Current pace has me writing my 50,000th word on: November 30th
The sight, smell and feel of the park remained the same, but this time Anin was free to walk about as she pleased, able to take in the sight of the environment and people in it. She watched and smiled at the sight of children playing carelessly and small dogs happily chasing after them. She looked over to see a young couple on a bench, snuggled close and whispering into each other's ears.
It was such a surreal scene that Anin almost forgot the star of her reoccurring dream. Perhaps it was taking the chance to take in the positives that allowed her to momentarily ignore the looming negative. But just as Anin allowed herself to remember what waited in the middle of the park, a thought struck her. The heartbreaking fact of the dying man was, before, no one even noticing him as he faded away. This time, Anin planned to change that. Maybe she could save the dying man or at least give him comfort as he passes.
With that thought, Anin took off running through the park. She wasn't far from the center and wanted to make it in time to try an alter the usual ending to this dream. No one paid interest as she jogged by, going about their own business in oblivious fashion. There was several yards of sidewalk to traverse before hitting a small clearing, at the center of which was the dying man. As she approached the end, she could already see the man, sitting back on his knees with a sad look on his face as he slowly started to fade from view.
"Wait!" Anin pleaded as she ran faster and waved her arm at him "I see you! I'm coming!" The man took no notice of her as he continued to fade and act the same way she had observed him dozens of times before. Anin hit the grass and started to slow down as she came up on the man who, if memory served correctly, was on the verge of fading away completely to end the dream in its usual somber feel.
"I'm here!" Anin cried "I see you!" She approached the man, whose head hung low as it continued to fade. The was the point in all her dreams that he faded for good. The dream would end and she would awaken. This time though she was still asleep and able to interact. She reached out to where the man was and touched what turned out to be his arm, causing him to reappear slightly and pick his head up a bit. "It's okay now," she said. The man then snapped his hand onto his arm and grabbed hold as he slowly picked his head up more. Anin pulled back, but could not break the grasp.
The man's sad face gave way to an uneasy smile as he seemed barely able to contain a deep laugh. His eyes, brown in color before, were now a deep black. He dug his fingers deeper into Anin's arm as he stopped fading and slowly came back into view. He let out an excited, deep gasp as he looked at Anin with his black eyes. He then reached for her arm with his other hand and tried pulling her down to him.
"Stop!" Anin pleaded as she pulled back and tried to free her arm from his grasp. The man gave off a deep, rasped laugh as Anin frantically pulled at her arm. The man began to fade away again, but this time Anin started fading as well, causing more panic in her actions as she desperately tried to free herself. With one final try, she jerked her entire body back, dragging her arm out of the man's hands as she fell back-
-and toppled out of her bad onto the ground below, bringing her blanket and pillow down with her. She gasped for breath as she tried to calm herself down, wet with sweat and fear. She laid awkwardly on the ground as she waited to stop shaking. Her arm hurt, and in the darkness she felt blood drip down onto her hand. Where the man dragged his dug in fingers had left the same injury in reality.
She grasped her free hand over the injury as blood seeped through her fingers and she propped herself against the wall near her bed. She glanced up to see light emanating from a nearby desk where she had put her stones from the night prior. Last night they were barely able to light up, now each one of them shone brightly despite being so far away from her when she slept. Anin shut her eyes tight as she turned away from the stones, and finally cried out as loud as she could.