Tooth and Claw

Dreams

Nerzuul walks through the meadow. For the past couple of months this realm has been his whole world, and he its only inhabitant, so he knows it well – but something is different. It is darker yet warmer, and there is a wind bearing a strange scent.

He follows the scent. He walks longer than he knows the realm to be. Then, finally, he sees it: A young crinos, white as snow.

Where did it come from? How did it get here? Is it alone?

He starts to move into the clearing, but as he does, so does something else. It forms from the shadows of the trees, and crouches around the little wolf protectively… or possessively.

It looks up at him with lidless eyes of sickly yellow, and he feels blood pouring out of his nose, and ears, and eyes-


Nerzuul woke up with a start, his body covered in cold sweat. Although he could barely hear Wendigo’s hateful whispers in hind mind anymore, his dreams were only getting worse.

He stood up and walked over to his painting supplies, and began to recreate what he had seen in his dream. It had become somthing of a habit for him lately, as putting the things on the canvas helped him get them out of his mind – at least during the waking hours.

As he painted, he thought back to his dream. This was not the first time he had seen the little crinos in his dreams. He had assumed that it was him as a child – but this was the first time that he could smell it, and it had not smelled like him. Of course, this did not necessarily mean that it wasn’t him, dreams and visions were rarely straight-forward, but he still wondered. If he dreamed of the crinos again, he resolved, he would get closer to it so as to get a better look at it.

He intentionally left the crinos out of the painting – he did not want to paint it while he was still unsure whether it was him. He did not want to look at himself right now.

Instead Nerzuul focused on the other creature from his dreams. He did not remember seeing it before in his dreams, and would prefer to not see it again. It didn’t frighten him – very few things in this world or beyond could – but something about it unsettled him in a way he could not explain.

Nerzuul took a step back and looked at the finished painting. A pair of yellow eyes stared back at him from a face of red and black. And even though he had not used the strange magic paint that Julia had given him, Nerzuul could swear that the red-faced man cocked its head – and then smiled at him.

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DarthIB

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