Dream Scene/Beach Scene Blogfests – Dawn’s Rise
Turns out that Steam Palace has neither beaches NOR dreams (what’s wrong with me?). So I had to go back a couple WIPs to Dawn’s Rise. Here, our heroine has just fallen and hit her head, and she wakes up to experience some weird dreams, one of which occurs on the beach!
Towering fir trees menaced her, extending up to the sky. A mat of soft moss tickled her fingers.
Great, I’m dead.
Dawn gesticulated and then poked her skull. “Location. Map me. Call Rose.” Her implants remained silent and blank.
A chilling breeze rustled the trees, prickling her skin and showering Dawn with needles. She rubbed her arms and stood, studying the verdant forest for signs of civilization.
I’m not dead. Trees bent and branches snapped from a sudden gale. I’ve seen this before. A tree splintered in a loud crack and slammed the ground mere feet from Dawn. Wind rumbled and moaned.
Dawn scrambled among the swaying trunks. A gap under downed tree beckoned. Dawn huddled, shivering in the freezing air. “Come on, this is enough!” Her breath blew clouds of steam as she panted.
The wind snatched her words away. Trees bent and creaked, snapped and fell. A tremendous rush of air tugged her, clawed her, and then yanked her up into the sky. Trees scattered like twigs blasted by a leaf blower. A hail of snow whited out the world, clinging to her with numbing cold.
A vast cityscape appeared. The slush coating her limbs slid off. Yet Dawn flew, suspended in the air. Her heart pounded and her arms swam through the sky, seeking anything to grasp.
What’s happening to me? It’s a dream, it must be. Or a premonition. She gasped for air as the city sat far below. It’s happening again. The night monsters. The violent days are coming, days of disaster and death. She swallowed. Her medplants had kept the terrors at bay for years. No. Not coming. The truth of it slammed her bones. Those days are here.
She covered her eyes, but the vision remained. The murmur of normal city life bubbled up, cars and planes and construction. Picturesque skyscrapers soared above the nearby clouds. Her gut clenched. Those days are here. “Nonononono. Please! I don’t want to see it!”
The spires swayed, shudders rippling along their flanks. The glass blew out in a haze of white, and then the concrete exploded into clouds of dust. Spires toppled sideways; others sank into the streets in boiling cauldrons of death. Dawn reached out as if she could grasp the towers and pull them back. Screams and cries shivered Dawn’s soul as the city disintegrated into dust in a massive quake. “No, no! Stooooppp!”
Dawn twisted and wriggled but nothing ended the destruction. She plummeted.
Burning sand seared her skin. Dawn jumped to her feet and hotfooted it to the shade of a palm tree, blowing on her blistered hands. A turquoise ocean lapped against a white sandy beach, but Dawn recalled this scene from the blanket-tearing dreams of her childhood. The sun blazed overhead. It’s here. It’s here. Nothing can be done. The low hum of a motorboat pulled her gaze to the ocean where a parasailor practiced, his rainbow-printed chute billowing out behind him. She studied the figure, an element she had never dreamed of before. The smell of salt wafted on the light breeze. Dread crept up her spine. The parasailor’s chute snapped and he plunged.
“No!” Dawn raced down the beach, ignoring the blistering of her feet. This is a sign, a signal. He must be rescued. She plunged into the waves, the warm waters supporting her body. The waves grew in size and force, until she battled boiling waters. A vast curling wave collapsed, driving her down into the depths. Where is he? Where is he? Burning liquid consumed her lungs as her breath escaped.
Dawn convulsed, seawater pouring out of her mouth. She dripped with liquid and coughed up more. An ugly landscape surrounded her. Smoldering ruins lay crumpled on the ground, nothing but empty skeletons of buildings and vehicles in all directions. A murmur arose. Huddled figures approached her. “Dawn,” they cried. “Dawn, Dawn, save us.”
They sported terrible injuries, weeping sores and matted blood, with only primitive wrappings to protect them. Their ribs protruded through their tight skin, and their eyes sunk into their skulls. They approached Dawn, their hands reaching towards her. Dawn jumped and backed away. Her legs shook and her breath wheezed and gurgled.
“Please, stop. Stay away from me, I can’t help you. This isn’t real. None of this is real.” But it is. This is all real. Their hands grasped her clothes and the stench of unwashed bodies and infected wounds sickened her.
Blinding light swept the sky. Pure heat slammed the ruined city. The supplicants’ flesh ignited, burning them to skeletons. Dawn’s own hands flamed to bone and dust, yet she continued to witness the scene.
The ground shook and an ocean half a mile high tumbled across the landscape. It washed over the city, covering it in black waters, and then receded, leaving nothing but an empty plain of mud in its wake. It has come. It has come. All this has come. The Days are here.