death knell 20th of sun's dawn, 2019

content warning: blood/gore, death/murder, cannibalism (?), body mutilation, drugs/opiods (?), unsanitary

I am in a town(enclosure?) called Deathknell. I am a tall, thin, attractive white woman with reddish brown hair pulled into a ponytail. I take it upon myself to move into an abandoned shack at the edge of town in a densely wooded area. I have recently befriended another woman and a man (both of whom have inconsistent appearances throughout the dream). We are trying to uncover the source of a soul sickness happening in Deathknell. I am taken to a stone stadium where most of the citizens gather and introduced to a number of key citizens, including a human sized cockroach who is the law enforcement and a young disheveled woman named Anna with extremely pale skin and an almost emaciated frame. She has long honey blonde hair with razor cut layers, teased like scene hair but messier, and she is wearing a black sequined tank top, a short denim skirt, black fishnets, and black boots with black fur leg warmers. She has mascara smeared down her face and is shaking and is smoking a cigarette with a green band in the center that gives off a subtle but foul odor. My companions tell me that she is known as Deathknell's distributor of a local drug called Pig, which neither have tried due to the smell, but is portable popular with many citizens due to its effects which are similar to heroine.

We begin to explore Deathknell's dark underground and sewer system, where many of those with the soul sickness come to die. those dying are completely emaciated, many of which have removed their clothes, and their flesh seems to have already begun to putrefy even though they are still alive. Some are crying, some are in fetal positions rocking and muttering to themselves, some are slamming their heads or bodies against the walls, and a few are smoking Pig or doing other drugs. The stench of decay and human waste is absolutely overwhelming. A few see us and scream and begin to chase us, and are shockingly fast for their advanced state. We run but I’m am separated from my companions. I hide in a small room that is full of corpses. Shaking and crying, I wait until I hear the running stop before I relax and sit on the floor, waiting for them to go back. I peel off a scab and throw it in the floor next to me. While I’m sitting, Anna comes into the room, smiling and muttering to herself, and kneels in front of me but I don’t think she knows I’m there. She pulls up one of her thumbs and holds a light me above it, grinning. I scramble to my feet and run out of the room.

I finally meet up with my companions and tell them vaguely what I saw, only that I ran into Anna and she was acting weird. They laugh at me and tell me I haven’t been in Deathknell very long and that Anna has always acted weird. Our investigation continues for the next several days, and I finally convince my friends to look into the room where I saw Anna. I notice my scab is gone and some of the corpses have been mutilated, most notably that they have had their skin removed, have been chopped into pieces, and have had the putrid flesh taken off their bones and left behind with the bones having been taken. I do not notice this but my scab is missing.

Anna comes into the room while we are searching and kneels again, pulling out her thumb and bringing the flame to it. My male friend and I run immediately, but the woman stays to see what is happening. She screams after a few more seconds and runs to meet us. She tells us Anna has lit her thumb, blown it out, and smoked it. She tells us she has realized what Pig is: dried and powdered human flesh and bone meal wrapped in a paper thin rawhide strip made of skin, tattooed with the distinctive green band. Anna comes out grinning madly and asks if I want to try some Pig. She tells me she made the particular one she is holding special for me.

I scream and make a run for it. She chases after me and gains on me at one point and is able to touch my mouth with the cigarette. I am disgusted and run even harder. Anna laughs maniacally and asked how I tasted and I realize that my scab is ground up into the cigarette. I run to the stadium and scream for help, but no one wants to, remaking I’ve been poking my head where it doesn’t belong. The police roach won’t help me because he knows I don’t like bugs. I run down the stone bleachers, weaving around the citizens trying to lose Anna, but she is shockingly nimble.

I dash across the turf field, where a show is being performed, and find myself behind the stage. Exhausted and running out of places to hide, I turn to face Anna. She runs to approach me, screaming wildly and pulling out a knife I presume is used by her to carve flesh. I grab her by her upper arms and shake her and then throw her as hard as I can onto the ground. On impact, her flesh explodes around her exposing only her skeleton and connective tissue, lying in a hot bloody pool. The citizens of Deathknell scream and say I have murdered Anna, but the police roach decides it was in self defense and does not arrest me. I am a pariah in Deathknell for some time, but with the only supplier of Pig gone and the process of making it known only to its creator, the prevalence of the soul sickness slowly decreases until it finally stops altogether. When the citizens of Deathknell accept that the cause was Pig, I am warily allowed to participate in the community again, but I am still regarded as a murderer.

Several months or years later, I am still living in the shack although I have fixed it up bit. I come out of my house one crisp morning and stretch under the shade of the trees. My friends have built a cabin near my home. I am a little upset that they are romantically involved with each other, as I had fallen in love with the man, but I do not tell them and have remained close to both. The woman is invites me in and I help her make breakfast for both of us. The man is still asleep in their bedroom so we eat without him. The woman remarks that he sleeps deeply and seems so innocent, having never left his home town before coming with her to Deathknell. She says that if Act One was hard for him then he might not survive Act Two. I ask her what she means by that, and if she sensed something else was coming. She responds by singing in a fantasy tongue. We carry on conversing in this manner until the scene fades to black.