Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Interactive World: Of River and Raynn by Rebecca Ethington

I saw him in my dreams again last night—I saw them all. I saw River. I saw that boy who always dresses in black, the one who follows me around. And I saw Kadri, the young man who is so much older than I am. They were all there. And for once, I was excited to see them all.

I sat with the older boy, Kadri, while he read his book, a deep red glow coming in through the window and casting everything in shades of rose. The quiet boy, whose name I don’t know, stood next to the door, guarding—always guarding. Kadri was patient, saying something in a language I didn’t understand, his mouth moving so fast I knew I wouldn’t be able to understand him even if I knew what language he was speaking, even if I could’ve heard him.

I think that was what made the dream frightening at first. That, even though everything about the dream was calm, I couldn’t hear anything except static as it rumbled in my ears, vibrating my bones. It wasn’t just the sound, though. Something about the way everyone moved; their movements quick and jerky. It was like they were stuck on fast forward.

I watched as Kadri read from his book, his mouth moving fast as his hands twitched and gestured at a rate much faster than normal. The quiet boy stood still at his post by the door, and even though he didn’t move, something was still off. I stared at him, his posture still as he kept his focus away from me, his eyes hard as they stared straight ahead.

The static seemed to grow as I watched him, the buzz in my ears rising as I took a step closer, the burn under my skin mounting, mounting.

“Stay.” The voice was high and feminine.

I jumped, the icy strains pulling my focus, freezing through me in white fear.

I turned on instinct, expecting to see her towering frame, the same one that always haunts my dreams. Instead, it was only River. I saw the beautiful color of his mismatched eyes. Everything in me loosened as I saw him standing there, not the adult River that I sometimes saw, but the boy that I’d known, the brother that had been torn from me after only a few short months of being together. Right then, which River was inside the dream didn’t matter. Because he was here, laughing and smiling.

For a moment, he looked at me and everything in the dream slowed down. His smile spread wide over his lips, his eyes looked into mine, and then he looked away, and with the break in focus, the whole dream sped up again, everything moving at hyper speed. It all played out like someone watching a movie on fast forward with the sound down. It should have been funny, yet it was anything but.

It wasn’t funny when the door to the room we all sat in swung wide, the old hinges breaking through the static and pulling my focus. The wooden door was old and slatted with thick, oiled planks, making it look archaic and forgotten, much like the grey stone wall of the room and the massive four poster bed, or the clothes that Kadri wore.

I stared at the door while the quiet boy who stood beside it twitched and jerked in the sped up motions. Funny. I tried to convince myself, but it didn’t take, not when River walked through the door, his towering frame that of the adult I feared, not of the boy who stood beside me.

He towered over me as he came up beside me, his dark eyes digging into mine. But it wasn’t the depth of his eyes that scared me, it was the streaks of blood on his hands and face. It was the way his lip curled as he asked me the question I had been taught to fear.

“What am I?” His voice was deep as it ran through me, his eyes flashing as the smile on his face straightened into a look of hard desperation.

He asked the same question every time and every time I knew the answer, the answer I would never say.

The Catalyst.

“Say it,” he hissed.

“Never.” My voice got lost in my throat as he moved closer. My heart pounded in my chest as the fire that always lived under my skin burned, begging me to move closer to him, pulling me toward him.

“I need to find you, Raynn,” he pleaded, the darkness in his voice drowning out his desperation. “Say it. What am I to you?”



Words. People. They all haunted my dream, but I would never answer.

I would never say the words.

Not in the dreams, not in reality. The word he wanted me to say would stay trapped in my throat, even after I woke in a cold sweat, the terrifying face of the lady in white imprinted in my mind’s eye.

I think that was why I came here, running from the stench of the apartment the moment I woke up. I ran through the streets and the brightly lit subways until I reached the echoing halls of Grand Central. I came here to try to escape the nightmares.
Even though the sky is still dark outside, this is what draws me. Now that everything familiar is gone, this is the only place I have left. I don’t think I have come here so often in years, but right now, this is what calms me and makes the dreams seem a little less frightening.

I stay still as I lean against the wall I have curled into, the soft classical music buzzing in my ears as I watch the stragglers walk by.

Even though the image of River is still burned in my mind, still makes my heart thump with fear, I continue to look for him. I still scan the faces of the straggling people as if he would be among them.

I know he won’t because that River only exists in my dreams.

At least, that’s what I keep forcing myself to believe, no matter what River had said to me when we were kids.





Rebecca Ethington has blended the line between reality and fiction with her groundbreaking project - Of River and Raynn.
Follow the characters online and watch the story unfold with live
action video and journals entries that take the characters off the page
and make it real. #RiverandRaynn

Follow River and Raynn on their journey! 

RaShelle Workman

Author Rebecca Ethington is giving away an Of River and Raynn Prize Pack, which includes an advanced copy of the book, t-shirt, and an all expense meet & greet paid trip with the cast. 

How awesome? All you have to do is join the fun!

This giveaway is open international. Yes, we said international. :0)
Must be 18 or older. 

Make sure to check back all summer long for new ways to enter and win! 

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