The house was indescribable. There were metal rooms coming off it in all directions, even though it seemed impossible for it to be stable when only attached by one metal bar. A countless number of towers and chimneys rose out of the top like a fairy tale castle, only this was far beyond Disney. The front door was round, bright read and had a Christmas wreath attached to the door knocker.
Bert opened the door and we all hurried in. The warm smell of food hugged us welcome and I heard a fire crackling merrily away. The children began taking off the hats, gloves, coats and boots and I saw they all had the same carrot orange hair. They hung their stuff up on pegs with their names next them and placed their boots underneath.
I took off the hat and gloves Flo had giving me and handed them back to her. She put them in her coat pocket and led me into the first room. It was cosy space with a fireplace, two large armchairs, a table, some potted plants and a bookcase. Flo took me to the fire and I knelt before the flames and warmed myself up.
‘I’ll tell Ma and Pop you are here,’ Flo said then hurried out of the room.
I brought the satchel around and checked inside, before pulling out the multi-tool. I whispered Dean’s name and hoped he’d escaped, before closely inspecting the tool. I couldn’t put any of the parts away though it looked like they once did slot down. Rust lined most of the tools, but it still looked useable. Setting it aside, I drew out The Arcana but before I could open it, Flo reappeared and said her parents wanted to meet me.
She led me into a massive kitchen, which really was the heart of the house. A large table took the centre of the room and the other four children were all ready gathered around it. The Pop was sitting at the end and carefully rearranging his cutlery. He was short with a red large beard and flowing hair, a pair of glasses was balanced on his stubby nose. He reminded me of dwarf. The Ma had her back to me as she was stirring a huge black pot over an open fire. She had long red hair too and looked a little taller than Pop. Her dress hovered just above the floor and was tucked into her white apron at the back.
‘This is Abigail,’ Flo announced, ‘sit here, next to me,’ she added.
I took the chair one away from the one at the end of the table. Pop give me a grunted hello as Bo handed me a metal goblet of water. Thanking him, I said hello to the parents and took a sip of the water. It was cool and refreshing. Next Ma turned and handed me a bowl of stew. I took it from her, thanking her and noticing how pretty her face was and how much it looked like Flo’s. She turned and dished out everyone else, before joining us at the table. I prepared to pray, but when the words didn’t come I opened my eyes and looked around the table.
‘What are you doing, Abigail?’ Flo asked.
‘Don’t you saw grace before eating?’ I asked.
‘Grace?’ Bert questioned.
‘To thank the Lord for the food…’
‘We’re not that religious,’ Pop cut in.
He was hacking off chucks of bread and passing them around.
I un-pressed my hands and dropped them into my lap.
‘You go ahead,’ Ma waved in.
I bowed my head, shut my eyes and muttered The Lord’s Prayer.
Bet nudged me and handed me a chunk of bread. I took it from him and dipped it into the stew. They all begin eating and talking at once, break the silence they had given me. Their chatter rose as the children talked about the snow storm, building a snow castle and finding me. I stayed quiet and eat the delicious and meaty meal.
‘Where are going to?’ Ma asked me afterwards.
‘To the Dream Web,’ I said.
‘Well, you’ve come to the right place. The children can take you wherever you want to go with their plum travel machine.’
‘Yes, Abigail! We’ll take you,’ Flo shouted.
‘Do you know where it is?’ Bert asked.
I shook my head, ‘I only know I need to find it and fix it.’
Bert hummed and went thoughtful.
‘We can still try to take you,’ Flo said, ‘plum travel is adaptable.’
‘Let’s give it a try,’ Bert said and stood up.
‘You kids be careful now and come right back!’ Ma stated.
The children nodded and got up. I followed them out of the kitchen and back into the hallway. They put on their winter clothes again and we went outside back to the plum travel machine. Bert walked over and I joined him. The device was still unclear to me because it looked very impractical. There was a panel with lots of buttons, lights, switches, glass gages and other stuff, none of which was labelled. I watched Bert moving some of the buttons and switches around then hearing noises from behind the machine, I walked around.
The three youngest children and Flo were holding a large sack and tipping it inside a bottom drawer of the machine. Bright purple, ripe plums were tumbling down and gathering inside. When it was empty, they discard the sack and hurried to their trollies. I walked over to Flo’s and climbed on top again.
‘So how does this work?’ I asked.
‘The machine uses the energy of plums to travel to different places and times,’ Flo explained.
‘How does it do that?’
‘I’m not sure on all that science stuff. But Bert knows all about it. He invited it.’
I nodded, not sure if I believed all of this.
‘Let’s go,’ Bert said and climbed into the cart behind me, ‘our best chance is to go right to the edge of Dreams then decided what to do. Hopefully, you’ll see something Abigail.’
I nodded my head and we took off in the same fashion as before. Lights surrounded us, flashing like lightening and for a few moments it felt like we were inside a storm. The children screamed and cried excitedly. We flew in the air, snow fluttering around us then skid across an iced river and over more snow. We bumped up and down, snow flying all around us and clouding the view.
The trolley tumbled to the right and I held on. The children’s screams changed to ones of fear and a voice called out that something had gone wrong. There was a blue haze of light then I was soaring through the air. I hit the ground and rolled to a stop. Moaning, I sit up and looked around. The children were tangled in the line of shopping trolleys behind me, but they all looked all right.
Standing up, I want over and helped them then they all hurried around the machine and trolleys. I helped put everything right then seeked at Bert, who was inspected the control panel.
‘What happened?’ I asked.
‘We hit some kind of barrier. But we did make it were we wanted to be.’
‘Look!’ Flo cried and we all looked.
The landscape before us was changing from snowy hills to flat moorland. Flo grabbed my hand and hide behind me. The rest of the children did the same as the snow vanished and we were left standing on damp spiky ground.
‘What is it?’ Flo mumbled into the edge of my jumper.
‘You haven’t seen a moor before?’ I asked.
‘No and I don’t like it!’
‘What’s that smell?’ Bo cried.
I sniffed, ‘bog water and heather.’
‘We should leave,’ Bert said and slipping from behind me, began spinning dials on the machine.
I felt the Hagstone warming and quickly dug it out. I pressed it my left eye and looked over the moorland. In the distance was a trail of black smoke.
‘You go. I need to stay,’ I said quickly and pulled my satchel over.
‘But, Abigail! This is a terrible place!’ Flo squealed.
‘I know. I’ve been here before…I’ve been in all these dreams before. I don’t worry about me. Get yourself home.’
Bert nodded and ushered the younger children to their trollies.
‘Please be safe, Abigail. Here take this,’ Flo said and handed me a small white dagger.
I looked it at and saw it was entirely made of ice. The blade glinted a little when I turned it and the handle felt cold through my gloved hand.
‘Thanks and I shall try.’
I turned and walked away from the children and their plum travel machine. A waved them goodbye and watched the light display as they returned back home. Breathing deeply, I looked over the rising and falling moorland as it had now seemed to settle fully into shape. The ground was a mixture of greens and made up of a number of different grasses and mosses. Small bushes and clumps of flowers were dotted around, but there wasn’t much else to see. The sky above me was a washed out dark blue going on grey.
I put the Hagstone to my eye and looked at the cloud of smoke still in the distance. Biting my tongue, I walked over, heart pounding in my ears, unfortunately knowing what I’d find at the end of my walk. I found the moor easy going and comforting. I had practically grown up on Yorkshire Dales back home. A gentle, cold damp breeze blew around me, but my hat and gloves loaned off Flo kept the chill off. My boots and clothes kept me warm and dry, I guessed there must have been a magic charm on them from not-angel- Garson.
Halfway there and the sky turned fully grey and drizzly rain started. I grabbed the Hagstone and looked through it. The smoke was still standing out like the beacon it was. Picking up my pace, I walked deeper across the moor still clutching the ice dagger Flo had given me. I should have put it in my bag, but it made me feel safer. Tutting, I reminded myself to check The Arcana when I got to the fire pit. Hopefully, I’d have time.
The landscape stayed the same around me for the next few miles then I noticed I was walking up a steady slope. Ahead of me everything was becoming more hilly and rock was poking out of the grass. Knowing, I didn’t have much further to go I picked up the pace and soon enough entered a tree enclosed space. Stopping at the top of the hill, I looked out and saw the darkened moorland spreading like cake icing below me.
I hurried into the shady clearing and the large crackling fire, pulling The Arcana out as I did so. Struggling in the fire’s glow, I looked up everything I could remember from the plum travel dream.
Snow signifies inhibitions, unexpressed emotions and frigidity feelings. You need to release these emotions. Alternatively, you are feeling indifferent, alone and neglected. Driving in snow means to be extra cautious about approaching goals. Watching snow falling represents a clean start with new perspective, spiritual peace and tranquillity. A blizzard suggests emotionally cold and frigid feelings. You feel excluded, a lack of love and the absence of your family. Ice means lacking a flow of ideas and thoughts. You are not seeing any progress in your life.
To see children, signifies an aspect of your childlike qualities. You are trying to satisfy repressed desires and unfulfilled hopes. Alternatively, it highlights innocence, purity, simplicity, and a carefree attitude. A trolley indicates an open-minded about the new journey or phase in life. You are taking little steps toward goals and pacing yourself. To see a plum symbolizes youth and vitality. The plum may also represent self-image.
Time travel is a wanting to escape from present reality. You want to go into the past or jump forward to the future. Also, represents your romantic tendency. Traveling represents the path toward your goals. Alternatively, traveling signifies a need to escape from your daily burdens. A junkyard represents fear, frustration, and anger which you have repressed. It may also symbolizes your discarded attitudes, old habits, and former beliefs.
To see or wear gloves represents the way you handle things. You are getting a handle on a problem, but you need to be more cautious. Or perhaps you are overly cautious. Also, you need to acknowledge and express the creative side. To take off gloves symbolizes respect. A dagger represents some “cutting remark”. Perhaps you feel that you have been stabbed in the back. Taking a dagger from somebody’s hand means you will overcome hardships and misfortune.
I looked up into the fire pit letting my mind digest all of that. My fingers went to close the book, but suddenly I decided to look up my current situation. Perhaps, there were more meanings now I was here. I turned to the front of The Arcana, give a quick thought as to what to look up then started again.
To Be Continued…