4.

As the hours went by, the young looking Seedrian grew ever more impatient and tired… They've been wandering around this seemingly endless fairy wood for a while, desperately looking for a border, an exit… Heck! Even the darn Author himself… But to no avail.

This delusional pointless dream of a story seemed to be utterly worthless… Ironically enough, it was all Chaos without a proper narration… Without that distinctive order that an inevitably logical device like a written story was supposed to have.

Instead, it had no plot.

No defined roles.

And, apparently, no ending.

All Chaos… Just like a random dream… And perhaps, this was just that case… Nothing more than a meaningless dream.

And then… There was her… That jester… The one who managed to cause a lot of stress to the plant boy, lately.

No doubt that she was his opposite… Yet, somehow, her playful behavior did manage to taint Void's own a little. As a matter of fact, over the last few hours, along with other more crucial matters, another thing happened to be the main object of his thoughts…

How to get back at her?

He was sick and tired to fall in all those pranks she practically launched at him… Just like that glue covered volleyball from earlier on… It was time to trick her back, as Void's sudden playful as well behavior seemed to suggest.

At first, finding himself to even think at such kidlike possibility, left him confused and shocked… It was so unlike him, to be so immature… But, just like his infamous angst, he couldn't help himself into acting differently… He would get back at his "playmate" whether he would personally like it or not.

It was a urge more than a wish.

The distraught Void looked up in the sky, only to notice the main source of his recent distresses… There she was, flying like always, filling the few empty spaces left with trees or lakes thanks to her mysterious powers… He smiled a rather sly smile and started to set the trap.

After a while, Void made his move.

"Oooooh, NiGHTS… Will you come down for a second?" He said, hardly hiding a smirk.

The oblivious dancing jester did as she was told… She was smiling sweetly and innocently, clearly unaware of the immediate danger.

At this point, Void grinned evilly.

Before the now alarmed buffoon could even register it… The Seedrian used his own powers to summon a giant carnivore plant that immediately trapped NiGHTS inside its huge mouth…

And Void started to laugh like a genocidal maniac during St. Valentine's Day while the tricked trickster struggled a bit in order to come out from that annoying plant…

He laughed…

He laughed?

He was actually laughing… And not just a normal delighted chuckle… It was the mother of all laughs!

He was actually having fun… That fact shocked the boy. He thought he had forgot what the significance of the word "fun" used to be. He thought he couldn't feel anything more than his grief and angst.

Apparently, he was deadly wrong… He managed to discover a new side of himself, a brighter side, a… Carefree… Playful… Side. His inner child. The one thing he never had the chance to be… Until he met her.

That joker… That childish being dressed like a card jack of some kind… Who was now comically struggling with that innocuous giant carnivore plant he set before…

Void knew, deep inside, that his current mood was all thanks to her.

After the laughs subsided, a genuine smile crossed his lips.

In the meantime, NiGHTS finally managed to escape the tricky vegetable freak and looked her playmate in his, somehow luminous, black eyes. She wore a sore expression and crossed her arms in a very childish way while turning her back to him.

Void couldn't help but feel guilty… Just a little bit, though… Ok, he didn't really feel guilty at all. None the less, he wanted to make things right with the now annoyed and distraught jester…

Distraught? Was she becoming like him?

Void gave a quick glance at his surroundings, until he found what he was looking for.

NiGHTS's back was still turned away from the Seedrian. She was feeling a whole new emotion, an emotion she didn't even know she had… Bitterness.

She felt bitter within herself, not just because her honor as a professional trickster has just been questioned by an amateur… But also for the fact that she was capable of feeling such emotion…

It bothered her in a way she didn't think possible. And it bothered her the fact that she could be bothered by something and so on… She's always been the happy, carefree individual that her symbolic role suggested her to be… Until she met him.

That lonely, sad, black eyed boy who would suffer for reasons she could not understand… And the one who just out-tricked her, showing and unsuspecting bright side…

He was slowly changing… Or better, improving his personality… Filling the void inside of him with new joyful emotions…

Something similar was happening to her… She used to have a void, only not the regular one… She used to lack of negative emotions, yes, she would eventually feel sad over this or that thing, but she would never feel things like bitterness or distress… Before her encounter with him.

As I said earlier… This two seemed to complete each other.

Suddenly, a certain claw like finger gently tapped NiGHTS's shoulder. She slowly turned her head to look into the eyes of her not-so appreciated playmate, her azure eyes still showing an unfair amount of boredom. Her expression, however, drastically changed when it met with Void's genuine smile and the beautiful daisy he was holding in his left hand.

"This is my way to say… Let's make a truce, shall we?" He said, with an usual light tone.

She put on a delighted and genuine smile of her own, resuming her usual personality traits. She was about to pick the flower from Void's hand when…

The daisy died and turned into ashes right in the Seedrian's deformed hand.

He was shocked. Shocked and confused.

She, on the other hand, was just frightened… Frightened by him. She took some steps back… Away from him, from the flower killer.

Void didn't know what to make of this situation… He's always been a whole with nature… Heck! He was Nature, in a way… Why did that happen? Why the flower just died in his hand? Was it really his fault?

He then raised his gaze over the form of his companion and, to his utter dismay, noticed her frightened eyes… Her scared form… Already far away from where he used to be… Already flown away from him.

And, for the umpteenth time, he felt it… The sufferance, the distress, the grief… The namesake emptiness.

And a very sad realization dawned inside his heart.

"So… This is my role in this story, uhu? I'm the Evil One?" He muttered.

"Yes… You are."

Void turned his head over the familiar voice. There he was. His host. Fang the Sniper… Huge namesake and all.

"That means… That the Writer's Block is over?" The Seedrian asked, already savoring the bitter taste of the possible answer.

Fang nodded.

"It seems that this is going to be the classical recreation of the eternal dichotomy between Good and Evil, after all. In order to end this story… Or better, this dream of a possible story, you'll have to fight each other… To Death!!!" He added while smiling mischievously. "It's the only way for this dream to end… And for this tale to born."

Void clenched his fists and bit his lips into bleeding. He didn't want to do this… He didn't give a damn about what a crazy writer without imagination wanted… He was not his puppet… He was not the puppet of his inner chaos… Not anymore!

Fang noticed the defying expression the plant boy put on… And grinned.

"Perhaps, you didn't understand… YOU HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE!!!" He yelled.

Suddenly… Something happened to the Seedrian… His body started to turn… To transform… To deform and to re-form.

Under the now more frightened than ever gaze of a very confused and worried NiGHTS and the cunning grin of a delighted Sniper… The being formerly known as Void… Was no more.

On his place, a whole new creature stood. It was as tall as NiGHTS used to be. It wore a red and black dress and a red and black jester like hat. It had a golden persona on his face and a rather evil smile crossed his now lipstick black mouth.

All in all, it looked like a wicked and deranged version of NiGHTS herself… Which seemed to be paralyzed with terror.

He was now, her perfect nemesis.

She was Dream.

He was Nightmare.

Was really this what the Author wanted? Did he let himself to be driven by his own chaos into making this? Does this story have a meaning at all? I mean… What's up with Void's new aspect? This is just getting more confusing…

Without wasting anymore time… The creature of nightmares attacked… And the purple jester stood no chance.

She's been beaten…

She's been mauled and wounded…

Unmercifully and unforgivably…

She felt all of her former playmate's wrath… And so, the dream did.

The lively forest they flew above, slowly turned into a barren wasteland... The lakes and the trees died within a blink of an eye... Death and Destruction overcame.

NiGHTS lay on the spoiled ground… Severely hurt and nearly unconscious… Blood all over her body.

When the Nightmaren (Nightmaren? Where did that name come from? Oh well…) once known as Void seemed to be ready for the final strike… Fang said something that froze him.

"Yes… YES! Finish her… Once this chaotic childish dream shall be over… Order shall arise!!!"

Did Fang… Fang the Sniper, the embodiment of Chaos… Just say… "Order shall arise?"

Slowly, the creature turned his head over the smirking form of the Sniper… And noticed something that utterly confirmed his suspects… He saw his shadow… It was bigger and deformed… Definitely not Fang's silhouette.

His own body reacted at this new knowledge and immediately turned back into Void's average form.

He took some steps towards his "host", took a deep breath and spoke.

"You're not Fang the Sniper, are you? You're the one who caused the Writer's Block!!" He practically yelled.

The face of "Fang", from a perpetual grin, abruptly changed into a bemused frown.

"Show me your real face!" Void insisted.

"Tsk… And to think that I'd almost made it, this time!"

With that said… He let his masquerade to melt… revealing his true self.

A purple / black cloaked vest…

A crablike clawed hand…

A single head horn…

And a long white beard…

The Seedrian's eyes widened more in anger than sheer amazement, while fixing themselves on the un-mistakable, grinning form of the Writer's Block himself… The one who already tried to steal the Author's position… The one that caused all those troubles to Void and the people he loved… His step father…

Ixis Naugus.

"It's been a while… Son!" The sharp teethed sorcerer greeted.

"I'm not your son…" He said, utter disgust showed on his facial features. "What are you doing here? I thought my REAL father and his friends destroyed you…" He added, not quite understanding how he was aware of such information since he wasn't even there when that happened… Oh well, who cares?

Naugus grinned even more.

"HA! I cannot be destroyed! Just like any fictional character of any story… As long as I would be remembered, I will continue to exist!!"

That was quite an inconvenience.

"What's your evil plan, this time?" Asked the now short-tempered Seedrian.

"Isn't it obvious? I took control over the Author's inner chaos right when he started to dream about this forsaken plot!"

"Why did you do that?"

"Because…" Naugus started to say only to find himself without words.

Void smirked.

"You don't know why you did it, do you? You've been poisoned by your own Writer's Block, isn't it?"

The sorcerer didn't like his former apprentice's sudden smartassness… Not a single bit.

"HOW DARE YOU DEFY ME!!!? YOU WILL DIE HERE!!!"

Now… If this was an average story of the Author, it would have probably ended this way:

Void and NiGHTS would fuse their bodies together, becoming a whole… A lame physical materialization of all those previous pointless metaphors about those two completing each other and stuff… Then they would beat the hell out of Ixis Naugus, disposing of the awful Writer's Block and letting this story (or dream of a story) to finally end… Some rather banal moral would be placed in the ending credits along side with some lame music who would happen to be linked with the story's themes, and, of course, the average open finale which would lead into yet another worthless sequel…

This is probably what could or would happen IF the Author didn't have the Writer's Block…

Unfortunately, he had it… So this is what happened instead… Or at least, this is what I believe, or choose to believe, is happened:

The REAL Fang the Sniper… As far as realistic a fictional character can be… Came out of nowhere and shoot Ixis Naugus in the head with his beloved trademark handgun. The sorcerer fell on the ground, dead.

Void gave an odd look at the new comer, who just shrugged his shoulders and smiled.

"I always hated that control freak… Oh! And by the way. Since this story had no future, the Author just decided to get it over with…" He fixed his hat and scratched his chin in the typical non-chalance way, before adding the last and most important part. "In other words, this idiotic dream will never turn into a real story… Therefore you are free to go."

Void couldn't believe his own ears. It was over? Just like that? It has all been a gigantic waste of time? Just another pointless plot who will never see the light of an actual storyline? Why were himself and NiGHTS involved in this has been failed dream of a story, to begin with?

And then, he remembered…

"NiGHTS!!!" He screamed in panic… She's been mauled when he was in that Nightmaren form.

As if on cue, the perfectly fine shape of the jester flew besides him. She, somehow, seemed to be healed from all of her previous injuries… She sweetly smiled at him and he just hugged her in response of his immense relief. She hugged him back.

"As I said, this story is over… Therefore, the wounds she sustained just disappeared… Pretty convenient, isn't it?" Fang added.

Void released the embraced and turned his head over the Sniper.

"What happens now?" He rightfully asked.

"You two will return into your own worlds… While this one shall return from the chaos it came from… The Author's one." And right before vanishing, the enigma known as fang greeted the Seedrian with a sentence that instantly caused him to shiver… "I'll see you in another story… Or another dream of a story… Farewell, oh not-so void one."

Soon after his disappearance… The whole world they stood in, ceased to exist… If it has existed at all… If it wasn't just a pale excuse of a world born from a failed plot of a blocked mind… Which probably was…

But still… Some doubt remained.

Void couldn't help but think that all this experience hadn't just been a waste of time and imagination… Because he get to meet her.

Perhaps… He will never understand if their presence in the Author's dream was truly wanted or not…

Better yet, he'll probably never know what (or if) that has been would be story had a goal to pursuit… An important existential theme to exploit or whatever… And he'll probably never know what his and NiGHTS's true role were supposed to be in such cluster of a plot… If it had a goal, to begin with.

He sighed within himself… It no longer mattered. All that mattered is that he had to meet her… This joyful, childish jester who's been capable to fill his namesake emptiness (as well as that dream's own) with all those genuine feelings and emotions his childhood have been deprived of…

In a way, this story has not been totally worthless… On the contrary, it has been useful for him to better grow up as an individual and a person…

Therefore… It has been useful for the Author too… Another step to add into his eternal self-discovery journey… A journey that, luckily, will never end… As long as he will continue to dream…

As long as anybody will continue to dream… And to feel… And to think…

As long as anybody will continue to be… Whole.

The dark dressed Seedrian and the bright purple jester stood in the middle of pure nothingness… Not the same white paper like blankness ready to be draw with a pencil, from before… This time, it was the pure blackness that lay between dimensions.

They looked each other into their eyes… Black, void (yet, somehow more lively then ever) eyes into azure, bright ones.

Just like any average story, it was the time for the tearful goodbyes… The kind of goodbyes that are never farewells… Because they knew, deep down, that they would meet again…

Somehow, someway, somewhere, sometime.

She smiled at her littler friend with tearful eyes, already missing him… His new favorite playmate and, in her point of view, a potential jester too.

He smiled back to her… No words needed to be shared. No sounds needed to be made… They already knew everything that was needed to be known…

After one last embrace, the two different, yet similar beings, departed from each other…

And, as if on cue, a certain song started to play out of nowhere… Which happened to be linked with the current themes.


In a dream I could see

You are not far away

Any time, any place

I can see your face

You are that special one

That I've been waiting for

And I hope you're lookin' for someone like me

As the lyrics suggested… It almost seemed as if their entire life was meant for them to encounter each other… To fill each other's void… To mature and grew up as individuals.

In my dreams, I can hear you callin' me

In the night, everything's so sweet

In your eyes, I feel there's so much inside

In the nights, dream delight

I want to see you standing there

In the nights, dream delight

I've found someone who really cares

In the nights, dream delight

I want to see you smile again

In the nights, dream delight

You're the one I've waited for

I doubt that, at this point, further comments are needed… It is all perfectly clear… Or at least I think it is… Which could be wrong.

In a dream we can do

Everything we want to

There's nowhere I'd rather be

But here with you

The stars above light the way

Only for you and I

I'm so glad I've found the one I've been lookin' for

Keep the dream of the one you're hoping for

Love can come through an open door

Just be strong and you're sure to find the one

And so… They both entered their own chosen portals… Their hearts full of sadness yet, also full of hope… They knew they would meet again…

Because they completed each other.

Because they were…

A whole.

In the nights, dream delight

I want to see you standing there

In the nights, dream delight

I've found someone who really cares

In the nights, dream delight

I want to see you smile again

In the nights, dream delight

You're the one I've waited for

In the nights, dream delight

I want to see you standing there

In the nights, dream delight

I've found someone who really cares

In the nights, dream delight

I want to see you smile again

In the nights, dream delight

You're the one I've waited for

The End


"Wait a minute!"

What is it, Void?

"When NiGHTS was hurt, back in that dream…"

Yes?

"She bled… GREEN BLOOD!!!"

……


Somewhere, inside someone's mind…

So long… Brother. Thought NiGHTS… The Seedrian jester of dreams.

Here's your open finale!