Spirit Realm

It wouldn't have been right to call them dreams, for there was no sleep in this hellish no-place. But there were images. A jungle, with the tribe around him - a tribe somehow both his and not his. A white blanket. Music played by a red-haired elf.

And then there was the woman: Laughing as she ran from him in the jungle. Sparring with him on a stage in a mock battle. Lying beneath him and biting at his throat with a feral growl.

She probably wasn't real. He knew that. It was just his broken mind creating a fantasy. But if it was fantasy, it was so real that he knew every scar on her body, knew the scent of her sun-darkened skin. But real or no, she was something to cling to when the gaze of the Watcher was on him.

"Stay with me, stay with me." "How… bad is it?" "Hang on. Just hang on." He grew colder, the edges of his vision blurring. "I will, I promise you." She covered him with her cloak and lay down next to him, trying to share her warmth with him. Soon the void within the Watcher would swallow him. And then… and then perhaps there would be peace. If he just let go. "I…can't, not…now. I promised."

He spoke to her often as he travelled through the realms, looking for a way out. If there was a way out. If any other world than this even existed. He couldn't be sure. But the woman was his single glimmer of hope, and he kept his eyes fixed on her.

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