Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Dream Wanderer

This is the first two pages of my story The Dream Wanderer. There's some missing pieces of her memories on the first page because I'm not finished with the edits yet, so some feedback and critiquing would be appreciated. :)

  The Dream Wanderer

The Dream Wanderer

She closed her eyes and laid back, the words of the chant dancing before her. Her whispered words rose like the soft wisps of smoke from the candles encircling her head.
Tall, short, stubby, slender-- the candles were all different, just like the Dreams. The one thing that was similar about them all was their color-- a pure, unspoiled white.
The scent of hickory and rose petals burning swirled around the room. She grew dizzier, dizzier, and felt herself slipping from consciousness. First would come the memories, the flashbacks, the voices. And then she could walk right through the gates of the Dreams of others.
A woman holds a newborn child in a shabby blanket in a shabby house next to a shabby bed. She leans the baby close to the old crone on the bed, who scrutinizes this strange child with the bright cornflower-blue eyes and white hair. The baby smells rum on her breath, and wails. The old woman opens her mouth slowly.
“You shall be called Veda, for someday you shall have eternal knowledge.” With that, the woman exhales shakily and lies back in her bed. “Go, Harper,” she tells the woman holding the baby.  “Leave me.”
“Yes, Grandmother.”

She is riding through the King’s Forest. She regrets stealing Lady Barrow’s horse, but they are after her with the hounds now, pursuing her as if she were a troublesome fox who ate a prized chicken, and there is no turning back.
An arrow slices through the air above her head, shattering her calm. Lord Barrow swears.
“Don’t shoot, you fool!” he bellows. “You might harm the horse! That’s prized stock getting away! Catch her!”
No. They must not catch her. Veda has seen what happens to horse thieves. She is too young for the gallows just yet. She must escape.
That thought surges through her mind as she spurs the horse onward. Perhaps it was that thought roaring through her mind that blinded her to the low-hanging branch. It strikes her forehead harshly and she knows no more.
Satan offers her a quill pen.
“And all I have to do is sign?”
“That’s all you have to do,” the man purrs. His voice is smooth-- smooth as the path a boat makes through water. Smooth as oil, coating everything and making it all run just the way he wants it to.
Veda hesitates. The deal he has offered, the way out, is not pleasant. But what choice does she have?
“Your human body is going to die, anyway,” he reasons. His voice his like honey now-- something about its cool, sweet smoothness soothed her. “They’ve caught you and you’re going to hang if you ever wake.”
“I’m... asleep?”
“Your body is in England, resting, hovering near the deeper sleep that knows no more. But your mind-- obviously-- is here.” Veda reaches for the pen, doing her best to return his steady gaze. He is beautiful-- not at all like the priest described him. Dark waves fell over his emerald-like eyes and he had cheekbones that were sharp enough to slice through her heart. He was dressed in robes of fine bright colors, with tiny jewels worked intricately into the embroidery. The strong hands that gripped the pen were perfect.
“Well?” The voice is still hypnotic and soothing, but this time there is an edge to it. An impatience.
Better not annoy this gorgeous man, she thinks.
She takes the pen and sets it to the parchment, dipping it in the peculiar inkpot. To her horror, the ink is red and has a funny smell to it.
“What-- what is this?”
“Blood from the wound on your forehead,” he says calmly. Her hand flies to her face-- sure enough, there is a gash. A little horrified gasp escapes her mouth.
“It will heal without scar when you sign.” says Satan vaguely, sounding far away. The dream was fading, she was waking up! She would hang with the murderers!
“Sign, girl, sign unless you want to die!” he screams.
Hastily, she scribbles her name in the crimson ink. The letters burned like fire on the paper, becoming bright red, then gold, and finally black. A shower of sparks devoured her and all she knew was pain, pain--
And then everything was gone, and she was in her cave. Alone.
There was no door, no window, no way out. She was sealed here until the end of time, she supposed. Her only escape was through the wanderings of her mind, which she was to become master of over the centuries.
Though her belly burned with hunger, there was no food for her to eat. Yet somehow, she survived. Her body never changed; she never grew a day older. And try as she might, the white dress Satan had clothed her with would not come off, would not burn in the fire, would not even get dirty, roll in the dirt of the cave as she might.
Her permanent dwelling had nothing in it, save the Book and the ever-burning hearth. And the candles-- yes, the candles! There were millions of them, all snow-white, lining the shelves and floor in the back of the cave. No matter how many she used, the supply never ran out. All different sizes, shapes, designs. But all completely white.
Just like her hair, just like her dress.

The memories are gone-- now she can wander the Dreams. Since she has gained much wisdom in the past centuries, she can help many.
She has helped many famous people become what they could.
She taught Leonardo da Vinci to draw in his dreams. He woke up and painted the Mona Lisa.
She showed Thomas Edison how to build a light bulb in his.
She visited young Teddy Roosevelt and handed him a staff. “Speak softly and carry a big stick, my boy,” she whispered.
And Alexander Graham Bell needed help finding the missing part to his telephone invention. She gave him a little nudge in the right direction.
But her favorite to wander are the dreams of the children-- the young ones who have yet to stop believing. They were like reading a fairytale.
 One young boy, though, was different.


1 comment:

Go ahead and drop me a comment-- I appreciate them so much! I try to reply to all comments you leave me as quick as I can, whether it's on my blog or yours.
Rebecca :)