In this chapter, the ominous foreshadowings of chapter 3 bear fruit: dark events occur in Atheia and Boneville, hinting at forthcoming bloodshed, and shocking secrets are revealed that stretch continuity with the comic books to the breaking point.
But who cares about that stuff? What's really important is that this chapter at last introduces the cute school teacher! (Don't even get me started on cute school teachers.) I originally threw in this character because I wanted to see if I could paint a relationship similar to the one between Fone Bone and Thorn, but with the genders reversed. However, in chapters 5 through 9, I found myself writing the story for a specific young woman who had been giving enthusiastic critiques to each new chapter, and as a result, this character came darn close to taking over the story. But I'm comfortable with that, as I found her an important role in the climax and conclusion.
I had to kick around a bit for a good teaser quote. Everything in this chapter is either too revealing or too badly written to be an appropriate teaser, but after some editing, I think this might work:
A shape emerged from the darkness. The void had condensed into a moving body and gathered around itself a swarming cloud. It was like a tornado seen from a distance, but one that was human in form. It had four massive limbs that tapered at the ends like claws. Its torso was thick like a pillar, and topping that pillar like a sinister capital was a gigantic Dreaming Eye gaping like a mouth. The Dreaming, appearing as cords and streamers of light, fell into the Eye in a swirling torrent like a whirlpool threatening to swallow the universe. [more...]
(Contains coarse language and sequences that may disturb sensitive readers. I promise.)