I think I mentioned something about this scene–well, maybe not this scene in particular, but what was coming. I’ve hinted that some strangeness was about to go down, and guess what? Here that is!
It’s a strange scene. For one, it’s short: about eight hundred and thirty words total, I don’t believe I’ve written much that’s shorter. And because the last two scenes weren’t very long, Chapter Nineteen has the chance to become the shortest chapter in the book–so far, I should point out, but I can’t see many more chapters clocking in at around five thousand or so word. I only say this because I know the next scene won’t be all that long, and once that’s written chapter and part are complete, and I can move on to writing about all the fun stuff about to come.
Because the scene is so short, you’re getting it all in one shot. That means sit back and enjoy . . .
(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
When Annie finally popped into her dreamspace she took a few seconds to calm herself and release her imaginary breath. She looked about her unformatted space and crafted a chair to sit in while she determined what she should do next.
As she’d drifted off to sleep she’d wondered if her crafting had been sufficient to dreamwalk: that she was here was proof enough that the spell worked, but she considered the possibility that it might not be enough to allow her to enter Kerry’s space. Though she wasn’t certain of the exact time, she knew some time passed between her falling asleep and the dreamwalk spell beginning.
However, Annie had a plan.
When she’d dreamwalked Kerry the week before she was able to pull him out of his space and into their shared space by using the corridor that seemed to link their individual spheres to the larger one. She planned to use her corridor to reach their shared dreamspace, then move down the other corridor to Kerry’s. It was also her hope that by sleeping next to Kerry the minimal physical distance would result in their being a minimal astral dream distance.
There was only one way to find out.
Annie is becoming the quite the little dreamwalker:
But she just can’t let the little Ginger Hair Boy sleep. Like a new witch with a shiny toy, Annie’s gotta go off and get inside his dreams so she can hang with him a while longer. I mean, it’s not like she’s actually keeping him up or something.
So, then: out of her head and . . .
Annie floated out of the imaginary chair, which vanished as soon as she was a half-meter above the seat cushion. While there weren’t visible landmarks in her space to let her know the location of the corridor, she remembered the feeling she’d experienced when she’d located it while in Kerry’s space: a sensation not unlike falling a short distance. She began moving in different directions in her dreamspace, looking for that same feeling. She wasn’t concerned about the time she’d spend looking for the exit: an hour here wasn’t much more than a minute in the physical realm, so while she might grow tired of looking, she wouldn’t run out of time.
She didn’t need to worry, however: after a few minutes of her current dream time she encountered the falling feeling and went into the sensation. Seconds later she was rushing along the narrow gold corridor, popping into the shared dreamspace moments later. Annie understood the topography of their dream world and zipped across the much later space until she felt herself falling once more, entering the corridor taking here to Kerry’s space.
The emergence into Kerry’s space was far different than the last time she’d dreamwalked him. Then the space was in the process of formatting itself and was filled with colorful mist; this time everything was a dull, uniform gray, including the fog which seemed to limit visibility to just a few meters.
Annie attempted to get her bearings, slowly walking away from the falling feeling at her back. When she’d appeared last time Kerry came into view almost immediately, but now there was nothing. It was entirely possible that all the gray fog were interfering with her ability to find him, and she wondered if perhaps Kerry wasn’t fully immersed deeply enough into REM sleep to be here.
Anything is possible. Annie set her hand upon her hips and set her weight on her right leg as she thought. I’m not an expert in dreamwalking, so everything that’s happening is an ongoing learning experience. She turned slowly intending to search in another direction. Maybe while I’m here I can try formatting—
There was someone else here with her–and it wasn’t Kerry.
And . . . this isn’t what I’d call good.
She was almost face-to-face with a girl, one about three centimeters shorter than her with long, curly ginger hair and bright green eyes. Like Annie she, too, was dressed in pajamas, making Annie wonder if this girl was more than just a figment of Kerry’s dreams—Could she be a dreamwalker as well?
Annie managed a weak smile. “Hi, I’m—”
“You need to leave.” There was an edge in the girl’s voice that didn’t sound like anger. “You need to go now, Annie.”
“How do you know my name?” Annie tensed slightly; while everything in the dream realm was new to her, encountering someone or something that knew her name didn’t leave her at ease. “What are you doing here?”
The girl took one step towards Annie. “You can’t stay: you need to leave this dream—” She seized Annie by her upper arms. “—and leave immediately.”
There was no time to react: in an instant Annie was off her feet and spinning around as the girl drove her backward through the gray fog. Annie was too shocked to take action: for the first time she felt at a loss as to what to do, for while she could dreamwalk, she didn’t understand dream fighting . . .
The girl stopped and pushed Annie away from her hard. “Stay out of this dream.” She yelled as Annie hurtled away from her. “Stay out of his space.”
Annie flew back into the dream foam of Kerry’s space and slammed through hard. She was through in a moment and snapped violently into the astral dream realm—
Was there a moment there where Annie thought, “This wasn’t what I expected,” as she was physically thrown out of Kerry’s head? And here we see for the first time that there are things one can do to protect themselves from other dreamwalkers, but since Annie wasn’t expecting to run into others, why bother learning? Because you never know who you’re going to run into while out on a dreamwalk?
And it would seem that Annie has met up with someone who’s been popping into Kerry’s head once in a while. But, you know, this is one of the reasons your girlfriend flies into your dream, so she can make sure there aren’t any strange girls already there. And not only did she find a strange girl, but said girl just kicked Annie’s ass–
You can bet she’s not gonna let this one go any time soon.