Dreams and Reality

By FireHawk

The town outside the castle was bathed in Twilight, as it had the days before it, and as it will the days that would follow. By now, the people of Hyrule had forgotten what true light was like, so long they had remained in the shadowy darkness. Many had resigned themselves to the fact that no one, not even their beloved Princess, would save them from this fate, and so they continued their lives as normal, albeit in the forms of spirits. Even the appearance of monsters in the darkness had become normal in their minds. This was their life now.

However, there was still one monster lurking in the shadows that would turn heads and cause alarm. Every now and again, people would see the creatures of Twilight keel over and die on their own, their lives taken away by some unseen force. Many others would claim to have seen the flesh stripped from the bones and disappear into the air, as though they were being devoured by an invisible entity. Soon, rumours and theories began to circulate about what this monster-eater looked like, if it even had a visible form at all. All kinds of horrors stories were formed about the creature and its feeding habits, and although it had not yet harmed any of the townspeople, they still lived in fear of the unknown beast.

In truth, the invisible monster was nothing more than a wolf on the prowl for its next meal. Ever since its arrival into Twilight, the wolf had been able to see the spirits of the inhabitants of Hyrule, although they could not see it themselves. It led a lonely life, feasting on whatever it could find and sleeping wherever it ended up.

Loneliness. The word itself meant little to it now. The only true loneliness it felt was a longing to be around other wolves, but its search had been fruitless. Even when it had found other wolves, they had been hostile at its appearance, and that was even assuming they could live in the Twilight like this one, and were not merely the light-deprived spirits of wolves. Clearly, this wolf was never going to be part of a pack.

Instead, it had found itself living among the humans. The only food it could find was the meat of the beasts that lurked in the Twilight, and since they were most often found among humans, so too the wolf stayed with them.

Most times, the beast would sit outside the bar to the south of the town. For some unfathomable reason, it found itself drawn to the young girl that had been taken in by the bar’s owner. Whenever she wandered outside on some errand, the wolf would whine pitifully, trying in vain to get her attention. Time had faded its memory, so it no longer remembered why it pined for the girl so much, but it did so anyway out of habit and instinct.

At night, it would curl up somewhere, close its eyes, and dream. Most nights, it would dream of playing in the forest with the girl. And not the dimly lit forests it had roamed in its search for a pack, but a bright, lush forest full of life and vitality.

A few times, the wolf would catch its reflection in a pool of water, and find a young Hylian boy with blue eyes and murky blonde hair staring back at it. It would try to paw at the boy, and the figure would respond in the same way. Sometimes, the wolf would find that its paws had somehow become like the boy’s, furless and like a monkey’s paw.

In its dream state, the wolf had often wondered who this boy was, and why he invaded its mind so much. But once it awoke, such dreams were soon forgotten and the age old instincts of live, kill, and eat remained.

However, very occasionally, the wolf would dream of something else. Although these dreams did not feature the recurring visions of the girl from the bar or the mysterious Hylian boy, they were much more vivid.

It would dream of being locked up in a dank, stone room, with one of its paws chained to the floor. As it tries to break the chain with its teeth, an imp with long red hair and wearing a strange helmet appears in front of it. The imp would say something to it before destroying the chain. The wolf would then follow the giggling creature through a series of stony corridors, out onto the roof of the place where it had been locked up.

The imp continues to lead the wolf across the rooftops towards a distant tower. Once inside, the wolf is led to another room, where a cloaked figure stands by a window, looking out at the world below. The figure turns around as soon as the wolf enters and begins to converse with the imp in strong, feminine tones. The cloaked woman then bends down to speak with the wolf, addressing it as though it were the same species as her.

While the wolf had shown a certain animosity towards the imp, it remains calm when confronted with this second stranger and appears to listen intently, even though the words she spoke were long forgotten in the waking world. After it finishes speaking, the figure would take her hood down, and reveal her face. The wolf could not remember who she was, but the faint, yet distinct scent of an alpha would make itself known.

Once the meeting is over, the wolf would suddenly find itself in a bright spring in a leafy green forest, similar to the one in its other dreams. Just as it tries to find its bearings, the imp would appear again and order it to find something in the nearby village. Lost and confused, the wolf would obediently wander out of the forest in the direction of the humans’ village.

By the time it reaches the village, night has fallen, and there is an air of anguish about the place. Here and there, human men and women appear to be fretting about something that had happened to them earlier in the day. As the wolf searches the village for the things that the imp had demanded it find, it would find itself being attacked by the people it met. One man would summon a hawk to swoop at it, while another is armed with a torch and a sword.

This part of the dream would always seem to be the most vivid to the wolf, mainly because it experienced intense feelings of despair that these people were attacking it. It felt wrong, somehow. This was the strongest, most human, feeling the creature ever encountered in its dream state. And yet, as with the other dreams, such memories and feelings would be forgotten upon awaking.

The sensation is so bad that the wolf would escape the village without completing its task. When the imp angrily confronts it, it refuses to go back. It doesn’t want to face those villagers again, the people it had once called… friends? Even in the world of dreams, the term ‘friend’ made little sense to the wolf, even when it seemed to understand every other human concept thrown at it.

Instead the beast just keeps running away as fast as it can. It doesn’t dare look back in case it sees the imp or one of the angry villagers chasing after it. However, it doesn’t get very far until it reaches a towering black wall along the boundaries of the forest. With a yelp of panic, the wolf sees no other choice but to turn back, and that’s when the monsters fall from the sky.

The last thing the wolf sees in is a gang of black monsters swarming over a giant, goat-like apparition in the spring where it had appeared into the forest. Something inside the wolf seemed to be telling it to do something about it, but in its confused state of mind, all it would do is stand and watch like a curious puppy. The goat is so bright that the wolf is nearly blinded just looking at it, but the light soon fades away to make way for the foreboding darkness that replaces it. As the Twilight envelopes the forest and the village, the wolf finds that the wall has dissolved now that the two worlds have combined, and it makes its last cowardly dash for freedom.

There, the wolf’s dream ends. There, it wakes up and continues its life as normal, just as the people of Hyrule go about their own lives as if nothing has happened.

Only the goddesses of the Twilight-infested world know the plight of the creature that lives a wolf’s life by day and dreams a human’s life at night.

Back to Story Menu