What a dream within a dream felt like, written with a thrill.
I remember sitting at the far end of the group, almost trying to blend in with the house than with the beach. Staring into the trance of the dancing flames, only to be broken by a swaying darkness at the corner of my right eye. I turned to look. My sight was limited by the darkness.
But I could make out a human-like figure approaching us. The first trait to be revealed is the long silver unkempt hair. A man? No. Longer legs than torso - A woman then. Shaggy clothing. Humped back, caving shoulders, limped gait - Old.
But something else caught my attention as she approached closer to our group. She was holding something in her hand. Like it had a handle. Then something shimmered from it as the flames burn brighter in close proximity. I could see her hands clearly now. It wasn’t a handle, it was a hilt. She was tightly grasping a meat cleaver.
My mind flushed as my eyes widened. As I opened my mouth, her draggy pace changed to a dash. Everyone was oblivious to her. I shouted “PETER, RUN!” But it was too late. Her strike came down swiftly and Peter lay on the floor, lifeless. Everyone started to panic and chaos ensued.
I remember reaching and grabbing a meat cleaver in the sands (there was also the choice of a rifle, but don’t ask why) and I charged into the fray, towards the intruder. I raised my weapon and as I closed the gap between us, I went for her neck.
Bringing down my cleaver, it slashed through nothing but air. She had dodged it. Was it the darkness? The misjudged speed associated with old age? Whatever it was, the mistake was fatal. She retaliated immediately and her strike connected. A sharp pain ran through my back as I tried to regain my footing. Yet, my feet involuntarily gave up. And I fell onto the sands, quickly feeling the heat seeping out of my body as my world plunged into darkness.
Then, there was light. I sat upright. A voice had woken me up. It was my brother calling onto me. “Hey, we got to go. Now.” I looked down at myself and realised I had woken up in bed, but the bed was unfamiliar. The walls were brown, with deep scratches which were seemingly made from nails. But I know they were mine. Belden’s voice resonated again, this time with stern emphasis. “Now man, there is no time left.”
I sprung out of bed and walked out of the room and immediately into what seemed like an old kitchen. The windows were veiled by curtains but strong rays of sunlight were shining through. I could tell that this is not my house.
A tanned-skin lady came out from another door. Her face showed very little signs of age. Her auburn hair in a bun, she was wearing an apron - housekeeper or maid. Her gaze was calm yet inquiring. She is as silent as she came.
The door to the outside creaked as I redirected my attention to my brother, who was motioning for haste.
Just outside was a small dock with little boats. It felt personal. The place is a small island. And I know I have to cross the waters to the other side.
We got into a boat, as small as a surfboard, but smaller. We waddled through the waters, quickly but silently until we reached an old and colossal tree. I was intent on hiding the little boat, but my brother said it was not necessary, or rather, it was useless to.
We made our way through a valley, taking large strides. I kept looking back, expecting something, but I have no idea what. I looked up. The sunlit sky immediately changed to darkness. And I remember slipping and falling. Black.
Then I awoke. The dreams had stopped.