Episode 10: It's a Dream World
I’m not sure how it happened, but somehow I’m stuck back in my bedroom with no idea how to return to the Alt-World. To say I’m freaked out is putting it lightly. The tugging sensation in my chest was now gone but tenderness remained.
I got what I wanted. I was finally home. But I couldn’t revel in my sudden good fortune. I felt compelled to go back. Not for myself, mind you, but for Nick. He didn’t deserve whatever lie in wait for him on the other side. I couldn’t in good conscience leave Nick there to fend for himself, especially not when I might be responsible for trapping him there in the first place.
I expelled a few deep breaths and tried to calm down. This whole encounter had been one fantastical ride and my heart still hadn’t slowed down, not one beat.
Darkness surrounded me but I did know one thing. I was home. I was home in my own bed. The clock on the nightstand blinked angry red digits at me revealing that it was midnight.
12:00. 12:00. 12:00
Truthfully, it could be any time. My clock only blinked when the power went off. Maybe my reemergence into this reality caused a fluxuation in the electric. At this point, I could only pose theories since I had nothing to base my observations on except what was before me in the moment.
I raised a hand to my forehead and brushed away the damp hair from my face and neck.
“Could this whole nightmare have been a dream?” I whispered. Maybe I had done what some experts have called ‘lucid dreaming’. I had done it only once in my life. I wasn’t very successful at it, if you want the truth. In lucid dreaming, you should be able to control any part of the dream. It should become your own personal fantasy land.
When I did it, every character disappeared and went on a much needed coffee break. I was in my dream alone and with no power to change anything. I intended for things to happened, I willed them into existence and yet, nothing happened. So much for the ease of lucid dreaming.
I noticed that the television was on. My mom tends to leave it running all night. A reporter was breaking into the programming to reveal a special news bulletin. The reporter showed a man on a security camera. He appeared to be a policeman, but I couldn‘t see his face.
The reporter revealed the man’s name. Nick Boyd. He and his partner, a hulking black man were approaching the entrance to a bank, guns drawn. The journalist was marveling at what seemed to happen next. Nick was there one moment and gone the next. He had literally disappeared. A security camera from across the street caught the act.
I couldn’t believe this was happening. Nick Boyd hadn’t merely been kidnapped in my dream. He had been snapped out of reality all together. What in the heck was going on?
My mom appeared behind me. I jerked in shock at her sudden appearance. I should have known she’d be up. She had her days and nights all mixed up. She slept most times during the morning hours and stayed up all night. She was wide awake with a cup of coffee in hand. She gestured to the television. I jumped and gasped.
“Sorry to startle you, honey,” she said. “What do you make of that Seattle cop disappearing. Bizarre, huh?”
“It’s weird,” I said. “I just dreamed about him.”
“Do you have any other kind?” she chuckled. “You and weird dreams seem to go hand in hand.”
“This dream was a little more weird than normal. I dreamed that I had been somehow transported to my Legacy universe and all the characters were trying to kill me.”
“And you saw this Nick Boyd there?” Mom asked, a sudden realization lighting her face. “Isn’t Nick Boyd the name of one of your characters?”
“Wasn’t he the one someone emailed you about? The guy who turned out to be real?” Mom said. “I remember thinking at the time that only you could draw in the signals from the universe, or wherever you get them, and create a story about someone you’ve never met. And somehow include a lot of details about their real life.
“When I was writing about him, I had no idea he was a real person. My psychic sense must have been working overtime.”
“I don’t think your psychic sense could make a man disappear into thin air,” she speculated.
“I don’t think so either,” I said. “He appeared suddenly in my dream too. Everyone else in the dream, I could manipulate them by merely thinking thoughts. I couldn’t do that with Nick. He didn’t know where he was. He was wandering through the woods. It looked from his appearance that he had been lost for at least a day wandering around the forest.”
“What do you think happened to him?” Mom asked.
“I don’t know. In my dream, someone captured him. They implied they would never have found him without me.”
My mom patted me on the back. “Try not to dwell too much on it. Go back to sleep. Maybe when you wake up everything will be back to normal.”
“One can only hope,” I said.
I laid back down fixing the sheet and covers back into normal order. I wasn’t sure how they had become so haphazard. My theory was that my dreams were seeping into reality. When I moved around in my dream, I thrashed on the bed making the sheets a jumbled mess.
I tried to sleep but my mind wouldn’t stop racing. I went back to the kitchen and took a couple of supplements. One to lessen my anxiety and one to make me sleep. It was nothing too exotic. St. John’s Wart and Valarian. It wasn’t long before I dozed off.
A sharp noise startled me. I sighed. I’d forgotten to put my earplugs in which were usually a nightly necessity. I reached my hand out toward the nightstand to grab them but I found nothing but empty space where a table should be.
I rolled over to look at the table and bumped into something very large. I immediately jerked awake, my heart beating in my throat.
“Settle down. Settle down,” said a calming voice. “It’s only me.”
The man sitting next to me was cast in shadow. He was leaning back against the wall as if he’d been there for quite some time. Strangely, I was no longer in my bed but lying on a hard, cold concrete floor.
“Me who?” I asked inching away from the stranger. If this was another dream, it was very, very real.
“You know. Nick. Nick Boyd. The guy who saved your life yesterday.”
All I could do was stare.
I was back in the Alt-World and I was captured by some unknown assailant. Sometimes life really sucked.