Fevered dreams without the fever. The forest, dark and endless in its extent, teems with nightmarish Things. Wrong Things. Wolves, but something more, and the reek of dried blood on predator fangs. Humans, but something less, and the stench of decaying reanimated flesh. Monsters; swift, ravenous, unstoppable. Feet cannot carry the prey away quickly enough and the hunters descend, howling. They rend and tear and sever flesh. The dream pain is frantic and cold, inescapable, but death offers only resurrection into this same dreaming, this same nightmare. So the beasts continue their onslaught and reverie’s flesh endlessly remakes itself to be ripped apart anew. Blood and the violating dream pain choke gasping lungs, paralyze terrified mind, and mouth opens for a cry that never reaches lips, only–

The wanderer appears. He is a darkness not of the forest, a wilderness and wildness all his own. He need only raise one hand and the cold fire in his eyes is a more feral madness than even the monsters can contest; at his motion, they each and every one flee into dreaming’s shadows. And the wanderer watches them flee, silent, emotionless, his gaunt figure cut of black and the pale of Titan’s white dunes.


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