I found myself walking in the Dreaming last night. (One day, I’ll settle on my terminology.) I was walking through a forest, tracking something. Silly me, I didn’t pay attention to the tracks I thought I was following, nor to my surroundings. The trees were talking to me as I passed them, each tree -speaking- a word of a sentence, the complete sentence played out as I passed the stands. Like the whole forest was speaking.
I was half listening to the forest, and half following the tracks before me. I didn’t recognize the animal type that laid them, just that I was following a quadruped with long talons. The paw prints didn’t look either feline or canine. Each pad was 1/3 the size of my palm, so I thought I was following the tracks of a small creature.
The forest and I was having a friendly monologue when the forest trees suddenly went quiet. I stopped and looked around, but I didn’t see anything. That’s when I noticed I didn’t hear other foresty sounds like birds. Everything went completely quiet.
“Don’t go any further. But don’t run, either.” All the trees around me spoke those words in tandem, then resumed their silence.
For a few seconds, the silence and stillness was torture. I kept spinning around, trying to catch a glimpse at what the trees had warned me of. But nothing moved. No bird, leaf, breeze, animal. I tried to still myself, but the fear was building.
Bear. Big Bear. Big Pissed-Off Bear. That is Charging. At. Me. Right. This. Second.
This is not the first time I have encountered a bear in the Dreaming. My memory of that first event quickly flashed before me. My first encounter with Bear was not pleasant, as Bear had easily overpowered me and ripped my face (with facial bones) clean off before I was ejected from that Dreaming. I really didn’t want to have the unique pleasure of hearing my skull bones wetly crunch in Bear’s mouth again.
Forgetting the trees’ advice, I ran.
And woke up in bed, bloody near screaming. THEN I remembered the trees told me not to run. *facepalm*
Could I have been tracking a bear cub? I’ve never seen a bear cub print in the Waking, so I’m not sure. The tracks did not resemble a bear’s, but then again, in the Dreaming, things aren’t always what they appear.