The Truthbringer Chronicles
Copyright© 2014 by Robert Osztolykan & Parham Doustdar
The dream came back to me as I ran, shocking and haunting in its clarity. I hadn't ever seen the man in my dream, and yet I knew him. I could remember Aldrin, and the fact that he had done something. He didn't like me, and I knew our dislike for each other had not been that big. However, he was a man to take everything to extremes, be it love or hate. And hate me he did.
Trees flew past me as I fled down an empty alley, the unfamiliar scent of a food wafting through the air. Why was someone up so early? Didn't they have anything better to do? Or maybe it was the scent of burning flesh of a man I had just met, his knife melting in his hand, a web of fire entangling him in its fiery strands of death?
But how did I know what Lornath was?
How did I know about Aldrin? Or Kira?
A sentence bubbled up in my memory, scary and unbidden. "Kira taught you well," he had said. Aldrin had said.
A car passed me at an incredible speed, horn blaring and the wind of its passing hitting me in the face. Still I ran, and I didn't know where my destination was. My mind had got into a deadlock, and I knew it, but was powerless to stop it.
But a shred of sanity in my mind was not ready to give in. A small voice screamed at me to stop my feet, to sit down and consider this, but I didn't know why I ran, so how could I stop it?
A wall suddenly loomed in front of me. I had moved my eyes up too late to notice it, and I was going to pay for it. Even as I thought it, the tips of my hair brushed its rough surface, and my face collided with it, sending me reeling. I flew backward, spinning a hundred and eighty degrees in mid air, and landing hard on the asphalt and laying there, dazed.
Even though I hadn't hit my head against the wall that hard, and even though I wasn't feeling particularly hurt, I was flickering in and out of consciousness, and I felt this was going to get more serious if I didn't stop it, right then. But how could I? The only thing I was certain of was about to desert me. Slipping through the fabric of reality, to the unknown beyond. I closed my eyes. Aldrin's image came back to me, his face filled with such hatred that even the sight of it scared me.
Yes, slipping into the unknown. Where I may follow soon.
A sniffle brought me out of nothingness, reawakening my senses, tuning them to inhuman proportions.
"That was amazing."
I opened my eyes and looked up. A small boy, around six, seven years of age stood in front of me, grinning.
"Sure was, kid," I croaked.
He laughed. "No, really. How did you do it?"
I shook my head and hissed as stars exploded in my vision. He looked me up and down.
"Yes," I said when I was finally able to speak, wiping tears from my eyes. "How ... How did I do what?"
He sat down cross legged and put his hands on his dirty jeans. For a moment, I was caught in the puzzle of which was dirtier; his hands or his jeans, but looking at him it was hard to decide: he had dirt smeared all over his clothing, face and possibly his body, too. He pointed behind himself.
"You know, that funny thing."
I must have looked puzzled, because he emitted a short, impatient chuckle.
"You know, how the walls and you..."
Not feeling comfortable on the pavement any longer, I slowly sat up. The world spun and tilted for a few seconds, but I closed my eyes and gritted my teeth against it. When I opened them, the world seemed to settle.
"Oh, that. Well, you can do it too."
His eyes opened wide.
"Really? Can you teach me?"
I sighed and thought of my agenda.
"Sure. I have lots of time on my hands," I said sarcastically. "Here, you just drop your head low, and run like a charging bull, and you hit the wall, then you get thrown back like a..." here I stalled, looking for a particular adjective that would suit a charging bull. Finding none, I continued, "like a charging bull that has hit a big wall."
"Heh heh," the boy chuckled in a you-can't-fool-me fashion, "you didn't get thrown back. As far as I could see, you flew through the wall, spun, and fell on your back. Of course I know how to hit a wall you silly pothead."