Through the looking glass

Dreams and dreams, forever and ever, ripping at my mind of that day. They had called the Hunt, the mantle of prey lowered upon my shoulders, my flesh ridden with the power of a kiss, as I was told to run. Run I did, it was all I could manage, to run, run, run. I became the prey, looking for every little hole to dodge in, to confuse the masses of fey that answered the call, that became the hounds, hungry for my flesh. She had pressed her lips to mine, and had ordered me to run. Perhaps there had been a lilting begging there, something unbecoming of the dark Queen, not wanting to leave me to the devices of the white Queen's ministrations.

My feet tore at the cement beneath me, as I ran through the city like it was nothing more than a brambled forest, using whatever I could to put yet more distance between me and the howling hordes, hungry for my blood. It often ended this way. Perhaps not with an actual Hunt, but I was usually ran out. This, this struck me as different, though, for certainly this was no ending, but a beginning.

I was brought back to myself, for all of a moment, to stare at her naked form curled in upon itself like a babe ready to wake wailing for a teat to suckle, pale flesh covered by greenery long since forgotten. That greenery spiralled me into another memory, tearing me from the ethereal reality I had taken us away to, to escape the actual army that hunted us. I saw, then, vines and flowers sprouting beneath my hands as I climbed the building, a dual race to the top between me and those that followed, and between me and the sun clambering itself over the horizon, barely peeking over.

I knew I needed but moments, for the magick of the Hunt would be dispelled with the coming rays of the sun, washing it away as the ocean tears apart a child's sandcastle built so lovingly, so painstakingly. The building gave way beneath me and whatever else rode me, becoming covered with flora abound, spreading across it like some sort of wildfire of life. I could do nothing but scream as I felt the hounds nipping at my feet, as I saw the apparent futility of climbing to save myself. There was only so far to go, and the sun was still too far below the horizon, taking its lovely time peeking over the edge to say hello to the world.

As I reached the top of the building, heart pitterpattering faster and louder than the clambering of the hounds beneath me, I did all that I could, and I took the hunt back down. I stood at the edge, and smiled at the redcap that was an arm's length from reaching me, hissing and snarling as the madness took him, and I did it. Arms spread, I leapt out and over the redcap's grasping claws as it tried to catch my suddenly falling body, arms spread wide to catch the last bit of the evening air on my flesh, sending shivers down my spine.

I screamed again, for the pleasure of nature, the last remnant in the city, the wind, rushing past me, caressing me like some long forgotten lover, as the pavement below came ever closer. In that last mad dash to get away, in that fool's rush for safety, I let go, having nowhere to go, and not wanting to take that final adventure that was death.

Her power swelled within me, unable to be contained by my pale flesh any more, and it sparked out, arcing through me, around me, and I could feel her in the distance. The power arced between us, feeding on itself to grow ever stronger to melt the ground beneath me, the manmade concrete, to turn it to nothing more rippling water which parted to let me slide into it, into safety, while blocking out those that dared to jump after me.

The sun crested the horizon, baking away the damp magicks still clinging in the air, freeing those that hunted me from their madness. At least, freeing those that were not divots in the ground. I gasped for air as I struggled up and out of the flowing puddle that was, up until moments before, concrete. I crawled my way out, spitting out glamour, covered in a sheen of both sweat and power as my skin radiated with the remnants of what she gave me as it burned away, as the concrete solidified beneath me, as I collapsed, laughing.

The memory faded much as the Hunt had with the sun, leaving me to look at the peaceful form of the queen in all of her glory, cushioned by flowers and grass, seeming to grow right through her. I stood, stretching, feeling alive for the first time in as far as I could remember.

"So, this is Arkadia," I said in a rasp to myself, hands running over my own naked body, seeking out the wounds that had been there moments before, feeling for the sticky warmth of blood, but finding naught.