Dreams that Mask the Shadows

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Chapter Four: You Have Something I Need

Kylie

“Kylie?” A hand touched my shoulder. “Kylie? Kylie, wake up!”

I flinched, kicking my feet as my arm shot out. My fingers wrapped around someone’s arm as my eyes snapped open.

“What?” I exclaimed, scanning the room frantically for any possible threats. I didn’t notice anything out of the usual, except that I had a fist aimed at Rhiannon’s face and a hand preventing her from moving. Her eyes had grown wide as she watched me. Scrambling back proved difficult with the blankets wrapped around my legs but I managed the best I could.

“Kylie, what the hell was that?” Rhiannon gasped.

“What?” I whispered, rubbing my arm hard as if it were my arm I had grabbed instead of my best friend’s. What am I doing? I could have hurt someone. “What was what?”

“You were having a…dream,” Rhiannon said slowly, moving away from my bed. I glanced around, seeing that her blankets were also disheveled, rumpled at the end of the camping pad on the floor. “Are you okay? I mean, that’s a dumb question. But, let me tell you, Kylie Roth, that I have had many a sleepover with you, and I haven’t…” She paused, tilting her head at me. “You’ve never been so strong. Have you been working out or something? And without telling me.” The sarcasm in her voice is small, but still there. At least she wasn’t acting completely weirded out.

“Sorry, it was just a nightmare.” I shook my head, lying back against my pillow.

Rhiannon shook her head. “It wasn’t just a nightmare. You were muttering about…I couldn’t even tell, it was all gibberish. There was a ton of hissing words and garbled growls involved. It was like you were speaking another…another language or something.”

I gave a shrug. What else was I supposed to do? I had absolutely no idea what she was talking about. “Next time, record me.”

Rhiannon snorted. “Yeah, cause that’s not any creepier.”

“Thanks.” I sighed. “What time is it anyway?”

“Six in the morning.”

Six in the morning.”

“That’s right. You woke me up at this ungodly hour with your ritual chanting mutterings about apocalypses and possessed gods come to kill us. And when I tried to stop you, you almost drop kicked my head.”

Amusement teased my lips up into a smile. “You told me you didn’t understand the language I was supposedly rambling on in. And I almost punched you, not kicked.”

“Well, it definitely wasn’t anything good. I doubt whatever your weird dream-murmurings were about, they weren’t telling me that I will have cotton candy, sunny beaches, and tons of funnel cake in my future. It was most likely foretelling my death.” Rhiannon smirked at me as she went back to her bed and plopped down, disappearing from my view.

I flopped towards the end of my bed, peering at her over the edge. “I can’t foretell your future. Unless I sprouted wings and forged a halo, which, see—” I moved a hand, waving it behind my back. “—no wings.”

“Not yet!” Rhiannon closed her eyes, throwing an arm across her face to shield it from my bedside table lamp. She must have turned it on when she had tried to wake me. “For all we know, you could be some…some magical…creature come to destroy the world and you’re just coming to know of your powers now.”

“Or I am a normal person who talks in their sleep, but mumbles instead of using the perfect diction of an opera singer. I mean, the only other language I might possibly know is French, and I doubt I’d remember much besides Madame Ramsey’s sneer in my face about mispronouncing the word ‘oranges’.”

“Oh, please. At least you got an A out of that class. I barely passed Italian. And now, I think I’ve blocked it completely from my memories.” Rhiannon chuckled. “What a waste of two years of high school.”

My eyes closed as I listened to my own breathing before focusing on Rhiannon’s breathing. It wasn’t something I normally tried listening to, but after hearing what Silver-Eyes had whispered, I was interested to see how far I could actually hear. Thumpthump. Whooooosh. I winced at the loud pounding in my head. What’s that? I turned over so I was lying on my back, both ears listening. Thumpthump. Whooooosh. Thumpthump. Whooooosh. Thumpthump. My jaw clenched when I realized what it was. Rhiannon’s heartbeat. Aw, hell. I was listening to Rhiannon’s heartbeat and the blood that was pumping through her veins. Shock was soon overpowered by confusion, before morphing into fascination. This never happened before. Faintly, I heard my name. Wait.

“Huh?” I mumbled, eyes still closed.

“Oh, nothing. I was just going off about how high school was such a waste of time.” Rhiannon breathed out before sucking in a quick breath and adding, “It feels like I could’ve done something else with all that time I spent slaving over random crap homework assignments. I mean, what do I have to account for those late nights studying for a dumb Chemistry test, or early morning group projects in Econ? Nothing.”

“Hey, you’ve got my friendship. Hmm, doesn’t that mean anything?”

“I guess. We did bond over our mutual dislike of AP History.”

“Great teacher, tiring class.”

“Can you believe that was only two years ago? It feels like we’ve known each other for way longer. Yes, as cheesy and corny as that sounds.”

“I like cheese…And corn.” I blinked my eyes open, lids drooping with sleep. “Can’t you make some sort of chowder with that?”

A low laugh escaped from Rhiannon. “Most likely.” She released a snort. “But, there’s no way I’d let you near a kitchen alone.”

“I can bake!”

“You mean you can burn things.”

I smirked at the ceiling. “Same thing, right?”

“Oh, please!” Rhiannon laughed, kicking her legs in the air, throwing her blankets off of her. “Some of us don’t like to eat coal for our meals.”

“Don’t give me your sass. It’s too early for that.”

Smiling, I rolled onto my side and curled up in the covers.

“Goodnight,” I mumbled into my blankets before dozing off into sweet oblivion. Thankfully, no more demons haunted my dreams.


Waylan

Waking up early was not my ‘thing’. I knew many Dreamcatchers who loved mornings. I was not one of them. I was in the other half of the Dreamcatchers who lived for the night life—not that I had much of a ‘nightlife’ outside of spying on people and sneaking around I guess.

Screw the early shift at work. Why did I ever sign up for this? Oh, that’s right. I didn’t.

Having showered the night before, I opted for scrubbing my teeth with a toothbrush and splashing water on my face. I ran back to my room to grab my things and throw on some clean clothes. Pulling on a gray t-shirt, I ran a hand through my hair. It was short enough to not need much taming, but long enough that I should have probably ran a comb through it—I didn’t have time for that. Instead, I danced into a pair of black jeans, stuffing my feet into my worn pair of sneakers. A quick glance at the mirror stuck to the closet doors told me this was as presentable as it was going to get. Bending down to retrieve my backpack from beside my desk, I felt a pang behind my ear, like a soft thrum. At first I ignored it. As I was gathering my things, throwing them into my pack, I heard a soft frantic voice.

Hello! Waylan?

I jerked up, hand automatically whipping to my side. No dagger. Who’s there?

Waylan. Help me. Fast. I’m here. Can’t…can’t get out.

“Who’s there?” I said aloud this time.

It’s me, Waylan.

Who the hell is ‘me’? I thought drily as I sighed, knowing I had somehow been dragged into someone’s dream and I must be hearing them. I didn’t recognize this voice, how would they know my name? Maybe they were dreaming of another Waylan. Yeah, and what are the odds of me receiving a dream with my name in it?

Be careful. Something is going to happen. Protect her, Waylan. She’ll want…She…Find me.

What is your name? I sent out, trying to concentrate as I pinpointed the location. I could feel my mind zooming about, almost spasmodically, until I finally located it—the little spot of light in my head where I could tell where the dream was coming from. Yes, it sounded crazy as heck, but hey, it worked for me.

Oregon? I thought, confused. If I received a dream from that far away, I was almost always put to sleep beforehand, or I would be knocked out from the force of it. Receiving dreams took much more concentration and energy than the human mind was capable of. However, this one came to me while I was awake, and I wasn’t unconscious.

Hello? I thought warily before saying, “What is your name?”

You must help me. I’m…fading.


Kylie

“Did you girls sleep well?” Evelyn asked once we made it downstairs four hours later. There were strips of bacon on a flat, rectangle platter on the kitchen island, still sizzling with grease pooling on the paper towel placed under it. There were pancakes stacked on a plate at the center of the counter while Evelyn was scrambling some eggs on the stove.

Mom had loved cooking. And she was great at it. Except, I never saw her do it anymore…ever since Dad went M.I.A. I wondered what changed. Maybe it was because we had company. Or maybe because it was a Sunday. My eyes narrowed. I bet she was going to drag me to another church service.

“Yes, did you sleep well, Mrs. Roth?”

“Please, call me Evelyn, Rhiannon. You are practically my other daughter, you are over so often.” She smiled warmly. Was it warmth I saw, or something else?

Rhiannon smiled back. I couldn’t read it. Or maybe I just wasn’t trying hard enough. I blinked. What had gotten into me? Why was I testing out…powers I didn’t understand? When was the C.I.A. going to come tell me I was experimented on as a child or that I’m an extraterrestrial being that landed on the Planet Earth thousands of years ago or—

“Kylie? Please, your breakfast is getting cold. We have church in an hour. We need to get ready. Rhiannon, you are welcome to join us if you would like to.”

I knew it. Guilt. All because of the guilt, huh, Evelyn?

“Mrs. Ro—.” Rhiannon cut herself short. “Usually, I would love to go on any number of your religious escapades, but, alas, I am an incredibly wanted person across the seven seas. I have already promised my parents that I would go sailing with them on the boat this afternoon. Perhaps another time?”

“Of course,” Evelyn said. She laughed. Nope. It was all too fake. I couldn’t handle it.

“I’ll walk you out,” I said, jumping up from my seat.

“Call me later?” Rhiannon said to me when I walked her to the door. She grabbed her duffel bag and turned to me.

“Sure, if I survive the day.”

“Let me know if you want me to break you out.” With a glint in her eyes, she pulled at her ear as she thought. “Maybe my boat will fly with the little pixie dust I will acquire from Tinker Bell after I fight Captain Hook…unless he looks anything like Colin O’Donoghue from Once Upon a Time, then we’ll be getting married and it was nice knowing you.”

“I’ll forgive you,” I said.

She grinned before giving a small wave and stepping off my doorstep, leaving me to deal with Evelyn who was now sitting at the breakfast table, cup of coffee in front of her as she held a folded newspaper in her hand. She didn’t look up when I passed through the kitchen to get to the stairs.

“Don’t forget to eat, Kylie. This church service meets for three hours, and I intend to stay for all of it.” She took a sip from her coffee mug.

Please, I highly doubt that I’ll magically forget to eat.” I glared at her back. “Hey, Mom?” I saw her eyes stop on the page, listening to me now. “Whose soul are you trying to save anyway?” She didn’t move, but I could read other signs. A vein in her neck throbbed slightly, her foot twitched, as if her body was telling her to flee the conversation but her mind forced her not to.

“No one’s, honey.” Evelyn smiled tightly. She stood then, crossing the room to me before she placed her hands on my shoulders and hugged me to her. I squirmed. I was never one for physical contact and neither was she. At least, it had been that way for a while now. “I just want to find something…missing in my life.”

“Like Dad?” I blurted.

Evelyn’s face went slack and she turned away slowly. Her back remained facing me. Come on, face me. Face me! The old her wouldn’t do this.She was never a coward.

“Dad is gone, Kylie. You know that. Please.” Her breath hitched and she inhaled a slow breath before continuing, “Please, refrain from mentioning your father, unless absolutely necessary.”

“But, Mom. I—.”

Honey, please, I am Evelyn. I am not ‘Mom’.” Her voice held no emotion except for distaste, and I shivered as she walked back to the table. She sat down. Conversation obviously over. Fine.

Slowly, almost numbly, I got ready for church. I showered first, then ate one pancake and some eggs and bacon before going back upstairs to change. Evelyn was gone when I had come back down to eat. Thank goodness.

I put on my dark blue dress. It had a skirt that flared from the waist. Little black, silvery beads dotted the edges and the bodice of the dress, running down along the fabric like the silvery etchings of delicate spun webs. It was my favorite dress. My dad had given it to me on my seventeenth birthday—a little over a year ago. That was also one week before he disappeared.

Gone. Just like that.

And ever since, my Mom had changed from ‘Mom’—mother and caretaker, to ‘Evelyn’—annoying frenemy and forced roommate. Sometimes I’d forget who she even was.

I didn’t want a roommate. What I wanted was my mom. I needed her to be a parent for just this once and explain the truth behind everything—my dad, these weird instincts I got to run and fight and day dream, why she was really staying out so late on week nights, why I suddenly had excellent hearing.

I wanted truth. No more lies and hiding. Truth.

Today was different, I could feel it down in my bones. Something was going to happen. I could only hope that I was going to be a part of it.

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