Sweet Dreams

Chapter 18: Gives Way to Reality's Pain

© 2006 by Pyrite aka Jessi Duffour

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I was in Hell. My head hurt. No...hurt is stubbing your toe. Hurt is catching your finger in the door. I felt like my brain was trying to pummel it's way out my skull as my stomach crept up, attempting to join in escape. Groaning my discontent, I reached up to my eyes, feeling my pulse thud beneath my eyelids gummed shut. It startled me considerably when my hand encountered resistance over my skin. Pausing, I prodded the fabric. Soft, silken, supple as honey. Pulling it away I sat up with a soft groan, rubbing my throbbing temple with one hand as I pulled the object away from my face . Blinking bleary eyes, I stared at it in incomprehension. Gossamer pink...shimmering with hues of gold, silver and crimson...it was an elegant silken...veil? Pushing myself up, I glanced about in sheer perplexity.

A soft breeze stirred the boughs of the tree I was resting under. Distant sounds of music and voices vaguely drifted to my ears...surreal sounds of revelry like a near forgotten dream. I was in the Garden...a small quiet tranquil place set in the cool distant beauty of endless night. A slight chill sent a minor shiver through my body. Absently reaching up...I was considerably surprised to touch bare skin on my arms. Blinking absurdly...I dropped my eyes immediately to my clothing...my breath hitching in utter shock. My uniform had been replaced, somehow, by an elegant dress of pristine white. Diamonds and pearls encrusted the lovingly tooled bodice...one that gave the illusion of a bust I could only have dreamed for. It hung off my shoulders in an elegant drape, the arms bare. Gulping, I averted my eyes about warily...dreading discovery in this attire. What on Earth happened? Why am I in this dress? HOW did I get to be in it? Pausing, I groaned as I rest my forehead upon my hand...realizing when everything started to go fuzzy in my thoughts.

"The Punch." Getting to my feet with a low mutter, I staggered slightly...reaching out to the tree to help catch my balance. Grace flew out the window as I stumbled over with a startled yelp...stepping on the hem of the dress in the awkward heeled shoes and falling forward into a bed of flowers...sending stray petals fluttering.

"Oh Sh..."

"Are you all right, Miss?"

I cut my explicative short, blinking in startlement as I covered my mouth with both of my hands...slipping the veil back on quickly to conceal the lower half of my face: clumsily setting the rings on the clips in my hair. Absently, I noticed how....odd...my hair felt, tight, heavy balanced...however, I ignored that as I resolutely struggled to get up, murmuring with a forced higher falsetto tone.

"Ah...fine....I'm all right..." Feeling a strong yet gentle hand slip into mine and pull up...another hand reaching under my other elbow for support as the helpful stranger aided in hauling me to my unsteady feet.

"Oh...thank you! I seemed to have lost my balance a...little..." My words trailed off as I stared into hypnotically lurid violet blue eyes. Eyes deep, delving...seeking the very corners of my Soul. I felt color rise to my cheeks as I stared in near fright at Prince Demando...praying to whatever god may be listening that he doesn't recognize me. What disturbed me...however...was the intensity of his gaze...looking equal parts shocked and dreamy.


I blinked as his hand convulsed slightly...shuddering subtly. Giving a small squeak of surprise, I stumbled back...stepping out of the shoes to tread bare foot into the plush grass...slipping my hand from his grasp as I turned sharply, running swiftly for the doors leading to the building area. My mind was a whirl of confusion and bewilderment. Who is this 'Serenity' person? Why am I in this dress? Why is the Prince acting so odd? WHAT is going ON here?!!!

Glancing over my shoulder I caught a gleam of white through the darkness...the Prince in pursuit. Looking back ahead, I panted as I spurred on by desperate steps...throwing the doors open as I ran down the hallway, holding the long flowing ivory skirts in my hands to keep from tripping on them.

"Wait! Serenity!"

"No thank you!"

Slipping slightly on the slick ground of the crystalline passageway, I rounded a corner at breakneck speed. Yes...this was familiar...ah! The room shouldn't be much farther along. Reaching out to the door as I neared, I twisted the knob, yanking the door open. Leaping inside, I pulled it quietly shut gently behind me...panting heavily as I leaned back against it. Twisting the lock behind me, I lurched towards the bathroom...stumbling inside and ripping the veil off. Glancing up...I blinked in disbelief at what my eyes beheld.

Face touched with makeup to accentuate a vision of innocence only received a passing glance as I stared up at my hair. Reaching up...I poked in appalled shock at the round buns of hair pulled up...like meatballs...the rest flowing past my shoulders with a golden sheen.

"What a STUPID hairstyle. This has GOT to be a gag...ooooh someone is going to PAY!"

Muttering, I fought with the buns...finally tumbling the captive locks to fall about my shoulders. Glancing up at a burgundy bathrobe hanging in the small room, I snaked out a hand to snatch it...shrugging off the abysmal dress then kicking it aside as I slipped the thick plush oversized robe on close, cinching the belt of the fluffy warm garment tight as I cast a glance to the sink. All actions ceased as my blood chilled...hearing a knock at the front door. Demando. Hesitating...I reached up to my hair...mussing it up absurdly...easily creating a disheveled look. Stumbling out the privy, I tripped over myself as I fumbled to the door...hearing the insistent knock sterner upon the wood. Unlocking it, I opened the door...succeeding in holding a surprised look as my gaze was greeted by a rather consternated Prince.

"Aaah! Er...excuse me...you gave me a start. Is there something amiss?" I rested my cheek against the doorframe, managing to hold a miserable look. All too easy. My head pounded like the booted feet of the fifty-third infantry as my stomach rolled like a ball in the dryer.

"Yes. A young woman...a princess fair..."

"Sorry...I'll pass...Thanks for the offer, though..."

"No! I am searching for one!"

"Hmmm, don't have any of those...how about a Queen?" I winced, feeling my headache thud malignantly.

"Pyrite...this is a matter of grave importance. There is a princess in my Kingdom...and she must be brought to me. Serenity is an elegant vision...clad in a dress of white purity, her features sweet as a Summer breeze..."

My mind wandered through his eloquent poetic description of the princess...yeah...lovely face, hair...wait. My attention caught at his description of her buns...wincing despite my attempt to hold an attentive mien. Raising my hand to my temple at his pause, I tried to curb any questions.

"S..sorry...I'm feeling a bit...ill...at the moment. I'll keep an eye out for your damsel, though. When I see Lord Kunzite and the Queen, I'll ask them." The prince gave a slight nod...casting a look down the hallway. Dark violet eyes narrowed slightly as he peered down the passage then raised those keen eyes to me. I straightened...attempting to regain SOME level of dignity.

"You look terrible. I have sealed the palace...so there is no escaping. Get rest...I am certain you would aid me in searching tomorrow morn...yes?" Those words, though cool, polite and neutral were in NO way a question. Sighing, I nodded miserably.

"Sure thing, Prince Demando. I'll be there with bells on."

"Bells...?"He quirked a brow archly. I flushed slightly, waving a hand idly in an offhanded gesture.

"Figure of speech. Meaning I'll be there with energy. Gusto."

"Excellent." With no more words he turned, dashing down the hallway, long cloak aflutter in his wake. Canting my head aside, I shook it...realizing that this was a real mess. A BIG mess. Closing the door, I released a soft sigh, resting my forehead upon the cool hard wood, exhaling a long breath.

"Pyrite...what did the Prince want?"

I straightened as my blood ran cold through my veins...hearing the Queen's sibilant hiss. Gulping back my unease, I turned around and bowed low...staring at the ground as I could feel the Queen's brooding presence at the doorway to one of the bedrooms.

"Ohhh....he was looking for someone."

"Someone? Whom?"

"I'm not sure...some princess. He requested me to meet him tomorrow to help in the search."

"And you accepted?"A hint of danger flavored her words...making me glad of my answer.

"Oh, of course, My Queen."

"Ah....Excellent." I waited a long moment in uncomfortable silence...a silence disturbingly broken as the queen purred in a low tone..."Pyrite..."

"Y...yes?" Shivering, I rose from the bow to look to the Queen in perplexity as she spoke...a strange depth slithering in her words. Something disturbed me about her tone...then I stiffened, my eyes widening as my gaze rose to the Queen.

"Join me tonight." She raised a clawed hand...pale as the skin of the dead: a chalky leathery flesh carried all over her form...one not hidden by a stitch of clothes. Kunzite was standing just barely in the doorway...looking duly disheveled...and in similar fashion:a la bare. All color drained from my face as the room spun. S...she wants m-me to do...WHAT?!! After all the heartening training, all the grueling time in the hellish kingdom, seeing monsters and worse...I reacted with the most appropriate response at the time.

I fainted.

The End of Chapter 18 - Goto Chapter 19

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Disclaimer: Sailormoon is the property of Takeuchi Naoko, Kodansha and Toei Animation. All characters, settings etc. are used without permission. This is an amateur fiction, and I definitely won't make any money of it.

This page belongs to Stayka's Dark Kingdom Home at http://www.dark-kingdom.de

© by Pyrite aka Jessi Duffour - Email: duffour@gmail.com

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