by AARON CRUSE
“Derek hasn’t been himself lately Doctor, the same nightmare keeps coming to him every night, he wakes gasping for air, sweating, and with cuts and bruises. I’m getting very concerned,” Faith said.
The doctor had a concerned face on him, he knew what this was. But he had to make sure,
“How long has your husband been having this dream Mrs.Gwyn?” he asked.
“Well… it started occurring when we got married back in March, that was two months ago Doctor…”
“Damn it!” the doctor yelled slamming his fist against a metal table he leaned on.
“What! Doctor what’s wrong…. tell me!”
“It’s the Dream Assassin,” the doctor said.
Faith didn’t know what he meant by “Dream Assassin,”
“What is that, some sort of sickness, disease, what is it” she demanded.
“The Dream Assassin is an hallucination in your dreams, but you can feel what he does to you. What happens in your dream transports back into the real world, cuts, bruises, all the things you said before. You said Derek has been waking up gasping for air right?”
“Yes, that’s right,” Faith said concerned.
“He is barely surviving the fights with the Dream Assassin,”
“But why Derek?!”
“The Dream Assassin has claimed lives already, most of them men who just got married….”
The doctor went to a cabinet close to him and pulled out a yellow folder, he placed the folder on the metal table behind him.
“Come over here Mrs.Gwyn”
Faith walked quickly to the other side of the table, she glanced at the yellow folder, words were written on the front in black marker, “Dream Assassin Patients.”
“Open it,” the doctor said.
Faith opened the folder, inside were pictures of men murdered in their beds. Just like Derek, these men had bruises, cuts, and even scars.
“What happened to these men?” Faith asked, her voice quickly went from loud to soft and scared.
“These were former patients of mine, with the same problems as your husband. They had this dream almost every night and then comes one day when the Dream Assassin takes away the person he’s been torturing. Look at all the men’s stomachs Mrs.Gwyn…”
Faith spreaded all the photos out and looked closely. Every single one died the same way, the Dream Assassin percies their hearts with a blade.
“The men have described the Dream Assassin as a skinny man wearing all black, and a black cape thats seems to be torn at the bottom. His hood covers his head and wears a mask of ancient Rome plays, a mask called Tragic. By what these men have told me the mask carries a mournful and a pained expression….your husband is in serious trouble,”
“How can I help him?!”
“Your husbands only chance is to beat the Dream Assassin in the final dream, he has to slay his own dragons, were going to put him to sleep on the medical bed in the emergency room,” the doctor said opening the door to leave the room.
“Wait…. what if he doesn’t come back from his dream?” Faith asked, she had never been more scared in her life.
“Your husband is strong, most men only lasted one month with the Dream Assassin, he won’t let his inner demons take him away from you,” the doctor responded with a smile.
An hour went by after the huge talk about the Dream Assassin, Derek laid on a medical bed and was drugged so he can sleep quicker to confront this Dream Assassin. Faith sat next to him squeezing his hand, the doctor and a couple of nurses stood by and waited for Derek to go to sleep.
“You squeeze any harder you’re gonna keep me from sleeping,” Derek said with a tired chuckle.
“I don’t want you to fall asleep,” Faith responded.
“I’ll be fine Faith, now I know what I must do to get rid of this man in my dreams,”
“How can you be so calm about this, aren’t you scared,” Faith said.
“I am a little, I promise i’ll be back,” Derek said beginning to fall asleep.
“I love you…. Derek!”
“It’s ok Mrs. Gwyn he fell asleep,”
Derek had entered his dream, the same thing as the other dreams. He walked towards the black ocean on a beach, the moon and the sun were both setting at the same time, then came the man that’s been haunting Derek. The Dream Assassin.
He turned to face this masked man, no longer afraid of whatever he was.
“You know why i’m here…. so let’s get straight to it,” Derek said.
The assassin bowed to Derek, just like how musketeers would before a duel. Then he spoke, his voice was muffled but Derek could understand him.
“You are the first man to ever put up a fight, I applaud you Derek,” he said.
Derek put up his fists as well as the Dream Assassin, Derek stood where the sun was setting while the assassin stood where the moon was setting. Then they charged towards each other, Derek went for a heavy punch but the assassin quickly slithered his way behind him, Derek reacted quickly and and tried for a backfist. The Dream Assassin caught the punch and delivered a vicious knee to Dereks ribs making him stumble back a few steps. Derek then charged again trying to tackle the Dream Assassin, but the assassin quickly kicked him in his gut and elbowed the back of his head making Derek fall on his stomach. The Dream Assassin then picked Derek back up to his feet, he threw left and right punches continuously to Dereks gut and face. Derek tried again for another heavy punch but it was quickly blocked again by the assassin, the Dream Assassin then gave a wicked right uppercut to Derek lifting him off two feet in the air and landing flat on his back. The Dream Assassin pulled out a rapier stained with the blood of his former victims, he walked slowly towards Derek while he was still picking himself up.
“Why do you do this!” Derek yelled.
The Dream Assassin pointed the rapier at Derek’s heart,
“People don’t realize what they have until it’s gone,” he said.
The assassin went for the final blow but Derek quickly moved out of the way and charged for the Dream Assassin’s legs, picking him up and slamming him viciously on the sand knocking the air
completely out of him.
Derek went for the assassin’s rapier, quickly grabbed it and ran back towards the Dream Assassin and put his knee on the assassin,
“I am not one of those people!!” Derek yelled.
He shoved the rapier down into the Dream Assassin’s heart making him cough out blood from his mask and ending him forever. Derek took a sigh of relief…. he looked back down at the dead man below him. Derek reached for his mask and took it off revealing the Dream Assassin’s identity….. it was….himself. Derek had been fighting himself this whole time, but why. Questions rolled inside his head, but then realized that some things are best left unknown. He woke up to sound of his loving wife crying out of joy, Faith leaped towards Derek hugging him.
“I love you…. forever,” Derek whispered to his wife.
At that moment Derek understood the reason for the man in his dreams. For some reason he thanks the Dream Assassin, but also is glad that he will be gone forever…. at least from him.