The Fire Fades

Header image by Mohylek under Creative Commons 3.0 Unported.

I dreamt a darkness was sweeping over the world. It was claiming people seemingly at random, though there were rumours it was affecting every single person who had gone to investigate where they thought the physical source of the phenomenon to be. Even those of us who chose to live our lives normally saw the difference – nightfall as early as 3pm. I’d heard of this darkness affecting a single person in a previous dream, but thought of it as nothing more than a rumour among many to explain his disappearance. For the first part of this dream, I was myself. For the second, nobody. Just a watcher not physically present.

I was hearing more of these nightmares lately. Those affected would be tormented by unknown beings who would scream the entire duration of the nightmare. The affected would understand little, and recognise only their own name among the things screamed. During their waking hours, they would occasionally scream just like the beings they saw – they would scream and scream, only their name recognisable within the sentences. Their loved ones would hear this too, but all of it, even the names, were garbled as if underwater. It was a nightmare, but not theirs. A distant nightmare. All they knew was that something was happening to somebody close to them.
I was one of the many that chose to live life normally. I went to confront somebody, but they turned out to be the wrong person. I told them I had the wrong person, and they understood. They were joined by three of their friends, and they told me that if I ever needed information, they could get it for me. I thanked them and continued with what I was doing, which was not much. I doubted I’d ever need to go to them them for any information. At that point, I realised I hadn’t eaten lunch and it was getting late; the time was already 3:31pm. I looked outside and sure enough, it was dark; the shops would be closing in half an hour. I rushed to the nearest store and got a small selection of snacks to at least stop the hunger. It did, and my part in the dream ended.
For the second, I saw a lone woman in an intricate network of underground tunnels. She seemed very tired, and very worried – though the nature of the place meant she was completely dry, and had made her way down here entirely by stone walkways and paths. I deduced she was looking for a loved one down here, and eventually that the source of the nightmares, or at least one part of it, was here. He’d been down here to investigate, the first to investigate in fact. But he’d failed. I simply watched her making her way down for a bit when I saw him – the same one I’d heard about in a previous dream. He was lying on the floor, still awake, but motionless. Just before she arrived, he’d had another fit where he would begin screaming. His name was heard a fair few times. She saw him there and rushed to his side. “It was you, wasn’t it? The distorted voices screaming something…it was your name, wasn’t it?” No response. He lay there on the ground, eyes staring into space. Completely catatonic.


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