This prompt piece is late birthday present for @16shards-art . 25 February was a while ago, but I am glad to have been able to do it during my holiday. 😀
I went with an odd idea for this one, as I thought it would be the most interesting of the ones I had thought of.
Find her prompt here.
I awoke to sandpaper rubbing my cheek. My cheek stung. As I drowsily rubbed my cheek, my fingers came back damp. I turned over and opened my eyes, looking at my fingers. It was too dark to see what colour my fingers were, but I could, at least, see well enough to see no major gradient in the colour of my fingers. What did this to me? Oh… My barely awake brain finally figured out the culprit.
“It’s the middle of the night Chat. You don’t need me to open the door for you, lazy cat. I made sure to leave the window open for you.”
I closed my eyes and tried to drift back into sleep. Something moved away from behind my head, walking in the direction of my feet. Good, he’s given up. Turned out that I was wrong. The persistent cat walked across me, then up to my face again. He meowed. Then he started licking my nose.
“Ouch, stop it! You win!” I reached out to stroke the cat to distract it while I mentally prepared myself for getting out of bed. I opened my eyes again to look at the vague form of the purring fluff ball. When I pushed myself up on sleep-weak arms, the cat abruptly stopped purring and stared at me with eerily glowing golden-yellow eyes.
“Chat, that’s not normal. Great; I get woken up by my cat wanting to go outside so much that I’m having a dream about it.”
I stared at the large glowing eyes for some time more, then flopped back down onto the bed. As my head hit the pillow, I fell. Not off the bed, but rather… a continuous falling sensation. I tried to shout but heard only a loud meow. The falling stopped.
Cautiously I opened my eyes to try to figure out what had happened. I wasn’t quite sure. The lazy human had gone back to sleep again, despite my attempts to wake it up. Why did my humans insist on sleeping for such inflexible periods of time? There was something important outside. I did not know what, but I knew the human needed to come.
Fine, I’ll go by myself. The winds call. I swished my tail into my sleeping human’s face and jumped off its sleeping platform. I pushed my way between the hanging fabrics, jumped through the open invisible-but-solid barrier behind and then climbed onto the thick barrier that I regularly sat on to taunt the neighbours’ canines from above. Why is a human sleeping in the garden? That looks uncomfortable… for a human. Should I wake it up? Never mind, I need to go. I jumped from the wall and ran in the direction which the winds directed me.
Soon enough I found myself in the neighbourhood park. There I beheld the biggest – and quietest – gathering of pet-creatures that I had ever seen. They were all gathered in the clear grassy area near the small collection of trees that could barely pass as a forest.
As I joined the edge of the cat battalion, I heard panting in my ear. I looked up to see the German Shepherd dog from next door. It licked the top of my head, seeming happy to see me. Has she been worried that I wouldn’t make it?
The wind blew again. It called to us. “Come, new guardians, you are needed,” it said.
All the pets – great and small – began a full on sprint, slither, or awkward fast-walk towards and into the mini-forest. We ran and ran, following where the wind called.
Eventually I began to notice something strange. Well, stranger than all us being in the same place in the middle of the night. The forest didn’t end. It grew thicker. The vegetation, and my fellow pets, began to take on an unnatural aura. Sometimes I could swear I saw them briefly change into strange forms that were foreign to me.
Suddenly, the cat next to me stopped. It stood still for only a brief moment, looking around in a frenzy, before vanishing from existence. Some others stopped too, startled by the vanishing cat. They vanished as well.
“Keep going!” the wind urged, “Do not stop! You are needed!” I sped up again, having slowed to a walk. An odd feeling began to burn in my chest.
We ran, and we ran. The feeling was getting stronger. Around me, I could now see for sure that some plants and pets were not in the forms they should be. The world around me was growing brighter, both due to the first rays of sun piercing the leaves and to the glowing of plants and some animals. I could not stop to think about this. I needed to keep running – our numbers were thinning.
A flash before my eyes. Glimpses of the future to come. Did I want this? Was I capable of achieving this? I needed to think on it.
“Don’t stop, guardian! We need you,” the wind whispered to me.
“But I’m not sure if I’m ready…” I called back.
Perhaps I should not have responded. Perhaps I should not have gotten such a big fright at my capability of speech. Perhaps I should not have broken my sprint. But I did. Too late did I realise my mistake. Just as blackness rushed into my vision, I kicked out – trying to run again.
A frightened yowl. I sat bolt upright in bed, sending the already surprised Chat over the edge of my bed. I looked down at him and petted him in apology. He looked normal, if a bit distressed.
“That was some funky dream,” I said before sighing. I could hear birdsong outside, and the morning sun sought to make its way through my curtains.
That morning, there were an abnormally large amount of people at the park. The grass area and mini-forest were swarming with teens and young adults. Hardly anyone spoke to anyone else, but their eyes told me all I needed to know. They were there for the same reason I was. They were looking for something they knew they would not find.