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Old 05-02-2008, 11:51 AM   #1
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Earth, Sky, Fire and Rain - Chapter 33 (3/5/08)

More posting from the future....
Bit of rude language in this chapter... those of you with delicate sensibilities may tune out

Disclaimer: None of this is true, I don't know the band or anything like that. Entertainment purposes only.



end of chapter 32:
--------

'... Those were Ewain's thoughts in the last dream I had, in any case. I know I'm not him, but it still leaves me cold, having to dream that twisted man's life and thoughts. If you find out how to stop them, do let me know, because I have no desire to live through what might happen next. But I don't think we can stop them. This is happening for a reason, and I think we will need to do something, if only for our own sakes. There are bigger reasons, though – Ewain profaned that place, whatever else might happen, and I can't help but feel responsible. I think this is related to that soil impoverishment you were investigating initially there, and I want to fix it.

'I think we will have to go back there.
- Ed.'



-----------
Chapter 33:
-----------

You know he got the cure, you know he went astray
He used to stay awake to drive the dreams he had away
...


Hell no, was my first reaction to that last sentence in Ed's email. The rest of it made me cold, as well. Mag, or I, had guessed some of what Ed had written, about Ewain's motives, but to see it all laid out like that was horrible. And it seemed so logical, from that twisted viewpoint, that Mag's life should be the next to be sacrificed. Would there be another accident, or something more deliberate?

He could be wrong, I told myself, trying to shake off the feeling of impending doom. He can't know what's coming. He knows what Ewain planned, sure, but he can't know if things will happen like that or not. Or if they did happen like that, at least. Whether these events were ever real or not, we were dreaming them nonetheless. I had to make it stop, because there was no way on earth I was going back to that circle. That Ed was even thinking about it made me worry even more for his own mental stability. But that was his problem, not mine.

That bit about the soil impoverishment, though... The familiar instinct was to scoff and dismiss it, but I made myself think about it. Clearly, crops had once grown there – even without the evidence of the dreams, there had been a village there in the past, and those people had led an agrarian lifestyle. Why would nothing but grass grow there now? Could the cause really be spiritual rather than chemical?


The sessions with Dr. Collins continued. I felt comfortable enough with him to call him by his first name after a short while, which helped. It was easier to talk to an Andrew than a Dr. Collins, at any rate. We talked about the dreams a lot, the thoughts and feelings I had in them, about them, and about a great deal of other things, some of which I didn't think had anything to do with my current problems. We also talked about how people perceive the world, and that everyone carries their own version of reality with them, based on their own unique set of beliefs.

"Look at some of the things people believe," Andrew said in one session. "There are people in the world who believe in psychic phenomena, or ghosts, or that the world will end in four years or so, or that aliens exist and there are all these government conspiracies. To each of those people, it's the truth, but to someone else, it sounds crazy. Sure, there are genuinely ill people with unorthodox beliefs, but those people generally become so disconnected from reality that their beliefs carry them away, and evolve into dangerous behaviour. But we talked about that before, and we know that's not the case with you."

I had to admit, accepting that I could believe some of this stuff had come as a relief. A tension I'd barely been aware of had eased. It wasn't as simple as I'd assumed at first, and believing something I'd never believed before did not automatically make me insane. People did that all the time, Andrew reminded me. They changed their minds about things, suddenly became religious, or conversely, suddenly lost their faith. It was confusing to go through this process, but not necessarily a cause for undue concern.

It was very strange to think of myself as someone who could believe things like this, but once again, I'd come to a place where I couldn't deny the evidence of my own perceptions. And who else's could I be expected to trust?

Unfortunately, the dreams were continuing. Andrew had stopped short of taking them on face value, he was still looking for something in my subconscious that was causing them. Something I had to acknowledge consciously. I told him what Ed had written in his email, about Ewain, and about going back there.

"Do you want to go back to the circle?" Andrew asked me.

"Absolutely not," I said. "I can't understand why he would even want to, after what happened. There's no way I want to risk anything like that happening again, and besides, Glen would leap to conclusions. I don't want to damage our relationship again. Things are just starting to feel normal again." Again, again. I sounded like a stuck record.

"Never mind Ed for the moment," Andrew said. "What if you just went for yourself, with Glen?"

I made myself think about it, but my answer didn't change. "No. I don't want to go anywhere near there."

"Fair enough," he said.


I won't pretend that I wasn't worried about the prospect of dreaming Mag's death, either. And 'worried' was putting it lightly. What would it be like to experience death through someone else's eyes? I didn't want to find out. That was the whole reason I'd gone to see Andrew, after all, and the whole reason I continued to talk to him about all these deeply personal things. But with each dream, my fear deepened that there was no way to avoid it. No revelations had come to me from my subconscious, to explain everything and lay the dreams to rest. For whatever reason, perhaps I just had to watch the whole story, up to and including its possibly-grisly conclusion.


----------------------------------------
"We've gotta do somethin'. Dallas says he was here all day yesterday, doin' nothin' but drinkin' coffee and playin' through every song we've ever written, and a few more besides. Has he been home?"

"I don't think he's been back to his place, and he certainly hasn't gone back to mine in two or three days."

"He looks like shite. I don't think he's slept, either."

"Look at this place! There's Red Bull cans everywhere as well. What... Bloody hell, caffeine tablets?!"

"We shouldn't have taken the weekend off. No one's been keeping an eye on him."

"All right, here's the plan. You two get rid of every bit of coffee, caffeine, or stimulant of any kind that's in here. And find some blankets for the couch. I'm going in there to talk to him."

"What else d'you want, a blow-dart and some horse tranquillisers?"

"I'll let you know."

......

"Hey there mate... Haven't heard you play that one in years. Sounds good. What made you dig it up again?"

"I'm busy."

"I can see that. You've been workin' your arse off, we all have. We were supposed to be takin' a break over the weekend, remember?"

"Don't fucking patronise me. I know you think I've gone off the deep end. But I'm busy staying sane, so you can keep your big nose out of it."

"You know as well as I do that people go crazy if they don't sleep. How long has it been?"

"Three days. But it's better than the alternative."

"Which is?"

"You know what! He's going to do it! And I thought I could handle it, I thought I could keep it separate, but you know what? I can't. I can't handle it, and I can't watch that happen! I can't DO that. I won't. I am not him!"

"I know you're not him. But I don't know what you're talking about. What's he going to do?"

"Come on, you think I don't know you all talk about me when I'm not around?"

"No one's told me anything. You're being paranoid."

"Fine, maybe that was the sleep deprivation talking. He's going to kill her! None of this accidental death, weakened ropes and falling stones. Ewain is going to sacrifice Mag's life for the sake of his delusions; deliberately, whether she likes it or not, in fire and pain and blood. And if I have to keep myself awake for the rest of my damn life to avoid that, then I will."

"Listen. No, stop, put it down and listen to me! You can't stay awake forever, and if what you're saying is true, then he already killed her thousands of years ago, right? It happened, it's done. It's horrible that you might have to witness that, even in a dream, but running won't help. The more you worry about it, the worse it's goin' to be."

"That has nothing to do with it. And you don't understand! I don't witness these things, I LIVE them. They're real. I don't want to kill anybody, and regardless of whether any of this is real or not, that is what it's going to feel like to me! You can't tell me you wouldn't want to avoid it too."

"I'm not so fortunate as to be able to predict my nightmares in advance. I just have to ride them as they come."

"Oh yeah, lucky me."

"You can't stay awake forever. Sooner or later, your brain's just goin' to shut down and you'll collapse. You might hurt yourself, especially if you stay in here. Did you have to get ALL your guitars out?"

"I'll be fine. As long as I keep playing, I'll be fine. And you know what else? It's gonna be worse for her. And if I don't dream it, maybe she won't either..."

"Come on, you're weaving on your feet. At least get out of here and away from all these pointy objects, okay?"

"... I could use another coffee..."

"... That's better. Why don't you take a seat, I'll get you a drink."

"No, I can manage... I need to keep moving... hey, where...? I was sure I left them here..."

"I chucked 'em out."

"Oh, you're here too... What? Why? I need them..."

"No, you don't."

"And what the fuck would you know about it?"

"Cool it..."

"Paranoid, am I? With you three conspiring away? I suppose you're gonna gas me or something now?"

"No, I just threw out all the coffee and Red Bull."

"You're gonna get some sleep if I have to knock you out meself."

"No one's knocking anyone out. You're not helping, go and make a hot toddy or somethin'."

"For f... Okay, fine."

"I'm sorry I let this happen, I really should have been keeping an eye on you..."

"Don't be red... rud... stupid. I can take care of myself."

"It doesn't look that way to me."

"I'm sick of explaining it! I am not going to sleep! And stop looking at me like that!!"

"No one in their right mind would really think they could stay awake indefinitely. You know that."

"You're falling apart. We're not going to let that happen."

"I... I just... I can't..."

"Just sit down for a moment, okay? Just five minutes. Your feet must be hurting if you've been standing up for so long."

"I won't do it, I don't want to kill her. I can't..."

"I know you don't. I know."

"It's all wrong... I'm not him! He's insane... I can't do that... It's... oh god..."

"Sshh, it's okay... We're here. It's okay... Just let it out... It'll be all right..."

......

"Here's your bleedin' hot t--"

"Sshh! He's asleep already. One of us should be here when he wakes up."

"Yeah, you're right. We can take shifts if he stays out all day..."

----------------------------------------


My thirty-eighth birthday dawned cold and clear – well, I assumed it had, since I hadn't been awake at dawn for once. Being easier in my mind about the whole thing was helping me to sleep better on either side of the dreams, but they were still happening. Mag was still alive, but her cautious overtures to one villager after another were rebuffed. No one wanted to hear her side of things. She had failed, pure and simple. Ewain had won them over, and although Mag never heard him say it, the word "sacrifice" had begun to be whispered.

But I tried to push that out of my head today.

It was the weekend, and Glen cooked me a fantastic breakfast, which he served to me in bed. Once I was showered and dressed, Glen asked me if I wanted my present now, or that evening at dinner. He tried to appear nonchalant. I grew suspicious.

"Might as well do it now," I said, equally nonchalant. Glen smiled, and left the room.

He came back carrying a flat, box-shaped present. "Oooh, shiny," I said, seeing the colourful foil paper.

"I know you're a magpie at heart," he smiled, presenting it to me. "Happy birthday, love." He gave me a kiss as well.

I unstuck the paper, slid out the box (which was unmistakably from a jeweller), and opened it. Inside was a gold chain necklace, hung with a pendant in some abstract, but lovely shape. What appeared to be a diamond sparkled at its centre. My mouth dropped open. It was beautiful.

I tore my eyes away eventually, and saw Glen with a distinctly nervous smile on his face. I took pity on him.

"This is the most beautiful thing anyone's ever given me," I said, putting the box down carefully so I could give Glen a proper thank-you kiss. He seemed much happier after that.

"You got me a rock," I grinned afterwards. "How ever did you know?"

"Just a hunch," he winked.

-----------------------
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Old 05-02-2008, 12:01 PM   #2
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Poor Ed(gie)!

"You can keep your big nose out of it."

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Old 05-02-2008, 01:46 PM   #3
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that was a good one.
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Old 05-02-2008, 04:12 PM   #4
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"Don't be red... rud... stupid. I can take care of myself."




aw the present is nice.. but somehow I have the feeling it's got something to do with the plot...
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Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 05-02-2008, 05:08 PM   #5
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Yay for more awesomeness!!!
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Old 05-03-2008, 03:20 AM   #6
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how many chapters till the big finish?
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Old 05-03-2008, 09:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by mysterious_jen
how many chapters till the big finish?
That keen to shut me up, eh?

14 more till it's all over.
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Old 05-03-2008, 11:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alisaura

That keen to shut me up, eh?

14 more till it's all over.
No!
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Old 05-04-2008, 12:59 PM   #9
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Hi Ali. *YDW finally gets time to sit and read* Ack, so much going on in real life (You know, I quite like my 'fantasy life'...Joshua Tree Bono is so much more entertaining then cleaning up dog crap... ).

So, it's all finally coming together. Another great chappy, Ali. Poor Edgie. Methinks he could do with some comforting and not the kind that sports bristles either... Some nice softness is in order for him...


.....me first please...
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Old 05-05-2008, 03:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Galeongirl
but somehow I have the feeling it's got something to do with the plot...
Me too!
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Old 05-05-2008, 07:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alisaura

That keen to shut me up, eh?

14 more till it's all over.
Hurry up and post it then!!


and YDW....what are you doing posting in here....you're wasting valuable time!!!


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Old 05-06-2008, 10:04 AM   #12
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job application...

Maybe tomorrow.
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Old 05-06-2008, 11:55 AM   #13
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I just started to read this story. I've read thru chapter 4, and I like it. It's is very intriguing. Hope I'll have some time to read a few more chapters today.
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Old 05-07-2008, 08:25 AM   #14
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Thanks, dragonfly_wolfe! Good to have you aboard


(Also, YDW... I can't figure out the connection between comforting and bristles...?? )
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