Friday, June 19, 2009

Looking for Dreamworld

My son started talking about Dreamworld when he was three. At five, he began talking about the portal into Dreamworld, down at the clearing near the main road. At seven, we got a call from the school principal. Darrell was freaking out the kids who'd joined him in his Dreamworld community at school, and the principal wanted us to tell him to knock it off.

He did, and promptly went into a blue funk. He told me that if he couldn't keep more kids on his Dreamworld team, there was danger that Dreamworld would fall to the Dark Ones, and it would be lost to kids who needed a refuge or a place to develop their potential.

One night, Darrell told me he needed to talk. I climbed in bed with him.

"DJ, why are you crying?"

"Dad, Dreamworld needs more defenders. I'm the only kid using this portal, and the Dark Ones could win if we don't get more help."

"Could I help you?"

He sighed. "Usually, adults can't go through the portal."

"Can't you just visit Dreamworld in your dreams?"

"Yeah Dad, but kids don't have the same power when they visit in dreams. To be defenders, they have to go through a portal."

"Have you been through the portal down by the road?"

"Of course, Dad."

"When do you go?"

"At night, when you and Mama are asleep."

"DJ, that could be dangerous." I suppressed a chuckle, but at the same time, I felt a chill up my spine, and the vague stirring of a buried memory. "You could run into a pack of coyotes, or a mountain lion, or even a bear."

"I know Dad, but I have to go sometimes. I'm the only defender for this portal."

"Wake me up next time; take me with you."

"Dad, the portal probably won't open for you."


"Ally, use the dog door." Ally was six months old, and she'd thankfully learned to use the doggy door early on. She was an Akbash, a livestock guardian breed, and she already weighed over sixty pounds. She looked like a white Lab on steroids.

She pawed me again, and whined. Sometimes, she insisted on having a doggy doorman. I grumbled as I got up. Sure enough, she went straight for the front door. She bolted down the steps, then turned and looked up at me.

"Go ahead girl," I said. "You don't need my help to pee."

She whined, and ran back up the steps and into the house. I rolled my eyes and followed her in. She turned toward DJ's room.

DJ wasn't there. I looked in both bathrooms. No DJ. I looked outside. No DJ. My stomach did a somersault.

Ally stood by the door. I could almost feel her thinking, "C'mon! Let's go find my boy!"

I knew I should wake Rachel, but something told me that it was best to let her sleep. Something told me that waking her up would be against the rules. What rules? I didn't know, but Ally seemed to know very well. I looked at my watch. Two in the morning. How long had DJ been gone? I dressed quickly, and followed Ally into the night.

I looked at the car. Another feeling washed over me. Driving the car would be wrong. It would be faster, but it would be wrong.

We walked the mile and a half along the dirt road to the main road. The night was utterly still. No cars, no crickets, no toads, no wind.

We walked down the last hill to the clearing. Ally stopped. She looked at me and whined, then continued down the hill. We entered the clearing, and I looked at the area where DJ had often told me the portal rested. I saw nothing, but Ally bolted toward it.

Ally stopped. She whined. She fell to her belly, and whimpered pitifully. She looked back at me, and I could again almost hear her thinking "C'mon!"

At that moment, I saw it: the portal. The light from it was very faint, but it pulsed with a rhythmic sequence of white, red, green, and purple light. It was barely perceptible, yet utterly arresting.

I was scared. DJ had gone through the portal. Of that I felt no doubt. I also felt no doubt that through that portal could be found something wonderful, and something wicked.

I don't know how long I stood there, looking at the colors, but I was startled when Ally grabbed my hand with her teeth. She trotted back to the portal, turned toward me, and whined. That time, though, the whine didn't convey a "C'mon." That time, the whine seemed to offer a warning. Ally took a few steps toward me, and sat for a moment. She whined again, got to her feet, and walked back to the portal.

Then she disappeared.


Prompted by Thom G's latest offering of Three Word Wednesday. The words are arresting, rhythmic, and wicked.


  1. That was utterly amazing.

    What happens next? ;-)

  2. Really great suspense! I sure hope it is continued.

  3. Hal, brilliant. Great suspence and mix of the real and fiction.

  4. Such a dreamy post..

    stolen from the air

    Please don't forget to post your creative works at Monday Poetry Train Revisited too!