What fresh new hell is this?

Inspiration struck me and knocked me down, but I recovered.  Friday evening cast its lots in a menagerie of new ideas for Dreamdarkers.  Herein lies one such idea—or at least its beginnings.  Newly threshed upon the writing floor of seedling creativity, find below a bit of the prose, a growing addition to the nightmare Dave Lloyd experiences, but do not make assumptions as to its nature or conclusion—you will probably err.

Without warning, a thunderous roar began growing behind the trees to the south. It became painfully loud too quickly and we didn’t have time to question what it might be. As we turned and looked toward the sky above the woodlands behind the house, the air trembled from the noise. It was deafening, a pounding on my eardrums as the atmosphere became heavy with reverberation. It could be felt against the skin as easily as it was heard. Something rapidly approached from behind the trees. Its growl threatened to overwhelm us where we stood. I could not believe how the noise grew to overwhelm my other senses, and it did so in a span of time measured by one heartbeat. Never before had I heard such a booming snarl. It continued getting louder even when I believed no such thing could be possible. My head already felt as though it might explode from the pressure, yet the sound continued gaining strength.

Before we saw anything, each of us began making our way toward the shore and off the landing. For myself, I knew I wanted to be closer to the house. I already felt it was too late, that the storm had arrived with stealth and now bellowed its rush forward with a deepening howl like that of a predator too excited by the ambush to remain silent. We were caught in the open and would stand before its mighty jaws with no hope for escape. My feet heard those thoughts and expedited their motion to get me to shore as soon as possible. My parents kept up initially but Mom pulled ahead after a few steps, her motion expedited by a headlong rush to get off the water, onto dry land, and into Carr Beholden. I found it somewhat humorous she wasted no time, yet I was equally touched to see her reach back and grab my father’s arm as if to tow him by force if necessary. She intended to see to his safety, but she likewise would not let him slow her down.

I quickly glanced away from the sky as I ran and noticed ripples emanating from beneath the pier. Whatever malevolent force had laid the successful trap, whatever dark evil rested beyond the trees and came at us with frightening speed and earsplitting ferocity—and I took note it had to be the Dreamdarkers at last, that I would finally see them—whatever demons galloped toward us with earthshaking force, their impact was so powerful that the ground shuddered causing the pier’s support columns to tremble. They splashed in the water and sent their scared quivering out across the lake in all directions. My cursory look threw fire on the panic within me. Perhaps I would have been more comfortable had they arrived quietly, had they silently wrapped around the trees and oozed from the woods like fog. Something powerful enough to quake the earth and send waves of force through the air terrified me. I had not imagined such a thing.

As I lifted my eyes from the water’s surface, I noticed Mosko and Brogan halted at the edge of the lake transfixed on the trees behind the old hotel. Their ears stood erect and their eyes pierced holes in the universe as they strained to see what they could not yet see. A shutter went through me when I saw they held their tails tucked between their legs and wrapped closely to their stomachs. I had never witnessed such uncertain fear in either of them. Had their natural warning system finally been touched? I found it curious it had taken so long. And as I watched, Brogan snarled, his teeth bared under a trembling lip held up in defiance even as his body proclaimed unrelenting fright. Despite not hearing it, I felt sure he growled with whatever potency his tremors had not taken. The sound coming over the trees had grown so loud the dogs cringed in response. Brogan’s warning notwithstanding, the size of the looming threat, if its voice was any indication, provided reason enough for the two dogs to doubt their ability to protect and defend. I knew they would if necessary, but I also knew I felt troubled seeing their doubt in the face of the demon’s voice. If but a shout from the Dreamdarkers could impact them so—could impact all of us so, not to mention the world around us—what chance did we have when they finally rode into view on lightless steeds and came hell-bent on our destruction?

[and don’t talk smack about the quality; this is fresh stuff, poppets, barely two days old and not looked at since it came to life in a single creative act; that’s right, it’s not been scrutinized since birth; the scene is new and does not cover material in the original short story; and did I already mention you should refrain from making assumptions as to what’s happening?]

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