We come now to the end of March and snippets from A Demon in the Desert. I hope you’ve enjoyed the little excerpts and background info. April should see me busting my ass at a new level with the help of Camp Nano. I’m almost done with rewrites and then the serious editing can start. I’m hoping to have the thing as close to done by May as I can. I’ll probably post Camp Nano status reports, maybe weekly.
Anywho, I was trying to think of a last snippet to post and I think I’ll go with another nightmare. This one in particular is very near and dear to me as it will be one of the nightmares/hallucinations that I suffered from. They lasted a long time too. I didn’t really stop having them til I was 25. I call them “spacial terrors.” In this scene, Grimluk is talking to a local Halfling named Thomas and asks him to give him an idea on what things have been like in Greenreach Bluffs through Thomas’s story. As always, this is not the final edit.
“I guess the best place to start is to say that I never had any sleep problems before all this. Occasionally, you eat somethin’ that don’t sit well and you have a weird dream but that’s normal. Natural even, right? I didn’t even notice the dreams at first. Figured it was just somethin’ I ate. Shrugged ’em off. Now…” He downed half his pint and belched. “It’s like the world goes wrong. Sometimes I see things while it’s happening but mostly, it feels like reality’s been pulled inside-out and gone tipsy. Everything, and I mean everything, goes far away but not. You ken it? The whole world skinny, stretches leagues away. It’s all still close enough to touch though. And touching, gods.”
A small moan escaped Thomas’s throat.
“The size of things goes wrong. If you were near when I had one of these, you’d be my size but you’d be so much bigger too. Like you’d shrunk but grown to the heavens all at once. All wrong. And everything feels that way. A splinter feels as big as a the biggest tree. A pebble would sit in my hand and feel like I was holding a mountain. The only thing that seemed to fight it off is light. So I’d light my lamp back up. Or try to. Some nights, it’s all too much and…and…I just lay there. I use to scream at it. The madness of it.
“It’s all worse now though. I avoid the bed but that’s just making it worse. I said I see things sometimes and I do and the things is worse. I think I see glowing eyes sometimes. Or some sort of light. It’s so hard to tell but sometimes it feels like something’s watching me. Sometimes, when everything stretches out to eternity, I can see…gods damn it, things. I don’t know what to call them but things. I can see them in the dark edges of everything.”
Thomas sighed heavily. “Fuck,” he croaked. “It’s so much worse than I thought. Sayin’ it all like that, out loud.”
He swallowed hard and for a moment, it looked like he would start crying. Grimluk remained silent. He wanted to let Thomas catch his breath. Everything had tumbled out of him like the rush from a broken dam. The Halfling laid his head down against the table and sucked in a deep breath.
The Sliver stood silent save for the sound of the wind that slipped through the windows every so often and the sound of light snoring coming from behind the bar. Grimluk and Thomas sat in the quiet and drank their ale.
“Thank you,” Grimluk said when he felt Thomas had recovered.