The release of the Coven anthology is almost upon us!! In honor of that, here is a little snippet of the characters in my story, “Across Silence and Darkness.” Unlike my usual drabbles, this one takes place in the character’s own world. This is just me peeking in on what they were doing before the story came along. Enjoy!
Any questions about the story, the characters, or the (almost here!) anthology: drop me a comment 🙂
After what felt like years of combating the nightmare holding him prisoner, Derryl finally fought his way back to consciousness. He sat up in bed, kicking the blankets away as if they contained the disease of bad dreams and just touching them might be enough to infect him again.
Once this foolishness was completed, Derryl faced a familiar problem: should he go back to bed or not?
As a general rule, Derryl had adjusted to being mute, and wasn’t particularly bothered by the challenges it presented, but on nights like these he found the situation particularly unfair. Whenever his roommate woke up screaming (it wasn’t often, but it did happen) Derryl would check on him, ask if Yasden was okay and if he wanted to talk about it, and then they would both go to bed.
Derryl didn’t doubt that Yasden would do the same for him if he knew the dreams happened in the first place, but Derryl couldn’t scream, and Yasden wasn’t a psychic.
Still, though… it wasn’t fair.
Reluctantly, Derryl enshrouded himself in the rumpled bed sheets and wished fervently that the rest of his slumber might be uninterrupted.
That was when he heard the rattling from the kitchen. Rattling? No, it sounded like… popping?
Derryl didn’t need much convincing to abandon his room in favor of investigation. The mystery proved itself easily solvable—Yasden was making a bag of popcorn—though it did give birth to another mystery.
Why are you awake? Derryl asked in tired, sloppy sign language once he got Yasden to look at him.
“Hey. Want some popcorn?” Yasden said, without an attempt to answer the question.
Derryl shrugged and they made their way to the living room couch in synchronized sleepy shuffling. A couple of handfuls of popcorn later, Derryl decided that it must be just a coincidence, but then Yasden proved him wrong by asking, “So, you want to talk about it?”
About what? Derryl signed.
“The dream you had.”
Derryl had popcorn in his hands, so he tried to transfer ‘how did you know?’ into an expression.
“You snore,” Yasden said. “A lot. Very loudly. When you stop suddenly, it wakes me up.”
The popcorn was violently abandoned as Derryl launched into a wildly expressive explanation of how he couldn’t possibly snore that loud.
Yasden watched with vague amusement, and when the tirade was over, asked, “So, are you okay, then?”
Yeah, Derryl said. I’m fine. After licking butter off one of his fingers, he added, Thanks for asking.
If you liked the story and want to see more of Derryl, you might want to consider visiting This Event Page on Tuesday, September 29th. We’re going to be giving away FIFTEEN free copies of the anthology! (Exciting stuff, I know!)