Date: 2/20/2019

By midnight-libra

A lushly furnished room greeted me, hearth gushing a warm glow. Its Victorian walls seemed to crawl about themselves, contouring their shape to my every comfort. The shadows danced, rejoicing in the pleasant crackle of flame and ember. Soft cushions lay strewn about the floor and sofas, inviting me into their mass. But before I could collapse drowsily into the heap, a jagged stir caught my eye. Peering over a plush chair, I saw what looked to be a great beast, mutilated and dying in a wooly mound. I scrambled to him and dropped to my knees. Examining his crushed form, I knew he didn't have long. Torn, bloodied robes adorned him, and a frayed cape hid his greatest wounds. When I finally looked at his eyes--those piercing green eyes--I felt deeply that I knew him. His features were so human and familiar, yet monstrous and savage. There was something kind in his eyes--I saw it as he looked at me. A sudden cold emanated through the room. The warmth was gone. I became overwhelmed with emotions: guilt, sympathy, and (most strangely) a kind of love that one feels for an old friend. His pain was so great that I felt it myself, it clung to my being like wet cloth to skin. I embraced him, for maybe that could bring him some final peace, and he slipped away in my arms.