|A Dreamgiver's Tale
Author: Melody Hallows PM
Aisling was born a dreamgiver. It has been her life for an eternity, so long that her birth is but a faded memory in the reaches of her ancient mind. Cyrus is young and reckless, and in the world of dreams his last glimmer of existence transforms into a dreamgiver that Aisling must look after. But the tides turn for the worse and the Nightmares begin to surface...Rated: Fiction T - English - Suspense/Humor - Chapters: 20 - Words: 38,149 - Reviews: 19 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 05-07-13 - Published: 11-02-12 - id: 3070838
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Lilith felt fuzzy. And not in the sense that her fur was standing on end, fuzzy as in not quite awake yet. She had what she referred to as thought induced low morning blood sugar—as a Dream she had no blood and thus no blood sugar to dwindle. The little girl's vision came into focus and she found herself staring at the front of Cyrus's t shirt.
"Green," she mumbled with a yawn. She sat there in a daze for a moment, then abruptly sniffed what she had thus far discerned to be a strange green object. "Smells like a dude," she confirmed, "roughly seventeen years by human standards."
Lilith paused for a moment before the information she had just pronounced sunk in and the memories of what had happened before she went unconscious returned to her. "Oh that's right," she spoke to herself, "I fell asleep on McNoobster after attaching myself to him during a fit of exhaustion induced insanity…"
Lilith considered this fact one moment more. "Maybe I can erase his memory of it while he's still asleep and save myself the embarrassment…"
"I'd like to see you try, kiddo."
The fox child looked up and found that not only was Cyrus already awake but she had conveniently said everything aloud, so now he was wearing a giant smirk on his face that was signaling her to hop out his lap faster than a bunny with a jetpack. From the corner of her eyes she saw the young man's arms closing in on her and in an instant she had transported herself from his lap to Poltergeist's shoulders.
"L-Lilith…?" the ghost man inquired faintly as she hugged his forehead.
"Shut up," she breathed, "If you're gonna use me as a wall then I can use you as a perch." Lilith watched Cyrus carefully as he stood up and walked in their direction.
"Did you know that you're vaguely adorable when you're sleeping?" he asked in a gentle manner.
"Did you know that I don't buy your nice act?"
"That's a shame because, you know, I'm being honest."
"May I call bull on that?"
"Yes you may, but you'll be wrong."
"What a shameful denial. Bull."
"Will y-you t-two please s-s-stop arguing? P-P-Please?" Poltergeist whined, "I-I-I-I don't l-l-like b-being in the
The little girl stared down the wispy black head in her arms in an attempt to intimidate its owner and keep him from speaking again.
Well you're the friend of friends!" Cyrus commented with a smirk, "Only a truly good friend would stare daggers into their paranoid friend's scalp!"
"Will you three please be quiet?"
Lilith looked over McNoobster's head and saw Aisling on the edge of a cliff just beyond him.
"I am trying to concentrate over here," she stated quietly.
"Sorry about that, your Highness," the fox child mumbled in her irritation, "I'll leave you to your work." The little girl then bounced off of her ghost friend's shoulders and trotted about the new world in excitement. It looked like a diamond planet that someone had taken a giant bite out of, and enormous shards stuck out of the planet's wound above and below her. The child grinned for this dream was yet bland and unfinished, and there was nothing Lilith loved more than an unfinished dream. It was like a blank sheet of paper—teeming with possibilities.
"I call dibs on that section of the dream!" she called out to the rest of them. She was about to break into a sprint towards her little self-proclaimed section when Cyrus caught her by the collar and hoisted her up into the air. "Oy!" she yelled in protest as her feet left the ground.
"Hold up, squirt," the man spoke solemnly, "I'm afraid you can't do that."
"Why in the Blueberry Mountains not?!"
"Because only one of us may make alterations to the dream."
Lilith struggled to face Aisling as the woman walked towards her.
"If anyone else makes an alteration we'll have to start over," Aisling continued, "so you can't make any changes."
The little girl glared at the lady apathetically. As much as she liked Aisling, she didn't like taking orders from anyone—and especially not Aisling. The fox child grumbled and squirmed until she popped out of Cyrus's grip. Lilith scrambled up onto a rather large boulder shaped diamond and stood at the peak like the little queen she was meant to be.
"I demand a recount!" she commanded from her new perch. Her three companions turned around to look up at her and immediately she knew that none of them took her orders seriously.
"What do you mean, child?" Aisling inquired with confusion.
"W-What?" the ghost man questioned meekly.
"Don't go there," Cyrus warned, for he seemed to be the only one who knew what she was getting at. Too bad she had no intentions of listening to him.
"Why should Aisling automatically get to make the dreams?" Lilith complained. "My creative juices need to be utilized!" the little girl disappeared from her perch and reappeared behind her friends backs. "This little dream is just filled to the brim with possibilities!"
"Here we go…" Cyrus sighed as the group turned to face her once more.
"I-I d-don't get i-i-it," Poltergeist fidgeted as he protested her arguments, "W-Why can't y-y-you just a-ask
A-A-A-Aisling to m-make t-them for y-you?"
Lilith made no attempt to hide her irritation with the ghost man when she scowled at him. When push came to shove, she would go to war for the right to make dreams. "Ask her to make them?" she repeated, "Why in the history of penguins would I ever want to do that?!" The little girl popped up right at eye level with Poltergeist and the ghost man jolted at her sudden movement.
"Having someone make your dreams for you isn't the same as doing it yourself!" Lilith moaned at him, "I need action! Creativity! I need Candy Cane trees and Gumdrop Mountains!"
"You are not changing this dream into Candyland," Cyrus threatened.
The fox child glared at the young man and popped up right in front of him. She stared at the young man thoughtfully. "And why aren't you asserting your right to make dreams?" she challenged him.
"Because I don't mind letting Aisling do it," Cyrus countered, "However I am slightly opposed to letting a feisty, candy-craving ball of lunacy make the dreams."
"And why is that?" the little girl inquired as her ruby eyes narrowed in irritation.
"It doesn't take a genius to know that you have a few too many screws loose to make friendly dreams," the young man retorted, "I'd be willing to bet that three of four dreams that you create include death and dismemberment."
"They do not!" Lilith puffed her chest out defensively, "I make fun dreams! Not scary ones!"
"Do you still make those machines on tracks, Lilith?"
The little girl looked over at Aisling. The woman must have been referring to that one mishap with the roller coaster that she had seen. The stupid beast decided that it didn't want to stay on the tracks anymore and nearly ran over a human. It had been really embarrassing for Lilith, mostly because Aisling was the one who fixed it. "Not all the time…" the child mumbled.
"I'm sorry…" Aisling spoke faintly, "I suppose I should have asked if you wanted to make the dreams…"
"You suppose?" Lilith repeated, "You suppose? It should have been the first thing to cross your mind!"
The lady flinched as the child's words hit her ears, and Cyrus grabbed the little girl's ankle and held her up from behind. "You're getting too vicious," he scolded her.
"I'm getting too vicious?" Lilith was about to throw a tantrum. "I'm stating the facts! There's nothing more dangerous to a Dream than to stop making dreams! How do you think The Dreams That Never Sleep ended up the way they are?!"
"Didn't they just stay awake too long? Like you did earlier?" Cyrus looked at the child inquisitively. He was positively pea-brained when it came to the Dream World.
"No, you halfwit! They stopped making dreams!" Lilith screeched. "And hate to break it to ya buddy, but if you don't start making dreams soon, you'll end up just like them! I'm not keen on being a hollow shell, are you?" Lilith's words apparently hit home, at least she thinks so, because after she said that, she was unexpectedly dropped.
"Aisling?" Cyrus addressed the lady to his right, "Is this true?"
"Yuup," Lilith answered for the lady as she hovered a few inches above the ground, "If you don't let out all your pent up imagination it'll explode out of you and you'll cease to exist; so to speak." At this point the fox child rotated in midair and placed her feet back on the ground. "That's the funny thing about Dreams," she said as she scratched her head and her ears twitched, "immune to all physical damage and yet we get sick if we decide to stop thinking." Lilith paused, and then grinned at Cyrus. "Sounds like you're in trouble, McNoobster."
Cyrus gave the little girl an ice cold look. "You aren't funny," he spat.
Lilith shrunk down in front of the man. She hadn't known him long, but she was getting the idea that he could be quite moody, and she had a horrible tendency to run her mouth when she should keep it closed.
"Aisling, why didn't you say anything?" the young man spoke solemnly, though Lilith could see a slight tremble in his frame. "You knew this, right? Why didn't you say anything?"
Aisling looked down, and the little fox child could tell that she was ashamed. The poor woman was getting old, and Lilith was starting to become a little more sympathetic. The lady had probably forgotten entirely, and the little girl couldn't really blame her because sometimes she did the same thing.
"I—" Aisling stopped; she could find no words to explain herself.
Cyrus sighed. "Alright, I get it. You forgot," the young man murmured. A moment passed and the group simply exchanged glances; none of them seemed sure what to do next. Lilith definitely wasn't sure, and she dare not speak out of fear that her words would be misheard.
"I-Is it a-a-a p-problem?" Poltergeist finally broke the silence and his ghostly golden eyes flitted furiously from one friend to the next.
"Could I last twenty eternities?" Cyrus inquired to Lilith.
The little girl crossed her arms and thought on his question. "Probably if you had an empty tank," she responded.
"So… question being, are you still intent on making the twenty dreams?"
Lilith considered this. It was likely that the twenty dreams of idleness would bear a more profound effect on Aisling, but she was stubborn and wasn't going to give up the fight unless she had a really valid reason to.
"How many humans tend to visit your dreams?" the little girl addressed the white haired woman.
"I usually have one or no visitors in each dream," the lady answered, "Why do you ask? Is it of importance somehow?"
"Hm," the fox child's ears twitched and she frowned with disappointment, "I guess you're making the twenty dreams then. But me and Cy can do whatever we wish to in this dream, kay?"
"That was a quick shift in your tune," Cyrus commented, "Is there something significant about how many humans visit the dream?"
"Well, only the number of eternities that you have to spend in one dream, if it means anything," Lilith responded with a snarky tone.
"What?" the young man inquired.
The little girl groaned. "One human interaction is equivalent to one eternity," she explained as she hovered up to Cyrus's eye level, "contrariwise; one dream without any humans is also one eternity. Make sense?"
"Why can't you just use days like normal people?" the man whined in frustration.
"What the blubbery muffins is a day, and why are you humans so obsessed with them?"
"A day, as in 24 hours."
"Twenty four whats?"
"Oh come on! An hour, 60 minutes, time? Don't you know anything?"
"Well yes, I know quite a bit," Lilith retorted as Cyrus stared at her pathetically, "And now I also know that you humans like to count too much. Reality must be terribly boring if that's a hobby of yours." The little girl fell to her feet and trotted past the young man towards the depths of the planet's wound. "In any case, we're running out of eternities, love!" she called back to Cyrus, "You better empty out that lacking imagination before it explodes in you!"
"Don't make anything dangerous!" he joked back. Lilith smirked—at least he was starting to understand her crude sense of humor. The fox child sped into a clearing surrounded by enormous diamond shards.
"This'll do," the child whispered to herself, and at that moment precisely, the child began to prance around the crystal valley and command a large quantity of candies and pastries to grow from the ground. Lollipop trees sprouted up in bunches across the clearing, and Lilith scuttled to the peak of one to observe her realm. Cream puffs, éclairs and cannoli's rose from the ground and sat like bulging boulders across the expanse of the clearing. Paths of candy coated chocolate and their fruity coated cousin formed a maze of sugary graveled walkways.
The little girl spun together clouds of rainbow flavored cotton candy and stuck together giant marshmallows as the creative sculptures of an artistically inept five year old. They were pretty perfect, if she did say so herself. As a finishing touch, the fox child commanded a large fortress crafted of various candy bars to surface at the center of the clearing with a moat of half melted cherry water ice and a drawbridge of nutty buddies. Satisfied with her work, Lilith slid down the lollipop perch and waited for her guests to arrive.
Suddenly the wispy shapes of young human children began appearing left and right. "Candy!" one shrieked as it and several others dove for a giant éclair at the far side of the clearing.
"All you little people are so predictable," Cyrus commented from behind Lilith a she turned to see him at the entrance to the clearing. "There's more to life than candy and junk food, you know," he continued.
The little girl glowered at the young man, but as she opened her mouth to speak, twenty or so more humans appeared, and these ones were around his age. "Dude! It's an all you can eat buffet of junk food!" sounded amongst the group as they all sprinted for their personal favorites.
Lilith looked over at the group and then turned back to Cyrus with a huge grin on her face. "You were saying?" she spoke with a giggle.
The young man scowled at the girl in irritation as his human kin proved him wrong. Lilith felt victorious, but only just before the man sparked her curiosity. "I'll be over on the mature side of this dream if you need me," he spoke as he shrugged off his irritation and left the entrance to the clearing. The little girl came to realization that she had never seen any of Cyrus's creations and she was incredibly interested in seeing them. She had this theory that if he was human originally then a great amount of his work would be laughable.
The fox child followed the young man out of the clearing as fast as she could, her tail flipping back and forth with each bouncing step.
"What are you making?" she asked him cheerfully.
"Do you mean 'what have I made?" he corrected her. He seemed unshaken by her spark of curiosity. Maybe it wasn't as unpredictable as she thought.
"You're already done?" the child trotted around the man in excited manner. Unfortunately for her, he caught on quicker then she had anticipated.
"You're looking for a chance to tease me more, aren't you?" Cyrus smirked and quickened his pace up the mountain sized diamond shard they were climbing. Lilith huffed in disappointment. Her intentions had been spotted, and it was time to make a poor attempt at covering them up. She rose above the ground and floated swiftly next to the young man.
"I don't want to tease you!" she refuted, "I'm just curious, is all. What in the world gave you that impression?"
Cyrus cast her a smug little look. Well that wasn't good, she thought. He was difficult to fool, and she wasn't very good at fooling people to begin with.
"Do you realize your track record?" he gave the little girl a joking half smile, "You tease me at any chance you get! And if remember correctly," he added, "you went to a lot of trouble for the right to make that little plot of Candy Kingdom. Why the sudden interest in what I've made? Hmm?"
He was really sharp, Lilith thought. The fox child considered his words and attempted to excuse herself. "Am I not allowed to be curious?" she smiled sweetly.
"Oh, you're allowed all you want," Cyrus replied without hesitation, "but that doesn't mean I don't know what you're up to."
"You are a smarter cookie than I thought," the little girl commented as she followed him once more.
"Oh, so the truth comes out, eh?" the man grinned, "Kudos to you for being honest."
"So what did you make?" the fox child continued in an attempt to ignore the stab at her dignity.
"See for yourself."
Lilith turned her attention forwards and saw a new clearing ahead of them, the one where Cyrus had begun to empty out his imagination. To her, it looked like a strangely altered mixture of a park, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and tea time. Three willow trees with vibrant blue-green leaves danced gracefully at the center of the clearing, and the building just past that had towers like the Taj Mahal and foliage covered levels fed by tea—good tea from what Lilith could smell. The little girl let her feet touch the soft green grass below her and she trotted about excitedly.
"Wow…" she murmured in awe, and suddenly her feet were back off the ground as Cyrus had picked her up under the arms.
"Now say 'This dream is pretty cool, Cyrus. I shouldn't have tried to tease you. Sorry'," the man smirked, and the fox child blushed slightly in embarrassment.
"No," the child said shortly. She was too stubborn to play that game.
Cyrus grinned and slung Lilith under his arm like a potato sack. "Okay then," he chuckled, "I guess I'll just wait for an answer. Though, I would answer quickly if you want any tea."
He had hit the nail right on the head. The little girl really wanted some tea. "Let me go!" she shrieked as she struggled frantically against his arm, but to no avail. "You have a surprisingly strong willpower for someone who doesn't even know what it is," the fox child's ears twitched with irritation, "McNoobster you are not allowed to toss me under your arm whenever it does so please you! Paws off!"
"I'll give you a hug if you admit defeat," the man smiled sweetly as he walked towards the building with a tea cup in his free hand.
"Unlike you, I am not addicted to cuddle time! Paws off or else!"
"Or else…?" Cyrus definitely seemed to enjoy Lilith's current dilemma. He chuckled again as he lifted the tea cup up to one of the fountains on the building. The cup filled cleanly with tea and floated out of his hand to find the cream and sugar.
"Or else I'll spill your tea," she spoke apathetically, "with my mind."
"How terrifying," he smirked, "Anything else?"
Lilith paused for a moment, and blankly went for Cyrus's arm with her teeth.
"Whoa!" McNoobster yelled as he let Lilith fall to the ground, "Uncool, Lilith, uncool!"
The little girl scrambled up to the top of one of the willow trees like lightning and peeked out cautiously. "Mess with a cat, you get the claws, mess with Lilith and you'll get improvised pain."
"I don't think I've ever heard that before," Cyrus smiled and shrugged, "Well alright then. But you still aren't getting any tea."
Lilith opened her mouth to protest but before she could say a word, Cyrus had turned back to the building to get his tea cup. The fox child's tail flicked back and forth in her agitation as he walked over to her willow tree and sat in the shade with his tea. She whined desperately as he ignored her further and spawned a book while sipping his tea.
"Cyrus…" she finally moaned in pitiful defeat.
"Yes, squirt?" he answered promptly as he looked up into the branches of the willow tree.
"Can I please have some tea?" the little girl asked in a pathetic voice.
"What's the magic word?"
"Not that one! Starts with an 's' ends with a 'y', two syllables long, hm? You know of it, correct?" Cyrus smirked and Lilith felt compelled to hide under a rock.
"Um…" Lilith squirmed under the pressure, and Cyrus's patience grew thin.
"Alright then, no tea for you," he said calmly as he turned back to his book.
"What's the magic word?"
"No tea for you."
"Alright I'm sorry!"
Suffice to say, Lilith got her tea.
I suppose I don't need to tell you that this is mostly a character building chapter... sa, but I just did. Well, yes this may seem like a slight if not obvious deviation from the plot line but I felt it necessary to further develop a certain strawberry blonde teenager. Well, then, please leave a review to tell me what you think (with carefully chosen words please) or favorite and/or follow. 'Sank you folks!