Night Mare #8 – A Visit With Father Time
Night Mare #8: A Visit With Father Time
Father Time was rather deaf. He was also very tall. He barely fit in the cramped study at the peak of the Dream Depository, and there were always too many cats hanging around.
Night Mare could have caused herself to appear the same size as Father Time if she wanted, but she liked to stay as small as possible in his presence because she knew it would taunt the cats.
Father Time offered Night Mare tea, and the black horse declined, although she did accept two sugar lumps.
“Remind me again whose idea was it to let the pointy-hats run amuck in here?” Night Mare still had electricity in her tail, although the sugar was helping smooth down the last of the static.
Father Time frowned. “You know as well as I do it was the mice who asked for them to come in. Something to do with insurance paperwork. I suspect it allows the mice to get on with actually running things.”
“A pox upon insurance,” said the black horse.
“I’m perfectly aware of your opinions on the matter. I have bigger problems.” Father Time paused. “You have bigger problems.”
“Three and a half ages ago, we agreed to release you from your duties provided a suitable replacement or replacements could be fashioned. We created an army of night mares from thorn bush shadows and tiny pieces of your essence, to create and deliver the dark dreams to those we serve.”
“Three and a half ages ago, we agreed that illusion would suffice. And it has. The army of illusory night mares has served the Dream Depository just as ably as you, and with a good deal less grousing.”
“But illusory night mares have begun to disappear on the fringes of the dream world. We don’t know how, or why. It could be a fissure of REM disruption. We’ve had those occasionally. It could be rogue particles collecting fragments of terror for their own ends. Or…” He raised his bushy eyebrows.
“Someone could be looking for me,” finished Night Mare.
Father Time nodded. “I had sent someone else to look into this, actually, but they also disappeared. Very few know the true nature of the illusory night mares. If word got out, that they were only pale illusions, we would have to disbanded them. Thus, I summoned you.”
Night Mare thought fleetingly of warm nights spent playing in meadows with her gentle dream friends. She could have refused, fled, tried her best to disappear, but she knew that would not work. Father Time was asking politely at the moment, but if need be, he could fashion more elaborate persuasions. He had all the time in the world.
“I’ve consulted the Oracle,” he continued. “Her answer was ‘a bud, a rose, an acorn, a frost.’ I believe you must travel to the Forest of Seasons to seek answers.”
Night Mare was not often surprised, being a being of many centuries. But this was troubling. “That is in the very outer isles of the dream lands,” she protested. “Nearly into Earth’s realm. Even for me, it will be an arduous journey.”
“I know. That is why I have arranged for a Wind to transport you.”
Night Mare wrinkled an eyebrow. “You haven’t brought a Wind in over the Dream Depository. It would violate several rules of precedence, not to mention physics. The pointy-hats would have fits.”
“Of course not,” rumbled Father Time. “It’s waiting for you near the grove of the Sleeping God. And since you’re going that way anyway… would you be so kind as to deliver this letter for me?”
Night Mare sighed. “All right,” she said. “You know he never reads them?” she asked gently.
“Perhaps,” said Father Time. “But at least he knows they’re there, and we have not forgotten him.”
Download the PDF coloring page:
8 A Visit With Father Time.pdf
I’ve had this page drawn for quite a while, as you’ll see if you follow my Instagram feed, and it’s one of my favourites. Father Time’s cats just look like trouble. We’re finally getting into a good chunk of story here – I’m tentatively planning to gather these pages into a book at the end of the year, and plan on drawing a couple more pages to insert into this rather long chunk of text. Probably pictures of the shattering of the night mares, and the Oracle.
In other news, yesterday I was in at a local art supply store picking up a pad of watercolor paper and looking for a new Staedtler S pen, and the lovely gentleman at the counter said they were out. They cannot keep ink pens in stock, thanks largely due to the recent coloring book craze. This very serious art store had copies of Johanna Basford’s and a local artist’s books for sale… and had sold out of them before Christmas.
Also – MOST EXCITING – I have signed up for a figure drawing class this spring. Hopefully it fills up and goes ahead. Figure drawing classes are hard to come by, mostly because of the challenge of finding models. Go figure.
When I was taking art classes in college, we had some interesting characters for our figure drawing classes. One woman might have been a body builder or a stripper (ripped, very well tanned, Brazilian wax), another was an old man who had a faint air of exhibitionism about him. Different body types, all great to draw. But the best model we worked with was a local cafe owner. She was from Europe, had really great curves, and had the most down-to-earth relationship with being naked that I’ve ever seen. Life goals, eh?
Housekeeping notes: The coloring page posted above is free to download, print and color! I love seeing finished pages; follow me on Twitter @christifreyca and Instagram @christifrey.ca, where I post sneak peeks, pictures of my horse (since I don’t have a cat), and other
fun probably boring things.