Aphelion Issue 274, Volume 26
July 2022
 
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Dreamweaver

by Timothy Potter



A Family Secret

His parents had been killed in a car accident on the way home from the hospital. A nurse happened upon the accident, and the car was already engulfed in flames. The baby's parents were both covered in blood and were unresponsive. The nurse barely managed to get the baby to safety in time. She and her husband wanted children but were unable to have children of their own. They had been on the waiting list at the adoption agency for several years, and they were still pretty far down on the list.

As she stood there holding the baby, she realized that this child had no parents. If she turned him over to the authorities, they would simply give him to the next parents on the list. She could take the baby and move away where no one knew her or her husband; they could claim the child was their own. She took the baby and went home. She told her husband of her idea.

"What? You expect me to just leave everything I've worked for? I've spent my entire life building this farm..."

"And we've spent our lives together hoping and praying for a child!" She paused for a moment to regain her composure and then continued, "Trevor, you know we've always wanted to have a child of our own. This may be our only chance. His parents are dead. The car burned up, so everyone will assume he died with them and perished in the flames. If I turn him over, we may never get our chance to have a child."

And so the discussion went for about an hour, but finally, she convinced him to let her keep the child. Since she worked at the hospital, it was easy for her to create a fake birth certificate, listing her and her husband as the birth parents. Trevor called a friend who owned an adjacent farm and had mentioned wanting to expand, settled on a price for his land and signed the papers the next morning. Then, they loaded up their belongings and left their old life behind.

As the Logans left their home in Crawford, Nebraska, they decided to travel southeast in hopes of finding another farm. Trevor found a small farm in Scottsville, Kentucky, and decided to settle there. They were certain that 1200 miles would provide enough of a buffer to help them put their old lives behind them, but the events that would unfold would prove that no distance could have been far enough.

At first, everything seemed to go well. Trevor and Anna knew all about farming and easily made friends. Anna had received a good reference from her old job, and she found a position at a local clinic. She worried about leaving little Drew at the daycare, but she had no choice; she knew they needed the extra money to help with expenses.

Drew was very intelligent, and rarely played with toys after he was two years old. Mostly, he would sit by himself and draw pictures. It was almost as if he was born with a talent for drawing; his art was extremely advanced for his age. Maybe it was his intelligence or his special ability, the Logans didn't really know, but for some reason Drew just didn't fit in with the other kids his age. But it didn't bother him, he was content to sit and draw, and as a result, he spent most of his time alone.

Anna worried about Drew spending so much time alone; he seemed to be in his own world and on his own schedule. He often didn't sleep when the other children took naps at noon, but when the other children were finished napping, Drew was ready to sleep. He wasn't a problem or a disturbance for the others; he would just lie on his mat and stare -- and sometimes laugh when one of the other children laughed while sleeping. The daycare workers were concerned at first, but decided that as long as he wasn't causing a disturbance, they would just wait for him to adjust to the same schedule as the others.

Anna, on the other hand, worried constantly about Drew spending so much time alone. Finally, Anna talked to Trevor, and they decided that Anna would quit work and stay home with Drew as soon as they could financially afford for her to do so. Over the next year, she saved as much money as she could, and just before Drew's fourth birthday, Anna quit her job to be with Drew.

Drew loved being home with his mom. They would play and color together, and she began teaching him his alphabet. Each day, just like at day care, Drew would lie on his mat and stare for almost two hours, and then he would sleep for two hours.

Finally, Anna decided to ask Drew, "Why don't you stay up and play a little while? You don't usually go to sleep for almost two hours. Let's go outside and swing."

"I can't, Mommy," Drew replied.

"Why not," she asked.

"I have to help the children."

"What children?"

"The ones from my day care."

"Drew, you haven't been to day care for almost a month now. How can you help those children?"

"I help their dreams, Mommy."

Anna was beginning to almost chuckle to herself, but she didn't want to hurt Drew's feelings. "That's very sweet of you, Drew," she said trying to humor him, "but how do you help their dreams?"

"I help them fight the monsters and make them see funny things to make them laugh. I have to go, Mom; Mikey is having a bad dream, and I have to help him."

With that, Drew took his place on his nap mat and began to stare into space. Anna thought to herself, "What an imagination he has! Maybe that's why he keeps to himself around other kids; they don't have the imagination to keep up with him." Anna smiled as she thought about how advanced her son must be to have such a vivid imagination.

And so Drew maintained his routine of lying on his mat and staring for a couple of hours before falling to sleep. Sometimes when he would wake from his nap, he would tell his mother of the dreams the other children were having and how he had helped them with their dreams. He would tell of how together he and the other children would fight monsters, fly, explore outer space and have many other amazing adventures.

Anna decided to write the stories as Drew told them to her, that way she would have a record of his wonderful imagination; so, each afternoon, she and Drew would sit on their front porch where he would dictate the stories from that day.

One afternoon, Anna was not feeling well; so, she decided that when Drew took his nap, she would take one as well. As she slept, she had a terrible dream. She dreamed that Drew had an evil twin who was trying to hurt her and that Drew had to intervene and save her from the evil twin. The dream was so realistic that she startled herself awake and sat straight up gasping.

As she sat up, she sighed to herself, "Thank God, it was just a dream."

She turned and saw Drew walking over to her and saying, "I fixed your dream for you, Mommy."

She gently pulled Drew to her and asked, "What do you mean, Honey?"

"I fixed your dream for you," he replied. "I saved you from that boy who looks like me. He wanted to hurt you in your dream, but I stopped him."

"How did you know what I dreamed?"

"I told you, Mommy. I fixed it for you. That mean boy tries to hurt people all of the time by making them have bad dreams, but I stop him when I find him. I can't always find him. That's why I don't sleep when the other children sleep. I'm checking their dreams to make sure it's safe. I can do it while I sleep, but I can check more dreams if I'm awake. If I find him in their dreams, I chase him away and make the dream a good one. I like to see people have good dreams. Sometimes they have so much fun it makes me laugh."

"So, all the stories you've been telling me --"

"I tried to tell you, Mom," he interrupted, "they're not stories; they're dreams."

"You did try to tell me, Drew. I'm sorry I didn't believe you. I just thought you had a great imagination. But how..."

"I don't really know how I do it. I just know that it's easy for me to do; it just makes me tired, if I do too much while I'm awake. That's why I like to draw and color. It helps me keep my mind off of all the dreams."

"You mean you do this all the time?"

"Mostly, I just check on people I know, unless that mean boy, Edward, is hurting someone. I really wish he would stop doing that."

"Baby, it's very sweet of you, but it's too much to ask you to do this all the time. You're just a small boy. You're not even in first grade for a few more months."

"But Edward is the same age as me."

"You mean the same age as 'I'," Anna corrected.

"But he's not the same age as you; he's the same age as me," Drew protested.

"Never mind, Honey. I just hate to see you spending so much of your time trying to stop this Edward fellow. You are so young; this is just too much for you."

"But, Mommy, you are always tellin' me 'bout being 'sponsible and helping people. As far as I can tell, no one else is trying to help with people's dreams."

Anna gave him a huge hug and admitted, "You're right, Baby, and I'm SO proud of you. But promise me something."

"What, Mom?"

She lifted his head, and looked him in the eyes. "Promise me that if it gets to be too much for you, you'll tell me."

"Okay, I promise."

"One more thing...We don't need to tell anyone else about this. People wouldn't understand."

"Not even Daddy?"

"We can tell Daddy, but let me tell him, okay?"

"Okay." Drew turned and walked back to his mat and said, "I'm going to take a nap now, okay, Mommy?"

"Sure, Baby."

"Tell Daddy," she thought, "I'm not even sure I can believe it myself. How can I convince him?"

Anna was shaken by the whole experience and even uncertain how she felt about it all. Nevertheless, she told Trevor the whole story after supper that evening. At first, Trevor thought this was another one of Drew's stories, but Anna's persistence began to convince him she was serious.

"This whole thing is so outrageous; how do you expect me to believe a story like this?"

"I know, Trevor, I can barely believe it myself, and I am the one it happened to. But you have to know I would never make something like this up."

"Yeah, I know, but you have to admit --"

Trevor and Anna had been so involved in their discussion that they hadn't noticed Drew walking into the room until he interrupted Trevor, "Daddy."

"Oh, hi, Drew. I didn't know you were in here."

Trevor sat down and motioned for Drew to walk over to him. He put Drew in his lap and began, "Drew, I'm not saying that you can't help with people's dreams, but this is something that is really hard to believe. If it's true..."

"I helped your dream last night, Daddy."

"You did what? When?"

"Remember the dream you had last night about the storm?"

"How did you know about that? I didn't even tell your mother about that."

"I told you, Dad, I helped your dream."

"How did you help my dream?"

"Remember how that big dark cloud was heading for our house and you were scared?"

Trevor looked at Anna with utter amazement and explained, "I dreamed that a tornado was heading right for our house."

Drew continued, "I made the cloud stop and the storm go away, and then we all went fishin'."

Trevor leaned back in the chair. "He's right. That's exactly what happened in my dream." He turned to Drew, "Are you saying you did that?"

"Yes, sir. I thought it would be fun for us to go fishin' again; we haven't been fishin' in a long time."

"Drew, I'm sorry I didn't believe you at first. It's just that this is such an amazing thing."

"Mom says we shouldn't tell anybody."

Trevor glanced at Anna and replied, "Your mother is right. It's probably a very good idea to let this be a family secret. People wouldn't understand." Trevor scratched his head and asked, "How long have you been able to do this?"

"I dunno 'zactly," Drew answered, "I guess always. I 'member I've been playing with Mommy in her dreams a long time."

Trevor hugged Drew tightly and said, "You are a very sweet and special young man. I'm so proud of you for being such a good person, but listen to me; you can't help everyone. You can't do it all by yourself; so, don't think it's your fault if you aren't able to help everyone you want to help. Okay?"

"Okay, Daddy. I'll try."

From that day forward, Anna stopped worrying about the problems with nap time, but she still asked Drew to tell her the dreams each day. She thought the stories would still be good to have, but now it was as a diary for Drew when he got older rather than as a collection of stories.

One afternoon, Drew sat with his mother to tell the dreams for that day, and he announced to her that Edward was gone. "I can't find him anywhere."

"Well, isn't that a good thing? Maybe he's decided to quit being mean to people," Anna suggested.

"Maybe...or maybe he just got better at hidin'."

"Well, I tell you what, you just keep doing your best, and if you don't find him, then maybe he gave up. Even if he didn't give up, then maybe he at least decided to leave your friends alone."

"I don't just check my friends. I check anyone I can find asleep. I can even check lots of dreams at the same time."

"Can you check anyone in town?"

Drew shrugged his shoulders and answered, "Last night I talked to a boy who said he lived in 'Missippi.' Where is Missippi?"

"Do you remember that trip we took to see the big space ship?"

"Yes, Ma'am. That was a long ride."

"If we went to the space ship and drove home again, that's how long it would take us to get to Mississippi."

"Wow!"

"That's a long way, isn't it?"

"Yes, Ma'am. You know, there's this one girl that lives by the big space ship. Her sister got on that ride that pulls you way up in the air, and it scared her. She was having bad dreams about it. She was trapped on the ride. I rode it with her and when it got to the top, I stopped the ride in the clouds. We got off the ride and walked in the clouds. I made the clouds like cotton candy -- everybody likes cotton candy. Then we got on a swing. I turned the swing back to the ride, and we went back down. I keep checking her dreams, but she hasn't had that scary one again."

Anna knelt down beside Drew and pulled him to her for a hug. "You are such a special boy," she said with a tear in her eye. "I love you very much, and I am so proud of you."

"I know, Mommy."

Drew continued to check for Edward, but could not find him anywhere. So, when he wasn't helping other children with their fears, he spent his time playing in the dreams of the children he knew.

A Friend

Drew was excited; he was ready to go to first grade. Anna, on the other hand, was very apprehensive. She worried about how the other children would react when they saw Drew in person after seeing him in their dreams for so long.

The morning of his first day, she decided to talk to him on the way to school.

"Drew, you said you've been playing with the other children in their dreams. They may not be the same when they are awake."

"Mommy, dreams show how people really feel. In dreams, they show that they are scared of something or mad at someone. They don't hide how they feel like they do when they are awake."

"That's sort of what I'm trying to say. The kids who were friends with you in their dreams, may not be your friends when they are awake."

"Yeah, I know, Mommy, but Ashley said she would. I told her I would meet her at school today, and she said she would be my friend. We're both in the same grade."

"Just don't be TOO disappointed if she doesn't remember you. Okay?"

"Okay, but she will remember me."

As they pulled up to the school, Drew pointed to a little girl in a blue dress standing out front of the school with her mother. "There's Ashley, in the blue dress. Her mom bought that dress for her to wear today; she showed it to me the other night in her dream."

As the car came to a stop, Drew jumped out and ran to the little girl and started talking to her. The two children then turned and walked toward the school together; they appeared to be deep in conversation. The girl stopped, ran back to her mom and gave her a hug. "See, Mom, I told you he would be here."

As Anna watched Drew walk into the school, the other mother began walking toward her. As she came to the car, she introduced herself, "Hello. I'm Diane Rollims-Heste; I'm Ashley's mother."

"Nice to meet you; I'm Drew's mother."

"Do you have a minute? I need to talk to you about something."

"Sure," Anna answered, "Hop in."

Diane climbed into the car, and they pulled into a parking place near the school.

Diane started the conversation casually. "So, are you guys from around here?"

"We moved here a few years ago from Nebraska; we bought the old Whittaker Farm. How about you, are you from here?"

"Oh, no. We are originally from California. My husband's family owns several businesses, everything from hotels to small banks. We moved here about 7 years ago. They purchased several small bank chains in the area, and this is a central location for us."

"Wow, I bet that keeps you guys pretty busy."

"Yeah, he travels a lot. If it weren't for Ashley, I would go nuts some times. I've kept her at home with me; we've spent all our time together. She has such an imagination, or at least, until today I thought it was all imagined."

"What do you mean?"

"This is going to sound strange, but she's been telling me stories for over a year about some boy named 'Drew' who played with her. I thought Drew was just an imaginary friend she made up to help compensate for her dad being gone so much. Some of the stories she has told me about their adventures are really outrageous. I never would have dreamed that any of it was true, until today."

"What changed your mind?"

"Again, I know this sounds strange, but I have to ask you about this." Diane paused for a moment as though she was struggling for the right words.

"Go on," Anna encouraged.

Diane drew a deep anxious breath and continued, "She's been telling me all this week that Drew was going to meet her out front today. She insisted that we wait for him. I thought maybe her imaginary friend would give her the ability to face her first day of school, and I was okay with that. I guess I thought we would stand outside until she felt comfortable going in, and then she would pretend he was here and go on to class. She pointed at your son when he got out of the car; then he made a bee line straight for her, and he called her by name. They knew each other! Her imaginary friend wasn't imaginary. I am totally blown away. I guess what I'm asking is how they knew each other."

"As we pulled up to the school, Drew pointed at Ashley and said she had shown him the blue dress she was wearing. He said you bought it specifically for her to wear today."

Diane's gently shook her head as she replied, "He's right. I bought it a few days ago for her first day at school. I wanted to make it as special for her as I could. I was worried she would be afraid to go without me."

Diane started to cry as she looked at Anna and said, "I'm the one who isn't strong. She was fine, and I am here in the car with a total stranger falling apart."

"Believe me," Anna consoled, "I know how you are feeling --"

"But I haven't told you everything yet," Diane interrupted. "I've worried so much about her going to school that I had a bad dream last night."

"That's natural. Our subconscious tends to have us face fears in our sleep that we hide from when we are awake."

"Yeah, but here's the really strange part: In my dream, your son Drew walked up to me and told me he had been Ashley's friend for a long time and that he would take care of her for me. Then the three of us went to the circus; I used to love the circus when I was a girl. My favorite part was the clowns. The clowns in my dream were so funny, I forgot all about my fears."

Diane turned sideways in the seat as though she was so excited about something she could no longer sit still. "The scariest part of it all is that Drew looks just like he did in my dream. Then he just walks up to her, and they start talking..."

Diane stops and looks at Anna. "You think I'm crazy, don't you?"

"Actually, no, I don't. Drew has been telling me the same kinds of things. Somehow, they have been communicating with each other. I've been worried about Drew. I told him this morning that just because someone was friends with him in a dream didn't mean they would be his friend in real life. But of all the kids he says he's visited, Ashley is the only one he has considered to be a friend."

"Did you say 'kids' as in plural, more than one?"

Anna's heart sank as she realized her slip-of-the-tongue may have just blown Drew's secret.

Diane continued, "And you said 'visited', didn't you? Are you saying Drew visits other kids in their dreams?"

"That's not what I meant to say, I meant to say 'visited with' -- just like Drew and Ashley visit with each other in their dreams."

"Drew is the only one she has mentioned."

"Regardless of how they have managed to know each other, the important thing for now is that they each have a friend they trust to get them through the first grade."

"But that's just it; how do they know each other? Why do they trust each other? Why does Drew mention other children? I just have too many questions. I'm going to have to do some research on this."

Now it was Anna's turn to sigh. She took a deep breath and started, "Diane, please don't."

Diane raised one eyebrow and tilted her head. "Why not?" she asked.

Anna shook her head, "Here I was worrying about what he might say to ruin it all."

"What are you talking about?"

"I need to show you something. Can you follow me out to my house?"

"Sure, I guess so."

Anna took Diane to her car, and Diane followed her to their farm. Anna took Diane inside and asked her to have a seat at the kitchen table.

"Would you like some coffee or something?"

"Coffee would be nice; thank you."

Anna poured them both a cup of coffee and said, "The cream and sugar are there on the table. Help yourself; I'll be right back. I have something to show you."

Anna got the diary and returned to the kitchen table. She pulled up a chair beside Diane, and put her hand on the diary.

"I was so relieved to hear you talk about Ashley seeing Drew in her dreams. I thought Drew was the only one playing with other children in dreams."

"Again, Drew is the only one Ashley has mentioned."

"I have kept a diary of all of the stories Drew has been telling me. He has played with hundreds of children."

"Did he ever mention Ashley?"

"Yes, many times. Would you like to see?"

"Yes, most certainly."

Anna opened the diary and found some of the stories about Ashley and showed them to Diane. Diane read them in amazement.

"Ashley has told me about some of these dreams. It's amazing, but why is each story written as though Drew is controlling the dreams?"

"Because he is controlling them."

"What do you mean?" Diane asked as she rose to her feet. "Are you saying that he has some kind of 'psychic power' over dreams?"

Anna stood to her feet, pointed to the diary and answered, "That's exactly what I'm telling you. How else can you explain it?"

Diane sank back down into her chair staring at the diary, and she answered softly, "I don't know...I just don't know."

Diane sat there for a moment then a fire came into her eyes. "Wait a minute," she exclaimed. "That means your child is intruding in the dreams of other children."

Anna interrupted Diane with the voice tone of a mother whose child has been accused, "He's not intruding; he's helping." She paused for a moment to regain her composure, lowered her voice and continued, "Look at the diary. In almost every case, the child was having a bad dream, and Drew stopped the bad dream and turned it happy -- just like he did for your dream."

"I don't like the idea of someone visiting Ashley's dreams -- a place where I can't protect her."

"That's why Drew is there -- to protect people's dreams. I can't explain it, but he feels like he has an obligation to help people with their dreams. Remember the first entry I showed you about Ashley? Drew helped her with a bad dream about her dad leaving. Drew has the ability to know when someone is having a bad dream, and he helps change their dreams."

"I still don't like the idea."

"I don't like the pressure he puts on himself to be everyone's protector. At such a young age, he shoulder's such a tremendous responsibility."

"I want him to quit messing with her dreams."

"What harm has it done? None! He helped her make the transition to first grade smoothly, and she isn't worried about her dad being gone all of the time. How do we tell them to stop being friends? How do you think Ashley will feel about it? I know Drew would be devastated. Ashley is the only child he considers a real friend. And they have been playing together in their dreams almost every night for over a year. Are you going to take that away from them?"

"I don't know what to do."

"How about for now we let them be friends. Let's take it a day at a time."

"That's easy for you to say; your child is the one invading the dreams of others."

"And your daughter needs a friend, and she has found one in my son. I think they need each other. Now they can be friends for real and not just in their dreams."

"But how will I know what's going on in their dreams."

"Why don't you start keeping a diary of Ashley's dreams? I'm already keeping one of Drew's. We can get together and compare notes. That will give them time to actually play together, and if we find anything of concern, we can confront it then. What do you think?"

"I don't see how we really have any other choice right now. Even if we tell them to stop playing together, that doesn't mean they will. They may just decide to keep it a secret and see each other behind our backs."

Anna and Diane agreed to meet at least once a week to let the children play together while they compared dream notes. Diane promised to keep Drew's ability a secret, at least for the time being. While Anna and Diane worked out their shaky friendship and compared dream notes, Drew and Ashley became almost inseparable.

The Prophecy

Drew and Ashley had made it all the way to junior high as best friends. They planned each day what they would do in their dreams that night. Sometimes they would read books together and act out their favorite parts in their dreams.

Through the process, Anna and Diane had become good friends. They both needed a friend; Diane's husband was gone most of the time, and Trevor was always busy with the farm. Anna shared the dream diary with Diane, and they wondered together how Drew came to have this ability. Anna told Diane about Edward and how Drew struggled with protecting people in their dreams. But as close as they were, Anna never felt close enough to Diane to share the truth about Drew and how she came to be his mother.

One day while the children were at school, Diane called Anna. "Hey, are you going to be home for a while?"

"Yes, actually, I'm in the process of baking some pumpkin pies. Come on over; I'll start some coffee."

"Coffee and one of your pies? I am so there, but listen; I have someone with me that I want you to meet. Is it okay if I bring him with me?"

"My kitchen is a mess -- "

"Believe me; he won't be worried about your kitchen, especially after he gets a taste of one of your pies."

"Okay."

"Great. We'll be there in a few minutes."

Anna peeked through the window and saw a limousine following Diane. Two men got out of the front of the car, looked around and opened the car door for the third man. All three men appeared to be of Indian descent. Their skin was dark and they were each wearing the traditional dhoti with a turban. One man walked in front of the other two. The three men walked in front of Diane.

Anna opened the door and invited them to enter.

As they entered the house, they stopped at the door to remove their shoes.

Diane greeted Anna with their usual hug and then introduced her companions. "This is Jentarry Hanamar, and these two men are his body guards. "

Anna extended her hand and said, "It's nice to meet you."

"Wait," Diane interrupted. "I forgot to tell you. His customs forbid him to shake the hand of a woman. Please don't take it personal. It's just their custom."

"Oh, okay," Anna replied. Uncertain of what to do, Anna bowed a little as she said, "It's nice to meet you, Mr. Hanamar. I apologize if I offended you in offering my hand. I truly didn't know."

Mr. Hanamar spoke with the melodic voice of the Indian language. "No offense taken, Madam. It's nice to meet you, as well."

Anna gestured toward the kitchen table and said, "Please, come have a seat at the table."

Mr. Hanamar sat at the head of the table, and his bodyguards stood on each side of him.

Anna was a little confused, and she looked at Diane and asked, "How did you say you two know each other?"

"Okay, I've been doing some research on our dreams. I found Mr. Hanamar through that research. I arranged for him to come here from India. I think you need to hear what he has to say. Mr. Hanamar, please, go ahead."

Mr. Hanamar began, "So tell me about your son. Does he really have the power to influence dreams?"

"Yes, he does."

"Explain what you mean by influencing dreams. Does he tell people what to dream, and then they dream it? Does he change the dream itself? What exactly do you mean?"

"He doesn't have to talk to you. He just somehow changes what you are dreaming -- while you are dreaming it."

"How long has he been able to do this?"

"I don't really know exactly. I found out about it when he was just a small child. He helped me with a bad dream I was having, and then he told me he had been doing it for other people for a long time. So, I guess maybe he was born with it."

Anna retrieved the dream diary and showed it to Mr. Hanamar.

After reviewing the diary, Mr. Hanamar looked at Anna and said, "There is an ancient prophecy that states two children will be born with this ability. They are the Dreamweavers. One will be trained in the ways of good and right, and the other one will be raised by evil people and will be taught evil his entire life."

Mr. Hanamar raised his brow in concern, "Where is his twin?"

"He is an only child."

"But this is impossible." Mr. Hanamar stood as if to leave, "You are hiding something from me. You must be honest with me. Now, I must know, where is his twin? Maybe you were told he died just after birth, but there must have been a twin. There IS a twin; you have evidence of his existence in your diary. Where is the other boy?"

Anna's voice quivered as she came face-to-face with her secret, "I...I don't know."

"What do you mean, you don't know," Diane interrupted.

Anna started crying as she looked at Diane and said, "I'm sorry, Diane. I've not told you everything. I didn't think I would ever tell anyone. I didn't think I would have to tell anyone."

"What? What are you talking about," Diane insisted.

Anna motioned to Mr. Hanamar. "Please sit down. I will tell you everything."

Anna took a deep breath and blurted out her secret, "Drew's not really mine. You see, Trevor and I weren't able to have children." She went on to tell the entire story of how she took Drew and was raising him as her own child.

"The other child must have been taken from the wreck. They must have left this child to perish in the fire. Then you unwittingly helped fulfill the prophecy. You obviously have the child who is being instructed in the ways of good and right, and it seems that you have the stronger of the two children, at least so far. But we must prepare him for the final battle. When this Edward disappeared, his trainers moved him out of the range of your son. He has been strengthening his skills. Eventually, their ranges will expand until they can reach anywhere in the world. When the time comes, your son must be ready."

Mr. Hanamar paused for a moment and then continued, "We need to take your son with us for further training."

"I'm not going to just let you waltz in here and take my son. How do I know you're not the bad guys in disguise?"

Diane interjected, "Anna! Don't insult Mr. Hanamar like that; he is a very respected holy man. Please, Mr. Hanamar, forgive her. She didn't mean it; she's just afraid of losing him."

Mr. Hanamar replied, "She does well to be suspicious. Whoever took the other child must know that Drew exists and that he is stronger than Edward. That puts his life in danger until he reaches his full potential."

"What do you mean," Anna asked. "What danger? What do you mean full potential?"

"Once the boys obtain the ability to reach all around the world, they will not only be able to control dreams, but even sleep itself. They will be able to cause instant sleep on anyone or to deprive people of sleep indefinitely. You see, this isn't the first time the Dreamweavers have appeared. According to the ancient manuscripts, these two have battled each other one hundred seven times. The next battle between them will be the one hundred eighth battle, an extremely important and sacred number. This will be the final battle in the world. According to the prophecy, the two boys will fight in the dreams of others until one finally succeeds in destroying the other. When that happens, the winner will absorb the power from the other one and become immortal. He will be able to bring dreams to life. Anything he can create in a dream, he can produce in real life. He will have limitless power."

Diane jumped back into the conversation, "Do you expect us to believe this cockamamie story about immortality?"

"Before you met Drew," Mr. Hanamar answered, "would you have believed anyone could control dreams? Must you see something to believe it? There is much more to life than you can perceive with your five senses. Many people die in their sleep. How many of these, I wonder, die because of a dream? Can you imagine a world where evil controls the dreams of men?"

Mr. Hanamar looked at Anna and continued, "The fate of the world is in the hands of your son. He is in danger. The prophecy states that if one child dies before the final battle, when the other child gains the ability to reach around the world, he will advance unopposed into the immortal phase. That is why they left your son to die in the fire, and that is why they will be hunting for him. That is why you must let him come with us to be protected."

Anna, still overwhelmed by it all, looked up through her tears and asked, "How do I know I can trust you? How do I know you aren't trying to eliminate Drew?"

"The ones who took the other child had no problem eliminating the parents and trying to eliminate Drew. If they were in your house, you would have been dead a long time ago. They would be taking him by force."

Anna thought for a moment and then, realizing he was right, asked, "What kind of training could you give him. He gets a lot of experience in dreams with his friend Ashley. They plan what they want to do, and he creates it."

"It is good that he has been practicing, but he must be trained to focus on one dream, and he must be trained to be in top physical and mental condition. He can even enter our dreams to train anytime he wants."

"Where would you take him? Can we go with him?"

"I would have to take him to India, the land of my fathers. To reach his maximum potential, he must train in the land where the Dreamweavers first appeared. You cannot go. You must remain here. When he enters your dreams again, you will know the time is close. But you must pre-arrange with him the type of dream you wish to have when he returns, because Edward will return here and may try to re-enter the dreams where he was banished, and you must know which one to trust and which one to avoid."

Anna knew it would be best for Drew to let him go, but her heart was breaking. "Can I think about it?"

"There is no time," Mr. Hanamar answered. "Even now your friend may have put Drew in danger by bringing me here. We must leave within the hour."

"It will take longer than that to get Drew from school," Anna remarked almost in a panic. It seemed like her entire world was unraveling right before her eyes.

"Then we must leave directly from the school," Mr. Hanamar instructed. He then turned to Diane and said, "Tell your daughter to arrange with Drew a way to recognize him in her dreams. She must be most careful to make sure Edward does not deceive her. Never forget that Edward, too, is a Dreamweaver. He can find thoughts and fears. Trust no one in your dreams until Drew can prove his identity to you."

Mr. Hanamar started for the door, turned to Anna and said, "We need to be on our way. Get in your car and follow us to the school."

"But I haven't even discussed this with my husband."

One of the guards whispered something in Mr. Hanamar's ear. Mr. Hanamar then looked at Anna and said, "We have already stayed too long. Both of you need to come with me for your own safety. I will explain on the way." He motioned toward his limousine and added, "Please, hurry. We are in danger."

Diane and Anna hurried to the limousine, and they sped away from the house. As they started moving, the car was riddled with bullets from several directions. Mr. Hanamar assured his passengers, "We are quite safe in here; I had this limousine specially designed. It is bullet-proof. I didn't just bring the two bodyguards with me. I brought about fifteen guards with me, and as we arrived at your house, they deployed around the house to serve as an early warning for us."

Mr. Hanamar turned to Diane and said, "Your inquiries have inadvertently led these evil men to Drew. They hope to destroy him."

Mr. Hanamar then looked to Anna and said, "They surrounded your farm, and my fifteen guards gave their lives fighting to give us time to escape."

Anna sat straight up in her seat, "Trevor!"

"I'm sorry; my guards were not able to save him."

"No! No!" Anna started trying to open the door of the limousine. "You're wrong; I have to go find him. Pull over! I have to get out."

Diane wraps her arms around Anna and pulls her away from the door. "Anna, Anna, it's too late for him. If you get out here, they will kill you, too."

Anna collapsed into Diane's arms sobbing and crying.

Mr. Hanamar continued, "Mrs. Logan, I am truly sorry for your loss, but we have another pressing matter. Drew is in danger. If they found your farm, they can find his school. That puts the entire school in danger."

Anna sat up. "We've got to hurry," she said. "I can't bear the thought of losing him, too."

Mr. Hanamar reassured her, "Drew will be okay, but I need you to help me protect him."

Mr. Hanamar handed Anna a cell phone, "Please call the school, tell them there is an emergency, and that you are sending someone in a police uniform to get him. It is very important that Drew only be released to a man with the badge number 881188. Can you arrange this? My men will pick him up at the school and take him to the airport."

Anna nodded and made the call to the school, and Mr. Hanamar's men picked up Drew and met them at the airport. Diane said her goodbyes to Anna and Drew, and left the plane. The plane immediately took off, escorted by several fighter jets.

The Great Battle

They flew for what seemed like an eternity, and the plane refueled without landing. They landed at a remote air strip somewhere in the Indian jungle. They traveled by Jeep to an ancient ruin. As they approached the ruins, Mr. Hanamar turned to Anna and told her she had to remain in the village, because women were forbidden to enter the area of the temple where Drew would be training. Her only contact with Drew would be in her dreams.

Drew was taken into the temple where his training was to start. His training was to be in three areas: physical conditioning -- including martial arts training, strategic training -- including war strategies of the ancients, and dream walking -- how to manipulate dream sequences three or four events ahead. His training was intense; he had very little time for recreation or even rest. Mr. Hanamar said they were already years behind his brother, and they had to make up for lost time.

As Drew grew older, he was becoming very capable at manipulating dreams. He could schedule events in a dream, leave the dream and cause the events to continue as he had planned. His strategies were becoming more and more advanced. Mr. Hanamar was very impressed with the progress Drew had made.

Each night Drew would visit his mother in her dreams and spend time with her. One night as he was visiting with her, he mentioned that he had been visiting with Ashley in her dreams for quite some time, and that she was glad to see him. Anna remembered that Mr. Hanamar had mentioned Drew reaching back home when he became strong. Anna told Drew about this and warned him to watch for Edward in the dreams.

Drew told her he had encountered Edward recently, but Edward left without a fight.

"I suppose he is trying to make me feel overconfident," Drew told his mother. "I spoke to Mr. Hanamar about it, and he thinks the time for the battle is near."

"Be careful, Drew," Anna said as she reached up to touch his face with her hand. "I worry about you so much..."

"Mom," Drew interrupted, "I will be careful. Mr. Hanamar and the others have taught me very well. I will -- I have to go."

Drew left her dream but left a screen for her to watch, like a small television. Anna watched for a minute, and then realized she was seeing someone else's dream on the screen. As she watched, she saw Drew and another boy who looked like Drew confronting each other.

"This is it Brother. I have waited for years for the chance to exact my revenge. You will die a slow painful death."

With this remark, the boy rushed at Drew and they began to exchange blows using the ancient martial arts, except these were much more ferocious. They would fly into each other. They soared through the clouds as they collided in their struggle. On Anna's small screen, it seemed like the entire world was shaking from their encounters. The fireballs, the lightning and the great winds seemed to be tearing the world apart.

Finally, Drew struck a tremendous blow that knocked Edward out of the sky, and Edward tumbled to the ground. As Drew floated, looking down on his brother, he called to Edward, "Why does this have to end in death, Brother? Let us rule together."

Edward rose from the ground slowly and replied, "You know the Prophecy: No one rules unless one of us kills the other. I will win, my dear Brother. I will rule."

"But I have beaten you," Drew answered. "Don't make me kill you."

Edward gave an evil laugh, "A little ahead of ourselves, aren't we? Have you learned nothing from your teachers? I have chosen the time and place for battle. We are on my terms, or have you forgotten where you are? You came to rescue your beloved Ashley."

Drew looked down on the ground close to Edward. Ashley was tied up on the ground beside him. Edward picked her up and carried her to where Drew was floating.

"Do you remember what happens to a person who dies in their own dreams? You have to make a choice. It is either you or her. You will remove your powers and allow me to win, or you will watch as I destroy your beloved Ashley."

Drew bowed his head as Ashley was begging him to not sacrifice himself for her. Drew slowly landed on the ground and Edward followed him, making sure to keep a knife at Ashley's throat.

"Your time is up," Edward screamed, "Choose!"

"Okay," Drew said, "Let her go."

"I am no fool...you die first, then I will let her go."

Drew lowered his arms and said, "Go ahead."

Edward created a gold sword and plunged it deep into Drew's heart.

Anna and Ashley both screamed, "No!"

Drew collapsed to his knees and disappeared leaving the golden sword on the ground.

Edward flung Ashley aside and yelled, "Yes! I am victorious. I am to be all powerful." He turned to Ashley, "You will be one of the first ones to die, but I won't do it now. You were his favorite person, and you will suffer. I will bring one of your worst nightmares to life in the real world. Dying in your sleep is too good for you, but that doesn't mean I can't torment you here."

He began a wicked laugh that would send chills down the spine of the bravest of men. Suddenly, his laugh stopped, and a look of confusion came over his face as the golden sword came bursting through his stomach.

"You forgot one of the other rules of engagement, brother. Don't be where your enemy expects you to be. When I saw you reach for Ashley, I created a double of myself while I hid in the clouds. I knew you would never accept my hand in peace, and I could never allow one as cruel as you to have the power that comes from this victory."

Edward collapsed to his knees as he seemed to be dissolved from within by a bright light. When the light had totally consumed him, it floated over to Drew and entered into him. Drew seemed to grow several feet taller, and he began to glow. He set Ashley free from her bonds, gave her a soft kiss on the cheek, and left her dream.

He returned to his mother's dream and apologized for putting her through the torment of watching him die in the dream. Anna threw her arms around him and began to cry. She was so emotional, she woke herself up, but as she sat up, she realized she wasn't at the village in India, she was back at her house, Drew wasn't grown; he was very young. In fact, he was lying on his nap mat.

She sighed to herself, "Thank God, it was just a dream."

She turned and saw Drew walking over to her and saying, "I fixed your dream for you, Mommy."

She gently pulled Drew to her and asked, "What do you mean, Honey?"

"I fixed your dream for you," he replied. "I saved you from that boy who looks like me. He wanted to hurt you in your dream, but I stopped him."

THE END


© 2012 Timothy Potter

Bio: Timothy Potter says: "I write simply because I enjoy writing. I get ideas when I listen to songs, and I try to put them into writing the way I picture it in my head. I am a bi-vocational Pastor in Valdosta, GA. (I work at a warehouse during the week.) I have been married for almost 22 years, and I have two children starting college next month.
I have a BS in Broadcasting, and I wrote for the college paper. I have had several poems published in different publications."
Mr. Potter's novella Radiation Hotel appeared in the February 2009 edition of Aphelion.

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