds it loose and crumbling as he falls, the action changing his body’s angle and making him fall flat onto his back. “So like your kind to assume the worse of me…” The feel of a dozen sharp points suddenly jolts into his back, his neck, and his ass.

Kyle screams out, “Mother, please save…”

A flash of lightning surges through the forest, and Kyle’s plea goes silent. The forest is suddenly still, save for the moving tail of a silver werewolf in his halfling form that stands over the trap that was the watcher’s final piece of the dream. He shakes his head as a single tear falls from his eye. “This is not what I want.”

Mother, please save…

The terrified, screaming voice echos through the lovely blonde’s ears. The sound causes her to flash her ice blue eyes open from her deep, dark sleep. She looks around the room and, finding only her slowly rousing light-brown werewolf with her, sits up quickly. Now fully awake, she jumps from her bed, naked, and dashes into her closet. A moment later, the werewolf has changed into her human form and sits up in the bed. “Mother, is something the matter?

Lasha turned around in the soft pink night robe she kept for when her husband decided to spend the night at home. The sound of her queen mother’s voice woke the werewolf completely. “Elisa, something terrible is happening. My children. They’re not just sleeping. Something is keeping them from us.”

“What do you mean?”

“I’m not sure.” The lovely woman shakes her head. “Please, fetch me Tatiana. And tell the Dream-Stalkers to be wary. Their slumber is no longer safe for them.”

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