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Grazing the Sky Book Trailer
Lance didn’t realize he was through the doorway until he had already stepped into the darkness. Part of him knew he was dreaming—that loose, airy feeling was clouding the top of his head, where his thoughts used to be. And part of him was lost in the current moment, taking this reality as absolute truth. Because who wouldn’t be at least a little bit scared stepping into a room with no visible walls or flooring, slowly moving towards a spotlight in the center of this flat void?
His fear only lasted for a few moments, quickly overtaken by the fact that he had to keep moving. There was something in the center of that spotlight, wrapped in a bundle of sky blue cloth. Shaped like a baby, almost. Lance knew he needed to move towards it, keep moving no matter what. An existence—not just his own, but another’s as well—depended on it. So, he moved.
It was slow progress—at times, incredibly painful. His feet felt like they’d been placed inside cement blocks, forcing a massive pain to both legs as he continued dragging himself forward. Getting closer to whatever that object wrapped in blue was.
The weights left him as he neared the spotlight, causing a stumble he quickly recovered from. His shoe rested at the edge of the light, never breaking the perfect circle it cast. Lance kept staring at the bundle of cloth, and at the same moment the desire to step forward came to mind, he was suddenly in the center of the circle, the object gone.
He looked up, not blinded by the light shining down on him. He felt something against his skin—not air, but an energy. Orange-red; that’s the color that came to mind. This energy moved around him, gently traveling down his neck before parting to swirl around his shoulders, down his arms. With this warmth curling around the tips of his fingers, Lance closed his eyes, listening to the energy, feeling it pulse with the beat of his own blood. The brightness above him increased, heating up his skin.
Pressure came to his tailbone; a tingling feeling that felt like he had an itch. But then his spine moved, the small tail poking against the inside of his skin. The point suddenly broke through, taking the rest of his spine with it. Lance dropped to all fours, his back deflating as his tail-spine thrashed about, flinging blood out into the open air. What was happening? What in the hell was happening?
Welcome to the new you, a voice said, speaking in both his mind and beside his ear.
He stayed on the floor, struggling for composure as the light above him heated until his skin burnt. That energy came forth, caressing his face as his eyes shut tighter, trying to block everything out.
Just escape, he told himself. Just don’t let anything in.
The light shattered and his body jerked upright, the springs of his bed echoing below him. The silence of his room grew a little clearer, a little louder but Lance could still hear the fading sound of the spotlight exploding.
He fell back, head hitting the pillow once again. Sweat had soaked through, and he could feel more on the mattress below him, the sheets above. He kept breathing, currently not caring about the hygiene. He just focused on moving his lungs, calming the rapid pace of his heart.
He thought of a beat—four-four. Slow enough. The counts repeated in his mind, foot unconsciously tapping along.
He breathed again, letting the air out of his mouth.
Keep repeating, he told himself. Just keep counting.
One, two, three, four...
His heart was slowing down, matching the pace his mind was setting. He pulled in another breath, forcing himself to hold it for a measure before letting it out. When he did, his heart had slowed enough to match every other count. He kept breathing, foot keeping the pace as he thought back.
This nightmare had been haunting him for the past two weeks, and still he didn’t understand any of it. It wasn’t the average dream, either. In the beginning, part of him felt lucid and then, suddenly, things would shift as though all of him was completely taken by that world. Like it was perfectly normal to be headed across an endless void, walking towards a spotlight where some bundle of cloth was waiting for him to not pick it up.
He ran his fingers through his hair, palm pressing against his forehead. He opened his eyes, his palm covering half of his vision, blocking out the view of his ceiling. The spotlight part he could understand, being a musician. But the blue cloth, that weird energy, the tail? He didn’t have a clue.
Lance sat up, feeling his arms ache at the movement. He moved his legs, trying to slide the sheets off with minimal effort. It didn't work, forcing him to move his hands and pick the sheets off. Even that hurt to do; he could feel the soreness in the bones of his fingers this time.
It was strange. Normally he wasn't this sore, but maybe all these nights were starting to catch up with him. The performance his band gave tonight was probably beginning to take its toll, too.
He leaned forward, moving his arms just enough to pull the shirt off his back. The damp fabric momentarily clung to his skin, protesting for a moment. Then the cloth gave way, allowing him to weakly slip the shirt over his head, slide his arms out one by one.
He dragged the shirt to the edge of his bed, letting the wet fabric slip from his fingertips and onto the floor. Lance yawned a little, stretching his eyes wider for a moment. It felt like he’d barely gotten any sleep—what time was it?