Part 25

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PART TWENTY-FIVE:

A Demon Lost

CHARMIAN STARED AT the two creatures for a moment before she could find her voice.

"Dream...render?" she whispered.

The creature's eyes never left hers.  I am he who tears apart thought.

I am Sikt Natha, the gray one--she now realized it was female--said.  The Dreamwanderer.  I am she who traverses thought.

"What are you?" Charmian asked.

The copper-colored one--Dakh Natha--answered.  We are the dreams which have not yet been born.

"Unborn dreams?"  Charmian felt her fear start to drift away and slowly approached the two.  She wasn't certain...but she felt they must represent some part of Tal Natha's dream.  They looked much like he did, with their long, almost foxlike faces and slanted eyes.  And their names--Dakh Natha and Sikt Natha?--there had to be some relation.  Perhaps they represented some smaller part of the whole?  Like symbols in a dream?

Well, what would an Ocryx dream of, if not of Ocryxes?

Dakh Natha tilted his head and inquired, Why have you come here?

"Oh."  Charmian stopped.  "I...I came here to help...the person whose dream you're in.  Tal Natha.  I came here to help him."

Why?  From Sikt Natha.

Charmian frowned.  "Because he's dying."

Why does this concern you? Dakh Natha asked.

"Because...because he's dying!  I can't just sit by and watch that happen!"

If he dies, it is of no importance to you, is this true?

"No, it's not true!  If he dies, this whole Island dies with him.  You must know that."

But the Island is not your home.  It is not of your world.  The two Nathas continued staring at her as if genuinely amused that she should find the situation so serious.

"So?" Charmian retorted.  "He's the Dreamspinner.  If he dies, so does everyone's dream."

Only the dreams of those of us on the Island.  He is not of your world.  Your people will go on as always without him.  Why does his death concern you so much?

Charmian bit her lip and her eyes welled up.  What was with these two and why were they making this so difficult?  Didn't they care about him at all?

"If he doesn't exist, neither do you two!" she tried.

This is of little concern to you, Sikt Natha said.

"Maybe my concern doesn't matter that much, then!"  The Ocryxes' ears twitched as if in interest.  Charmian felt she should shut up before she put her foot in her mouth big time but went on.  "I made a promise.  He asked me if I'd try to help protect the Island.  No matter who or what he is.  No matter what I'm protecting.  I said I would.  It doesn't matter if he's my kind or not, if he's from my dimension or not.  I can't just let someone die.  Maybe you don't understand it, but that's not the way my kind works.  When we make promises we try to keep them.  Even if they mean something to us in the end or not."

You are willing to risk your life for an Island which means nothing to you once you return to your world? Dakh Natha prodded.  You would be so foolish as to do this?

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