Author: G. Jefferies
On the next waking he sensed his grip on the past failing fast. All save one that came to him in a dream deep inside the unconscious abyss. The girl he saw was bewitched and vacant. Her dress ripped down to the waist exposing skin and breast red with blood that seeped from two wounds in her neck. Runes were etched on each wall and upon the floor was drawn a massive pentagram whose points were connected by a circle of white. The girl was chained to a stake in the centre and the room suffused in incense and smoke spewing from torches and candles. Dark hooded figures moved round the outside of the circle chanting in some language he knew not. The girls head raised upwards and he watched her mouth call out his name.
Wayland’s mind broke out and back into the broken confines of his dying body. Tara Spinlow. His mind screamed outwards in grief and remembrance. She agreed to wedlock moments before he fell. But even in that she witnessed the outcome in a dream the night before. Wayland made an oath. If I survive this ordeal then I swear on my forefathers I will find you Tara and take revenge on those that did this.
The Black clearly agreed and let him lose the world some more. The darkness of subconscious cleared placing him in another dreamscape to walk with visions of other places. The dragon was there again, ever watchful and curled up with enormous horned tail wrapped up against it’s jet black body. It’s maw widened revealing long canine teeth near the front almost the length of Wayland’s arm, thickset at the base rising to points that would rip armour to shreds. Four incisors top and bottom rested between ready to sever bone and flesh alike. Inside the jaws snaked a forked tongue, byzantium in colour and continuously tasting the air for scents that might need scourging of life. Behind these, and pointing slightly backwards, were rows of pointed teeth
Vast eyes matching the tongue surveyed the ground below it’s perch. A half moon shaped plateau outside a cavernous opening half way up a sheer cliff face nestled on the edge of a mountain that rose into the clouds. Below rested the petrified burnt out skeletons of a village with caved in roofs and lifeless orchards. Fire had bathed this place and sterilised it all the way to the baked mud at it’s roots. In the far horizon he could see the edge of a long wall of trees over which the air shimmered in a haze of heat. Between that and the mountain the land was desolate and pitted. Relics of battle lay scattered as bones and fleshless bleached skeletons lay rising in anguish from the scarred mud.
Why am I here?
Wayland was confused. Here he felt alive and well; able to move and feel. But horror lived in every direction and above, from it’s lair, The Black watched on. It was not a place to linger.
Smith…I see you
Wayland started. There was evil in his mind. Cold words creeping across his unconscious conscious and rich in melancholia. Glancing round his gaze moved to the plateau where The Black reared up on hind quarters unfurling huge six ribbed wings ending in curled talons. Webs of weathered skin spread out over them and leaving the horned tips protruding at the rear. It’s neck stood proud and layered with scutes whose edges shimmered in a purple haze where the sun reflected. It was the eyes that captured Wayland, for these had settled right upon his.
You are a figment of my mind Dragon…begone.
Deep throated laughter rippled over his mind.
You think Smith?
The Black dropped off the plateau and the wings took air lifting him upwards to circle high above the ant of a man down below.
This was a new voice, a girl. Not any girl though Wayland knew this one. In this unconscious realm his memory functioned perfectly.
The Dragon’s spirals dwindled as he tipped his wings and began to descend.
Ignore her Boy.
“Where are you Tara?”
No time, get out before the beast consumes you.
Wayland was aware a dark shadow now fell over the ground. The Black was closing.
“How? I have nowhere to run.”
He could feel panic stirring and his heart throbbing in his ears. Around him the world was a dessert of ash. The forrest was leagues away and the cliff housed the lair. But this is a dream.
Are you certain of that?
The dragon was taunting.
Just wake up Wayland.
Tara was screaming at him. In desperation he backed away from the cliff. Not that it would help, but standing still seemed nearly as pointless. The Black had him.
You are already dead in that world Boy.
Looking up he could see the beasts hind legs draw up and flex five byzantium talons on each foot ready to crush him. Fear paralysed his ability to move. His eyes locked onto the size of the claws. Hope fled.
Wayland Ferrars wake up right now or you will never see me again.
Tara roused his subconscious mind. She was pleading now and courage coursed through his veins. The Black crushed down and this world fell into shadow.
© G Jefferies and Fictionisfood, 2016. All rights reserved.