Kai found himself at the old river. It was his favorite fishing spot. He couldn’t be happier to find out that he was at a normal location. At least it was somewhere he was comfortable with. And knew its surroundings. Knew more about it than half of the locals there. He took a step toward the direction of the water. He breathed in a breath of fresh air and found himself relaxing more than the previous half an hour or so. He was not sure what was the time anymore. But upon thinking about the time, he extended his left hand out to check if his watch was back. More importantly, could he be dreaming then? Because his dream just returned to its normality. That meant Vic was right? There was hope that he could escape from this strange place? Thoughts and thoughts occupied his mind once again. He tensed up then, wondering how he could relax when knowing that he was still in some kind of unconscious state. He searched around the place, wondering if it would be the same as it was during his waking state.

An estimation of about fifteen minutes–or more like coordinating it with his usual record in the real world, he found himself at the familiar path that led into another part of the river. At the bend, he chose right to check out the other side. Everything was like what it was in real life so far. He approached the path with his confidence returning gradually. But there was still a teeny tiny tint of doubt in the back of his mind, asking him: Was what he was seeing right now what he wanted to see and not what the actual realm projected?

The answer soon came. And he wished he hadn’t asked just seconds ago. That little question in an attempt to scratch his curiosity cost him a run. In fact, a very fast one. He needed to make it or he couldn’t imagine the consequences. No, he needed wings. Why? A bear suddenly appeared out of nowhere and was chasing after him–actually running like an actual human being and not just the way bear usually moved.

Lucky for him, the rest of the scenery hadn’t changed yet. Yet was the keyword because the surrounding soon looked like it was morphing into each other. His vision soon blurred. No, more like the scenery was changing too fast that caused it to dance at a dizzying pace.

“Wake up!” He screamed out, which usually worked when he had one of the strange nightmares. Though none of his strange nightmares were like this one.

Then he scolded himself silently for still relying on that method. Lucky for him, the bends of the woods did not change its course after its initial shape-shifting. At least not yet. He took full advantage of that familiarity and dove out of the way as the bear closed on him. But that was not all because he had to continue to run because of how the bear kept resurging its energy after the previous failed attempt to capture its prey.

His breathing soon changed its rhythm, signaling his energy draining drastically. He couldn’t stop to rest though. He had no choice but to continue running. Unless he wanted to be that bear’s lunch. Aren’t you supposed to play dead when encountering bears? The question loomed in his mind, but he didn’t dare to stop. He knew he couldn’t risk it. Everything was so weird in this strange place that he couldn’t risk anything.

And suddenly that moment of reflection caused him some momentum. His energy was already draining. The new distraction did not help his cause. Because he just missed a turn. The river was looming ahead as he soared toward it at a dizzying speed. He knew it was coming up. It just was. And he couldn’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 did just that as he neared the edge of the bank.

“Nooooo….” He cried out, his voice entering the zone of a throat-cutting, wounded animal.

Apparently, the river had changed itself into a waterfall. And he was heading straight for the rocks below.

“Ahhhh…..” His shriek intensifying itself though he was fighting a hopeless battle dangling and wiggling in midair. “Vic! Janine!”

© Monday, January 16th, 2012

Posted: Thursday, February 16th, 2012

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