“Quiet.” The stranger held up his hand. “Peace be to you, my brethren. We are gathered.”
“Brethren?” Victoria pulled back. “We are not your...”
“We are gathered,” he repeated, interrupting her, “not to mourn, not to conquer. We are gathered simply to know.”
“Who are you? Who is this 'we' that you keep talking about?”
“We are gathered.” He kept his face turned to the ground, not opening his eyes. “You seek the sleeper, correct?”
“We do!” Galen stepped forward. “Do you know where...”
“Peace. You have sought what you do not understand. Do you truly know what you seek?”
“We seek the sleeper, the one who dreams this world into being.” Victoria responded. “The unknown element of all that drifts in and out of existence. The one thing in this world that is real.”
The stranger did not smile. “If that is so, what shall you do when you find him.”
“We shall wake him.”
“Why? To escape! The sleeper is what traps us here! If the sleeper awakes, than we can...”
“Escape.” The man finally smiled. “You do not understand what you ask. Escape is entirely possible. Your quest is in vain.”
“What do you mean?!” asked Galen. “We have fought our way to the deepest part of the world, and you tell us it's all been for nothing?”
“Not for nothing. We are gathered.” The stranger lifted his arms, motioned to the ethereal world around them. “Here, where ideas are the shape and substance, where everything changes and all remains the same, here at the border of darkness and light where nothing becomes everything and everything melts away; here is where we have come. Here is the world where the sleeper resides. This is his domain. And here. We Are Gathered. And now you shall know.”
The two stepped back, staring. The world around them shifted, moving inward and outward, pulsing with power at his words. Shafts of brilliant light formed out of the darkness. Color became color in it's true self, indescribable and impossible. They fought to hang onto their existence, their very being, as reality moved around them and beneath them and inside them.
And then the man spoke the words as they realized them.
“I am the sleeper.”
Listening to too much creepy music. I could've continued this, but didn't feel like it. Enjoy.