From the start, the dream had a different feeling from the rest.
There was a sense of urgency and fear that threatened to overwhelm him. Although he had felt that in dreams past, it felt more succinct and more dangerous than usual. He was all too aware of the peril of dreams, due to his own power over them. Yet, this felt more personal for some reason. It was nothing he could put a name too, but only a feeling he could not shake as he was swept away by the images.
Torrential rain assaulted him as was walked down a winding road. Lightening flashed as the rain made it difficult for him to see more than a few feet in front of him, but he instinctively knew where he was.
Even though he had not been home in five years, it felt exactly the same. This is more than likely the case, since nothing ever changed in Serenity. Just thinking the name made his skin crawl. His childhood memories of the town were not pleasant and he rarely visited his family due to this. It was something that his subconscious had avoided for years and it brought up many questions…but he did not have time to think on them as he set off down the road leading toward the center of the village.
He slowly walked down the muddy road past the Rivan district; he reached down and felt the familiar feel of his sword on his hip. There was no need to unsheathe the sword as knowing it was there made him feel more comfortable. Even though it was raining, it was extremely humid and he began to work up a sweat. As he head toward his family’s estate, it was impossible to tell exactly what time of the day or season it was.
The road was deserted and that in itself was odd considering he could see The Serpent and the Crown, the busiest tavern in Serenity. Typically there were people coming to and from the tavern at all times in the night, mostly to try the ale that Sage Delora had managed to find on her trips to Ravenswood. Yet the tavern seemed empty. For a second he thought of going into the tavern to investigate that, but then he felt compelled to continue on his journey toward his home.
As he continued to walk, thoughts started buzzing around his head. Why was he here? What was the reason behind the urgency of the dream? The only indication was the feeling of need that pushed him forward. The closer he got to the manor, the more he could feel his pulse quicken until he abandoned all thought of danger and took off in a run. Before he knew it, he was standing in front of the manor, out of breath. It looked exactly the same as it always had, but again there was a feeling of menace coming from it.
As he went to open the door, he noticed that it had gotten considerably colder in the last few seconds. He could see his own breath and this made him pause. He knew that could be an imprint from his own troubled past, but it felt different. More threatening. Shaking it off he rushed inside.
The house itself was strangely silent. This was not lost on him considering how much his twin sister Dara spoke of her children running around the manor at all times of the night. There was a pang of sadness as he realized he was not a huge factor in their lives and it had been his choice.
Choice always seemed to take him from those he loved.
He took a moment to compose himself, and after a few moments his training took over and he could feel himself relax. Still not sure what was going on, he walked into the sitting room to see if anyone was there.
The room was empty and after finding the kitchen, living area, and his mother’s bedroom empty as well, he decided to head upstairs to the bedrooms. As he approached the stairs, the hairs began standing on his neck and he immediately went to grab the sword that always hung on his left hip.
There was no sword there.
What the hell happened to my sword? It had had been there earlier, but he knew that dreams often changed without a moments warning.
Cursing, he hurried up the stairs leading to the second floor. Both Dara and his older sister Elisa had their rooms on this floor. A feeling of dread came over him as he walked by his sister Elisa’s room. As he approached the door, he stopped to listen and heard nothing. Slowly he opened the door and entered the room.
Elisa lay in the middle of the floor in a pool of blood. Quickly he ran to her and checked for a pulse. She was alive, but fading quickly. Her body had been savagely beaten and there were cuts on her body that could have only been caused with something extremely sharp. Her bloodied face turned up as she saw him leaning over her.
“I am sorry Darin,” her voice said in a barely audible whisper. With a burst of strength, she managed to grab his shoulder and say in a voice filled with pain, “The darkness finally came for me. I am finally free”. There was a look of relief on her face, mingled with sorrow. Then Elisa’s eyes rolled back and she fell to the floor.
As he stood there in shock, watching his sister’s life drain out of her, he noticed a shadow move toward the window. As he turned, the shadow picked up speed and disappeared through the window. He stood there in disbelief trying to figure out how the shadow could have went through a closed window and the last thing he heard before the world began to spin and darkness overcame him, was laughter.