King of Crows

There is a tale I’ve heard told about an ancient king. Glendower, the Raven King. He sleeps in the forest somewhere, or so I’ve heard. Waiting for the waker—waiting to join us, the living, once again. Somewhere, Glendower sleeps, dreaming of the day he will be woken. Eager to walk through his lands once again.

Eager to grant the waker a wish.

That’s the tale I’ve heard told.

The tale of The Raven King.

A magical king. A wish-granter. A sleeper whose quiet breaths are full of life.

I’ve heard the tale of that king. Heard it several times, actually.

But…

There’s more to the story than what there appears.

You see, I believe that something isn’t adding up.

There are… things… that can’t be explained by that tale.

Things that we, the listeners, have screwed up.

Things that we got wrong. Continue reading “King of Crows”

Lingering Awareness

Awareness is a commodity. Not something that everyone has. It’s a skill that can’t really be learned, so much as grown. If you aren’t born with an innate sense of awareness, then it takes years—years—to cultivate. And, believe me, it’s a skill that you want. Something you should aspire to acquire. A skill that is quite useful.

How so?

Well, the very nature of awareness is useful.

Awareness is the feeling of someone’s eyes watching you. Knowing there’s something lurking in the shadows. Awareness gives you sense enough not to walk into a dark alley in the middle of the night. To keep your distance from groups of strangers. To cross the street when there’s a ruckus up ahead. Awareness is the thing that keeps you—in most accounts—alive. If it weren’t for awareness, you’d simply walk into any dark corner and never make it back out. Awareness is knowing that you are not always the hunter. Sometimes, you are the prey. Awareness is what gives you a mind to think proactively in your own defense.

Quite a useful thing, if you ask me.

However.

There is a point.

A threshold.

A place where awareness deepens. Sinks into the very fabric of your soul. Causes your sense to dive further.

Awareness can keep you alive, yes.

But.

It’s not always a gift. Continue reading “Lingering Awareness”

Hazy Dreams, Sleeping Memory

A hundred years I slept.

Do you know how many dreams you can have in a hundred years?

A lot.

An awful lot.

Especially if you’re sleeping through those hundred years.

Things start to make less and less sense as you sleep. Was that a memory that just floated by? Or another dream? Is this dissipating fog real?

Or not?

When you wake, everything rests in that cloud of dreams. Of memories. Stuck in the valley of things that come and go. Of things that can be barely seen, and never grasped

What’s real?

What’s not?

After a hundred years of sleep…

It’s hard to tell.

Continue reading “Hazy Dreams, Sleeping Memory”

Sleeping Wishes

It wasn’t easy to get here.

The path is narrow, full of holes. Every step was marred—echoed, really—by the steps of the jungle beasts. By the creatures of this magical forest. I could hear their cries at night, and feel their eyes watching in the day. At some point, the trees gave up on me, gave in. Began reaching for me, choking up on the path ahead. Trying to prevent me from going forward.

Yes, it wasn’t easy getting here.

Not in the slightest.

But.

When the sleeper wakes…

It will be worth it.

Won’t it?
Continue reading “Sleeping Wishes”

Demon in the Mattress

Used furniture is never a good idea.

I told her that. I definitely, absolutely told her that. You have no idea what happened on that couch. No idea what kind of creepy-crawlies could be lurking inside that cabinet.

But, what does she do?

Does she listen to me?

No, of course not.

She goes out and buys a used mattress.

used mattress.

How the hell am I supposed to sleep? Huh? How can I sleep not knowing?

How can I sleep when the mattress moves?

How am I supposed to live with that? Continue reading “Demon in the Mattress”

Dark Comes the Nightmare

I had a nightmare last night.

It was of you.

Stuck.

There was this hole.

And there was a feeling. A dream feeling, with no real start. No roots. Only meaning, and certainty, despite it ghosting in. Despite it having no right to exist.

A feeling like I would never get to you. Continue reading “Dark Comes the Nightmare”

Chief of Fire

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”

Someone is shouting at me.

But they’re always shouting at me.

Being the chief of a tribe, you get shouted at often. Surprisingly enough.

But, as I said, I am the chief.

So I keep going.

Keep doing what I’m doing.

Keep on task.

Keep protecting my people.

I dare the darkness to return.

I dare it. Continue reading “Chief of Fire”

Weaks and Weeks Without Sleep

Sleep is an enemy. An enemy of the weak.

I’m weak.

I’ll admit that.

But, only to myself.

Other people don’t see it. They don’t know how weak I am. How I reject sleep. They think I’m hardworking, that I’m invincible. Unstoppable. Camera crews kill each other for shots of me, and interviewers plague my phone begging for just a second of my time.

They think I’m strong.

The strongest.

But I can’t sleep.

Not because I don’t want to–because I do. Like hell, I do. I’d give my soul for sound nap, and I’d give three lifetimes over for the chance of a full night of rest. But, deals with the devil weren’t my specialty.

So I don’t sleep.

I don’t sleep because I always dream.

I always dream. Continue reading “Weaks and Weeks Without Sleep”

Mediocre Mystery

The class was completely quiet. All of us absorbed in taking notes or zoning out or doing our homework. Everything was silent.

Which is why everyone heard Tate’s head hit the desk. Continue reading “Mediocre Mystery”

Nightmare Beyond Sleep

Let me ask you this:

When a child’s dream fails, what remains?

Obvious, isn’t it?

When a child’s dream fails, all that remains is the shell of it. The failure that looms at the back of their mind. It sits on the tips of their fingers. It’s the first thing they touch whenever they make a move. That plague of knowing you’ve failed sits and waits, wanting nothing more than to devour them.

When a child’s dream fails, what’s left?

A nightmare. Continue reading “Nightmare Beyond Sleep”