He had been killing time; he'd gotten tired of killing other things. It had become a sort of hobby of his, to walk these landscapes when he was bored. Usually he found nothing that he couldn't find in the Waking world, but just the power that he exhausted to be here left him tired enough to ease the gnawing in the pit of his stomach; the desperate need to do..something. He didn't know what it was, had never been able to figure it out. But it was there anyway, the restlessness. He had come to accept it as another thing that went along with immortality.
The first time, he'd sensed her. He'd been watching a little boy dream about his birthday; watched as he opened present after present of things he couldn't possibly need, marveling all the time at the greed in one so young. It reminded him of why he was justified in what he did. There could be no guilt in his heart when the ones he reaped were not worthy of life in the first place.
It had pulsed through him. Like a million shards of glass entered him painfully, and then exited, leaving him glowing with warmth. Painful and yet beautiful. Alive.
He turned the way the it seemed to have come, his gaze flickering over all the various scenes laying out all around him. Like little bubbles of time and space, they floated and shifted before his eyes; flickering in and out as some people began to dream and others awoke. He left the little boy as he opened another remote control car.
He began to feel it pull at him, her essence. It was impossible, yet he felt it, calling to him like the sweetest of songs. He walked by dreams and nightmares, until the lure became top strong, and then he ran. Images of life—real and unreal—flashed by, unnoticed. He could heard her now, he swore he could. Laughter. It sang through him, because it was her laugh, her voice.
And then he found her. The dream sphere was small, but colorful and rich in emotion. It took the form of a beach. Two girls ran to and fro in it; sometimes splashing in the water. Both wore thin, white sun dresses and smiles that could light the world.
He looked on, unable to move. Lightly, carefully, he took a step forward, into the dream. He felt the heat,the breeze, the spray of saltwater, and felt himself sink into the soft sand. The other girl—the one who was not her—began to dance, twirling and spinning, making her way towards the edge of the dream, until she left it completely. And then there was just the one girl, the one he cold not take his eyes off. She gave a joyful laugh, and then sat down on the sand, watching the water.
He made his way to her side, casting a shadow on her, alerting her of his presence. He wanted her to see him, to recognize him, to cry out and jump to her feet before locking her arms around him.
She looked up. She saw him. She smiled. "Hi."
And then she turned back to the ocean, like he wasn't standing there.
"Eme--" he began.
"--lia!" the cry came from behind him. He turned and a blur of color flashed by him, dropping into her lap. It was a child, and she laughed as the little girl hugged her and asked for ice cream.
"Ok, baby," she said, standing and picking up the child. "Let's get ice cream."
She began to walk away from him. He panicked; he reached out and pulled her back. She looked back to give him a startled look before she vanished, taking her dream with her.
Damn, he cursed, curling his hand into a fist. He had woken her up and now he could not find her. He looked around the other dreams, disgusted with his own stupidity.
But all was not lost. He would return. He would gather his power and he would searched these landscapes, forever if he had to, but he would find her again.
And then he would know where to find her in the Waking world.
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