Tuesday, March 6, 2012

In The Long Dream: Chapter 2

The Dreamer or the Dream

I woke to to a warm feeling under my head.  Some time in the night the sheep had curled up closer to me and I was using it as a pillow.  I wondered why this sheep was so relaxed around me.  It didn’t know me, it had no reason to trust me.  Hell, yesterday I was thinking about eating it.

Putting the thought aside, I sat up and stretched.  Several pops echoed in the small space.  I may be well rested for the first time in days, but sleeping on the hard floor is still bad for your back.

There was a lot of light in my little cave, but only darkness could be seen threw the window in the door.  Looking around for the source of the light, I saw that my torch, the one I had put up the day before, was still lit.  I stared at it for several minutes trying to wrap my head around how something so small could burn for so long.

There’s something definitely wrong about this place.
I decided to ignore it before I thought to hard and caused my head to explode.  I looked outside threw the window in the door.  There was a strip of red just over the horizon, the sun would be coming up soon. 

Not feeling tired, I sat down and twiddled my thumbs.  There wasn’t much to do, so my mind was left to wander.  The last thing I remembered clearly was walking down the street to the grocery store.  After that everything got hazy.  I can almost remember getting to the store, maybe something like paying for the food, but nothing after.  This left a lot of possibilities open as to why I was here.

The first thing that came to mind was men in black.  I was abducted as an experiment to see how people would survive on their own in the middle of nowhere. 

I could have gone into a delusional state and just wandered here.  Maybe something I got at the store was poisoned.

Maybe ninjas did it.  Why not?  Sounds just as possible as anything else.  Hell, while I'm at it, why not alien abduction.

Thirst snapped me out of my thoughts.  I was suddenly really thirsty.  I looked outside and saw the sun just peeking over the horizon.  From what I could see, there wasn’t anything outside, but I still didn’t want to go out just yet.  The sun was going to be fully up in half an hour.  I could survive until then.

Damn, I was thirsty.  Did I drink anything yesterday?  I ate those melons, that's about it.  They were really juicy, but maybe they were full of salt.

Waiting for what felt like half an hour, I looked outside again.  The sun was just over the horizon.  I opened the door and stuck my head out.  Looking left, right, and even up, I didn’t see anything. 

I kept looking around as I crept slowly towards the river.  I didn’t see anything the entire way to the edge and was able to get a drink.

Standing up, I looked around, feeling safe now that the sun was up.  That feeling didn’t last long as around the hill came a thing.  I had never seen anything like it before.  It was tall, green, and walked on four legs.  This thing was not cute ether, it’s face was twisted into a horrifying frown.

I stood frozen by the river.  Is this an enemy or just another native like the sheep still asleep in the cave.  I didn’t have to think about that long, because as soon as it saw me, it charged.

Behind the green beast, came something that threatened my already loose grip on sanity.  A skeleton walked around the hill and saw me.  It raised it’s arms, one held a bow, the other an arrow.  Just as the skeleton fired, the green beast walked in front of the shot.  The beast stopped for a moment.  It turned around and focused on the skeleton that was walking around it towards me.

The skeleton raised its bow to fire again.  Fear wouldn’t let me move, I stared at the point of the arrow as it rose and pointed at me.  I almost didn’t hear the hissing noise.

I felt the explosion just before my vision went white.  I felt like I was floating.  My skin was cold and I couldn’t breath.  I managed to pull myself back to reality and found I was under water.  I had been thrown into the river.

I sat up and my head broke the surface.  The skeleton and the green beast were nowhere to be found.  In their place was a giant crater, a hole in the ground about ten feet wide and three deep.  The only thing I could think of was that the green beast exploded.

My mind went back to the thoughts I had earlier.  I had thought of it in jest, but the alien theory started making sense.  There is nothing on earth like an exploding green thing.

I must have been in shock as I felt nothing walking back to the cave.  I walked past the sheep, somehow still softly snoring, and sat down against the back wall, my head on my knees.  My mind went completely blank.

I don’t know how long I sat there, it could have been hours, it could have been minutes.  I was shocked back to reality by what I thought was an earthquake.  I lifted my head and realized that it wasn’t the ground shaking, it was me.  I raised my hand in front of my face, unable to keep it steady.

Something ran down my face.  I wiped the tear from my eye and stared at it on my fingers.  It was an odd sensation, crying without emotion.  It didn’t last long though.  I noticed my ears start to burn and chest tighten.  I could only lower my head back down to my knees before I lost control.

I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I knew, I was being woken up by a tongue on my face.  I shoved the sheep away.  How could I trust it any more?  It was from this place, this horrifying place that just exploded in my face.

“Get out of here.”  I yelled.

I stood up waving my arms.  All of my fear and sorrow had suddenly turned to hate directed at the only thing I could.  I forced the sheep out of the cave and slammed the door.

I stomped around the cave for a few seconds before spotting my pickax.  Picking it up, I started slamming it into the wall as hard as I could.

“What... Is... This... Place...”  I said, swinging the pickax between every word.  “What... Hell... Am... I... In...”

With one last anger filled swing, the pickax shattered against the wall.  Throwing what was left of the handle against the wall I looked around for anything that would make a more satisfying sound.  Picking up a large rock I had carved out of the wall, I threw it as hard as I could against another wall.  Anything I could get my hands on, I threw in any direction.  Not finding enough in the cave, I kicked open the door and stormed outside.

It was already dark outside, but I could tell it wasn’t due to the sun setting.  There were thick black clouds in the sky and it had started raining.  the light drizzle soon grew to a downpour.  Instead of quenching the fire inside my chest, every drop just made it blaze hotter until I felt I would explode.

A lightning bolt hit close by, thunder shaking the ground.  I climbed to the highest point I could find.  Another bolt struck a tree nearby making the trunk explode.

Looking up into the sky I could only think of one thing.  Some thing is doing this to me intentionally.  God, aliens, it didn’t matter any more.  I wanted nothing more of it.

“WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?”  I yelled.  “WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?”

The black sky lit up, lightning all around me.  Part of me wanted to be hit if only to meet the god that would allow this to happen.

“COME GET ME.”  I yelled.  “I’M RIGHT HERE.”

Another bolt hit the ground not twenty feet from me.

“YOU MISSED!  ARE YOU AFRAID?  COME ON!”

Something heavy hit my back and I was thrown to the ground.  The grass was slick with rain and I slid down the hill.  Rolling to a stop I pushed myself onto my hands and looked behind me.  Another skeleton was standing where I had just been.

I shifted my weight to stand when I felt something solid under my hand.  Looking down, I wrapped my hand around my sword.  It must have been thrown threw the door in my fit of rage.

An evil grin spread across my face and a new level of hatred burned inside me.  The fire burned so hot I wouldn’t have been surprised if the rain started steaming from my skin.

From my crouched position I jumped into a dead run at the new center of my hatred.  Swinging my sword like a baseball bat, I hit the skeleton as hard as I could.  I heard a satisfying crunch as I made contact, the blow strong enough to throw it down the other side of the hill.

I stood at the top of the hill watching the skeleton hit the ground.  It struggled for a moment, but managed to get back up.  I could see several of it’s ribs were broken.

“You want more?”  I said, a bigger grin crossing my face.

I ran down the hill, jumping the last few feet, and brought my sword directly down on it’s skull.  I felt my sword shatter on impact, but it was OK, I knew the blow did the job.

The Skeleton stood for a few seconds, almost like it wasn’t willing to accept it’s loss.  The skull was split in half, peaces all over the ground.  What was left of my sword had broken it’s collarbone causing one of it’s arms to hang useless.

It’s insistence to stay standing was an annoyance.  I curled my hand into a fist and pulled back.  The blow hit with a strength that would echo across the ages.  What was left of the rib cage collapsed in, throwing the now pile of bones to the ground.

I stood over my kill and reveled in the triumph.  Suddenly I knew I could survive here.  This place was mine now.

Placing my foot on what was left, I yelled at the top of my lungs “LET THIS BE A WARNING; THIS PLACE IS MINE NOW.  I AM THE MAN, I AM KING HERE.  NO ONE CAN STAND BEFORE ME.”

The lightning stopped, as if the storm itself didn’t dare appose me.

I spent the rest of the night on the hill daring anything to challenge me.  The thrill of victory pumping threw my veins.

The next morning I was still standing on the hill next to my wooden stick figure.  I didn’t feel tired at all; I’d be riding on that adrenalin high for a while.  I watched, arms crossed in front of me, as the sun rose over my land.  I looked around and admired the view.  Everything seemed brighter, the colors clearer.  I closed my eyes and breathed deep.  The warm wind blowing over the grass even smelled better.

When the sun had cleared the horizon, I walked down the hill and back to the cave.  On the ground in front of the cave was a burnt patch of grass.  I smiled remembering the storm.

I entered the cave and looked around.  The walls were all carved up, stone chunks of all sizes were littering the floor, and I could even see a few peaces of my pickax.

Looking at one of the larger peaces of stone, I got an idea.  I grabbed a smaller rock and started pounding away.  The stone was strong, stronger then I would have thought considering I dug it out of the wall with a hunk of wood.  The stone didn’t want to give in, but after what I had just done, I wasn’t going to give in ether.  I pounded the rock into submission, going threw several smaller stones, and soon I had pounded myself a stone sword.  Most people would say it was crude, but to me it was worthy of song and story.

I stood up to admire my work when I noticed something in the wall.  A sudden flash of black on black.  I wouldn’t have noticed it if I was standing anywhere else in the cave.  I walked closer to the wall and found that my fit had carved a hole.  I peeked threw the hole, but I couldn’t see anything.

Stepping back, I closed my eyes for several minutes trying to get them use to the dark again after watching the sun rise.  Feeling it had been long enough I opened one and lined the other up with the hole.  Opening my now dark accustomed eye, I was able to just barely see inside.

Something was looking back at me.  It took a few seconds, but an image of a zombie formed before me.  I wasn’t having any of that, not in my cave.

I grabbed the biggest rock left over and started pounding around the hole.  It wasn’t long before I had knocked the entire wall down.  The light from the rising sun shown into the new room and illuminated several zombies.

The first zombie walked into the new opening.  I readied my sword, but it wasn’t needed.  The second the zombie walked into the light, it burst into flames.

“What are you, a zombie vampire?”  I said backing away from the sudden heat.

It didn’t get vary far before it fell, soon to be just a pile of ash.  One by one the other zombies walked threw the hole to their deaths.  It only took a few minutes before they were all dead.

I looked into the new room, sword at the ready in case anything else decided to walk out of the shadows.  The room wasn’t vary large, but it looked like it might have taken up the rest of the space inside my little hill.  I instantly noticed two things that were odd about the place.  The walls, ceiling, and floor, looked like they were made out of cobble stone.  There’s no way that could happen naturally, they had to have been intentionally made that way.  The other oddity confirmed that theory.  There, in the square room, were two wooden chests.

I stood and stared at them for several minutes.  This was the first true sign that any kind of sentient life had touched this place.

I poked it with the sword, images of monsters disguised as chests popped into my head from old games I had played.  Not detecting any movement, I knelt down in front of it.

I didn’t know what to expect when I first opened it, but I definitely didn’t expect a loaf of bread.  Picking it up, it looked OK, but I wasn’t going to even try eating it.  God only knows how long it’s been in here.  Setting it aside I looked at what else was in there.  The saddle confused me, and the seeds gave me a little hope; maybe I could plant my own food.  Seems fitting that I would start a farm out here.

What really impressed me was the three foot long iron sword.  Pulling it out of the sheath, the quality made my once beautiful stone sword look like crap.  I touched the blade and instantly pulled my hand back.  It was still sharp, vary sharp.

I slung it over my shoulder and walked to the other chest.  Inside was much the same, but instead of finding another sword, I found a clear gem.  Holding it in front of me, I tried to figure out what it was, and how it got here.  I tapped it against the wall, it felt solid and didn’t scratch.  The only thing I could think was it’s a diamond.

I had just found a diamond in a chest in a room full of monsters.  What video game had I walked into?  This was no small diamond ether, it was the size of my fist, and it was already cut.  I could only imagine the size of the raw diamond this came from.

I looked at the entrance to the room, the sunlight disappearing, and had a thought.  Putting the diamond back in the chest, I walked out into the entrance, and grabbed the remaining torches I had made the other day.  Back in the square room, I lit the torches on the wall and jammed them into the cobble stone.

After the room was properly lit and I was able to make sure there wasn’t anything else at all in the room, a smile crossed my face.  I had a back room now, with storage space.

My stomach growled.  I guess what I heard about adrenalin rushes and hunger was true.  I looked at the one melon that wasn’t splattered across the floor.  After last night, it didn’t look appetizing.  I needed real food, I needed meat.

With my new sword strapped to my back I walked out the door in search of another pig.

Closing the door behind me, I found it didn’t stay closed.  I must have broken the latch when I kicked it open.  I could fix it; at that point I felt I could do anything.

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