I wrote this raw version in an hour. Enjoy!
The Stranger Dream
By Joshua A. Spotts (grateful/stranded/dream)
Albert Mersault was a man of the darkness. His shadow was never seen. In the sunlight everything seemed as an image in a broken mirror. He clung to the thick darkness of the night, cowering in the darkness of the earth in the day. He walked silently with footsteps softer than a cat’s. He was master of the night. No one heard or saw him. He moved and did as he pleased until they arrived.
The gas lamps were bearable. In fact, Albert liked them. They flickered and were familiar. They assisted him when the moon and the stars cut through the night ceiling for he hid in the shadows they caused. Those shadows were lighter and then darker, ever in a constant state of change. He enjoyed the effect this produced. If anyone glimpsed him there they would only see an illusion. They would dismiss his presence to the deception of their own eyes. This was all before they came.
They cut through his home. That wonderful darkness he embraced and which had embraced him. It was no longer safe. Those horrid beams of brilliant illumination bit through all he held dear. A spear of pure hate caught him full in the chest. He blinked at the dazzling light for a moment before he heard their voices. They had found him. Those silver badged varmints with their beams of light.
Albert ran. He ran with all the purpose in him. He scaled a nearby fire escape. It didn’t creak and groan beneath his light weight. At first, he thought they wouldn’t hear him and they didn’t. The lights, they found him. He winced in their cruel illumination. He felt utterly naked, even swathed in dark robes like he was.
“Climb, boys, we have him now! Circle ‘round.”
The pursued player of the shadows fled across rooftops and the men with their illuminating beams chased after. Hate swelled in his chest, combining with his fear of the light. He glimpsed out across the skyline and glanced the reddening cloud. He cursed the light and dived through an open window. He moved silently through the room. A sleeping child rolled over in the corner. Down the hall, he slid down a banister and out the front door. As he left the building he heard the crash of furniture, curses of men, and the crying of the frightened child, then there were hands on him. Those long-fingered claws drug him to the ground as the sun rose in the sky. Albert Mersault screamed his hatred to the world.
“He’s a thing of passion, be cautious.”
“I think I can handle myself, captain.”
Albert huddled in a shadow behind one of the parapets. A man dressed as a prince emerged unto the tower roof. He held a sword in one hand and a club in the other. Albert hissed at him. The man towered over Albert. “Tell me what you heard.”
Albert Mersault shrunk deeper into the shadow, fearing the light. A heavy, gloved hand pulled him out into the center of the tower. The hand slapped him to the left then backhanded him to the right. Blood trickled down Albert’s chin. He held his eyes closed. He sat in a humiliated, pathetic heap at the man’s feet. The club came down and he remained motionless, sprawled out upon the tower top, fully exposed to the hated light. “Tell me, fool. Or I will kill you like I killed your family.”
“I do not fear death.”
“Then live an eternity in the light,” the man stormed off the roof, his crooked nose held high. Albert chuckled, had he actually offended the man’s pride? Two men with the silver badges emerged unto the roof. They had clippers and needles and thread. They laughed as they sowed Albert’s eyelids to his eyebrows. His entire world shattered like an image in a mirror. He saw the pyramid symbol on the shining badges and cursed under his breath as they beat him with rods. He was stranded on that tower all day and the sun burnt his eyes out.
Louie Mersault awoke with a start. What a horrible dream. He leapt out of bed and stared around. The red numbers on his alarm clock read 3:23. They gleamed through the darkness. He could still see! Louie sighed. That dream had been so real. The light turned on and there, in the doorway, stood a tall man with a shining badge. The pyramid and eye boldly declared who the man was. The Illuminati had finally come for him. The man spoke, his voice like tires on gravel, “what did he hear?”