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The Immortal Rules

By @choppedmint

Story 6

It was almost daylight. He’d been sure to make sure that the blinds were closed all the way, just because he wanted to be careful, even though he didn’t think he’d get that far into the morning. Sam was technically right. He was very close, the sun peaking over the horizon, but dreamless sleep turned dark as soon as day actually had any chance of coming. Mocking.

It was the one dream that Sam disliked the most. It started out nice, then turned sour as soon as he relaxed into it. His eyelids flickered, hand tightening on cloth. Of his shirt or the borrowed blankets he didn’t know. In the dream, in was someone’s sleeve. He couldn’t look high enough to see a face, but the sleeve was green, a patterned sweater. He could feel the material under his fingers, rough and a little bit scratchy. Nerves fluttered in his chest. A muttered exchange of words, as if he was hearing it from another room. But Sam couldn’t hear it. The grip he had on the sleeve shifted and instead a hand wrapped around his wrist. The grip, for some reason, was harder than he expected. But he started walking and so did the person who held onto him. The conversation faded, then stopped. Sam didn’t pay attention to his surroundings, but then … he hadn’t that first time either. More words, more that he couldn’t understand or maybe just was blocking. Then … the dream shifted. The tips of his fingers were cold, a cold that slowly crept up his arms.

Back in the real world, Sam squirmed in discomfort, pulling backward like he was trying to get away from the feeling, though because he was gripping the bed with one hand, he wouldn’t move very far. A pillow fell off the couch.

Dizzy. How could you be dizzy in a dream? But Sam wasn’t aware it was a dream, and was panicking just the same. It … he knew he should be feeling pain, he knew that even though he couldn’t see anything. But it was just … dizzy and falling. Heavy feeling in his legs and arms, a tugging behind the eyes. Then he wasn’t falling anymore, limbs jerking as if elastic had been wrapped around them and the force of movement had completely stopped him, pulled, then bounced him back. His fingers were still cold. Fear moved through him, wave after wave. Not of anything, so much as he was afraid at the tightness in his throat. Like he wanted to scream, that fluttering of panic in his chest. It was just the sort of random collection of things a dream so often had.

Feelings that were half imagined memories and another half that was completely a product of the bad dream.

Spine bent in the real world, leg kicked out, head twitched and fangs half snapped out for a second before being pulled back into his mouth again. Chest heaved, but it was like he’d forgotten how to breath. His hands trembled. Maybe he shouldn’t have closed the windows. Because at least that would have been real pain, instead of phantom pain brought about by fear. A shaky breath pulled in as he finally seemed to remember how to take in air. A whine, almost a whimper. Then he seemed to forget again, tossing over on his side, arms going over his head. Teeth came fully down this time, clacking against the bottom set, and that did hurt. Not enough to wake him up, however.

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