Dust. Dust and blood. So Much Dust, you think. Floating in the air and coating you is the dust of your friends, your family, people you don't even know. Mixing with the dust is rivers of blood from all of the humans that have died. This battle is one of the deadliest of the war. It's going to be the last, you decide.
“WE BELIEVE IN YOU,” a voice whispers in your head. Bravery. His soul pulses beside you. “You c-can do it”- that's Perseverance; “Don't you dare give up!”- and Kindness. “I promise you, we'll be waiting for you.” - Integrity says. Then, “come on kid, you can do it. you've got to win for olive us now” - Patience. “I know” you think. Your soul aches in sorrow and anger at the one voice that's missing. Your friend the traitor.
All the rest of your friends are dead, killed by agents of TIME, but their souls surround you, buoying you up. You gather your strength for one final blow. Before you die you will wipe out the last vestiges of TIME, and win this conflict forever. Your magic, and that of your friends, grows, charging. A last-soul-standing spell, a spell made powerful by a willingly given life. Or in this case, six lives. One by one your friends souls crumble, as they give all of their HoPe to fuel the spell. Finally, it's just you. You push harder, your last HP enters the spell, and you let it go, watching as it explodes across the battlefield.
You fall to the ground. You can no longer see anything but a growing white light and you know that your friends are on the other side. You reach for the light. As it grabs you, a sudden feeling of wrongness hits you. Then the pain starts. The light whips you back and forth and up and down then flings you away from the souls of your friends, scattering you all across time and space. Then you are flung down, down, and the white fades to be replaced with black. It wasn't enough, you think, as you fade to unconsciousness.
CONTINUE / RESET
You groggily roll out of bed and rub your face. It's still too early for this you think. You really hate getting up in the mornings, and the fact that you are waking up for work is no help. As you make coffee, you think about the dream you had.
This is the 50th year in a row that you've had this dream, always on the same week, for exactly three nights in a row. Every October, the 9th through the 11th. You can no longer remember what the date means, and you don't want to remember the dream. You wonder if it is related to something in your past. The past that you don't remember. Or wont remember, because you almost remember lots of things, you just refuse to acknowledge them. You blocked those brain paths years ago.
You think back to the earliest memory of yours that is definitely not ancient. The park. 50 years ago, you woke up in a park, screaming a bunch of names and sobbing. You were babbling about magic, and wearing funny clothes, so someone called a hospital. A few months later, you were released, and you were placed in the local orphanage. You looked about 14 at the time, but five years later, you looked exactly the same. People began to be afraid of you, saying you were possessed. One of the other kids in your orphanage was similarly frightening, so you had them as a friend. However, your friend couldn't take it. They ran away to Mount Ebott, and didn't come back. You ran away soon after, but you avoided Mount Ebott like the plague, so you went the other direction. Note to Self: Hitchhiking everywhere and sleeping under bridges SUCKS. you think. You settled in a town for a couple years, but the same thing happened. So you kept moving. 50 years later, you look only a few years older, but at least you seem old enough to get a job. And for some reason, you came home to Ebott. 50 years, and it hasn't changed a bit. You hate this place, and you are sick of life. You are depressed, but you don't care. A couple of weeks ago, you made a new friend. They are one of the orphans, and they are getting a lot of hate because they are agender. You are really pissed off at the people who hurt them. It isn't fair. It isn't Right. It isn't JUST. But you don't know what to tell the kid. Running is not the best option, it is awful, but you haven't done anything else, so you can't tell the kid anything. You have been running for too long.
And now here you are, you thought bitterly. You and your stupid face that ought to be at work five minutes ago. You ran for the door, coffee forgotten.
You returned home after a long day and collapsed on the couch. It was awful. You got fired, and your boss was an asshole, and you just kind of wanted to disappear. You thought of your dream, and the people in it. And something that had been bugging you suddenly made itself clear. That friend of yours, they went up the Mountain to disappear. Your fuzzy, depressed mind latched on to the idea and ran away. It was said that people who went up Mt. Ebott disappeared, which was what you wanted, right? And even if you didn't, you would be able to see the stars from up there, and you couldn't from here in the city. You grabbed a blanket and a change of clothes, shoved them in a backpack and stuffed your phone in your pocket, then headed out the door.
You had been right, the stars were spectacular from up here. So pretty that you didn't look where you were going. Until you fell down the Really. Big. Hole.
And everything went black.