Wicked Witch of the Midwest
The warmth of the sun in a cloudless sky shined down and enveloped Fe’ha in its light. Surrounded by lush and luminescent flora, he laid in his garden. To his right, Xochitl, a practicing witch of death and an alchemist who creates enlightenment potions. On their left-side was Oriana, a fellow posh Sephyrran who had a blanket underneath her, so her clothing may be unstained by the dirt.
“You know Grassy, when you suggested we laid in your garden as a pass-time I couldn’t fathom how that was fun. But now I see what you mean. This is… so peaceful.” Oriana chirped up, rising up to look at Fe’ha.
“Of course it’s peaceful,” Xochitl started, “We’ve smoked a bowl of stemweed and been sipping my spirits.”
“No, no-” Fe’ha piped in, “You have it all wrong Xochi. Our innate connection to nature makes it feel at peace when we’re surrounded by it.”
“I possess a black thumb, Fe’ha. Every plant I touch ends up dying. How am I innately connected to nature?”
“Death is a part of nature.”
The green-haired Sephyrran shot a shit-eating grin to Xochi, who scoffed and quipped in response,
“Oh- shut up.”
Fe’ha burst into laughter, sitting up and stretching his arms above his head. Lowering them, he brushed his fingers against the petals of a flower next to him. He immediately recoiled when it burned his skin, and suddenly, one by one the plants in his garden began to combust into black flames. Boiling down to a tar-like substance. Visceral screams sliced through him, making his blood run cold. His pallid green gaze darted to his companions. A rush of heat smacked against his face as he saw them ablaze.
“Help (H̸̼̦̞͛́͋e̵̝͔̓̈́l̵̢͖̽̕͝p̴͙̺̦̒̓̚ ) Us!” they called out in unison, before becoming nothing but pools of thick, rolling black, liquid.
The once brilliant blue sky above was painted red. And Fe’ha was standing at the center of a tar mess that used to be his safe place. His garden. The pools that were his friends bubbled, before long, slender arms rose from them.
“Did you (y̵͇͔͐̾̈́͜o̵̡̺͇̒͌͝u̸̫͙̾͋͘ ÿ̴̙͙́͆͝o̴̪̪͎̓̈́̈́ú̸͇̼̾̿ y̴̫͇͍̓̈́͠o̴͙̦͓̓͐̐u̸͇̻͇͒̀͒ y̸̡̙̝͌͝ò̸͇̦̒͝u̴͖̪̾̈́̕͜)-” a pair of distorted, gurgled and demonic sounding voices called out.
Bodies made of the liquid quickly manifested, towering over the fearful Sephyrran. A duo of the daemons that attacked him earlier that evening. With a series of sickening cracks the lower half of their “faces” split open horizontally, to reveal horrifying smiles. Yellowed and browned, jagged, shark-like teeth.
“Did you… think you could escape us?” they spoke, tilting their heads to the right.
Fe’ha began to tremble with terror. He squeezed his eyes shut and began to yell,
“This isn’t real! This isn’t real! This- this- this is just a figment of my imagination-”
And then a fiery pain erupted in his gut. He screamed out in agony, looking down to see one of the daemon’s clawed digits plunged inside.
“We (w̸͍͕͖͐͛e̸͚͚͊͝͝) are…. very... real (r̵̢͖̝̒͌͐ë̵̝̟́͛́͜a̴̡͚̽̒̈́͜l̵̟̻̞̓͊͝ r̵̢͉̺̈́̒̓e̸̫̟̘̐̿͒a̴̢͍͋̕͜͠l̸̝̪̙̔̈́͠ r̸̡̙͔͒̓͝e̵̟̪̙͑͝͝a̵̡͚̫̒͝͝l̸̪͍̈́̐̚͜)!”
Green ichor flooded his throat and spilled from his lips, unable to speak now.
“Remember (r̸̢̺̺̽͐̕e̸̪̠̾͆͒m̵̞͓͐͜͝͠e̴̡̦̞͛͌m̸̙̘͙̒͛͋b̴͉̪͒͌͜e̸͔͖͔̐̒r̴̡͎̪̽͠) child of Te’fil… you are just (j̵̟̞͆͒u̴̢͉͇̔̒̚s̵̘̫̫͌͐̀t̸͇̘̫̓͐͐ j̵͖͔̘̀̈́͝u̴̢̝̽̔͆͜s̸̺͖̀͊͌t̸̘̙̺̓̓̓) a pseudo immortal...you (y̵͇͔͐̾̈́͜o̵̡̺͇̒͌͝u̸̫͙̾͋͘ ÿ̴̙͙́͆͝o̴̪̪͎̓̈́̈́ú̸͇̼̾̿ y̴̫͇͍̓̈́͠o̴͙̦͓̓͐̐u̸͇̻͇͒̀͒ y̸̡̙̝͌͝ò̸͇̦̒͝u̴͖̪̾̈́̕͜)- cannot… escape death… cannot… escape… us.”
A burning sensation churned in his throat before he released a blood-curdling scream, and then-
Blinding sunlight pierced his eyes. He jolted upwards, back in his garden, awake now. Released from the nightmare which haunted him. Xochitl sat cross-legged next to him, it seems they had watched him sleep. At least, from his perspective.
“That stuff the red fiend give you help?” they spoke, raising an inquisitive stark-white brow.
“I had…” Fe’ha paused, gulping, “A horrible nightmare but… it seems I.. was able to stay asleep… given uh-”
“Given when I closed my eyes it was still night… and now it is day.”
The death witch let out a chilling and stale laugh, shaking her head.
“Well, I’m sorry about your nightmare, but hey- at least the poppymilk let you rest.”
“Yeah, thank Te’fil for that…” he emitted an obviously feigned chuckle after his comment.
Fe’ha’s pale green gaze scanned his garden and hesitantly reached out for one of the flowers. Gently brushing his fingers on it. Feeling the smooth petals. And then letting out a sigh of relief when it didn’t sting to the touch.
“This… is my reality.”