Locusani: Revilani

Prologue

Entry One.

I had the most horrible nightmare last night. It was awful. I dreamt that I was trapped, that I was back there again…

I dreamt of ice.

Ice everywhere, closing so thick around me. Robbing me of my senses…

There was no escaping it. I couldn't move, couldn't stop its dreadful, sluggish flow through my limbs, through my veins, into my heart, stabbing at it again and again like jagged, icy daggers. I felt so alone…

So alone…

And yet, I wasn't. There was a girl there, perhaps no older than sixteen or so. She was staring at me, her gaze a strange, cold mix of pity and disdain.

I tried to call out to her – so very hard I tried! – but I could not. Each time I opened my mouth to speak, I felt my tongue freeze and my mouth close. Again and again, I tried to yell, to shout, to scream the words echoing wildly through my head, the words I had screamed for years.

Help me…

Help me. Two simple words, and yet I could not say them. I could not plead for her to stay, to save me.

And she did not stay. I watched as she stepped away from my chilling, crushing prison and finally left altogether, leaving only the roar of the link behind her…

I awoke screaming. Tamra tried to calm me, to tell me it was alright, that it was over and I was safe, but still I could not shake the dream from my mind.

I have not felt such fear of a dream since my exile, nearly three years ago.

Three years…

Has it really been only three years? Three years since I gained freedom from my imprisonment, from my madness?

It seems so distant a thing now. J'nanin and all the ages, the pain, the darkness, the Fog… and yet it is right in front of me. Right here, in the hammer lying on the shelf. Right here, in my very memories. Right here, in the scars etched into my skin.

It is part of me. All of it is a part of me. And it very nearly consumed me alive. It easily could have. I was so wretched, so helpless…

All it would have taken was one wrong move. All it would have taken was for me to have completed my revenge, or killed Atrus or the girl, and my descent into madness would have been complete. I would never have been the same man again.

Never.

I have tried, repeatedly, to put it behind me, to forget, but I cannot. The bad mingles with the good. Fate has woven the vines of my life's tree into a strange and intricate pattern of dark and light, and that is the one thing that I can never hope to fix.

Yet still I think about it, dwelling on what I cannot change. And the more I think about what could have happened, the more I think about what could have gone wrong…