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Noctivagant
#11
It’s a dream, he thought, feeling stupid. He couldn’t drown unless he believed he was drowning. “In my defense, I felt like a drowned rat. I didn’t really believe I was a drowning rat. Speaking of,” his gaze narrowed upon the waterfall, which continued to seep the never-landing mist into his bones. After a moment, the water slowed to a trickle and shut itself off altogether like a faucet turned off at the sink. “There,” he looked back at her with mixed part pride in the accomplishment and curiosity over whether she minded the change. 

The cats had been a new appearance in so far as he knew. Although perhaps a cat was the wrong term for the creatures, but they hunted like felines toying with their mice. “Tasty? I am not an actual rat. Why would cats prowl in my dreams? Are they native to this realm?” he asked after a moment’s hesitation for the correct word. If there were predators hunting the dream, what exactly was the prey? Were there other natives lurking out there? 

Nimeda kept her distance, though it was clear she considered plunking herself closeby. It was hard to think of her by any other name. Like this was the real figure and the girl in Tartu was the specter of his imagination. Philip’s return of the sentiment about being missed was an unexpected dismissal, “It’s alright. I’m used to being adored,” he said, but whatever softening of his expression followed was interrupted by the sudden turn in Nimeda’s attention.
[Image: hiclipart.com_-e1597513863757.png]
Man is like God: he never changes. 
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#12
With Mara wriggling within its grasp, the creature’s enormous wings swept one beat downward, and the dream moved around them both. The pulse of its landing rattled the stones and warped the water that remained dry as bones. All life seemed to retreat from the creature, and its aura chased the glow of the dream to far-away dusk.

The two battling wills that nearly ripped a new pocket in its kingdom stood beneath it. Mara’s will attempted to flee even then, but the creature’s claws wrapped the girl’s waist snug, holding her its captive. Holding all of them as its captive.

The creature’s steps shook the ground. Its feet ended in claws that dug imprints into the stone. Its narrow eyes rolled from one inhabitant to the other. Both were mighty in will, but none compared to its mastery over them all. Its mind pierced the veil of each of the three, seeing their intent and rating their skills. What it found was not what it sought, and it's judgment was cast.

Its voice thundered, “You threaten the integrity of my realm. There will be no more battle among you three. Make your peace, little ones. Dream your dreams and be gone.”

The creature dropped Mara at the feet of her combatants and lifted its mighty wings to depart.

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The Sandman
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#13
Try as she might, Mara was snug in the clutches of the dream eater. Her pets scattered at his coming, and even Mara was unable to summon their return. Their frightened shadows slunk to the edge of the the dreamworld, keeping their distance from the confrontation. They were wise to hide. The dream eater could devour her pets in a single bite.

She was dropped a long ways to the ground. Mara dust herself off and found herself nestled at Nimeda’s side.
“I’m sorry,” Mara said, but it was unclear to whom she was repentant.

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"Come, mistress"
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#14
Nimeda had watched the water freeze without a word, and did not interfere with his recreation of reality around them. He glanced at her reaction and received an encouraging smile for his efforts. If her eyes were a little sad at what she wondered might have been meant to hurt, it was only what she deserved. He’d been the one to wield rejection like a sword, but she should not have run away.

As the beat of wings darkened the sky, she finally pulled her legs back over the edge to watch as the Watcher finally revealed himself. The grip of the demon’s will kept her in place, but she did not try to fight it. There was little point. Its hideous skin did not repulse, though she was curious at the choice; whether it was subconscious, or took the dreamer’s force. She looked over her shoulder for Noctua’s response, hoping his rediscovered revelation that this was a world of dreaming would protect him now. Else what he would not do something stupid, for the same reason.

Her expression deadened when she realised what was carried in clawed talons above, though.

Mara’s body plummeted from its grip, and Nimeda winced for its impact, though she knew her sister’s mastery would bear no injury. Her posture shifted in time to receive the girl’s trembling body into her arms, and held her protectively close. A kiss pressed against her brow. The Watcher saw and heard all he wished to, but the words spoken next were soft and soothing and for Mara alone.

“You did not know who Noctua was. There shall be no apologies for being who you are, Mara.” Nimeda suspected her friend might be afraid more than she was truly repentant, if she even knew what she had done wrong, but it did not matter much to Nimeda. Of course, Noctua himself might feel differently.
"A river is water in its loveliest form; rivers have life and sound and movement and infinity of variation, rivers are veins of the earth through which the lifeblood returns to the heart."
Roderick Haig-Brown
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#15
Although no sun illuminated the sky, a shadow overtook their vista. He looked to Nimeda for explanation, but her attention was focused upon the descending creature. It was towering and from its grasp tumbled the girl with the cats. Nimeda was a blur, shifting in time to embrace the other girl before she hit the ground. They knew one another? 

The demon’s flesh crackled like a barren desert and within the splits leaked a hellish glow. The others were diminutive and deferent to the demon’s authority, but Philip knew from where authority arose. He was unafraid of the demon’s power and stepped forward to confront it.

While Nimeda soothed the other girl, Mara, he thought her name to be declared, Philip spoke, “Who are you to command us, demon? This is not your realm,” he said, hands folded gently at the waist. He may have been wearing only the cashmere track suit, but he spoke with the confidence of a truer authority.
[Image: hiclipart.com_-e1597513863757.png]
Man is like God: he never changes. 
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