Chapter 7

Kai finds himself at the old river. It is his favorite fishing spot. He couldn’t be happier to find out that he’s at a normal location. At least it’s somewhere he’s comfortable with. And knows its surroundings. Knows more about it than half of the locals here. He takes a step towards the direction of the water. He breathes in a breath of fresh air and finds himself relaxing more than the previous half an hour or so. He’s not sure what’s the time anymore. But upon thinking about the time, he extends his left hand out to check if his watch’s back. More importantly, could he be dreaming then? Because his dream just returned to its normality. That means Vic’s right? There’s hope that he could escape from this strange place? Thoughts and thoughts occupy his mind once again. He tenses up then, wondering how he could relax when knowing that he’s still in some kind of unconscious state. He searches around the place, wondering if it would be the same as it was during his waking state.
An estimation of about 15 minutes – or more like coordinating it with his usual record in the real world, he finds himself at the familiar path that leads into another part of the river. At the bend, he chooses right to check out the other side. Everything is like what it is in real life so far. He approaches the path with his confidence returning gradually. But there’s still a teeny tiny tint of doubt in the back of his mind, asking him: Is what he’s seeing right now what he wants to see and not what the actual realm projects?
The answer soon comes. And he wishes he hadn’t asked just seconds ago. That little question in an attempt to scratch his curiosity costs him a run. In fact, a very fast one. He needs to make it or he couldn’t imagine the consequences. No, he needs wings. Why? A bear suddenly appears out of nowhere and is chasing after him – actually running like an actual human being and not just the way bear usually moves.
Lucky for him, the rest of the scenery hasn’t changed yet. Yet is the key word because the surrounding soon looks like it is morphing into each other. His vision soon blurs. No, more like the scenery is changing too fast that causes it to dance at a dizzying pace.
“Wake up!” He screams out, which usually works when he has one of the strange nightmares. Though none of his strange nightmares are like this one.
Then he scolds himself silently for still relying on that method. Lucky for him, the bends of the woods do not change its course after its initial shape-shifting. At least not yet. He takes full advantage of that familiarity and dives out of the way as the bear closes on him. But that’s not all because he has to continue to run because of how the bear keeps resurging its energy after the previous failed attempt to capture its prey.
His breathing soon changes its rhythm, signaling his energy draining drastically. He couldn’t stop to rest though. He has no choice but continue running. Unless he wants to be that bear’s lunch. Aren’t you supposed to play dead when encountering bears? The question looms in his mind, but he doesn’t dare to stop. He knows he can’t risk it. Everything’s so weird in this strange place that he couldn’t risk anything.
And suddenly that moment of reflection caused him some momentum. His energy is already draining. The newly distraction does not help his cause. Because he just missed a turn. The river’s looming ahead as he soars towards it at a dizzying speed. He knows it’s coming up. It just is. And he can’t risk turning around to find another way. He could still hear the rustling sounds behind him and the bear’s movements. Perhaps diving into the river would solve the problem – temporarily. So he does just that as he nears the edge of the bank.
“Nooooo….” He cries out, his voice entering the zone of a throat-cutting, wounded animal.
Apparently, the river has changed itself into a waterfall. And he’s heading straight for the rocks below.
“Ahhhh…..” His shriek intensifying itself though he’s fighting a hopeless battle dangling and wiggling in midair. “Vic! Janine!”
© Monday, January 16th, 2012
Posted: Thursday, February 16th, 2012

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