I have a few cover versions for Dreamwalker: The Second Plain. The current one is from the 5 year anniversary redesign, giving a glimpse of Saul and the destroyed asylum fading in the background. I was looking for a copy of the original for this post, but I can’t find it anywhere. I’ve included the second take below in the excerpt.
Conditioned Soul – Chapter 57
Booth fifteen: He tied the woman and child to a long plank with their arms extended above their heads. The tips of their fingers could almost touch. Tears and sweat drenched their faces. The whir of the machine with an assortment of circular blades stemming from a center pivot muffled their cries. The blades spun and undulated as the arm of the machine brought the bundle closer to the child’s body.
The woman shrieked, the child wailed, the blades pulled away and moved to the woman who yelled to leave her baby alone and hurt her instead. The machine did as requested, drawing close to her abdomen. Drops of blood flew as their cries increased.
The glowing androgynous creature watched, tears streaming down its face. It wasn’t able to intervene. It could only observed as the machine disfigured its other self and baby girl.
Then out of nowhere, Great Pig appeared destroying the maniacal arm and rescuing them. He lifted each from the plank, standing them on their feet relieving each of their mortal wounds.
Booth thirty-six: Nervously, he walked through the dense jungle, jumping at every noise, waiting for his pursuers to find him all the while knowing they eventually would. His skin tingled, realizing too late, he had walked through spider webs.
He looked down at his arms to see millions of small red spiders crawling across his skin, covering his entire body in seconds. Trying to brush them off caused them to multiply with every swipe of his hand. Frantically stripping off his clothes gave him no relief as the burning venom coursed through his body increasing with every second.
Run. The bulbous-eyed creature thought. They will fall off. Doing as the familiar voice in his mind suggested, he ran, noticing the spiders fell away. The tingle of the billions of tiny legs ceased. He looked himself over the best he could, finding no trace of the spiders on him.
Resting a moment in the shadows of the jungle, he rubbed his chest to reassure himself the spiders were gone. His fingers returned sticky. As he stepped out of the shadows to examine himself better, disbelief overtook him. Where his fingers had touched, tracks of peeled skin revealed raw muscle.
As he dropped his hand in disgust, his fingers grazed his thigh, pulling away gooey flesh. As he stood in the pale light, layers of skin sloughed away without being touched, exposing raw meat to the air. His bare muscles flexed and pulsed as exposed nerves reacted to their debut to the world beyond the covering of skin.
With every minute movement, more of his skin fell, followed by putrid chunks of flesh to display pristine bone. Shrieks filled his lungs, filling the air, disturbing birds and beasts from their slumber.
A soothing voice answered his calls, quieting him, saying to simple words, “Come to me.”
His terrified eyes found Great Pig, stepping from the foliage, and in agony forced his legs to take him to his redeemer. Great Pig embraced the man, instantly healing his mortal wounds.
* * * *
Whitey quickly learned the theme of the Conditioning; pain, suffering and Great Pig saving them from their strife. Seeing the faces of the soldiers daily, Whitey learned not all were subjected to the horrors of the basement, these individuals wished to inflict the terror on others, and required little if any Conditioning; they helped Great Pig for the thrill and the generous paycheck Michael David gave them.
Whitey wished he had a way to tell Saul everything he had learned about how Great Pig used their nightmares to fool the people into believing he was saving them. But, there was no escape from the chain around his neck. Whenever he attempted to remove it, it tightened, choking him until Great Pig decided to loosen it. So he waited for Saul to rescue him.
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