Dreams were an interesting thing. Nickel had long known of the complexity of dreams. It wasn't something he really understood. His young mind wasn't able to fully grasp what dreams even were, but he saw first-hand the wide variety of emotions dreams could bring. Like everyone else, Nickel experienced his own dreams. They weren't usually anything special. He had happy dreams, sad dreams, and, occassionally, nightmares. This would have been enough to show him just how different dreams could be, but he knew that his own dreams were just the tip of the iceburg. He may have been young, but he heard the screams that rang through the house on a regular basis. Funnily enough, he'd never given it much thought. When something happens from the time you're born you never stop to ask if it's normal or not. He was six before he realized what the screams meant. They were nightmares. Only these weren't like the nightmares he'd experienced. Nickel began to realize just how sinister dreams could be.
Now eight years old, Nickel knew without a doubt that something about his mom's nightmares weren't right. There was something different about them. Katniss wasn't dreaming that she was being chased by wolves or something like Nickel had in the past. These nightmares sounded much more terrifying. They were few and far between, but they'd been on Nickel's mind for several months. It had been three months since Nickel had last heard the screams. He was sure there were more than that. No doubt he'd become so accustomed to them that they often went unnoticed during the night. On this particular night though, curiousity overcame him, and he decided to go investigate.
His hands shook as he treaded down the hallway as quiety as possible. His mother's light gait was a welcome trait he'd inherited. He wasn't sure what he would find, and he wasn't sure how is parents would react if they discovered him. The thought made his heart pound. Nickel could hear whispers from his parents' bedroom that were distinctly his father's. Nickel's parents always left their door open a crack, and Nickel was pleased to see that there was just enough room for him to make out their bed in the darkness.
Nickel's ears began to pick up on the quiet sobs that were coming from his mother, and he recognized his father's whispers as reassuring comforts. The pain on his mother's face was evident, even in the darkness. Nickel knew without a doubt that she had faced something unimaginable to him just minutes ago.
Now that he was standing there, Nickel became unsure of what to do next. He hadn't really thought this through. Part of him wanted to go and hug his mother, but an even larger part of him wanted to run back to his bed and hide under the covers. The horrible pain he saw on his mother's face scared him, and he was worried about how his parents would react if they discovered what he had witnessed. After a minute of watching his parents while his mind went through his options, Nickel decided to go with the larger part of him. His feet hurried him back to the comfort of his bed as quick as they could without giving him away. Nickel burrowed his way deep under the covers, something he remembered doing since he began sleeping in a bed as opposed to a crib. He enjoyed the warmth and security that the blankets provided. Tonight, however, they failed to provide the same feeling of security. His mind was preoccupied, and he coudn't help but worry. If he fell asleep, could he have a nightmare like the one he'd just witnessed the aftermath of? Nickel had always thought of his dreams as fascinating. Most of them provided great amusement when he reminisced on them the next morning, but if dreams were capable of being that horrifying, Nickel wasn't sure he wanted to dream at all.