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The cruel sun beats down, it's one malevolent eye unblinking, and the sky was its co-conspirator with not even a wisp of cloud to soften the harsh rays. In front of me stood four or five creatures, all blurry and muffled, like I was watching them through plexiglass. They spoke, the creatures, as if they were human. But they did not speak a human language. It was a strange combination of flowy words and harsh pronunciations. A loud crack sounded above like thunder in the cloudless sky that tapered off into the high pitched drum of a trumpet. It shook the ground with its sound as if it was pulling the ground apart. The sounds from the sky gave a hint of raw power and warning at what was to come.
With each thundering trumpet that plays, the sky grows darker, clouds swirling from nothingness to a centre point above the creatures that chant in a circle. Once the fourth alarm ended, what looked like an eye of a hurricane floated in the sky, blackness from its centre with lightning striking out from it.
Then a horse as red as blood leapt from the black hole, its hooves seeming to make contact with the non existent ground as it galloped to the ground, fire sparking from its hooves. As it landed in the centre of the creatures, a man sat up from laying on the horse neck. He reached down to a creature that stepped up to him and took a sword, almost the length of myself, into his hand and held it high above his head like it was made of styrofoam. He then launched forward on his horse, the horse changing at me dead on.
My feet were stuck as if I stood in quicksand. At the last second, the horse swerved, running past me. I looked up at the man, his gaze cutting as deep as any blade would. His eyes were a cold stone colour with the whites an angry bloodshot red. They were wide and reflective to the point I saw myself in them. I did not see me as I am now but as I would become, gun in hand as I fought for something in an outfit that resembled a soldier. Blood covered most of it and hide its original colour but it was not my blood. Bodies lay around me, others who were standing to fight with me to an unseen enemy. I blinked and saw myself staring into his eyes, my vision broke as a grin that sent my body to trembles twisting the warrior's face. Then he was past me and I dared not turn to see where he was going.
Slowly, my numb body became aware of my surroundings again. First, my eyes focused on the sands at my feet, then my body burned with the heat, my tongue coming out to lick my lips and eyes darting up as they caught the movement of the blotted creatures. My ears popped and I heard the sounds of the wind, their muffled voices still chanting to the hole in the sky.
Next, as my eyes timidly looked upon the open sore in the sky, came another horse, as pale as bone. It rode down and landed with a harsh sound of something metal being dropped from a high place. Again a creature stepped up, holding in its hand a crown. A man, in shining armour, sat upon the horse, leaned down, and the crown was placed upon his head. This time, however, a second creature approached him and held out a bow, the man snatched the weapon from the creature.
As before, the man’s horse charged forward. Again, they charged at me before swerving at the last possible second. My eyes followed the man, having been locked in his fiery gaze since he was crowned. As he passed I wilted under the gaze, my shoulders bunched up and I hunched into a submissive stance. His cobalt eyes bore into my own and I could see the intense emotions in the man building. I could see the greed for power in his eyes, the pure domination he so craved. I saw the whole world bowing to his feet. As soon as he passed me I turned to look at the ground, arms drawn up to my chest and still hunched. A chorus of cries could be heard from behind me but I dared not look back, not yet. I knew, somewhere deep inside, the creatures were not done with their greetings.
My head snapped up as I heard the faint sounds of hooves, but my eyes did not see the horse, at least, not until it preached the blackness and closer. Against the dull blue sky, the black horse stood out, a fog around its feet as if a cloud followed it. Once its hooves where on the sand, the creature to its left, a thin beast which was skin and bone; this much I could tell through the fog, held up in shaky hands a scale.
The man reached down, in flowing cloths of blacks and deep purple, to grab the scales. He then charged forward, yelling something in that odd language, the first of them to speak. As he passed me, he looked down his nose at me. His healthy green eyes were peeking out under his eyelids, his curly beard covered his lower half of his chubby face. What sat in the scales, as he held them in his right hand, was gold and what looked like grass, but I assume it was wheat. His eyes held disdain, hunger like I've never seen in anyone's eyes. He snarled at me, looked forward, and was passed.
I nearly turned to follow him, out of curiosity for what he meant to do when a cold wind swept up from the ground and nearly blew me backwards. My heart pounded as I opened my eyes and there stood a sickly pale horse with a hint of green. Upon its back sat a man in a cloak of black. His whole body was covered, not a single piece lay bare for the sun to touch. A creature, smallest of them all, was pushed forward. In its hand was a sickle which it held up to the cloaked man. A covered arm reached down, grasping the sickle. As his hand grasped it a condensed mist came swirling from under the sleeve and encircled the arm of the small creature. It yanked its hand away, trying to shake the mist from its arm but it was useless. It clawed at its body before grabbing at its throat and falling into the grasp of one of the other creatures, infecting that one as it started to do the same until all five creatures were convulsing at the horses feet. Soon they were all still and the man raised his sickle into the air, lightning hitting it and forking off to strike the now dead creatures.
From their corpses broke free new creatures, formless misty clouds with glowing yellow eyes. Parts of the clouds condensed into legs and tails and as the horse charged forward so did the black clouds. As the man passed I saw within the huge hood a skeleton face with maggots dripping from its mouth, white pinpricks where its eyes should be, and black mist leaving the place where its nose should be as if it was breathing. My eyes ripped from the man as the creatures it had changed passed me as well. If one looked hard enough you could tell they were crude reincarnations of wildlife, one looked like a wolf while another looked like a wildcat. The largest resembled a misty black bear. As they passed, the sky changed from dark and dull blue to an angry blood red. I looked up to see the hole was now gone, the sun now blazing down upon the earth where it used to be.
From behind me, a thick cloud of grey smoke and specks of ash fluttered down and finally, I grew the urge to turn. My eyes widen at the mayhem I see, a large city, which resembled New York in certain characteristics, was burning alive. Fires and smoke rose from it like spring flowers, sounds of war and misery were carried on the stale and blistering wind that swept through it towards me.
I closed my eyes against the harshness, hands covering my ears. I shook my head, wishing to wake from this nightmare. I dropped to my knees, eyes opening to look at the ruined and war shook city as my hands fell into my lap. Hot, salty tears poured from my eyes and dripped into my hands. I looked down, staring at my palms and willing myself to wake up.
I gasped as I felt cold hands cover my eyes, a mouth pressed against my ear as it whispered something before I was jolting awake from the nightmare.