That was a change in me
The unleashing of something evil
How deep I went
How much I was willing to do
When does the right thing start becoming the wrong thing
And when does the wrong thing start becoming the right thing
Chapter 13: Dreams of Regret
Luna stood in the darkness again alone except for the creature that was out there. The light from her clothing was incredibly dim and she could barely see her own figure. Yet she could see enough to know that there was still something out there. There was no notion of time down here, just an endless eternity of darkness. Yet in that unending time something was changing.
A trickle of water spread across the floor near Luna’s feet. At least she thought it was water, in the dark all liquids seemed to look the same to her. The water was coming from somewhere and it was flowing too somewhere but Luna didn’t know either of these destinations.
Then there was a red light. It was far off in the distance, far way from Luna and the creature near her. She could see it and it was in the direction the water was also coming from. Yet Luna didn’t move. She was uncertain if the light and water were something real or if it was something that the beast made up to convince her to leave her little pool of light.
The red light was coming closer though. As it got nearer it split into two separate points and as it got even closer she saw that the light was affixed to the head of a person. The person was walking through the darkness toward Luna and Luna began to become terrified that somebody would find her or that the beast in the darkness would attack the traveler.
The person got closer and closer to Luna and then just feet away the person stopped. Even at this range they were mostly cloaked in darkness. The light near their head was dim and only revealed an outline. “Hello? Is somebody there?” Came a voice from the person, a woman’s voice.
The beast in the darkness moved closer to the figure, hunching over it like it was about to attack. The person did not seem to notice the monster that was looming over her though. Luna began shifting backward away from the beast and the person but the thin layer of water got in her way and she slipped, falling backward and making a rather large splash.
“Hello?” came the voice and the two points of light began to grow even brighter. The beast pulled back staying in the darkness as cone of light spread and covered Luna. With the red light this bright she was finally able to make out the features of the woman before her. The woman looked a little bit older then Luna, maybe around eighteen.
She had close cropped brown hair and thin rimmed glasses. She was wearing a simple gray shirt and matching pants which made her look rather ordinary. What wasn’t ordinary was that she had two red horns protruding from her forehead. They were glowing in that dull light which was filling a wide area. Matching the horns was a tail that protruded from a hole in the woman’s pants and her red painted pointed finger nails. She seemed rather odd.
“My, my, what do we have here? A girl alone in the Hollows. However did you manage to find your way here?” Said the woman in a questioning tone.
After finally seeing the woman Luna managed to find some of her courage. She stood up and tried to look confident. “I am more interested in figuring out why you are here. I had been under the impression that this was a dream. This begs one of two questions. Why are you in my dream or if this isn’t a dream then where am I?”
“Oh, a clever question. You must already have some experience if you are already thinking like that. Then are you already aware of your talent or are you just on the verge of awaking. Tell me, are you already capable of performing supernatural acts?”
“Your not answering my question.” Said Luna with a hint of annoyance in her voice.
“Indeed. It is not a simple question to answer and I want to understand what you are capable of so that I can give the correct answer for you.”
“I dislike people speaking in riddles.” Said Luna, “So I’ll answer your question but I expect you to do the same for me. Yes I am capable of supernatural acts however I’m not sure if I can beat the audacity of having red glowing horns.”
The woman laughed a little bit at that, “Yes I suppose that it is a little out of the ordinary but I can assure you that I had little choice over the matter. Now to answer you question, this place is similar to a dream but more real. Those with strong power sometimes find themselves here in the Hollows when they dream.”
“Then why are you here?” Asked Luna.
“By coincidence probably, I was traveling somewhere but it seems that there have been some drastic changes to this section of the Hollows since I was last there. The path that I once knew lead to a different place then I expected it to, you.” The woman looked up and down the stream that was flowing past them even though there was no apparent slope. “It is possible that you have something to do with that.”
“Me, what do you mean?”
“The Hollows is strongly tied to the people who live in an area. Unlike a lot of other sections of the planes this one it tightly connected and provides a convenient travel route that generally isn’t to dangerous. However large changes in people, especially people with unusual powers can have drastic changes on the paths. With you here and the paths being nothing like I remembered I can only assume you must have been involved.”
“Changed? I suppose I have changed, all of us have changed. Although I’m not certain if it was for the better. I almost made a big mistake and my friend only barely stopped me.”
“See, stuff like that can certainly change the Hollows.” The woman looked back and forth in the darkness. But you have a gloomy place here. You could do with some brightening, reminds me of the Sea.” She said the last word like it was a special place. Then her horns grew even brighter and the light continued to expand and expand. Finally it stopped at smooth carved stone.
The entire place was a large nearly spherical chamber. Along the stone walls where carved runes and seals in strange languages, and they were not similar to anything Luna remembered. However on the side of the room where the woman had entered there was a large crack in the stone leading into more darkness. Around the hole where wooden beams and braces holding the crack open. Inscribed on that wood was more runes, those ones Luna recognized at being the same ones on her magical girl outfit.
On the other side of the room was another crack in the wall with more beams holding it open. However the thing that Luna noticed distinctly was that there was nothing else in the chamber, no giant beast waiting just out of sight. Just her and the other woman.
“My this is a weird chamber, it is like a giant seal or something. Quite an interesting place that you have hear. Maybe you should install torches or something to keep to brighter and more pleasant.” Said the woman.
“There, there is something missing. The beast, it was just here. Yet when you shown the light everywhere I was no longer there.” Muttered Luna uncertainly.
“A beast? I’m fairly certain that there has only been the two of us here. Are you sure that it was here?”
“Yes, certain. It has always been her with me but when you filled the place with light..”
“Reality is kind of strange in the Hollows. It is possible that something was here and I didn’t sense it but that is another option. Maybe the beast that you sensed was a reflection.”
Luna stared at the woman for a while not wanting to say anything about it.
Then the woman spoke again, “Everyone had parts of them they don’t want to recognize is real.” The woman reached up and grabbed one of her horns for a second, “But there are places, places like the Hollows where it is impossible to hide from those parts.”
“Are you saying that the beast is me?”
“Possibly. It is always possible that there really was a beast that I couldn’t sense and that vanished then I filled the room with light but that is not the most likely possibility.” She smiled a kindly as possible, “But don’t try to worry too much. Just because there is evil inside you doesn’t make you evil, I should know that.”
Luna looked at the woman closely and then asked, “I’ve been too busy asking questions to cover this but who are you? I didn’t even know the Hollows existed before this but you seem to know everything.”
“Me, if you want you can call me Zephy. My friends used to call me that. Right now I’m moving. Certain changes in my career required me to leave my hold home. And you know how much air travel is these days. There is no way I could afford such an expenditure. It just seemed easier to travel through the Hollows while shipping the important stuff.”
Luna laughed at Zephy’s strange practicality, “Would it be safer to travel some other way. I can’t imagine how much more dangerous it would be to travel this way then it would to say drive.”
“I’ve done plenty of dangerous stuff. Something like this is a break by comparison. Plus the Hollows are relatively safe in comparison to a lot of other places. They are close enough to humans some strange creatures don’t tend to live here.”
“Your as crazy as I am. Where we are standing in a strange dream-like location discussing the benefits of traveling using magic compared to conventional travel.” Luna laughed slightly as she thought about the silliness of what they were doing. “I don’t think I actually introduced myself. My name is Luna Star.”
“Nice to meet you Luna. I’m sure that when you eventually wake up we will probably meet again. Considering the proximity of your realm on my path to my goal you likely live close to where I am moving too.” Zephy pulled a phone out of her pocket and glanced at the time. “Oh dear, look at the time. I had better get going. I’ll try and look you up when I get to Earth and we can talk again later. Bye.”
Zephy shook hands with Luna and then heading toward the other exit to the chamber. The light from her horns grew dimmer as she reached the passage out and she waved back and then finally she was gone and her light with her. Luna stood there alone again in the darkness. Whether was really part of her or but an etherial beast she could feel it again. Now that she was alone the beast was back, waiting and watching.
Luna shouted out into the darkness, “What do you want? Why are you here?”
There was no response, Luna hadn’t really expected any. Whatever that creature was it never spoke, maybe if it was really part of her then it expected her to speak for it. She didn’t know what to say to the beast. With Zephy gone Luna had nothing left to do but wait in the darkness to wake up and to think. She had plenty of time to think.