His Dreamy Hooded Hero
Yvain jerked awake and wiped the sweat from his face. He was in his bed, in his room, sunlight trickling in through the window, just like any other normal morning. And yet, his head whirled with every thought possible and a few more for good measure. He was going on nineteen, and he’d certainly had his share of inexplicable dreams before, but nothing even in the same league as this. He let his head fall back onto his pillow. Whatever hopes he’d had for a relaxing summer day were dashed. As deep of breaths as he tried to take, his heart kept pounding like it was trying to leap out of his chest. He closed his eyes and did his best to recount the vision he knew he’d be losing soon.
Flashes of a man came gradually back to him. A great hooded figure, looming over him a hundred yards away, floating toward him in some sort of starry void. A face concealed completely by shadow. Oversized old robes flapping as if from cosmic winds as the figure — ever-powerful but never intimidating — floated closer. A young girl standing to the side, herself hidden under eldritch hood and robes, only flowing golden hair and exposed arms giving hints of an identity. A golden chalice held out in her hands. Some ineffable kind of brightness sitting within. Yvain himself floating still in the void, limbs lifeless like a nightmare but eyes seeing the scene with only wonder twinkling in them.
The hooded man stopped beside the girl with the chalice. She bowed and handed it over to him. He continued, ever so slowly, only stopping again several feet in front of Yvain. As gently as one picks up a kitten, he lifted an eye of water and fire, earth and air, illuminating all the cosmos, out of the chalice.
The memory made him shudder in awe. A few more details trickled in. A beard — a vibrant red beard — had glittered in that great cosmic light. Yvain stroked his own red stubble. A voice had boomed through the dreamscape, either of eye or man, maybe both, now slipping, much too quickly, from his memory. He scrambled, brow furrowed, to retrieve whatever notebook he could find first to record what words he could recall. The words. The words were what mattered. Sweat graced the page before any words. Desperation made way for grief as…