Carter Branagan woke from a dreamless sleep. He sighed and yanked off the headband that circled his forehead; plucked the dreamstone from its mounting and looked at it reproachfully. The marble-sized pearl sat innocently in his palm; its inner depths blank with the vague mistiness of forgetful slumber. With a snort of vexation, he threw it into the bowl that stood ready on his bedside table; realizing even as he heard the soft click of stone against stone that instead of throwing it in the trash as he had intended, he had thrown it smack into his hoard of unused dreamstones.
He scrambled to dump the stones out of the bowl and separate them, cursing loudly as the grey mist swirled languidly into one clear stone after another. He surveyed the damage: every single one of his dreamstones was ruined. He’d have to beg Bob for more; but what would Bob say this time? Dreamstones were expensive, the rent was late, and the neighbors were banging on the wall to tell him to shut up. He’d been awake less than a minute and already the day couldn’t get much worse.(more…)
There’s something odd about a brightly lit building late at night. A rolled-up wad of tape on the floor of an empty hallway has the distant, not-quite-thereness of a museum exhibit and the dark windows are mirrors reflecting an alien landscape.
Even Linda was affected, why else would she want to talk about ghosts and séances every night? Kelly sighed, trying hard to listen to her prattle so she wouldn’t hurt Linda’s feelings. Really though, the things she expected Kelly to believe.
“…and you know the cafeteria was built on an Indian burial ground,” Linda was saying, “that’s why all these weird things keep happening there, like all the spoons being bent.”
“I don’t think ghosts are supposed to bend spoons,” Kelly interjected, “besides, why would you need them to? We already have freshmen…”
Linda giggled. “That’s true I suppose, but seriously Kelly—”
“Hang on,” Kelly interrupted again, “that door isn’t supposed to be open.”(more…)
The stranger stopped to listen. That couldn’t be her voice calling his name, could it? The voice called again, “Edward!” it said, “Where are you?”
He shook his head. Not her voice, just the voice of a child.
“I’m up here!” a boy’s voice rang out, “In the tall pine tree! Hey, look, Zelly! There’s a man over there!”
Within moments there was a crashing through the bracken near the stranger and he heard the clumsy footsteps and panting breaths of children. He concentrated on the sound; there were just the two, a boy and a girl by their voices.
“Who are you?” the boy demanded imperiously.
“That’s not polite,” the girl scolded, “the polite thing to say is–”
“But we have to find out who he is,” the boy interrupted, “otherwise we won’t know.”(more…)
When Don Alger was a small boy he made his first drawing.
“What is it?” his mom asked.
“It’s my dream lady,” he replied.
“Your dream lady?” she suppressed a laugh.
“The lady I see in my dreams, only she’s real pretty then, this picture is no good,” and he tore it up.(more…)