Last night, I slept without dreams. I spent the day productively, helping Val in the lab and reviewing a paper for a journal. After dinner, I planned to revise the review. My eyelids started to droop almost as soon as I'd begun, and I found it difficult to focus. I wasn't surprised I felt tired: I'd missed so much sleep. The last thing I remember was sitting on the bed.
Then, I was sitting by the fire. Snow fell gently, the flakes hissing as they drifted into the flames. The old woman shivered, but I couldn't feel the cold. She seemed older and frailer than before. She spoke, and her voice rasped and whistled. She said that the land took people, and it changed them, and sometimes it sent them back. It took her son, and it changed him, and it sent him back. And when he came back, he destroyed her people. In the end, only she was left, and the tundra was empty. Tomorrow, she said, he would return, and he would kill her; or worse, he would take her. She held her prehistoric tool, the tool that looked newly carved, and drove it into the earth. She buried it, and then she stood. She told me to stalk my prey tonight. Then she walked away. I watched her until she was hidden by the snow.
I woke up and checked the time. I'd been asleep for less than two hours, but I felt like I'd been awake for two days. I took the pot of tracking paint and covered the concrete under every window.