What keeps you from getting a good night’s sleep?
Embers crackled at the bottom of the pit, the fire’s dying croak begging for more fuel. Kyr stared at the glow with a distant gaze. The night was deep and his body ached from the hard pace he had set upon fleeing the mountains. His lids drooped heavily the longer he stared. The cry of a nighthawk jerked him back to wakefulness.
He threw a couple of small, dry branches onto the pile. He didn’t want to build the fire back up too high, but neither did he want to let it die completely. The minimal light it cast would provide ample protection from the ethereal dangers that lurked in the shadows. Too much, though, and he broadcast a beacon to whatever assassins Vel had sent to stop him from delivering his message.
Leaves rustled in the canopy. Kyr listened intently but it was a natural wind blowing through them. His first night on the road, it hadn’t been. He’d joined with a caravan of refugees on his way out of Srifeng. The wisps descended upon the camp after the fires were doused. Kyr could still hear the screams of the caravan as they were enveloped by the ghostlike shadows.
Absently, he rubbed his thumb on the opaque stone in the pommel of his sword. It was dull now, but as soon as the wisps tried to devour him, it shone brighter than the brightest star, banishing them with an explosion of light. He had been too late to save the people though, and he couldn’t stomach being the only living being in the camp, so he ran. He ran all through the night.
He’d nearly collapsed from exhaustion on the road near dawn, but some opportunistic bandits thought him easy prey. He used the sword to its intended purpose and left their bodies to gather flies in the ditch. Kyr took an alternate route to avoid being tracked from their open grave.
He thought sleeping during the day would be safer and found a thick copse that would provide ample cover while he napped. His body might have been safe, but his dreams were not. Vel attacked him there. He was a powerful dreamwarrior, far stronger than Kyr, and it was only through sheer luck that Kyr was able to wake before Vel slayed his mind.
He glanced again at the sword at his side, shining orange in the glow of the embers. Maybe luck had nothing to do with it. Wyn was protecting him. He looked to the glittering sky. He had to get back to her. She had to know that Vel had betrayed them all.
Kyr yawned and stretched one arm over his head with a loud pop. Two more days. He would be at Wyn’s side in two more days. He just had to stay awake that long.
Notes: Dammit, another fantasy story seed. I gotta stop doing this to myself. I dunno why the characters all have three-letter names. Maybe that’s the cultural aesthetic of this setting. Like how yesterday’s character names rhymed.
For me, when I don’t sleep well, it’s a combination of restlessness and wild dreams. Sometimes my cats wake me up. The “kitten” is usually pretty good about sleeping through the night, except when we’re in a strange place like my mom’s or my in-law’s. (I still call him the kitten even though he’s almost 4 years old because he was a runt and never really grew and he’s such a baby about bedtime.)
I may or may not have a post for you tomorrow. Depends on how late my fantasy football draft goes. I could easily churn something out when I get home from work, but I also need to do at least a little bit of research before the draft and I haven’t done any prep. Although, I’ve “winged it” once or twice in years past, and I feel like those were my best years, so who knows. If you don’t hear from me tomorrow, I will see you Thursday! Have a great night!