Down below the rest of the mindscape sat a massive concrete box. It was wrapped in warning tape and barbed wire, and covered with numerous splotches of hate goo and claw marks. Small, metal bar reinforced prison windows were scattered sparsely across its surface, and a single, massive hole had been blown out of it – revealing a metal box inside. A metal box that was riddled with large dents, had been torn open from the inside, and was surrounded with the debris left behind by broken chains and padlocks.
“Oh.” Dyllan stood in stupefied silence for a brief while. “…I wonder how I missed that. It’s not exactly subtle.”
“Hmm.” Cedric tapped the side of his leg a few times. “Maybe you didn’t? Mindscapes can be… inconsistent. Perhaps it is only visible if you look at it?”
Dyllan held up a finger. “Okay, one – I struggle to imagine something that is visible when you don’t look at it. That’s kind of how you see things. Looking at them.” He held up another finger. “Two, there’s no way I haven’t looked in that thing’s direction since I entered.” He held up a third finger. “And three… actually, I forgot what three was.”
“Dyllan, looking in something’s direction is not the same as looking at it.” Cedric gazed vacantly in Dyllan’s direction. “You see looking at something or someone -” His line of sight snapped into focus upon Dyllan’s face, but retained their vacant gaze. “- requires awareness -” The look in his eyes swiftly sharpened into its normal acuity. “- and intent.” He paused. “In other words, it must be targeted.”
“…so…” Dyllan gestured down at the uncontainment chamber. “You’re saying you can only see it if you already know it’s there.” His face twisted in confusion again. “Then how -”
“Mindscapes are metaphors, Dyllan. It’s easy to forget that, and even easier to forget that that means every piece of a mindscape exists outside the mindscape in some form or another. If I already knew of – and was searching for – the thing that chamber represents, is that not the same as knowing of and searching for the chamber?”
“That makes sense, I guess.” Dyllan paused. “But if that’s the case, what does it represent? What were you looking for, and why was it hidden like this?”
“It’s hidden because Andie hid it… from everyone – herself included. And I was looking for where Andie kept her Nightmare contained. Now, let’s -” Cedric was cut off by the distressingly familiar crunching sound of claws digging into concrete, and the heavy, labored breathing of a rotting, ragged beast. “…Contained. Past tense. I used past tense. I feel the need to emphasize that.”
“And I feel the need to emphasize that you should take that smart outta your ass and haul it up to your brain.” Dyllan summoned his baseball bat in a flash of burning red flame. “Because it’s about to be go-time whether we’re ready or not, and I would really prefer the first option.”
A note from the author:
Fun fact – it wasn’t just Dyllan that forgot what his third point was.
I actually originally had a real third point for him to make, but forgot what it was while I was typing – so I put him forgetting in as a placeholder. It wasn’t out of character for him though, and I never did remember the third point… so I just left it, because I thought it was funny.