countenance had never quite recovered its equilibrium

POSTED: Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:39 am

Thread Prompt: Nightmares are disconcerting! Have your character experience a bout of insomnia that forces them out into the eerie stillness of the City Square square by night.

215 words

It was the first time in a very long time that a nightmare had woken her like this one did.

Daisy had jolted awake from a dead sleep and sprung from her bed. She had only been half-conscious when she tried to find her feet, but the weight of her kitten and the sound of familiar breathing helped to ground her.

She was still too worked up to sleep, however. Panic had spread throughout her body and filled her now with a foreboding sense of dread which would not leave.

Their faces – and their masks – floated through the dark.

Spooked, Daisy wrapped herself up in a blanket and scampered outside, into the empty square. She wanted to see sky, and she wanted to see an open space. Reassuring herself that she could flee seemed important.

The shock of the cold beneath her feet and against her nose brought her fully awake. In doing so the finer details of her nightmare (horrendous words and sensations) began to slip away. What they left behind made her feel small and hollow, and all of a sudden, very stupid.

Frustrated, Daisy felt her eyes sting. She sniffed and huddled up in her blanket, hating how something so trivial as a nightmare could leave her feeling so pathetic.

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Mel
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POSTED: Thu Feb 20, 2020 10:44 am

For Pascal it was the same.

His new house was specifically chosen to feel spacious and escapable and allow in fresh air, but the night was cold, and instincts to retreat deeper into shelter battled the instincts of a survivor. He did not bolt so dramatically – not this time – but became aware as his eyes fluttered shut of images threatening from the lidded dark, shapes that were not quite there and not quite right. Talk of elder gods and demonic entities had not disturbed him as much as the horrible experience of pain and helplessness, but they had given horned faces to his nightmares.

Slinking out of the home, aware of the tomcat's gaze and comforted by his presence while Pigeon still snoozed, Pascal shuddered and drank in frigid air. No one lit torches this night, but a wolf's eyes saw well in the dark, especially under the gibbous moon. He wandered tiredly, running his knuckles through the fur on his arms, and wondered if he might make use of his insomnia by hunting. The blizzard had made food scarce, and while he was used to this on the roads, he didn't want others in the Realm – the ill, the young, those with child – to suffer.

The thoughts crossed his mind, as intangible and fleeting as the wisps of grey cloud beneath the moon's round belly, until he found another.

She was grey, if mottled darker and lighter in places, and huddled in a blanket. Pascal stopped and stared at her without judgment, recognizing her body language if not the finer details of it, and grunted.

Do you want to be alone? the man asked. Sometimes he wanted to be alone so that others would not look at him, but sometimes he desperately wanted the reassurance of company. Bad things happened to people when they were alone.

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Raze
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tale as old as time
misfit prince

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