Here be Dragons: Chapter 5

“No! Stop! Please!”

Riley was suddenly awake, the room around her dark, but the screams she heard were unmistakable. She had heard the cries for help and they had pulled her quickly from her own dreams.  

It was Bruce, she hadn’t recognized his voice at first until she realized just what room she was in. She was still in the hospital. Her side of the room was dark. The door was closed, and when she looked over, she could see Bruce in the little bit of light that came in behind him from the window.  

Bruce was thrashing around like he was fighting for dear life. He was asleep, Riley was pretty sure of that, but it looked like he was fighting something and it was really kicking the crap out of him.

“Hey man, you okay?” 

“Get away from me!  Stop!” Bruce was crying and whatever he was fighting in his dreams, it seemed like it had let him go as he was trying to back away from it in the bed.  

“Come on man, you gotta wake up.”

“No!”

“Bruce!”

“Don’t come any closer!” 

Riley knew he wasn’t talking to her, but it was getting creepy. She looked around the room again, just making sure there wasn’t someone else there she wasn’t seeing. She’d heard of people having night terrors, those nasty dreams that were worse than the average nightmare, but she had never heard or seen anything like this. This was something straight out of a horror movie. Bruce was reacting to something with his eyes closed and that Riley couldn’t see.  

It was really freaking her out.

“Bruce, come on!  Wake up!” Riley was leaning over her railing and the cold metal was digging in to her side. She wanted to go over there and shake Bruce out of it, but the cast.  

She looked at the crutches leaning against the night stand. She hadn’t had to use them yet. Was she really going to try them now? She’d used ones not meant for her before, when her aunt had sprained her ankle. She had just been kidding around, both her legs were fine. She had done okay with them then, right? This would be easy.

“Come on!” Riley yelled again. “Hey, Batman!”

Bruce looked like he was grabbed again as his hands were held up at an odd angle, both hands together. It was unnatural and didn’t look like he had enough of his body on the bed to support how he was held.

That’s it, she had to do something.

Riley reached out for the crutches and pulled them over to her. She had a brief moment when she thought she was going to drop one of them when it had slipped through her hands and she had felt it falling to the ground. She got lucky as she fumbled for it, she had pushed it towards her, so when it fell, it landed against the metal railing along the bed and got lodged there.  She grabbed for it and brought them both closer to her. Then she slid down the railing and eased her casted leg over the side of the bed.

“Come on, you got this.” She said to herself as she closed her eyes and took a couple of deep breaths to prepare herself. There were a few twinges of pain, but she tried not to actually use her leg. Just let it dangle there, she thought, having to mentally remind herself not to use it. Though as she brought her other leg over, she wasn’t used to the weight of the cast and her balance was thrown off. She felt herself sliding her butt threatening to slip off the side of the bed.

She pulled the crutches to her sides and didn’t worry about the sliding. She couldn’t. She was going to do this, wether she knew how she was going to do it or not.  She slid them quick under her arms and leaned forward. The sliding off the bed actually helped her as she was able to use it to get herself up, thankful she didn’t lean too far forward as she wasn’t sure how she would stop himself from falling.  

“Please, don’t hurt me.” Bruce was whimpering to whatever had him in the dream. Riley couldn’t imagine what could instill that much fear, but with how insane nightmares were, it could be anything. She might be held by one of those things from “Attack on Titan” or something, and he was getting ready to be eaten. That would not be a fun dream. Well, not unless you were one of the hunters, and were getting ready to take the titan down.

“Don’t worry buddy, I’m coming.” Riley said, and she took her first step forward.

Riley was so glad the beds were not that far apart. She had made the first step forward, though the second step was made largely out of the momentum from the first and the third step, well that was about to be a large mess of a fall forward as she had lost her balance. She had been falling towards Bruce when she had slammed into his bed.  

The “falling” stop was such a shock to Riley that she was surprised it hadn’t woke Bruce as he was still struggling with his dream monster. The dream really had a hold on him, Riley wasn’t sure if it was the med’s the doctors gave him or what, but he was out.  

Riley shook the bed some more, trying to get some leverage to really shake it. Bruce still didn’t wake up, and in the dim light, she could see the tears running down Bruce’s cheeks. He was truly terrified by whatever he was seeing.

“Come on, man, you got this.”

Riley grabbed Bruce by the wrist intending to shake him awake, maybe smack him on the cheek to bring him out of it.  

Instead, the world around Riley disappeared, and she was no longer in the hospital room. She was still with Bruce, but now she could look up, and she saw what was holding Bruce over the large pit of lava below them. Riley looked up, and saw the dragon.

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