The Story of Promiseum - Dream Walker
Chapter 12: The Descent

Copyright© 2021 by Llwyd L. Brenin

When Emily opened her eyes, she felt confused. She didn’t know where she was or what was going on. There was a heavy feeling in her chest, arms, and legs. She couldn’t move! When she tried to lift her head, she realized that she was strapped down. She tried to yell for help, but the more she tried to raise her voice the lower it got. That’s when she realized that she was in some kind of hospital. She was strapped to a cold metal table, and wires were attached to her head.

Suddenly, what looked like a doctor appeared. He was speaking to her, but it was hard to understand. The words sounded garbled, almost like they were underwater. She could only make out a phrase here and there.

“You were in an accident.”

“This might hurt.”

“We’re losing her!”

Now the wires were shocking her brain. It felt like her skin was getting tighter and her toes were on fire. There’s someone over her head. There’s a whining sound. It’s a drill! Someone’s drilling a hole in her head! Now another one! And another! Why won’t it stop?! They’re poking and prodding! “I can’t feel it anymore! Why can’t I feel anything?! SOMEBODY HELP ME, PLEASE!!!”

Then, it was all gone. She opened her eyes again. The straps were gone but she still couldn’t move. There were more wires all over her body. Around her, there were all kinds of machines. All of the machines were making noises. They were beeping, buzzing, clicking, and hissing. All except one. The machine that was attached to her head. It was silent. The monitor just showed a flat line. Does that mean I’m dead? she thought. How can I see or think if my brain is dead?!

Then she could move again. There were tubes down her throat. She choked as she pulled them out. As she removed the wires from her head and body, she noticed that she was naked. She looked around. There were no clothes or blankets anywhere. There wasn’t anything she could cover herself with! She opened the door and looked out. There was no one there, so she went out.

As soon as she got out, voices started yelling at her to come back. People without faces were chasing her. Now she was running through a crowd of people. They were yelling, “Put your clothes on”, and calling her bad names. Some snakes were trying to bite her as she ran past, and spiders on webs coming down from the ceiling. Then, someone grabbed her. She screamed and tried to escape, but she couldn’t fight him off. Someone was shaking her. Now he was saying her name. Emily! Emily!! She was sleeping. She opened her eyes to Danny waking her up. She was in her room, and she was okay. She started to cry, and Danny just held her in his arms.

“It’s okay now,” Danny said, “it was just a nightmare.”

“I don’t think it was just a nightmare,” she said. “I don’t remember feeling pain in any other nightmare, but I can still feel it. It was horrible!”

“You’re right,” Danny said, “that’s not normal. Tell me everything so I can figure out what’s going on.”

She told him everything step by step. She told him what happened, what it felt like, she even told him the part about being naked. That was the worst part for her. The pain and the feeling of helplessness were bad enough, but to be humiliated and degraded on top of it was too much for her. She started crying again. Danny just held her and rubbed her back until she felt better. Then he checked the time. It wasn’t even midnight yet.

“We should go back to sleep,” Danny said. “I’ll come into your dream with you.”

Please don’t leave,” Emily said. “I’m still scared, and it feels lonely.”

Danny didn’t argue. He slipped into the bed and under the covers with her. Now he was holding her tight, as they drifted off to sleep together. When they were asleep, Danny found her dream and merged it with his own.

It seemed to be a normal dream. They were kids playing in her backyard. It was one of those dreams that was half dream half memory. When he was younger his mom worked a lot. So, he played here with Emily more times than he could count. The memory was strong, but it wasn’t any specific memory. It was a happy time for her, for both of them. But somehow, something seemed amiss. It was Emily! He didn’t know if it was his imagination, but somehow, she seemed less vibrant. Maybe an after-effect of the nightmare? He thought. But that didn’t explain the feeling that someone was watching. When Danny looked around, he saw no one. Just a spot on the horizon that seemed to be darker. It somehow felt ominous, like a storm was brewing.

Danny woke up first. He almost forgot where he was until he felt Emily in his arms. He woke her up by kissing just below her ear and whispering, “wake up my love.” They held each other a little longer before getting out of bed.

But no matter how much they wanted to; they couldn’t stay in bed forever. Over breakfast, they discussed their plans for the day. Since it was Saturday, Emily decided that she wanted to start planning the wedding. They decided to have the wedding in the garden where Elizabeth and Lance got married. Now, they were just waiting for Emily’s mom to get there.

When Robert finally joined them, he looked like he just rolled out of bed. He went to the kitchen for some orange juice, then to the table to sit down.

“Sleeping late,” Danny said. “I was out late,” Robert said. “I used to laugh at you when you wanted to hang out longer, so you could spend more time with Emily. But now I understand bro. I found it really hard to leave. I think I’m falling in love.”

“Congratulation’s brother,” Danny said. “Have some breakfast, we made plenty.”

After Robert finished eating and they cleaned up, Emily and Robert’s mom arrived, and they went to the garden. While the women were busy in the cottage, Danny went outside to clear his head. He walked down the trail a little way and stopped. He heard a fluttering sound but by the time he looked, whatever it was, flew off. The only movement was a recently vacated branch. There went the sound again. Behind him. This time, he saw a bird fly off. He followed it further down the trail. There he was sitting on the koi fountain. A large black crow. His feathers were so dark, that they seemed to soak up all the light around him.

“Are you Archimedes?” Danny asked as he approached.

“I am,” he said. “We need to talk, but not here. Dream of a lonely dream and I will visit.”

Archimedes flew out of the tree, circled around towards the gate, and disappeared. Danny had been wanting to talk to Archimedes, but the fact that he found him after stalking his dreams had him worried. He went back to the cottage to let everyone know what was going on, and that he would be gone for a while. Then he left through the gate and out to the veil of dreams.

He was now on an old dirt road that looked like it hadn’t been used in years. Behind him was an old, dilapidated farmhouse that was abandoned long before the road. There was a dead tree in the yard. It seemed the only sign of life here was the endless rows of corn behind the fence in front of him. Fastened to the fence was an old scarecrow. It had a flannel shirt and overalls with a straw hat on a burlap head. There was straw sticking out where the hands and feet would be. After waiting a few minutes Danny noticed some movement in the corn. It was too far away to tell what it was, but before he could get a better look, Archimedes flew out of the corn and landed on the scarecrow.

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