Dreamed 1993/7/3 by Chris Wayan
My family of shapeshifters has a duty, passed down for generations: to block the criminal plans of another shifter family. Feels like we've been fighting forever. I have kids, and one of my sons will carry on the fight, into the next generation.
All the other fighters are occupied, so the enemy family lets their hawk-headed son fly in war for the first time. I have little choice but to send MY son to stop him. And my son's NOT a hawk... he can fly, but in some other large bird-form, less fierce and predatory. But there's no one else.
While they fight, I enter the enemy's house. Make it to the kitchen. Confront Hawkhead's father. He snatches a hot pan off the stove, flings boiling water at me once--twice. Scalding pain all down my front. I grab the frying pan (a heavy iron one) and hit his head again and again. Rage and fear... and yet I have enough self-control and awareness that I could stop.
I hit him till he stops moving, till I'm sure he can't fight. Not out to kill him, but I don't worry about it much either, not after he inflicted such agony. I'm lucky I'm not blind.
I stagger home. I can't find any curative magic, but there's a protective spell against any more burns or scalds. I read about it in the papers, later, reporting the whole story--how I used it to keep from being burned again. The magic word was Normal, Formal, Labor, Bravo, Favor, Flavor... forget.
I woke up remembering, but I fail to write the dream down; just fall back asleep.
Wake again, recalling all but the spell-words. Struggle, retrieve the word(s), at least twice--and forget them again as I slip back to sleep.
Wake and retrieve the words again, and lose them again.
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