The Beast Within
was similar, but female. Her fierce gaze reminded Connor of a caged animal, the pose the sculptor chose for her adding to the ferocity of the image. She stood tall, chest out, her hair pulled back in a tight ponytail. Both her fists rested on her hips, daring a challenge.
    The stone warriors were all intimidating in their own right. Soon armor and leather gave way to an assortment of different clothes. Chain mail and heavy axes gave way to colonial era clothing and sabers. One statue even boasted a male warrior in what looked like traditional samurai armor.
    As Connor made his way through the forest of statues, he couldn’t help the eerie feeling that they were watching him, judging him. It was like being introduced to a new school and having the class look at you, judging you before getting to know you.
    Connor walked for what seemed like miles, passing more and more statues. One thing he did notice was that no matter how the clothing of the statues changed, the weapons never included guns or firearms of any kind. There was a plethora of swords, axes, knives, maces and other vicious looking objects, but no rifles, handguns, or even bows. Thinking of what this could mean, he stopped short in his tracks. There was an end to this dream after all. There was a door with beaming light shining through from the other side just a few statues away.
    He passed the last handful of sculptures. The last few warriors were dressed in semi-current military fatigues. One held a wicked looking knife and the other a large machete.
    Only two more to go and you can get out of this crazy dream , Connor thought to himself.
    Second to last was a statue of a man. Connor took a step back; he had seen this man before. This was the same one who had rushed to meet him in his previous dream. He was older, maybe twenty years Connor’s senior. His hair wasn’t long, but long enough for the wind to play with it. He was solid, muscular, and tall, he looked the part of a warrior. Still, Connor had the feeling he knew this person.
    Connor put it in the same category he had put so many other unanswered questions. Lately it seemed that for every answered question he had, there were two that still begged a response.
    Approaching the last statue, he refused to believe his eyes. There was no way this made sense and he couldn’t wrap his mind around it. The statue was him!
    Furrowing his eyebrows, he studied it. Whoever sculpted him captured his features perfectly. He was wearing jeans, his favorite pair of Converse shoes, and a V-neck shirt. Not only was he incredibly underdressed for the occasion compared to the rest of the statues, but he was holding a pickaxe. It was the same one Laren had ordered from his mother’s shop. It was the same one that was still in his truck bed. Where other warriors were carrying shields, spears and clubs, Connor had a pickaxe slung over his shoulder.
    His face held an expression Connor wasn’t familiar with; his brow was slightly crunched down, his lips were pursed together and his eyes held the fiercest gaze he had seen on any statue. It was ironic that the statue of himself scared him.
    But that wasn’t the only scary part. As he was examining this twisted representation of himself with the help of the abnormally large moon, there was a voice.
    “Connor, are you ready for the truth?”
    Connor spun around. The voice came from everywhere and nowhere at once. It was definitely an elderly female. It sounded familiar, like an acquaintance or old friend. Unable to put his finger on the identity, he ignored it and headed toward the door Connor hoped it would lead to awakening.
    A few feet away from his means of escape, the door shuddered, as though something large had struck it from the other side. Connor stopped dead in his tracks.
    “You shouldn’t be so ready to jump into the unknown. Are you ready, Connor?”
    He turned to address the voice but didn’t know where to look. Instead he shouted at the moon. “How do you know

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