Trust (Part 27)

Fern awoke in an empty cold bed. She rubbed her eyes and face, rolled over and for a few moments drifted back into sleep. The sound of a lawn mower roaring jerked her awake and she sat up quickly. Flinging the duvet away, she went to the window, but couldn’t see anything outside, other than a darkening grey sky. She went to the bedroom door and out into the living room, her thoughts still cloudy with sleep, but wondering where the sound was coming from.

She crossed the living room and opened the doors to the balcony. Looking out over the railing, she could see a large motored lawn mower driven by Brook who was cutting the grass in straight lines. She lent on the damp railing and watched him for a few minutes. The sky and air both seemed to threat more rain, but at least the wind had died down. She took in a few deep breath, smelling and tasting sea salt, car pollution and dead fish.

Fern went back inside, showered and got dressed. She searched through her bag for her phone and finding it, saw that she’d a few text messages and missed calls. She sat on the bed and scrolled through, but didn’t reply to any of them. Most were from her landlord, which worried her because they asked where had she gone and if she was coming back and did she know her rent was due now? The others were from the hospital, reminding her about appointments and a meeting with a nurse she had missed. Lastly, there were two texts and a miss call from the only friend she had stayed in contact with.

Fern sniffed, feeling a roller coaster of emotions breaking loose. She rested the phone in her lap and opened the text messages. The first was dated the night Brook give her the blood and the second was dated two days ago as was the phone call. Fern’s fingers pressed against the touch screen and the keyboard come up, tempting her further to reply back. She bit her lip and wondered what she’d even say.

From behind her came the sounds of the lawn mower. She got up and went back to the window. Brook was now cutting the large lawn that had once been marked for a swimming pool and tennis count. Dropping the curtains back, she put her phone on the bedside table and walked into the living room.

She picked up the photo of Brook and Jay from the bookshelf and looked at it. Brook hadn’t changed. His fiery red hair was shoulder length, his eyes violet, his plum lips frozen in a smile that raised his pointy cheek bones and chin. Jay had light brown hair to his cheeks, dark hazel eyes and a cheeky boy grinning face. He looked younger, but only by a couple of years. How long had Brook been a vampire when this photo was taken? If any? So, how old in human years then? And where is Jay now? She questioned.

Setting the photo back down, she went through the apartment quickly and quietly looking for clues. At first, she really didn’t know what she was searching for and just blamed it on the fact that she wanted something to do to take her mind off her phone. In the bottom draw of Brook’s bedside table, she found some photos and a red plastic wrist band. Though the writing was faded, she made out Brook’s and Jay’s names with love hearts either side.

The photos were of them and mostly taken outside the apartment or at the beach. She skimmed through but stopped at the last set. They were kissing. Faces close together and lips meeting. She went to the next and both boys had taken their tops off and were kissing deeper with their arms wrapped around each other. The third was a wide shot of them on the bed together, just in their underwear, holding and kissing each other.

Fern glanced at the bed and tried to decide if it was that same one. She couldn’t be sure but it was most likely. She looked at the photo again and another thought came into her head, who had taken these photos? The camera could be on a stand and timed, sure, but… She looked at the next one, with that thought tailing off. The photo showed Brook completely naked leaning against the wall in black and white. Fern looked closely; there was no mistaking his muscle body and distant looking face.

‘Somebody must have taken this one,’ she muttered.

The next one showed Jay posing in the same way then the six after showed the boys in different love making stages. Fern licked her lips and tried not to nibble them as the innocent photos of teenage boys turned into soft porn. When she reached the last one, she collected them all together and put them back in the draw again. Getting up, the images sticking with her, she looked at the window and saw Brook still on the lawn mower. The noise of the engine blocked all other sounds out as he drove under the window.

Thinking she had only a few minutes left, she went through the rest of the bedroom, but came up with nothing else. Going out, she studied the other two doors along the wall, either of which she had not opened nor seen Brook open. She went to the first door, turned the handle and pushed. The door swung open on silent hinges and she let her eyes adjust to the darkness. It was a bedroom very similar to their own, but less lived in.

The double bed was made, but hadn’t been used in ages, Fern could tell. She stepped in and after a quick look around, began opening the wardrobe and drawers. Everywhere was empty, but it all the surfaces had been cleaned recently. She could smell the faint whiff of disinfected and lemons. Checking everything was back in its place, she left and tried the next one room.

Putting a hand on the door knob and turning it, she felt a slight residence. She pushed against the door and wondered if there was something stuck behind it. She made a gap big enough to fit through then stepped sides into the room. Pausing, she listened to the sound of the lawn mow fading and stopping.

A spike of panic speared her and she hurriedly looked around the room. It was a mess and she could hardly see the carpet. There were piles of clothes and shoes just abandoned and dump everywhere. The double bed was a mass of pillows, sheets and blankets as if someone had slept there recently. The wardrobe was wide open with more things tumbling out of it’s doors. The chest of drawers and bedside tables were open too, there contents pulled out or shoved back in. There was a bookcase and CD rack next to the window and they had been ransacked too. Looking at the floor she saw, books, CDs, DVDs two electric guitars, a boxed keyboard, rolled up posters, notebooks, photo albums and loose photos.

Typical teenage boy’s room? She thought, or is this Brook’s room and he’s just super messy?

In the background she heard the elevator clinking down. Stealing another few seconds, she grabbed the closest notebook and flipped through it. It was a soft, blue cover high school notebook and inside was a scrawling black handwriting.

‘Shakespeare’s The Tempest,’ she whispered, ‘possible exam questions; describe the relationship between individuals or a set of characters. How is magic used throughout the play? Why is the play known as a comedy-romance?’

Fern turned the pages and looked at some of the notes towards the back. In the corner of one of the pages she noticed a date;

‘Tuesday the sixth of May two thousand and three,’ she breathed, ‘Literature of WW1 GSCE Revision Notes,’ she read the title then closed the book.

Putting it back down, she hurried out of the room and closed the door behind her. Rushing to the TV she turned it on and sat down on the sofa. Just before the sound came on the TV, she heard the elevated doors slide up and footsteps in the corridor. Grabbing the control, she put the news on then tried to make it look like she’d been there all along.

The door open and Brook came in bring a wonderful scent of freshly cut grass, damp earth and the beach mixed together. He closed the door and Fern looked at him, keeping her face blank.

‘I had jobs to do before we leave,’ Brook said, ‘you okay?’

‘Sure. I heard and saw you outside, so I thought I’d watch some TV and wait for you.’

Brook nodded, ‘I’ll change then we can go. Do you still want to go to your place?’

‘Yes. I checked my phone and my landlord has sent me a few texts. So, I need to go.’

Brook ran his fingers through his hair and give a small shrug, ‘fine,’ he added then walked into the bedroom.

To Be Continued…

Trust (Part 26)

 

Brook got off the wall and called the elevator. The doors opened and he stepped in. Fern stealing a last glance at the shadowy shape of Dacian, turned and joined Brook inside the lift. Brook pushed the button and the doors shut. Fern hugged herself, feeling upset and no closer to the answers she had been seeking. Brook stayed silent, watching the numbers on the display flashing upwards.

They got out on the sixth floor and went to the apartment door. Brook let them in just using his hand and mind.

‘You need to teach me that,’ Fern remembered.

‘Sure,’ Brook answered, ‘there’s a bit more to it then the shadow cover though.’

‘It’s fine. I need to learn,’ Fern stated and walked inside.

The apartment was dark, but Fern quickly found her way to the bathroom and shut the door behind her. She heard Brook mutter her name, then saw a flash of light coming on from under the door as he turned on the main lights. Fern clicked on the bathroom one, then shrugging off the backpack, stripped from all her wet clothes.

She turned on the shower as she heard the TV coming on. She paused and tried to figure what the action movie was that Brook had stopped to watch. Shaking her head and feeling wet hair clinging to the back of her neck, she got in the shower. The hot water felt great and she sighed deeply before plunging her head underneath the full flow of water. She washed and double washed her hair, lingering in the shower as long as possible.

When she stepped out into clouds of steam, she grabbed a towel and dried herself off. Leaving her things behind her she walked out and over to Brook. He was sprawled across the sofa, just in his boxers. She was about to throw her arms around him and give him a hug, when she noticed the small, thick black outlined tattoo on the back of his neck. It was an opened mouth skull with a vampire bat escaping from the teeth. Puzzling over it, she hugged him and rested her shin on top of his head whilst her arms locked around his throat.

‘I emptied all the clothes on to the bed,’ Brook spoke.

‘Thanks. I’ll sort through them. What’s with the tattoo? I never noticed it before,’ Fern asked.

‘Not much. I got it before I was turned. I designed it myself.’

‘You never told me about that…how you become a vampire, the one who made you…how old you are?’

Brook gave a little snort, ‘it’s not interesting.’

‘So, tell me.’

‘I’m going to shower first. Maybe, before we go to bed.’

Brook moved and Fern had to let him go. She dug her hands into the back of sofa and thought about pressing him. He had gotten up though and was crossing the room. She went to get dressed instead and found that he really had just emptied the bag on the bed. Turning on the light, she had a quick sort through and found that none of the clothes were nightwear. There were two plain black t-shirts she could use, but there were no shorts or pants.

Fern picked out a nightie and bottoms from the wash basket and put them on. Really, I need to get back to my place and pack up all my stuff….Do I really want to move in here though? She thought. Sorting out the other clothes; she found two pairs of jeans, three jog pants, a packet of underwear, a handful of different t-shirts and a very worn blue woollen jumper. Okay, I so need my own stuff… Sighing, Fern folded the clothes and put them on top for the wash basket. She then got into bed and listened to Brook turn off the shower.

Settling back, she ran through a number of ways to bring up the suggestion of going to her flat. Thinking of that led to more thoughts about her other possessions and money. She had her purse and phone, but hadn’t touched them since Brook had taken her into the tomb. Her thoughts jumped on to that and a wave of blurry images came to her. She could see the damp stone walls and smell the mould. What I had I been doing before that? She thought, how did I spend my last day as a human? God, it was less than a week ago and I can’t remember!

‘You asleep?’ Brook’s voice cut into her thoughts.

Fern’s eyes snapped open and she jumped slightly, ‘I’m awake.’

‘You’re not tried?’

‘Not really,’ Fern said thoughtfully.

Book lay down next to her and they stared at each other.

‘You’re going to let me see Dacian again, right?’ she asked after a few seconds.

Brook gave a half shrugged and looked up at the ceiling.

‘He said he didn’t know when his blood would leave me…do you know?’

‘No. Do you feel drawn to him?’

Fern tried to hard the small smile on her face, ‘I guess…’

Brook went silent then after a few moments said, ‘any of the clothes good?’

Fern cast a look at the pile on the basket, ‘not really…Don’t you think it’s wrong?’

‘What?’

‘That we just took that stuff….I mean we didn’t really needed it.’

‘You learn to take and give,’ Brook said sleepy.

‘Give what?’ Fern tutted.

‘Donations. Money, food and stuff.’

‘And when have you ever done that?’

Brook sighed, his eyes fixed the ceiling, ‘not to them,’ he said very softly, ‘there was another shelter that helped me when I was first given the blood.’

Fern pressed her lips together quickly and wait for him to carry on. However, Brook seemed lost in thought. Fern moved closer on the bed to him and put her head onto the edge of his shoulder. Her hair brushed his neck and cheek; bring him back from a turmoil of memories.

He put his cheek to her hair and breathed deeply. Fern smelt smoke and blood on his breath.

‘Want to talk about it?’ Fern whispered.

‘Not right now. I guess one day…none of it really matters. It’s the past. I can’t go back…’ Brook uttered, ‘would you go back to yours? The cancer?’

‘No, of course not. I’d be dead all ready if it wasn’t for you and this…’ Fern stated and moved her head so she could see him better.

Brook glanced at her and kissed her nose awkwardly.

‘Though it’s not been easy or what I hoped…You know tomorrow we should go to my place,’ she added.

‘Why?’ Brook asked.

‘For my stuff. My life isn’t just in my handbag you know. I’ve got clothes and things…things I want. And rent…’ Fern trailed off into a hum as she tried to calculate when her rent was next due.

‘Guess your place isn’t as good as this one?’ Brook questioned.

‘It’s a one bed flat, almost a bedsit, but I’ve my own bathroom and a tiny kitchen. We should go though. I want my things and if we don’t go tomorrow the landlord might just throw it all out.’

‘Okay. I’m thinking of moving anyway. Been thinking about it over the last few days, really…’

‘Because of Dacian?’ Fern shot back, a hint of irritation in her voice.

‘He’s a part of it, more so then before now, thanks to you. But no, this place is shutting down for winter and there’s going to be less people now. It makes sense to go to my actual house. And now I know you’re going to live and we seem to be getting along okay, I thought we’d go there,’ Brook explained.

Fern rose off his shoulder and sat up in the bed. Her thoughts a hot, fast rush of words she couldn’t put together correctly to voice. She grabbed the duvet and clutched it tightly as a wave of anger rolled within her.

Brook followed her up and pressed a hand to her back. He began making large circles across her skin, sensing the mix of emotions coming off her. He didn’t speak and he was unable to get into her mind as her thoughts were too uncontrollable. He waited and listened to the sounds of birds singing the coming dawn song and car engine in the distance.

‘You lied to me. Again,’ Fern finally spoke.

‘No. I didn’t tell you the full truth. There’s a difference,’ Brook answered back.

‘I asked you,’ Fern said as she turned to look at him with a hand pressed to her forehead, ‘if you had a house and I thought this was it. You made me believe this was it.’

Brook pulled a face, ‘I’m the caretaker. That’s how I make most of my money. I get to live here or in the other apartments to do that job.’

‘Why didn’t you tell me?’

‘You didn’t need to know…like everything else. Why should I lay my life out for you?’ Brook demanded, anger sparking in his voice, ‘did I make you tell me everything before I shared my blood with you?’

Fern shook her head then as she thought about it, asked, ‘I don’t really remember…did you?’

‘No. It wasn’t important and it’s still not. And it’s the same for me. There’s stuff, Fern, that you really don’t want to know about me…A lot of shit stuff and yeah, it no longer matters now, but it made me and you don’t need to hear it,’ Brook stated.

He dropped his hand and flung back onto the bed. He spread his arms out, then rolled over and pulled the duvet over his head. He breathed heavily then arranged the pillows and settled for sleep in the nest he had made.

Fern watched this then lay down next to him, quietly. She watched the hump that was Brook raising up and down for a few moments. Her mind was reeling off questions and conjuring up images. The desperation to ask him refused to build and sighing deeply, she rolled over and kept everything to herself.

 

To Be Continued….

Trust (Part 25)

 

Fern’s heart raced and her breath caught in her throat. For a second, her human mind tried to trick her into believing it was just the shadow of the tree, but her vampire sight and smell knew better. She glanced at Brook, who had frozen by the open front door, allowing the wind to drive the rain into the entrance way.

Without looking back, Fern turned and walked over to him. Together they stepped inside and Brook closed the door behind them. Looking out, they saw the shadow figure casting off the darkness and taking a visible form.

‘Daican,’ Fern whispered, making the name sound forbidden.

‘I wonder what he wants,’ Brook sneered.

‘I don’t know…maybe to talk to you? I think he said something about that…’

Brook scoffed and his hand tightened on the door handle.

‘What are you going to do?’ Fern asked.

‘Nothing.’

Brook turned and went to the elevator. Rain dripping off his clothes as he went and creating a trail on the too clean floor. He hit the button and waited, his head slightly turned to watch Fern. The elevator whirled into life, a tiny noise against the now raging wind and rain outside.

Fern’s fingers twitch, she desperately wanted to open the door and let Dacian in. She could see him still leaning against the tree, watching them. She couldn’t make out the expression on his face through, the torrent of rain was making it blurred. Why is he here? She thought, did he want to check I was okay? Did he sense something?

‘The lift’s here,’ Brook called as the doors opened silently.

Fern nodded and walked over. As she came closer she saw a flash of anger on Brook’s face then heard a loud tapping behind her. Glancing over her shoulder, she saw Dacian knocking his knuckles on the glass door. Pursing her lips, Fern turned and without waiting for Brook, rushed back and yanked open the door.

Brook was beside her in seconds, hands pushing the door closed. The door locked back into place and Brook, grabbed Fern and pulled her away.

‘At least ask him what he wants!’ she shouted.

‘No. He’s uninvited and I don’t want to talk,’ Brook yelled back.

‘Please! It could be important.’

Brook paused, ‘I doubt it,’ he said softer and let her go.

Fern went to the door again and opened it, ‘Daican,’ she said and gave him a quick hug.

Brook glanced at the elevator then back again. He flicked out his fringe and went for his box of cigs. Briefly his eyes met Dacian’s, then he was pulling things out of his pocket and lighting up.

‘What is it?’ Fern asked Dacian.

‘I wanted to check on you…something was telling me too…are you okay?’ Dacian asked in a soft breathy voice.

‘I’m fine, now,’ Fern replied, she glanced at Brook and saw him take a long first drag on the cigarette.

‘Can I come in?’ Dacian called over to Brook.

‘You want an invite this time, huh? Sure you just don’t want to break in again,’ Brook responded, icily as he blew out the smoke.

‘I didn’t break in. Fern invited me…she said she lived here too and she needed me,’ Dacian pointed out, ‘I only stayed because of her. I didn’t want her wandering around alone.’

‘So, you came to lecture then?’ Brook jumped on, ‘tell me how to raise my fledging?’

Dacian opened his mouth then closed it again. He gave a shake of his head then stepped away from the door.

‘Don’t leave,’ Fern rushed out, a small tremble in her voice.

‘Its fine,’ Daican said, he half raised his arm in the gesture of a wave then began walking off.

Fern shot a look at Brook before darting after Daican. She caught Daican’s hand and yanked him to a stop. The wind drove the rain hard around them, but they both ignored the cold water whipping against their clothes and skin.

‘Why did you come really?’ Fern asked in a quiet voice, hoping Brook wouldn’t hear them whilst at the same time knowing he would do.

‘I know he tried to kill you,’ Dacian stated.

Fern’s eyes widen and her mouth dropped open in a large ‘O’.

‘I sensed it because we switched blood…’

‘And how long is that going to last for?’ Fern questioned.

‘I don’t know. I never give my blood to anyone but the one I made,’ Dacian explained, ‘I guess it’s weaker though, so maybe it will wear off soon enough.’

Fern pulled a face, looked at the floor in thought then back to the apartment block and Brook. He was still smoking where they had left him. The elevator doors were slowly closing in the background.

‘I want you to come in,’ Fern shouted above the wind.

‘Not without his permission,’ Dacian said back.

Fern grabbed his hand and took him back to the door. She knocked on the glass and waved Brook over to them. For few seconds, Brook turned his head, eyeing the elevator, then he walked over to them. His fingers touched the door handle slowly and he had a grim expression set on his face. As he opened the door, Fern also pushed it and squeezed through the gap, just so Brook wouldn’t change his mind.

‘I want us all to be friends,’ Fern spoke as she led Daican behind her.

The two males eyed each other carefully.

‘So, let’s set our differences aside and start over,’ she continued.

‘What you’re asking is dangerous,’ Brook stated, flicking ash away.

Fern frowned and looked at both of them in turn. Dacian was fully fixed on Brook, who was leaning casually against the wall with his left foot up against it. They both looked to be wrestling with themselves as they edged closer to starting a fight.

‘Why?’ Fern demanded when either of them replied.

Dacian turned to her and explained, ‘vampires fall into two categories; Loners and Brooders. A brood is a family of vampires who try to live together. Often there’ll be one leader, sometimes they’ll have a mate though, and they keep their fledglings and the ones the fledglings make together. Sometimes another vampire might join them and they become a big family. I knew of one in Liverpool for a while, but with the way the human world is now it’s hard to live in a brood.’

‘I wasn’t asking you to move in,’ Fern pointed out.

‘We don’t have friends. We have lovers and enemies,’ Brook cut in.

He finished his cig and dropping it to the floor, crushed it under his foot.

‘Friends are very uncommon,’ Dacian muttered, ‘and two lone male vampires becoming friends with no other intentions is extremely rare.’

‘I don’t understand,’ Fern growled.

Brook rolled his eyes, ‘and this is why I didn’t want to talk. This isn’t something that can be explained easily, Fern. It’s experience and instinct.’

‘Think of it like tigers,’ Dacian put in, ‘they live almost solitary lives, only coming together to mate. Then the females brings up the cubs for a couple of years before forcing them away. All tigers are territorial and will fight to defend their home.’

‘So, we are like tigers?’ Fern clarified.

Daican nodded, ‘and now I should go.’

‘I’ll see you again though…won’t I?’

‘Maybe,’ Dacian responded softly, glancing at Brook, ‘bye.’

‘Bye,’ Fern muttered back as she nibbled on her bottom lip.

Dacian turned and walk out of the door, leaving them and a cold windy blast alone.

 

To Be Continued…

Notes in the Canteen

 

Reeboks unlaced.

Chips across the floor.

Abandoned guitar on chair.

Soup

All she wanted to do was curl up on the sofa with a bowl of hot soup and her favorite TV show to wait out the storm.

Least We Forget

Bill travelled back to France not knowing what he’d find or what memories would return. Sitting in his granddaughter Bethany’s bright purple car he looked out over the almost familiar countryside, trying to remember. The land had healed and changed since the First World War and Bill’s last visit in the mid-sixties with his wife and five children. He turned to his granddaughter and tried to tell her this, but his mouth was dry and wordless.

There were bottles of water in the carry bag by his feet. He lent forward and dug around for one with great difficult.

‘Are you okay, Granddad? Do you want me to stop?’ Bethany shouted, slowly and clear.

He turned his head, aware she was speaking but not quite catching her words.

She repeated what she had said, but Bill shook his head as his useless fingers finally found a plastic bottle. He pulled it out, showed it to her as explanation then tried to open the lid. He could barely feel the blue top under his fingertips and couldn’t get any grip at all. He shook the bottle in vain and embarrassed turned to Bethany.

She gave a single nod, indicated and pulled smoothly over. She took the bottle from him, easily opened it and handed it back, keeping the lid in her hand.

Bill gratefully drank from the bottle.

‘We’ve not got much further to go to the cemetery now,’ Beth spoke into his ear, ‘does any of this look familiar to you?’

Bill swallowed and looked around. His lips formed a few words, but his throat didn’t give sound to them. He tried again then shook his head and drank some more water.

‘What did we do with the cards?’ Beth asked and began digging around in the footwell at Bill’s feet.

She pulled out a plastic wallet full of large picture cards, ‘here there are. Okay, Granddad. Put your glasses on.’

Bill frowned and lend down, waiting for her repeat the instructions.

Beth picked up his glasses that were resting on the dashboard and helped Bill put them on. She took the bottle of water from him, screwing the cap back on and putting it down. She pulled out the cards and looked through them with Bill watching over her shoulder. She found the new ones she was looking for and passed him one that showed a picture of France. Bill looked at it closely and nodded, not sure what Beth meant as he knew where they were.

She put another one into his hands; a war cemetery. He nodded again as he looked at her. That was their destination. Beth shuffled the cards and found one that had two clock faces on it. She changed the first set of hands to show the time now and the second clock to show their time of arrival. She gave it to her granddad and received a nod from him after a few moments.

‘Do you really understand?’ she shouted.

‘Yes,’ he forced out in a stuttered whispery voice.

Beth held her hand out and he gave her the cards back. She put them away again then drove off. Bill stared at the French countryside, barely recalling marching through it with his unit. He tried to remember the faces and names, but it was too difficult now with the photographs and writings. Strangely, he could see the horses though and thought about trying to tell Beth about them, but it was too much effort.

The sign of the cemetery appeared and Beth pointed it out to him. She then turned in and parked up amongst lots of other cars. She got out and went to the boot. Bill watched her getting his wheelchair and bringing it over to him. Beth opened the door, undid his seatbelt and helped him into the chair.

She then wheeled him forward, so she could grab the cards and hand them to Bill. Closing and locking the car door, she wheeled him away as Bill quickly looked through the cards.

‘What is it, Granddad?’ she asked loudly.

He held up one of the new cards which showed a photo of a poppy wreath lying beside a white headstone. Bill felt Beth’s breath in his bald head and heard her cry a few faint, ‘oh!’ sound before she hurried back to the car. He turned and could just make out, his granddaughter opening the passenger door and leaning over to the back seats. She pulled out the wreath and brought it back to him.

‘There, Granddad,’ she said.

He nodded and they set off again. The cemetery was crowded with people waiting for the ceremony and it took them a good few minutes to get to where they needed to be. Beth placed Bill right at the front with the other wheelchair uses. He looked down the line and saw a handful of men in similar clothing to himself. The man who he was sat next to, Bill didn’t recognise, but Bill gave him a nod anyway.

He felt Beth’s hand on his shoulder and reached up to hold her fingers. Bill looked up at the massive wall of names before them and felt tears come into his eyes.

Solitude

 :

She wanted to find the solitude that had always been denied to her.

The Arcana Of Dreams (Part 8)

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.

What did I know so far? Moor, fire, trees – were they birch or beech and elms? Night time and possible witches. I flipped to the start of ‘M’ and hurriedly went through the pages, until;

Moor

Indicates feelings overwhelmed by negativity. Alternatively, a pun on “more”, is there something you are in need of more?

‘Negativity?’ I whispered.

Not a good start. Okay next;

Fire

Depending on the context; to see fire symbolizes destruction, passion, desire, illumination, purification, transformation, enlightenment and anger. If you are not afraid and it is under control, then it’s a symbol of your own internal fire and inner transformation. It can also represent your drive, motivation, and creative energy. Alternatively, a warning of some dangerous or risky activities.

I glanced up, my eyes going straight to the fire before me. It didn’t sound like things were getting any better. The wind shook the trees around me, drawing my attention to them. What did The Arcana say about them?

Trees

To see bare trees indicates used up energy. You have put your all into something now you are exhausted. Perhaps depressed. Alternatively, the dream signifies the cycle of life or the passage of time.  Withered or dead trees indicates that your hopes and desires have been dashed. Additionally, crows symbolize the end of some cycle or behavior. It is representative of death. Beech tree; intellect, learning and wisdom. Alternatively, it represents death. Elm Tree; death, misfortune, and bad luck. Birch tree;  self-punishment or guilt issues.

I gulped and uttered, ‘no.’

This wasn’t right after how far I’d come. Why was the book now giving me all these negative meaning when I now needed it the most? Perhaps the meaning of night would offer me some comfort? I skipped back the pages and looked it up. My fingers traced the words as I read;

Night

Represents major setbacks and obstacles in achieving  goals. You are faced with an issue that is not clear cut. Perhaps, you should put the issues aside, clear your head and come back later. Alternatively, death, rebirth, reflection, and new beginnings.

‘Death, again! Come on, Arcana don’t do this to me!’ I screamed and all but threw the book down.

I shut my eyes and quietened my panicked breathing. What else was there? Oh, the witches that started all of this off. I couldn’t remember what their meaning was. I turned to the back and looked it up then read aloud, ‘witches represent destruction and evil, either through seeing them physically or objects that are connected with them. Witches are also linked to negative ideas about females and the body. This could have been brought on by recent events connected with these matters. It is often centred on bad experiences with a heartless woman who is or will become a danger to you.’

I paused, breathed and read the next part, ‘Alternatively, a white or good witch has the opposite effect and they are seen as a symbol of goodness, power and enchantment. They can appear to protect you and/or offer guidance through their magic.’

It was the same as the last time I had read it.

I closed the book and put it away. Somehow the dagger was still in my hand and had been this whole time. I took in a few deep breaths and looked into the fire. The flames were getting through the logs quickly, but it was far from going out. I listened to the wind in the trees and the howling of some creature far away. What did it all mean? What did The Arcana want me to do?

A crackling laugh echoed above and I looked up, but didn’t see anything. A shiver went through me and after a quick glance around, I stepped into the safe cover of the trees. What else did I remember about this dream? I tried to recall quickly. I was child, in a white nightie, lost on the moors at night. I stumble on the witches meeting here and making a potion. They capture me and after torturing me, throw me into the caldron….

I looked down and saw no white nightie or child body. The thought that this difference could be key came to mind. I felt the Hagstone heating up and grabbed it to look up at the sky. There was a witch on a broomstick above me. I watched her circling then coming down just in front of the tree enclosed cleaning. I didn’t remember her being so detailed before.

She carried the broom in her right hand and a large caldron- surly too heavy for just herself to carry and fly with!- in her left. She had on a black hat, a short black cape and plain black dress. Her hair was bright green and face covered in warts. She looked like a traditional Halloween witch. She walked in and set the caldron on top of the fire.

I looked at the sky again and watched four more witches flying in. They are looked so different and covered the whole scale of witchy looks. Those four joined the first one and they began the preparations of the potion. Another crackling laugh raised my head again and this time I counted eight more. Those witches came into land and they all greeted each other.

My heart and breathing were loud in my ears, but I stayed frozen and watched them. Soon the potion was bubbling away and they were chanting. A few added some more things in and two were tending to the fire. I gripped the ice dagger and thought about getting The Arcana out again. What was I meant to do?

‘Where’s the child?’ one witch shouted up.

The others grew silent.

‘She should be here by now,’ another gargled.

‘I don’t sense her,’ a very old and blind witch cut in.

‘Perhaps we should go and find her?’ a very beautiful, blonde chimed in.

‘No. She always comes to us. It’s the way,’ the first spoke again.

All the witches murmured and swayed around the caldron.

‘Who has the best eyes?’ the gargling one asked.

‘I!’ cried the blind one, ‘and I tell ye now, she’s not coming.’

I stepped from the trees, ‘I’m here!’ I shouted.

The closest witches stumbled back then froze with the others as they all looked at me.

‘I’m no longer a child!’ I cried and lashed out with the dagger at the nearest witch.

The dagger easily sliced through her and the witch screamed. Black blood squirted out and the witched turned, crumbling to the ground. The other witches cried out and rushed me at once. I felt their cold, gnarled fingers ripping into me. I sliced out with the dagger in all directions, determined that they wouldn’t take me. Fingers flew across the air, more black blood dripped down me and the witches screamed loudly in my ears till it was all I could here.

Despite everything, they grabbed me and dragged me over the fire and caldron. Screaming and kicking, slashing out with the dagger that had become unmoveable from my hand, I fought them off. Their fingers pinched through my clothes and laughter rushed through me. I screamed and screamed then I felt the kiss of the fire.

‘It can’t be like this!’ I yelled.

‘It can and is, child!’ the first witch roared back, raising above us all, ‘throw her in!’

The witches heaved together and threw me upwards. Wind and my own scream rushed around me. I flew for a second then landed over the caldron, knocking it over and sending the potion sizzling into the fire. Black smoke engulfed me and heat cracked my skin.

‘Ashes to ashes,’ the witches chanted.

I felt myself sinking and struggled to get up, but I was trapped under the caldron. I screamed and the fire burned my throat. Suddenly, I heard a cry and a panic of words. Had someone come to save me? No, the witches had suddenly realised that their potion and I had gone up in flames and smoke. I smiled and felt myself melting away. I felt the fire and ashes giving away under me and I fall through a blue haze. Landing, for the first time up right, I looked around and saw total blackness.

Had I died for real? Garson said that wasn’t possible. If I died in the dream I came back to my own bed and life. I touched myself not sure what was going on. My clothes felt the same and I still had the satchel. I fumbled around inside of it and finding nothing of valuable right now, pulled out the feather. My connection to my life, Garson had said.

A dim, growing light ahead of me caught my attention. I looked up, feather in one hand and dagger glued to the other. The light grew and grew, becoming the soft glow of a candle. What was this now? I steadied my breathing and got ready to fight again. As it drew closer, I saw it to be lantern and a familiar person was holding it up.

‘Dean!’ I shouted and ran towards him.

I threw my arms around him and pressed my face into his chest.

‘Abs! I’ve been looking for you everywhere!’ He half-shouted.

I laughed at his American accent, but didn’t release him from the hug, ‘are we back in the mine? Did you get caught?’

‘No. This is a new place. I’m not sure how I got here…Well, I think I do know. Come here and I’ll explain on the way,’ Dean stated.

He wiggled out of the hug, took my hand and walked me into the darkness. The candle lantern burned brightly around us, but it didn’t display anything.

‘I think I’m here to help you as a thanks for helping me,’ Dean picked up excitedly, ‘you see when you went through that portal, I tried to follow you and I ended up here with this light.’

‘Really? I’ve been on such a journey since then!’ I jumped in.

‘But you made it and when I saw this. I knew you’d come to fix it. Everything made sense. Look.’

Dean rose the lantern up as he stopped and I had crane my neck to look up. A massive gold web was spun out before us. A gasp escaped me. The web was so huge it was impossible for me to see it all at once. I reached out a hand and touched it lightly. The web was ice cold and seemed to shiver at my fingertips.

‘I’ve been looking for the broke part and I think I found it, but we’ll have to climb,’ Dean explained.

‘How safe is it?’ I asked.

‘Safe enough. It’s very solid and there’s only small gaps between the strands. Think of it like a ladder.’

I nodded.

‘We can go side by side.’

‘I’d like that,’ I answered and give him a smile.

I put the feather and finally the dagger into my bag. Dean put his foot on the first strand and his free hand four up then began climbing. I joined him and together we worked our way up the Dream Web. When Dean began moving to the side, I did the same. The climb was easy and I didn’t feel nervous at all. However, I began to tire and slow down. I pressed my hand to the golden strand and breathed deeply. I yawed and went to rub my eyes before remembering I needed to hold on.

‘Come on, Abs!’ Dean called down to me, ‘we’re almost there.’

‘I’m so sleepy!’ I called back.

‘Don’t give in! Talk to me.’

‘What about?’

‘I don’t know, anything. Just focus on that and climbing.’

‘I’ve not got a clue what I’m doing really,’ I started off with, ‘I just battled a coven of witches and defeated their plan. Whatever it was.’

‘Witches?’ Dean spoke.

I nodded and began climbing again to join him. The web still felt cold and shivery under me.

‘It’s a dream I’ve had often. Like the mine one and the plum travel and the triangle forest. Different stuff sometimes happens, but they are all the same really,’ I explained, ‘Garson, the-not-angel, the person who told me about all of this said they’d been replaying dreams to find someone to fix the web.’

‘And what happens when we fix it?’ Dean asked.

‘I don’t know…maybe it’ll make the dreams better? And safer?’

‘He didn’t tell you?’

‘If he did I don’t remember.’

‘Look, there it is. The broken strand.’

I looked and saw that a few meters above us was a snapped off golden strand which had created a small whole in the web. I sighed deeply, annoyed it was still so far away. I climbed up a few more strands, Dean now following me. My mind fell to thinking how to fix it, but until I got there I couldn’t vision it.

Finally, I reached up for the strand next to it and hooked my hand through. I looked at the snapped strand and waited for Dean to shine the light on it. Once that was done, I picked up the smooth golden rod and tried to slot it back into place. There seemed to be no way to reattach it.

Frowning, I left the strand hanging again and dug around in my bag.

‘You got any glue?’ Dean asked.

‘No, just this multi-tool,’ I said pulling it out.

Dean frowned, but didn’t say anything as I tried to pick up the strand again and work out how to fix it with anything on the tool. Nothing seemed to stand out and looking closer, I saw there were no screws or anything else, just a hole were the end of the rod slotted in. I tried again, but it wouldn’t hold.

‘It’s no good, why didn’t you tell me this before?’ I sighed.

‘I didn’t think…I thought you knew how to fix this thing,’ Dean shot back.

I put my other arm through the good strand and lend forward, puffing out each breath and sulking.

‘Don’t you have anything else you could use?’

‘I got a feather, a prayer book, an ice dagger, this tool, a Hagstone, The Arcana…maybe there’ll be something in there!’

I put the tool away and grabbed the book, slotting my hand through the strand again and putting all my weight into leaning forward, I flipped through the book. I could just make at the words.

‘What is there? The web, gold, the lantern….candle,’ I listed off then flipped to candle.

‘Seeing a burning candle signifies that good luck and hope is coming. You are at a comfortable life stage, but seek spiritual enlightenment. Candles represent intellect, awareness and a search for the truth. To carry a lantern represents the feelings and wisdom coming from you that will guide you in the life’s journey. I’ve read that before, in your dream.’

‘What else?’ Dean asked.

‘Web, represents desire to control everything. Alternatively, suggests you are being held back from fully expressing yourself. Feel trapped and do not know what to do or where to go. That feels so true right now…but not helpful. Okay, next.’

I flipped to the ‘G’s and read aloud once again, ‘gold reflects a spiritual reward, richness, refinement and enhancement of surroundings. Also, your determination and unyielding nature.’

‘Useless still,’ Dean put in.

My mind reeled and an idea, maybe suggested by the book itself or something else made me turn the pages back and looked up dreams.

To dream that you are dreaming or daydreaming shows your emotional state. You are excessively worried, fearful about a situation. Dreaming also serves as a layer of protection from what you are feeling, allowing the experience of certain difficult feelings that may otherwise be too painful to confront.

 DreamcatcherIndicates that you are putting up a wall or barrier against the negativity. Perhaps there is something subconsciously that you are trying to prevent from emerging.

‘That wasn’t any good either. Oh, Dean what are we going to do?’

‘Climb back down and figure it out,’ he suggested.

I shook my head, ‘I don’t think I could make the climb again and anyway, if I haven’t got it right now, why should I get it right if we go back down. No. There must be a way.’

Closing the book, I slipped it back into my bag and turned to look fully at him. Dean’s expression was one of saddens and pain. I looked at the lantern and saw the candle flickering away and the wax pooling at the bottom. Glancing at the rod then the candle an idea began to form.

‘Wait. I think I know what to do. Dean hand me the candle,’ I requested.

‘What?’

‘The candle. The melted wax! It’ll glue the rod back in place when it dries,’ I explained quickly.

‘But how will we see to get down?’

‘That doesn’t matter, right now! The candle! Please, Dean, please,’ I begged.

He dropped his head and I thought I saw him bit his bottom lip, ‘all right. I’m going to trust you, Abs. You give me my freedom and I’ll always owe you for that.’

He held up the lantern to me. I undid the latch and with a shaking hand took the candle out. Slowly, I brought it up to the rod and drippled some of the wax into the hole.  Turning quickly, I tried to get the wax on to the end of the rod, but couldn’t do it.

‘Grab it,’ I gasped.

‘I’ll have to drop the lantern,’ Dean growled back.

‘Do it!’ I said.

Dean flung the lantern away and grabbed the rod, as wax begin dripping onto my fingers. Ignoring the pain, I tilted the candle and the wax dripped on to the rod.

‘Swap,’ Dean shouted.

I handed the candle to him with gritted teeth and grabbed the rod. I slotted into place and held it there. The wax started drying on my hand and I heard Dean’s small gasps of pain. I held my breath, praying it would hold. Suddenly there was blinding flash of golden light and we were both thrown off the Dream Web.

I screamed and reached for Dean, but felt nothing other than air against my fingers. Wind rushed around me, drying my throat and silencing my scream. I spun around and felt tears being torn from my eyes. I wanted to yell for Dean, but there was bubble in my mouth. I flipped back over and looked up at the Dream Web, it was lit up and shining brightly.

I noticed that the light was sweeping across the wall behind it and even the ceiling.  I saw a wonderful collection of paintings that made little sense, but looked like Bible scenes, only they had an Egyptian style to them. There were no words, but the pictures told so much, if only my mind could stop and figure it out.

Something soft hit me in the back and I bounced up, grunting loudly. I flopped back down again and lay spread eagle on what felt like a trampoline. I felt Dean land beside me and rolled over to him once he’d finished bouncing.

‘I think we did it!’ I shouted.

‘Yeah,’ he forced out through his heavy breathing.

I sat up and now with light filling the room took stock of where we were. A door was forming and opening far to our left and I scuttled over the soft trampoline and climbed down the side. Dean called after me, but I ignored him as I saw Garson stepping through the door.

‘I did it!’ I yelled over and waved.

He waved back and turned to say something to someone behind him.

‘Abs! Wait up!’ Dean called.

I stopped and waited for him to catch up, we both walked over together and Garson greeted us warmly.

‘Hello, Abigail. Thank you, Thank you,’ he said and taking my hand shook it.

‘Hi, Garson and your welcome. Dean helped me,’ I replied.

‘Thank you, Dean,’ Garson added.

Dean gave a little bow.

‘So, the dreams are safe again now,’ I stated and looked up at the glowing Dream Web.

‘Yes, Abigail and you can now return home,’ Garson declared and looked behind him, ‘you can go through that door and wake up safe in your bed.’

‘I’d like that very much, thank you.’

‘But what about me? How do I get out of here?’ Dean broke in.

Garson and I eyed him.

‘I’ll help you return to the dream world,’ Garson said ‘and if Abigail gives you permission, you may roam freely there.’

‘I do,’ the words bust out of my mouth, ‘give my permission,’ I tacked on.

Dean hugged me tightly, snatching the breath out of me, ‘thanks,’ he whispered into my hair, ‘I’m going to miss you and I’ll never forget this, Abs.’

‘It’s okay. I’ll still see you again, right?’ I asked having created a gap between us.

‘Of course! I’ll always appear in your dreams when you need me. Maybe we could fight those witches together sometime?’

I nodded then reached up and kissed him. His lips were warm and soft against mine.   Garson coughed loudly and I let go.

‘Bye, Dean. See you soon,’ I whispered, pressing my forehead against his and focusing on his lips.

‘You too, Abs. Good luck,’ he added and kissed my head.

Letting go, I allowed Garson to push me through the door whilst not breaking eye contact with Dean. I was shoved through and it closed behind me. Darkness surround me then there as a gap of light and I opened my eyes back in the real world.

The End.

The Arcana Of Dreams (Part 7)

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.’

‘Really?’

‘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…

The Arcana Of Dreams (Part 6)

My sweaty hand slipped from Dean’s as we stopped running. I bent over, hands pressing to my knees and trying to draw in enough air to fill my burning lungs. I shut my wet eyes, squeezing out the last of the tears, even though I was still sobbing. Without really caring, I sat down and drew my legs up. I curled into a ball, my head to my knees, my arms around my legs and the satchel digging into my side.

‘It’s all right,’ Dean whispered, ‘that whistle was the morning alarm. I didn’t hear the break out one whilst we were running. I think we’re going to be okay.’

I rose my head, pulling in long shaking breaths, which misted on exhale. The stitch in my side throbbed and ached alongside my legs and arms. I felt dampness creeping under my bum and wiped my eyes to take a long around. We were in some kind of alleyway. The walls of tall red brick houses loomed over us and the cobble stone floor was wet and mossy. There was a line of overflowing iron bins towards the end and scraps of rubbish around them.

Dean came back to me and crouched down. I sniffed and wiped my face again as he looked me over. I was still crying and the pain in my chest was growing worse. Dean rubbed my back and said soothing words. I pressed my forehead to my knees again and shutting my eyes, waited till I had calmed down.

Lifting my head up, I put a hand to my chest and felt something hard under my fingers. I pulled out my chain and clutched the gold cross and red Hagstone together. The Hagstone burnt my fingers and I quickly let go. I looked down at it, wanting to pick it up to look through it, but worried it would burn me again.

Dean got up and walked to the end of the alley, where he looked about. When he didn’t come back, I picked the Hagstone gingerly and pressed it to my left eye. The colour changed to black and white, but I saw nothing in the alley with us. Letting go I left it out to lay on the stripy tie.

‘Where are we?’ I called.

‘Not sure,’ Dean said back, he came over to me whilst slipping off the leather rucksack and opening it. He rummaged through and pulled out a large folded map.

I moved so he could lay it down between us. We both looked at the hand drawn details and I couldn’t help but think of Victorian London. Dean put his finger tip to the area marked Constance Mine and traced it along the road we had run down. He paused at the road’s end then turned right and began trying to track the way we had come.

I looked back at the small drawing of the mine and saw that it was quite detailed. There were rows of squares to one side which ended in a bigger one with a red cross over it. Opposite were small rectangle and blocks of grass then the entrance to the mine itself.

‘We are here, I think. Which is okay, but we need to get….here…’

I looked and watched his finger go across the map and to a large area. There were a number of enclosed buildings and trees. Dean lifted his fingers away and pressed them to his chin, which he rubbed as he began musing. I stared at the area and saw it read Academy.

‘Is this London?’ I blurted.

‘A London,’ he corrected, ‘it’s just one of many running on a different time and under different events. I want out though and to go back home.’

‘To America?’

He nodded, ‘to what is left.’

I frowned and looked at the map again, so many questions came to mind.

‘Let’s go,’ Dean cut in.

He folded the map away and stood up. I got slowly to my feet and fixed my clothes. With a glance towards the alley entrance, he strolled out and I tagged alongside him. We walked for a few minutes in silence and I admired the buildings around us. Most were red town houses with three or four floors; some were white painted with black iron fences and steps down to basements.

We turned a corner and saw two policemen walking towards us. Dean grabbed my hand and shot me a-keep-quiet-look. We slowed our approach and I saw that the policemen were wearing dark green uniforms and carrying pistols at their hips. They eyed us up with dark eyes and then stopped before us, blocking the way and forcing us to stop too.

‘Bit late, ain’t you?’ the one before Dean spoke in a thick south London accent.

Dean stayed silent.

‘Lost are you?’ the second policeman who was before me asked.

Dean gave a shake of his head and nudged me in the ribs.

‘We’re fine thanks,’ I rushed in, ‘just late like you said.’

They policemen looked at each other, cocking eyebrows before they turned back to us again.

‘Where’d you live? Visiting family, were you?’ the second asked me.

I nodded eagerly, ‘and now we’re going back to the Academy,’ I glanced at Dean, who also nodded, but didn’t speak.

‘You seen any undesirables about? We heard there might have been a break out at one of the mines,’ the first spoke after a slight pause.

‘No, officers.’

‘What about you, me lad?’ the second cut in.

Dean shook his head.

‘Speak up, speak up!’

‘No, sirs,’ Dean squawked in a fake cockney accent which made me cringe.

The policeman paused, their hands going to their pistols.

‘We really haven’t seen anyone,’ I jumped in, ‘we should be going now, but we’ll keep an eye out.’

‘Where are you from originally?’ the first sneered.

‘West Yorkshire,’ I breathed, ‘but you know how it is there.’ I clamped my mouth, not sure why I added that on and what it meant.

The policemen eyed each other again and seemed to relax a little.

‘Those crazy sisters,’ the first policeman hissed, ‘writing all those thought provoking novels.’

The second just shook his head.

‘Well, we shall…’ I started, but stopped as the second man flung his arm out to halt me side stepping him.

‘What’s that?’ he pointed to my cross.

I pulled up the chain and showed him, ‘I’m a Christian. A vicar’s daughter,’ I said without even thinking that there might be no religion or they might be against Christians in this dream world.

‘Why didn’t you say that before?’ the first one gushed.

‘We’re terrible sorry to have trouble you, Miss,’ the second added.

‘Please pardon us,’ they said together and bowed.

‘Oh,’ was all I could reply.

‘We shall be on our way,’ they chimed together and with a tip of their hats, walked around us and down the street.

I held my cross in both index fingers, the Hagstone dangling loose and heavy as I inspected the gold.

Dean half-twisted to watch them leave then turned back to me and in his own hushed voice said, ‘well done.’

‘I guess vicars are especial in this time?’ I questioned.

‘You don’t know the half of it,’ Dean laughed.

He grabbed my elbow and we walked down the street. We walked for what seemed like a good long while and didn’t see anyone else. The streets and houses seemed dead and though I wanted to ask Dean about this I didn’t. My body was aching and my head thumped with a headache. To make matters worse the Hagstone felt like it was burning through my clothes and melting my skin away.

We turned down a long twisting road beside some kind of factory and began making our way down it. Water dripped from a broken guttering on the roof and I heard the sound of cotton machines bashing away from inside the building.

‘I think we’re lost,’ Dean muttered.

‘What’s that?’ I asked pointing to something lying on the ground ahead of us.

Dean gave a shrugged and we walked over. There was a strange tool lying on the ground. It looked like a large Swiss penknife with all its parts pulled out. I stepped closer, putting my head to the side as I looked down at it. I could see something that looked a like a screwdriver with a wretch next to it, some scissors were jutting out and a bottle opener? And a few other things that looked familiar, but their names wouldn’t come.

‘What do you think it is?’ I asked.

Dean pulled a face but didn’t reply.

I bent to pick it up, but as my fingers touched it I felt the pull of the blue haze. I reached my other hand out quickly to grab Dean’s, but I wasn’t fast enough and tumbled head first into another dream. I landed in a soft a pile of snow, which drifted up around me before falling lightly on my hair and face.

‘Dean? Dean!’ I shouted and thrashed around.

I scrambled up and looked but could see nothing but snow. My right hand clutched around something and I looked down to see the multi-tool penknife. My bottom lip trembled and I thought about throwing the thing away. Loud laughter drew my attention and I looked up.

Coming out of the snow was a shopping trolley with someone sitting in the cart.

I put the tool in the satchel and dug my boots out of the snow. Noticing, I was no longer wearing the school uniform but was back in clothes I had set out in and hurried over. Getting closer I saw that there was actually a line of five shopping trolleys strung together by a red twine rope. Inside each cart sat a child and they were all dressed for winter weather.

‘Hey there!’ I called and stumbled through the snow piles.

One of the children spotted me and began waving. The others joined in a few seconds later.

I ran on and approaching saw something really odd. Behind the last trolley was a tall purple rectangle object attached to a wooden go kart like frame. There was a plastic funnel with purple balls inside of it on the top and lots of tubes running around the box.

‘What’s that?’ I asked as soon as I could.

The children, who hadn’t got out of the shopping trolleys, greeted me then the oldest who was a boy and sitting in front of the contraption said, ‘it’s plum travel.’

I looked up, but due to the swirling snow couldn’t see the details of the machine.

‘Who are you?’ the girl in the next trolley asked.

‘Abigail. I was traveling with Dean and were….I am looking for the Dream Web. I need to fix it,’ I explained.

‘I’m Flo. Nice to meet you.’

‘You too,’ I said.

‘I’m Bert,’ the boy answered, then point down the three other children introduced them, ‘That’s Dash, Bo and Fawn. We are all brothers and sisters. Do you have any family, Abigail?’

I looked at my feet, my hand going straight to my cross. The Hagstone felt cold beneath my fingers, ‘my adopted parents,’ I muttered, ‘it’s just my parents and me. But they’re not my real parents. They found me on the church doorstep, hours old and with only this cross,’ I faded off, my thoughts tumbling and my chest hurting with emotions.

‘Would you like to come with us?’ Flo asked.

‘There’s a storm coming and we’re getting out of here now,’ Bert added and the other children nodded.

‘Okay….’

‘Stand on the back of Flo’ s trolley.’

I did as he said and stood up on the back bar of the trolley and lent over the handle bar. Flo put a woolly hat on my head and give me some gloves.

‘Hold on, no matter what,’ she said.

I nodded and clutched the bar tighter. Snow started to whip around us and the wind howled in my ears.

‘Everyone ready?’ Bert called, ‘plum travel!’

There was a flash of white then blue light and I felt myself lurching forward on the trolley. The delight screams of the children blasted around me and my stomach got the feeling of being on a rollercoaster. More coloured lights flashed then were racing along a river of ice and under a bridge. The trolleys ploughed into a snow drift then out of the other side and into the air. We flew for a few seconds then landed heavily in the middle of a wasteland.

Small piles of snow were dotted around, burying large objects or groups of things. I waited till the line of trollies and the plum travel machine had stopped before having a proper look around. We where actually in a junkyard and I could see the remains of cars, kitchen appliances and furniture poking out of the snow.

The children’s excited cried faded and they began to get out of the trollies. I pulled of my almost frozen gloved hands and stepped down. The children had run to gather around the machine and I joined them, feeling slightly shaky.

‘Abigail!’ Flo shouted and hugged me.

She only came up to my stomach and I patted her bobby hatted head. She turned her face up to mine and I saw glowing red round cheeks, a cute button nose and pink smiling lips. I hugged her back and she snuggled into my white jumper.

‘Let’s go inside,’ Bert called.

Flo took my hand and tugged me along. We walked around two crushed cars and I saw a house built out of scrap metal.

To Be Continued…