Chapter 13 - Vision of Terror
The air smelled strongly of soot and ash, burning her throat with every breath she took as she slowly made her way through a scene that could only be described as complete and utter chaos. Thick, black smoke could be seen rising high above from all around where she stood, buildings which had once stood tall and strong now crumbled below into masses of ash-covered debris as the bright warmth of the flames raged on.
“Where... where am I?” her voice was soft as a large gust of wind swept through, causing her hair to blow over her face.
Pulling the long strands of her golden hair away from her face with her fingers and tucking it behind her ears, she continued to make her way down the middle of the remaining debris.
Strangely, her bare feet felt no pain as she walked slowly across hot coals and jagged rocks; this was quite baffling, surely she would feel something from the intense heat as it should have burned through the soles of her feet, but no... no pain at all. She felt nothing.
Choosing to push those minor concerns aside for now Lillian took a few more steps and then stopped dead in her tracks as her emerald eyes gazed upon the terrifying sight before her. Her heart seemed to have ceased beating, as though she had suddenly died as her eyes scanned from left to right in sheer horror. The carnage of burning rubble and destruction went on for miles and miles, as far as the eye could see! It looked as if an entire city had been burned to the ground!
“Oh my god...”
As her eyes began to fill with tears she suddenly gasped loudly as a loud shrieking sound bellowed out from above and the incredibly massive black shadow of a giant winged creature flew on overhead, swooping down as it looked for a suitable place to land amongst the debris. Lillian watched in fear as several more dragons emerged from the smokey sky above, each circling around the destroyed city.
She had no idea what was happening, or why she was seeing this but she could feel the horrible pain and anguish of what felt like thousands of lives all snuffed out by the intensive heat of dragon’s fire. It was as if she could somehow sense their pain and suffering as she stood amongst the remains.
Covering her ears, she closed her eyes tightly shut and tried to block out the sounds of the cries which had begun to call out for help, over and over in her head. Their voices were desperate, including men, women and children. She could take no more of it; shaking her head Lillian tried to block it out by shouting.
“No, stop it... Stop it!”
The cries only heightened, repeating over and over within her head.
“Please... Stop it, stop it, STOP!”
Lillian was suddenly awoken to someone shaking her body violently and a familiar voice as she opened her eyes and sucked in a deep breath of air.
“Lillian, wake up!”
Turning her head to the side she met eyes with Draxus who was holding her by the shoulders as he sat in the bed beside her, the covers across both of their legs. His expression showed that he was concerned as he stared at her, waiting for her to reply.
Then she felt it, the burning sensation on her right wrist; one that she had only felt a few times before but one she could not so easily forget.
Wincing in pain, she cradled her wrist for a moment as she spoke.
“You had a nightmare.” he replied smoothly, his eyes moving down to where she held at her wrist.
“Are you alright?”
“I think so.”
Sighing with relief, she slumped back down onto the bed, her head resting on the pillow as she pulled the covers up to her neck. Her heart was still racing from what she had seen but there was not much she could do about it. The stinging sensation in her wrist had begun to fade now and she tried focusing on something else in an effort to mask the pain.
Draxus remained sitting upright as he watched her with interest. It was obvious she was hiding something from him but he was deciding how he would go about finding out what it was. Deciding he would ask her about it in the morning, he lay back down and rolled in towards her, his arm reaching out to pull her in towards his chest, spooning her. Lillian did not fight him this time, she was far too tired and needed sleep. But the memories of her apparent nightmare played over and over within her mind making it difficult to get back to a peaceful slumber.
Closing her eyes she could feel the thumping of Draxus’ heartbeat against her back and she focused on that alone, drowning out all other sounds and thoughts.
Soon enough they were both asleep once more, this time in each other’s arms.
But was what she had seen merely a nightmare? Or was it something else entirely? Perhaps a haunting vision of what was to come...