An excerpt …

Lacking something bloggy yet desiring to post SOMETHING, I have heeded the request of one or three people and am including an excerpt from one of my book projects. Enjoy (I hope):

Five minds shared a dream. One mind untouchable by shadow; one thriving on it. Three minds falling in between. One feminine mind, four masculine. Five disparate minds; five minds sharing only a basic similarity in the fact that they were human (even if one had strayed far from his original humanity). Together they built a refuge at once real and surreal. It smacked of comfort, yet it was laced through with prodding nettles, leaching away that comfort. To all the surroundings appeared as a peaceful swimming hole; a place of idyllic memories and contentment. Four fondly recognized this place even if there was a hint to it of something … not right. One found echoes in it; echoes of ancient memories long lain dormant. Echoes of a time before when he was something less; something more.

Yet it was as if this was a bright island in a dark … nothingness. And the brightness was flickering on and off at an almost imperceptible rate. Shadow and light seeking dominance, the light seeming the stronger but the barely perceptible instances of shadow causing a subtle sense of … horror. One did not understand this strange, invasive subliminal feeling. Three felt fear growing in them for no easily discernible reason; water boiling in a kettle with no heat to be seen. And one embraced. Savored.

The idyllic island shifted, becoming a subtle mockery of itself. Scenes of battle began emerging, flickering barely caught images of strife. Here creatures of shadow overwhelmed; there creatures of light shone like beacons of hope. They built a steady image of battle without specific details to be remembered. Light and shadow began taking a formless shape, grotesquely altering the place of seeming comfort into something unrecognizable. Shadow seemed to surround one dreamer, light another. The rest were tugged back and forth between the two.The three with growing fear seemed drawn to the one of shadow. The kettle neared a boil. The core of shadow rejoiced; drew them further in. Then shadow gathered itself and shot a piercing spear of darkness at the beacon of light.

And light shrugged it off as if the spear did not exist.

With a screaming whistle the boiling water released. The pressure in the kettle eased. Fear melted. Three on the verge joined together and flowed back to the light. Light that took the form of an odd charm, with a radiant star in its middle. Shadow howled in fury and …

Woke himself up. The Shadow Lord had indulged the dream for the simple novelty of having one again. But the shape of this dream was unacceptable to him. Dreams were a mind that had lost control. Shadow Lords thrived on control. This dream could not be. Yet somehow it was. The puzzle was getting unexpectedly complicated.

Removing himself released the communal nature of the dream. Ed, Nolly and Merry shifted into their own dreams, eventually slipping into dreamless, restful sleep. Rayson, however, snapped awake. The candle he had lit was a small stump now, almost to the point where it would become a fire hazard. Concerning as this was, he barely noticed, absently blowing the candle out. He knew that something important had just happened, though he could not quite figure out why it was important. The dream was etched in his mind in a way that gave it extra significance. He quickly turned the Dream Charm “off”. Totu needed to see this. He schooled his mind to relax again, hoping that he would have no more dreams for the rest of the night. Which seemed a likelihood because sleep was eluding him.

Morning could not come soon enough.