Chapter 56:


The Nonpareil of Resh (Act 1)

Fiona’s Dream

Fiona was tiny, like a child, but her form continued to look as she currently did. She was trapped in a cylinder of thin bars. The bars curved as the cylinder went up above her, so they closed together until they sealed off the top into a point. The shape was something that Gwyn might call a birdcage. There was no way she could fly out of such a prison.

Fiona spotted an opening in the bars. They had been burst open and were hanging out in a frayed manner. The ends were sharp, but she shimmied her way through anyway. Her back became sliced as a bar slid across it, a clean cut on the left side down the shoulder. She paid it no mind and burst out of the prison.

Suddenly, the scene changed. The cage was previously surrounded by darkness, but now she stood by a table and fallen vase within the castle corridors. It had shattered; she remembered this moment. Her form had reverted to how it had been as she was a child. She began to put pieces back together with her tiny hands frantically.

Her father happened to walk down the hallway as she struggled to put the pieces back together. For the first time in her life, he spoke to her with emotion in his voice. His screams echoed down the hallway.

The scene melted away again. It formed back into another moment. She had grown again, now resembling her age right before graduation. She looked out to the crowd. Donn and Hermina waved back; no one else was with them.

She sighed and pressed a button she hid under her clothes. An explosion of smoke filled the arena hall, and everyone ran for cover.

Her father had taken her aside for a lengthy lecture. Except it was now in the war room, which had never happened. The realization got Fiona’s attention for a moment, but it was not enough to break her out of the dream.

As her father screamed, he began to fade. A knife hung out from his chest, but he paid no mind to it. His voice shrunk along with his fading form until he had entirely disappeared. She was suddenly standing next to the vase. It was sitting neatly on the table.

Fiona kicked it over and watched it shatter. She waited, but no one came.

The wound she got from the cage felt more intense as she stood. It gushed like a river, it grew wide, and she collapsed to the floor. She felt no pain, but it ached in a way she could not describe. Then the dream ended.

Gwyn’s Dream

Gwyn was back on earth. He sat at a table with his family. His mother was on his left, and his father was on his right. Across from him sat his little sister.

“Well, son, did you have a nice trip?” His father asked.

“I did,” Gwyn answered as he cut into a piece of chicken. “I met lots of interesting people and even fought a giant beast!”

“I’m sure it wasn’t that big of a beast,” his sister groaned as she rolled her eyes.

“No, no, it was huge. It stood taller than our house and… and….” Gwyn stopped talking and took a bite of his food.

“Well, I’m just glad you got back to us safely. We were so worried when you left without saying a word,” his mother said.

“Sorry about that….” Gwyn answered solemnly.

“Well, we are just glad you are back,” Gwyn’s father said. The others nodded in agreement, and the family began to eat their food silently.

Gwyn went to cut a slice of chicken, but his fork fell out of his left hand and hit the floor. His eyes squinted as his hand began to shake. Suddenly his other hand turned blue, and he dropped his knife. At first, it was the same color blue as Mem; then it faded into a duller blue.

He jumped up from his seat and looked around the room.

“Is something the matter?” Gwyn’s dad asked.

“Are you feeling unwell?” His mother added.

“I– uh– er,” Gwyn stammered.

Outside the window, many eyes were peering in. It was dark outside, and only the eyes could be clearly seen for some reason. He saw Aqueenian eyes, Hobusian eyes, Bentulousian eyes, and Zenotote eyes. They all stared at him and watched his movements as he ran across the room.

“Are you okay?” Gwyn’s sister asked with growing concern in her voice. His parent's faces began to furrow with concern as well. Hands of the different species began to press against the window next. They became clear and in focus, and they were all left hands.

Gwyn looked at his left hand, but it was gone. His entire arm had gone missing, and he stumbled back. He fell onto the ground into a seated position as the hands began to beat on the glass.

Gwyn’s right hand was the next to disappear, followed by his left leg and then his right.

Finally, the glass shattered, and arms began to reach in. Then the dream ended.

Odell’s Dream

Odell was happily walking down a long path. He paid no mind to how long it was, nor how he seemed to get nowhere as he walked. He just hummed to himself as the path continued.

Finally, someone called out to him. He turned back but didn’t stop his walking. His childhood friend, Adonis, ran up and matched his pace. They talked about nonsense for a while until someone called Adonis from a distance. The childhood friend waved goodbye and ran forward. He disappeared into the endless hallway.

Odell continued his even pace as he continued to move nowhere. He smiled and began to hum to himself once again. The hallway was starting to repeat itself as the prince walked past, but he paid no mind to it.

His father called out somewhere in front of him. He only slowed his pace at the words. His father continued to yell for him, but he only shook his head and kept humming to himself.

Cecelia, his fiancé, ran up to Odell from somewhere in front of him. She beckoned him to join her and grabbed Odell’s arm. She tried to pull him forward, but he shook his head and pulled his arm away.

Cecelia began to scream bloody murder, but Odell tuned it out as his slow pace continued forward. Finally, Cecelia gave up and ran ahead out of Odell’s sight.

Another person approached from behind. This time, it was Gwyn. Odell’s brow furrowed as he questioned why Gwyn was in the Hobusian castle. Gwyn didn’t answer but was joined by Fiona next. The two newcomers matched Odell’s pace and began to talk with him. They spoke about nonsense for some time. Then the dream ended.