The nightmares came suddenly, violently, in the midst of what was otherwise normal sleep. There was never a hint of warning beforehand—she always, always went straight into them, breaking the dreaming silence with a world-shattering scream. And she would fight. She would fight the air and the thin blanket, thrashing in an attempt to escape an invisible danger, so violent sometimes that he was afraid she would hurt herself. He always dropped out of the network when it happened, into his body to climb up the little tunnel into the cockpit and hold her, whether to keep her from hurting herself or simply because he didn't know what else to do. And he would stay with her, wrapping her in his arms, until the nightmare subsided from screams to whimpers, from sobs to heavy breathing and a tearstained face. And then he would lay her back down in the pilots seat, gently as ever, more gently than he ever did anything else, more than he ever let her know he could do, and watch, just for a moment, just to be really, truly sure she was fine. And he would climb back down the little tunnel and head back into the network, where he would wait. He would wait until she awoke again. They would both pretend that nothing was wrong.
In the forest there is a ruin, and in the ruin there is a clock tower. And in the clock tower, there is a man, barely a man, more a boy who's rather surprised to find himself taller; but he lives in the clock tower and sometimes, on clear days, he plays the bells. There is only one song he ever plays, and it is the only song that he knows. But he rings the bells, loud and clear, and the one and only song echoes over the ruins, through the forest, and barely, just barely, into the world beyond.
He came from nowhere, the boy-turned-man, who rings the bells on clear days. He flew in on silver wings, in silver fog, and no one saw him but the doves who lived in the clock tower, who live there still. Perhaps he lives off of pigeon's eggs. Nobody knows, really. Nobody talks to him. Nobody has ever talked to him, out of those few that have seen him. He fled from the few that tried. But perhaps he was only afraid, and not a hermit like they think he is, for if you get close enough to see him, (which is very hard, and not many people can), he looks downcast always, like a lonely man.
There are letters that they, those who pass by, have found in hollow trees and the dry places of the ruin. The writing is neat, round, childlike, but readable. The sentences are short and to the point.
Dear you, they say, If you met me, would you remember me? Because if you would not, then I would be glad to meet you. I am alone.
They vary from letter to letter in what words they use, the number of sentences, the greeting and occasionally the end. But they are never signed.
Nobody sees him leave these letters, but they all know it's him, those few who are so downcast to live in the ruins and find them. Nobody else is quite so alone.
The song he plays is an old one, one of those odd songs that everyone knows but no one can remember the words. Sometimes he makes up little variations, playing chords with the bells. Sometimes he gets so far into this experimentation that the song is hardly recognizable, but it is always the same song, the only song he knows. But the last bell—the bell that would be the very last note of the very last verse, the one that's supposed to echo out so the listeners can breath again—is cracked, right down the middle. The last note is never played.
“I refuse to believe it.” Her voice was only half firm, wavering slightly with emotion. “He's not dead. I've heard him, and I can still see him when I'm asleep. He's... stuck, I guess. In the earth's magnetic field.”
“Sam...” Gabe shook his head, putting the mop back in the closet. “I know you've never been wrong before. You were right about Dr. Sarin, and the Puppetmaster, and everything. And we all owe our lives to you. But still...” He trailed off. “His body was destroyed, Sam. There is literally nothing left.”
“So? He's still alive. I know he's alive. I...” She trailed off, sinking down against the locker and putting her arms on her knees. “I can't tell Timothy. It'd hurt him too much. But... I had to tell someone. Seth's alive. I don't understand it, but he is. Maybe I'm really crazy this time.”
“I doubt that.” Gabe said, leaning up against the lockers next to her. “I believe you. If you say he's alive, you've never been wrong.”
“Really?” She looked up at him, disbelieving.
“Yeah.” He pulled the box cap over his eyes. “Don't expect me to back you up on that, though. I'm crazy enough to believe you, but not that crazy.”
“Psh.” She turned away again, smiling faintly. “Didn't figure.”
Again, just some little things I've written recently. I really like them, but didn't really think they were enough to post on their own. Tell me what you think!