They were, quite suddenly, outside once more. The crystal tickled at their hind legs, its growth seeming to have stopped for now. Their footsteps sounded strange, a clop-clop-chime as their candied back hooves touch the ground.
The central castle of Treatropolis stretched upwards in front of them, spires reaching up into the unnatural night. The castle architecture looked completely normal, but something still reminded Mym of the awful, grasping crystallized arms and hands within the tunnels. Reaching upward, ever upward.
One and Two followed the line of the castle towers up, and up, and up.
... The Sun was gone.
In its place was
At first, the tunnels had seemed like an excellent idea. At least then there would be earth and stone between them and the Treatropolis Sun, which continued to regard them occasionally, Eye opening into a narrow slit as the hissing, static song filled the air. Every time this happened, Mym stood perfectly still as if frozen, waiting for the Eye to slip closed once more before moving on.
Yes, being in a tunnel was infinitely preferable to being looked at like that. When the opportunity presented itself, Mym slipped past an abandoned trail car and into the darkness.
They instantly felt a sense of relief, letting out twin breaths. "Wel
Mym had heard tales of Treatropolis from others who had been there, though they had never ventured there. Stories of gingerbread arches and candied forests, streets paved in squishy gummies and above all, the Sun. A realm not unlike something one might find in a Stygian's kingdom, really.
The reality was something else altogether - and, quite frankly, it was exceeding Mym's expectations in every respect.
The city seemed cradled in perpetual night, candy spires twinkling against the sky. That was the first surprise, really - given all Mym had heard of the Treatropolis Sun, they would have expected an endless day. Not that the Sun was absent.
"What are you saying? That I'm not... that I'm not real?"
Phaenn's body shook with tension, undecided fight-or-flight singing through his veins. The 'other him' - the supposed winner of this supposed lottery - was looking at him with a smug expression. He'd won, after all. Smugness was to be expected. That part didn't bother Phaenn at all.
What did bother Phaenn, very much, was the edge of pity in the other's words. Panic snapped into anger, and Phaenn pulled himself together. "You don't have any proof of this, do you?" Phaenn snapped at his duplicate. "You could be lying. Just a trick of the game to manipulate me. It can't be that hard to
DREAM-002: [now saving file] by sosiqui, literature
DREAM-002: [now saving file]
Phaenn crashed through the snow, skidding as his hooves flailed for purchase while a proximity alert blared through his ears. The thing - the Abyssal Worm - behind him made an ungodly noise. "THIS IS AWFUL GAME DESIGN," he shrieked as a tree slammed into the snow behind him, splinters flying past his pinned ears. He was going to log out and file a complaint, except that he'd gotten this far and maybe he could still salvage this situation somehow, it hadn't killed him yet-
The ground flew out from under him, and Phaenn flailed for a moment before falling a few feet into another snowbank. There was a tremendous roar as the Abyssal Worm shot ov
DREAM-001: Eggcellent Beginnings by sosiqui, literature
DREAM-001: Eggcellent Beginnings
"It was fun, they said," Phaenn muttered to himself as he trudged through the forests surrounding Dreamhome. "A life of adventure, they said."
The quest log proclaiming COLLECT EGGS! blinked at him as if in cheerful mockery.
Both Siren and Lyril had pushed Phaenn to try out the latest version of DREAM-ONLINE, regaling him with tales of their own adventure in an earlier patch. It had sounded pretty fun, so Phaenn had let them fit the VN-2 headset over his head after being assured that it was quite different from Lyril's simulab. All they had to do was take it off. He could do it himself. No doors that could be 'conveniently' covered up or an
They are used to being two-in-one. It is a normal state of existence.
They are, emphatically, unused to being more than that.
The Labyrinth unravels them. They are two threads braided so tightly that they may as well be one, but the Labyrinth sees their edges and grips them and pulls. They strain towards each other in panic, then separate in a rush of disorientation and pain.
They have never been separate before. One-in-one. They have never been Alone.
One... is one, and what sense is it to be called One when there is no Two? One wonders desperately if Two feels the same, their panic increasing as Two's thoughts do not flow back to t
[LR-002] follow follow follow follow follow fall by sosiqui, literature
[LR-002] follow follow follow follow follow fall
Blue sky, green grass, yellow brick. Their hooves clop pleasantly against the road below. The flowers wave in the wind, sending their sweet, metallic tang over the landscape. The road slices across the hills like a scar that meanders and twists like a wound like a perfectly normal road. Mym has always been here, walking this road, hooves thudding and shrieking and making completely normal sounds with every step.
we have lost the ability to choose otherwise.
Their companions make merry jests, flicking in and out of existence the way normal people do all the time, of course, their edges shifting and dancing and never quite right except that t
[LR-001] Shallow Reflections by sosiqui, literature
[LR-001] Shallow Reflections
Mym is not accustomed to feeling unease.
Imparting it to others, yes. That is their purpose, or at least part of it. They walk the distortions of nightmare with confidence and ease, well aware that they are usually the most frightening thing in the room, so to speak. Other nightmares are simply the same sort of trickery they themselves employ, produced by a being of their own kind. No need to worry, no need to fear.
This, though... Mym feels worry. They feel unease.
They do not feel fear, they tell themselves, in the quiet of their twin minds.
They should know how they came to be here. When one of them is incapacitated, the other remember
[Staff-003] What Is and Isn't by sosiqui, literature
[Staff-003] What Is and Isn't
Mym padded calmly through the fog, their heads turning, scanning the shadows that lurked beyond the obscuring mist. It was difficult to tell what, exactly, they were walking through; the angularity of the shadows suggested something built, not grown, but it was never safe to assume anything in the realm of nightmares.
"One?" Two asked, pausing their movement and holding one forehoof aloft.
"Two?" One replied, twitching their head towards Two, their braids swaying with the gesture.
"We want it to be something," Two complained, stomping the hoof down with an impatient clack; by the sound, the surface beneath them was concrete, maybe. Again,
she/her | lesbian | neurodiverse | happily married
I love to commission art and collect adopts when finances allow! I also write for the ARPGs I'm in and sometimes post messy doodles. More info on my OCs and adopts is on my toyhou.se.
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