It could have been any other night and nothing would have made a difference. This night however, something wasn’t right. Nothing obvious to the immediate mind, but something lingering in the back of your head. The quietness of the last few months relative to the trials that were the Demon Wars with Xualla and Baalfurous has almost felt unnerving. Going to sleep every night without the worry of the world ending felt unnatural in a way. Maybe not most nights, but this night, the weight was growing heavy. The stress of the day was clearly just getting to be too much. After a good night’s rest, everything would feel much clearer in the morning.

Drifting into sleep should have been a pleasant and comforting experience, but someone was waiting in your room. A shadowed figure steps from beyond the peripherals of your fading vision. Was the figure real? Was that the light of the moon and shadows playing tricks? Fading into slumber, unable to act, fear grips your heart for only a moment before you jerk awake.

Paralyzed, as if your mind is awake but your body still sleeps, you struggle to move or scream. The figure moves into your field of vision while the shadows continue to creep closer and closer, engulfing the walls.

The figure stands before your helpless body while a raspy cold breath speaks in your ear, “Can you hear that skittering inside your closet and under your bed? The legs; the thousand legs crawling just far enough inside the shadows that you can’t see it? The Insect King lies in the darkest corners of your room waiting for you to fall asleep. The crawling monsters slipping into your body and devour you from the inside.”

Struggle as you might, the figure and the darkness encompass your vision. Empty soundless screams erupt from your throat as you try to regain your faculties and fight back the darkness.

“This is your end made real. Your nightmares come to life, tearing you apart from the inside. The fleeting moments of light cannot protect you. The Knight cannot save you any longer. Fear the shadows in your mind. Your nightmares will consume you.”

The shadows of the room take over, shrouding everything. In a snap moment, the light of dawn breaks through the window and you jump, sitting up now, sweating, heart racing. Was it real?

Was it a nightmare?

Was it going to return?

…Are you ready to face it?

 

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