Luna’s Stories 2: Facing the Screamer

Aias grew increasingly worried as he observed the transformation in Luna. He knew she was seeking awareness of herself before stepping into the water, he  saw the red haze around her pulsing as if it were a heart,  pumping slower and slower each time. From the stories he had heard about the wild people he suspected that it meant her consciousness was slipping from this layer into another one with a lower vibration.  It meant she was seeking the demon inside her, for the heart of demons resided in lower layers of existence, and could only be killed in their own plane. Depending on how powerful the demon was he would exist on a deeper level than others. Aias was concerned because he felt Luna slip into lower and lower layers, until he didn’t dare to follow with his awareness for fear of not being able to return. And yet he saw how the red haze he had seen around her before slowly turned darker until Luna was shrouded by a black mist that came and went in slow pulses. He had watched several of his fellow warriors go into the waterfall, but he had never seen or felt anything extraordinary. He was as startled by the situation as by what he was sensing. Aias knew that he alone among the warriors could sense all this, he had always known he was different, but he heeded his dead father’s advice and kept what he saw of other planes to himself. If other’s knew he would not only be expelled from the warriors, he would be marked on the face with a hot iron, and he would be cast out of the Eivn to fend for himself in the wild. It was a death sentence; no other Eivn would take him in.  Dzhik wielders like Luna had to learn their craft from childhood, and an untrained un-dzhiked person who could sense the planes was a danger to everyone. Or so people said, Aias had always been able to lead a normal life.

Entering the water felt like staring directly at the sun without being able to close her eyes,  only the sun was in her mind and it violently took up all her thoughts until she felt she was being smitten by the brightness.  Luna was in a lower plane than she had hoped she would be, entering the water this low might be her demise, never mind the demon. As she steeled herself against the mental onslaught, she couldn’t help to draw on the dark energy that was now at her disposal. A black river of power rose in her only to clash violently against the bright sun that was the waterfall in her mind. The struggle of the two forces made her feel as though she would burst out of her skin. Enough, she thought, she must let the brightness consume her and the demon, she had to stop fighting it. This was time to shift things under control,  she had to face the demon sooner or later and she might as well do it sooner and in her terms.  She opened her mind to the brightness, and felt it burn a path inside her, until the demon was expelled from her and into this lower plane of existence. It was the demon’s home plane. When she looked around all the warriors were gone, still standing in their proper plane she supposed. The place was the same, except the waterfall was dark tar instead of clear water. In front of her she saw what had to be the demon wearing it’s true form. Right away she knew she was even in more trouble than she thought, for what stood in front of her was a Screamer. She had never actually seen one, even if she had heard their screams in the lower dimensions, blood curling screams that inspired the deepest fear in the listener, hoping their prey would run and get tangled in the web of screams. Luna should have suspected that a screamer had to be an arachnid demon, since it wove webs of screams, but she had never stopped to contemplate it. The Screamer stood about two heads taller than she was, as it was standing on its two hind legs. It was humanoid in appearance, all eight legs looked like emaciated human legs, except the ends weren’t feet, they were hands, it’s face was wrinkled and as emaciated as all it’s legs. The thing’s mouth was grotesquely held open by some sort of rope made out of her own tangled hair, clamping the sides of her lips in a perpetual scream.  As if hearing her thoughts the screamer let out a wild shriek that seemed to pierce Luna’s core. In this lower realm Luna could actually see the cords of energy that would create the screamer’s web if she allowed this to go on. Enough, Luna thought, and with that she gathered what power she could and forced both her dzhik to pool into her hands and form blades and started hacking at the screamer’s web. All the time the screamer kept on shrieking and moving about weaving death with each step. Luna couldn’t allow it to build a proper web or it would be her end. So she kept hacking methodically making a circle around around herself  to prevent the tendrils of red darkness from ensnaring her. But the screamer was faster at screaming than she was at hacking the tendrils, and where one of them touched her it would pool its numbing poison into her. Luna was inching forward, trying to approach the screamer, each time with more difficulty. But she kept swinging her dark knives in front and behind her, and with each hack the screamer grew more desperate, as if the web were a part of herself. Luna noticed this and was encouraged to keep hacking, but for each tendril she caught 10 more sprung to life. Despair started trickling into her mind,  she didn’t think she could even get to the screamer much less subdue and bind it. She already felt the numbness of the screamer’s poison grabbing at the edges of her consciousness, trying to bring her down and plunge her into the abyss. The ground split in front of her and for the first -and yet not the last- time in her life Luna stared into the abyss, a never-ending  funnel of darkness. The darkness was calling her, telling her to surrender to the numbness, all the pain and grief would be over then.  She knew the abyss was in her mind, but then in the lower dimensions the mind was powerful.

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