Chapter XXI: The Nightmare Man (9/13)Mature

Will opened his eyes and vaulted forward in his hammock with as deep a breath as if he was breaking the ocean's skin. His clothes clung to him, with disgust he realised he was caked in sweat, and the hammock swung back and forth gently like a ship in the surf. He gazed around, the room was in full darkness, soft moonlight filtering through the window. Clear of his nightmare, Will sighed and led back on the pillows. He couldn't clear the woman's words from his head, it's all your fault...they're coming for you...

And the woman, he kept thinking about her, she had found her way into his mind through the Evil Eye - which through one way or another, was his curse to bear. He knew that with such faults, he wouldn't be able to sleep, so he shrugged on his nightgown and brushed back the curtains into the main room. He fell back into one of the beanbags, clutching his aching sides, his heavy breathing felt like it was pressing his ribs out of shape.


'I am here, Willow' she answered swiftly, 'I worried for you. Something stopped our connection. I was locked in a dark room, I could only hear your voices, they were like whispers on the air.'

It must have been that woman. She got inside my head, I don't know how, it must have been through the curse.

'Be careful. The mind is a powerful place, a place none but the owner should inhabit...exempting myself, of course.'

Then, Will remembered Tayna, if the woman could enter his mind through the curse, could she do the same for her? The thought filled him with worry until he was unable to stand by. He pushed himself off of the ground and slowly headed into the room adjacent to his own.

The room was quiet and still, the moonlight streaming through allowed Will to figure out which of the dark shapes curled in the hammocks was Tayna. He approached the left hammock and bent down beside her, realising that her sleep was disturbed.

Her face was creased with worry, tears stuck at the corner of her eyes. She murmured indistinct words edged with fear. Hand trembling, Will reached out to gently shake her awake, 'Tayna...'

But before he could touch her, her eyes opened suddenly, they shone bright, terrified amber, and with a deft movement, she'd pulled something glinting from under her pillow and to Will's chest.

The sight of the half-faced man's dagger paralysed him in place, shining liquid silver from the moonlight in the open window, the tip had stopped barely an inch from his chest, and it dug into him as he panted uncontrollably. Tayna's eyes were wide with surprise, frosted with fear, the dagger didn't recede, as if after everything, she did not know who he was.

The End

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