www.whyville.net Aug 19, 2012 Weekly Issue

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The Dreamkeeper

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It started with a night.

Numerous name-callings from childish bullies had swept into my memory as I lay in the safety of my blankets, awaiting sleep to take over me and wash away the pain of the day. It took me hours to fall asleep, agonizing hours of recollecting the events that had passed as well as future failures I might incur. There was nothing "sweet" about the process of falling asleep. Occasionally I would pick up my phone from the headboard and see what time it was, flip through my empty inbox, and once again place it on the wooden shelf hoping that doing this multiple times would make my brain feel tired quicker. Nothing ever helped; no amount of medication or relaxing music could help my spurring mind settle down into a good night's rest. All I could do was wait.

For some reason this night was different, though. I was more on edge than usual, more aware of my surroundings as I listened to my heart pulsating like a low drum. Tha-thump. Tha-thump. Tha-thump. My eyes were wide open as I quickly realized an eerie amount of darkness was engulfing my entire body and my heart began lamenting in my ears. I heard a sharp crack and my head turned towards my window where the once-clear space began filling with a spider web of broken glass. When the pane was near plummeting in towards my own bedroom into a thousand sharp fragments, a figure appeared outside the window. A dark, hooded figure with abnormally long, bony fingers. I was stuck, frozen in my own bed, cowering underneath my safety blankets and deathly afraid of what was about to occur.

What could I do? I was 16 and the only weapon I had to fend off an intruder were my fists. Maybe a heavy book if I was fast enough to reach for it. Screaming would only alert the glass-breaker of my existence and would possibly put me in more danger than if I simply hid under my covers. My heart was beating so loudly that it was a miracle the entire world couldn't hear the pulses. I attempted to hold my breath, ducking even further underneath the wool and praying for my life that I wouldn't be slaughtered.

And then I heard the voice. A low, calming voice quietly assuring me of my own safety. I can't remember what it said, all I know is that it slowed down my heartbeat as the room filled with a cold draft. I was laying on my right side and slowly tried to maneuver my head out of the comfort of my blankets in order to see what was happening when the figure suddenly reappeared in the center of the room. He wore a long, sleek, black robe that fell far past his feet and brought with him a chill that caused all of my hairs to stand straight up.

Once again he murmured to me, a dark voice beneath a dark hood. "Come and see."

Slowly but surely I felt myself sitting up straight, pushing off my blankets of safety and leaving me ice-cold. The figure spoke again.

"Come and see."

I couldn't tell you why I decided it would be a good idea to stand up, I couldn't tell you what thoughts were running through my head and why I figured that going towards this omnipotent figure would be better than running and hiding. All I know is that I stood, took a few steps, and looked up into a dark face covered by a dark hood. There was no longer any fear inside me. There was no longer any doubt or any concern. Which to this day still concerns me.

"See what?" The words formed inside of my mouth of their own accord, reaching to be said despite my best efforts to keep them inside. I did not know who this figure was, where he wanted me to go, or why he was bothering to ask a 16 year old to come and see. And I am certain that my normal mind wouldn't have wanted to know.

"Another world." The cold voice responded, freezing the blood inside of my body and slowing my heart once again. My eyes remained wide open, unafraid of what was to come. He reached out his thin hand towards mine, gesturing me to take it. I steadily raised my own and met his, lightly grasping it for an odd fear of breaking the fragile thing.

What compelled me to follow him I can not say, but he wasn't lying when he said we were going to another world.


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