I Dreamed A Dream by Ben Waterford - Read Online
I Dreamed A Dream
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Summary

When a dream becomes a reality the nightmare begins. Brendon is cast into an unknown world where murderers are sent for penance. A world where demons and beasts run amok and humans are their fodder. Can Brendon find his way back to the real world or will he be lost forever.

Enjoy an intriguing tale that combines fantasy and horror with some refreshing moments of romance and humor. A short novel inspired by the authors own dreams and nightmares. 
 

Published: Ben Waterford on
ISBN: 9781386081982
List price: $0.99
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I Dreamed A Dream - Ben Waterford

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believing

Chapter 1 – Awake

The busy intersection was in a state of total frenzy. Trucks swept passed me only centimetres away from where I stood, perched at the edge of the cracked concrete kerbing. Dust swirls danced around me as accelerated grit sandblasted my face. I turned my head and watched as another huge truck passed, my hair blown in all directions by the fierce draft. Strangely, it was noticeably quiet during the constant barrage. I squinted as dust penetrated my eyes, looking for signs of the drivers. To my astonishment there were none. A strange feeling of dread suddenly took hold of me. I forced myself to pull back from the ever decreasing gap between the trucks and myself. I caught glimpses of flashing blue and red lights between the rushing traffic. An ambulance or was it a fire truck? There must have been an accident or something. I was concentrating so hard that I inadvertently lost my footing and staggered awkwardly backwards. The concrete pathway inexplicably crumbled under my feet. I am tumbling backwards and downwards into an empty void. I watched helplessly as the world above grew smaller and further from my reach.

Slowly I begin to spin head over toes with a nauseous feeling increasing with my imbalance. The speed of my descent is now impossible to measure as there are absolutely no walls or anything to gauge my current velocity. I find myself struggling to take a breath. It was like the air had run out and my lungs could suck nothing from this vacuum. I try to scream but it is impossible. I close my eyes and at that very moment I hear an almighty bang followed immediately by the sensation I was lying flat on my back. I slowly open my eyes to reveal a familiar sight. I am in my bedroom. My pillow and sheets around my head and neck are damp. Beads of sweat roll off my forehead adding to it. Ha, I thought, I was only dreaming … thank goodness. I look around in the semi-darkness and I am reassured by my intimate surroundings. The dream played out in my mind again and again as I rested from its anxiety. I never did like those ‘falling’ endings as I read once that you may die and never wake up, but who has experienced this and lived to tell the tale. Believe what you will I suppose.

My throat felt dry, so I felt to the right of my bed for the touch lamp. I tapped my finger on the lamp in various places but it failed to light. I turned to face the curtained window at the end of my bed, my attention being attracted by the tree shadows dancing upon it. It must windy out there tonight. I sat up at the edge of the bed and tapped the touch lamp a few more times, but still it failed to work. Knowing my bedroom intimately I got to my feet and slowly walked to the door. My right leg gave a little as I did. Must have a little cramp, I thought. My right hand touched the door and then I moved across to the left where I easily located the light switch. The switch ‘clicked’ as I turned it on, but nothing happened. ‘Click - click’, and again no light. I started to feel a little uneasy with the situation. Had someone turned off my power at the meter-box outside? Had a tree fallen on the power lines? I edged my way back past my wardrobe and towards the window. At least a little light was showing through the gaps each side of the curtains and a little across the top. I held back the heavy drape and peered out. Damn, I haven’t got my glasses on, I muttered under my breath as I squinted to focus on the front driveway. Where’s my car, I abruptly thought, as it was plainly obvious it was missing. I then noticed there were more trees than there should be, and some were growing in the middle of the drive-way. As the shadows continued to dance all round from the moonlit trees, I was sure I saw a dark figure move between the nearby trees. I jumped back in fright and the curtain resumed its closed position. I dropped myself back onto my bed and sat there shaking. After my eyes slowly became accustomed to the darkness, I looked closely at my room and where only moments ago the door was shut, it was now wide open. I’m still dreaming, I said with relief. This is not my real bedroom; this is just a dream. Another one of those dreams within a dream!

I pinched myself. Hmm, that usually works. I pinched myself again but somewhat harder. Ouch, that hurt, I half-cried, half-laughed to myself. But like other times I was not rousing from this deep sleep. I was still sitting on the edge of my bed, staring through my open door and down into the dark passageway that led to the back half of my house. Aw, c’mon Brendon, wake up, I muttered. This is going to be a stubborn dream I can see. I pondered ways of waking myself up. I lay back on the bed and bounced up and down. I slapped my face a few times as hard as I could and I then reached over and threw some water over my face from my glass beside the bed, and when then didn’t work I tipped the whole glass over my head. Still the wind rustled through the leaves outside and the shadows continued their dance.

Okay, I give up, I thought, Let’s play it out a bit. I’ve had a few tough wake-ups in the past, so this will probably last until the alarm clock sounds shortly. I clumsily put my track pants on and a tee-shirt that I had thrown down near the bed last night. At least they were still there. I felt under the bed for my slippers where I was sure I had kicked them off, but they had gone walkabout somewhere. So with bare feet and hair dripping wet, I fumbled to the door and slowly dragged my left hand along the passageway wall to locate the door into the kitchen. Again, enough light seeped into the house to make out major obstacles like chairs and tables. Adjacent to the kitchen was the family room and as I neared this room, I saw the net curtain that covered the sliding door billowing into the room, thrust by the gusts of wind from the side garden. I froze. I looked quickly behind me, and then around the kitchen looking for intruders. My thoughts raced, I’m damned if I remember leaving the door open last night – in fact, I know I never. I started to slowly move closer to the door, but then remembered the shadowy figure I had seen through my bedroom window. I raced over to slide the door shut, but the door was missing. Who would have taken my door?

Ah, just remember this is a dream and nothing can hurt you, I reassured myself. I stepped through the open doorway and checked the outdoor entertaining area. It’s funny in a dream when everything is situated precisely where they were the last time you saw them - the mind is very clever, I reflected. There was the glass table and six chairs and there is the barbeque and there is the … Oh shit. I turned around to race back into the house but thumped into the glass sliding door. I anxiously fumbled at the handle but the door was locked. Having no alternative I ran towards the back of the house where the swimming pool should have been but now stood this gigantic tree with a small burnt hollow opening at the base. I raced into the hollow and waited, the sound of my heart beating in my ears.

Brendon.

Who’s that? I spun around to face from where I had heard my name. I felt outwards with both hands raised, trying to feel anything in darkness. Who’s calling me? I took a few steps. The floor was hard and flat, like tiles.

Brendon.

Who is that? Show yourself. I turned around and could no longer see the opening that only moments ago I had entered. Everything was completely black, and I had no idea of what direction I had entered, or what direction the voice had come from. I stood frozen to the spot. My bare feet had warmed the tiles where I was standing. It was comforting and reassuring but also encouraged me not to move. I pinch myself again just above my right wrist, but still I did not awaken. It was then I smelt a wisp of acrid smoke.

Hello, are you still there? I asked in a slightly raised voice. But there was no response. The smell of smoke grew stronger. I spread my arms out in both directions and extended my fingertips in the hope of touching a wall, or something. I spun gently around to cover a circle … but nothing. I coughed as I drew smoke into my lungs. Remembering the emergency procedures you are supposed to follow in a fire, I dropped to my hands and knees and to my surprise, the air was clear. Thoughts rushed around my mind. Is there a real fire in my house and I’m actually on my hands and knees in the passageway which is tiled, but I’m in some sort of half-conscious state? Maybe it was the smoke from the fire that has sort of paralysed me. I need to get out of here, I thought, or I may end up just a charred figure for the fire brigade to find in the morning.

I slowly plodded ahead in the direction I was currently facing. The hard surface was not kind to my knees and they soon began to hurt. After I felt I had travelled more than the distance of my passageway, I stopped and tried to stand up, but I hit my head on something hard after hardly moving from the kneeling position. I put up my right hand and felt around me. The roof was in a curving arc and it was fairly obvious I was now travelling down a small rounded tunnel or tube. Without light to see I could only imagine what may lie ahead … or what could be creeping up behind me. As I continued forward the floor felt wet, but the feel was not watery but more like oil. I felt the viscosity between my fingers like a car mechanic checking the quality of the engine oil. My knees slipped and my hands fell forwards as I struggled to make ground. I didn’t realise until it was too late, that the floor had been gradually slopping downwards and it was not until I was at such an angle that my bodyweight combined with the slippery surface started to carry me down the slope unaided. I used my hands to slow the descent but it was useless. I felt like Alice in Wonderland disappearing down the rabbit hole.

As the tunnel widened my body rolled, spun and slid in awkward configurations. One second I was sliding head first, the next I was feet first and in another I was upside-down and sideways. I think I was feet first and traveling quite fast when I hit the water. It was very deep and the extra weight of my waterlogged track pants made it hard to swim upwards. I was a good swimmer and it took all of my energy to finally break the surface. I sucked the air back into my lungs as I reached over to cling to a concrete post sticking out from the brown and slimy brick wall. I puffed and panted heavily as I regained a little strength, holding on tight to the post all the while. As I looked about me I was thankful for the little light that penetrated this … this sewer, I suppose was the best way to describe it. The stench was really disgusting. My first impression was that the water was clean, but closer inspection revealed it was a green-brown concoction with lumps that floated slowly past that don’t require mentioning. I momentarily froze as a huge rat swam past me.

Chapter 2 – I Smell a Rat

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