Read the fragment:
As Zillia’s eyes opened wide, she could feel like her heart was about to explode. The memory of her dream was already escaping. Something about danger and deep places. And that thing again. It had come even closer this time.
Outside her window, it was still night. These dreams were making it harder and harder to get rest. It’s the city, everyone would tell her. It’s always hard to adjust when you first come here. This time, however, that was barely all of it. In horror, Zillia realised her body wouldn’t obey her. She was staring at the ceiling, unable to move. This is new, she thought.
The sound of footsteps became audible just a few moments later. At least two people, walking around her house, going from room to room, opening and closing drawers and cupboards. She knew these things tended to happen a lot in Similis Quarter, usually by gangs of Goblins. I hate this neighbourhood so much! The sounds were followed by the clinking of glass objects. They were fiddling with her alchemical equipment. That meant they were in her room.
“Shush! You’ll wake the Human!” she heard one of them say. Their voice was coarse and quite strange; impossible to tell if it belonged to a man or a woman.
“Look at all that stuff,” said the other trespasser “She’s a witch, Korrin.”
“So what?” asked the trespasser named Korrin. “Do you think she summoned it on purpose?”
“Stranger things have happened. Go look under the bed. Those things love hiding under beds.”
The steps drew closer. Zillia felt her panic rising, as she heard one of the trespassers stopping by her bed to look under it and saw the shape of the other one appear over her, reaching for her nightstand. Whatever creatures these were, they were small, barely larger than a Human child, or a Halfling maybe, their heads covered by something Zillia mistook for masks. Only when she saw their expression change did she realise that the carved pumpkins were the creatures’ heads. The one wearing a blue cloak opened her drawer and took out one of her notebooks. Now shame was added to her horror. She had never shown these to anyone!
“If only, I could catch in my hand, the silver rays of moonlight creeping through my window” it started reading, in a sarcastic tone, which made Zillia wish to disappear from the room.
“So she’s a witch and a poet,” smirked Korrin. “No wonder it chose her, of all people.”
A loud bang made both creatures jump. It came from her wardrobe. Something was banging from inside her wardrobe!
“It’s here. That’s enough, break the spell,” commanded Korrin.
“Are you out of your mind?” asked the other pumpkin creature.
“We should give her a chance to defend herself, at least.”
The other creature mumbled something unapproving but didn’t oppose Korrin. Zillia jerked her body as she suddenly became able to move again. She sat on the bed, raising her arms as if to defend herself from an incoming attack. Korrin walked closer. It felt like he was trying to be reassuring, but his creepy pumpkin head certainly wasn’t helping.
“Unfortunately, there is no time to explain properly,” he said. “Have you been experiencing strange dreams lately?”
Another bang almost made the hinges from the wardrobe’s doors pop out.
“I am named Korrin and this is Miran. We are hunting a nightmare creature that used your dreams to escape into your world. If you are indeed a witch, and you know of any good spells, now would be the time to use them.”
The two pumpkin creatures drew their swords. Zillia sprang out of her bedsheets and reached for her spellbook. Of all the times she had imagined herself braving the dangers of Umbra Turris, not even once did she think she’d do so in a nightgown. Another bang, as the door started to come apart, making the creature inside half-visible. Oh. Now I’m starting to remember. In a state of panic, Zillia started flipping through pages, searching for a spell.
The creature crawled outside, the same way as it always appeared in her dreams. At first, it looked like a coiled snake. Only when it began straightening its body, did it become apparent that it was enormous, taller than her ceiling if it would elongate completely. It had a sharp beak on its head and bulbous, bug-like eyes, but that was the end of the comprehensible part of its anatomy. Countless more mouths and eyes were spread through the entirety of its body, each of them looking as if it belonged to a different creature. It unfurled two huge feathered wings, filling her room from wall to wall and let out a terrible scream through its dozens of mouths.
“Well, well, well,” said Miran. “Aren’t you a pretty one?”
The two pumpkin creatures rushed against the nightmare. The chimeric monster snapped its beak, trying to bite Korrin, who avoided it at the last moment. With the monster’s attention focused on his companion, Miran tried to stab it from behind; but a jerk of its tail sent the pumpkin creature crashing against the wall. It turned back to Korrin, ready to strike. Zillia realised that if she didn’t help now, she might not get another chance.
Purchase Lucid Dreaming eBook to read the full story!