“Holy shit! Dyllan, that was awesome!” Andie pulled herself up off the ground and ran over toward her triumphant friend with Cedric trailing cautiously behind her. “I mean, I was fading in and out of consciousness for most of it, and I think I might have hallucinated at least half…”
“…Andie.” Cedric put his hand on Dyllan’s shoulder. Why were his eyes wide with fear? He’d won the fight, hadn’t he? “I think -”
“I know for a fact the emu was all my imagination.” Andie paused, a brief look of uncertainty crossing her face as she began to pace – getting more and more caught up in her own little world. “…but then again, there was that one mindscape with the -”
“Lend a hand, my Kindness.” Cedric tried to use his Virtue to help Dyllan recover, but the purple healing energy simply dissipated when it got too close. Something was very wrong. “Andie!”
“What! What is it Ce…” Andie whirled around to face Cedric and Dyllan, her tone of voice starting out annoyed but rapidly shifting to concerned. “…dric… Hey, Dyllan, buddy. What’s wrong?”
“Andie!? Cedric!?” Dyllan slowly backed away, his eyes darting around like a rabbit that just heard a wolf howl. “Where did you go!?”
“Dyllan! I’m right here! I need you to calm down, and tell me what’s happening.” Andie reached out to grab Dyllan’s hand – but phased right through him. “What.” One more attempt to grab hold of her friend, then another. Both failed. “Dyllan!” Dyllan fell over backwards and began to leak black shadowy ooze onto the ground. “DYLLAN!”
He began to sink into the pavement below him.
“FUCK!” Andie tried and failed one last time to grab hold of Dyllan before he sunk all the way into the ground. “LIKE HELL I’M GOING TO LET THIS HAPPEN!” She ran off to grab her sword then dashed back and slashed away large swaths of the melting black pavement that had stolen Dyllan from her…
But no matter how hard she pushed herself, Dyllan continued to sink faster than she could clear the tar enveloping him. Finally, once Dyllan had sunk completely, a burst of dream smoke exploded in Andie’s face. Now she was back in the physical world on the rooftops. Beside her was a shell-shocked Cedric and the businessman Dyllan had just saved from his Nightmare.
But Dyllan himself was nowhere to be seen.
A note from the
The greatest monsters every dreamwalker must fight are not the ones within them, nor the ones within strangers, but the ones in their friends.