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Corrupted Heroes

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The world seemed deathly still, not a sound could be heard in...whatever black abyss you were floating in. It felt so real, and yet so fake at the same time. Your eyes slowly opened and you stared upwards at an inky black nothingness, lost in a feeling akin to drowning. Then a light pierced the emptiness and shown directly into your eyes, causing an involuntary squint. A faint ringing noise accompanied the light, filling your ears.

Dazed, you reached out with one hand towards the light, its radiance enchanting you. But then the golden light changed to shadow once again and everything around you turned a dark shade of blue and you flinched away from whatever had tried to lull you into its trap. All the while the faint ringing noise grew louder and louder reaching an ear splitting frequency.

And as you turned away and tried to curl in on yourself, the sound stopped. You weren’t sinking into a fuzzy blue void, you were just laying on the grass on your campus’s Quad. The ringing was replaced with the soft chirping of birds and wind flowing through the trees...and also your phone alarm but it wan’t as pleasant to the ears as the other sounds.

You sat up from the grass, dazed and confused, sparing a glance at your phone to see that you’d woken up just in time to make it to your last class of the day if you hurried. Hesitantly, you turned off the alarm before taking in the surrounding scenery; it was just the same old college campus you’d been attending for the past seven months, nothing out of the ordinary. Another moment went by, and under your breath you spoke a few words that were only meant for you at that moment.

“What the fuck…?”

>>>>>

“So, let me get this straight, you were sinking in a void when a light suddenly appeared and when you reached out for it the light turned into a shadow and everything around you turned blue?”

The hour between waking up and leaving class had gone by surprisingly fast to you, especially since that particular class made it feel like the seconds went by like molasses. The truth was you just couldn’t shake the dream you had out of your head, it nestled in the back of your mind, clawing out every now and then for scraps of attention. This wasn’t the first time you’d taken a nap before one of your classes and it also wasn’t the first time you’d had a nightmare during that time, but it was the first time a nightmare of yours felt so abstract and vivid. Usually your night terrors included some variety of failing an important test or forever being stuck with student loans, not an inky abyss.

After class ended, you immediately texted your close friend Tess to see if she could have lunch with you, you couldn’t just keep it to yourself anymore, which brings us back to the present and the conversation you were having right now.

“And the ringing noise, don’t forget the loud ringing noise,” you said before taking a bite of your sandwich.

Tess rolled her eyes at you and took a sip of her drink. “Well, anyways, I think you’re overreacting. I mean, sure that sounds like a real creepy dream, but its not like it means anything.” She set the cup down and pointed a finger at you. “Now, come back to me if you a start hearing a voice calling your name, that’s something.”

You took a moment to think about her analysis and soon began to feel a bit silly. Dreams just happen sometimes and you doubt that this one was the scariest nightmare you’d ever had. “Yeah, you’re probably right,” you replied while poking at your food, before looking back up at her with a playful smile.“But if I have that same dream again then you’re gonna feel real dumb for being a non believer and be shunted to the side as I begin my great quest!”

The brunette snorted at your goofiness. “Maybe you’re right, but only time will tell.”

>>>>>

By the time you’d made it back to your dorm, dusk had settled over your campus and everything was awash in a golden light. Even after all this time you still hadn’t gotten over how pretty everything looked at this time of day.

Entering your dorm, you quickly dropped your bag at the side of the door and kicked off your shoes haphazardly, a bad habit your roommate has told you many times that you had to shake. But your roommate was going to be gone for few days to visit their family and you always remember to clean up the short hallway leading to the door in the mornings so it really didn’t matter to you at the moment.

After closing the blinds and taking off any unnecessary outer layers, you made direct eye contact with your mattress before reuniting with your true love. Even with the nap you had before you were still worn out enough to warrant an early dinner and pre-dinner nap, which is why you ordered some take out in the elevator.

Now with no homework to do and your dinner being taken care of already, there was nothing standing between you and an actually relaxing nap. Memories of the nightmare you had before tickled your thoughts, but you quickly pushed those to the side. Sleepiness took hold of your tired mind and all semblance of consciousness slipped through willing fingers.

It was just a stupid dream, you thought. There is no way that it will happen a second time.

>>>>>

It happened a second time.

In fact, this dream felt exactly like a continuation of the dream you had before, this time with more details.

Once again you found yourself floating in a dark blue void, starring at the pitch black shadow you’d left behind. However, unlike last time you retained consciousness instead of only being semi aware of what was happening. You were so shocked that this was happening a second time that you almost missed the shadow taking on a new shape.

It shifted and morphed, as if something was inside of it, pushing and pulling like it was made of elastic, before it finally resembled something like a mirror image of yourself. It was all there, the way your hair framed your face, the clothes you were wearing when you fell asleep, heck even the scar on your wrist you got when you were just a kid. The main difference was that this “twin” of yours was pitch black and had glowing red eyes instead of your (e/c) ones.

You and your mirror image stared at each other for moment, neither willing to break eye contact, it made you feel really tense. What was even weirder to you was that this shadow the hedgehog recolor of you wasn’t moving in the slightest, its chest didn’ move and neither did its eyes.

“For the love of God, please blink,” you whispered in a strained voice. That probably wasn’t what you were supposed to say in a situation like this, but it was the only thing that came to your mind, okay?

The thing standing before you seemingly took this as a sign to actually do something instead of just stand there like some kind of creepy mannequin. Without a word, it held its had open for you to see that it was holding something. In its open palm you saw a little, dark purple triangle small enough to be a marble.

When you looked back up, confusion evident in your eyes, your twin turned to face behind them. The triangle it was holding suddenly flew out of its hand and began to grow, it grew and grew until it was touching the bottom of the “floor” you and your twin were standing on.

It looked almost like a...gateway of some sorts, if that makes any sense, and weirdly enough you could sense a sort of pressure coming from it that made you feel like a character in an anime sensing an enemy's power level.

For a moment, you and your color swapped twin just stared at each other, the latter seemingly trying to get you to go through the gateway it created. And for a moment, you were actually willing to go through, to see what this whole crazy dream was about and end your curiosity, but then logic came back and smacked you so hard in your brain space.

That is definitely not a good idea, it scolded and you listened. I need to wake up as soon as possible.

Slowly, you began to take small steps backwards away from both the portal and the thing taking on your image. Once it was clear that the thing wasn’t going to chase after you or anything like, you did the only thing you could think of to wake up...slap yourself in the face, hard.

The moment your palm made contact with your face, you were in your room again, starring up at the ceiling. For whatever reason you were covered in a cold sweat and your breathing was uneven, as if you’d been running or having a panic attack. But the weirdest thing was that, when you went into the bathroom to splash some water in your face, there was a pink imprint in the shape of a palm on the side of your face, the side you’d slapped. It even stung a little when you touched it with the tips of your fingers.

That’s when you really started to sweat.

A few hours went by since you had that dream, your food was eaten, all your friends were probably fast asleep in their beds, and here you were sitting in your dormitory kitchen holding a cup of coffee.

You:
Hey

You:
are you up?

You:
If you r, please respond

A weak sigh left your lips, you knew it was pointless to try and contact anyone, they were all asleep by now. You also knew that you should probably also be asleep right now, it was a school night and yet you were still awake after three in the morning; you put back on your clothes to try and make yourself a little less sleepy, it wasn’t working.

Staying up on a school definitely wasn’t the best thing to do because of a creepy nightmare, but you basically just found out it was real and now you don’t know what to do.

Common sense urged you to throw the coffee away and go back to your dorm, but something else told you to stay awake and don’t fall back asleep no matter the cost. Now that you knew for a damn fact that those dreams aren’t just weird nightmares, paranoia began to takeover. It just- it felt like the thing you saw back there, the thing that had your face, was waiting for you to fall back asleep; and it terrified you.

No articles you found on Google answered your questions, although you couldn’t blame them since “I had a dream where a shadow shapeshifted to look like me and opened a giant purple, triangle portal and also I think it was kinda real” doesn’t really make for a good Google search.

You groaned and rubbed your eyes, this coffee just wasn’t helping you stay awake and you’re half sure you accidentally made decaf. Your eyelids felt like they were being weighed down by lead and every small movement was slow and sluggish.
But still you tried to stay calm and awake and alert, you couldn’t fall asleep until you understood what was happening.

….You just...had to...stay..awake…..until……….sunrise….

Your brain didn’t even register the feeling of your head making contact with the table.

(e/c) eyes opened and suddenly you were once again starring at the portal and the mirror image, it was dressed in the same clothes you were wearing when you feel asleep, except this time it seemed a bit more impatient. Instead remaining in place and not really moving, the moment you registered what was going on it was right in front of you.

You stumbled backwards, trying to get some distance, and it followed you. “Get away from me you edgy recolor!” you yelled before turning to try and run. It immediately put a stop to your escape by grabbing your arm and yanking you back towards the portal, a yelp left you mouth at the same time, its grip was hard.

You struggled to try and get free, but its hand didn’t budge from your arm and before you could fully understand what was happening you were basically making eye contact with the portal. “What do you want from me?!” The thing didn’t give you an answer as it finally let go of arm but soon after gave you a firm push into the portal. A scream left your mouth as it dragged you in but before you could reach the other side of wherever this thing led to, you heard the thing speak.

“Let’s see how they deal with this…”

>>>>>

The sound of the wind blowing through the trees and birds chirping softly were the first things you heard when you came to. There was the feeling of warm sunlight on your skin and soft green grass under you and when you hesitantly opened your eyes, the you saw the sky that shade of blue you can only really see in the early morning.

Your breathing began to escalate, you don’t remember falling asleep here. Swiftly, you sat up to take a look at the world around you, it certainly was not your college campus. Before you knew it you were on your feet, trying to remember what the hell was going on, but then it hit you: the dream, the portal, the shadow, this must be what happened after that thing shoved you through the portal it created. Panic began to set in.

Questions raced through your head a mile a minute, where were you, what was going on, what was that shadow, how were you going to get home, it all just felt too intense and you could really use some kind of distraction at the moment.

But you’ve gotta be careful what you wish for.

A shrill cry echoed throughout the forest, something akin to a pig squeal but distorted and uglier. You swiveled your head around to try and find the source and when your eyes landed on a red pig demon looking monster, you knew you’d found the cause.

Oh fuck me.

You didn’t even take the time to look at the creature any longer, you just turned around and began to high tail it away from there, if you were paying attention you would’ve heard it blow a horn of some kind. It, along with one other you believed, chased out of the forest and across a green hill. Terror seeped into your bones, you ran faster than you’d ever had in your life despite the pain and exhaustion, you felt bile rise up but you bit it back down while thoughts raged inside of your head screaming these things are going to kill me these things are going to kill these things are going to kill me these things are going to kill-

Your foot caught on a large branch and you face planted into the dirt and finally began to breath, even when the two pig monsters closed in with clubs in hand. A shaky breath left your lips, you really didn’t want to die, not like this. Your chest rose and fell with uneven breathes as one of them came closer, you were too tired and panicked to even try to run away and the only thing you could hear was the blood rushing through your ears.

It raised the club high above its head and you tried to accept your fate. This was it, you were going to get beaten to death without even understanding why, you just hope your family doesn’t mourn you too much.

The creature brought the club down and you flinched away with eyes screwed shut, expecting pain. But a few seconds went by without any sort of contact. You hesitantly opened one eye and fully turned your head in surprise to see the monster lying dead on the ground with an arrow sticking out of its head, the other was lying a few feet beside him with a matching arrow.

It had been killed, but who…?

You snapped your head around behind you to see not one, not two, not three, but nine fucking people each carrying multiple weapons. Huh, guess you really couldn’t hear anything but your own racing heartbeat.

One of them, a young man with scruffy brown hair and freckles on his face, offered a hand which you slowly accepted, at this point you were sort of in a daze after all that just happened. Once you were standing, it was a little awkward since they were kinda just starring at you and you were kinda just starring at them. Nervously, you decided to be the first to say something.

“Uh, hi..thanks for saving me!” They didn’t seem to know what to say either and kinda just looked around at each other, you just stood there and rubbed your arm nervously, another habit of yours. It was at this time that you noticed how oddly they were dressed: tunics, chainmail, golden armor? These guys looked decked out to go to Comic Con or something like that. You pointed to their clothes. “Hey, why are y’all wearing that?”

This got their attention as they all looked at you with confused expressions. Another on, this time a man with no pants on, spoke up. “We could ask you the same question,” he said while crossing his arms. His answer sparked confusion in you.

Your eyebrows furrowed a little bit with confusion and you used the hand that was pointing to simply gesture to him. “Whaddya mean by tha-....” Your eyes widened as they landed on something in the distance.

A huge, intimidating castle loomed in the distance, a castle you had never seen before and you were pretty sure doesn’t exist in your world. A realization dawned upon you, your world, the monsters that attacked you, the clothes these people wore, the castle, none of it was possible in your world.

You weren’t in your world anymore.

And, for like the nine millionth frickin’ time, you blacked out.