The cup of hot chocolate led to both of them playing Tales of the Abyss which led to Kevin falling asleep on the couch which led just him into a dream unlike any other.
Kevin sat alone on a star-lit hillside. The grasses whispered “Shh-shhh-shhhh” The sky was cloudless and the moon was full.
He was alone, but he didn’t feel alone.
His ears twitched.
Someone was playing a plaintive melody on ocarina while a single bass drum tapped out a counterpoint rhythm.
Kevin rose to his feet and went to investigate.
He came to a campsite.
The music stopped.
A bonfire raged, throwing sparks and streamers of moments into the air.
A moment floated past his face in slow motion so he could see every detail contained in its ribbon.
Dark gray with black ticking.
He stood over a small boy who had become lost in the forest.
The boy looked at the werewolf with wide, frightened eyes.
The werewolf’s mouth was wide open in a snarl about to become a snap.
Then, the moment disappeared.
A creature stood before him.
It stood upright like a human, but it was not human.
White stars sat where eyes were supposed to be. They shined with a bright steady determination. Undimming, undying in a night colored face.
A robe of moonlight and midnight sky covered its body and hid its hands and its feet.
Kevin didn’t have to ask who or what it was.
It was the Night Folk.
They had come for him at last.
He startled out of his dream.
Barbara was no longer in the room, which relieved him.
He curled up into the tightest ball he could manage.
The Night Folk.
Raven’s words filled his mind: “When you begin to dream of the Night Folk, your time as a human is coming to an end. By then, you will only have one more week and one more day left. Then, you will be a wolf to your dying day.”
One more week and one more day.
One more week.
One more day.
He struggled with the math. Nine? Eight! Eight days.
What I remember?
Who I forget?
Where I go?
I’ll say bye to her.
Can’t marry her.
She came back and sat on the couch. “What’s wrong? You look sick. Are you okay?”
Will forget her?
He squeaked like a hurt dog.
She scooted closer to him and touched his head. “Kev, what is it? What’s wrong?”
“Dream = bad.”
“Oh.” She sat back. “You had a bad dream?”
“Dream = worst bad.” He uncurled himself and got of the couch. “Need go home.”
“You sure you’re okay?”
Not okay. Not tell her, though. Make her sad. “Okay. Tired for home.’
She smiled and it was the loveliest thing he’d seen all week. “I’ll drive you. Come on.”