“I usually don’t give physical examples of this, but I thought you were strong enough to withstand it, and so far you are.” He turned to Rachel and nodded as if to tell her to continue. Her soft voice almost made the pain go away.

“That’s not actually blood, it’s the sand in your hourglass, and when it runs out, your time is up. At that point, you’ll have to return to the world of the dead to regain it."

I got up from my knees, only realizing now that I had fallen to them. The blood stopped gushing from my wound and now it only hung there, stagnant, much like my mind.

She continued. “If a Dreamer kills another, and one is still in the world of the living, he is able, only for a short time, to devour his enemy.” The word devour spun through my mind, reminding me of the hungry flames that took me in the first place.

Guin spoke next as my wound slowly shut “If you suffer this fate you exist only in the world of the dead, and within the Dreamer that consumed you. You will exist there for as long as that one exists”.

Fear hit me much like Guin’s sword did, merciless and piercing, enough to make my sanity bleed a little. “Can I be rescued?”. Rachel took up my question with a soft smile and a green eyed gaze.

“Yes, yet it’s not often that it happens, most often a Dreamer containing spirits, or souls is devoured by another dreamer, and you become a package within a package."

If I had a stomach, my guess is that it would have been turning. “What a nasty end.”

Guin held his blade to my jaw. “You have to learn to defend yourself against an attack, happen, sooner or later."

He turned to Rachel and spoke to her in a language I could not understand. She then drew her own sword.

“The only way you can be truly redeemed is if the Dreamer that is your prison is destroyed.” She put the end of her sword into the pavement and waved her head back to remove the hair from her face. “There are a few ways that this can happen.” Putting her hand up and holding out her index finger she counted. “One. The Dreamers physical body dies the same way the dreamer did in his first life. Two. The Dreamers physical body is destroyed on a molecular level, completely turned to energy. Three. The Dreamers soul believes he has finished what he came back to do, and so he dies for the last time. A final death.”

I now stood in quite of an awe at the near immortality that I was living. Guin frowned at me as if he knew exactly what I was thinking.

“I rather suffer those three fates a thousand times then be devoured by another Dreamer for any length of time.”

His point came through sharply and with crystal clarity. Uncontrollably I felt something deep inside me lurch upward, and I blurted unconsciously that name. “ Julia’anne!” My head slumped down and hurt as if Guin had struck me there and not in the chest. “Why do I keep thinking of this person I don’t even know?”

Rachel smiled and put her hand on my shoulder. “It might be the reason you came back."

Guin didn’t seem to care for such things, or maybe he had the same reasons and that pushed his heart deep within chest. Hiding his feelings was something he was obviously good at.

“Enough, we’re veering off the track.”

Rachel turned to him and nodded, then backed away from me and continued. “You must learn to use your weapon, most Dreamers use a sword, yet many others meld there Shadow to other specifications, all close range combat weapons though, because the Shadow can’t get too far away from its essence; otherwise it just disintegrates and returns to you.”

Looking at myself in wonder I ask the obvious question. “Where is my shadow?"

Rachel and Guin began to laugh. “Always by your side Ethad, you just havn’t needed it yet, but I’m positive you will soon.” Guin walked across the alley and continued. “A cemetery is filled with Dreamers that have never had help from one of us and never wanted it."

I looked up at him and looked at the ribbon of light between us. It bothered me that I was sofragile, so I thought, why not put myself to a challenge. I walked across the wall of light and felt it begin to ravage my sinful cloak. I was prepared this time, and I had will. I could hear Rachel’s slight gasp and see Guin’s eyes widen. This life was getting tiresome already, I needed action.

The End

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