I saw a writing prompt on the internet recently that read something like this: “Every now and then, dreamcatchers must be emptied of the nightmares they’ve caught. Who does it, and what do they see?”
I thought this was very interesting and decided to write a scene based on the concept. Here it is. I call it “The Dremptier”, which is a bad pun of “Dream Emptier”. Anyway, enjoy!
“Every now and then, dreamcatchers must be emptied of the nightmares they’ve caught. Who does it, and what do they see?”
The child shivers in her sleep.
She is in her bed, in her room, covered with her favorite blanket and cuddling her favorite stuffed animal. She is safe and warm.
And yet she shivers.
An old dreamcatcher hangs above her head, slightly tattered, a little faded, and worn from years of catching the nightmares of those it’s guarded. It hangs heavy, dragged down by the horrors it contains. Despite this, it still shimmers faintly with the old magic that only those of my kind can see.
The child whimpers, a sweet, heart wrenching sound filled with innocence and fear. I hurry to the side of her bed and begin my work.
Gently I lift the dreamcatcher from the hook it hangs on, carefully moving it away so that fragmented nightmares don’t fall out into her already troubled mind.
I examine it closely. Hidden underneath the glow of magic are creeping shadows and creatures of darkness, crawling and writhing in the net. One by one I pluck them off and crush them beneath my ghostly fingers, sending them back to the void they came from. It is not a permanent fix: the nightmares will inch back overtime, but it is still helpful. Besides, it wouldn’t be fair to nature if the Dremptiers such as I were undestroyable but the shadows were.
Out of curiosity, I observe the forms this child’s nightmares take as I remove them from the web, wondering what her fears are. I see the usual ones for such a young thing; spiders, heights, dogs, lightning… But I also see hunger, tall men with gruff voices, and images of her mother lying sick in bed. This one has had a troubled life already.
I myself was a child her age, years and years ago, before Typhoid Fever took my life. In death I chose the angel’s task of emptying mortals’ dreamcatchers when they became too full over the chance to be a guardian or a messenger. At first it was a dreadful task, but I soon learned to find joy in bringing restful sleep to those in need of it.
I make a mental note to ask her guardians what they can do to help her sick mother and soften the heart of her cold father.
She trembles, almost crying in her sleep. Fortunately, I’m almost done cleansing her dreamcatcher. I remove the last spider and rehook a broken part of the net, straightening a crooked feather, shaking the dust off, and hanging it back above her head. For comfort, I place a miniature daisy from my old childhood dreams into the net. It glimmers for a moment and then disappears.
Instantly, the shadows that were tormenting her are sucked into the web and replaced by my daisy. The child calms, breathing deep, and then a smile crosses her sleeping face and she finally drifts more deeply into her rest. I observe her for a moment, temporarily nostalgic for the life that was taken from me, but then I lean over and plant a kiss on her head that she’ll never feel, reminding myself that recompense will come.
My soul finds rest in this.
Feel free to let me know what you think of it! I’ve really been working on my writing ability and I finally feel like I’m making some progress. I’m actually working on a Skyrim fanfic right now and hope to upload it soon. Or, whenever it’s finished.