Perhaps it was because the bed was harder and less comfy, but sleep was just a thin broken film over reality. Someone was standing in front of her, maybe more than one. She only had a sensation of shadow and weight.
“We should move her to the bed anyway.” A male voice? “It would make it easier to work on her.”
A lighter-pitched voice: “I'll prepare a shot.”
The first voice again: “There should be no need. Look, I'll carry her back.”
Something brushed Daniel's shoulder and she was awake. She sprang into the air almost straight up. She felt her ears squish against the ceiling, not hard enough to hurt. Almost in mid-jump, when it felt like she and everything was starting to slow down, she thought about how good it was that at least they hadn't done anything to the suit's powers.
Below her – like in the dream – three figures were standing around the bed. One looked much bigger than the others, so big it might not be human. With a whoop of excitement, Daniel shot over them, her ankle barely touching a shoulder, and through the doorway.
She was in the bedroom before they'd had a chance to turn. For a moment she thought about hiding behind the bed-drapes, but she already heard footsteps clattering. She ran again. If only she'd gone the other way, then she could have kept running. This way was nothing except the short tunnel and the bottom of the pit. She ran anyway, as if the world might have changed for her now that she needed it to. Nothing had changed.
She tried running up the wall. Maybe her new heels would be able to dig into the rock. She was actually fast enough to get a few steps up. For a glorious second she thought she was safe and going to make it, then gravity got her and wrenched her back onto the floor.
The three figures were standing in the tunnel, blocking her way. They didn't make a grab for her yet.
“There's no need to be afraid,” the first of the figures said. “Come with us, Guide, and we won't harm you.”
Daniel could have obeyed, but their covered faces were something from a nightmare, she couldn't stand the thought of walking with them and looking at them. She backed. Two of the figures approached and cornered her.
She was just going to dart past them and back into the dorm, but she remembered how she'd run on their shoulders when she got out of the bed. She half-jumped, half clambered onto the largest of the captors and pushed off from his shoulder, too quickly for him to have time to make a sound. The angle of the jump was bad, she might not have reached as high as she could have off the flat ground. She shot up into the dusk, and before she started falling, her fingertips found a ledge.
Written by on 18 May 2019