Nightmares, Nightmares, Nightmares

Nightmares were quiet. They sneak like a snake with a bad attitude. Infect and steal, trap and gorge–
Nightmares made Angel feel useless. Worthless, small, strung, and broken. A mind without wings, angry at the world for no reason. Angel tried not to judge, tried not to bring the worst out of people. The nightmares, though, embellished the truth. They remembered every mistake and thought. Every negative trickle, and every attempt to move forward.
Nightmares were fat eaters. Angel stayed thin while his sins plagued his memories.
Angel jolted awake. He shuffled under the pound of leaves, tossed aside the branches helping with a makeshift hut, and brandished a dagger to the open air.
Frigid rain struck like lightning. Globs of electricity flicked off the ground in sparks and shavings. A grand oak protected Angel. It shielded him from the beasts in the sky.
But, it did nothing for the Nightmares.
Angel, panting heavily, did a full scan. A full circle, pointed the knife, and continued turning until he was absolutely sure there wasn’t a threat. His skin, coated with a metallic mercury, shaping and shifting at his call, hardened when he managed to catch his breath.
The bark against his back creaked and screamed with voices of the dead. Angel heard his mother and father, his baby sister, his sister-in-law–there were too many to count. But, each was distinct and recognizable.
Angel took a deep breath, relaxed and allowed his armor coating to settle. With a heavy sigh, he settled back into his dugout but kept his knife close to his chest. He gathered the debris of the forest and piled it until it covered his entire body. The liquid armor crawled between his lips and dropped him back into his dreams.
Angel felt prepared while clutching his prized dagger.
But, he still needed to be more careful than ever before.
Nightmares were quiet, but Angel was patient. He wasn’t going to be bullied. He wasn’t going to let those images, those dreams, those nightmares, be the end of him. No matter how crafty they grew.
Angel jolted awake again. He brandished his knife, tinged a falling spark, and as the flashing light struck his face, he faced those nightmares again.

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