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Night Shift

When we all fall asleep where do we go?

By Kuro Seijaku Published about a year ago 9 min read
Do not go quietly into the night

No matter where you go, there you are; So it goes, right? Honestly these days I’m not so sure anymore. Not after seeing it again. I should add some context I guess, I apologize. Let me start by saying if you’re reading this, it’s probably the closest thing to what’s really going on that we’ll ever get.

It was a cool autumn evening the first time my world changed forever. I was a college sophomore working 2 part time jobs to pay for school. Having a day off was a dream in and of itself. Luckily my workload was surprisingly light so after finishing my classes I had the rest of the day to myself. I’d decided to go for a walk and see where I ended up. No plans, just a mini adventure to take my mind off of things. After an hour or so I realized that I’d walked further than expected.

I came across a park that I hadn’t ever seen before, despite having lived in this town for years. It stood out to me because it was huge. The trees looked like a mix of willows and bamboo. It felt like a dream, not only that, but the people were dressed oddly. Most everyone wore robes and leather boots. My first thought was that it was a Halloween party, but it was the middle of November and still quite warm out, cool but warm.

All of the sudden I’d reached a large path that cut between the trees, and I saw it. The sun, it seemed to peek through the trees. Ordinarily, this would be completely normal, but something was off. It was dim and yet completely unobscured. It hung low in the sky further along the path. Surrounded by darkness with various people in robes walking towards it as though nothing was out of the ordinary. It was off putting yet I found myself curiously drawn to it’s mystery.

As I started along the path it became quite apparent that something was out of place. The robed figures were faceless. Only possessing glowing dots that I assume were their eyes. They resembled those little creatures in red robes from the desert planet in Star Wars. In an attempt not to stare I scanned the park for another path. It seemed as though following sun wouldn’t have been the best idea. Seeing a clearing devoid of any of the figures I felt as though my prayers had been answered.

It was at this point that the park started to look normal again. The grass was green as opposed to the red hue it had on the main path and I began to believe I was overreacting. I must’ve been so exhausted that I wasn’t seeing it straight and I had to have been half asleep, yeah that was it. It was like sleepwalking, that would explain why everything seemed so alien. Oh how wrong I was.

Thinking I was safe and everything had gone back to normal put me at ease. I’d continued my walk as though nothing at all was the matter. Continuing until I found a bench was my biggest mistake yet. I sat for just a moment, deciding only to rest my eyes. Yet suddenly I fell into a blissful slumber. Why?

I had a brief dream that appeared in flashes to me, the last thing I remember before waking was being in a grand hall with famous people all around. Talking to them affectionately in a familiar way, as though I’d known them. The hall came under attack and everyone began to scatter, I made my way to a sort of slide and slid down. The thing is, as I slid I regressed in age rapidly until I finally opened my eyes, standing still.

My vision was blurry, but I could clearly see someone standing atop the hill in front of me. The bench was gone, the park looked the way it did when I’d first entered again, and rather than sitting I was on my feet. Like I’d been following this person in my sleep. I wanted to speak, but words escaped me. It was then that I understood, it was a silent comprehension. I’d realized that I was in another place. It seemed like the world I knew, but different.

No birds, wildlife, or even the background noise of the city. The park was eerily quiet and empty. So I asked; “What is this place?” The man in front of me raised his left hand and gestured with a thumb down. Then it was as though I blinked in and out of existence, he disappeared and I was standing somewhere else in the park. I saw another man walking a dog with a small figure walking beside him.

The trio stopped in place as though they could sense my presence. Their heads turned 180 degrees in unison opened their mouths and with booming voices roared “NON BELIEVER, YOU WALK AMONGST THE ENLIGHTENED!! YOU DO NOT BELONG, EXIT NOW OR FACE THEIR WRATH!!” I turned around and sprinted. I ran faster than I ever had before. It wasn’t just the warning that frightened me, but the fact that their lips didn’t move at all. Three voices in unison? The dog included? I didn’t have time to process it all, my only focus was to escape.

I ran until I came to a clearing with a ridge in the distance. By this point I had a large group of silhouettes pursuing me. With no other choice I kept pace, and I jumped. When I landed on the other side I was sure I’d made it, in all honesty I was happy to just be alive. I checked my phone to look up directions having just put some distance between myself and those monsters looking back to see a flying beast right behind me. The park was gone now. I was in some sort of space that was totally unfamiliar.

It seemed like some sort of dragon, evident by the flaming ball it shot at me. I stood there motionless, I was sure that I was going to die. It was speeding towards me, everything in me told me to run, but I was frozen in place. By the time it reached me I’d abandoned all hope. I could only ask why?

After a flash I awoke, lying in bed I sat upright looking around to see my room with everything exactly how I’d left it this morning. I thought to myself, “was it all a dream?” That must’ve been it, a wild dream, a nightmare. It was finally over though, I could go back to my normal life. Everything way okay, this solace lasted but an instant. I stepped out of bed and began to plummet, hitting the ground hard.

It was then that I realized that there was no way home. I gazed upwards to see monsters that looked as though they’d spawned from the depths of a lovecraftian novel. There was nowhere to go, run? How? There was no safe place for me. If even my room wasn’t safe where could I run to? I sunk into a ball on the floor and began to weep. The beasts fell upon me, circling, speaking an ancient tongue that made my head ache just to hear it. It was there that I met ‘him’ “look at me” he said in a sharp hushed tone.

You who’ve walked among gods now sit so pitifully in front of them, weeping. “WHO ARE YOU?!” I shouted, “WHY AM I HERE?!?!” His reply rocked me to my core. I would’ve thought you’d already realized that, I am you. The part that you abandon for the waking dream when you depart this realm. I am that which you convince yourself does not exist. Yet here, you look upon me and know me to be real.

Where you are the sun, I am the moon. The darkness in your heart, the back of your mind. I’ve come here to make you acknowledge yourself. You sought adventure and I’ve granted your wish. Are you displeased? Do you insult my efforts? Is even this much not enough for you? With that, I had no idea how to reply.

“I don’t understand…” Of course you don’t, because you forget, you all forget. That is why your domain is so unfamiliar to you now. You are the child of a deity, as are all those that you know from the waking dream. You are all asleep, convincing yourselves that you are the ones who are awake. That you’re totally aware, despite being so woefully ignorant of the truth. You are those who’ve cast aside what it means to be. “Look at yourself now” he snapped his fingers and before me was another monster, but this one was, different.

It mirrored my every move, I looked at my hand and it did the same. It was at this point that it had slowly come back to me. This was me, seeing me, see myself, see me. I remembered who I was, what I was. “Do you understand now?” He spoke in a voice that surrounded me. You are creation in and of itself. Everything that resonates with you is you, however even you are not your true self. You still possess an image of your being that is so illusory even you don’t know yourself.

Continue on this path and you will never be able to be who you really are. As you live out there in the waking dream, you destroy your domain. You cause chaos and destruction wherever you tread. Because of your anger, your fear, your frustration. You believe that you are being punished by some otherworldly being. In truth you’ve only been punishing your own self. We’ve come humbly asking you to cease this effort. There is no hope in this, you believe you’re a monster because you fail to recognize what you’ve actually done. Thus causing more harm than good.

We understood what needed to be done in that moment. “THEN TOGETHER WE SHALL DESTROY THIS WAKING DREAM!!” The beast and I became as one, it the body and I the mind, we grew to a gargantuan scale and began to lay waste to our new waking dream. It was then that I heard it, a news report, from the world I know.

“21 year old college sophomore jumped from the roof of his apartment building after attacking 30 cult members, killing 17, in Hylde park. More details at 11.” Hylde park? That was the name of…

What had I done? I raged, Bahamut roared and in unison we struck out. Tearing every being in our path apart we fought ferociously. When we’d began our onslaught it was an adrenaline rush. I couldn’t tell if I was alive and he was dead or vice versa. We had perfectly embodied each other appreciating for once that we were really living.

We fought alongside one another for years. Conquering swathes of land. We knew that if either of us were to have any peace in this life we must find the one who cursed us. The missing piece to our triumvirate. I questioned Bahamut on everything he knew about the man. “All that is known by Bahamut is this, the being that has trapped us together was once as us.” I asked what he meant by that. “Hard to say that is, he was as you are to Bahamut. The being that inhabited Bahamut’s mind, that is.” It was still hard to communicate with the big guy. We’d been fused together for years but could barely speak to each other properly.

At first we could only communicate through our feelings, it was like a weird 6th sense. As the years went on the barriers between our minds began to fall. We became closer, there was a sense that we both got the short end of the stick. However we were determined to take our lives back. One day, during a skirmish where we faced an unprecedented amount of resistance he let it slip. We’d gathered our armies together and fought to take over one of the last remaining holdouts in our domain. Bahamut and I glided over the city with our airial guard, leading the charge when we were struck by a blast coming from the central building of the capital. When we were struck Bahamut began to fall. It was the first time anything like that had ever happened.

As we fell I began to recall the time I first landed here. I remembered how helpless I felt. “BISUNA YOU SHALL PERISH!!!” Bisuna? That was the first I’d heard of that name. Something deep within me told me that it certainly wouldn’t be the last…

Close of act I.

HistoricalYoung AdultShort StorySeriesMysteryFantasyAdventure

About the Creator

Kuro Seijaku

“Kuro Silence (Seijaku) is a rapper/producer from Baltimore, Maryland. From trap to experimental, Kuros work defies normative currents of Hip-Hop’s soundscape with his work ethic and forays into Hip-Hop’s many sub-genres.”

-Channel10 Podcast

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