Dustin Smith spun in a void of darkness. The darkness seemed to go on forever. There was no light in it, but Dustin could see perfectly fine.
Before him lay a door. One of many doors that floated in the void between the different worlds. Dustin was carried towards the door, his dusty brown jacket being hit by some wind. Except there was no wind. The jacket just reacted like there should be. Or rather, Dustin's subconscious was applying logic to this situation. If only it knew that this was a place free of logic. This was the place created, molded, and shaped by human fears, imagination, and hopes. This was the Dream World, as Dustin called it.
Dustin placed his hand on the floating door's handle. With a tug, he pulled it open and floated inside the door. Looking around, he saw he was a in a white hallway. Cobwebs hung from the ceiling, and there was a hissing sound in the background. Several abandoned beds lay in the hallway, along with tables full of bloody surgical equipment.
Dustin could sense evil in this place. It was no surprise, since this world had been overtaken by nightmares not too long ago. This particular dream might have been pleasant to look upon once. But now it was a twisted, nightmarish version of its former self.
Dustin raised his hands and concentrated. Over the many years he had lived in the Dream World, he had learned he could control and affected certain things within it. Like this little trick.
Instantly, two weapons appeared in Dustin's hands. One was a scoped desert eagle. The other was a silver katana, with the image of a Chinese dragon engraved in the blade. Both weapons felt virtually weightless in Dustin's hands. That had surprised the first time he did the trick, but almost nothing surprised him about this place anymore.
Dustin didn't know how long he had been here. He knew he had been in the Dream World for at least twenty years. But he didn't know how long that was in the real world. Time passed differently between the two different worlds, and twenty years in the Dream World could be a single hour in the real world.
Dustin wondered if he was ever going to wake up. He knew he was in a coma in the real world, induced by a stroke. Could he spend the rest of his life in the Dream World, while his body grew older and older. He had often wondered what would happen if you died in the Dream World. Not that he wanted to test it, but it was a frequent thought on his mind.
Enough, Dustin thought. Focus on your task.
Dustin marched forward through the hospitals hallways. A bunch of bags containing what he assumed to be dead bodies. Dustin stepped over them and turned around a corner. This hallway was lined with X-rays of babies. He quickly moved through this hallway, not looking at the disturbing X-rays.
Dustin moved toward a black door at the end of the hallway. Pushing it open, Dustin looked around and found himself in the morgue.
Piles of body bags lay on weirdly shaped tables. Scalpels were hanging from the ceiling, suspended by what looked like intestines. A massive incinerator lay in the corner. Body bags were going into it, coming out as ash on the other side.
Dustin moved passed the tables, one body bag falling off the massive stack and landing in front of him on the floor. The bag unzipped, seemingly by itself, and the remains of some sort of animal spilled out.
Dustin looked at the disgusting pile of organs and blood, and nearly threw up. Of course, he couldn't actually throw up in this world, but he still felt like he would. Sometimes, nightmares went a bit too far.
Dustin stepped over the pile of remains, seeing several large black flies beginning to gather over them. He moved toward the morgue's exit at the other end of the room, when suddenly, there was a noise behind him.
Dustin turned around and saw a creature moving toward him. Its basic body shaped was humanoid, but the similarities ended there. Its skin looked horribly burned and its chest was covered in bloated growths. It wore no clothing, and was making quiet, whispering noises, almost like it was talking to itself. Instead of hands, it had large clubs, covering it cruel looking spikes. Its head was contained inside a wire cage, and it had dead-looking eyes. It had no lips, making it appear as if it was always smiling.
This was a nightmare. Nightmares were created by humans, sometimes representing their greatest fears or being a combination of torments. Nightmares would corrupt pure Dream Worlds, turning them into horrific places like this hospital. Some nightmares were unique beings, while others would multiply into thousands of identical copies. This one fell into the latter case. It was one Dustin had encountered many times in his personal quest. He called them mumblers, because of the way they always seemed to talk to themselves.
The mumbler stepped toward Dustin, raising one of its club hands high. Dustin responded by swinging his katana and stabbing the mumbler in the gut. The horrific creature gave a cry of pain, but was still very much alive. It lashed out with both of its club arms, pounding relentlessly on Dustin's katana, attempting to snap it loose. Dustin held on, though, and then raised his desert eagle to the mumbler's face.
The mumbler looked down the barrel of the gun, and snarled, lunging forward and swatting at the gun with its hands. But Dustin held the weapon out of the mumbler's reach, so it had no hope of hitting Dustin.
"Goodbye," Dustin said. He then pulled the trigger and fired a single shot into the mumbler's head. The mumbler's head was blown apart, splattering its wire cage with bright red blood. It fell limp on Dustin's blade, and he then ripped the katana out of the monster. The nightmare fell to the floor, dead. Flies gathered over it as well.
Dustin turned away from the fallen creature, blowing some smoke off the desert eagle. He didn't need to worry about reloading, as bullets were infinite in the Dream World. He walked forward, pushing open the morgue's exit door and going into the next room.
This room had an MRI machine in its center. The dead body of a women lay inside the machine, needles impaled in her hands and her face frozen in an expression of terror. Another mumbler was standing over the machine, scraping its club hands along the outside of it. The mumbler turned toward Dustin, and began to walk to him. But Dustin quickly shot this one in the head and kicked its corpse aside.
It was closed. Dustin could feel it. He moved through this room and found a box sitting in the corner. A squirming ball of black sludge was contained inside the box. There it was.
Dustin raised his katana, about to plunge it into the box and destroy another part of it. However, there was a sudden loud cracking noise. Dustin looked up and saw holes had appeared in the walls. Then, there was a slurping noise and black sludge began to pour out of the walls.
"Crap, crap," Dustin muttered. The Glutton had discovered him faster then he would have liked.
The Glutton was a very powerful nightmare. Dustin didn't know how or when it had been formed, but it had grown so powerful it had broken the boundaries of the dream it had been created in. It then began to spread to every dream, like a disease, turning them all into nightmares. The Glutton also had brought many hordes of less powerful nightmares under its control, sending them to every dream as well.
Despite this seemingly clear plan, The Glutton was not a sentient nightmare. Some nightmares could think, reason, and plan. The Glutton could not. All it wanted to do was turn everything into a nightmare, not form any future goals, but because that was its nature.
The black sludge had hit the floor now, and was beginning to come together to form a massive blob. Dustin could also see a number of mumblers entering the room. They were moving faster then usual, perhaps sensing the danger Dustin was now.
"Sorry boys," Dustin said. "But this dream is free from your influence now."
Dustin then stabbed the box with his katana. There was a loud cry, that neither sounded male nor female, that echoed throughout the hospital. The mass of black sludge grew smaller and smaller, until it vanished through several cracks in the floor. The mumblers faded away as well, still talking to themselves.
The hospital began to get lighter in color, and the dead women's body disappeared from the MRI machine. Noise also began to fill the hospital, unlike the dead silence of before.
Dustin rose. Another piece of The Glutton had been destroyed. Despite its power, The Glutton could not exist in all these worlds at once unless a piece of it remained in each world. Destroy that, and The Glutton's influence would fade from the world.
Dustin then concentrated, and another door appeared before him. He pushed it open, and stepped out of the dream and back into the void.