A Fevered Dream

by TonyG

Copyright© 2010 by TonyG

Flash Story: This is a story without beginning or end. It is a brief glimpse into a world that has to be accepted as it is, as it is not explained. As per the title the Dream came to me when I was running a high fever. I hope you enjoy it.

Tags: Fiction  

For the most part there was nothing out of the ordinary about the scene, for the most part. It looked like a rustic painting you might see in any family-type restaurant. You know the type of restaurant I mean. They are the ones that Moms and Pops really do own and operate. You probably have even seen similar depictions. A stretch of split rail fence, one that separates a green overgrown pasture from a tree line, possibly at the edge of a woods.

One of the things that caused the scene to look unnatural was that the man was standing on one of the fence posts. His shoulder length blond hair was being tossed about by a light breeze. He wore cowboy boots, blue jeans, and a denim shirt. Over these were a duster also being tossed about by the wind. Crossing his back was the empty holster for a rifle and a sheathed katana. The rifle for the holster was held in his left hand. His finger was on the trigger, though at the moment the rifle was pointed toward the ground. The man's face was unlined, yet there was an aura of age about him. It was his eyes though, that told you this was no ordinary man. They were emerald green with a halo of gold around the circumference of the green iris.

If that wasn't unusual enough on the very next fence post stood a woman. She was the polar opposite in attire. She was dressed in battle armor that looked similar to the Samurai of the 1600's. The only difference was the chest plates of the armor were shaped to accept her womanly figure. The blond hair that hung out the back of her helmet fluttered in the breeze while she faced the cowboy unmoving. The half mask hid her facial features and all that could be seen was her eyes. Oddly, the irises of her eyes were also the startling emerald green with a golden halo. In her right hand she held a katana, and near her side stood a dog twice the size of a Rottweiler. Her attention was fully on the man she was facing.

In the end it was the man who broke the silence of the curious scene.

"We don't have to do this, Jay."

"I do not know who this 'Jay' is", the woman responded, "and it matters little to me. There is a bounty on you, and I intend to claim it."

With this said she raised her sword and readied herself for attack.

The man made no move to defend himself. Instead he shook his head and said, "I call you Jay for that is the name I gave you as a child. You earned it because you found my name too difficult to say and called me Kay, which is the first letter of my name. Because of my irritation over you calling me Kay, I took to calling you Jay in retaliation. Surely coming here hasn't stripped everything away from you. Look at your companion, can you not see it for what it truly is?"

The woman hesitated and looked down at the animal at her side. There was an oddness about it and yet something familiar and frightening. It was similar to the familiar chord that the name the man had called her had struck. She tried to seize on these thoughts, but they were brushed aside by something that felt alien to her.

Sadness seemed to settle on the man as he said, "I hoped we wouldn't have to do it this way, Jay."

The woman lunged at him with sword raised over her head. Kay, using the rifle like a pistol raised the barrel and fired from the hip. The bullet stuck his sister's chest at point blank range. Her momentum was not only arrested, it was reversed. As she fell backwards, she vanished.

The beast that came with her backed up several steps. Kay took advantage of its lack of attention and quickly worked the level of the rifle. He deftly caught each shell as it was ejected and tucked it into a loop on his belt. When the gun was empty Kay reached into the duster pocket and removed new shells.

These were special and he quickly slid three into the gun and chambered one. It was a good thing, because the beast had refocused on Kay.

"I think its time we finished our business," Kay said as he turned the gun toward the beast.

"Yes, it is," the beast replied in a rumbling growl.

The beast made no move to advance, but instead was undergoing changes. It was just as Kay suspected. If it had remained in dog form the lead bullets might have stopped it, the emphasis on might. He was now very glad he had taken the precaution of bringing the wrought iron shells and had already switched to them.

The beast had grown three times it's original size and was standing on its back legs making it well over nine feet tall. It was broader than any bear Jay had ever seen.

"We thought your sister would end this for us," the were-beast growled. "She turned out to be ... a disappointment. I was here to ensure that her individuality remained suppressed. Now I find out that 'here' isn't where we thought ... or it is, and we misunderstood it."

The beast began closing the distance as it spoke. Kay brought the rifle up to his shoulder, and readied himself to fire.

She couldn't believe it. The man claiming to be her brother had shot her. She had been assured that it wouldn't happen. Of course that was before she found out that the man was supposed to be her brother. Pain flared in her chest as she felt herself falling backwards.

The pain hit her again, but she hadn't heard the gun fire again. That's when she heard the word 'clear' and the pain flared in her chest again. The electrical shock did more than start her heart. It had caused her to remember ... remember everything. She knew who her brother Kay was, now, though she hadn't seen him looking so young ... for how long?

Jay then got the feeling that she was floating. Curious she turned over and saw the body she had risen out of. The doctor that had shocked her was watching a monitor, probably to make sure her heart continued to beat. What caused her to falter in her observations was the age of the woman she had just risen out of.

That couldn't be herself, could it? Not that emaciated old woman? Only the long silver hair, and painted nails, let her know it was a woman on whom she was looking, at all. The body was so emaciated, that the breasts were barely discernable.

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