Eyes I dare meet in dreams

A while ago, I asked someone what would happen if ever she met the characters she wrote. Her words were: “They would murder me. To death.” So I thought on it and 2600 words just happened…


It was the middle of the night, and the Chronicler lay fast asleep, safe in his home. A light shone, voices were heard.

“This is the guy?”

“Apparently. This time, the person in charge of the portals is dependable. This is nice for a change.”

“Sssh. You’re going to wake him up.”

“Aww… Disturbing his beauty sleep. That would be awful!”

“Before everyone gets here. You know the deal. Also, no hitting him until then.”

“Sod that.” There was the noise of a two-handed sword being drawn. “I say we off him right now. Bastard.”

“Stow it, Aggro-girl. We all want to see this. Most of us want to hear what he’s got to say for himself.”

“I think we’re all here,” said a female voice.

“Not quite,” said another. “There is someone from the other universe. Portals from there take slightly longer to make, primarily because nobody there believes they are possible.”

“I am working on it,” the dark-haired Elf looked over her shoulder. “An it please you, be quiet, and let me concentrate.”

There was a noise, so quiet that it hardly did justice to the sheer distance between the universes. A shining circle appeared, and out stepped a young woman in a blue dress. She looked round.

“Good… evening?”

“Hi. Welcome to the party. Did you bring something painful?”

“I am wearing one of these thrice-accursed corsets,” said the woman. “Does that count?”

“Nice!” The white-haired Elf grinned. “You’ve got the figure for it.”

“No, I don’t,” said the woman. “That is the point of these things. Now your message said that there would be an opportunity for me to meet the man responsible for all my troubles.” She pointed at the man still quietly sleeping. “Is that him?”

“Assuredly so,” said the Elf mage. “Are we all here?”

“Yes. Please, someone turn on the light?”

“Anyone have a match? One of you tall bimbos do the honours please?”

“The switch is on the wall, Miss Interalia.”

“Oh so it is. At human height, too. So. One of you tall bimbos do the honours?”

The blue-skinned woman laughed, reached out and flipped the switch. In an instant, the entire room was bathed in a bright, uncanny light. The women looked down on the sleeping figure of a man in his mid-forties. The Elf-mage who had made the portals looked round, then reached out with her staff and poked the man in the stomach. He gave a startled snort, then looked up. He didn’t move for a few moments, and then his hand automatically reached for his glasses. He put them on, and sat up.

“Uh… hello?”

A human woman wearing black leather armor and a red and black checkered shirt sat down on the bed, reached behind her back and produced a small, but exceedingly sharp knife.

“Hello. Happy to see us?”

The man, known only as “Chronicler”, looked from one face to the next, breathing in slowly. Then, he smiled.

“I know you. I know each and every one of you.” He pointed. “Ariciel. Mareva. Lirael. Ellandriel…” his finger dropped a little. “Interalia. Trixie… is Lenna here?”

The woman sitting on the bed reached out and grabbed the Chronicler’s pyjamas. “And me?”

“Raven. I haven’t forgotten you. I named you specially because it would give me points on the Mary Sue test.” He looked Raven up and down. “You’re everything I thought you would be.”

“Oh, how nice. Glad to see you’re happy. By the way. Did you think I’d be pissed off?”

Raven pulled up her shirt with a jerk. White lines were showing on her stomach, the scars of when one of her former gang members had cut her, meaning to kill her, and meaning to take a long time doing it.

You did this to me, you bastard. And now, it’s payback time.”

“That was Baltar,” said the Chronicler. “And you got your own back.”

“You bloody wrote it, and it happened.”

The Chronicler looked into Raven’s eyes, unflinching. “Still not as bad as what could have happened. If you hadn’t broken up with that gang, you’d be dead now. You’d have been at the receiving end of Baron Goldenberg’s skill set. I do take care of you. Honestly.”

“You make up what happens to us. You write it, and it happens. You could have written me just leaving.”

“Come on,” said the Chronicler. “You wouldn’t have left if I hadn’t made you. You’d be luring passers-by to their death until SI:7 thought enough was enough, and caught and hanged you.”

Raven stared, eyes full of hatred. “I still wake up at night. Dreaming I’m in that bloody cellar. With that shithead cutting me to strips.”

“Yes, you do,” said the Chronicler. “And then you go to your nice job at Mavis’ spice shop, which is a cover for your real job in SI:7. You’ve never had more fun in your life than you do now, spying on the Horde. Is that better than being chopped to bits and thrown into the incinerator? Just say the word, and I can arrange that for you.”

Ariciel stepped forward. “And what about me? Did you really have to kill everyone I loved? Orin? Lesta? My sister? My mother? What nice place did you set up for them?”

“May their spirits be part of the Light Everlasting, and may they rejoice in their rebirth.”

“Don’t give me that. You had Horde teachers chop off my mother’s arms and legs and re-attach them. Over and over again, until she was driven insane. And you made Berciel watch it, when she could do nothing about it.” Ariciel bent forward. “And then you made me kill Berciel, together with Bannog. Why?”

“To show the world what you are made of,” said the Chronicler. “Look at you. Just look at you! You are a force to be reckoned with. I took a little girl, mopping the floors for the High-borne, and turned you into this! I am so proud of you. Everything I threw at you, you met head-on and pushed through. You are indomitable. You have faced armies. You have faced dragons. You are my most powerful creation, and you are beautiful.”

The blue woman Mareva looked at the Chronicler. Ice was on her voice. “You killed Viral as well. And Garz’houn, Stetson’s brother. But I suppose you gave me a new kitten, so I should just be quiet.”

“Actually, I’ve set most of you up with a very good chance to be happy. A companion. A light in the distance to make for.”

A blonde girl with a freckled face looked down on the Chronicler.

“No you bloody haven’t. You spent a whole story not setting me up with Joseph.”

“Nor me,” said a tall woman. She had a dark scar on her cheek, and an expression on her face that spelled doom.

The Chronicler laughed. “Selena, if you want Joseph to be your husband, get on with it. Nægling, did you miss this friendly Worgen? His civilised side adores your intellect, and his wild side is completely smitten with your own more ferocious side. I don’t have to spell out everything, do I?”

Selena’s eyes grew large. “Cullan is a worgen? I knew it! There was something about him that just wasn’t right! Oh, wait till I tell Gerrig about this.”

“You won’t remember any of this. And don’t try to write it on your arm. It won’t work.”

“You got me pregnant, you poo-head!” A small woman walked up and held up a tiny, tiny Gnome girl. “Look at what you did!”

“Um… I think you’ll find that was Nix. May I remind you of the wonderful invention of the gnome named Sonky Smallhouse? Prevents all kinds of unwanted things and allows you to have almost unlimited fun.”

Lirael, the tallest elf in the room, bent over to Interalia, and looked at the wriggling little bundle of joy.

“Oh, she’s adorable!” She touched little Aubrey’s palm with her little finger. Aubrey gripped it firmly. Lirael looked up at Interalia. “Can I hold her?”

“Sure,” said Interalia, and handed her over.

Lirael looked into Aubrey’s beautiful blue eyes, stroked the tiny, but incredibly soft cheeks with a finger. Then, she sniffed suspiciously.

“Um. I think she’s done something.”

Interalia beamed at Lirael, holding up a bag. “That’s very nice of you, your Holiness. You grab both feet in one hand to clean. Wipes and new nappies are all in here.”

Lirael gave Interalia an accusing look, then walked over to the table and faced the horror.

The woman in the blue dress, named Alexandra Tennant, coughed politely. “Who is this man? Is he really responsible for all the horrible things that happened to you? All of it?”

Everyone stared at her, until Interalia spoke up.

“She’s new. Poor girl doesn’t know what she’s in for.”

“Well, I have not been tortured, though I might have been if I hadn’t escaped.”

“Trust me,” said Raven. “There’s nothing he won’t do to us.”

“Yes there is,” said the Chronicler. “Rape. None of you has ever been raped, and none of you ever will. Not one of my girls, nor any of my boys either. Whatever else I put you through, rape will not be part of it.”

“Um. Pardon the hell out of me,” said Ariciel. “But didn’t my story start with me facing two guys who wanted to rape and kill me, and one bitch who wanted to cut off my ears while I was still alive?”

Ellandriel stepped up. “And I. What, pray tell, were the intentions of those pirates in Stranglethorn Vale?”

“And that miserable striv of a man who wanted to sell my favours to his friends and customers?” Mareva sneered. “He did try earnestly to gain carnal knowledge of me when I had already told him I was not interested.”

Alexandra looked uncomfortable, but said nothing.

The Chronicler pointed at Ariciel. “You stabbed one of them, and shot another, while Bannog took care of the third.” He pointed at Ellandriel. “You burnt all of your assailants to a crisp, and well done.” The Chronicler turned to Mareva. “And you nearly blew Mr. Areeq through the wall when he tried. I never said nobody would try. But any who do try are either dead or wished they were. I did that to make a point about would-be rapists. And the point is that I don’t like them very much.”

“Over our backs,” said Ariciel, coldly.

“Yes. I am your creator. I get to do things like that.”

“Oh damn,” said Selena. “Oh damn damn damn!” She walked up to the bed. “You’re going to get me pregnant as well, aren’t you?”

“Probably,” said the Chronicler. “You are the heiress to the castle. We need to make sure the line doesn’t die out. Why?”

“I don’t want to get pregnant yet. Being pregnant is all blood and puke and shit and horrible things and…”

“Sex,” said Mareva, with a grin. “Hot, sweaty, delicious sex. Warm skin touching your own, hands stroking you where it pleases you most.”

“Oh shut up,” said Selena.

“And adorable babies,” said Lirael. She handed a clean, neatly wrapped Aubrey to Selena, who held her as though she was going to explode. “Support the head.”

“Well,” said Alexandra, “be that as it may, you certainly haven’t furnished me with a suitable partner.”

Ariciel turned to Alexandra and put her arm round her, hand on her hip. She whispered loudly enough for everyone to hear.

“Well I can help you with that, if you want. You’re cute!”

Alexandra raised one eyebrow. “Do you believe that I am an invert?”

“Huh?” Ariciel looked at Mareva.

“Boy who likes boys, or girl who likes girls,” said Mareva. “It is a slightly old fashioned word for it, though.”

Miss Tennant took Ariciel’s hand by one finger, pulled it away from her and dropped it. “If I were an invert, I would give your offer every consideration, but as it is, I must decline.”

“Your loss,” said Ariciel. “Hey, Mareva, what is the word for someone who doesn’t care if you’re a boy or a girl?”

There was a slap as the pink-haired gnome girl hit Ariciel’s bottom with the flat of her sword.

“The word is ‘Floozy’,” said Trixie. “Do we get to kick this guy’s butt or what?”

“Hello Trixie,” said the Chronicler. “How’s Richard?”

“Delicious and gorgeous and recovering from last night,” said Trixie. “Stop changing the bloody subject. We were going to kick your butt.”

“It’s true,” said Lirael, with a not entirely friendly smile. “I was going to heal you so everyone could have a go.”

“You’re too kind,” said the Chronicler. “But I’m hardly going to allow you girls to do that, am I?”

Raven bent over, holding up her knife. “There’s seven of us. As you pointed out just a moment ago, we’re all battle-hardened fighters, except maybe for Sister Lirael. And we’re all pissed off with you. You are a fat balding man with no training. You are bloody lunch.”

The Chronicler looked back at Raven. “You’re angry with me. I understand that, because I wrote you. You want to make me suffer as you have suffered. I understand that as well. I’ll make you an offer. I’ll go back and rewrite everything bad that ever happened to you. Ariciel, you never had any cause to leave Ameth’aran. You are now mopping the floor, but since that Manor was blown up, you are now a ghost. Mareva? You never boarded Exodar. Viral is alive, but you will not know him. Your bones will lie on the Path of Glory, until someone comes with the right blessing to remove them. Nægling? You will refuse to go to Morgan’s vigil. You will not be hurt, but you will not have the anger that drove you to the magnificent strength that you now have. There will be nothing for Cuchullainn to admire. Selena? Joseph will eagerly draw you into his bed, unable to resist your beauty. Your brothers will tear him to pieces and throw him out. Interalia? You won’t be caught stealing in Stormwind. You won’t ever meet Nix, or have Aubrey. Ellandriel? Do you fancy a life of exile in Eldre’thalas? Just say it, and it will be so.”

There was a long silence. The women looked at each other, each waiting for the other to speak. The Chronicler continued.

“I wrote you. Yes, I was the one who tormented you. But I was also the one who grew you, nurtured you and forged you into the creatures that you are now. I do not pretend to be nice. I do not pretend to be just. But I do look after you. Every one of you. I wrote you to be bigger than life. I wrote you to take the tired old stories, grab them by the neck and shake them. I wrote you to be the cliches, looked at from different angles. I wrote you so that young people, struggling to be accepted, could read about you, and see that they can love who they want and there are people out there who will not think less of them for it. I wrote you so that I could aim you at the problems facing my own world, and at least try to understand them better. You are my creations. You are my weapons. And you are my pride.”

The Chronicler got out of bed, stood up. “And now, you return to your proper place, at the time you left it, and remember nothing of this. Except for one thing. There is more suffering in store for all of you, but there is also happiness. I will lead you to it. And it will be worth it.”

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