― Friedrich Nietzsche
The boy king closes his eyes and drops rapidly to one knee. As the blade descended he didn’t dodge, just brought his hands together smoothly and decisively in front of him. And then time stopped. At first the demon wasn’t sure what happened. He just stared in confusion. The young hero had stopped the blade between the palms of his hands, in mid strike, bare flesh against sharp steel. It took a moment for the demon to understand what he’d done, and the king did not waste it. With the advantage of surprise he jerked the blade toward himself, out of his grip. He flipped it smartly, the hilt smacking solidly into his palm, and placed the blade at the demons throat. The battle was over.
“Enjoy the throne while you can, for it will not be yours much longer. You think you take care of this kingdom, but you are destroying it. A rebellion is rising young king, and this kingdom will soon know peace… without you.” His fangs baring, smiling as he spoke his final words.
The king did not reply, but rather, pushed the tip of the black blade into the demons throat. It sliced through him coming out the back of his neck as if he was made out of butter. The sword bursts into flames, making the king release his grip. The flames slowly swallow up the evil king, and he never stops looking at him, laughing maniacally. And just like that, the demon, the blade, and the flames vanished.
The hero king looked to the castle walls, inexplicably covered with hundreds of townsfolk suddenly standing on the brick walls, cheering for him. He raises his arms in the air in victory, soaking it all in. Then suddenly, the dream shifts, and a new scene takes place on the screen.
The king was no longer a king, but he did not notice. He had on a pair of ripped jeans and converse sneakers. On his body he had on a black hooded sweatshirt with ‘Tenacious D’ on it, with the hood up - that same forest of light brown hair hanging out. He was sitting on a green leather couch, in a small coffee shop. It was dimly lit and playing quiet flute covers of popular songs. There seemed to be only one barista, who was impossibly attractive, and no other customers.
The young man whom which the dream belonged to was absentmindedly sipping coffee and writing feverishly in a small notebook. The barista was walking around the coffee shop with a spray bottle full of blue liquid and a dirty looking rag, cleaning tables and shelves and whatever else needed it. In between his inspired scribblings, the young man would look up from his notebook and look at the barista, looking away whenever her head or eyes became visible to him. He played this little game for a while.
He didn’t seem to notice that once she was finished cleaning, she would return to the beginning, and start cleaning everything over again. Another curious dreamlike thing going unnoticed, like the fact that his coffee was seemingly endless and was always at the right temperature.
Every time she would turn he would look to her. He looked at her shoulder length bob, curly and blond. Her black v-neck teeshirt showing just enough cleavage to invite passion, disappearing behind her brown apron. She was wearing short shorts, yellow as the sun, that seemed to short to be appropriate work wear, not that the young man had complaints. Long flawless legs that lead to the same converse sneakers her only customer was wearing. He wanted to talk to her, he wanted to know her. But he was afraid and would not act. He was afraid of her not liking him once she got to know him.
And that is all that happened. She went back to the beginning and started her cleaning duties again. He went back to sipping his coffee, writing Oracle knows what, ans secretly admiring the barista from afar. The dream was stuck in a loop. Which happens at least a couple times a week. The violet hooded man was about to fix it when just then, something stared emerging from the gigantic wall screen.
Black smoke was pouring out of the screen, and stood about six feet tall, a standing cloud. Then the same laughing from the dream echoed out of it.
“I know it is you, Darkness. Show yourself.” The hooded man said to the cloud, a fake confidence evident in his cracking voice.
“Alright, alright. Calm yourself, Fear.” The cloud cackled. Limbs slowly began to form out of the cloud. Black ripped jeans, black sweatshirt with a black forest of hair peaking out under a black hood, black skin, and those eyes, red fiery eyes. The demon from the dream.
“My goodness, these clothes,” he began, looking down at himself, “Sometimes I hate that I am an extension of this kid.” He says in disgust.
“We all are an extension of him.” Fear said as calmly as he could manage.
“Even still,” Darkness snaps his fingers, a different outfit started melting over his body from head to toe, a black suit and tie that had the appearance of charred meat, “He’ll never dress as good as this.”
“Enough games, you know you aren’t to be interfering with his dreams, there are protocols. I am suppose to report any incidents that occur.” Fear said, sounding technical, as if reading from a guidebook.
“Ooh… report me will you? Will you also report to the other precious Guardians how friendly the two of us have become as of late? I’m sure they would love to hear the tale.” Totally amused, but still coming off as a threat.
“Never mind that, you know we’ve agreed to meet in secret and at my discretion.” He shifts uncomfortably. Fear was starting to look more like his title suggested now.
Darkness ignored him, pretending he didn’t hear him, wandering closer to the control panel. He looked to the screen, then to the control panel, then back to the screen with the looping dream on it.
“This dream is absolutely, positively boring compared to the other one I was in. Which one of these dials makes her take her clothes off? Tell me there is at least a button that sets the coffee shop on fire?” He comes off somewhat childlike in his curiosity. He simply touches the edge of the control panel and suddenly all the flashing lights go black. On the screen you can see that the barista now has a tail and is barking like a hell hound. The young man on the couch is now visibly terrified. “Now that’s more like it!” The demon says gleefully. He removes his hand and the dream reverts to its original, looping state. The lights start to flash once again on the panel.
“DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING!” Fear gasped, he takes a couple deep breaths to compose himself. “Now… why exactly is it that you broke our usual code of secrecy? Why are you here, and what do you want? What is so urgent that you must be here, interrupting my work?”
“Don’t play stupid with me, your title may suggest that you are anxious and irrational, but your concerns are real, and they are shared with my own. The plan must be accelerated. The boy’s behavior is becoming more irrational, more erratic. He is damaging himself and all of us in the process.” The dark entity's cocky demeanor finally loosens, if slightly, to show a flicker of worry.
“We are breaking the very laws of nature by even planning this. We shouldn’t have spoke of this in the first place, it breaks the laws.” Fear removes his hood. Atop his head is the same busy hair that the dreamer and the demon wear. His skin violet like his cloak, his eyes a brilliant emerald green. He looks like the boy on the screen, except his features are more lanky and stretched out, with elven-like ears. “The Oracle-” but he is cut off by Darkness.
“NO! You forget your Fearfulness, that I get to speak to the Oracle once a year as well, just like you, Guardian. Our questions were the same, Fear, and our answers coincide. We must do this, and soon.” Just then something started protruding out of his chest, then a little smoky figure popped out and landed on the ground. It looked just like him, red eyes and all, but the size of a small dog. “Damn, sorry about that. You know I can’t always help it, especially when I am stressed.” He looked uncomfortable, like he had heartburn. The miniature demon let off a tiny squeak of a screech and bolted for the giant double doors at the end of the chamber, doubling in size by the time her reached it, and changed to smoke before pouring under the crack of the doors.