The Shadow Rising
Within the Desert
You must have awoken earlier than expected, the moonlit night still crisp with cold upon the desert plain. You feel alive in a way you haven’t felt since leaving the feywild, and the song rises in your heart, the thrill pounding in your chest. A warmth suffuses you as you think of your beloved, as if you could almost see her, her shadowy form just ahead of your sleeping companions, veiled in the pre-dawn mist, and you spring upright with youthful exuberance, a happiness few outside the fair folk could ever know.
The dew condenses on your flesh, and a coldness trickles down your spine, one that tingles you with excitement, perhaps you felt a breeze. You continue walking through the forest towards Treona, how thoughtful of her to meet you here, she cares for you so deeply. Her lips, so full and red, enrapture you, her eyes, deep, soft, and clear. How could you ever have mistrusted her? As you gaze upon her the love you feel swells around you, the pure force of it coruscates from Treona and your fears fall aside, all your troubles long forgotten.
The two of you recline together, at home once more after such a long and arduous journey, you ache with the thought of her. Every brush of her fingertips brings palpitations to your heart, every beat it skips another moment you have saved, that it may last with her forever in the precious time it creates between the crashing rush of blood; sweet blood that forces through your veins and arteries, pumping, pumping, yet ever slowly. You treasure these moments of ecstasy. Like a sigh they are drawn from you, the soft tha-thump, the ever-longer moment of joy, of pleasure, before the next is thrust upon you in raging exhiliration. Your body arches, her lips, so red, caress your own, your cheeks, your throat, and pleasure suffuses your tired body, so tired, so very tired, how wonderful it is to rest in the arms of your beloved. If only your heart could still, and this pleasure be yours forever—but no, you would miss that rush of blood, tha-thump, tha-thump. Your troubles slip away, and you lose yourself in thoughts of love.
Your love, your precious mistress, the moon in your midnight sky, the scent of flowers in the storm, her embrace so strong, yet so gentle, it shelters you. You only wish you could do the same for her, your every sweetness, your beloved.
You would die for her.
Within the Feywild
Treona slowly walks away, seductive, alluring as always. You find yourself fascinated with the movements of her hips, the slow and gentle swaying. As always, you feel exhausted when she leaves you, as if the only thing that brings you strength is her presence, without her there beside you you feel cold, tired, wan, as if a shadow of your former self. Though this night something is different, as you listen to the blood pounding through your veins, your strength begins to return. Ever before you only felt the caress of dreamless sleep come up to claim you to its warm oblivion, but now, something rushes up from deep within you, a vitality you haven’t felt for what seems like an eternity. Triona glances behind you, those deep and loving eyes, those blood-red lips, and she smiles, and you feel at peace.
You stand before your mother, so long ago, and she holds out her hands in kindness, she holds a gift for you. Her hand is held tightly around whatever treasure it is she has prepared. Her gaze is soft, sweet, a smile at the corners of her lips. Yet the smile seems frozen in place, and the longer you look upon her the more frozen it seems, unchanging, and the happiness seems to have died in her eyes. A chill of terror drifts upon you, Her face, it’s crooked smile now a rictus grin, a grisly leer that screams of pain, a laughing skull set behind your mothers face, her eyes begin to tear, and though her face seems frozen her eyes dart towards her outstretched hands. You glance downwards, and blood is dripping from her hands, and her fingers slowly start to crumble into ash that drifts upon the wind, revealing the bloody mess she holds within. You see a pair of eyes staring up at you, familiar, as if you had seen them many times before. A gasp shudders through you, they are yours, and you look up from out from the bloody eyes in your mothers hand to your ruined and scarred face, a pair of empty bloody sockets dripping pus. You draw your hands to your mangled features and you scream.
You shudder, waking from your dream, at your family home within the feywild once more. You hear the crying of a child, distant, yet growing louder. You remember the nightmare of your mother, and stumble out of bed, trying to shake clear the images from your mind. The crying is getting louder. You turn a corner and see your father and your mother both, sitting side by side, you walk to them, yet slow your steps, something doesn’t seem quite right. They sit, unmoving, slumped at odd angles against each other, their heads leaning to either side. Spilled wine lies down their chests, an acrid smell assaults your senses, and you hunger. Not wine, but blood, blood everywhere, pooling as it dribbles down their limbs, throats slit and open wide and grinning. Hungry. The crying is louder. Their torn and shredded clothes are soaked with blood, so much, more than a body should contain. You smell the shit and piss that lies beneath them, fleeing their bodies as they suddenly died in fear. The crying. Wailing, louder still. You rush from the scene, overcome with grief. The crying. You stop, pausing, in front of you lies a room you don’t remember, covered in shadows, the crying coming from within. You walk tentatively forward, unsure of what it is you’ll see. You see more blood, and hunger wells up from within you, so loud it drowns out even the ever-present wailing cries. A child lies within a crib, living, yet its mouth covered in blood. It looks up at you with your eyes, and licks its lips, and the crying stops as it reveals sharp and jagged teeth. You grab the child, sinking your own teeth deep into its soft and yielding flesh, and feed.
Warmth and vigour suffuses you as you lie somewhere deep within the desert, as you watch Treona walk away, slowly stepping, slowly swaying. She glances behind to look at you with those loving eyes, those blood-red lips. And she smiles.