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Is that a S'more?? No, it's a Nibblug! by Gloria won the Kith Design Spotlight! Oh what a nice summer night bonfire. Reminds me of back home. with Hero. Oh! Who wants S'mores? Piper brought marshmallows! ...wait a minute.
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The Nightmare [LOCKED]

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The Nightmare [LOCKED] 2

The Nightmare

by Hyperion » September 20, 2018 08:15 AM

Last Edited: September 24, 2018 12:02 PM

Excerpt: Once fully inside, the cloud drifted through the house and crept into the bedroom. It had a story of its own to share.

This has been bouncing around in my head for a while, so I thought the theme of "creative horrors" was a perfect time to finally write it! The ending feels abrupt, but it was getting long, so there may be a part 2 at some point :)

_______

The shadows on the wall that formed the deceased couples and the mourners changed into Hecate’s usual appearance. Smiling at her audience, she asked, “So, what did you think?”

Hyperion rose from his place on the floor and turned the lights on. “That was great, Hecate! Wasn’t it, guys?”

Looking at his other allies, Hyperion could tell they may not all agree. Robin was curled under one of Falkor’s wings, on the verge of tears. “Oh, Robin, what’s wrong?”

Robin only sniffled in reply, so Falkor answered for them, a sympathetic smile on his face. “They’re a little upset by the ending.”

“Robin, the story is called No One Had to Die!” Stella chuckled as she landed on Falkor’s back. “There was a loooot of death, though.”

“I actually toned it down a little,” Hecate said quietly.

Rhiannon hopped over to Hecate and gave her shadow a reassuring pat. “Don’t worry, it was very good!”

“Yeah, I especially liked the fight scenes,” agreed Amalthea.

Hyperion hugged the little Blepper, whispering, “It was a little sad, wasn’t it? Maybe we could read a book to take your mind off it?”

Robin looked up at him, their eyes a little less tearful. “T-that sounds nice.”

While Hyperion and Robin went to the bookshelf, Archimedes peered out a large window, as if searching for something in the dark. Phorcys floated over beside him.

“What’s the matter? Are you feeling a little down after Hecate’s performance, too?”

The Phowl glanced over at him. “No. I thought I heard something.”

Phorcys looked out, but the only thing he saw was the large tree that grew outside the house. “I don’t see anything. Maybe it was just the wind?” The Amourtis turned to rejoin the others. “Come on, the story is about to start.”

Archimedes followed him after taking one last look.



As soon as Archimedes left the window, something peeked around the tree’s trunk. It had been watching Hecate’s performance from a branch, but the wood creaked when it moved further down for a better look. The creature had barely had time to hide before the large Phowl came over to investigate, but now it was safe to observe again.

It had been watching the Allies for a while, intrigued by the various activities they shared. It especially liked the shadow plays. While it couldn’t hear Hecate’s narration, it could follow the story through the way she used shadows to depict the setting and characters.

Soon Hyperion finished reading to his Kith, and everyone started getting ready for bed. When it was sure everyone was asleep, the creature slithered its amorphous form down the tree and dissipated into an inky cloud that seeped into the cracks around the door. Once fully inside, the cloud drifted through the house and crept into the bedroom. It had a story of its own to share.



Hyperion ran through the woods of the Shadow Stage, spirits peering at him as they darted among the branches. “Wait, why I am I running?”

Though he tries to escape, the Wolf is hot on the Hero’s trail. The forest is her domain, and those that trespass risk her wrath.


“The Narrator....” Hyperion’s heart skipped. When did he return to the Stage? And where were the Hero and Wolf? He tried to stop and look for them, but it felt like something was tugging on his legs, forcing them to move forward. Looking down, he saw why: nearly invisible strings were attached to his legs and ankles, as well as his arms, all connected to somewhere above the Stage. He was a living marionette, moving at someone else’s direction.

“What is going on?” Before he could begin to process what was happening, he heard rustling coming from behind him. Glancing back, he saw the Wolf step out of the undergrowth, her sword drawn. The same puppet strings were attached to her limbs.

The beast has caught up with her prey. Unable to flee any longer, the Hero turns and draws his own weapon.


Involuntarily, Hyperion faced the Wolf and drew a sword that he didn’t remember having before.

“W-what? No, you’re making a mistake, I’m not the-”

The Wolf lunged forward, slashing with her sword. The strings moved his arms to parry, and then to attempt an attack. They fought for a while, the Wolf remaining silent the entire time, her eyes staring blankly behind her mask. Suddenly, the Wolf kicked his feet out from under him, sending him to the ground and the sword flying. She stood over him, preparing for the finishing blow.

Defenseless, the Hero will now feel the Wolf’s bloody wrath.


“I am not the Hero!” Focusing all of his will, he raised his hand and blasted the Wolf back with an icy gust. She landed, dazed, a short distance away. He conjured a blade of ice to cut through the strings and began running of his own accord, though he wasn’t sure to where; he couldn’t leave the Shadow Stage without one of his Allies. His only chance would be getting help from the other Thespians. Hopefully the Narrator wouldn’t be controlling them, too.

Hyperion finally made his way out of the woods and hurried toward the graveyard; he was sure the Wolf was back on the hunt by now. He saw the Dollmaker, Witch, and Scribe standing among the graves, and raced to them.

“I’m so glad I found yo-” Hyperion stopped short. The three stood completely still and regarded him with the same empty gaze as the Wolf, strings trailing off their bodies. Taking the icy blade, he cut through the threads attached to the Dollmaker’s arms, but gasped as the strings grew back together.

Though the Hero escaped her jaws before, the Wolf has found him at last, and is ready to finish him off.


Hyperion turned and saw the Wolf sprinting toward him. Once again he fled, dodging gravestones until he made it to the Prop Cart, but there was no sign of the actual Hero. He could hear the Wolf gaining on him, so he continued running until he reached Offstage. “Oh, no.”

The Hero has nowhere else to run, and now must choose his doom: face the end of existence Offstage, or surrender himself to the Wolf’s clutches.


The Wolf was only a few feet away, sword at the ready. Hyperion held his own blade up defensively, though he didn’t think he could bring himself to use it. “Wolf, it’s me, your friend Hyperion. D-don’t you remember?”

She didn’t respond, only kept advancing. Hyperion thought he was done for, but then a voice broke through.

“Hyperion! Hyperion, wake up!”

“Rhiannon?” He didn’t see her, but her voice sounded like it was all around him.

Hey, stop! You’re going to ruin it!

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Re: The Nightmare

by Hyperion » September 20, 2018 08:17 AM

The Wolf started to fade, along with the rest of the Shadow Stage, and Hyperion woke up in his bed. Rhiannon sat by his side, an anxious look on her face.

“Are you all right?” she asked.

Hyperion reached for his glasses on the nightstand. “I-I think so. What happened?”

“Well, I woke up because I heard you talking in your sleep. When I came in to check on you, some awful looking thing was floating over you! I got the others, and they managed to drive it into the living room while I tried to wake you. I think Archimedes and Amalthea have it pinned down now.”

Hyperion got up and went into the living room. Archimedes and Amalthea were indeed standing over something on the floor while his other Allies looked on. “Is everyone okay?”

Stella flew over and landed on his shoulder, hugging his face. “We’re fine! A little freaked out, but fine.”

“Good.” Hyperion turned his attention to the intruder. It looked like a large mass of black slime, red flashes coursing through its squirming tendrils. “Is that a vivid nightmare?”

“Not quite.” The nightmare thrashed more violently, its tendrils twisting and grasping at the air. Amalthea and Archimedes stood back as it coalesced into a humanlike form, two red eyes looking at them.

“Hyperion, it’s a spirit!” Hecate exclaimed.

“Closer,” the creature said. “You could say I’m both now.”

Hyperion shuddered as he realized what it meant. “You possessed a vivid nightmare?”

The entity shrugged. “What, should I have chosen a doll, like those ghosts on the Shadow Stage I’ve heard about? You can barely move around in those. Besides, this form has useful abilities, as you’ve seen. I’m sorry you didn’t like the little dream I created for you.”

“What?” Hyperion was aghast. “That was horrible!”

“Tough crowd.” The nightmare spirit frowned. “I just wanted to tell you a story, like the ones you tell each other.” It looked at Hecate and said, “I’ve really enjoyed watching your shadow plays.”

“You’ve been watching us?!” Amalthea started to charge, but was stopped by one of Archimedes’ wings.

“Yes,” the spirit sighed, “but I can see I’m not wanted. Maybe someone else will appreciate the dreams I give them.” The nightmare returned to its cloud form and drifted toward the door. Before it could escape, Hyperion flicked his hand, encasing the entity in a sphere of ice.

“Sorry, but I’m not going to let you do that to anyone else. Robin, prepare something to hold it, please, while I restrain it.” The nightmare raged inside the sphere, but couldn’t break free. Robin returned a few minutes later carrying a large potion bottle.

“Is this okay? I-I think the sigils are right.” Robin pointed to a line of painted symbols on the bottle’s side.

“Yeah, that looks good. Phorcys, I’m going to raise the sphere a little, and I want you to go underneath with the bottle. When I’m ready, activate the sigils, and close the bottle once the spirit is inside. Everyone else, block the exits in case something goes wrong.”

Hyperion raised both hands, causing the sphere to hover a few feet into the air. When everyone was in position, he called out, “Okay, now!”

“You got it, love.” Holding on tight to the bottle with his many tentacles, Phorcys placed one on the sigils, causing them to flare a brilliant blue. A swirl of magical energy rose from the bottle and began to draw the sphere down, shrinking it as it went. The spirit continued to struggle, but soon both it and the sphere were inside the bottle. Phorcys placed the bottle’s stopper in tightly.

“Good work, everyone,” Hyperion said, walking over to take the bottle. Holding it up, he could see the Nightmare spirit still trying to escape.

“Is it wrong that I feel sort of bad for it?” Hecate asked sheepishly, looking at the bottle. “It seemed lonely.”

Hyperion considered for a moment. “It didn’t really act malicious, just like it didn’t understand that the dream was… unpleasant to go through. I might try reasoning with it later.” He looked at his Allies. “Thanks for helping me; I don’t know what would have happened if the nightmare had finished.”

“Of course. You know we’re always here for you,” Archimedes said.

Falkor nuzzled his arm. “Do you want to talk about it?”

“Maybe later. Right now I think I just need to sit for a while; I doubt I could go to sleep if I tried.”

“Would a b-book help?” Robin asked. “To take your mind off it, I-I mean.”

Hyperion smiled. “You know, it just might. Let’s go pick one out.”


_______

I give my permission for Tattered Weave to share this on their social media.
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Re: The Nightmare

by The Scribe » September 24, 2018 11:56 AM

Aw man, I wish spirits could possess Vivid Nightmares! This actor sounds like they’d make an excellent creative cure for writer’s block or plot bunnies. (Nightmares are one thing, but you can never trust bunnies.)
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