Woke up this afternoon in my bed… yes, I do sleep in a real bed, believe or not. In fact I do it quite often. I only sleep in the ground when my body needs certain nutrients that can only be found in the soil.
I’ll sometimes wake up to find my little sister Isabella curled up next to me. She has her own room and bed of course. When mom and dad were still alive (back in the 1860s) she used to sleep with them on cold nights or when she was feeling poorly (which was fairly often after her bout with Scarlet Fever) in their room, which is now mine. And of course, since we’re the only actual family each other has these days, I don’t mind having her with me on those nights when she’s missing them. I can’t blame her. Even after one hundred and sixty years wandering this Earth, I still miss them myself. So having her share my bed once in a while can be a great comfort for both of us.
Anyway, from the looks of my sheets and blankets, it’s a good thing no one else was with me. Oh, they weren’t torn or anything, they were just all over the place, as if I’d had a very restless sleep. Mind you, I felt well rested. Which is surprising since I did have some rather active dreams. I was back in Alaska, out on the tundra with the stars and the northern lights above, and a pack of wolves all around me.
This is nothing unusual. Whenever I go up there, I usually head for the woods and take one of my animal forms and roam the land. It’s one of the few times I can just let loose with my powers and experience nature in ways no human being can really appreciate. I enjoy the enhanced senses of my nature forms and experiencing the world as they do.
And one of those forms I take is that of a wolf. Whenever I take this form, I like to seek out a pack to run with. When I find one, I’ll use of the greenish mist I can exude and allow them to ‘breathe me in’ so to speak. Once they do, I have access to their minds to a degree and can ease any misgivings they have of my presence and can even get them to let me join them for a few nights. We’ll huddle together, roam, and even hunt.
I rather enjoy those hunts. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a cold-blooded killer or anything like that. It’s just that my Sangui-Sapio half (the slime mold-like creature that fused with me in the Para-Earth I landed up in so many years ago) had bonded with a number of other life forms in that reality long before it found me.
Now, in addition to giving me my vampire-like abilities and needs, it also gave me incredible recall of all the things I’ve ever experienced in my life. People, places, events, you name it. I have perfect recall of all of it. Even little things I glimpsed ever-so-briefly, or heard in passing, I can remember as clear as day. But I don’t just have access to my own memories, I also have access to the Sangui-Sapio’s memories which includes those of the other creatures it had fused with before we met.
While this might sound as if my head should be pretty crowded, or that I might have a hard time holding onto my identity with all those memories, I don’t. I’m the most complex being the Sangui-Sapio has ever bonded with before, and I have such a sense of self that it isn’t a problem. Furthermore, my other half makes sure it doesn’t let itself or those other memories try to ‘take over’. Our relationship is very equitable.
However, I do sometimes get cravings to explore my… I guess you would call it, more primal side. Which is part of the reason why I head to places like Alaska, Norway, the Black Forest of Germany or any other place remote with woods and open spaces.
Last night I dreamed about being on a hunt with a pack of wolves I met earlier this year. I’d spent New Year’s Eve up in Fairbanks Alaska to welcome the new year with some old friends. On New Year’s Day I bid them goodbye and headed into the Boreal Forest where I could cut loose a bit. As I hoped, I eventually encountered a pack of wolves. After the usual sizing each other up and exuding my mist, we became quite close and I wound up spending an entire week with them. I was almost sorry to leave. Maybe that’s why I dreamed about them.
Anyway, in my dream we were on the hunt once more, but for some reason there was a nervous tension in the pack. And as much I hate to say it, this feeling seemed to be directed at me. There was no outright hostility, but I was noticing how some of the pack kept eyeing me or moving slightly away as we ran. Sadly, I couldn’t blame them. Even I could tell something was off about me, but before I could really figure out what it was, the scene changed. I found myself alone and on the outskirts of a town and being shot at by some of the townsfolk. I was still in wolf form at the time, which in and of itself was weird because I never go where there’s people when I’m shapeshifted. Yet it felt like I was having trouble keeping my form. I could feel my limbs stretching at times, throwing my balance off as I ran.
I kept calling out to the pack as I ran. I could sense they were nearby, yet none of them answered. Eventually, I finally spotted them way off in the distance, but I could tell they were not happy to see me. They weren’t exactly hostile, but they weren’t welcoming either. If anything, they seemed frightened and confused… then I woke up.
It’s weird. I’ve dreamt of the pack a few times in the last couple of months, which is something I’ve never done before.
After dismissing the dream, I fixed my bed, changed clothes, and left my bedroom. I noticed the clock in the hallway and saw it was mid-afternoon. Risking a quick peek out one of the windows near the stairwell, I saw it looked like rain was coming. That made me smile. I wouldn’t have to contend with the sun or load up on extra blood. I might even be able to head outside for a while. The estate, which is just over a thousand acres, contains swaths of virgin woods that have never known the blade of an axe. Maybe the dream was simply my brain’s way of telling me I needed to get out a bit and enjoy the ‘nice’ weather.
With that thought in mind, I headed down the stairs with a little bounce in my step.
TO BE CONTINUED…