Hopefully this chapter answers some of your questions! It’s probably going to create some more as well though haha. This chapter is a bit Farina-centric. [Italics are thoughts, also warning…some minor cursing.]
Farina was standing outside of her body, watching her memories play over and over from inside the dream pod. According to her memories, it was a beautiful day and she had been enjoying the sunlight. Her surroundings weren’t the usual gloomy foliage found in the new Oasis Landing. She was in a familiar bedroom in Lunar Lakes. She smiled at the thought of it. “Hmm…I wonder what Caleb has in store for me today. I hope he’ll take me out of the house like he promised!”
“Morning Puzzle!” Caleb beamed.
“Hi Caleb! What are we doing today?” Puzzle smiled excitedly.
“We are going to play castle. I’m the king and you’re going to be the knight.”
“I can’t be a knight, I’m a girl!” Puzzle protested.
“In my kingdom, girls can be knights!” Caleb answered.
“Alright fine. But, who is going to be your subject?”
“My subject? What does that mean?” Caleb asked innocently.
“The people that the king rules over.” Puzzle smiled.
“Oh! I know. Follow me. I’ve got a new brother. You’ll love him. He’ll be perfect to rule over.” Caleb grinned mischievously. Suddenly Puzzle was regretting saying anything, but excited nevertheless to meet new people.
“Will he be able to see me?” Puzzle asked nervously.
“I don’t know. He’s just a baby, so don’t take it personally.” Puzzle nodded.
“Noah!” Caleb grinned. Noah waved his arms at his brother and spit out some gibberish. He had yet to learn how to talk.
“How is this going to work if he can’t even speak?” Puzzle frowned. She had loved children but they weren’t going to get anywhere in their game like this.
“Easy. He doesn’t speak yet but we can tell what he wants to say by the faces he makes. Its really funny. Watch.” He turned to his little brother. “Do you want to play with me and Puzzle?” Noah’s face lit up and he began to bounce. “See!”
Farina watched the scene unfold. Caleb ordered his trusty knight Puzzle to slay the dragon and save his young subject Noah from the incoming blast of fire. Noah could indeed see her. It was great having an imagination. She shook her head at the sight. We promised to be best friends always. But then he got too old and all he saw me as was a toy and not someone he could talk to. Then Noah was there for me…until he got too old and passed me down to the twins. But eventually they grew up too… She could feel a tear slip from her eye and she wiped it quickly. Puzzle is in the past. I’m Farina now.
The scene quickly changed and she was no longer in her memories but in a programmed dream. She was back in gloomy Oasis Landing. “Maybe this isn’t a dream.” She thought as she walked outside to get some fresh air. Noah was probably at work and she didn’t really care where Mason was. A familiar crash could be heard and meteors began to fall from the sky.
Dream or not…she didn’t know, but after what happened the first time, she was terrified. She began to yell. Mason had emerged from the pool. Was he always there?
The meteor fell from the sky and landed right on top of Farina. She couldn’t move…only watch everything around her. Once again she was out of her body, and though she knew she was in the dream pod…it all felt so real. The pain of being crushed…the heat of the fire…the fear of the meteor. Everything.
It didn’t end there. Mason ran over to put out the fire. But he had no concern for the body under the large rock.
The next dream took place a few days later. Apparently, she was still dead in this dream. Mason and Noah had been living without her with absolutely no problem. Zombies had risen from the ground and taken Mason. He screeched in horror as the undead bit his flesh.
He was now one of them. Good, serves him right. He dragged himself into the house and up to Noah’s room.
She could hear Noah screech in terror as Mason lunged at him. Farina threw herself in front of Noah but it didn’t seem to phase Mason.
He had just walked through her and began to attack Noah mercilessly.
All she could hear was his antagonizing voice, “You took on the role of protector.”
But she couldn’t do anything about it.
When she had finally awoken from her sleep, one thing became clear. Her subconscious was trying to warn her that Noah wasn’t safe. She couldn’t protect him on her own, it was impossible. Mason was too strong. Mason never cared about her, or even Noah. The route of his plan was something far greater and he managed to trick her into helping. She didn’t know how long she had been asleep in that dream pod, but she had to hurry. He had probably brainwashed Noah by now. Farina didn’t know where she was running to, but her feet seemed to know where to go because they wouldn’t stop moving.
She had ended up in front of an abandoned space ship. “Maybe there’s something in here that can help me stop Mason.” It would be hard not knowing what she was looking for though. Mason’s intentions were elusive to her. All she knew was that he was up to no good. “Damn it. I need a key.”
She decided to look around the ship. She rummaged through a pile of debris and managed to find the odd keystone. Hours had passed though and no doubt, Mason would have begun to get suspicious.
She turned to leave, when her fears had come true. “Hello Puzzle.”
“Mason-” Farina had began. “Funny seeing you here. I was just out for a walk…”
“You didn’t think I would notice you weren’t in your pod? I’ve been checking on you frequently. I knew something was up after the first night passed. You weren’t supposed to be out this long, but somehow you were just cruising through your memories.”
“I…I was dreaming…terrible things.” Farina breathed.
“I know. You were once a doll, and now you’re a human. You’re experiencing the feeling of other people around you…people who can see you and interact with you. I gave you a life of your own that you could live how you chose. I gave you on opportunity off of that dusty shelf that those brats kept you on. I was the one who made all of this possible. I’m on your side…no matter what.” Mason stepped closer and stroked her hair. “I love you.”
Farina began to hyperventilate. She didn’t know what to do. She knew it wasn’t the truth, but Mason’s word had made her insides flip. The idea of somebody loving her…was she willing to give that up? For Noah…she would have to. “What about Noah? We’re supposed to be married remember…what do I tell him? Let him go back to Lunar Lakes…”
“Oh…I’m not going to do that. The Gray family isn’t progressing anymore than it has now. I let it get this far, but no more. The best future is one without the Gray’s,” Mason answered nonchalantly.
“You don’t love anyone but yourself.” Farina accused. “How could you do that? Noah is a great person…even though he outgrew me.”
“I can do whatever the hell I want. I gave his mother a chance at redemption and she just threw it in my face. That whore went and slept with my brother and she let him raise MY son like it was his own. My son doesn’t even know about me. Do you think I care what happens to that crazy fucking family? The only person I care about is Caleb.”
“That’s why Caleb felt so out of place…” Farina held a hand to her heart. “You can’t do that to him. His brother means the world to him.”
“Well I’m going to show him that the only person that should matter in his life is me…his REAL father. Now, you’re going to march back home and keep pretending that you’re Farina, Noah’s lovely wife. Behave and I’ll think about sparing him. Defy me and I’m going to kill both of you.”
“You’re sick!” Farina shouted.
“It doesn’t matter. Now…are you ready to go home?”
Farina turned away and began to walk in the direction of the house. “Lets go.”