I rubbed the water from my hair as I walked out of my bathroom glancing at the laptop open on my writing desk. It had been thirty minutes since I typed ‘The End — for now’ on the last page of my manuscript. I chewed on my bottom lip before I sat back down in nothing but my blue boxer briefs and saved the document into my cloud storage box for safe keeping. Tomorrow would begin the dreaded wait and research the next book phase.
I needed time away from the handsome devil in the book. I always did after I wrapped up one of his adventures. Between the hot steamy sex of him and his love interest and the embroiled battle between good and evil it was always a chore to leave him behind and start the new book.
It didn’t help matters that I saw him every night in my dreams. Him. Nox Luxignis who hunted monsters for a living. Not that I believed monsters were real — but he did. And that’s what he did. His world was strange and bizarre. Much like mine, but not. It felt strange being there with him. He told me of his adventures. And I embellished them. Our next adventure will take us through the gates of hell to fight hell hounds and demons. Not that he’s ever mentioned such a thing, but I’d ask soon about it.
I curled up in bed, sunk down into my sheets and closed my eyes. The darkness enveloped me and I drifted in the darkness thinking about a pair of chocolate brown eyes framed with gorgeous lashes and thick eyeliner, they gave off a soft fiery glow when he was happy. Probably had a lot to do with the fire bird that lived inside his chest, but I always liked to think the glow was just for me. Because that smile was.
The darkness grew to a dark shade of purple, and then faded into the soft light of a house I knew well. When I was a kid, finding him in the mass of the world had been difficult. He often found me wandering outside. But as the years moved on I honed the skill of finding his house. He wasn’t quite so easy.
He lay stretched out in his bed half naked, the beak of the phoenix inked on his skin peaked out above the waist band of his shorts and the wings and geometric shapes snaked up half of his body and down into outlines on his wrist. The metallic phoenix feather glowed softly in the dim light as Nox whispered to his fiery friend inside.
He didn’t open his eyes. “Hey,” he said.
“Hi. Whatcha doing?”
He smiled at me opening his big brown eyes and the fire glowing in them made me shiver with excitement. “Waiting for you. You finished didn’t you?”
I nodded. “Yeah. Wrote ‘The End'”.
“For now.” He added with a smirk. “So how’d it end?”
I sat down in my arm chair in my living room. I’m not sure how it all worked, but it did. I couldn’t interact with him or his world, but I could with my own dream. It was strange.
Nox glanced to the corner of his room and a familiar girl dug a whole in his carpet. Though Nox said she was digging in a pile of dirt in her own world. I had to believe him. I mean here I was sitting in my chair that wasn’t in his world — right?
I shrugged and started reading from the manuscript. It appeared in my hand and I opened the unfinished book — yet here in the dream it was solid and real and even had a cover. He closed his eyes and drifted into whatever state he did. He didn’t sleep, but he listened and thought. Each thought I heard clear as day — same as the fiery bird’s thoughts which only he could hear. We had that in common — Nyx and I — we could talk to him, and only him in this world. It was a comfort to know Nox was taken care of wherever he was. Whenever and however we spoke I didn’t question. He was part of my life for better or for worse. My family thought I was crazy. Until my daydreams started making me money. Now my crazy friend in my dreams bought them cars and houses and expensive gifts. Oh how the times had changed. Not that my parents ever questioned my career goals. They encouraged them. Great imagination!
Nox sat up and watched the girl. And then there was nothing but a purple yellow light exploding in my vision. The sound of crackling energy far off in the distance shredded all sounds. I wanted to scream but there was nothing…
Alex Brizo is an Inquisitive Dream walking Explorer with latent talents who Commands Mental Powers and is an Anchor from Shift #0
□ □ □ □
■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■
■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■
■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■
Abilities: telepathic, hedge magic, decipher, dreamcraft, bond, mental link with drifter, create anchor
Weapons: stun stick 0, unarmed 2 – eased
Q: Is Alex dreaming he’s editing his book?
(1d20+0: +0 = 17)
Q: Does Alex know Nox is real?
(1d20+0: +0 = 13)
Q: Does he think he’s somewhere on Earth?
(1d20+0: +0 = 17)
Q: Does he have a crush on Nox?
(1d20+0: +0 = 17)
Q: Does he notice the girl in the bedroom?
(1d20+0: +0 = 20)
Yes, and [“Illuminate”, “Common”, “Potential”]
Cypher System disclaimer and Open Game License
Numenera, the Cypher System, No Thank You, Evil!, Invisible Sun, and their respective logos are trademarks of Monte Cook Games, LLC in the U.S.A. and other countries. All Monte Cook Games characters and character names, and the distinctive likenesses thereof, are trademarks of Monte Cook Games, LLC. Content derived from Monte Cook Games publications is © 2013-2022 Monte Cook Games, LLC.