The Elysian: Eighteenth Dream

We reveal our cards. Most of his are in melds, though he has a five and a two for deadwood. I reveal my sorry hand state. I’m able to layoff a card, but my own deadwood is a two and two sevens. “Points for me.” Cain holds up a hand and writes a nine in midair. Across the way, behind the counter of the diner is a chalkboard. Appearing on the board in white is Cain’s score, with a big fat zero under my name.

The Elysian: Seventeenth Dream

"I'm sorry, but who exactly are you?" The spirit across from me takes the deck of cards and shuffles and flourishes them from hand to hand. I try to keep up, but lose track as his hands and arms blur, seemingly moving like an unnatural snake. "I was wondering how long it'd take you to ask. I've gone by many names, never ones I chose myself. Apophis. Rahu. Chernobog. I bring with me chaos and darkness, though nothing so simple as what you'd imagine." He continues shuffling the cards, each time they grow more and more disordered. All the while, his graceful hands keep them in check.

The Elysian: Sixteenth Dream

I look around, doing my best to make sure I wasn\'t imagining things. Checkerboard tile, steel rod chairs, leather covered booths, pastel blue, and hot rod red. Yeah, I\'m in a 50\'s diner.

The Elysian: Fifteenth Dream

A whoosh of wind envelopes me. I blink and Goodfellow is standing in front of me. He has his arms crossed, and a look of disapproval on his face. He takes a few steps towards me. I feel my fear return, remembering that he\'s akin to a god. Even so, I stand my ground. He comes in close. It\'s a little uncomfortable.

The Elysian: Fourteenth Dream

The wind kicks up around me, throwing dirt and leaves through the air. I squint and put my arms up to protect my face. The wind sounds like it\'s laughing. Something maniacal. “Wind, leaf, dirt and rock. Our dear mortal is in for a shock...\"

The Elysian: Thirteenth Dream

\"I soared on, the trees whizzing past us. This sideways forest was growing on me, no pun intended. After getting used to the insane spectacle of it all, it was an interesting thought. Do the birds fly like me? Or do they fly perpendicular to the ground? Which way will the water in the river flow?\"

The Elysian: Twelfth Dream

I try to fly away, but I hear him strike again. There\'s no way to avoid it this time. I feel the vines snap around my leg. The jerk shakes my whole body. I try to become intangible again, but my heart is racing, and my emotions too ingrained to let go. I can\'t slip out of this. His whips retract and pull me toward the frightening visage that was his face. I see the vines move and squirm as it opens the gaping jaw he\'s made. He\'s gonna eat me!

The Elysian: Tenth Dream

He reaches into his pocket and brings out that which I had been seeking. The key was the same size as the other two, but it had a fragile look to it. Like it was made out of a fallen leaf. I had already caught on to the way this world is working, so I didn\'t question it, but I still had so much to ask the strange man before me.

The Elysian: Ninth Dream

“Well you see, mortal-” “DON\'T \'MORTAL\' ME! You jerk! What are you trying to do to me!?” “Now it is with a chortle-” “Stop with the rhyming! I\'m done with it. Why in the hell do you rhyme?!” He gives me a dirty look. Still not as scared of him as Luna, but I do have to remember he is the spirit of the forest. Best not to trifle with such beings.