Tanner Carroll has a minion!
Scribe the Draconook
Scribe the Draconook
The Nightmare Endeavor
Age: 7 years, 9 months, 3 weeks
Born: November 17th, 2011
Adopted: 4 years, 1 month, 3 weeks ago
Adopted: July 21st, 2015
- Level: 14
- Strength: 29
- Defense: 12
- Speed: 10
- Health: 22
- HP: 22/22
- Intelligence: 65
- Books Read: 65
- Food Eaten: 0
- Job: Darkmatter Babysitter
Again? What is it this time?
He nearly knocks you off the edge. It was a late night, and you have no more patience for anyone else disturbing your rest.
"Marshal, get off. What's wrong with you?"
He gathers the covers under his chin and looks up, distraught. You don't know what he wants. You just know it's always something. So you check the clock, knowing the later it is, the more enraged you'll be... 4:16 a.m., and the moon is high outside your window.
"What are you doing up so late?"
"I had a bad dream," he says. "I just want to stay in here tonight. I think there's something under my bed."
You sit up, rubbing the bridge of your nose. "Marshal Carroll, you are ten years old. You should know monsters aren't real. Everybody has bad dreams. It's stupid to believe in them. I've yet to see the day they come true."
"I need to sleep. Go to your room."
He backs away and bolts for the door, leaving you to slump back into the lumpy pillows. If that deadbeat hadn't left you all that time ago, maybe you'd actually have a hand around here. Maybe you'd actually get a single night of proper sleep.
You just hope Marshal gets his act together in science class. He has potential, according to his teacher, but he gets too distracted to really show it. If he can't get those scholarships on his own, the brat can say goodbye to college.
But many years remain until that will be an issue. For now, you focus on sleep.
At least for a while.
When you wake up, it feels much later than your last rousing, but the moon is still high- high and considerably closer than you remember- and a harsh wind is beating against the side of the house. The clock reads 00:00; you wonder if the power went out. But there isn't any thunder or lightning.
You think it must be a dream. You see it perched on the foot of your bed, shrouded in shadows, the only sign of its sentience drawn into the bright pupils set directly on yours. Your breath catches. You scoot backwards and bang your head on the metal frame. The creature only watches.
"Someone with a life like yours," it says, "should be understanding of the downfalls that make it unique. But you don't care, do you? Can you name your fortunes?"
You say nothing.
"No. Of course not. You only want to sleep. That is all you're good for, anyway, and I've given you plenty of chances to prove me wrong. Maybe if you realized sleep is not as desirable as you think, then you would put your time to better use... becoming the person you wanted that failure in your past to be... raising your son, and showing him a life worth living."
It puts a claw to your forehead. You feel it cut through, and a line of dark liquid drips down the side of your face.
"Good people deserve respite from effort. They do not deserve nightmares. Others, however, need encouragement to wake up and make something out of their existence."
It drags the claw to your mouth. You watch in horror as it traces your lips, and takes away a thin white mist. Letters form and dance around the cold metal claw until the creatures captures them all with a deafening snap, but not before you see what they spell.
"Surely you agree this name means nothing to the world tonight. I hope you don't mind if I borrow it," It says. You watch it climb off the bed, never taking its eyes off you, receding into the shadows where a bedroom wall should be. "One day you'll earn it back. The title of a parent; a crafter; a giver; a success. Until then, you don't deserve to sleep. May you see what your son sees in you every time you close your eyes, Tanner. Maybe then you'll deserve the gracious title again."
You lie in bed until your eyes burn red and raw. The sunrise means nothing to you.
Even when you hear Marshal's footsteps running downstairs, thinking you're absently watching the news as usual, you stay still.
You should know monsters aren't real.
Everybody has bad dreams.
Your son pushes open the door. He walks to your side.
"...Are you sick? ...I've been calling you..."
You see him say it. His mouth forms the word, and you think he might be joking around- or you've heard him wrong- but he does it again. And again.
It's stupid to believe in them.
He's calling you "dad." You'd know for sure, if only you could hear it.
I've yet to see the day they come true.
Box of Untold Secrets
Tattered Old Book