Deal 1515 Preview

Trick or Treat:
The Trick: Learning Endurance
The Treat: success prince
all bathed in green (#00BF00) light.


Deal 1322: Knives

For a change the chaos of my recent waking days was replaced by a feeling of peace. I feared it couldn’t last long, but it was worth savoring while it did.

I opened my eyes in a verdant garden, near a brook. Everything that wasn’t stone or flowering was green. There was even dark green moss on some of the stone. The water was clear, flowing just fast enough to burble over the smooth stones of its bed. It was also ice cold, so it probably came from runoff somewhere upstream, or a very deep well.

My sense of peace was accentuated by the quiet discussions among the birds. Most were out of sight, but a few were more visible, darting from branch to branch, occasionally dipping in the water.

A savored the moment, reconciling myself to its nearly inevitable end, but holding on tightly to the faint hope that it would endure. If I could have a full night of this, I might be able to face my demons in the morning with a clearer head. I might even prevail, if only for a short while.

The sudden appearance of a knife pinning one of the bird to a tree trunk was my first clue that my peace was broken. Then I realized that I might have been the thrower. My belt sheath was empty. It is never empty. The pommel still vibrating where it pinned the bird clearly was engraved with a familiar crest.

But I didn’t remember drawing and throwing the knife!

How could I do that and not know it?

Then I noticed that my hand was seeking the blade at my back.

My arm was no longer under my control. Nor was most of my body. I was forced to sit there and watch as knife after knife that I barely remembered carrying was thrown with impressive accuracy.

I had no doubt of my own guilt. I just had no way to explain it.

Then the Roc settled onto my grotto. I had never seen a bird as large as that in my life, waking or sleeping.

It almost felt as if I was being smothered by it as it settled.


As in, unable to breathe.

Which I suddenly realized was how I felt in reality.

I startled awake to find a knife in my hand, and a pillow held over my face by some unknown attacker.

I reached out with the blade that I fervently hoped was about to be a complete surprise.

Then I woke up again, and found that I had tied myself into a knot, as was savagely murdering my own pillow with a butter knife.