Orpheus secretly made his way down the alley by the theater, making sure he wasn’t being followed. Satisfied that no one was behind him, he made his way through the long abandoned opium den and up the stairs leading to one of the old Urchin hideaways. He hoped the other urchins would not be mad at him for leaving when he did. Surely they would understand about the nightmares and why he had to leave town. As he crawled through the secret entrance, he found the nest to be empty. Some food had been set out, but it was clear that it had been untouched for a while. The beds were all empty. Of course no one was here. Beryl had told him that urchin hideouts had been attacked, so it only made sense they would leave this one too. Orpheus sat down on one of the beds and pulled out a tattered leatherbound journal. He flipped past pages filled with descriptions of strange dreams until he found a clean page.
December 8, 188~
I haven’t had a nightmare in weeks. I thought it was time to return home. Winter has come to New Babbage. All the canals have turned to ice. I ran into Beryl, the Cat. We talked a little about the nightmares. He has them too, and even knows one for real! I never knew they could be people. He took me to a house and told me that after I left, the attacks on urchins continued. I should have stayed and helped fight… Urchins gotta stick together. Beryl is trying to help, but he made me promise not to tell anyone anything, or else the bad people will come again. I probably shouldn’t write anymore about that, but no one knows about this journal, so its probably ok. I am tired. Gonna go find the Urchins in the morning, see if they’ll let me back in the group.
Orpheus put the pencil and journal back in the pocket of his new coat and went to sleep. A few hours later, the Nightmare returned, one last time.