Dragonelf 8: Oh wow it's been a long time since I updated. Might as well do it now.

Chapter 2: The man in the mask.

"Brother you have to eat something!" pleaded Al watching his brother play with his food.

"I'm not really hungry Al," sighed Ed sadly as he used his fork to push aside a bit of broccoli as he played with his food.

"But brother," begged Al depression seeping slowly into his voice.

"Please Al just drop it," sighed Ed in exhaustion as he stood up.

"Where are you going?" asked Al even more concerned than before.

"Don't worry I'm just going out for a walk," smiled Ed, "I think I need a break form all the studying. What with the philosopher's stone, and these nightmares. A little fresh air might do me some good."

"Do you want me to come along?"

"That's okay Al. You've been worried out of your skull. Why don't you just stay here and rest up. With your body back you have to remember that you've got to take care of it."

"Alright," sighed Al.

And with that Ed left the inn. He needed food, he needed sleep, but he just couldn't stomach food anymore, and as for sleep he might as well forget about it. He now couldn't sleep for more than five minuets without having the same nightmare haunting him ever corner. Ed looked out ahead of him in the street. There were hardly any people out. In fact the place almost looked deserted. Ed looked back to see central. It was now a building on the horizon had he walked that far already? Ed once again turned away form the building still not wanting to go back. The air it was so nostalgic. The cold ebbing away at him though his coat kept it at bay. It was so cold, just like the frozen land of his dreams. Ed let out a shiver. Now was not the time to remember that wretched dream! Not while he was awake! 'It's just a dream,' thought Ed shivering again.

"Is it my little wolf?"

Ed's eyes widened in fear as the sky turned blood red anybody on the streets suddenly disappeared. Everything seemed to be in a constant twilight. Slowly Ed turned around to see the same man who had been plaguing his dreams for weeks. Ed could feel his body suddenly seize up as if trapped in time, ever way he was unable to move. The man walked up to him placing a cold hand gently to Ed's cheek.

"You can hear it too, can't you?" said the man a deep, wise, but sad voice, "Yes even from here in your hiding place, you can hear it call to you."

"I don't know what you're talking about," hissed Ed as the man stroked his cheek.

"Perhaps. But just like me it beacons to you demanding your attention," whispered the man, "Yes paradise is calling to us."

Ed could feel his heart leap into his throat. Paradise.

"For now it will allow you to continue to resist it, but very soon it will lose its tolerance, and it will force you to submit to its will."

"What do you mean? Who are you!?" demanded Ed.

"You'll find out soon," answered the man as he stepped back, "As for who I am. I am Darcia the third. We will meet again little wolf cub."

And with a bow he disappeared. The sky returned to its normal blue color. Ed clutched at his heart in fear as if it were going to beat itself out of his body. Forgetting that he hadn't slept and eaten in days Ed ran through the street in fear plowing through anyone that got in his way. Finally Central came into his view at its normal size. Ed rushed into it and went into his dorm room locking the door behind him. Al jumped up with a start he had been sleep moments earlier. He looked up to see Ed panting heavily, his skin ghostly pale, and his eyes frantic. Al jumped up in fear.

"ED! What happened!" cried Al.

Ed's mouth opened and closed several times, but no word once escaped his lips. Finally as though totally overloaded Ed's eyes rolled back into his skull, and his body collapsed on the spot.

"Ed. ED!"

To be continued…