Differences

This shows you the differences between two versions of the page.

clockwork4 [2012/11/05 19:58] (current)
doan created
Line 1: Line 1:
 +Running through a maze of corridors that was even more confusing than its waking counterpart, shifting and moving by laws of its own, Cass swiftly became aware that he was no longer welcome here. The earlier sensation of wonder, that this was a place set up only for him, had gone. Now the lights were turning off one by one, the familiar background noises of an open building were falling silent, leaving an oppressively encroaching, cold, silent gloom. Corridors were stretched by tricks of the light, wreathed in flickering shadows with life of their own, looking so small that he could be trapped in them or much larger and hungry enough to devour him whole. Some places just looked out of bounds, either forbidden or unsafe, with police tape stretched over them, warning signs that turned into highly disturbing and personal comments when he looked at them before collapsing into nonsensical garbled syllables, security cameras that trained their GladOS-esque malicious red glowing eyes on him as he ran past. He no longer dared look into the mirrors he could still see reflections in; he didn’t think he would like what he saw in there, any more than he liked what he saw in himself most days. Some of the shapes he caught in the corner of his eye didn’t look like him, or even like a human being. The dream had finished its course and would now begin collapsing into the chaos it was born from. He was trapped in the moral behind a fairy tale, waiting to be made an example of, to turn into a pumpkin and be eaten by a witch if he wasn’t home by the stroke of midnight. Cass had plenty of nightmares and he knew the signs that a dream was turning very bad. The first sign was that you thought it was going to turn bad. Usually, this in itself turned the dream bad. It was a sad and ironic but inevitable fact.
 +
 +He wondered why all this wasn’t waking him up. In an ordinary lucid dream, he would have struggled to stay in the dream half this long, especially with the strong emotions it had invoked in him. When he saw the armoured thing, he had forgotten it was a dream - the death he had waited for had been entirely real in his eyes – and that alone would have stopped him being lucid, even if it hadn’t woken him up. The Game Gear’s interference had broken him out of his stupor – he daren’t look back to see if his friend had won the battle or been able to retreat – but still hadn’t woken him up.
 +
 +A note of panic hit him as he wondered if he was actually capable of waking up. Maybe he had died in his sleep, and that was why he had such a vivid mental image of death, but now he couldn’t wake up because he had no body to wake up to. He didn’t want to try, in case he was wrong, and he just woke himself up from a really interesting dream, the likes of which he probably wouldn’t have for years. Besides, if he really died in his sleep, it wouldn’t do him any good to go back and check if he had or not. If the dream wanted to leave Soft Museum, he would just have to find the exit.
 +
 +The problem was, he couldn’t. All the lights in the museum had winked out now, and most of the doors were locked, as they would be if he randomly broke into the museum at four in the morning. He wasn’t even sure if he was still in the museum. When he felt for walls, his hands mostly fell into empty air. He had the creeping feeling that he was very, very lost.
 +
 +“What’cha doing?” asked a voice, full of child-like curiosity and humour, with the hint of a meow in its accent. It made him jump. The two feline green eyes that appeared directly in front of him, upside down, made him fall over and scrabble backwards, biting back a scream, “Whassamatter. Cat got your tongue?”
 +
 +He shook his head and ran a hand through his scruffy black hair. A black cat, bipedal and about the size of a small human child, jumped down from whatever it was on the ceiling it had been climbing – it was too dark to tell – and stared unblinkingly at him. It still had some of its kittenish features – its eyes were big and round in proportion to its head, its fur short and fluffy.
 +
 +“Um…” he replied, “I think I’ve taken a wrong turning somewhere.”
 +
 +“This your dream?” he asked. Cass nodded.
 +
 +“I don’t think I’m supposed to still be in it, though.”
 +
 +“Ah, it figures. There’s something wrong with this dream, see.”
 +
 +“How can a dream be wrong? It’s just a dream.” The only thing wrong with it is the wrongness in my head, he thought to himself.
 +
 +“Oh, believe me, dreams can go very wrong, and it ain’t pretty when they do,” said the cat, thrashing its tail.
 +
 +“It… it isn’t my fault, is it?” he asked, genuinely concerned. Sceptical as he was, the last few events had felt very wrong, especially leaving the Game Gear to die.
 +
 +“I doubt it. You’re too clueless to be trouble,” said the kitten bluntly, “You should get out of here. It isn’t going to be much fun when I find my prey. Or it finds me.”
 +
 +“What are you hunting?”
 +
 +“Intruders. You haven’t seen one, have you?”
 +
 +“There was this thing in red armour…”
 +
 +“No, no, that’s just a good honest Nightmaren. I said an intruder.”
 +
 +“I’m sorry. It’s my first time here,” said Cass, a little put out that the kitten cared so little that he was haunted by nightmares, “I don’t even know if I’m supposed to be here, so I wouldn’t know how to tell whether something’s an intruder or not.”
 +
 +Suddenly, there was an explosion of white light somewhere in the distance. It sent shards of dream like superheated molten glass spraying in all directions, then rolled towards them in a raging fireball that consumed the dreamspace whole, leaving behind curtains of alabaster flame. Like a Church bell tolling its last as the head of a comet heralded Armageddon in the night sky, the thing that was the core of the fiery white destruction rang an incessant, piercing chime.
 +
 +“That’s an intruder,” whispered the kitten.
 +
 +Cass wasn’t sure if the thing could hear him but he was too afraid of it to raise his voice. “Is it supposed to be an alarm clock?”
 +
 +“Sssh! Its coming this way! Get down!” the kitten shoved him to the ground, then hid behind something, claws unsheathed.
 +
 +“So, are alarm clocks, like, the end of the world for you dream people?” he asked, “Will you all die if I wake up?”
 +
 +“Yes, it will kill us – both – and no, it’s not an alarm clock. Don’t let it wake you up. And don’t let it see or hear you,” he hissed in irritation. Slowly, with the care and grace of a hunter, he inched along the ground towards it. Cass soon lost track of where the kitten was. He was worried about him. Irascible though he was, anyone who wasn’t trying to kill him at this point was a friend, and he was a cute little oversized kitten. He didn’t know what he would do with himself if dreams really were destroyed with all their inhabitants still inside them whenever he woke up. It would make two worlds he was guilty of the murder of.
 +
 +Suddenly, the kitten bolted back towards him with a scrabble of slightly un-coordinated paws. “Damn it! There are more of the bastards! Come on, you moron, run! You can’t hunt a whole pack!”
 + 
 +Cass didn’t need telling twice. He heard more ringing noises join the first, distant but growing closer every second. Trusting his new feline friend, he followed its movements as closely as he could in his inferior human body, jumping up and grabbing hold of an unseen ledge, pulling himself up onto a balcony and crawling along until he saw a ladder that led up onto what looked like the roof of the museum. He didn’t remember ever going outdoors, but the inside and outside of the museum were equally cold, dark and chaotic. From this vantage point, he could see eight alarm clocks spreading out in a V formation, driven from behind like a herd of cattle by two more humanoid-looking figures. They were only roughly humanoid, like gnarled, jagged shadows made out of white flame.
 +
 +“Don’t just watch them! Carry on running!” ordered the kitten, scampering over to a railing at the edge of the roof and jumping onto it, crouching to all fours with his tail extended, “This Mare’s done for. It’ll probably collapse in the next hour. We need to jump sectors, then go and report it so they can seal it off and stop it spreading.”
 +
 +“Mare? Jump sectors?”
 +
 +“Oh yeah, this is your first time,” his ears twitched, “Jumping systems is really easy. You just have to jump. Like this,” he told Cass, then sprang off the railing and leapt into endless darkness. He kept falling until Cass could no longer see him.
 +
 +Even though he remembered leaping impossible heights and soaring from tree to tree only hours ago, and welcoming certain death only half an hour ago, he still felt a shiver run down his spine at the thought of plummeting into that nothingness. However, he was even more scared of being trapped in this decaying dream, with the alarm clocks and the ghost-things. Taking the lesser of two evils was a silly way to decide what to do, but he jumped anyway.
 
clockwork4.txt · Last modified: 2012/11/05 19:58 by doan
 
Recent changes RSS feed Creative Commons License Donate Powered by PHP Valid XHTML 1.0 Valid CSS Driven by DokuWiki