The Child Dreamer
A Dead Dreamer Prequel
ᚨ ᛒᛚᛟᛟᛞᛇ ᚠᚨᛏᛖ
Catori continued to question me for the rest of the day. No matter what I said, my answers were never enough. Even the Medicine Man knew I was lying to her. But regardless, I continued with my daily chores, as if nothing had happened. As if my entire life had never changed. As if the truth was never revealed to me.
The voices never left me either. With everyone move I made, they continued to chatter in the back of my mind. Some in familiar languages, others in foreign ones. But they were all begging for the same thing. They wanted to be freed. And with each plea for help, I grinned. Lorcan said it was the voices of the demons, testing me. Though wrong, they were still from insignificant creatures that meant nothing to me.
When the sun was finally beginning to set, my excitement rose. Tonight was the night I proved myself. Not just to Lorcan, but to myself. Prove that I was more powerful than the child. To prove that I was more power than any other like us. Catori called us Spirit Walkers, but he called us Dreamers. The name didn’t matter. What mattered was power.
“George,” Catori said as she walked toward me.
I was already walking toward the longhouse to go to sleep when she called me. It was tempting to simply ignore her, but instead I turned. “What is it?”
Her hand rested on my cheek as she stared to meet my eyes. “Stay in the village tonight. Do not wander.”
My hand reached to hold hers and pull it off of me. “You know I can’t. I never could.”
She nodded, tears welling up in her eyes. “I know. I wish you would understand. Understand what you’re doing. If you do this, there will be no turning back.”
“I know,” I said proudly.
Catori sighed. “Think about what you’re doing. Think about all of the destruction you will cause. Those men who were killed by the spirits that nights are only the beginning.”
My mind flashed to the memory of the spirits dancing in the flames before attacking those men with the caravan. The image cause my lips to twitch into a grin. “I’m doing God’s work. You won’t ever understand that.”
“You’re wrong,” she said as she turned away from me, “and I see now, there is no changing your mind. I cannot save you anymore.”
When she turned to walk away, I thought nothing of it at the time. But that was the last time she would speak to me as a mother would a child. It was the last time I would see a mother’s love in her eyes. Even after knowing that, I regretted nothing.
Despite my excitement, sleep came easier than it had ever had before. When I left the longhouse, the tribe was as far from my sleeping body as they could be. They were all talking around a large bonfire. Catori was sitting on the edge, leaning against the Medicine Man. He noticed me as I left the tent, but only stared. He made no move to tell the others, or even walk toward me. He simply stared.
I turned my back on them, having no interest in another potential lecture. Instead, I floated into the forest, aiming to find another demon door that hadn’t been sealed by the child. Thankfully, it didn’t take long before I found one. When I sensed it, I was already a few miles from the village and the tribe.
Lorcan and the boy were already there. They were waiting for me as they sat beside a small fire, cooking something on sticks. As I approached, I realized they were cooking two squirrels they had recently skinned and butchered. The boy never noticed me. But Lorcan did.
“I was wondering if you would find us on your own.” he said with a warm smile.
The boy flinched when Lorcan spoke. His eyes searched the forest, trying to find me, but they never could.
“I want to seal this door,” I said in response.
Lorcan nodded. “Of course. But might we eat first? It took us a while to hike here. I need my energy.”
My left hand began to tug at my fingers on the other as I was anxious to begin. “Of course.”
“I know you are excited to attempt this. I can practically feel it radiating off of you. But this takes practice. It took Kieran quite a few tries before he was able to perfect the seal creation. The voices frightened him at first, but now he is able to suppress them. Isn’t that right, Kieran?”
The boy only nodded, his eyes never leaving the squirrel cooking on his stick. He said nothing as he moved the squirrel from the flames to begin picking at the meat. Lorcan seemed please as his lack of speech.
“I’ve made sure to walk far and wide to collect as many spirit as possible so you are able to seal this doorway tonight. Kieran confirmed there should be enough within to give you the power you require,” he said confidently.
I nodded. “I remember how the boy did it yesterday. It should be no issue.”
Lorcan pulled his squirrel out of the flickering flames and picked at the meat as well. “Maybe so. But we will have to see, won’t we? It’s one thing to be confident. It is another entirely to be arrogant.”
His words reminded me of Catori. Although they were using different ones, they were pretty much repeating each other. Both believed me to be arrogant. And I was, rightfully so. I was arrogant because I had a reason to be. My power alone was proof of that.
When they finally finished eating, Lorcan stood, wiping the dirt and bits of meat off of his jacket. “Come now, Kieran. It’s time.”
Lorcan moved to pack up some of his things, as the boy moved to lay down on the ground beside the fire. I watched as his soul slowly manifested, standing over his sleeping body. Only then did he acknowledge my presence. I attempted to smile at him in reassurance, but my smile only caused him to flinch; which only made my smile grow.
Before he even pulled it from his pack, I felt the pull of the orb. It was as though all of my being knew it was supposed to be with the orb. It was meant for me. I wanted to touch it, to become a part of it. But I fought the instinct, instead never moving closer as Lorcan pulled it out.
The glow was as brilliant as the last time. Neither of us moved as Lorcan stepped towards the smoldering fire. “Are you ready?”
I nodded. “Always.”
The boy hesitantly moved towards me. “You-You will want to, um, pull the energy and not let it pull you.”
My hand lifted to silence him as I glared down. He flinched. “I do not need your help.”
Lowering his head, the boy stepped backwards, obeying my orders.
“George…” Lorcan warned.
My eyes met his icy blue ones. “I can do this on my own.”
The moment my hand touched the orb, I nearly lost myself. In that second, my head exploded, hearing all of the fresh new voices as they cried. Only one voices was louder than the rest. It wasn’t crying for freedom like the rest. It only cried for power; power to continue surviving. Whatever was at the center was no longer human or even demon; it merely existed and craved other spirits to survive.
When I was able to focus my energy to pull the spirits into me, the strange being did not come with the rest. It merely cried as I stole it’s energy away. My mind was so focused on the energy I now held, glowing in my hand, that I didn’t realize the wind had picked up around us. The voices wailed and cried to be freed. Instead, I pushed them towards the door as I had seen the boy do before.
They attempted to fight. They attempted to free themselves from my control. But it was easy to overpower them. The runes began to etch themselves onto the door, pleasing me greatly. But I wanted more. I wanted to truly trap the demons, permanently. Reaching with my free hand, I pointed a finger towards the boy’s sleeping body on the ground.
With a spit of fire from my finger tip, the piece of flame ripped through the boy’s arm, causing his soul to scream in pain before disappearing. He awoke, quickly crying out as he reached for the now burned arm. Lorcan made no move to help him. Instead, he watched, intrigued.
My arm continued to aim the swirling energy of spirits at the doorways as I stepped over toward the boy. With the hand I had used to spit fire at him, I reached down and touched the blood. Immediately, the blood flowed through my soul, making it’s way towards the energy being exerted at the door.
The runes that had been forming along the edge changed to red as they glowed. The voices wailed louder, pain seering into the core. Their pain was immense. This caused me to grin, as I knew my plan was working.
Suddenly, a feeling of vacancy filled me. The voices from the previous night were gone, leaving only the chaos before me. Only when the runes had all turned a bright red did I drop my hands, and the wind died down. My head snapped toward Lorcan, sensing something at the previous door.
“That was brilliant!” Lorcan exclaimed.
The boy continued to whimper on the ground.
“I’ve never seen such a thing! I can actually sense the door, and the seal! The blood from Kieran has given it more power. I was a fool to doubt you, my boy,” Lorcan continued.
“Something is wrong,” I spat.
Lorcan’s grin began to drop. “What do you mean?”
I pointed in the direction of the previous door. “I cannot hear the voices anymore from the other door. They’re gone.”
Lorcan’s expression suddenly darkened as he walked towards the boy. He jerked at his injured arm. “What have you done?”
He cried out in pain and whimpered. “Nothing!”
In one swift motion, Lorcan’s arm rose toward the sky before dropping, slapping the boy clean across the face and hard enough to knock him down. “Do not lie to me. This isn’t the first time you’ve tried this.”
A familiar voice from behind caused me to freeze. “It wasn’t the boy.”
Lorcan glared at the source behind me and whispered, “Savage.”
As I turned, my eyes met Catori’s. Her good eye was no longer carried the warmth she had when begging me to stay. Now, it was like ice, nearly matching Lorcan’s despite the fact that it was a chocolate brown. She was furious.
“The boy did nothing. I did it,” she explained, sternly.
“Why?” I asked.
She shook her head as her eyes narrowed. “You are a foolish boy. Blinded by hatred and power. You’ve done nothing but destroy and create pain when we tried to teach you otherwise. And now you believe this man’s lies. You believe in lies before the truth.”
“You believe in lies,” I argued, “You believe in the lies, while my eyes see the truth. I am grateful to you, Catori. You and the tribe raised me in safety. But I won’t be blinded by your happy ignorance to the Land of the Dead. You know nothing of what those demons have done to me and my father.”
She stepped towards me, glancing at the door behind her. “They are spirits. Good spirits. Spirits who do what they are meant to. They mark those who are ready to die. Mark them so they can be taken. It is as it has always been. But now,” she waved her arm towards the now sealed door, “You’ve created destruction. Death will now come for more. For blood. You’ve angered the other side. It will destroy you along with everything else.”
Her words were beginning to enrage me; scolding me as if I were a child. My hand instantly reached for her throat, and I held her close. “Do not presume to know more than me. You have not seen what I have seen.”
Catori’s eye stayed strong as she met mine. “You cannot return. You must leave this place. We have decided to banish you.”
“Fine,” I spat.
In an instant, my hand holding her throat exploded into flames. She screamed in agony as I held her close. Lorcan made no effort to stop me. He simply watched the scene as I burned Catori’s sjpirit until she was gone.
We stood in silence. The only sounds came from the boy as he continued to cry and whimper. My eyes moved from where Catori had once been to the doorway. The red runes were still glowing. The longer I stared, the more it felt as though they were imprinting onto me as well.
Lorcan finally stepped forward. “You can travel with us. Leave your tribe and return to the village, where we can finally begin sealing all of the demons. You have a great many things to teach me.”
I nodded. “Very well.”
Returning to my body, there was only chaos. Screams roared outside as something orange glowed outside. As I stepped outside, people were running, attempting to save anything they could. The place where Catori usually slept was lit in flames. My attack had followed her back here.
The Medicine Man stood nearby, his expression distraught as he watched the fore engulf the entire longhouse. His eyes met mine, but only for a moment. As I turned, I turned my back on everything one last time. Leaving this life behind to begin anew. To follow my destiny with Fate.
To be continued…
Catch up on The Child Dreamer Chapters: