‘A BLACK CAT AND A BAD DREAM, PART 1’
I can’t fight it anymore. It’s too much.
“Oh… !” I let out a quiet gasp and pull my arm across my chest, hugging myself tightly. My toes curl as the muscles in my thighs and stomach tighten involuntarily. I bite down on my lip hard enough to draw blood. No! I won’t lose! I never lose! But… it feels so good. Why can’t this go on forever?
“Fuck you and your-“ My partner cuts me off with his tongue’s expertise: he knows I’m close and he’s playing to win. Another gasp escapes my lips and I can feel his long, soft hair brushing against the inside of my thighs as they clamp down on him. Wave after wave of golden euphoria ripples up from where my lover quietly prays to me, his goddess. I try to squirm away, but his hands weigh like iron on my hips, holding me steady, pressing me down against our shared bed: a bale of hay in a dusty old barn. He continues unabated, even as my soft sighs quickly climb to a climax. Everything in sight explodes into a rainbow of psychedelic ecstasy before everything goes quiet save for the sound of my exasperated breathing.
“I win.” His tone is smug and why shouldn’t it be? I can’t see his face, but I can imagine his cocky smirk, his flashing slate eyes, and his long, flowing locks of gold. His merciless assault continues before I can catch my breath: I can feel his lips, soft and full, planting wet little kisses on my shoulder and slowly traveling up the side of my neck, towards my earlobe. Now I can feel his hand cup the bottom of my thigh and scoop me up onto my side, holding my leg aloft. I grind my chest against his, reveling in his warmth as one of my hands finds a firm hold in his hair. I pull down hard enough to lift his chin towards me.
“You are like… a fucking rabbit… you know that?” I manage to chide him as I continue to catch my breath. My heart is still racing. It’s not enough. I want more! He chuckles knowingly: my lover is teasing me now.
“Bastard…” I whisper. Now he stops and tenses up.
“Did you hear that?” He seems serious now.
“Stop teasing me, Trent!” I growl at him. My entire body is still throbbing with excitement and anticipation. That’s when I hear it, too. It sounds like a faint whisper at first, but the voice is somehow… familiar.
“Seles…” I sit upright now. That wasn’t Trent’s voice. Is someone else here?
“Celestria… Celestria…” I feel the blood drain from my face when I recognize that name. Suddenly, I can’t feel him next to me anymore. I’m alone now. Where did he go? The voice grows louder and more discernable as it continues to chant.
“Celestria!” The barn doors burst open and then she barges in, announced by her shrill shriek. This presence, this voice… I know them, alright.
They belong to my mother.
I wake with a start and sit bolt upright in my borrowed bed. My heart is still pounding away and my cold sweat feels like an icy frost in the cool morning air.
Knock, knock, knock. Before I can decide whether I’m too terrified to be horny, somebody quietly knocks at the door. Could it be the old pervert I borrowed this shack from? No, not likely – it will take at least another day for him to break my spell and return here. That is, if he even returns. Who knows what sort of horrors he will find out on the road? Fuck it, he deserves it.
My eyes are still ‘waking up’, so to speak, and so everything around me remains shadowed and blurry even though I can feel the sunlight’s warmth tattooing my face. I sit up and grope around blindly for a few moments before my fingers close around something smooth: I instantly recognize it as the handle of my sword. I scoot out of my bed and plant the end of the scabbard firmly against the ground; it is a sword, yes, and it is also my walking stick.
Knock, knock, knock. The rapping at my door is persistent, but somehow polite. No, this wasn’t the old perv. Who could it be then?
“Who’s there?” I call out to the stranger without a hint of fear.
“Are you the Witch?” A frail and timid voice responds. I take a deep breath and push aside the lingering thoughts evoked by my dream. Focus. A familiar sensation envelopes me, like facing a winter wind with eyes open wide. Colors creep into the void. The outlines of all living things slowly become visible; the tufts of grass peeking up through the broken floorboards, the spider weaving its web in the rafters, and even the two children standing on the other side of the door. Two children?
“Open the door and come inside. Close the door behind you.” As I speak, I impart a little bit of my power into my words. Only a little magic is needed here. The two children do as I say and they shut the door behind them without a sound. Once they enter the shack, I can see their essences clearly: one boy and one girl. Both of their silhouettes are drenched in a deep Lapis blue – the color of grief, tinged with a bit of fern green, the color of apprehension, bordering on fear. The puzzle pieces have been set upon the table now.
“Give me your hand, little girl.” I speak out loud and extend one hand out towards her. She hesitates at first. I shake my head.
“Give me your hand, little girl.” This time I speak to her mind directly. She gasps. I inject a little bit of magic into my command and so she steps forward and places her hand in mine. No hesitation this time. I place my other hand on top, sandwiching her tiny little hand between mine.
“Now relax.” I can feel the girl’s trepidation begin to melt away, leaving only the color of grief behind. As she does so, a flood of images and sounds begins to pour into my head, impossibly fast at first: I am watching the girl’s short life unfold before my eyes. As we approach the present time, things begin to slow down until I am left watching a short scene with the two children standing at the bedside of a middle-aged woman: their mother.
“Your mother is sick?” I turn to the boy, knowing the girl will not be able to answer while entranced. The little boy’s essence pulses green with fear before returning to lapis blue and then he nods his head a few times. I release the little girl’s hands. When I do, I can’t help but marvel as her essence radiates a sky-blue hue, the color of amazement, followed by an emerald green: the color of admiration. I smile at the two now.
“Take me to her.” I speak my command aloud to the children. They look at each other and for a moment, their shades begin to lighten in color: no longer grief, but sadness tinged with a hint of hope.
It takes us just over an hour to reach Hithe, one of the larger settlements I’d come across. As we approach the town, I am quick to draw my hood. We don’t need any unwanted attention today. The little boy leads me by the hand through the town and I find myself gritting my teeth. So noisy… an angry maelstrom of thoughts warbles about inside my head like a buzzing beehive. As much as I loathe the boredom that accompanies solitude, I would not be able to live in a place like this without losing my mind. Thankfully, the children’s home is tucked away on the edge of the town, far enough from the idle thoughts and wants of its citizens for me to regain my bearings.
We come to a stop in front of a dark mass – a house, maybe? I borrow the boy’s sight for a moment and see a quaint little cottage with symmetrical round glass windows on each side of a simple wooden door. I wouldn’t mind staying in a place like this. The little girl opens the door and the boy guides me inside before his sister shuts the door behind us.
“Morosia.” My quiet murmur fills the room as I cast my gaze upon their bedridden mother. Sure, I was already certain of the diagnosis when I’d read the little girl’s mind, but seeing it in person, through my eyes revealed that this was not a typical case. Her essence is dim, but I can make out its color: a mixture of violet tinged with sapphire blue and ruby red. Remorse, contempt, and hatred. I had my work cut out for me this time, but with risk comes a reward. The boy releases my hand and I approach the bedside.
That’s when I notice it.
“Do you have any pets? Like… a cat?” I turn my gaze towards the children. They both shake their head in unison. I look back at their mother, lying in her bed, barely breathing. I can see the imprint of a cat’s paw on her cheek. The fact that I can see it this clearly means it is bleeding. A fresh wound. I doubt that a cat could have gotten in while they were gone.
“Have you noticed any cats hanging around the house?” My question remains unanswered for a moment as the children think about it. Both of them shake their heads again and this time the little girl speaks up.
“Mommy hates cats.” She says timidly. The boy nods his head. Another puzzle piece falling into place. Turning away from the bedside, I take a deep breath and prepare to address the children.
“Your mother is being haunted by a ghost from her past. If she cannot come to peace with it, she will sleep here, in this bed, until she dies.” Even though I am trying to soften the news, I can see the children’s silhouettes fading back to the deep blue associated with grief and sadness. Fuck. I was never any good at this. As I speak, I reach into the satchel hanging at my side.
“I can save your mother, but only if you follow my instructions.” My fingertip slides across the smooth surface of polished glass – the face of my golden mirror. I pull the little mirror from my satchel. Although its golden frame remains dark and shadowed to my eyes, the reflecting surface of the mirror appears as a brilliant sheet of iridescent pearl. The children don’t respond but I know they would do anything for their mother, even seek out a scary witch miles away from their home.
“Lock the door. Don’t open it. Close the windows and draw the blinds. Keep them closed. Last – no matter what happens, you must not touch your mother and you must not touch me.” I rattle off my instructions to the children and they are already moving to follow them before I finish. Good. These children love their mother. That means she’s been a good mother then. That may end up being enough to save her.
“Now bring me a chair.” As soon as the words leave my lips, I can hear the boy sliding an old chair across the wooden floorboards. I sit down in the chair and rest the golden mirror, face up, on my lap. Before I begin, I look up at the children one more time.
“Do not forget what I said. If you do, not only will your mother die, but it’s likely that the three of us will die as well.” I can hear the little boy gulp audibly and the two children shake their head in unison once again.
“Well then. Let’s begin.” My final words before beginning the dive.
A BLACK CAT AND A BAD DREAM, PT. I
Written by Jungle.
© 2021, all rights reserved.
Click to continue dreaming of SELES.
The sensation of sinking is always unsettling. Gone are the little round windows of the quaint cottage. The two children and their sick mother have vanished from my sight, but not from my thoughts. I know what I need to do here, in the dream world. That is what this place is: a world of dreams inside of the mother’s imagination. Almost everyone has dreams. Every dreamer stands on the doorstep of the infinite….