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Dreams - Unconscious Revelations
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Wyheree
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 11:11 am    Post subject: Dreams - Unconscious Revelations Reply with quote

Wyheree had been held against her will for weeks – finally being literally dumped in the Inn, into the loving embrace and care of her sisters and her brother. After Jewell used her own energies to begin the healing process on the worst of the wounds, Brian tenderly carried the grievously injured Ice Queen to room seven of the Inn. There, Jewell applied a special poultice on the blistered welts that marred the pale skin of her back, and sent Wyh into her first true sleep in weeks, while Icer stood guard outside the door – allowing no one within to disturb them. Yet, even though her sleep started sweetly, her ordeal continued within the recesses of her mind, the trauma still too raw to be denied - one does not simply walk out of Mordor, to paraphrase the old saying. And though she had been released, she was still in the grip of her torments.

The snowy plain Jewell had painted for her darkened – and while no fire burned, no monstrous beholders or dragons came for her - Wyh sought to escape the swelling blackness, but she felt bonds dig into her slender wrists - she was still held fast. Tendrils of darkness licked at her skin like tongues of flame, at her arms, her legs, her sides - making the Ice Queen whimper as the “flames” caressed her delicate skin, over the raw welts on her wrists, the score marks on her back and stomach.

The Darkness was given voice – thick and heavy. “All gone... they're all gone... did you really think you'd get away so easy?”

Her voice was very small, harsh and ragged even in her mind. “They - let me go.”

Thick laughter erupted from the inky blackness. “They lied. You might think you walk free... in the bright happy sunshine... but you'll never be free. Every time you feel something warm.. you'll remember the fire and the pain. Every time someone touches you, you'll think they're ready to take you. And you'll never sleep sweet and sound again.”

Wyh huddled up very small in her sleep, as silvery tears slipped down her cheeks, as the little wicked voice whispered in her mind. “You might as well go back to him freely.. you know now you have no place outside his walls. Who is left for you?”

Her eyes flashed in the darkness. “I will never return to that place - I would die first.”

The voice slid into a more seductive, more entreating mode, whispering closer. “You were weak.. that is why he chose you. But you aren't so weak after all, are you? You are strong underneath the softness. And you know he understands the true nature of power.. how well he overpowered you, after all? Why not align yourself with the strong side.. the winning side?”

“Not his side - not their side...”

The voice turned silky smooth in her mind. “Imagine if you combined your strength, your powers.. with their ways, their ruthlessness? No one would ever harm you again..”

Her power flared within, sending a burst of cold outwards – even into the waking world.

“Yessss...yes... you see what you lacked? A killer instinct... If you had that.. would he have so easily taken you? If you had that.. would those who care about you so easily forgotten you?” Images of a sailing ship leaving the harbor, celebrations, and things best left unsaid, flickered across her dreams.

A low sound - a growl, or a moan, or a combination of both - echoed in her mind's eye. “You presume much - I am not forgotten.”

“Right now you are... look and see..” A scene – was it real, was it only a dream – served to overwhelm her tenuous state of mind. Wyh’s defiant growl subsided into a whimper - as her doubts and fears were given form.

Other perils were there too - shapes of shadow and flame, darkness and fire, that reached up for her legs, to take hold of her, causing Wyh to shrink away in her dream – flashbacks of pain stabbing through her body.

The fire was sublimated, submerged in the darkness. If anything, it hurt less, but infected her more, as the voice whispered once more. “All you need to do is give in.”

A tendril of dark flame wrapped around her raw wrist, as she managed a harsh whisper. “I - cannot..”
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:45 pm    Post subject: The Dream lingers on. Reply with quote

'On the edge of sleep, I was drifting for half the night. Anxious and restless, pressed down by the darkness. Bound up and wound up so tight'

The voice continued, silky smooth in her mind’s eye. “You feared they would do more than simply hurt you, didn't you?”

Wyh managed a small nod, the barest movement of her head – her voice still harsh and raspy. “They never said... why..”

“Did you ever wonder why they.. didn't?” The voice whispered, as tendrils of darkness began to entwine around her legs, drawing out more small whimpers as she shrank further back.

“Please - why are you doing this?”

“Because part of you deep inside is thinking things you shouldn't, or wouldn't dare to admit.” The dark tendrils continued to wrap around her body, slowly enveloping her. In the waking world, her pale skin shone with silvery sweat as she weakly thrashed about, a small burst of chill winds radiating from her.

“How can you know what I am thinking, when I do not?”

Far from afraid, the dark, velvety voice whispered. “I can see into your soul... deep into the warm, darkness in you.”

Her whisper was raspy in her throat. “But I am not dark inside..."

“The part of you that wants things the good, wholesome Lady won't admit. - everyone has some darkness in them..."

Pictures flashed in her mind – lovers at play, sweet and blissful unions – nirvanas beyond anything she knew, reducing Wyh to a huddled mass of misery, wrapped in a shield of pure cold, her voice barely audible in the dream. “Stop.. Why torture me with what I cannot have - with what can never be?”

The voice wrapped around her, like the tendrils of darkness. “Merely reminding you what you lost by being too passive, too content. This is the lesson they didn't intend to teach you... but they have made it manifest nonetheless. You settled for placid fairytale bliss.. and what has it brought you?”

Her shaking hands tore at her pale hair as she huddled even further into herself, the fragility of her ordered mind was clear - and fissures showed in the structure as she rocked back and forth in her dream.

The liquid darkness was all over her now, from slim ankles to curvy shoulders; as if she was wearing a form-fitting black dress, making her tremble from head to foot. It seemed to sink into her as well, as if poisoning her, slipping in between the motes of ice - no matter how dense she tried forming it around her.

“Now you are adrift, little girl... free, but helpless under your own torments - whither will you go?”

“What does it matter where I go - for I will forever be alone, now.”

“That..." The inky blackness around her body began to withdraw. “is entirely.. up.. to you.” And - it was gone.

A small whimper tore from her - for she truly did not wish to be alone, but it seemed her only fate. Sweat soaked her sheets, silvery beads on her brow as she thrashed and tossed about – finally waking with a start and a cry, the room blurry to her heat-seared vision. Panting, she shifted in the bed, as the dream dissolved slowly – but enough lingered to keep sleep at bay.
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Last edited by Wyheree on Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:33 am; edited 3 times in total
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 11:28 am    Post subject: The Next Day - The Next Dream Reply with quote

Wyh spent the day in the sanctuary that was Room Seven - well guarded by her sister Icer, so no one disturbed her. She lay in the soft bed - the injections of the synthetic magma had left her extremely weak, barely able to conjure a snowflake. Jewell had been by to reapply the poultice, and the afternoon found the Ice Queen drifting off towards sleep - but again, her trauma took the reins, and the dark fire swelled in her dreams. The dream raged for a while on its own, borne solely from Wyheree's trauma and experiences and memories. Faces leered at her, evil and familiar. She heard their mocking laughter, she heard her own screams, shrill and terrified in the darkness.

In the dream, Wyh found herself trapped on a rocky platform - surrounded on all sides by the dark-tainted magma, her hands covering her ears as she huddled up small, but her screams still penetrated, as did the mocking of her captors - taunting her with water, stealing her blood, over and over again.

Suddenly, it seemed the red of the magma began to cool - or was it her imagination, a dream within a dream? Her breathing was harsh and ragged, as she shrank to the center of the platform - watching with wide dull eyes as the magma cooled from red to brown close to her platform.

Far out in the middle of the molten stone, she saw it begin to rise, as though a rogue wave was forming. Acting purely on instinct, she made to counter it with her magic - and whimpered as it failed her, as only wisps of icy wind emanated from her fingers - but nothing else.

Higher it rose, humping up into a huge and massive shape of flowing liquid rock. It erupted outwards, taking the shape of a colossal magma creature, with slavering jaws and eyes that burned even hotter. Slowly it started to wade through the darkening sea of lava towards the platform. As the creature neared, she tried phasing away - seeking the refuge of her Plane, and again, her magic completely failed her, leaving Wyh prone and helpless on the rocky platform.

Closer and closer it loomed. But - with each wading step the towering creature took, it and the sea from which it had come grew darker, cooler – the long strides slower, as she trembled and shook. Soon, the thing was trembling with the effort simply to take a step. The lava was not freezing, she felt no chill. But it was hardening at least. Finally, only feet away from her platform, the great lava creature came to a stop, staring dolefully at the glimmering white prize so close at hand. She felt its malice, she felt its urge to burn, to crush. But it could no longer move.

The silent staredown continued for a few moments longer – the beast’s hand outstretched as if to grab for the Ice Queen – but it could not reach her. Then astonishingly, the lava monster began to melt... darkening still as it did so, into a sea of nearly black magma. Her breaths came in ragged gasps as the creature melted before her eyes - without the wild explosions super-chilled magma tended to have. All traces of heat were gone, though no 'chill' took its place. Everything was simply neutral. Everything around her was turning black, and not just darkened - but BLACK. The magma creature was swallowed up by the inky blackness, and disappeared without a trace, until there was only Wyheree, laying alone on a tiny little island in a sea of darkness - darkness without fear. No terrifying monsters lurked in it, she would feel. This darkness was not evil, it was not wicked or scary. It simply *was*.

This was the Darkness that had existed before everything. The darkness that had been old when the first stars were young and hot. The darkness that made up everything before small minds brought fear into the mix to be associated with it. Even her small platform now was gone, and she found herself laying on, but not sinking into, the utter nothingness that surrounded her, drawing little whimpers that echoed in the stillness as she found herself borne up by the darkness - the effect was eerily similar to being cast into the Plane of Water - but that element was known to her. This Darkness was foreign to her, but not truly alien.

She felt it move under her, like a living bedspread; it felt neither warm nor cool, but frictionless like some exquisite oil. Wherever it touched her, it briefly clung, and then sank back away. The silky voice, when it came, was everywhere and nowhere. “Are you afraid?”

The sensation of the darkness was like satin on her wounds – even in her dream state, soothing and soft, her voice still harsh and ragged as she whispered. “Yes... and no.”

“What is it you fear?”

Wyheree was silent a moment, lost in thought, before she whispered. “Being powerless..”

“And - are you powerless?” There was no wind, but something stirred the sea of ink around her, it seemed to lap against her legs as she lay there.

She again tested her magic - and it again failed, mere little wisps of flakes glinting in the darkness before being swallowed by the black tide. “My magic... it is disrupted still.”

“You are strong. But there are potencies in this world stronger still. There are ways to nullify power, even great power. Does this make you any less strong?” The voice paused a moment. “You fear the fire, don't you?” Flame and magma briefly danced around her, but they were only memories. Even so, she whimpered and shrank away – pain lancing through her, even though the fire was a phantasm.

“You fear the fire, but you do not fear the darkness. Why is that?”

She reached a hand to touch the darkness buoying her up, the feel like satin to her. “It feels - familiar.”

“It is what everything comes from. You are born out of the darkness. And into darkness you will go one day. But you do not fear and cringe at it, as you do with the bright warmth of fire. Again I ask you, why not?”

“Magma is my polar opposite - the one substance that renders me weak and nearly powerless.” Her shaking fingers touched over the raw red welt at the hollow of her throat. “I still feel it burn inside me..”

“Do you believe then, that fire is stronger? More powerful than darkness? Do not fear to be honest.”

She thought a moment, her fingers still tracing the wound on her throat. “I did... until the creature melted into darkness.”

“You begin to understand. Before there was light, and fire, and powers that you know, there was Darkness. It is the source. And when all light dies, when fire burns out, then what is left? Darkness cannot be quenched. It cannot be destroyed. It can be banished briefly, but only temporarily, and it always returns at full strength. Fire can harm you, but in the end you, who are a child of the cold, would have prevailed. For the fire cannot burn forever.”

She began to sink slowly into the darkness, as the voice faded. “You have known the power of Fire. Now, know a taste of Darkness.” Inexorably, and with nothing to hold on to, she was slowly pulled under, the blackness wrapping around her like a blanket of the silkiest satin…

Only to awaken sharply in her bed – waking with a gasp, clutching at the blankets on the bed - where was she? Wyh blinked slowly as she lay on the bed of Room Seven – it took several moments for her to remember where she was, shifting as she felt the poultice on her back. She stayed awake for some time, the images of Fire and Darkness fading from her mind – yet the sensation of satin on her skin lingered.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:08 pm    Post subject: The Darkness Dawns - and a Decision Made Reply with quote

Four days had passed since Wyheree had been released – dumped like so much refuse in the middle of the Inn. The grievous wounds were healing nicely, thanks to the attentions of her Sissy Jewell, and her rest was assured in the sanctuary that was Room Seven – at least, it was on the outside.

Nightmares plagued her the first night – penetrating even the glamour-induced slumber Jewell placed over her, until sheer exhaustion claimed her, taking her into the place where dreams, no matter how terrible, can travel. The nights that followed, Wyh knew she dreamed, but of what, she did not know – she often awakened flushed, a sheen of silvery sweat upon the sheets of the bed, leaving her disoriented and confused when her eyes fluttered open.

Her strength had returned enough to allow her to sit up without fainting, so Wyheree sat in the rocking chair by the bed, turned to stare out the window into the winter night sky. The afternoon before, she had asked her Sissy the question burning in the back of her mind ever since she was released – and the gentle answer, was not what she hoped. Tears did not fall – for she had cried them all in her dreams that night. She found she remembered the sadness – and the comfort given to her, the source of it still a mystery.

Her slender fingers brushed over the circular welt in the hollow of her throat – no larger than a droplet of ink, still angry red against her pale skin, as she rocked. Her eyes glimmered with a faint silver light as she drew the rings off her left hand. Her right closed over the platinum, and when it opened, a model of a ship nestled in her palm. With great effort, she raised her right hand, and turned her wrist over – scattering the ice motes so they twirled about her once, before absorbing within her.

Even that simple use of her magic proved too much for her taxed system – her eyes closed, her pale lashes fanning her cheeks as she gave herself up to the sleep she so desperately needed – and secretly craved.
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Last edited by Wyheree on Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:16 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:28 am    Post subject: The Darkness Strengthens Reply with quote

Another day passed, and Wyheree finally regained enough strength to leave the Inn - for even with the wards traced by her Sissy Icer, she never felt relaxed, she never felt truly safe. So now, she was given sanctuary at Jewell's - loved and sheltered under her Sissy's watchful eye, slowly recovering from her wounds.

Wyheree fell once again into a fitful, restless sleep - at first, beholders with red-tinged eyes flew towards her, blood dripping from their fangs. She cowered and shook - and suddenly, they were gone. Foul red dragons, talons outstretched to rake and claw her exposed flesh swooped down upon her next - only to dissipate before they reached her huddled form. All was still - the only sound being Wyh's hammering heart. Slowly, she raised her head - she was back on the black sand beach, under a night sky sprinkled with stars. With a heavy, aching heart, she stood and walked along the shore - the water lapping at her bare feet as she wandered for a moment - or for hours, lost in her tormented thoughts. The voice, which had been ever present as of late, was silent – leaving her truly alone in the dreamscape.

Her jumbled, fractured mind refused to settle - she was at a crossroads, she knew - but she knew not which way to go. For the first time, a few scattered icy flakes followed her as she roamed the shore, longing to hear the comforting whisper that soothed her aching heart. Her dress seemed to reflect her mood - glimmering white, slinky, silky – and perhaps a touch daring. A black stone bench stood a few steps away from her - and it seemed only natural to sit there, adjusting her skirt so it fell in a graceful drape, with just the right amount of pale skin showing.

She was somehow unsurprised when a handsome young man she did not recognize walked out of the darkness towards her, greeting her warmly. “Hello there, and well met, my lady.” She looked up, and gave the man a little smile - though sadness still lingered in her eyes. “Good evening to you, good sir.”

The man seemed to study her a moment, making an observation in a silky, yet unfamiliar voice. “You are wearing white.. It is lovely, and suits you well..” He seemed poised to offer her criticism, which made her tilt her head in surprise – as very few ever critiqued her attire “I usually dress in white - as it is the most fitting shade for the magic I wield.”

“You would be very appealing in black.” He smiled warmly at her. “Do you ever wear black, my lady?”

Palest pink touched her cheeks, even in her dream. “I have - but never for the public eye.”

The young man’s smile widened slightly. “Is that so?”

“Indeed it is.” Wyheree sighed - a small release of breath, before she continued speaking. “Does it truly matter, what color I wear - when no one will see?”

“That's when it matters the most, my lady.” He sat next to her on that black stone bench. “For you know.”

She smoothed the fabric of her skirt as it lay over her thighs. “Black would be more suitable for the feelings I have had as of late…”

“Or the person you have become?”

“I know I am not who I once was... but - I do not know who I am now, or who I will become.” She sighed once more, her fingers brushing over the red welt that persisted on her throat.

He smiled at her. “You do not know who you are now? What do you feel you are?”

She thought a moment, as the dark waves lapped at her feet. “I feel - lost, adrift - like snowflakes in a storm.”

“You have been through great torment.” He nodded as he listened. “Much which you thought was true and unbreakable.. is not.”

She studied her delicate hands, as they lay folded in her lap, her voice soft – the rasp not as harsh. “Indeed... and the pieces do not fit as they were.”

He regarded her quietly, before speaking once more. “You might ask yourself this - is it the torments and the pain that have most shaken you? Or... the upheaval of your life's foundation?”

She thought for a long while - or for a heartbeat, as in dreams, time is so very fickle. When she finally spoke, her whisper was soft, nearly lost in the air around her. “The wounds on my body will heal, the damage done to my mind - also will heal. But - how does one heal wounds of the soul?"

He thought a moment, before answering. “There are many answers.. Time, is one. Time heals many wounds. But you... you suffer from more than wounds. You have been shaken. Your faith, in those close to you, has been shaken. That is worse than mere wounds.”

Her voice was a whisper in the wind. “I know my family - they searched as best as they could.”

“And that is why you have not fallen into utter despair, isn't it? For not all have abandoned you. You believe that deep down, though you have been trying desperately to convince yourself of it to all parts of your mind.”
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Last edited by Wyheree on Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:33 am    Post subject: The Darkness Strengthens - Continued Reply with quote

The repartee continued, back and forth – questions asked, answers given – musings of reasoning, hints of possibilities, and all the while, the young man smiled. During a moment of pause, while gazing out into the endless night – Wyheree spoke, as much to herself as to her dream’s companion. “I just wonder - what now..”

“That...” His Cheshire-cat smile lingered as he faded away to nothing, “is entirely up to you...”

A heartbeat, then two - and then with that smile appearing first, he reappeared before her. “Will you take the lesson to the extreme, and shut all those out from getting in too close? Or will you open yourself and risk the pain again? Will you seek your refuge and pleasure only in dreams, where you are safe?”

Her voice was nearly lost in the darkness. “I... I do not know. Here - the terrors do not come. I do not see those horrible eyes, or hear their voices - or feel the pain, as I do when I wake.”

The man tilted his head as he regarded her. “It is true. And your dreams can offer you anything you desire. No matter how impossible.”

“What I desire most, truly is impossible...”

“And what is that?”

A sad, wistful look crossed her face: “I wish for one who would not only see me as a trophy, or a conquest.”

“How is that impossible?” He smiled that warm, genial smile.

“Because - no one sees all of me.”

“No one?”

The sadness lingered in her eyes. “One.. only one... But I fear, it is far, far too late... “

“Ahh.. but that's not important. If one can see you... all of you... then someone else might.”

“The odds are not in my favor..” The words bad barely left her lips, when she felt the world changing around her.. in response to her thoughts-turned-words. Showing her images both delightful and impossible – the deepest, most secret wishes of her very soul. The sight was so overwhelming – she buried her face in her hands.

The whisper teased along the edges of her mind. “You do not have to hide here. This is your dream... you have no limits here.”

“But to dream, of what I cannot have..”

“The first step is to be honest with yourself..”

“Honest... how?”

“In what you desire. Forget the real world, here it matters not.”

She sank onto the black sand, curled up before the black stone bench, her head pillowed on her arms – sending pale hair streaming everywhere. “All I desire - is for one to love me, truly love me for all that I am - the Lady, and the Mage. I do not ever wish to ever again deny what I truly am.”

Unseen hands took her by her shoulders, and gently turned her around. She raised her head – expecting to see the young stranger, but it was her dearest friend who stared at her, whispered to her. “It WILL happen. I promise you.”

She blinked up at him – sending silvery tears trailing down her cheeks. “How can you be so sure, when I am so unsure?”

“Because there is too much love inside you to be left to dry out.”

“I am scared, my friend - more than I ever have been.”

He whispered to her, soft and sweet. “I don't know what you will become. But you will be glorious.”

“I do not feel glorious... I feel so lost. How do I know which path to take, when so many lie before me?”

“Dear, beautiful Wyh. What are dreams, if not opportunities to find out?”

Her head pillowed on his shoulder, capturing her whispered words. “Will you help me?”

“Always.”

She hesitated, then whispered. “May I ask, for you to cradle me, while I sleep?”

“I always do, even if you don't know it." The scene of her dream changed – instead of black sand beaches surrounded by dark, endless water – Wyh was now laying on a bed, covered in sheets and covers of the finest black satin, and her pillow was her dearest friend's lap, as he played his fingers through her hair, whispering comfort to her. “Don't despair, Wyh.”

She felt warm, protected - safe in the Darkness, within the embrace of her dearest friend. “It hurts... The only time the pain eases - is here.”

He stroked her hair, his whispered words a rich temptation. “You know, if you stayed in here, I could give you everything you want.”

“If it was truly possible - I would... but I cannot sleep forever.”
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 11:50 am    Post subject: The Darkness Strengthens - Continued Reply with quote

“In here, I can make your dreams into whatever you wish.. they are yours to create, but I can shape them, mold them, to anything you could ever wish to do, to be, to have or experience.” it was, of course, the Entity - the being borne of endless Darkness, using the shape of her friend, but the conversation still seemed and felt natural. “If you are here with me... we can do anything together.”

“Here, I can tell you my secrets - my deepest fears, my most desired dreams..” She murmured, his words like the richest, most tempting silky sweet to her aching soul.

“Your deepest fears will have no dominion here. For though they can terrorize you in a dream, I can drive them away for you. I can give you all this, and more.” He coaxed her. “If you stay with me.”

“I would stay - and I will stay, for as long as I am able.. but I must eventually wake.”

The Entity was truly, for once, learning what 'companionship' was. And he (for it now saw itself as a he) began to hate and fear the times that she woke and left the dream world.. for he was then once more alone. And now that he knew what he meant to be alone... he wanted no more of it. He continued in that silky whisper. “If you truly wish to stay... I can make it happen.”

“But - my body would wither, and die - and then, I would not be able to stay here, for the dead do not dream. And - what of my family - those who I love, in the waking world?”

He could not answer that. For he had no answer.. he knew and cared not for them. Only for her, his bright angel. After a moment’s pause, he whispered, pleading with her. “They would guard over you..”

“But they would guard my body in endless sleep - they could not speak to me, nor I to them. They would grieve, far worse than they did when I was captured.” She paused, turning to gaze into the face of her friend – yet not. “Know that I will stay as long as I can - and that I will return once more, when sleep drifts over me.”

“So you do wish to stay with me?” His tone grew eager.

“You are so very dear - and if it was truly possible, I would stay in my dreams.. But - in order to truly heal, I must face the waking world.”

Jealousy flashed in his darkening eyes. “They can't give you what I can...”

Tears glimmered, as she whispered. “If I stayed here - then my family would suffer. And - they are a part of me.”

He seemed as a petulant child for a brief moment. “Am I not part of you? Can they give you what I can?”

“They give me... different things - I cannot deny them, no matter how I wish to stay here. As you are a part of me - so they are as well.”

She felt the surge of power within the Entity - for so she knew him to be despite the familiar face it wore, as his desperation grew. “But I want you! I want you with me!”

“You are with me... always.. When I wake - I remember you..”

His voice was a whispered plea. “But when you wake.. I am alone.”

She thought a moment, before speaking again – choosing her words carefully. “Is there a way.. for you to take a piece of me, within you – so you know you are not alone?”

He answered softly. “No. It is.. difficult to explain. I am a shadow... an echo... without you. All these fantasies, they are your dreams... I can not make them. I can only take what you have, what you are, and shape it...” The scene changed once again, and she was laying on her back, hair spread wide on the satin pillows, and he lay over her, arms and hands slid under her shoulders as he whispered in her ear. “I knew nothing until you came.”

“You saved me - when all was hopeless... when I thought all was lost.” Tears pooled in her eyes. “But - I cannot stay in dreams forever - for it would cause great pain to those I love. It would cause me great pain, to see them suffer so.”

“And I?” He stared down, entreatingly at her. He was still using her friend’s face, his body, which admittedly made things harder for her. “Do you know what it is like for me when you are gone?”

She closed her eyes - the pleading in his dark ones almost too much for her to bear. “I - I do not know. I know only this - I cannot stay here, in dreams - no mortal can.”
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:19 pm    Post subject: The Darkness Strengthens - Finale Reply with quote

His voice was like honey, pleading in her ear. “Would they not keep your body safe and tended? Arrangements could be made... you know this. You could say that you need to meditate... to seek answers deep within yourself.” Cool breath whispered against her neck. “And you and I would be together.”

“But at what price? I would be bound here, in this place - no longer able to wake.”

“You would be bound? In this place... you have *no* limits, my lady. Would you live a thousand years as an Immortal queen, powerful and given anything you wish? I can give you that, and you would enjoy and live each day.. while only a night passes outside.”

“But what of the next night - and the next? Will you keep me here, while my family begs for me to wake?”

He cried out, his only care for what he wanted. “I care not for them! What are they to me, but possessors of a life I can never know? They have a life, they have LIFE! I have... nothing.”

She glared up at him – and her eyes glowed from within. “*I* care for them - does that mean nothing to you?”

The darkness thickened around them, as the Entity burst out. “I won't be cast aside! I won't go back into nothing, you can't make me!” Wyheree felt a thrill of power around her, hints of the Entity's true self, of his true potential. It echoed back and forth around her like the rumbling of distant thunder... and behind it, just enough to be felt.. was the desperation that separated it from mere force. “You dare not threaten me here - I am a god here!” The voice echoed around her, ominous in the crashing thunder.

“This is my mind – these are my dreams!” She thundered back.

“I *am* the dream... I am borne of them, I am made of them - the stronger you are here, the stronger you make me!”

“You would fight to keep me within my own dream?” Challenge echoed in her tone – until she realized… he was telling the truth. He was a creature that existed only in the Darkness, but with the power to enter her dreams... and in the dream, he was indeed like a god – a very angry, petulant god.

“I won't die again!”

“You will not die - you return, night after night - dream after dream!”

With a flash of lightning, the dream changed - Wyh was laying in a shallow basin, scooped out of rock, laying atop a high, high pinnacle of stone, far above a stormy, violent sea. Wracked by waves, and rain, and lightning.. she was there alone above the world. But not alone – the Entity was there, but he no longer wore the face of her friend - he was that dark, mostly shapeless figure from an earlier dream, laying overtop her, shining in the lightning, her bare skin soaked by the driving rain and wind, his voice a scream above the crashing thunder. “I die every night! Every time you waken... I die another death, and it is an agony! An eternity - until you come again!” His voice in her ears, in her mind - was both anguished and wildly desperate.

The wind and the rain charged her - energized her, even within her dream, as she cried into the endless night. “It only is if you wish it - it could be a heartbeat to you!”

She was being ravished now, and not just by his physical shape.. but by the lightning and the wind and the rain, her dream had become the ultimate expression of desperate passion. “You don't understand... you live in that world, you do not suffer time as I do!” He cried against her in utter agony. “Once you leave... I have no power... I have nothing - I am nothing.. without you..”

Images flooded the skies above her – orc hordes she battled in times long ago, became a conquering army of Darkness, sweeping aside everyone in their path to capture their prize… a monstrous being rose up from the swamps, dripping with blackness, its arms reaching out for a shining white light… red scales covered themselves in ebony, as the great dragon’s jaws snapped for her neck… a young man’s bronze skin swirled into the night sky as he covered her in the soft grass… and she felt a surge course through her, as she cried out into the endless night.

His voice was a desperate plead. “You ... are life. When you depart... you take my life away.” He seemed to be huge beyond belief, a colossus - a Titan. Yet despite that, her ravishment was complete and utter. She knew, if only through a dim veil, that the Titan was his power – and she was only seeing a glimpse of it.

Wyh began struggling under the weight of the Darkness - even as her body fell, over and over again. “I - must - wake..”
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:31 pm    Post subject: The Darkness Strengthens - The Aftermath Reply with quote

In the real world, Wyheree was moaning softly, thrashing on her bed alone – silvery sweat shining on her skin, her legs shifting back and forth as she tossed about – her curves quivering, body arching. A harsh whisper resounded in the room. “I.. must... wake!”

Her body jerked sharply on the bed, as if in response to a strong sensation. And she felt the dream going dark, felt herself beginning to awaken - felt the rage, the anguish, the fear, the loss... behind her. But would it follow her this time - *could* it? Wyheree gasped - and her eyes flew open - where was she? Was she still dreaming? Everything was blurry - including a dark shape over her... There was a sensation of weight... of heat… or was there?

Her voice softly rasped out. “No… I am - awake.” She fought against the weight she felt over her, her voice growing louder. “I am - awake!”

Wyheree felt herself fully jarred awake, felt the dream slip away.. and she knew she was in Jewell's house again – with a shadowed shape laying over her… within her… and the pleasure struck her - very real as well, leaving her panting, gasping - what was happening? She had to be dreaming still…

She could not see her mystery ravisher. She saw only a dim shadowy figure - but she *felt* him.. oh, she felt him. His hands clutched her shoulders against him, his hips drove eagerly, filling her beyond measure. And a mouth sucked wildly against her neck, her chest… She *felt* the slippery slide of heated, slick skin against skin. She knew the achingly delicious sensation of the stranger within, without… Her body knew only that it was being pleased, it cared nothing for details. And it was overheating rapidly, her body trembling and alight as it had never been - then that mouth covered hers, silencing her cries into lustful whimpers as she felt herself lose control... and felt the stranger as well, knew the flooding heat she could not expect to be knowing *here*, now.

He stared at her as Darkness surged through her body, crying out into her mouth and she into his... had she to guess, she would have briefly believed, impossibly, that it was her dear friend with whom she was collapsing into bliss - but it was not possible! A shudder, a moment of haziness... then she came to sharp focus again, quite alone on the bed.. quite empty, the room.

Her first, obvious thought? A dream within a dream, that's all it was – although she was barely able to sit up… As Wyheree looked around, several things came to her attention. First, of course, the door… still securely locked from the inside as always. She trusted Jewell, but it helped her to sleep having the door locked. Second, the windows, also secured and unbroken. There was no way for anyone to enter the sanctuary of her room.

Her hand came up to her heaving chest – and the chilling revelations began as she felt the sweat on her skin, saw the silvery sheen on her fingers in the moonlight, the rosy flush plain… Her lips felt swollen – and she swore she could still taste the kiss of the stranger. Her eyes widened as she caught glimpses of dark shadows on her chest, felt the tingle of bruising on her neck, exactly where she’d known them in her dream – all in the shape of that eager mouth. She ached – and it had nothing to do with her recent trauma… Everything added up – but the answer was impossible…

Wyheree sat a very long time – her hand covering her mouth in complete shock. Her mind spun and whirled with the impossibility it was now faced with, and it kept sleep at bay for the remainder of the night.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 8:26 pm    Post subject: Another World of Dreams Appears Reply with quote

Days without sleep - beyond a little nap here and there, and even those were too fraught with worry to allow her the rest she needed, had taken their toll on Wyheree. Dark circles shadowed her eyes, her physical recovery had stalled - the worst of the wounds were healed, but her strength and sparkle had not yet returned. She desperately needed to sleep - horrible auburn eyes and insane laughter filled her mind when she was awake. But sleep had dangers all its own... as It called to her... nothing was more seductive, it clung to her, teased her, drew her finally down into the delicious, comforting darkness that swirled above the deeper Darkness.

The house was always locked and warded, but now she would wonder... would that matter? For that matter, would it hinder a rescue if it ... happened again? But there was nothing for it now.. for she felt herself slipping delightfully into the warmth of blissful sleep, collapsing on the sitting room couch after her TDL match - she had barely been able to hold the lightweight foam blade, and she had done poorly. Fatigue can only be denied so long, and the moment her pale hair touched the couch pillows - she was fast asleep…

At first, the dream... was bland. She felt herself walking alone along an ordinary sandy beach, wearing a long flowing gown – not black this time, nor white, but blue like the twilight sky - clear blue water lapping at her feet, nothing that hinted at her previous dreams - no sign of it… of Him. She found the haze that the real world drew over her dream-memories gone. Here, within this dream, she remembered *everything* once more – the temptation, the rage, the ravishment… For the first time since her first dream since being released.. she felt – alone.

There was no thickening of the water, no darkening of the sand - she walked the endless shore with only herself for company, as memories flooded back... words spoken, a desperate pleading. She’d been too frightened at the time, too overwhelmed by the physical and emotional assault to really let it sink in, but now she remembered the agonized pleading of the Entity. She couldn't truly know what he was feeling, what it was like... but from his words and the way he'd begged her, it seemed like something terrible. Was he gone now? Was he dead? Could such a creature die? Or was he hiding? She brushed her pale hair from her face - palest pink in her cheeks as she remembered the wind, the rain – the charge all through her. She gazed out across the waters - and pondered his words. He said he died, when she left her dreams. And she had not dreamed in days..

What *was* it? It was an Entity - a creature of darkness.. that much she knew, or thought she knew. It was at once seemingly ancient and powerful...and yet childlike. It had a terrible temper, and yet was capable of such tenderness. And she couldn't shake the inclination to call it "him", even though as a dream-entity it could likely be beyond such notions…

The wind stirred her hair... it seemed to her a mournful song, crying out over the water. He had been so sad, so desperate - so afraid to be alone. She did not understand how the Entity came to be, but she did realize that something in her mind, left vulnerable by the torments inflicted upon her, had called out to him - and given him a form, one terrifying in its power, and absolute in its attack upon her. Her fingers brushed over her mouth, her neck - where the remnants of a bruise lingered, a reminder of the lingering shock of waking, to find her dream real... to feel the aftereffects in the real world, to feel the evidence of being taken by someone… who could not have been there - was *not* there… but she knew better, as she had felt the weight - the heat, seen a flash of eyes that belonged to someone she knew was far away, yet were worn by the shadow that had covered her so completely...

The reasonable assumption she thought, as she sat on the sand, letting the waves crest over her ankles, was that it was taking the form of the one male who was still dearest to her heart, the one that she most would let near her now. Why else would it use that form so much? Or - did she choose it - because of how close their friendship was? The water on her bare feet felt cold, but not uncomfortable – soothing her, but not as much as it once did. Something felt – missing.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 9:38 pm    Post subject: Another World of Dreams Appears - Continued Reply with quote

It was a beach just like this one, in an earlier dream, where the Entity first came to her – first knew her… he had come to her then without warning, but now... she knew only silence. Silvery tears trailed down her cheeks as she gazed out across the water – all those times she’d been at his mercy, but now – nothing… So this is what it was, to be truly alone…

Words lingered in her mind, ones he’d whispered to her... “you called to me... I came…”

Music played in her head, lines from a song she heard once, long ago… “And when the music stops... there's only the sound of the rain... All the hope and glory.. all the sacrifice in vain.. and if love remains.. though everything is lost.. we will pay the price, but we will not count the cost...”

Did she dare call out - would he even hear her now? There was only one way to find out… but before she was able to even try - her dream changed... her subconscious took control... and she found the water growing warmer against her ankles – the color changing slowly from soft blue, to red – she gasped aloud, jerking her feet from the rapidly heating water – but it wasn’t water anymore - it was magma. She felt the heat rising from it, the sand going from soft and wet to crumbling and dry - she scrambled away from the shore - fear driving her as her entire body shook…

Hands burst from the sand - dark shapes arose, all clones of the two men whose faces she would never, ever forget – vile red eyes gleaming in their faces, hands menacing her with needles and crackling energy whips – and they were all coming for her, surrounding her... But though they were dark shapes - she felt no connection to the Darkness from them. These were not borne of the Entity – these were nightmares of her own personal creation – and she found she could not make the images change, nor could she wake...

He was not protecting her... and yet... neither was he holding her to it. That realization was late in coming, as she cowered and whimpered in her dream - but it came as she raised her hands to ward off the horrible creatures - with a whisper of ice crystals over her fingers… It was not the power she would have known in reality... nor in the fullness of her better dreams. But she was not powerless – not this time…

They laughed horribly, cackling at her with promises to finish the one torment they had not done to her before... eyes leering – and when the taller one's hands reached to touch her, she lashed out, her own fingers morphing into claws, severing the creature's arm – and so it continued… they tore at her dress, they tried to lay hands on her, to touch her... and she retaliated with deadly force. She was not helpless as she had been at the far more tender (even in the worst of the dreams) touch of the Entity.. and yet she could not dominate the creatures as she once would have – for every limb she severed, another grew - and she realized she was at a stalemate. The nightmare gained no ground - but neither could she eradicate it. Wyheree was truly at a pivot point between what she could be and what she feared she had become…

Then she saw the sky grow brighter... slowly at first, and then more markedly – and she glanced up, pausing in her strikes against the hordes of tormenters, she saw a brilliant, fiery shooting star break through the clouds, storming across the sky in a brilliant eruption of white light. And she felt a sensation shaking her that had nothing to do with the monstrous nightmare-images...

For that sensation was Jewell, shaking her awake in the real world, telling her she'd gotten a message that Toby and Tabitha had made planetfall a short while ago – they were back, and wanted to come and see her.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:19 pm    Post subject: Conversations and Revelations Reply with quote

An hour had passed, maybe two, since Wyh's involuntary nap. Jewell had awoken her - telling her she had just gotten word Toby and Tabitha were back from their honeymoon, and wanted to see her - could they know already what had happened? She sat quietly in the little sitting room, looking very tired - dark circles smudged under her eyes, and she still did not have her usual sparkle - but the worst of the wounds were at least healed, at least on the outside. She was demurely dressed in a loose-fitting gown, blue like sapphires, silk upon her still-delicate skin, as she was still not able to conjure her own icy garments.

Some time later, the Jeep pulled up in front of Jewell's home. Toby had considered flying directly there, but there was no place a vessel the size of Lady could have landed there - certainly not without major disturbances. So, he'd quietly landed back up at the cabin, and he and Tabitha had driven down as fast as humanly possible – for they both knew something was not right, not at all. So they were still in the dark blue matching flight suits they wore while aboard Lady. After a quiet and short conversation with Jewell, the two came into the sitting room where Wyh was resisting the insistent pull of the darkness of dreams – it would be poor manners indeed to be asleep when company came to call.

The first moments were awkward - it should have been just a happy reunion of friends, after all...she'd so recently been a warm and beaming witness at their wedding. But all three of them felt the change in the air - Wyh because she'd been through it, the others because… well.. they felt something very, very wrong. It was Tabitha who first broached the subject, with her blunt yet gentle way - moving to sit next to her, speaking softly. “We got here as soon as we could.”

Toby moved to sit on the other side of Wyheree. It was a subtle thing, but a definitive way to say she was surrounded by friends again. Wyh reached her hands out for her friends - feeling Tabitha's subtle healing gifts tingle in her fingers as she held on tightly, her voice still a touch raspy. “I know - I saw... even when they - I knew you would come.”

Tabitha was proving to be more sensitive to things related to dreams, such as the flashes of images she saw when not fully awake nor asleep ... but Toby had far more experience with psionic gifts; plus he had a closer connection to Wyheree in general – they had been friends for so very long. So by and large they had been fairly equal with what they'd felt from her, and what they'd been able to perceive – and what they felt, they both knew they had to return as quickly as possible. So, Toby had indeed broken a few intersystem 'speed limits', and taken a few creative hyperspace shortcuts to get back as fast as they had – shaving three days off the return time. But, there were certain laws of physics even Toby could not change.

Toby continued slowly. “We both… felt flashes of things. Like little bits of nightmare when we weren't sleeping. It all started around the time we were ready to leave Pacifica. Once it started to make a little sense, we started back.”

His voice softened. “I don't really know where to begin, what to say.. but we're here. We're going to *be* here as long as you want us, and whenever you need us.”

Wyh clung to her friends like lifelines - but she was shielding certain areas deep within her mind, which did not go unnoticed by the subtlety that was Tabitha – but she didn’t say anything. Wyh’s voice was quiet. “So much changed.. never have I felt so lost.”

He was hesitant; he knew she was hiding great pain, and things that he couldn't easily ask her. Prying felt wrong - but just with their presence (and partly instinctively), he and Tabitha were engulfing Wyheree in something she had never experienced before. A wave, a gentle bubble, of light energy... who knew they were like that? Even they didn't know, for sure - it was just naturally generated by them - once they'd come together, it seemed, they were of Light, as she was of Ice... as something else was of Darkness.

The light flowing through her, through the hands held tightly within her friends’, gave her much-needed strength – so slowly, with fits and starts and silvery tears, Wyh related as much of her trauma as she remembered, which was more than she thought, thanks to the Light of those who knew she suffered. Some of what she left out they still might know, from the flashes they'd received from her. She was a powerful transmitter, even if she wasn't a natural telepath.. she had a connection to Toby from the time they'd touched minds... and Toby was bound to Tabitha, who was a latent Dreamwalker adept, though she was unaware of it.

Both women shared a wry bit of bemusement at the instinctive reaction from Toby about Wyhs' tormentors - as in, "I'll set them on fire for this" – and the vision of the men being consumed into ash did bring Wyh a certain satisfaction – but, it wasn't mixed with the wild and out of control rage he used to have. As much as he desired revenge.. it was sublimated by the need to care for his friend first. Time, and Tabi, had gentled him some. Also, he'd made a conscious decision to part with a large portion of his darkness... a decision that gave him this new center, but also would turn out to have far-reaching implications for Wyh herself…

When Wyh spoke of her release - and the nightmares that followed, Tabitha felt something prickle her - a vague sense of the familiar, as did Toby, though he couldn't figure out why.

“You really think they were more than just nightmares, from what happened?” he said, after she'd relayed the first few.

Wyh nodded slowly: “When I awakened - I could still feel...” Her cheeks were tingled with palest pink.

To their credit, neither of them patronized her with "Well, dreams can feel really real.." stuff. When she got to the second-to-last dream, though, when she told them about the Entity's words, and her brief awareness of him in the room, and the evidence that she'd been taken by him - that made everyone quiet. Tabitha was still trying to figure out how that was even possible she had seen certain movies, of course – but the reality before her made that cheesy film pale in comparison. Toby was more disquieted, having lived in Rhydin as long as he had.

After a moment, he spoke. “Well, the last dream sounds like your experiences are still gnawing at you.. but you're starting to hit back, kinda. It didn't sound like the others at all.”

Wyh shook her head sadly, seeming almost lost. “No - it was not. It was like the very first one, before the voice came.”

“I'm not qualified as a shrink,” he gave her a little smile, “but I think it's safe to say you're turning a corner in how you confront what happened, if that last dream is any indication. But.. that still leaves us with what happened.”

Wyh’s voice was barely above a whisper. “I was so foolish - I had forgotten.. what I am. If only –“

She found her hands grasped. One by Toby, one by Tabi – Tabi giving hers a gentle squeeze. “What you are, is a good person. And the people who did that - they weren't. Rhydin goes through 'safe' periods... but there's always the potential for bad stuff.” He gave her a little smile. “Remember, you're still a *little* new here, overall. Now you really know why I've had that red robotic monstrosity following me around for years.” He paused, then continued. “Do you have any idea why...?”

Wyh shook her head, silvery tears glimmering in her eyes. “They never said why... it was like they took me, tortured - because they could.” She had seen images of the slave auction, seen “herself” sold - but her mind could not make sense of any of it, if that was even the complete reason for her taking.

After another moment, Toby continues. “All I do know… is that you're free.. you're safe. And whatever they hoped to gain, they failed. It won't happen again.”
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:44 pm    Post subject: Conversations and Revelations - continued Reply with quote

Wyh's expression spoke volumes: “How can you be sure?”

Toby turned to look at her. “Because I know you. I remember all those stories you told me, back when you were trying to cheer me up. About all the things you used to do? Remember?”

She nodded slowly. “I remember...”

He continued quietly. “It's a harsh lesson, but Rhydin is just not a safe place. Why do you think I beat Tabi over the head with all the warnings when she arrived?” He gave them both a wry smile. “But I don't think it's a lesson you need to learn twice.”

Tabitha gave her hand another gentle squeeze. “I know everything feels like it's been turned upside down - but you're not alone here. Never ever alone.”

As was always his way, Toby tried to lighten the mood with his own brand of humor: “I figure, we'll kidnap you away on the ship or the cabin with us half the month, and Jewell can have you the other half... we'll even have a sign-out sheet and everything.”

That thought did get a little smile from Wyh - but then, her eyes shadowed, her voice still barely above a whisper. “What if.. those dreams return?”

“Well, if you're talking about the first and last ones.. they will.” Toby spoke quietly, as he had some rather bitter experience with traumatic events and horrifying nightmares, that even Tabi didn't know about. “But you'll face them down, it's how you'll heal.”

“I did not mean those sorts of dreams... I meant - the other..”

There was a long pause, before he answered. “That... sounds like a whole different kettle of fish. I mean... from second-hand, I really couldn't tell you what was going on..” He hesitated - but it was clear he had an idea of what was happening, as did Tabitha - and she gave Toby a nod, speaking softly. “Knowledge is a powerful tool.”

Toby took a deep breath. “I don't think it was a dream. At least, not the way you're thinking. It sounds like you've found something. Or more to the point, something has found you.

Tabitha radiated calmness - which kept Wyh thinking, and not panicking. “It said I called.. and it came.”

“It's not impossible,” he began slowly, “I've heard stories of life-forms,” He didn't use the term 'things', as it'd make her experiences feel much creepier, “that exist only in the non-physical world.”

“It..” Wyh hesitated over that word, “knows things - experiences I have had, before the torments.”

“The dream is the connection.” he continued, slowly working it out in his head even as he said it. “Once you fall into that state, it weakens the natural barriers you have up. I mean... you don't normally have a problem with telepaths in your head ,right?”

Wyh shook her head. “Indeed I do not - any connection that is forged, it is at my will.” There was one though, that unknown to them all, was the key…

“But when you're asleep, your conscious mind is sublimated.” He continued to think through it. “And your subconscious isn't meant to handle those duties. So the barriers weaken... and a hole opens. So whatever your subconscious can remember... it can see.”

Wyh was quiet for a moment, then she spoke – again in that raspy whisper. “I remember - a song... when all felt hopeless..”

That made them both blink. “A song?”

Wyh nodded. “The words - I was able to cling to hope, when all I wanted to do was make the endless pain cease.”

“Was it a song you knew?”

She thought a moment, and again nodded. “It was one - that you played once, long ago.”

Toby smiled a little at that. “Music does tend to tie you to memories.” He then winced slightly, with that wry grin. “It wasn't that crazy Bop Bop Bop song, was it? I swear, that was just too many drinks made me do that.”

Wyh gave him a little smile - and Tabitha was hard-pressed to stifle a giggle, as Wyh continued in her thoughts. “It was the one.. about bridges.”

He thought about that, but it eluded him at the moment. – and a more pressing question came to mind. “When did you first... encounter the other voice?”

“The very first night - but, I thought it was my memories - trauma, that were speaking.”

“It might have been, at first.” Toby thought for a long moment, then looked at Wyh. “So, have you been sleeping since then?”

“Not well - not since...” Wyh blushed all rosy.

Her friends gently moved past her embarrassment, as Toby continued on. “Wyh... just based on what you're telling me, I really do think you encountered...something. Something *not* in your head. And if you go back to sleep, you're going to encounter it again.”
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:19 pm    Post subject: Conversations and Revelatons - Conclusion Reply with quote

Wyh was stunned. She gripped both her friends’ hands tightly, as Toby continued.

“Whatever it was... it sounded incredibly powerful, if it was able to force itself out of the dream world and into reality even for a short time.” He thankfully glossed over exactly what it had been doing when it appeared into reality. “The thing is... you might be in danger if you meet it in the dream world again. If it's that powerful... it could do some serious stuff to you – and I don't just mean x-rated movie stuff either.” He coughed. “When you dream, your subconscious is in control - your body is entirely ruled by it. Everything... your breathing, your respiration.. If ...” It was hard for him to say this, but he had to make her understand. “if you think you died, in a dream... this creature could conceivably make it 'real' enough that you really would. If it's doing.. what you described, then you could wake up expecting. Maybe.” He amended, knowing she'd had some problems with that ever since the first time on the Ice Plane. “But you see what I mean, don't you? When you're dealing with something that has the power to manipulate dreams... the dream IS your reality, as far as you're concerned.”

Wyh nodded - the weight of his words not lost on her, as he continued.

“That's bad enough. But if this thing really is trying to escape...” He paused, looking for words. “Imagine what something like that would be like, loosed out on the world.”

“For as terrible as it might be - it does not seem to wish me harm..”

“No.. but what you described makes me even more nervous, Wyh. For some reason, it chose *you*. It latched onto you. And it sounds desperate enough that it might do anything to keep you in the dream world... or to force you to bring *it* out here. Didn't you say it equated your waking up to death for it?”

Wyh nodded. “Indeed it did - it said it died for an eternity when I wake.”

Toby paused, to give more weight to his next words. “How much more desperate can you get, than fighting for your life?”

Wyheree’s silence made it plain she understood, loud and clear.

“Next time it might not disappear when you wake... and I can't be sure what'd happen then. Or it might not *let* you wake, if it was serious about that. I know you have to sleep. But you know what you're dealing with now.. you have to be prepared.”

Her voice was an anguished whisper. “What can I do?”

“Well... there could be some medications that help.” Toby thought aloud. “Something to strengthen your subconscious, so that you have more control over the dream. Plus, until now you didn't really remember what was happening, right?”

Wyh answered quietly. “I remembered fragments, feelings - but nothing like the last time it came to me.”

“That's a sign that you're asserting more control, because you're remembering it. Knowing is half the battle, right?”

She nodded, then admitted, “I have been so fearful, not wanting to sleep.”

“Well... first, someone should be here, when you do. So that.. if something happens... you're not alone with it when you awaken. When you go to sleep... go at *your* choice, lay down deliberately, and think to yourself, I am in control... I am in control... before you fall off. When you meet this thing again... you have to be on more even ground. So that it doesn't dominate you right off the bat.”

Wyh murmured softly. “Someone like my very dear friends?”

“Someone you trust.” Toby nodded – then added, in a firmer tone. “Someone like us - or Jewell. Or all of the above.”

Her voice was a small whisper. “You would stay with me?”

“That's what friends do.” Toby answered quietly, even as he looked at Tabitha for her word on it; strong as he felt about this, he wasn't a single person anymore - things he did impacted his wife's life too, and her decision was in there as well. Tabitha smiled her gentle smile, and nodded her agreement – Wyh was her friend as well. They were trying to downplay the obvious newlywed glow for her - Jewell had quietly told them about the ship and what it meant, and neither of them wanted her to feel any worse.

Toby cleared his throat. “But you still have to decide how you're going to deal with this... this thing.”

Wyh blinked at the word. “It does not feel like a thing - not in the dreams.”

“There's probably no word for it that fits.” He admitted. “Not one I'm qualified to use anyway. I'm just a novice at this. On one hand it sounds powerful enough that it could be older than anything we've seen. But it acted almost like a child throwing a tantrum when you described the last dream before it vanished.”

She nodded her agreement. “It desperately wanted its way.”

“Well, when you go back...” Toby knew she had to go back, for no one can survive without sleep. “You have to be ready for that, to fight it if you have to, keep it from taking control.”

“You seem sure it will return…”

“If it's as desperate as your story implies... I can' t imagine it wouldn't.”

“Can such a being - die?”

“That's way beyond me.” Toby had a wry look upon his face. “Kairee might know, I can't think of anyone else who has that much experience with alternate reality.”

Wyh rubbed her sleepy eyes. “So much has changed...”

“Not everything.” She felt her friends’ presences, warm and loving, on both sides. “Just remember, you're not alone.”

Her loss was still keen - yet softened in the presence of her dearest friends, as she spoke softly. “That was the hope I clung to - that despite what those men said, I was not truly alone.”

She knew should feel more frightened of the Entity than she was... but *why* she wasn't more scared, wasn't clear. Was it just the unreality of it all? The truth, she would never believe if she knew…

Wyh was more relaxed than she had been in weeks - and it made her fatigue more pronounced. She softly whispered as she squeezed both their hands. “Thank you...”

“You want us to keep you company for a while until nighttime? I can show you plenty of boring pictures and slides of the surf going in and out on Pacifica.” Toby held back a snicker, though his eyes gleamed with laughter.

Wyh managed a smile. “Sometime I would love to visit that world - it sounds delightful.”

“I think we can manage to drag ourselves back... you could do with a good vacation sometime soon..”

“Indeed I could - and what better place to recharge, than a world of cool clear water?”

Toby smiled, then his expression grew serious. “When you're ready to try and sleep... we'll talk again and plan the attack.” He shook his head. “Sounds like we're gearing up for a war.”

“It does remind me of battle strategies from long ago..” Wyh nodded her agreement.

“That's not a bad mindset to have.” He again wore that wry smile. “Not that I want you to turn into Wyh-hara, Queen of the Jungle Mages, but a little more muscle in your tussle might help.”

“What else do you suggest so that I can assert myself within my own dream?”

“There might be some medications that'll do it. I can have Lady query the computer over at Star's End.”

“As long as they will work on those not fully human...”

Toby gave Wyh a final squeeze of her hand. “You're going to get through this, Wyh. We'll be sure of it.” And for the first time – Wyh seemed to believe that herself.

He rose. “All right, I'm going to go do a little drug searching on the GalNet. You two can giggle and gossip and talk about shoes now.” He gave Tabi a sassy wink.

Tabitha made a face at Toby – which was spoiled by her grin. “Since when do I talk about shoes?”

“There's a first time for everything...” He said, smirking, before slipping out.

The two ladies relaxed and chatted on the couch - Tabitha's instinctive gifts keeping Wyh calm and soothed while they wiled away the afternoon.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:04 pm    Post subject: Dreams come to Life Reply with quote

Nightfall came, and Toby and Tabitha stayed - after Wyh told her friends about her recurring dreams, and the effects they had, they were reluctant to leave her alone. The first night, nothing happened. The second night, nothing happened - though Wyh's sleep was broken and fitful. The third night, Toby had gone back to check on the cabin and the dogs, while Tabitha stayed to watch over Wyheree. She tucked Wyh into bed - and took up a position at her side. All she wanted was for her friend to have a peaceful night's rest - one without the constant trauma. Tabi used a little flare of her gifts to soothe Wyh's fractured mind, and very soon the Ice Queen was slumbering in relative peace. And for the first time in days... she dreamed.

Wyh was back on the beach - a recurring theme in her dreams, wandering along the endless shore, gazing out into the endless night. After a time – or perhaps suddenly, she felt that terrible, inevitable sense of deja vu... everything that was about to happen, she already knew it was coming. She felt the water begin to heat up, to turn red... felt the oppressive heat all around her, just like last time – except this time she was armed with the love and affection of her friends.

There was no surprise, but the terror was the same as the hands burst from beneath the blood-red, heat-baked sands, and those terrible men once again reared up, laughing with delight at her fear and pain. Every time those horrible men touched her - agony seared through her, memories of the injections, the whips - and she lashed out once more with icy talons, cutting fingers and arms to ribbons. But every time she shredded them to pieces, her satisfaction died a little as new ones came up from the sand, whole and hearty, to replace the ones she destroyed - their leering faces goggling at her, mocking her - no matter how many she cut down, more came... and she was tiring quickly.

She was alone, and they were many - alone, she could not win this fight. In the end, the demons would simply wear her down... Material ripped as the demons tore at her dress - whispering of all the evils they intended for her, what they would do once she fell into their clutches, taking great delight in reminding her that she was, and always would be, alone. No one was there – even as she screamed her defiance, continuing to just barely defend herself. “I am NOT alone!”

Ghostly laughter resonated from the infinite hordes. “Who? Who is here? Who will help you here? “

“My family - my friends - they will give me the strength I need!”

“But they are not here... they are in the other world, and you're alone with us… We'll never leave you - no we won't...”

Her cries grew more desperate. “You will - you must!”

“Who will come now for you?”

One image flashed in her mind - one who promised she would never be alone. “He *will* come.”

“Who will you call? Who's going to help you now?” They kept coming – and coming… She was slowing down - any moment now, she would collapse - and they would have her. With all she had left within her, she cried out into the night, while they laughed at her, harsh and wicked…

Behind her, she felt the wind begin to rise, tossing her pale hair about - making her look less the Lady, and more the Ice Queen. The hordes paused, while all around her she felt the cherry-red glow of the magma begin to die down – no… it wasn't fading out. The world was growing dark… The wind rose, building into a terrible furor that despite its violence, did nothing more to Wyheree than to toss her hair wildly. More hands clawed their way up, copies of the evil tormentors joining their progenitors. But none of them moved toward her – they all stared uncomprehendingly at her - at something behind her. Wyh’s breaths came fast, rasping in her chest - as the wind whipped through her dream, obliterating the terrible heat of the magma.

She glanced over her shoulder, and out of the corner of her eye, she saw Darkness rising in a vast, billowing cloud behind her, encompassing the entire horizon. A massive, hulking shadow of night, lightning-crowned, filled the sky - swelling, gathering itself into a tower that seemed miles high, lightning issuing across the massive front all round. Wyh knew - and the nightmares knew as well, as they froze where they stood, showing fear in those red-tinged eyes.

The wind still whipped around, but the sound slowly faded into a looming, expectant hush. Everything hung upon one moment, as if restrained by a slender thread only – and then… the thread broke, and Darkness roared past her on either side like the breaking of some celestial dam, and the unleashed flood tore through the sand and the screaming figures there. It left her shining figure untouched, but the shapes that confronted her were destroyed in a glorious cataclysm of thunder and night as she watched with wide silver eyes, her nightmare reduced to ash, consumed in the rages of lightning and thunder, while she shone with a silvery-white light.

The beach was gone, the ocean of fire was gone - and Wyheree stood there alone, silver and blue and shining amidst he unrestrained chaos around her, the storm of raging darkness left her standing in the midst of a sea of tormented blackness - and the only things she felt were her hair strewing uncontrollably all around her... and a memory stirring deep inside her, darkness remembering darkness as she hung there, suspended in the blackness - the touch achingly familiar.

By all rights she should be terrified. The power surging around her was sufficient to level anything she could have ever known. She should be frightened, terrified beyond reason by the storm that seemed poised to sweep her into oblivion as it had her enemies. And yet - she wasn't. She felt like an island, shining in the storm - for all its rage and terrible power, no harm came to her, nothing touched her, save the winds.

All of it began to swirl together, condensing, coalescing into a single form before her - a shape about her height, of human form, but with a surface entirely of liquid darkness. And she found herself once more on that pristine black-sand beach, edging a quiet, sad little ocean under the stars and moon - by herself, but not alone now.

She blinked up at the form - one she knew, both by sight – and by the touch of Darkness within her. Her voice was soft as the waves lapped at her feet. “You came..”
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 10:29 pm    Post subject: Dreams Come To Life - continued Reply with quote

A voice resonated in her mind, in her ears - in her very soul. “You called..”

Her voice remained soft. “I thought perhaps, you would not come anymore...”

“I thought the same..."

A black stone bench appeared on the black sand beach, and Wyh took a careful seat, glancing up at the Entity as she whispered. “You frightened me... when last I saw you.”

It did not seem to know what to say. She felt a definite 'newness' about it, somehow. Whatever this thing was, powerful though it was - there were simple things that people just understood about each other that it would not know.

“I was angry... I was afraid - I did not wish to die again.”

She continued to gaze up at it - him, asking after a moment. “Where did you go, when I was unable to dream?

It did not answer at first. She sensed perhaps that it didn't want to - or that it did not wish to speak of that place. Finally, it spoke. “There is no way you could understand. You come from a world of life. You cannot know Nothingness.”

“Tell me, please - so that I may understand, what happens to you.”

“It is Nothingness...” It tried to explain. “Your world is alive. You have - movingness of being..”. It was a clumsy attempt to explain something it could not easily explain - but she had a flash of insight. Movingness of being... existence that moves - Time! It had no way to fathom the passage of time - so what was a day to her, was an eternity to it, and she understood the fear.

The voice continued in her soul. “Here... in your dreams - there is movinginess, there is life. When you go... that is gone. And all is frozen. Imagine you were caught in the middle of taking a breath that you could never finish. Life, as we define it, needs to move. Or it is not life.”

Her heart softened as she understood the Entity’s anguish. “I did not realize.”

“You could not. You cannot know what it is. You keep your life with you.”

She slid over on the bench, so that it might sit if it desired. “Do you stay within my mind then, when I wake?”

“No. Once you wake, I can no longer reach you.” It wasn’t clear if the Entity did not recognize the simple gesture, or if it was not yet willing to be so close to her – which was strange, considering it had no problem with invading her personal space before. “You are gone... the movingness is gone - everything is gone.”

“Are you cast into the in-between - neither in the dream world, but yet not in the waking one?”

“I am cast back to where I was. I cannot reach the waking world at all.” Save once - as she well remembered. “and I can only reach the dream world when you create it. Otherwise, I am frozen in the Darkness. I did not know desire for movingness before you came, because I did not know it. I am starving, because you have taught me what it is to be hungry. I am parched, for you have taught me what it means to be thirsty.”

“I understand now, why you were so angry and afraid before..” She fell silent, her thoughts jumbling in her healing mind - she felt the truth of the words, it - he, was truly was lost in nothingness, until her torment called him to her. Finally, she softly whispered a burning question. “How did you sense my agony, within the Darkness?”

“I do not know. I thought once to pretend to be a God, that you might believe all that I say, and do all that I ask... but I cannot. There is too much that I do not understand. But when you called out in torment, you broke through the endless night. And I was aware of you. First I was aware of myself. And through that, I understood there was an Other. And the Other was you. And I sought to find that Other, that I might not be alone.” It was slowly becoming clearer to her - her dreams of intimacy were more than the simple physical act that was so common in reality. It was a symbol, a metaphor for a deeper intimacy that had been happening within her mind. For this Entity, there was no such this as *casual*.

She listened - the aching loneliness tugging at her, yet there were still questions, so much to understand, as she softly spoke. “There are countless Others - some with sufferings beyond anything I endured... why did I call to you, when they did not?”

“I do not know.” There was a pause, and then a concept that it had encountered in her own mind was remembered, and voiced aloud. “Perhaps I was meant to hear you.”

She murmured into the night. “That was you I felt... deep in my mind, when I was lost in the anguish - it was you, who sang to me.”

“I answered you in the only way I could. I did not understand your words, I could only reach back to you...” And that connection had shone through in the form of the song.

The voice continued. “Once I knew what *was*... I knew torment. Before you, I could not know Torment, for I knew nothing. Therefore, I could know nothing *else*. But you taught me Torment - and I knew that I wished it to cease, for you.” It paused. Then she knew it was looking at her, even if she saw no eyes. “Why have you come back?”

Wyh answered literally – evading the deeper meaning in the question. “Everyone dreams - we must dream, or we suffer..”

“You know what I mean. You have gained some control over your dreams. You did not need to call for me.”

She dropped her gaze, studying her hands as they lay in her lap. “But I did need to… the last time I dreamed such, you were not there - and I feared..."

It regarded her. “Was it need, only?” The unspoken question was hanging there, looming in the twilight sky - did you need me, or did you want me? There was a world of difference, after all. The voice continued in her mind. “You will soon be strong enough not to need help.”

Wyh whispered an admission. “I missed you.”
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2008 9:28 am    Post subject: Dreams Come to Life - continued Reply with quote

The voice was a seductive whisper. “Are you not afraid?”

She nodded slowly, glancing up at the Entity. “I am - and yet, I am not. In all that rage, all that storm - you did not hurt me.”

“I do not wish to hurt you. You must understand that by now.”

“I know that you do not wish me harm... yet you did frighten me terribly…”

“Do you not fear me still? My desires have not changed. And though you have become stronger, I am master in this world. Do you not fear what I could do?”

Wyh countered gently. “Would you hurt me, to get that which you desire?”

It had no answer for that. But she still felt its unwavering resolve to keep her with it, to hold onto the life that only she could give. After a time, the Entity spoke again. “For a short time... I knew your world - I do not know how. But with you, I took shape in your world. And I felt your solidity, with my own, and it was glorious. I want that.”

A blush crept into her cheeks. “I do not know - how that came to be...”

“I want that solidity, your movingness - I do not know how it came to be either, but I know how it happened. And that it can happen again, by the same hand.”

She murmured softly, giving voice to one of her fears. “What will you do - once you are in the waking world?”

“I do not know - I cannot know, for I have only a brief taste of it, and it was with you. But I know this - I am bound to you in all ways.”

She reached out a delicate hand, pale and shining in the endless night. “I did not mean to bind you to me.”

“But you and I are bound.” It reached out and took hold of her hand, the darkness swirling around her fingers. “Do you not feel it? It is in you now.”

Shivers ran through her as the darkness touched her fingers. “Indeed - I do...”

“And if I asked you to submit to me? To willingly take the Darkness into yourself again - to let me into your world?”

Again, she murmured her fear – her hesitation. “What will happen, if I do - will you harm those close to me?”

“I do not know what will happen.” It was truthful, at least. “I do not have the desire to cause harm, as in those memories you fear.” But at the same time, the Entity was truly amoral. All it knew was its desires - and anything that balked them was a foe. Why, then, was it simply speaking? She knew *all* too well its seductive ability. Why was it not already ravishing her, as it did before? Wyh stared at the Entity - and noticed another puzzlement. This time, it was not wearing the face of her friend this time, instead staying as she knew it to be in her dreams – liquid night. After a pause, it spoke again as it stood before her, her hand and its still entwined. “Why did you come back?”

Her whisper was nearly lost in the blackness. “I missed you - I feared for you…”

She felt a surge of - something from it. Was it satisfaction? Pleasure? Vindication? Hope? She did not withdraw her hand - in fact, she held on to the Entity tighter still, as she continued her admission. “I feel so alone, even with my family and friends all around me – I feel so very alone in the waking world.”

The black stone bench disappeared as the Entity drew her to stand - the beach and the sea as well. The dream was changing... but to what? Was it up to her? “Tell me - what do you want?”

She felt the darkness surround her, bearing her up, as she softly spoke her answer. “I do not know - save that I do not want to be alone.”

Toby's warnings about what dangers it could mean to bring this creature out into the world were never fully sublimated. But she felt the power of it all around her as it spoke into her soul. “Shape the dream then... and let us see what your true desires are.”

The dreamscape shifted, swirled - and soon, a large room appeared. Books lined one wall floor to ceiling, other shelves were filled with crystal samples, gems - among other oddities, the very same room where she spent so much time deep in study and research in her Keep back in her home realm. The other side of the room was dominated by a soft bed, draped with black satin sheets – luxurious, rich - the perfect repose for a Lady of her status. In this room, in this dream - both sides of her stood divided. The Entity stood there as well, resplendent in a draping cape of the same liquid black as the bedclothes. Wyh stood in the center of the room - her dress a form-fitting strapless midnight silken gown – was that her secret desire, or the Entity’s? Slowly, it turned to her and spoke. “You are torn in two.”

She gazed at him, voicing one of her deepest fears. “No one desires the Mage and the Lady both.”

“There is no difference between them.”

“To you, perhaps - but to so many others, there is...”

The Entity regarded one side of the room - and then the other, before continuing. “They see with blind eyes. Here, I see all things as they are. I see you as you truly are.”

“My family and friends see - but only partly... they claim what happened was not my fault, yet they do not understand…” She walked over to the books and the curiosities. “Am I truly Mage, if I was caught so easily?”

“The greatest tower ever built can be undone by the removal of one small stone - but the tower is no less great.”

She turned to look at the Entity. “But can the Tower be rebuilt as it was, knowing of the flaws?”

The answer given was simple. “No. It must be remade anew, with a new foundation laid with the recognition of what happened before.” Now, it began to tempt her with something more than intimacy. “You are powerful. But you could be stronger.”

She crossed over to the bed, and curled upon it, considering the words. “There are unknown Ice magicks...”

“And they would fail you in the furnace of your nightmares.” The Entity glided around the room slowly, as if examining the visual symbols of her reality.

Ice crystals danced about her fingertips, to dissipate in the night. “For all my Ice - it was not enough...”

It turned to look upon her laying there. “There are other answers.”
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 12:16 am    Post subject: Dreams Come to Life - continued Reply with quote

Wyh studied her delicate hands, musing softly. “One of the effects of the accident - was that I lost access to magicks I could once wield.” She glanced up at the Entity. “I once could cast a most impressive fireball.”

It moved over to sit on the edge of the black satin bed. “Even that would not have been enough.”

She frowned slightly. “Then - what?”

It regarded her once more. “What is the greatest power you have yet witnessed?”

She thought a moment, even though the answer came to her quickly. “Yours...”

Where it sat, its form seemed to flow into the black satin sheets, and back up again – with no boundary between them. And she felt a dim prickle underneath her, as if she was laying curled up on part of him, the tingling rippling through her midnight gown – even that became part of the whole, yet it did not lose its shape. “Yes... Fire burns out. Ice by itself is not enough. Light fails. But the Darkness was, and is, and ever will be.”

“I have no access to Darkness - it is not elemental...”

“It, like Light, are eternally opposed, and unrelated to the other elements - but you are mistaken to say you have no access to it. That was true, in your now-that-was.” The fabric of her gown rippled around her like a living thing as he spoke.

She gave him a look – part disbelief, part incredulousness. “As Ice, I can touch Air - and Water, in addition to the Ice itself.”

“All true. But now... you have Darkness in you. You cannot touch it, except vaguely, and revel in its presence. But it is there.”

“That may be... but I have no means to access it...” She sighed, which made the dress move alluringly over her figure, shimmering and rippling over those unparalleled curves.

“Yet.”

She quirked a pale brow, as ice crystals alit on the dress, sparkling snowflakes hovering on the surface of the Darkness. “You say that, as if it may be taught…”

“For you it can. Even the little bit of Darkness you've acquiesced to is potent. Do you not think it could grow? And as part of you, you can come to control it, to entwine it with your own gifts - to become something new.”

The thought was very alluring - and it showed in her silver eyes as she murmured. “To rebuild what was destroyed...”

“Not just to rebuild. To improve, to perfect, and to strengthen.” The snowflakes seemed to darken - still visible against the dress, but not glittering white – and then, the dress seemed to melt, until it became a part of the black satin sheets, draped suggestively over her just at chest level - leaving most of one leg bare. Wyh looked like a shining white angel on that black satin bed. The voice whispered once more within her very soul. “You have long resisted the true potential you possessed. But this would be far greater still.”

She frowned at the voice. “Not resisted.. but controlled.”

“Your life as it has been up till now, aided that control - steered you away from using your gifts, to repress them except for little displays.”

Her pale hair fell across her face, as she murmured a confession. “And it cost me...”

“Yes - but now a new reality opens up for you. Submit to the Darkness... learn to embrace it, and to wield it along with your gifts of ice. And you will be stronger than you have ever dreamed.”

Her voice was a whisper in the night. “And what of you?”

“I Am the Darkness - both within you, and that which looms around you. Only through me can you reach the power you secretly desire.”

“And if I submit to your Darkness - you will come through my dream, and *be*, when I wake.”

“I can do that anyway - just as before. Shall I show you?”

She shivered - the memories of before haunting her as the satin sheet rippled suggestively over her, her voice a whisper once more. “You have not taken... this dream.”

“I could.”

“But you have not - because, you do not wish me harm.”

“I have never wished you harm, even when I ravished you.” The voice was blunt. “I could take you now, and once more fill your mind with delights unimaginable. And through your power and your passion, I could follow you out into your world. But I would fade away.”

Understanding dawned in her silver eyes. “You can only stay.. if I wish you to stay.”

“Yes. It is only through your willingness that I can enter your world, and stay there - and no power that exists could force you to honestly offer that without your true will. So I .. wish to deal.”
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:35 pm    Post subject: Dreams Come to Life - continued Reply with quote

Wyheree regarded the Entity, considering his words carefully. “You wish me to submit to you... and you will in turn teach me to wield Darkness?”

“I wish to live.. and only you can give me that. But you must give it utterly, freely, and completely. By doing so, you will be bound to me, and I to you. And I will open you up to the Darkness, and all that it can be for you.”

Her voice was soft amidst the satin. “I am frightened... I will not lie.”

The Entity mused a moment. “You are afraid to allow me into your world.”

She looked out into the Darkness. “What happens - if someone touches me there?” She felt its gaze, uncomprehending as she spoke – so, she asked again, in a different manner. “What will happen - if someone I know, lays a hand on me?”

“Do you mean harm, or intimacy?” Wyh felt a wild surge of jealousy from the Entity. “Either way, I shall be unforgiving, as I was here.”

Concern flooded through her. “What of friends - family?” Images of her sisters, her brother - her friends - those she cared for, danced over the walls.

“I do not understand…” Its naiveté was coming to the front again. It could not distinguish between what they had... and the more platonic forms of love. This would be an interesting challenge if she dared accept it - to teach this being what it was to have love that was familial, or friend. It was a very dangerous line she would walk - and the danger was very real... and Toby's warnings could never be far behind.

Wyh tried to explain further. “Those I love - and that love me in return - I cannot bear to see any of them harmed in any way.”

“I... do not know.” Was all it could say, as the black satin sheet came alive, flowing over her body like water, conforming to her every curve without restricting her.

“I am torn...” Wyh whispered softly as she turned upon the bed, letting the sheets caress over every curve.

“Then let me help convince you…” The figure seemed to melt down into the black satin, slowly blooming out and taking shape over her, his voice like honey. “Give me a shape... one that you would desire…” The mood was so different than the earlier dream - it was soft, quiet - almost tender.

Wyheree thought for a long moment – then, a fleeting glimpse of someone she remembered from long ago filled her mind – a young man, solidly built, with strong corded muscles, piercing eyes, and black hair that tangled to his shoulders. The Entity took the shape she remembered easily, naturally - staring down at her as the satin simply disappeared, his voice whispering in her soul. “Would you like to see yourself as you were then?”

Her breath caught in her throat - it had been long years since she thought of her school-day crush, and here he was – gazing down upon her shining form. She felt a shiver, and she saw dark hair spill over her shoulders, felt a change in herself – she felt as she did before the accident that first brought her to Rhydin. She caught a glimpse of raven hair brushing her shoulders, and all she could do was look at him in utter shock and disbelief - yet, she felt no change in the Entity, for to it, she was as perfect in her latter-day white Lady form, as she had been in the raven-haired young mage. His arms slid under her shoulders, and he stared at her with eyes both long familiar, and newly exciting, as she reached a trembling hand out to play through his thick curls. “Shall we play in your world for a time?”

She whispered softly. “What do you mean?”

“Do you not remember?” A glimpse touched her memories of that impassioned, brief encounter in the real world. His voice was sweet seduction. “This time, bring me willingly to your world…” She blushed all rosy – marveling at him, how he was her long-buried crush, brought to life – and how delightful would it be, to finally know the feeling of what she'd secretly only thought of in forbidden dreams and whispered murmurs... in the real world - the world of the room she knew was waiting out there - even as her thoughts drifted to that room – a room where she was not alone as she slept, laying upon the bed... he placed little kisses on her chest, in a slow line across, sending electric shivers through her… he felt alive, warm, flesh on her flesh... his belly pressed to hers, his unkempt dark hair tickled her shoulders and chest as he kissed her neck, adding little nibbles…

Her thoughts flickered to herself, laying peaceful in that bed... to the wild-haired girl who was there watching over her, in case she awoke - not alone… In her mind's eye, independent of what was happening, she could imagine herself awakening, drawing him with her... and Tabi would be there – and notwithstanding what Tabi would see, which brought the blush back to Wyh’s cheeks, but even more dangerous than that... Tabi would react as they'd planned, to try and protect Wyh. She would probably attack him... she would call for Toby…

She gasped aloud - realizing the dangers, she would not see him harmed - and then another possibility hit her... of what HE might do to Tabitha, to Toby.. to Jewell, to anyone there! Toby's warnings came back in a flash, as his lips reached her ear…
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 1:06 am    Post subject: Dreams Come to Life - Conclusion Reply with quote

Wyheree shifted in alarm, pushing her hands against his chest as she spoke softly. “Stop... please.”

His hands were laid over her shoulders, but they slowly began to travel down, tracing over her skin – making her shiver. “What do you fear?”

She continued to squirm in his grasp. “I am - not alone, where I lay asleep.”

“Yes… there is a girl there.” He gently slid over top of her. “I do not want her.”

Wyh pleaded with him. “But - she is awake... and will be afraid for me... if you appear in the room.”

“You do not wish her to see? I will deal with her then.”

Her eyes went wide. “No - no – please... do not harm her.”

Even as she spoke, she felt a surge of power, and Wyh felt herself drawn along with him through the night... until she saw a path in the woods near the Inn... and Tabitha walking along happily. And she realized - Tabi had fallen asleep... and was dreaming. His voice echoed in the night. “I will not harm her, because you wish it.”

Wyh blinked - slowly realizing where they were. “How can we be, in her dream?”

“Am I not master of dreams?” Or so he believed, anyway.

Tabitha paused in her dream-walk, looking around with a little frown on her face - almost as if she sensed something wasn't quite right. The Entity whispered low and sultry. “I will give her a dream that will make her wish to stay asleep for a while.”

Concern again filled her voice. “It will not cause her harm?”

The scene flickered, and Wyh had a glimpse of Tabitha, her skin shining in the darkness, being drawn down into the bushes by an unseen someone. And then she heard a decided and delighted giggle, as his voice whispered in Wyh’s mind. “*None*.” The bushes rustled, and the giggle came again... followed by a breathier moan. There was a brief view of her leg stretching languidly up into the air, her toes pointing at the sky, before sinking back down – the sight making Wyh's eyes go wide in shock. Softly, she heard him speak wickedly to her, “Do you wish to see?” which made Wyh blush nearly crimson, and she shook her head, her eyes closed tightly.

Tabi’s dream faded away, and Wyh was back in her own, on that black satin bed – and her hands reached up to tangle in his hair again, while his hands did the same - her hair seemed to be her brilliant mane of white one moment, youthful raven tresses the next, and neither seemed odd. He ducked his head, and kissed her without preamble - and dream or not, Entity or not, the innocent desperation behind that kiss was *real*, and Wyh found herself responding to that desperation - tempering it with her sweet tenderness. The Entity might not know love as she did, but even now... she was a gentle teacher.

Unlike last time, Wyh felt very much in control. The Entity knew what to do, but it was responding to her - not taking over her. All of the fears, all of Toby's warnings about the danger, about what giving in to the Entity would mean... were fading from her mind as the tender lovemaking went on and on - and when she felt herself drawn to waking... she gave in to it willingly, drawing on her dream... Wyheree writhed in pleasure on the bed in Jewell's room… she slid her legs back against real sheets, drew in deep breaths that filled her lungs - and against her, all around and over her... He was there. It was still a shock, as she awoke, to know him there... but this time she wasn't as frightened. Instead of the delicious frictionless fullness of liquid darkness, she knew a man's touch, a man's presence, and for endless hours or moments, they made sweet love. He brushed real tears from her cheeks as the innocence and the wickedness met, she could taste him, feel him… But in the end... after the fireworks had faded - after a brief, blessed lull of wordless contented peace... she could not stop him from fading away... into memory - and no fingers remained to brush away the tears that lingered.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 10:34 am    Post subject: Whispered Temptation in the Night Reply with quote

Wyheree lay upon the bed, panting and flushed - her heart hammering in her chest as she stared at the ceiling of the bedroom. Tabitha slept, all curled up like her Kitten namesake on the nearby couch, a contented little smile on her face - still lost in her sweet dream, the one given to her by the Entity.

Wyh brushed away her tears - she knew he had lingered longer this time, and yet she still was ultimately alone upon awaking fully. With a soft sigh, she settled back into the blankets, and closed her eyes - willing herself back into sleep, back to her dreams - and to her utter surprise... she felt herself falling…

She felt her body collide with another, soft and warm and alive... and a moment later HE was there, embracing her feverishly and kissing her, his voice breathy in her ear. “How...?”

He felt so alive in her arms, as she clung to him – whispering into those fevered kisses. “I wanted to return...”

There was nothing around her - she was suspended in utter darkness, floating in it... but he was there, with her. Was this her perception of what he knew – his existence, without her? He stared wildly at her, whispering once more in her ear. “You came back to me? You chose... you wanted to.” His arms felt like flesh made steel, crushing her against his chest, yet being ever so gentle.

She wondered at the Darkness that suspended them - how he seemed to be lost within it. She did not think she was dreaming this time - he felt so real, so very warm and alive in her arms. Her voice was a cool whisper against his ear. “Yes... I came back.”

“I felt your world again... more than a brief moment this time, I knew your Movingness - I knew YOU. There was truth... and I knew your joy. And then I felt it fade... I thought you turned me away. I clung to you, but you vanished like smoke on the wind.”

Her tears were shining silver in the Darkness, as she gazed upon him. “I held onto you as long as I could... but you faded from me, in the end.”

“It was so real it hurt - I felt... everything.” He turned to look into her silver eyes. “Is this what it is like for you?”

“Living...?”

“Yes... it was almost too great and terrible to bear, and then when it was almost too much, it was gone.”

“Then yes... that is what living is like - pleasures and pains, all together.”

His voice was harsh – a strident whisper against her neck. “I wish it! I wish it always!” Then – he softened into a plea, a forbidden wish. “Oh please… Let me be there with you...”

She gazed at him, her heart breaking as her eyes filled once more with silvery tears – did she weep for him, or for herself? “It is more than your will, or my will - to bring you fully into the living, waking world.” She thought a moment. “It is indeed a puzzlement…”

“There is a way, there must be...” He gently cajoled her. “You need only bind yourself to me here - and with your will, take me out of this place with you.”

Wyh’s silver eyes went wide at what was suggested. “Binding myself to you here, would that not hold me within this place - unable to wake?”

“Only if I chose to make it so. I can only hold you here, but you can bring me out there. I can follow you there for a time - but it cannot last without your will, and power. And only by binding ourselves, I deem, can it be longer than a shining moment.”

She murmured softly, her eyes downcast. “My will alone was not enough to hold you within the waking world…”

“We were not bound - we were only touching. I begin to understand... with each touch, with each attempt. Touching begins... but it cannot sustain. Only together can we do this.” Of course, Wyheree knew the risks of such a thing. It would leave her beholden to this Entity... both here and in the real world. Though she could even then send him back into the Darkness if she chose, she would still be bound to him when she dreamed.

She instinctively rubbed at her wrists. “Being bound.. I am not sure I can bear it.”

“The girl... she knows. She has chosen to bind herself to the other.” He placed his hands on her chest, and a surge of dark energy touched her - but it did not bite, or feel painful at all. “It is.. like that. Not like your memories of torment.”

The Darkness coursing through her made her shiver, even as she tried to grasp the Entity’s meaning. “They are bound - they are wed... and even that - may not be enough…”

He looked confused as he peered down at her. “What is... wed?”

Wyh took a breath, and tried to explain. “They stood before others, and pledged themselves, one to the other - in a ceremony of great beauty.” A sad, wistful look crossed her face. “It is to last as long as they live, but... sometimes it does not.”

The Entity looked utterly lost, and sought answers. “Is that why they are one? It is clear to me, even here. When you dream... a door opens, from this place, to your dream world. And I can pass through it. When I touched the girl's mind to send her into dreams... I saw a door that never closes, between her and the – other. It is a binding of such power, they are truly one - and yet, they are unique. That... is what I wish. I wish to be bound to you, that we might travel beyond this place.. and stay there.” The thought – the very idea was so wicked, so dangerous – and so very tempting.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 12:11 pm    Post subject: Whispered Temptation in the Night - continued Reply with quote

Wyheree thought a moment, before speaking softly. “They have been one, since before the ceremony - I am not sure how, but I also see it.” She paused, then continued – considering new details in her mind. “Toby is a skilled psionist - he has great powers of the Mind. Tabitha is also gifted, but in different ways... perhaps that is how they bound themselves to one another. While I do have some gifts of the Mind, they are not like his - I can hear thoughts at times, but not like his gifts.”

He floated with her, in that ethereal and un-frightening Darkness. “It can be done, nonetheless. I perceive it... but - I also perceive your fear of it, for it means you will be mine... utterly. You fear solitude... deeply.” He tilted his head as he regarded her. “And yet - you have new fear, of binding to another. I do not understand.”

Her voice was a whispered confession. “I was bound to another... and it caused me even greater pain when I was held captive.”

“You were not bound.” He was adamant as he gazed at her. “I can sense no binding ever touching you. You have never known it.”

Wyh did not speak, but images of a ceremony flickered through the Darkness - her and another standing before a crowd - the exchanging of rings, similar to what her friends had done. The Entity mused. “That was your dream... your world is still but a dream to me.” He continued, trying to grasp the concept of what she showed him. “And how can it be a true binding if you are alone?”

“Perhaps it was not a true one, after all..." The words were nearly lost, they were so very soft.

“The only true binding is that between the true selves. Your flesh is not here - this…” He ran his hands over her, making her shiver. “is only your mind giving a shape to what you really are, here. I have no flesh - what you see is what your mind has told you is my shape. It is what you’ve chosen, to represent me.” He continued. “A true binding is between the true-selves. And it cannot be broken or it is not true.”

Palest pink touched her cheeks. “You have flesh... I have felt you…”

“Only briefly... but it was just a shell, as your flesh is a shell that houses your inner fire.” He stared deep into her silver eyes.

She considered his words for a long moment, before speaking. “A binding - that would give you what you wish... But - what does such a binding do for me, save hold me to you?”

He smiled. “I understand now... I can offer you many things... Some you have already known.” He kissed her then, just a brief touch of lips. “I can see into your soul... I can give you two things you have desperately wanted all your life, but never admitted to anyone.”

She let the kiss linger as long as she could - before blinking up at him, her confusion plain. “What two things?”

“I have looked through your eyes, and your memories... to the untrue bindings of your world. I do not understand their falseness... there can only be true binding with me.” The implications were staggering. When he spoke of forever... of always - there was no 'if' about it. “Never would you be alone again.”

She countered with one of her fears. “But at what price? What happens if you weary of me?”

It was the Entity’s turn to look confused. “What is weary?”

Again, she did not speak, instead more images flit through the Darkness - these of a bronze-skinned youth, cavorting with an unknown female in a cemetery. The Entity could not understand that either, so she tried to explain it further in a whisper. “There are many, many Others - what happens if another catches your attention?”

“How is it possible to do such things without true intimacy?” When they'd 'made love' in her dreams... it was not just the physical act. It was a true spiritual intimacy, that only took the shape of the act so her mind could comprehend the depth of what was happening. The idea of faithlessness completely failed to register. “There are Others, but there is only You.”

“I have heard promises in the dark, sweet whispered words in the afterglow - and they have all been broken...” She admitted in the Darkness.

“True bonds cannot be broken.” He said simply, before continuing. “And - I can offer you the power you secretly crave... deep beneath the veneer of the gentle lady.”

She looked up at him. “You offered to show me - how to wield Darkness...”

“Yes...” He gently touched her face. “For though you are not gifted with that elemental power - I can make it so, for have you not opened yourself to me? Allowed Darkness within you?” Her blush deepened to rose as she nodded. “Even that little fragment of it is power... and every time you open to me, it grows… Shall I show you?”

She nodded slowly, her eyes sparking with keen interest. “Please - show me the Darkness.”
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:42 pm    Post subject: Whispered Temptation in the Night - Continued Reply with quote

The beach was born anew, black sand under Wyheree’s feet. She could not quite see herself, nor him - but she knew he was right there beside her. She felt a warm whisper in her ear. “Why do you wish it?”

She adjusted her stance – mirroring the positioning she utilized in the Outback, her voice soft – but steeled with a determined fire. “I never wish to be helpless again.”

“Yes...” He mused, considering her. “You are not a helpless maiden at heart, are you? Your memories speak volumes. I see in them a woman of power, someone who knew she was such… and liked it - no matter what sophisticated veneer she has worn.”

“Indeed - I am not. No matter what I may have been these past few months - I am not a fainting flower.”

“Did you disdain the seduction of power? The dangers of it?” His voice was as clear a caress as any touch, whispering over her skin. “I know there is part of you that exults and revels in being powerful... and in the pleasure of using it. It does not make you evil - for you do not use it with malice, except when you feel it is right.”

Wyh shook her head at the analysis. “We were taught from a very young age - that seeking power, for the sake of power - starts the mindset of Liches.”

“There is no evil in power. There is only evil in the wielder.” He was still there with her, beside her - around her. “And no amount of power, or love of power, could make you what you are not.”

As if on cue, a form crossed the beach, Wyh’s greatest fear manifested - a being of sheer malevolence, skeletal - clothed in tattered robes. It grinned evilly at her - then vanished in a puff of dark smoke.

“I see in your mind what you could become...” She saw another form, also on cue - herself, tall, beautiful and terrible... a Goddess-Queen, as powerful and dark as any fairy-tale Evil, but utterly breathtaking and irresistible. The Entity looked at the figure. “But why must you become that?”

The wicked Goddess-Queen faded away, replaced by a white figure almost too bright to look upon - herself, as simply radiant as you could ever imagine. All clad in white, pure and sweet - an idealized version of what she had been for so long now - more the Lady than the Mage. The Entity regarded the new figure as well. “Or that?”

The White Lady, too, faded, and was replaced by a new image - herself, clad in a simple white dress that hugged her body, with a black hooded cloak over her shoulders. Her rich white tresses had alluring streaks of darker hair running through them – some blue, some black as night, and she could *feel* the swell of power from her other-self, who smiled quietly back at her. Shimmers of ice crystals swirled around her, scintillating between rainbow brilliance and billowing dark shadows. The dress' low cut was more daring than Wyh usually wore, and over her heart was a broad, intricate tattoo, the exact shape of which she could not see. But it was dark against her moonlit skin. She was untouched by corruption.. and yet she was *powerful*, strong... and unafraid of it, or of growing stronger. Unafraid to use her power, and yet content with herself as who she was.

Wyheree took a step towards the image, transfixed by what she saw, what she sensed. Her other-self walked in front of her, tilting her head to regard her - and spoke to her in her own beautifully husky voice. “Why choose? Why must you be one or the other, and not *me*?”

She blinked at her other-self. “Because - I never dreamed it possible... to be both of what I am.”

In dreams - all things are possible.” Her other-self answered, her cloak disappearing into the shadows as she tossed her streaked white tresses back to show off her bare shoulders, lovely and smooth, and yet resonating with her power - ice and darkness together. Her skin seemed to change as Wyh marveled at her other-self. Sometimes it was flawless white, other times a wickedly beautiful series of intricate silver, blue, and black tattoos decorated her shoulder, arms, and even her fingers. But either way, the indistinct one over her heart remained. Some might consider It tantamount to desecrating a work of art to tattoo Wyh's fair skin, but somehow when Wyh saw herself in this light, in this dream - it looked alluring… exotic. In one flicker, she looked like some beautiful tribal princess or medicine woman - in another, she was made of purest ice.

The other-self smiled. “Why must you lose your goodness, to be like me?” She stretched her arms out, and Wyh felt staggered by the dark chill that radiated from her.

“Does not power corrupt the goodness?” Wyheree countered.

The other-self stepped in so close that their lips almost touched, whispering. “Only if *you* let it. Power is power. It can do nothing by itself.” She giggled – like tinkling icicles. “Well, not to the one who wields it.” She grew serious a moment. “If you had let me out - for I've always been in here…” Her other-self gently laid a hand over Wyh's heart. “They would never have touched you.” There was no scolding, no ‘I-Told-You-So’ - just a gentle fact. “Would you like to know what it's like?” Her other-self's silver eyes sparkled with mischief.

Wyh nodded, for she knew the truth - she had indeed held her power back. “Show me…”
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 9:35 pm    Post subject: Whispered Temptation in the Night - Continued Reply with quote

Her other-self stepped forward in response - and *into* her. Immediately, the flush of everything she COULD be rushed into her like a shock of icy cold water, making her gasp aloud as her hair stood all on end - the midnight and raven streaks intermingling with her beautiful white mane, the tattoos spreading like spilled paint over her soft skin. She still felt her Ice as she had always known it since she first fell through the Plane itself – but with it now… she felt the endless, almost overpowering chill of the Darkness - but it was not overpowering her. It was like an obedient wolf, ready to obey her wishes to strike. She felt the other-self whisper within her. “Show me your enemies.”

Images of the two men who captured her appeared on the beach – and a laughing little-girl whisper bubbled up within her. “Would you like them to meet the real you? Do it...”

Wyheree’s eyes went from shining silver, to endless black - and she lashed out with her hand, fingers splayed wide - and a sheet of cutting ice came forth as it usually did, shattering into a million shards - a wall of frozen death flying forth at them. But this time, she felt each shard of ice alive with the unending cold that was the endless night. If the shards were like knives before – they were swords now. And no armor could deflect them - no fire could melt them… and the men who tortured her were shredded like paper dolls, as the echo of her other-self within Wyheree giggled – very pleased.

Wyh whirled about - and another blast was directed at the smug face of the long-hated vampiress, as her other-self explained. “The shards are born of the Elemental Plane of Ice that you know within you... and hardened by the eternal cold of the Darkness.”

The dark ice shards collided with the vampiress, who recoiled in pain but was not destroyed - she was powerful, even in the dream – both with her own unnatural abilities, and those gained from outside sources. The other-self within Wyheree just smiled. “There is more... give her the Darkness. Let it loose - see what it can do.” Her other-self urged in a seductive whisper. Wyh’s arms stretched wide, and she felt the Darkness build around her, spreading like two vast wings to either side of her, as the other-self whispered. “Do it!”

Wyh raised her hands - and the Darkness around her surged forth to wrap around the vampiress - smothering her in the Night she craved. Her other-self giggled in glee, as the undead looked around her in confusion - and mounting realization. The Darkness came alive, a thing of sheer immensity, and then it came down on the undead - tendrils erupting from the shadows, tearing the hated one apart – until like a sandcastle struck by the tide... the figure sagged and simply disintegrated.

Her other-self whispered. “All things return to the Darkness in the end - even creatures that are born in it. She had no Light - and even that would only be temporary salvation. The light will fail... but the Darkness will always be there.” The Darkness wrapped back around her like a cloak over her shoulders, rejoicing - exulting... the power through her felt so dark and alive...

Wyh whispered into the Night. “I want this...”

The little whisper came back. “It's always been in you, the potential. All you have to do is reach out and take it.” The voice teased at her. “You could do so many things - how many wrongs could you right with this power? How many adventures you could have again?”

Wyh’s whisper was fierce. “Every wrong... nothing could stand in my way.”

“One thing will stand in your way - the only power that exists that will have dominion over you.”

Wyh blinked. “What power?”

“The only power that matters.” Her other-self stepped out to face her again, but did not *take* the power from her. Her other-self laid her hand over Wyh's heart again. “Your judgment. Your wisdom. That's what separates you from what you fear to become. It always has – and it always will.” Understanding gleamed in her eyes - still as black as night, as the other-self continued. “Lady... Mage... Ice... Darkness... you *are*. They are just facets.” Her other-self winked. “They're pretty - and they make you unique. But they're just details.”

Wyheree nodded slowly. “I am not bound to be one, or another - I can truly be all...”

The other-self turned, looking over a bare shoulder at her. “You can be anything you wish, as long as you are *you*, with no denial, and no hiding. Remember that.” With that, she sauntered off contentedly into the shadows, humming a tune as she disappeared.

Slowly, Wyh’s eyes bled back to their usual silver, as she murmured softly. “I want to be all of what I am...” She looked down at herself - she still had the exotic and powerful tattoos, the dark-streaked hair spilled over her shoulders. And he stood beside her, in the form of the young guardsman she had given him.

“You can do it without me.” He spoke truthfully. “But only with me can you achieve what you have felt here. You can still be yourself, strong and powerful, and not need the Darkness. But now you have tasted what it can be.”

She turned and looked up at him. “You can show me the Darkness - help me be everything I am able to be?”

“Oh yes - and more. Limits are just chains you place upon yourself. Cast them off.”

Her voice was a plea in the night. “You can help me?”

“I can be your bridge to the Darkness.” His dark eyes flickered. “I can show you how to let it in. And how to master it within yourself. And from there... so much is possible.”

She lay her hand upon his chest, the tattoos still shining on her skin. “For so long, I have hidden what I truly am - the potential long dormant. Many times I have been called upon to reveal my power, and each time I have demurred.” Wyh’s eyes flashed. “I will do so no longer.”

The only remaining doubts within her came from her memories of her friends - of their warnings about this Entity... what it might be, what it might do to her, what it might do if set free. Only those questions remained to be answered – and the Entity could not address those... it could not understand them. And indeed, it would not find them relevant.

The Entity smiled.
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Wyheree
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:31 pm    Post subject: Whispered Temptation in the Night - Continued Reply with quote

Wyheree stepped in close to the Entity, and lay her head on his shoulder, murmuring softly. “It is a risk, what you wish - and what I wish…”

“You are still afraid of me.. of what I ask.” It was a statement, not a question.

She nodded, lowering her gaze. “There is so much I do not understand of what you are... and what you will do, once in the waking world.”

“I have few answers. I did not know I *was*, until you came to show me that there was something else to compare against. What do you do when you come into your world for the first time?” He asked her, as the beach vanished, and the dream turned to the one place he felt most comfortable being close with her - that bed again... together amidst the black satin. Truly, to it - intimacy was everything, and this was the best way for it to be visualized.

Wyh thought a moment as she cuddled under the black satin against him, before finally speaking softly. “When I first came into the world - I was an infant... I could nothing save cry - my parents tended all my needs.”

“Will I be... an infant?” He tasted the unfamiliar word, as he lay not atop her, but beside her - arms and legs and bodies intertwined on equal ground.

She answered as honestly as she could. “No - you will be as you are... but - there is so much to teach you.”

He gazed at her. “How can I reassure you?”

“I do not know... the wounds run so very deep within me.”

“I cannot help you decide... I cannot be objective.” He was also as honest as he could be.

She looked over at him. “Must I decide in this moment?”

“I wish you to.” He answered truthfully, which was not the same as "yes". “I want this "life", that you have, and to learn from you.” A new appeal had been dangled before the Entity - that of not just Life... of Time... but of learning from her what to DO with them both. She knew her danger - but was it danger? Her friends were right to caution her - she was on the edge of a precipice that she could never escape, if she chose wrongly.

She nuzzled into his shoulder. “And I want the power you have shown me - and I want to show you everything life has to offer.” She paused a moment, before continuing. “Are you not afraid - of being bound only to me?”

The answer was both simple and truthful. “There is no other. There are Others, but they are nothing. There is only You.”

Confusion flit through her silver eyes. “I do not understand - how can the Others be nothing?”

He tried to explain, though it was something he could not put into words. “They are... lifeless. They are just reflections of me, that I see within your memories. But they do not live, for me. They are not real. Only you are *real*. Even the girl, who is the only Other that I can truly perceive... is only a faint echo of what I know in you.”

She turned to look at him once more. “But they are real to me - and will be, in the waking world.”

He peered at her with those unsettling eyes. “What do you fear?”

Wyh took a breath, and confessed in a whisper. “I fear - you will cause harm, to the Others I care for...” It was a danger that was real. The Entity was an amoral creature, insofar as anyone besides her was concerned. She could not know for sure what he would do when he was in their reality, confronted by those people. All she could hope was that he would obey her - or listen to her.

“I do not wish to cause harm.” That much was true. He sought life, he sought movingness... he sought Wyheree, and all those things she was to him. But he did not seek harm or chaos for its own sake.

Wyh voices her fear. “What would you do if some Other touched me?”

“I cannot know until it happens.” The Entity admitted. “What would you want me to do?”

“I would want you to trust me - to know when I am truly in danger, and when I am greeting a friend.” She played her fingers through his hair. “There are others I love - my family, my friends.”

“It will not be easy.” The Entity could mislead, or suggest, or manipulate dreams... but he could not lie. He did know Jealousy, though - though a purer, innocent kind.

Her head was pillowed on his shoulder as she whispered softly in his ear. “I will have an answer for you on the morrow…”

Then, the Entity proved that he HAD learned something from her – perhaps, just perhaps a little proof that this crazy thing just maybe could actually work… for he relented. He willingly accepted that one more day... even knowing, as she knew now, that it was a death - an eternity, for him. She’d taught him sacrifice. “I accept that.”

She smiled at him – a pure, genuine smile, as she curled against him, nuzzling into his neck. “Thank you.”
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