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Blink.


She was in the graveyard of her dreams, the fog-shrouded cemetery where she had watched her grandfather carried out on a bier. Now she stood before his grave, and as she watched, the wet, black earth that lay before it was rent open, and the corpse-hands of a cadaver emerged. She stood, mute, and watched as the eldritch, eaten body of her grandfather emerged from the soil, and stood before her.


"Deborah," it husked.


"No," she said evenly. "No."


"No?"


...knew she would never see him again...


"You are not my grandfather."


"No," said the corpse. "No."


Blink.


And it was night. The fog was gone, and now she could see the graves of the others, hundreds upon hundreds, stretching over the blue-black hills as far as her eye could follow. And before each one, clothed in the rotting vestments of lives gone by, stood the bone-bleach corpses of a thousand souls. Their empty eyes were turned to her. To she. To Deborah.


"Dawn," whispered the nearest of them, and the sea of dead faces sighed as one. The wind of their sighs, sickly-sweet, came to her as a cold wind from a nowhere place.


Blink. And she was in the cemetery of her sleepwalking days, standing in the indentations left by her own bare feet. The sun was gone below the horizon, and the sky had gone a deep and sombre blue. The faces of the dead came to her as fever-dreams, not yet made real, and she saw them with the eye of her mind.


"Twilight," she whispered, and then wondered why she whispered it. There was power there, in that word. She could feel it thrumming, just beyond her grasp. Something...


Blink. And she was in the endless, skyless forests of her dreams. The little people collected their nuts and berries. The leaves rustled. They spoke words of prophecy. The horned god, that strange earthly creature, saw her from within the bowers...and she saw the Horned God.


Then it was gone, and something was rushing in to fill the void.


It was like a shadow moving across a plain. A darkness that came swiftly and fiercely out of the North, howling with the fury of the winter winds. She felt it, and knew in that moment that it had been chasing her all along, and only now was she come to be aware of it. There was no running from something so fast. It was a windwalker, a spirit of the Old North, and...something more.


It was a feeling, like shadow on her face instead of sun.


The shadow passed over her, and-


Blink.


She picked up the book and read:



She picked up the book and read:


"Her Gramp was dead; but she..."


She let the wind tear the pages from her fingers, and they fluttered away like startled doves. The wind settled, and she bent down to the page and read:


"It is folly to assume that something may only exist in the Kingdom. This is the level of the scale reserved for the final physical manifestations of those few things we percieve through the veil of Kingdom. The cunning of the gods- and many of the spirits- lies in their ability to exist in many spheres at once, thus becoming far more than a purely physical manifestation. The gods are many things: They are beings last of all, for they are much more than mere shadows on the Kether. To be an idea, a dream, a vision, a song, a word, an action, a mood, a day, a time- this is the cunning of the gods of Old."


She set the book upon the pedestal.




She set the book upon the pedestal.


Blink.


She stood before the altar she had seen in her grandfather's photos. The sky above pressed down on her, a shroud of endless, starless black. The rolling hills stretched off into the distance.


Silas Parish lay upon the altar. He was bound, naked, to the eldritch stone. His body was lashed by many ropes, each looped and knotted through one of the bullet-holes in his pallid flesh. His face was contorted with pain, but when he spoke, his voice was calm and even, though little more than a whisper.


"No," he said. "You didn't."


"I killed you," said Deborah.


"I died six years ago," whispered the old man. "Heart attack. My body was never recovered."


"No..."


"No. You've come far." The spectre turned his milky eyes on her. "I was consumed," he whispered. "My soul was eaten."


She was cold, now. Very cold.


"Why?" she whispered.


"Don't you remember the story? The wolf ate because he could not be sated. Because some things hunger. Your grandfather would have understood."


"Maybe," she said. "But he's dead."


"He was faster than I."


"Why are you here?"


"It is my time to be here. You stand at the borders between one world and another. Like all in-between places, it holds magick beyond your reckoning." The spectre grinned. "All twilights hold within them the secrets of the universe."


"Begone, spirit," she said.


Pipes, gargantuan and haunting, played over the horizon. They were answered by the roar that had haunted her dreams for- she now realized- each and every one of the days of her lives.


Silas turned his head toward the sound, and in his eyes she saw:


Dread.


Blink.



She raised her head from the carpeting, and looked about herself. Her limbs were numb and cold. Her eyes ached. She was caught between waking and sleeping-


In-between places


-and neither world seemed quite real.


She stood on her numb legs, and waited for a long time, hoping to return to her waking mind. It didn't happen. Gray light filtered in through the blinds.


She moved to the window, drew aside the curtains, and looked out.


The world was covered in permafrost.


Deborah stepped away from the window. There were degrees of reality- she was beginning to understand this- and her instincts told her: This was real. Perhaps more real than the world she had known before she had come to the house of her grandfather.


Oh, what big eyes you have.


Her feet were bare, but she could not feel them. She made her way down the hall. She opened the door. She stepped out into the gray void.


The wind whispered her name: de-bor-ah


The permafrost was perfect, unblemished. She stepped into it, leaving clear, perfect tracks behind her. The wind howled, tearing at her body, but she did not stop.


Deborah gained the crest of a shallow, gray-snow hill. She stopped. She saw.


The Wendigo passed by. It stopped...


And it looked at her.

------
"Quit this world, quit the next world, quit quitting!" -Sufi proverb.


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The following comments are for "Wendigo - 28"
by Beckett Grey





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