Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Flying Boy

This is a first attempt by me to write a novel. I am doing this as part of the NaNoWriMo. For those of you not in the loop that is the National Novel Writing Month. The goal of the project is to create a novel of 50,000 words during the month of November. The novels are not published, reviewed or graded by the site. The site simply has a word counter and a community that encourages your progress. This of course means that the submitted novels do not have to be good, or even bad...they can be down right terrible! With that said...I will use this space to upload my effort at noveldom and each of you can enjoy my folly if you choose. In the end by reading my work... it may help you more easily recognize good writing...because I am sure it will look nothing like what follows!


The Flying Boy
Patrick Wollam

Run, run faster, you will never make it….you have to run faster…here comes the edge! Jump! I am flying…no wait I am falling! Falling fast…don’t give up you can do it…stretch out and fly….Suddenly I am awake. I am sitting in my bed and huddling in the corner under my covers. It was only a dream. The same dream. But it seemed so real. The dream that I could fly.
My name is Junior and I am a 15 year old boy in my sophomore year at the local school. I was an ordinary boy who happens to be part of an extraordinary family. My parents where both well respected scientist at the local university and my sister was in her senior year and was the top of her class and the head cheerleader. Me? I was ordinary at best. On my good days I was a mere shadow of those around me. On a bad day I was the punching bag for every bully who lived in the quad state area. I looked forward to the days when everyone just ignored me.
On those days, I spent my time in my hideout. Actually it was an old machine gun bunker from the last war to stop all wars. It was located on my Grandfather’s property that overlooked the bay. I guess it was located in a great defensive position that allowed the military to keep an eye on the coast. For me it was a forgotten place, a place where no one would bother me. This was my place.
Granddad had showed me this place when I was only 5. He would take me for a walk down by the bay and would tell me about the days of the war. He said that when the military came that his father had felt honored to serve his country by allowing them to use his land for such an important mission. As the months went on granddad says that more and more military trucks came and went and that a lot of construction seemed to be going on. The military put up road blocks and fences to keep everyone away from the area. Granddad said that is was to keep everyone safe in case the soldiers had to repel an invasion. After the war the military left and the fences came down and the place was forgotten. Granddad always said that it was weird that the only thing left to show that the military had been there was the machine gun bunker. When I asked him what he meant he would always just shrug his shoulders and say that it sure seemed like a lot more was going on there than a look out bunker.
Whatever the reason it made me happy. This was my fort. I had started playing here when I was 7 years old. It was the summer my granddad had passed away. On the day of his memorial service everyone was so busy with each other that I had become a shadow again. So, I decided I would go for a walk. I remember heading down towards the bay just like granddad and I had done so many times before. As I came to the bend in the beach where granddad had first pointed out the bunker to me something shiny had caught my eye. So I left the beach and started to walk up the dunes. As I approached the bunker I noticed how it had 4 narrow windows that allowed those inside to see all along the shoreline of the bay. Around the back side of the bunker was an old door made of rusted metal. The door was shut tight and appeared to have an ancient looking lock holding it fast. I wondered who had the key.  On the upper hinge was a string with a Mylar balloon flopping around. The Mylar balloon was catching the wind and reflecting the sun down the beach. I had found my shiny object.
I removed the balloon and popped it stuffing it in my pocket so that I could throw it away later. Granddad had always said that more animals will dye at the hands of the balloons than at the hands of a hunter. I guess some things stick with you. I had never come up to the bunker before because granddad had never allowed me. But he was not here and no one else cared where I was so I decided I was going to look around and check it out.
The door located on the back of the bunker was huge! It easily was 8 feet tall and 4 feet wide. The door was made of a sturdy metal that had not even begun to show signs of rusting. However, someone had gone to a great effort to paint the door a rust color to make it look much older than it was. I pulled on the handle and shook and kicked to no avail. I even tried to use a broken tree limb to pry it open. Unfortunately no matter what I tried I could not make the door budge. My next attempt was to reach one of the windows and climb through. It looked like each window was about 10 feet long and 2 feet tall. I could have easily fit through the opening if I could only reach the openings. The problem was that the windows were about 10 feet off the ground and the sides of the bunker were smooth and offered no footings or hand holds. My only hope was to find the key to the door. Surely granddad had known about the key and where it was kept. After all it was on his property. I would have to make a real effort to find that key. But for now I had a duty to fulfill. I had to go back and say goodbye to my granddad.
Granddads funeral was a very formal event with many, many fancy people and clothes and decorations. It seemed like everyone in town was there plus a whole bunch of people who came from all around the world. I did not understand it then but I now know that my granddad was someone important. I have only recently begun to understand what an understatement this was.
My parents made me wear my very best clothes. As a seven year old I did not like wearing my nice clothes. Nice clothes meant I had to use my manners and smile even when I did not want to smile. It did not help that my sister was an emotional basket case. She was not upset about granddad…It seems that her boyfriend had decided to dump her the night before granddad’s funeral. So why she was crying her eyes out and being a drama queen no one was paying any attention to me. Not even mom and dad seemed to have had time for anything other than greeting the guests and smoozing with all the important people. You see my family did not care much for granddad. It would appear that granddad was to “unique” to associate with openly. I never understood what they meant. I had always thought of granddad as fun and exciting. Today it seemed that I was the only one who was upset that he was dead.
As I sat there in my seat as endless words were being spoken from a stranger about my granddad I began to think back to what made him so great. I would say it was his imagination and the excitement he had for life. He loved to fill my head with stories full of excitement and mystery. He would talk about how as a boy he remembered seeing people who had super powers; just like in the funny pages. We would spend many Saturday mornings sitting on the beach looking at old comic books that were filled with people with super abilities. Granddad would always end our day together by telling a story about how he had actually seen people with those same powers! We would always act like we were super men as we made our way back to the house. My favorite thing was when we would pretend to fly! Granddad would lift me over his head and fly me all the way home. On those nights I knew that I was not just an ordinary boy. I was something more. Something that granddad could see in me that no one else knew about. Something in me was waiting, pacing itself for a time and place where I would call upon it to be something more. When I was with granddad this all made sense.
After the funeral, the most surprising and wonderful thing happened. Dad announced that we were going to sell our house and move into granddad’s house. You see granddad’s house had been the family home for 4 generations and Dad was the only remaining member of the family. So we were moving. I could not wait to live in granddad’s house. It was my favorite place in the world and it also meant that I could go to the bunker any time I wanted. I could not wait. My sister seemed to think differently on this subject. She was sure that this was mom and dad’s way of ruining her life. Since the funeral she had apparently made up with her boyfriend and now we were moving clear across town from him. I think this made me even happier!
We packed up everything and moved to Granddad’s on a Saturday. It was an early fall day and the air was crisp. As we unloaded the van and carried our stuff into the house I could feel the ocean mist upon my face. It made me wonder why dad had moved away from here. Once inside the house I grabbed my back pack and headed straight up the stairs to the third floor. This had been granddads study and mom and dad had told me I could use it for my bed room if I wanted. The one condition was that I had to clean up all of the old stuff and pack it down to the carriage house where it would be stored until dad had a chance to properly go through it all. To me this was a no brainer! I was getting the best room in the house and I got to sort through all of granddad’s old stuff! I do not know what I had done to deserve this kind of luck but I was willing to take full advantage of it!
The third floor was made up of really just two rooms. There was the study which faced east and overlooked the bay and the third floor bathroom which had been updated at the turn of the last century. So, with no fancy bathroom for my sister to hang out in this meant the third floor was all mine!
As I entered the study I noticed right off that it was quite dark and smelly. I made my way around the room turning on every lamp I could find but the darkness seemed to just hang in the air. After a quick search of the east wall I found the draw cords on the curtains and yanked on the cord until the curtains had slid all the way to the corners of the room. To my amazement the curtains were covering an entire wall of windows that reached from floor to ceiling! As I stood there with the early morning sun washing over me I suddenly felt new and alive. This was it. This was my place and my time. I could feel it. As I was basking in the glow of this new feeling I could hear my sister’s voice getting louder and louder as she was clomping up the stairs. It would seem that the princess was in need of her whipping boy. I quickly closed the curtains fearing that her highness would see the spectacular view and decide that she deserved this room and kick me out. It turns out all she wanted was for me to come downstairs and kill a spider that was in her private bath tub.
That night I climbed into my bed that dad had assembled earlier in the day and I just laid there. I let my eyes and mind wander around the room as I took in all of the stuff that granddad had collected through the years. Dad had called it junk when he was assembling my bed and that he was looking forward to finally getting rid of it once and for all. It would seem that dad and granddad never really understood each other and now that granddad was gone dad was ready to erase all signs of him from the house.
I guess families can be that way. Maybe it all changed for them when grandma died. I do not know. That all happened when dad was just a boy. He has never spoken of it. But I wonder. Anyway, as I laid there my eyes fell upon an old trunk. I remember this trunk. It was where granddad had kept all of those comic books that we used to read together whenever I would come for a visit. I got out of bed and made my way across the study to the trunk. As I went to open the lid I realized it was locked! I looked around but I did not see the key anywhere. After a few minutes of searching I decide that I would go to bed and search for the key in the morning when I had more light. As I crawled back into bed I laid there and wondered why an old man would lock up his comic books? As I drifted to sleep I wondered…
I have to hurry! I must get there before it is too late….I have to stop them…run faster, faster, jump! You can do it….wait, STOP! I’m falling….stretch out you can do it….The water is coming at me so fast…I have to…I can’t ….
Suddenly I am awake, shaking…sweating. I am out of breath. It was only a dream.  But it seemed so real. I had fallen off the cliff and was about to hit the ocean when I woke up. Or did I jump? I am not sure. I can remember running. Was I running away? No I was running towards something…someone…someone in trouble. I could not run fast enough to help them…to save them. I had to go faster. I had to FLY! That is why I jumped off the cliff. I needed to fly. Wait this was all a dream. I can’t, a person can’t fly. It was just a dream. Soon I drifted off to sleep again but this time I did not dream.
In the morning when I awoke I found myself more tired than usual. It would seem that the strange dreams from the night had robbed me of my energy. So, I threw on my robe and headed down stairs for some juice and breakfast. I was glad that it was the weekend and that we had nowhere to be. As I hit the first floor landing I could hear the sound of bacon sizzling on the stove and could smell dad’s famous chocolate pancakes cooking. It would seem that the return to his childhood home was agreeing with my father. It turns out that the big breakfast was just a ploy to store up energy for the busy day ahead. Dad mandated to each of us that we must get all of the junk moved out of the house as soon as possible. So with boxes in hand we each went our separate ways after breakfast with the promise of a hardy lunch as our reward for hard work.
As I entered the study I dropped my boxes at the door and went over and flopped on the bed. This was not going to be easy. Everywhere I turned the room was filled with things that granddad had shared with me. It seemed that for every item granddad had a story. And not just any story. Each story was wrapped around the item and always managed to include me. Granddad always made me out to be the hero who had special powers. I would use these powers to manipulate the things around me, in order to stop evil doers, to right the wrongs, and to win the day. It was like he was writing his very own comic books and I was the hero. How could I ever throw any of this stuff away?
It was not long before a plan formed in my head. Instead of boxing these things up I would move them to the bunker. My only problem was that I still had not found a key to get through the iron door. And speaking of keys, I also had not found the key to the old trunk filled with comic books. With these items on my mind and a plan for all of granddad’s stuff I got off my bed and started to sort through all of the years of mementos that filled the study. I guess the best way to describe my ordeal is for you to imagine filling a room with every yard sale item that you had ever seen and doubling that. The only thing that really made it tolerable was the fact that I felt that I was on a treasure hunt. All morning long I picked up items and carefully shook, prodded and explored those for any secret hiding places that granddad may have hidden a key in.  But the closer I got to lunch time the more hopeless the situation seemed. For as I looked around the room it seemed that for every item I had boxed up two more items had magically appeared to take its place. To make matters worse I had not found even a single key. It seemed as though my plan to move all of these things to the bunker was starting to slip away.
With my stomach growling and my body growing tired I decided to take a break and flopped down in granddad’s favorite chair. I had not sat in this chair last summer when granddad and I had gone camping down by the bay only to be chased back to the house by a North Easter. That night granddad and I sat up and talked about all kinds of things. We must of sat there for hours just sharing the peace and quiet before I fell asleep in the recliner and granddad on the couch. The one thing I really remember from that night was that granddad kept asking me about my dreams. Not the dreams that teenagers have for the rest of their lives but the dreams I had when I was asleep. This caught me off guard and for some reason I was not comfortable telling him about my dreams of falling. I think I told him that I dreamed about chocolate or something silly. He just looked at me for the longest time and finally chuckled and shook his head. The last thing he said that night had always stuck with me for some reason. He simply said that our dream were the key. As I sat there the smell of hamburgers began to make it to the third floor.
It will never cease to amaze me how a full stomach changes the way you look at things in life. After lunch I had decided to take a walk down by the bay and to check out the old bunker one more time. I am not sure what I was expecting to find different than the last time I had been down there but it seemed like a good idea. As I headed out the door and down the steps to the yard dad stepped out the door and yelled something at me. As I turned to see what he wanted I noticed something clanging in the breeze against the old gate post. As I walked back up to dad I could hear him telling me to not be gone long because he wanted to get a load of the boxes put in storage before dark. As dad turned back and headed up to the house I swung back down to the gate to check out the mysterious object that was clanging away. As I got up to the gate I could not believe my eyes. The clanging was coming from an old buoy bell that had been mounted to the post by the gate. This was not the surprising part. Inside the buoy bell it appeared that someone had replaced the old clangor with and old iron key! A key that looked just the right size for a certain old iron door.
It was not easy for me but I was able to loosen the key from its home after a few minutes of work. Once it was freed from its chain I was amazed at how much the key weighed. As I quickly started back down the beach towards the bunker my mind was racing with all kinds of ideas and thoughts. Was this really the key to the iron door? How had the key found its way to its resting place in the bell?  What mysterious things were waiting for me to discover behind the iron door. Would the key actually work after all of these years? There was only one way to tell and I was on my way to find the answers.
I made quick time getting to the bunker. As I rounded the back my heart was beating so hard I thought it would surely come right out of my chest. Though I had wasted no time getting to the bunker I was pretty sure that my crazy heart beat had to do more with my excitement than my hurried pace. So, with some great effort I took some deep breathes and calmed myself. I even tried to prepare myself for the fact that this key probably had nothing to do with this door. It was most likely just some old key that on the way to the trash it was resurrected into a bell clangor. Surely the chances that this was the key were so small that I was just being silly to even hope. But hope I did.
As I approached the door I could feel the heavy cold steel of the key in my hand. As I lifted it from my pocket my hands were trembling with excitement. I could hardly breathe as I slid the key into the hole in the door. To my utter amazement the key did not fit! I tried again. Still did not fit. I took it in my hands and rubbed it up and down as if there was something on it stopping it from going in. But no matter which way I turned it the key did not fit! I was outraged! It had to be the key. Why else would this key be hanging in the bell? It had to fit. But in the end it just did not fit. I wanted to scream! I wanted to kick the door down. But in the end I just took the key and threw it. The key flew through the air and over the edge of the dune. I heard it thud into the sand as I plopped down against the door and cried.
I am not sure why I was crying. I had not cried in years. I had not even cried at granddad’s funeral. But this key seemed to unlock something inside me. It was as if suddenly every emotion I had ever bottled-up was tumbling out and I could not stop myself. As I sat there crying like a baby a new feeling of relief and clarity suddenly started to take the place of all those bottled up emotions. I realized how much I missed my granddad. I was suddenly aware of how different I was from the rest of my family and how much like granddad I truly was. This revelation did not upset me but started to calm me. Soon the tears were gone. In their place was a determination to embrace who I was. In order to do that, I needed to better understand granddad. I knew what I needed to do and once again it meant I needed to find the key. Yes the same key I had just chucked over the edge of the dune. For once I was thankful that I threw like a girl.
Finding the key took much longer than I had anticipated. Apparently an emotionally charged teenager can muster a lot more strength than they know. After crawling up and down the dune for about 2 hours I located the key under a beach rose. As I stood up and stuck the key in my pocket I realized for the first time that it was getting dark. This meant two things. First, that dad was going to be ticked off because I had not managed to get back in time to help him move stuff into storage and second, it meant that none of the stuff in the study would have been moved because I was not there to do it. This was excellent. Not the ticking dad off part. (That I would have to deal with.) The other part was excellent.
As I entered the house I was prepared for the worst. Instead I found that both of my parents were too tired to pay any attention to the fact that I was dragging into the house after dark. It appears that my being a shadow was going to pay off for a change. I crept my way up to the third floor  and began to scour through the study. Before I had entered my room I was scared that maybe mom and dad had decided to start in my room. But as I entered the room I was relieved to see that it was still in the same state of disarray as when I left. I carefully climbed around the boxes I had packed and made my way over to my bed. Once there I reached down and lifted granddad’s old trunk up and placed it in the center of my bed. Once again with my heart beating out of my chest I reached into my pocket and pulled out the old iron key. This time I paused and took a deep breath before I tried to slide it into the lock. I slid the key into the lock with a turtle like pace and turned it very slowly. To my great joy the lock clicked and flipped open. If I thought that my heart was going to beat out of my chest before I was sure of it now. I slowly removed the key and lock and lifted back the lid of the trunk. There inside the trunk were all of the old comic books that granddad and I used to read together. Also there were several leather bound journals that I had never seen before. As I removed each item from the trunk I felt like I was discovering the treasure of king tut. I stacked all of the comic books and journals on my pillows. In the very bottom of the chest hidden under all of the comics and journals was a small red felt bag. As I picked up the bag I was surprised at the weight of the bag. I slowly untied the bag and dumped the contents on my bed. With a heavy thump one silver key fell onto my bed. There was no doubt. I had found the key.
I knew it was going to be a long night but I also knew that there was no way in this world that I could chance going back to the bunker after bed time. What is that old saying about letting sleeping dogs lie? I believe the same can be said for sleeping parents. So I put on my pajamas and laid down in my bed and laid there staring at the ceiling for what seemed like hours. Eventually I must have dosed off because soon I was dreaming.
I was on the dunes near the bunker. I could hear the buoy bell ringing in the distance as I reached into my pocket and felt the silver key. Suddenly I was in front of the bunker door and the key was sliding into the lock. As I withdrew the key the door swung open and there before stood the bunker only not the bunker that I had been visiting. This one was filled with soldiers and scientist coming and going from unseen hallways and doors hidden within the bunker. Suddenly I felt as though something was coming after me. I had to run. I had to get away. I bolted from the doorway and down the path towards the dunes and the bay. But it was coming faster I could not see it  but I could feel it. It was going to catch me. I had to run faster. No! No run fly….I had to jump…to fly to get away. As I got to the edge I could feel the air rushing around me I was flying! I was free! No Wait I can’t fly…I am not flying…I am falling…I need to …to
Wake up! I needed to wake up! It was only a dream. No not a dream a nightmare! But I was awake now. Trembling, shaking, scared, but awake. It was only a dream…..
I am not sure how long I laid there shaking and trembling but eventually I feel back to sleep. (A very restless sleep, but sleep none the less.) When I woke in the morning I got out of bed with a single solitary purpose on my mind. I needed to get to the bunker and open it. Unfortunately as I pulled back the curtains I found myself staring into a torrential rain storm that had moved in over the night. I guess I would have to find some other way to keep myself busy until the storm passed. As I headed down to breakfast I quickly learned that mom and dad had already planned my day for me. It seems that they had not forgotten that I had not gotten back in time to help last night and that today I was going to make up for my oversight.
After breakfast dad ushered me down to the basement. Armed with trash bags, boxes, brooms, and dust pans we made our assault on the decades of accumulated junk that filled every inch of the basement.  This collection of debris was very different from that in the rest of the house. It was not personal to granddad or the family it was simply junk that had be sent to the basement. Broken chairs, beds, bicycles and every other type of broken object one could imagine. The only thing that this stuff had in common was that it was trash! So I spent all morning carrying one load after another out of the basement to a dumpster that had arrived shortly after breakfast. By lunch time we had made a significant dent in the mess and dad’s mood had significantly changed for the better. After lunch he and mom were going to go and help my sister finish de-junking her room. Though I hoped this meant I was going to be set free for the rest of the day dad told me that he wanted me to finish clearing out the basement before dinner time. When I began to protest dad cut me off short and made it clear that there would be no excuses excepted this time. So after lunch I returned to the task at hand.
Once back in the basement I regained my mindless routine of trudging up and down the stairs with arm load after arm load of junk. I no longer was paying attention to what I was carrying but rather began to count the number of loads I was carrying to the dumpster. As I reached number 57 I was wondering if the dumpster would hold all of the junk. On load number 67 I was sure that there was no way that the dumpster would hold everything and I began to find joy in the fact that in just a few more loads dad would have to set me free because the dumpster would be full. However my heart sunk on load 82 because as I reached the top of the stairs I heard the sound of the truck changing out the dumpster. My fate was set for the rest of this day.
Somewhere between load 125 and 130 I lost count and had stopped caring. I had become a mindless robot with only one mission. Empty the basement.  Around 5:00 pm I was actually down to the far wall of the basement. This wall had a set of shelves mounted all the way across it and each shelf was filled to over flowing with boxes of old newspapers. If I had to guess I would say that they had used the papers as a full source for the old buck stove in the corner of the basement. Whatever the purpose, they were the last objects between me and freedom. By 6:00 pm I had actually made it to the last box. As I reached to pick up the box I noticed something strange behind the shelves. There behind the built in shelves was a door? Again I was left wondering …why was there a door behind a set of built in shelves….where could this door lead….As I made my last trip to the dumpster I knew that I had to discover the secret of that door.
Before I could return to the basement mom stopped me and sent me off to get cleaned up for dinner. Apparently I had actually finished the basement just in time for dinner. With the task of emptying the basement behind me I was free to do what I wanted after dinner. Unfortunately I found that after dinner I was too tired to do anything other than collapse in the den. As I landed in bed I picked up some of the old comic books and began to flip through the pages. It was amazing how they took me straight back to those days when granddad had sat with me in this very room and read these same comic books to me. As I began to read a smile came to my face as I drifted off to sleep. This time I did not dream. I slept with the sleep of someone who had just moved 4 generations of junk out of a basement.
In the morning I awoke to the rising sun streaming through the study windows. As I laid there thinking about the events of the last few days I began to form a plan for the day in my head. Since it was so early I knew I would have several hours before mom and dad expected me to show up for breakfast. It was not enough time to get down to the bunker and check it out but it was plenty of time for me to head to the basement and learn more about the mystery door. Throwing on my sweat shirt and old jeans I grabbed my boots and a flash light and headed down stairs. Stopping on the landing to put my boots on I listened to the silence of the house which confirmed that everyone else was still sleeping. If I was quiet I easily would have 2 hours before they were all up and moving.
As I entered the basement I was amazed at how clean it was. I had to admit it I had done a good job. I would have to be sure to hold this over dad’s head the next time he accused me of never helping out. I quickly made my way over to the book shelves. With the aid of the flashlight it only took me a second to locate the door again. The problem was that someone had built a floor to ceiling book case across the whole wall.  I quickly started to look for any separation or breaks in the shelves where I could start to disassemble the unit. As I began to push and pull and tug on the unit I began to feel some movement. It seemed that as I tugged on the shelves they were beginning to slid towards the side wall. This was not something that made sense because this unit was built from wall to wall. But the shelves were sliding. Not just towards the wall but into the wall. Someone had built a sliding bookcase to hide the door.
With some real effort I was able to slide the bookshelves clear of the doorway. As I approached the door I realized for the first time that this door was identical to the one at the bunker even down to the rust colored finish used to make it look old. The other thing I noticed was that the door had an identical key hole to the one at the bunker. As I reached into my pocket I wondered what was behind this door and why my family would have allowed the military to use their basement as part of  their bunker operation. I slid the key out and into the key hole and turned the key. I heard a set of lock tumblers click and the door cracked open.
I pulled the door open and shined the flashlight in to the darkness beyond the door. I thought for sure that I was going to be looking into some kind of storage room but instead I found that my light was shining down a long dark corridor. The sides, floor and roof were all crafted from the bedrock that ran just below the surface of granddads property. The tunnel was much longer than my light could reach so I decided to enter the tunnel and see where it went. Once inside I realized that the tunnel was sloping away from the house and down towards the bay. I was amazed at how dry the tunnel was and wondered why it was there. Whatever the reason I was sure that I would find some answers at the other end.
As I continued to walk I was shining my light from floor to ceiling when I started to notice electrical wiring running the length of the ceiling. About every 20 feet there were light fixtures. About 30 feet into the tunnel I found a place where the wiring branching down from the ceiling to a light switch. With both hope and caution I flipped the switch and the tunnel was filled with light. With a lit corridor it was much easier going. I put my flashlight away and continued downward towards the far end of the tunnel. I must have traveled for about 20 minutes when I reached a split in the tunnel. To the left the tunnel plunged steeply and to the right the tunnel curved out of sight. Worrying about time I decide to head right. In about 10 minutes I reached another large iron door like the one at the bunker and the basement.  Again the door required a key which fortunately I still was carrying. I slipped the key into the lock and heard the tumblers quickly slide out of place and the door popped ajar.
To my surprise the door opened into the bunker. As I walked through the door I was amazed by the size of it. The inside of the bunker was much bigger than I had imagined. To my surprise the bunker was actually made up of two levels. The inside of the bunker was actually an octagon shape. The upper level was what can be described as the lookout room. It is where the soldiers would position themselves during an enemy attack. The upper room was only about 4 feet tall but was about 20 feet around! In the center of the room was an access hole with a steel ladder. The lower, entry level of the bunker was about 12 feet tall and about 40 feet across. From the tunnel door you had to climb down a short ladder to reach the floor level. The tunnel entry was directly across from the outer door that I had tried to access earlier in the week. As I studied the my surroundings I found it strange that such a large chamber was needed for these few soldiers who were posted here as look outs.  I also wondered about the tunnel that led back to the house and why a military bunker would be connected to a civilians house. As I tried to unravel all of this information I continued to survey the bunker for any additional clues to this mystery that was growing larger with every turn.
The bunker was long deserted and all that remained was a large empty room. If there had been any mysterious events going on here they had long since ended. All that remained was a barren concrete chamber with the iron ladder to the lookout level and the two iron doors; one to the outside and one to the tunnel back to the house. I felt disappointment. I am not sure what I was hoping to find but I can tell you I was hoping for more than an empty room. The good news was that I had found a perfect place to move all of granddads belongings that would never interfere with mom and dad’s plan for the house. With the thought of moving more boxes I decided that I needed to get back to the house and get some breakfast before mom and dad were up and looking for me.

As I made my way back up the tunnel I quickly reached the fork in the tunnel. It was all I could do to keep from exploring the lower tunnel but with my rumbling stomach I decide to keep on task and return to the house. As I reached the basement I was relieved that no one had come down to the basement looking for me. I quickly shut the door and locked it. Once I placed the key back in my pocket I quickly slid the shelves back into place and headed up the stairs to breakfast.
At breakfast I ran through my plan for the day. First I was going to head to the study and finish sorting out granddad’s belongings. There was no telling what secrets were waiting to be discovered. After all, granddad had been hiding the key in his trunk. The first thing that I packed was granddad’s trunk. I placed all of his comic books and 2 leather bound journals back into the trunk and headed down to the basement to place the trunk in the tunnel. Before shutting the trunk I decide to take a look at one of granddad’s journals. The first one I picked up was strapped shut with a leather strap and a large brass buckle. I carefully unfastened the buckle and slipped the strap out of its brass fittings. As I slowly flipped through the pages I was surprised at what was on the pages. I had expected to see pages filled with bank ledgers or journal notes. But instead o] the pages were filled with drawings. No not drawings but rather comics! These comics were drawn by my granddad. I had no idea that he could draw let alone write a story! I was amazed….i stopped packing the trunk and sank into granddads old recliner and started to look more closely at his comic journal. As I flipped through the first few pages I recognized some of the drawings as locations around granddad’s property. There was a picture of the buoy bell with a key for a clangor. There was also a picture of the bunker set on the bluffs by the bay.  A couple of pages later there was a picture of the basement entrance leading to the tunnel. I began to understand that this was not just some comic book that granddad had drawn but rather a graphic journal of what granddad knew about the bunker and what had gone on during the war. I decided that the journals would be the first thing that I moved to the bunker in order to keep them safe. I did not want anything to happen to them before I could learn all of their secrets. So I quickly placed them in the trunk and headed to the basement to secure my latest find.
By the end of the day I had managed to move the majority of granddads stuff to the tunnel behind the bookcase. I had even managed to drag his old recliner all the way down stairs without draw any attention from anyone else in the house. It seems that mom dad and sis were all self-absorbed with their own priorities. Mom was somewhere in the kitchen wing  digging through the cutlery and place settings trying to decide what was going to good will and what she was going to sell on eBay. Dad had decided it was time to head out to the garage and sort through the landscaping equipment before he started holding interviews for a gardener. And my sister had finally convinced her boyfriend to drive across town and pick her up for a trip to the mall and dinner. Once again I had been relegated to the shadow which was allowing me the opportunity to set up my new hide-out without any interruptions!
The first order of business was for me was to get everything out of the tunnel and into the bunker. I was able to accomplish this just before lunch time. Anticipating that the family was not going to be into doing the group lunch thing I had managed to pack my lunch and bring it to the bunker. So, I grabbed my sandwich and chips and a Mountain Dew and sat myself down in granddad’s recliner. As I sat eating my sandwich I began to read through granddad’s graphic journal. It appears that our family had done more than allow the military to use our land for a machine gun bunker. According to granddads journal his great grandfather had built the tunnel some years before the First World War. According to the journal the tunnel lead to the octagon room that was now my bunker. The difference was that in the journal my bunker was more of a rotunda with 4 hallways that lead off to what appeared to be labs. I had really thought that this journal was a factual journal but if the bunker was not the same how could the rest of it be true? As I continued to flip my way through the rest of the journal I was struck by a page with a picture of a boy flying. Under the picture was written a message in granddads hand writing like it had been added after the fact. It read “All Things are possible in our dreams!” What did this mean? It was just a comic book filled with granddads imaginings….I do not know why I thought it was real. I was tired and frustrated as I sat there in the recliner wishing it would all make sense. I closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep.
I am not sure how long I had been asleep in the recliner but when I woke up I felt great. It was as if my body was brand new and my mind was clearer than it had ever had ever been before. I stood up and stretched while looking around the bunker with eyes that felt like they had never seen the world before! As I looked I noticed that the lights from the bunker windows seemed to be shining into the direct center of the room. As I walked over to that spot I noticed for the first time a small brace plate on the floor. In the center of the plate there was a key hole. The same sized key hole as the bunker doors. I reached into my pocket once again and felt the cold steel against my palm as I lifted the key from my pocket. I quickly stooped over and fit the key into the lock. I slowly turned the key and waited. I am not sure what I was waiting for…it was not like I was sitting on a door. So I had no idea of what to expect. But whatever I was expecting what happened next was not it. As I was stooped over the keyhole still clutching the key I started to feel a deep rumbling growing under my feet. Suddenly the bunker windows seemed to grow dark as the rumbling grew louder and louder until finally the whole room was filled with darkness and then suddenly the rumbling stopped. As I stood up I was in total darkness. My only hope for light was to get back to the tunnel door and find the light switch located just indie the tunnel. As I navigated my way past the recliner to the tunnel door I was shocked when instead of the door way I found solid wall.
Obviously the darkness had disoriented me so I used my hands to slowly move around the wall until I fund the opening. Somehow I had managed to miss the doorway by better than ten feet which really did not make sense. At this point all that mattered was that I had found the doorway. As Reached inside the door way to find the switch on the tunnel wall I was confused to find the tunnel wall missing? I slid around the doorway and along the wall and there to my relief was a switch. As I lifted the switch to the on position light returned to the bunker. With the light restored I was amazed to be standing in a room and not the tunnel. Unlike the bunker this room was not barren it was lined with work stations and lab tables. Feeling like I had to be dreaming I walked back into the bunker to get a grip on my slipping reality. As I stood in the bunker room I realized that how it looked now was the same as the drawing in granddad’s journal. Somehow the bunker had rotated to reveal hidden doors. As it rotated the walls had moved in front of the bunker doors which explained why I had walked into a wall while trying to get back to the tunnel. I could not believe that the journals were true. As I flipped to the page of the journal I had seen before I sat back down in the recliner when suddenly……
I was awake! Sitting in the recliner with half a sandwich and a Mt Dew spilling all over my lap. As I got up the journal fell from my lap and laid on the floor spread wide open to the page of the bunker room. It had only been a dream. But how could it have been a dream it all seemed so real. I was sure of it. But even now as I stood there with wet pants I began to doubt what seemed so real. As I looked around the bunker the windows were clear and there were only two doors, one to the tunnel, and one to the outside. I was just a dream. I plopped down in the chair feeling confused and frustrated once again.
Frustrated, tired and wet I decide it was time to lay down my mystery for a while and return to the house for a shower and change of clothes before dinner time. It was my hope that maybe some good hot food would help clear my head and help me begin to make sense of all of these things. As I stood in the shower letting the water wash away my frustration I began to wonder why dad had never spoken of his time growing up here. It was as if he and granddad where not even related. I have come to believe that it was only because of mom’s insisting that we had even ever come and visited granddad. None of it made sense. I only knew one thing that when grandma had died mom says that dad had always blamed granddad. She would never tell me more and I am not sure that dad really even remembered anymore. He had only been 7 years old when she had died. I do know that dad had gone over seas to boarding school the following year and had seldom returned during his years in school, instead choosing to spend his summers at science camps abroad. Maybe this is why granddad always spent so much time with me. It was his way to make up for all of the lost time between him and dad. Whatever the reason, I felt like I was alone on this journey. Dad never really talked to me and granddad was dead. I did have his journals. Even if they were filled with things from his imagination they also were based on things that were real like the bunker and the basement tunnel. Maybe there was truth to be found somewhere in the middle. I decided that I needed to spend some time reading those journals. So my plan was to return to the bunker after dinner and retrieve the journals.
Dinner was not what I expected. When I hit the hallway that lead to the kitchen I neither smelled the aroma of food nor heard the clatter of cooking. Instead I found an empty kitchen, a cold stove and a note on the counter. It seems that the family had decided to head to town for dinner out and a show. Since I was nowhere to be found they figured I had sacked out in my room after all the hard work of cleaning out my room and the basement.  So once again I was left to myself. I quickly found some cold pizza and fresh Mt Dew and wolfed them down while standing at the counter. I had decided that one lap full of Mt dew today was enough. My plan after dinner was still the same. Return to the bunker, grab the journals, and return to the den for a night of reading and research. I figured it would be a perfect evening to try and sort out the truth from the fiction.
Heading to the basement I grabbed the flashlight as I made my way across the room to the bookshelf. I had no belief in a spinning room that blocked out lights but I did know that if something happened to the tunnel lights it was a long way back to the basement in the dark. Sliding the shelves out of the way I quickly ducked through the door flipping on the lights and headed to the bunker. Passing the tunnel on the left I paused for a moment and shined my light down the tunnel. This was the first time that I had noticed that there were no lights in the tunnel. I also noticed that the tunnel had railings on either side and that the floor had 2 groves cut into the rock. I had never seen anything like that before and added it to my list of things to ponder. I quickly turned back to the bunker and returned to my task of retrieving the journals. 
As I stepped into the bunker something caused me to walk past the recliner and the journals and to move to the center of the room. As crazy as it sounded I had to check and to know for sure. As I stood in the middle of the floor I shined my light down looking for the key hole or the brass plate. Even with the flash light it was difficult to see anything on the floor due to the generations of accumulated dust and dirt that coated the room. With my hand in my pocket clutching the key I could once again feel my heart pounding so hard that I could hear it in my ears. I felt silly as I stood staring down for looking for something that only existed in my dreams. Shaking myself I decide to quit wasting time and to just go get the journals and return to the den. As I turned to walk away I felt the difference under my right foot. The floor in the bunker was like the tunnel. It was cut from the bed rock and had a smooth finish to it. But as I pivoted on my right foot I felt a difference. As I looked down I could see the edge of a metal plate where my foot had turned up the dirt on the floor. As I stooped down to get a better look I used my sleeve to brush away the dirt and dust. To my amazement there in the center of the room was a brass plate with a key hole in the center just like in my dream. I slowly removed the key from my pocket and with a shaking hand I placed the key into the brass fitting and turned the key. Having already been through this in my dream I switched my flashlight on and waited for the rumbling. It only took a moment but I soon felt the floor begin to tremble as the lights in the bunker went out. This time with my flash light ready I observed the walls of the chamber as the rotated to the right on quarter turn. When the stopped the bunker and the tunnel doors where gone and 4 new doorways had been revealed. I slowly walked to the room I had seen in my dreams and found the light switch and turned on the lights. The whole bunker lit up. I did not understand how this was happening but it was exactly like my dream. I began to wonder if this too was not a dream.
Either way; dream or reality, I was not about to waste this opportunity to explore. I did a quick check of the room I had found in my dreams and it was exactly the same. I moved to the right to the next door way and found an examination room. The next room must have been where the soldiers slept because all that was in there was a set of beds. The last room had a door with a lock unlike the bunker doors. This door used some type of combination lock accessed through a key pad. I returned to the other 3 rooms and tried to find any clues as to what might have gone on here. I went through every desk, every cabinet and even looked under every chair and table but in the end whoever had been here had cleaned out all of the paper work. So once again I was left with only one option. Granddad’s journals. This time though I knew they were real. I did not yet understand how I had dreamed about this room with such clarity but I was sure his journal would help me understand. So with journals in hand I returned the bunker key back to the starting position and watched the doorways to the offices disappear and the tunnel door reappear. With new pep in my step I made short time of getting back to the house and the third floor den where my plan was to devour granddads journals until I knew them from front to back.
It was around 10:00 pm when I heard my parent and my sister return from their night on the town. I was surprised by the sound of footsteps coming up coming from the stair hallway. So before anyone could make their way from the stairs to my room I stashed the journals under my pillows and grabbed a hand full of comic books and spread them out on the bed. Plopping down in the middle of them I grabbed the closest one and started to flipped through the pages. Within seconds there was a soft knock at the door and then it opened. My mom entered my room carrying a doggie bag from the restaurant they had visited. She stayed for a few minutes chatting and asking if I was all right. After several minutes of assuring here that I was fine. She turned to leave the room. Before she walked out she turned back to me and told me that she knew that granddad would be happy knowing that I had taken his study as my room. With a small smile she turned and walked out wishing me a good night as she went. Mom was like that. She always knew what to say or do without being intrusive or over bearing. The thought of granddad being happy made me smile as I set aside the comic books and pulled out the journals.
Over the lasts several hours I had spent my time analyzing the journals and creating a system so that I could organize the information. The first thing I did was to open both of the journals to try and decide which one was written first. With the leather bounding on the outsides being Identical I hoped that something inside would tell me which one was older. It only took a second to confirm the age of each and to establish which one came first. The journal that I had opened first had been written in my granddad’s hand writing and used his artistic style for all of the drawings. As I opened the other journal it was easy to see that the hand writing and artistic style was different than granddads. On top of that add to it the fact that this journal had a short narrative that established its age and the author of the book. The narrative read as follows.
I Thaddeus Stevens having separated myself from the other colonist have traveled well south of Plymouth in order to establish a homestead for myself and my family. This journal shall be an account of both our trials and triumphs in this new land. May each generation record for posterity those events which have shaped who we have become.
Thaddeus Stevens
April 1642
As I read this it was quite clear that this was the older of the two journals. As I continued to read it told of how Thaddeus and his family had set out on their own and traveled south until they found an area of land that over looked the bay and that was good for planting. Thaddeus and his family worked many months to clear the land and to build a small log house on top of the dunes which over looked the bay. With the age of the journal established I began to look through the journal in order to lay out a sequence of events that would help me understand when and where the bunker and current house had come from. The first thing of note was that Thaddeus records in the journal that after having built the house and starting the farm that he was visited by an Indian from a local tribe. The man came alone and made it clear that he needed to tell Thaddeus something important. Though Thaddeus motioned for the Indian to join them in the house the Indian instead pointed towards the dune and began to walk away from the house. It was obvious that he had wanted Thaddeus to follow him.
Thaddeus and the Indian walked for some time down a narrow foot path that could easily have been mistaken for a rabbit trail. The path wound back and forth taking the unlikely pair further away from the house and closer to the water of the bay. As they finally reached the smooth sand of the beach the Indian turn and disappeared behind several large rocks. When Thaddeus hesitated to follow the Indian return to Thaddeus and took him by the hand and lead the way. At This point the account stops. The rest of the journals filled with pictures except for some hand written notes that were added much later. I double checked the binding to make sure no pages had been removed.. As far as I could tell the journal was intact. What ever happened to Thaddeus and the Indian is not written down in this journal.
Feeling frustrated I sat back and started to let my mind wander. Why had Thaddeus stopped writing? Why did the journal have all of these pictures?  As I sat there I soon drifted of to sleep…
I knew I was dreaming because I had never been in a place like this before. It appeared to be some sort of cave or cavern. The walls had been cut away by the sea leaving behind a smooth floor and walls. There were torches lit along the passage way to provide light. As I looked ahead in the cavern I could see 2 individuals ahead of me walking away from me. I quick set out after them closing ground quickly. To my surprise it was Thaddeus and the Indian. Thaddeus was trying to speak to the Indian but the Indian just kept pointing and walking. Soon the Indian stopped and pointed. In front of him was a giant room!
The room was huge! The Indian walked over and placed his solitary torch into a center pedestal. Somehow the light form this one torch began to grow. It seemed as if the very rocks of the cavern where starting to glow and emit light back at the torch. However it was happening the room was now a glow with light. As Thaddeus entered the chamber I silently slipped in to the shadows of the doorway and watched this unbelievable scene unfold before my eyes. I am not sure why I felt as though I had to hide. Thus was obviously just another dream but something was causing me to desire to remain in the shadows…out of the way…out of the story.
As Thaddeus approached the center of the cavern where his Indian guide was standing the Indian began to gesture towards the walls. As Thaddeus looked to where the Indian had pointed he realized for the first time that the walls were covered with drawings. These were not the drawings that we read about in our history books of stick figure men chasings furry creatures. These were detailed drawings that depicted scenes and events and people. The section of the wall that Thaddeus had been directed to showed a small log cabin set on the dunes overlooking the bay. There was no doubt that this was the home that Thaddeus had built. Also In the scene was a great storm upon the ocean that was raging towards the little house. It was apparent that this storm would destroy the house. Thaddeus did not fully understand what he was looking at but he knew he was being warned! The Indian pointed to the fields that were around the house and Thaddeus noticed that the harvest had been completed and that there was frost upon the pumpkins. This could not be. The harvest was only days away and if the weather held true the first frost would be upon the pumpkins before weeks end. How could this drawing be true? Thaddeus was confused. He did not know what to do. If the drawings were correct he would lose everything…his harvest…his home….his family….even his life!
The Indian continued to motion to Thaddeus and directed him to look at another scene. This scene was much older and had begun to fade but as Thaddeus looked at the scene he saw an Indian family who had taken refuge in the cave while a mighty tempest raged above. The Indian guide pointed at Thaddeus and back to the scene making it clear his message. Thaddeus and his family needed to take refuge within the cavern if they wanted to survive. With his message delivered the Indian retrieved his torch and started back across the cavern toward the entrance where I was hiding. With Thaddeus following the Indian made quick rime back to the entrance. As he passed me he turned a stopped for a second and looked straight into my eyes. In that moment I knew that the Indian had seen me and knew I was there! As I started to panic the Indian motioned for us I mean Thaddeus to follow. And we did. Back at the beach the Indian stopped only long enough to convey his well wishes upon Thaddeus and with one last glance at me he departed.  Just as I turned to follow Thaddeus back up the beach I was startled by a loud crashing sound behind me. As I turned to look….I found that I was lying on the floor by my bed once again awake.
As I laid there trying to grasp what I had just seen in my dreams and struggling to hold onto every last detail I again heard a crashing sound. As I turned to investigate I realized that I had left my windows open and the strong ocean breeze was whipping through my room knocking down whatever it pleased. I quickly rushed to the windows and shut them tight and turned to survey the mess. Mostly it was only loose papers and odds and ends that had been blown over, As I began to tidy up the wind strewn objects my eyes were drawn to Thaddeus’ journal. The wind had flipped it open to a detailed drawing of the cavern I had just dreamed about. Even down to the very scene that the Indian had shown to Thaddeus of the destruction that was coming upon his home. As I turned over to the next page there was a scene of Thaddeus and his family moving all of their belongings, animals, and harvest into the caverns. On the next page was the depiction of the tempest as it laid waste to the home that Thaddeus had built with his own hands. There was not one log left. It was as if the very hand of God had reached down and erased all evidence of man. The question was how did the Indian know that this tempest was coming and who had painted the picture upon the wall of the cave that served as a warning to Thaddeus?
The answers I needed would not come from this journal. They were inside those caverns! The only problem was that I had no idea where those caves were. Having played and explored the beach many days with granddad I knew that there was no entrance to a cave system along the shore line. If there ever had been an entrance along the shore the shifting sands of time had buried it long ago. So my only hope was to seek out the location in the journals.
As I leafed through the next few pages I learned that Thaddeus had depicted the building of his new home. Our home. It was much grander than his log cabin and the drawings were filled with great detail. Better than an architect’s plans. As I began to look at the pictures I was amazed to see the basement tunnel had been part of this plan. I noticed that the tunnel did not include the bunker though. The tunnel only ran to the point of the turn off that I had not yet explored. Strangely, the tunnel stopped and was not labeled beyond the spot of the current junction. It was as if the tunnel construction was only partially planned with no point of connection on the other end. Perhaps it was Thaddeus alternative to the caverns. A storm shelter well below the bedrock that could with stand the worst the nature had to offer. After the tempest that destroyed his first house who could blame him for such over kill.
As I continued to gather more information from the drawings of the house I began to wonder more about my dream. How had I once again had a dream that seemed so real? Is it possible that I was only transferring the information from the journals to my subconscious and it was all coming out in my dreams? Who was the Indian who was with Thaddeus? Was he even in the journal? I thought on that last one and looked back through the pages of the journal. I found no record of the Indian. The house plans were there, the cavern with the depiction of the tempest, the account of Thaddeus and his family but no depiction of an Indian. So who was he and why had I dreamed him up. If my dreams were just my subconscious making sense of the journal why would I be adding things that were not part of the journal? And the biggest question of all was why did the Indian turn and look at me. If it was only a dream what did it mean?
With more questions than answers filling my head I decided to grab my backpack, flashlight, the journals and a few snacks and head back down to the bunker and try to make some sense out of the thoughts filling my head. As I headed down to the kitchen I glanced at the clock and realized that it was only 2:00 in the morning. I half thought about turning back around and just going back to bed. However, seeing that I was wide awake I decided to head down to the bunker and find some answers.
As I made my way into the tunnel I flipped on the lights and closed the door behind me. I had found out earlier that once the basement door was shut the shelves automatically slid back into place. This was a good thing sense I was not ready or willing to share my discoveries with anyone else. As I proceeded down the tunnel I had every intention of continuing on to the bunker. However as I walked I kept an eye on the tunnel walls. I was wondering if I would be able to make out where the original tunnel had stopped. According to the journal the original tunnel ended at the point of the modern junction. As I examined the walls of the tunnel between the basement door and the junction I noticed that this part of the tunnel had been carved out of the bedrock by picks and chisels. As I walked past the junction it was obvious to me that the tunnel to the bunker had been carved by some sort of machine because the walls and the ceilings and floors were much smoother and did not have the grove marks of the other part of the tunnel. As I returned to the junction I approached the turn off that I had yet to explore. The first thing that I noticed was that the lights that ran through the tunnel and the bunker had not been extended to this portion of the tunnel system.
So with flashlight in hand I decide to explore a little further down the tunnel. Paying attention to the floors and the walls I realized that the tunnel floor had been cut with the same tool as the tunnel to the bunker. The walls however had been cut by hand tools just like the tunnel from the basement tunnel that ran to the junction. As I shined my light up towards the ceiling I was expecting to see a hand carved ceiling just like the walls. To my surprise instead of the carved ceiling that I was expecting I realized that the ceiling was neither hand carved our cut by a machine. Instead it was like a ceiling you would find in a cave. As I stood there wondering how this could be it slowly began to make sense. Thaddeus had not built a tunnel to use as a storm shelter he had built a tunnel to the cavern that had been the storm shelter during the tempest that had wiped his house from the very face of the earth.
With this new knowledge taking hold in my head the ideas started to swirl. Though I had planned on heading to the bunker I found that I could not resist the need to confirm that this tunnel actually led to the cavern in my dream. As I continued forward I began to realize that the floor in this section of the tunnel was declining at a rapid rate. As I slipped and slid for several feet I was happy to find the hand rail that had been installed on either side of the tunnel. As I caught hold of the rail my feet left the floor and I landed hard on my backside. The shock of the sudden jolt caused me to drop my flashlight which shot down the tunnel floor like some sort of runaway disco ball. As I watched my flashlight spin out of sight I began to wonder whether venturing down the dark spooky tunnel with no light was really my wisest move. As I lifted myself off of my sore backside I paused to adjust what was left of my dignity before I slowly started to inch my way down the tunnel. 
My slow progress down the slippery slope was only slightly slowed by the total darkness that encompassed my whole existence.  This was only because I had decide that it was the safest bet to give up the whole walking thing and return to the safest mood…crawling like a baby.  Even with my new choice of travel I still managed to smack my head into the wall several times before I finally reached a point where I could start to make out the dim glow of my flashlight below. In my heart I began to feel a great sense of relief as I continued to inch forward and realized that I had not imagined the glow of the light. After a few more agonizing minutes in baby mode my flashlight had come into view. With a new sense of confidence and some very sore knees I stood up and walked over and retrieved my light. As I played the light around me I realized that the tunnel floor had leveled out and that the walls and ceiling were starting to grow farther apart. As I moved forward a few more yards it was as if I had just walked into a vast stadium. My light no longer could reach the ceilings or the walls of the cavern and my footsteps seemed to bounce around the chamber in an endless parade of sounds. As I paused and tried to focus myself on the images from my dream I began to remember that as Thaddeus and the Indian had entered this area of the cavern the Indian had placed his torch in the center of the cave in some sort of pedestal. The placing of the torch had somehow illuminated the entire chamber. With that in mind I started to walk towards the center of the chamber. As my light led the way I shortly found a pile of rocks at the center of the cavern and in the middle of this rock pile stood one rock with a hole in its center.  I am not sure what I expected as I placed the butt end of the flashlight into the hole in the pedestal but whatever it was it did not compare to what happened next.
As my light slid into the hole the beam from the flash light seem to grow in strength until it gave off a blinding blast of energy. Once the stars had stopped sparkling in my eyes and I was able to see again the cavern appeared to be aglow. It was as if the cavern itself was basking in the daylight sun. I hardly could believe that this was real and wondered if this was not another one of my dreams. I half expected to wake up in granddads recliner at any moment. But before I did I really wanted to check out the walls and see the cave drawings for myself. If the light had amazed me beyond explanation, then what I saw on the cave walls was equally disappointing. As I stood before the walls of the cavern I realized that the walls were completely blank! No drawings, no faded markings, no smudges, no anything, just rock! I walked around the cavern examining every section of the wall from the floor to the highest point I could see. Nothing. Not a single drawing anywhere. I began to wonder if there may have been another magical glowing cave somewhere else down here. As I aimlessly walked around the chamber I could feel my energy drain from me. I needed to get some rest. I sluggishly walked to the pillar in the center of the room and retrieved my flashlight and began to climb back to the main tunnel. With every step I took I wondered what was going on. How could everything be wrapped in half-truths? Every time some unbelievable thing has happened I find out that half of it proves to be true and half of it remains a mystery. As I reached the main tunnel I decided that I did not have the energy to climb all the way back up to my bedroom on the third floor so instead I head to the bunker and planned on sacking out on one of the beds in the bunk room. What I am sure it would lack in comfort it made up for in proximity.
Just as I though the beds in the bunk room were anything but plush. But I was so tired that even the stone floor seemed appealing to my tired body at this point. As I landed on the middle bunk I tossed my backpack and flashlight on the other bunks. To my amazement as soon as my head hit the pillow the lights in the room dimmed to a pale blue. I barely was able to really even register the thought of the lights changing before I was out cold.
I am not sure whether I was asleep for hours or minutes when I was startled awake by a sound that was coming from inside the bunker. Knowing that I had used the key to rotate the bunker I knew that there was no way anyone could gain access to the bunker. Still I found myself sliding behind my bed while watching the door to the bunk room. As I crouched there behind the bunk I felt as every hair on my body was standing on end. I tried to calm myself and take some deep breathes. Just as I was starting to relax and was beginning to feel that I had imagined the whole thing a shadow moved across the doorway. My heart seemed to freeze and I could not draw a breath how could anyone have gotten in? As I sat unblinking cowering behind my bed the shadow began to enter the bunk room. Terror flooded my soul as the shadow gave way to the form of a man. A man I had seen before. Standing in the doorway was the Indian who had guided Thaddeus to the cavern centuries before. I am not sure of anything at this point I was frozen by total fear. As I sat there shaking the Indian looked at me and motioned to me to follow. I am not sure how but I suddenly found myself on my feet and walking behind the Indian. I followed him out of the bunk room and across the bunker. As we entered the central bunker the outer walls spun and the Indian did not slow but reached the tunnel entrance just as the door reappeared. I continued following the Indian down the tunnel to the junction where he turned down towards the cavern.
The tunnel was lit by a source that I could not see. It seemed as if the floor was radiating light just like the cavern wall had done earlier. Though I was still feeling freaked out by the fact that I was following a 400 year old Indian I did find some relief in knowing that I was not going to have to crawl through the dark to get back to the cavern. It was amazing how much easier it was to traverse the downward slope when you could actually see where you were going. My mysterious guide wasted no time in the tunnel. I found that we had quickly made our way to the cavern entrance. As we entered the cavern I could see a torch burning in the center of the pillar. My new friend did not stop or turn but continued to the pillar. Upon reaching the pillar he lifted his eyes to the walls of the cavern and spread out his hands like the conductor of some unseen symphony. As I stood back a short distance from the center of the room I also lifted up my eyes to follow the gaze of the Indian. Suddenly it was if a great wave of fog started to stream into the cavern from out of nowhere. As The Indian continued to hold his arms wide the fog descended across the walls and dissipated as it reached the floor. As my eyes followed it downward I realized that where there once had been blank rock walls there was now a room covered with paintings! The paintings covered every inch of the cavern. As I stood there with my jaw dropping to the floor the Indian turned to me and smiled. He stretched forth his hand and pointed to a section of the wall close to me. As I turned and looked I was amazed to see the sleeping room located in the bunker. As I looked at the painting I had to do a double take as I realized that in the bunk of the sleeping room was someone sleeping. Not just someone but me! How could this be? Who had painted this and how could they have done it in the short time since I had been here.
As if to answer me the Indian turned and pointed to another section of the wall. On this section was a picture of the Thaddeus’ journal. As I looked at it more closely I could tell that the picture was of the inside cover of the journal.  I realized that I had never actually paid attention to the cover but had only flipped through the pages looking for quick answers. But there on the cover was one line of writing. The line consisted of only 4 words. The message read “When the Dreamer dreams”. I now knew how I had come to be in the company of the 400 year old Indian. I was dreaming. I was still in the bunk room in bed. What I did not know was how this dream was as real as being awake? Again my guide seemed to know what it was that was weighing on my mind and he led me to another section of the wall. This section depicted a group of men.  The first 12 or so men were Native Americans like my guide. As I looked closer I realized that my guide was in fact the last Native American of the 12. Besides these 12 there were 4 other images. The first was easy for me to recognize because he was the man from my dream, Thaddeus. The next man I did not know but I suspected that he was my great grandfather based on the fact that following man was my granddad. As I looked at the next man I was ready to see my father but instead it was an image of me?  As I turned towards my new friend I felt as though my senses were turning inward and the room suddenly started spinning I felt like I was going to pass out when I found myself sitting up and alert in the bed in the bunk room. I was not startled or foggy headed like when I had been jarred awake from a dream. But, I did feel disoriented like I had just gotten off a rollercoaster. My senses were on overload and my thoughts were beyond clear. It was as if I had been super charged.
Lifting myself to my feet I grabbed the journals and flipped to the back of granddads journal and began to draw. I had never been afraid to put pencil to paper to draw anything before but what was flowing out of me was filled with such detail that it was clear that my talents had reached a new level. In a matter of minutes I had filled 2 pages with the scenes from my dream trip to the cavern with my Indian guide. As I finished the last pen stroke I stopped and looked at the pages and to study the scene. I realized for the first time that over the picture of the individuals depicted in the cave I had written one word Dreamers. As I landed myself in granddad’s recliner I realized that somehow I had been connected to this group. I needed to know more but I did not know where I was going to find more answers?
As I lay back in the chair I let my eyes wander around the bunker hoping to see something I had somehow over looked before. The lab room had contained no clues. The bunk room was barren other than the beds. The examination room was like the lab room having been stripped of all evidence of anyone ever being there. The only other room was the one behind the closed door with the lock on it. A lock that took some sort of combination. Even though I had looked all through the journals I had not found any clues to the combination. Maybe it was a room that only a dreamer could get into….
Could it be the answer? I jumped from my chair and crossed the bunker to the door and looked at the combination pad. With trembling fingers I pushed in the code D R E A M E R. As the panel lit up with each letter I pushed I stood and waited. With the pushing of the R I heard a pop and could feel air being sucked into the room around the door. As I placed my hand on the door and pushed the door swung inward. As soon as the door passed the threshold a series of lights began to come on. As I walked through the door expecting to see another chamber instead I found myself standing on a landing that over looked a vast chamber. This was not some natural cavern created by nature. It was an underground chamber that had been cut from the earth by some manmade machine. As I looked over the rail I could see that on the floor some 30 feet below was a collection of scattered objects that looked like everything from machines to tables and there were many shapes that I could not even guess at what they were. Even more perplexing was the fact that I could not even begin to see an end to the chamber.
As I looked around for a way to access the chamber I saw a set of stone stairs that descended down the left hand wall of the chamber. Unfortunately the platform I was on was located on the right. To my utter disappointment there was no foreseeable way for me to reach the other side. The distance between the platform and the top of the stairs was a least 100 yards. As I peered over the edge of the platform I realized that there must have been a suspended walk way at one time that connected the stairs and the entrance way. But now all that remained were several unraveling cables hanging from the ceiling. It was obvious that when whoever had once occupied this room had departed they had severed the cables to keep anyone from entering the chamber below.  This just added to the mysteries already filling my head. I knew that along with everything else that I had yet to understand that this room would play a major role in my understanding of it all. I also began to understand that the only way that I had a hope to get any of these answers was to go to sleep and dream. For it seemed that somehow my dreams held the answers to all of my questions. So with one last look around I turned and walked across the platform and out the door securing it behind me. I then grabbed up the journals and went back to the bunkroom where the plan was simple…go back to sleep.
Once again as I laid my head upon the pillow the lights in the room went dark as a blue glow started to emanate from the ceiling. I closed my eyes and took some deep breathes to slow my thoughts down. I tried to clear my mind and think of nothing but all that resulted in was me thinking more about trying to go to sleep which in the end was getting me very frustrated. So with no sleep anywhere in sight I decided to grab the journals and go over to the lab room and find myself a nice area to sit down and spread out the journals and see if I could start to piece together what was going on.
As I entered the lab I moved to the far side of the room to the largest of the desk areas and slid myself into the chair and started to spread out the journals. In an attempt to systematically approach the journals I had grabbed a legal pad from the study and stuck it inside the journals. On the first page of the journal I headed the page with the word COVER. I than wrote THADDEUS on the first line. Next I picked up the older of the two journals which had been started by Thaddeus. I examined the front and back covers and there were no markings anywhere. Next I opened the journal and looked at the inside cover.  Just as I had seen in my dream there across the inside cover was written the words WHEN THE DREAM DREAMS. Those were the only words written on the inside cover. I flipped to the inside back cover and was surprised to see four words written there. BEWARE THE DREAM WARRIORS! This was not what I had expected. What could it mean? Who were the dream warriors and why did I need to beware them. As I sat think about what it possibly meant I wrote the words on the legal pad and slid Thaddeus’ journal out of the way.
On my legal pad I now wrote the word GRANDDAD. I then picked up his journal and I looked at the outer cover…front and back…and like Thaddeus’ journal it also had no markings on the outside. As I opened to the inside cover I was slightly disappointed to find only a blank inner cover. I half-heartedly flipped to the inner back cover expecting to again find a blank page and I was equally disappointed to be right. However, as I went to flip the cover closed the corner of an envelope slipped out of a split in the back binding. As I carefully slid the envelope from the slit n the binding I gentle turned it over on the table so that I could see the front. On the front was a name…my name!? How? Who? I could not even begin to understand why there was a letter to me in this journal. I slid my finger under the seam of the seal and slowly broke the bond of the glue. Removing the paper from the inside of the envelope I slowly unfolded the letter which by feel was several pages long. If having my name on this letter was not confusing enough the date on the letter really twisted my mind. January 28, 1984. How could this be? I was not even born until 1995! How could someone have written a letter to me 11 years before I was born?  As I began to read the letter it all quickly began to make sense.
The Letter
Dear Mathias,                                                                                                                    January 28, 1984
My son. On this your 18th birthday I feel it is time that you were told the truth about our family and the important role that will soon be cast upon you. I only hope that the wedge that was placed between you and I with your mother’s disappearance has not become too great. I beg of you to please read this letter in its entirety and understand the seriousness of it. For if you are unable or unwilling to take your position another must be found or great trouble will soon be upon us all. In order for you to understand the importance of which I speak I must take you back to the beginning. We must go back to 1624 and your great, great, grandfather Thaddeus.
Thaddeus came to this land with his wife Clara and son Bartholomew departing the company of the Puritans who they had crossed the ocean with. It was his intention to find an area of land that was unspoiled and prime for farming. After much searching they found a large open field that over looked sloping dunes that ran down to a brackish water bay. Thaddeus and Bartholomew worked hard for many months to cut and transport logs to build their family home while Clara set about planting a small garden that was essential for their survival. In the early morning and late evenings Thaddeus would go out and hunt and would return with small game that kept them fed. By the onset of winter they had managed to squirrel away enough food to guarantee a hardy winter.
It was the next spring that the family started to experience hard times. The planting of the spring garden had occurred to early and the late frost had killed all of the plants. During the replanting many of the seeds were eaten by flocks of migrating birds. With much struggle and hardship the crops started to grow. Thaddeus also noticed that his hunting trips had to be extended further and further inland because the animals no longer seemed to dwell near the clearing or the dunes. By fall the family had experienced another hardship when Clara became ill and was no longer able to work in the fields. Bartholomew and Thaddeus had to work from before sun up to after sundown 7 days a week in order to get the harvest in before the onset of winter.
To make matters worse Thaddeus soon found that he was burning with fever and unable to get out of bed. It was during this time that the first dream came.  This dream saved the lives of his entire family. In this dream Thaddeus was led to an underground chamber by an Indian. When they reached the cavern the Indian showed Thaddeus a great storm that was approaching and warned him to take refuge in the cave. Thaddeus listened to the Indian and moved his family and all of their possessions in to the cavern before the storm reached his home. After the storm Thaddeus found that his home and all evidence of his family ever being on the bluff had been erased by some unseen power. Thaddeus had written in a personal journal that what happened to him here was surely the same thing as to what had happen to the Lost Colony of Roanoke.
Thaddeus and his family remained in the cavern for over a year as he and his son built a new much grander time. During this time Thaddeus recorded many visits from this strand Indian who appeared to him in dreams. During these visits The Indian (who Thaddeus had learned was named NaNo) taught him many things about farming, hunting, fishing, and the mysteries of the land. NaNo also instructed Thaddeus about other things, things of the dream world. It seems that NaNo was some type of spirit or guardian who had watched of this area both in life and death. It had been his responsibility to protect the land and his tribe from a group of spirits that Thaddeus had called the Dream Warriors. Though Thaddeus never was able to understand when or how it had occurred it was evident that NaNo and his people had been wiped out by these warriors.
Thaddeus also learned that NaNo was not the first of the dreamers but one in a long line. The problem was that with death of all of his people that NaNo was unable to pass on the gift to his son. NaNo had been trapped as a dream. But with the arrival of Thaddeus and his family to the land NaNo had found a new dreamer in Thaddeus. Thaddeus spent the year learning from NaNo and by the time they had moved into the new home Thaddeus had said farewell to NaNo and had full embraced the role of the dreamer.
It is not my intent to explain the role of the dreamer at this time for it will be much easier to pass this information to you once you are here. But I want you to understand how this trust that Thaddeus took on was one that was to be shared between father and son. Each generation must have a dreamer to protect them from the dream warriors. You will better understand the dangers that these warriors present to us and the world when you are fully exposed to the dream journals. The important thing is that you come home and take your place so that you may learn the ways of the dreamer. Please do not let our past keep you from taking your place. Again I say if you are unable or unwilling to fulfill your role than another must be found.
I know that his must sound crazy to you and I apologize for not having told you before. But when your mother vanished you would not have understood what had happened. I still do not fully know what happened. But know this; I believe that together we can rescue her. Do not take this lightly. We are her only hope.
Please come home quickly.
Henry Stevens

I read the letter several times before setting it down. I wondered why dad had never said anything about this. Why I had never been told anything about this mysterious family history. As I sat staring down at the letter my eyes drifted back to the envelope. In the upper corner was a faded postage stamp with a cancelation stamp so I knew that the letter had been sent. As I turned the envelope over i saw another faded mark. As I looked closely at the marking I could make out the words “return to sender”. Dad had never even opened the letter. It had been in his hands and his hatred for granddad had been so strong he had just sent the letter back without ever opening it. Man, what a chowder head! How could anyone be so mean and cold to refuse a letter from their own father?

I sat and stared. I f I were to believe what I had just read our family had somehow become some sort of supernatural guardians. Guardians who defended mankind from some unexplained dream warriors. This was too much! Even I had my limits as to what I could believe. There had to be some logical explanation to all of this. After all if these dream warriors really existed wouldn’t someone else already know about. I mean if they were really a threat than wouldn’t our military know about them and do something to protect us? As I sat there I began to see the answers to my own questions. The military had known! That is why my Great Grandfather had allowed them to come here. It is why the bunker was built and why all of these chambers existed. The bunker had not been built to repel a force of men with flesh and bone but to save use from these dream warriors. If this was true than why did the military leave? Had they been victorious? Had the beaten the dream warriors? Surely, if they had been here and left than the only thing that made sense was that the dream warriors must have been defeated. Whoever or whatever they were they must no longer be a threat and that is why the military pulled out. It is the only thing that made the least bit of sense in this who mess of craziness and I grabbed hold of that thought as I tossed the journals into a knapsack that I had found in the bunk room I decided I was ready to head back upstairs for food and to chill out in the study. What I really need now was just some mindless activity to help me relax.
After rotating the bunker back to the exit position I decided I really did not want traverse the tunnel and basement stairs again so instead I unlocked the bunker door which led out to the dunes. As I swung the door my eyes were flooded by the noon day sun! I almost stumbled backwards by the brightness of the light. How long had I been in there? I seemed to have lost all track of time. I only hoped that my parents would not freak out on when I came walking in after being gone all morning. I was in no mood to have to work myself out of Dad’s bad mood again. As I made my way down around the dunes and back up the beach I realized that Dad’s mood was the least of my worries.
In front of me just over the top of the dunes I could see smoke filling the sky! As I got closer to the top of the dune I could feel a wave of heat rolling down the face of the dunes. My stomach turned in fear as I put 2 and 2 together and realized that the house was burning. Just as I started to run up the dune the house exploded knocking me back down the dune and onto the beach. I laid there dazed and unable to stand. My eyes were filling with spots as my ears started ring and I knew that I was about to pass out.
The feeling was gone. The ringing had stopped and I was standing. But I was not on the beach I was in the bunker. I was standing on the landing of the room behind the door with the key pad. But the room was different it was lit and filled with scientist and soldiers running back and forth. Suddenly to the left of me I realized the platform and walk way were still intact so I quickly set out across it to the stairs. As I headed down the stairs I knew that I was dreaming. But that made no difference. I somehow was able to control what was going on and was not just a character in this dream. I was here but no one else was aware of it. I was sure that what I was seeing was real. I was somehow in the past. I was going to use this time to get answers.
As I reached the bottom of the stairs I turned and headed over to a group of scientist who were huddled around a bank of computer screens. As I neared the group I tried to see what was going on that had their full attention. On the left and right screens there were what appeared to be a display of some ones vital signs. And on the 2 center screens there were images of 8 beds with people sleeping. As I looked at the images of the sleepers I was amazed at how still they were because what were on the data screens were the vital signs of a person who was exercising great energy.  As I looked up and down the great room I saw a series of beds stretching out down the length of the room. Though there were too many to count I would estimate that there were at least 200 beds. Though at this time only the 8 closest beds were occupied. I moved from the cluster of scientist and head over to check out the beds. As I came close to the beds I reached out my hands and touched the sleeper and felt a surge.
I was no longer in the room but was now standing in a field next to the sleeper. To say that I was shocked would be an understatement. And if I was shocked, than there were no words to explain how the sleeper felt at my sudden appearance. The sleeper was a soldier who instantly turned towards me and motioned for me to get down. Without hesitation I did as I was instructed. Just as I hit the ground a group of shadowy figures flew over our heads and quickly turned around and flew back by us. As they passed over us the second time I was able to get a good look at the shadowy figures. They were not some large bird but instead were distorted human figures. I could only use the word banshees to try and explain their appearances. These banshees were searching the field like a hawk after prey. The unfortunate thing was that it was painfully clear that the sleeper and his friends were the prey. To my dismay it also seemed that my arrival here also put me on the menu. As the banshees passed over us the soldier caught my attention and pointed towards a rock out cropping. With all the stealth that we could muster we slid through the grass and into the rocks. Once there the soldier and I hunkered down and prepared for the return of the banshees. After what seemed like hours of silence we finally decide that we could once again move. As I sat up the soldier turned to me and without opening his mouth he made it clear by the look in his eyes that he did not know who I was and how I had gotten there. Though I tried to open my mouth and talk I found that I had no ability to speak while in this dream state. So with the best intentions to help him understand I simply shrugged my shoulders. Because truth be told I had no idea how I had gotten here.
As I turned to stand up the banshees came screaming from over the edge of the dunes where they had been hiding and waiting. I had no time to hide and even less time to think! Somewhere within me something clicked and I turned towards the banshees and lifted my hands towards the sky with all of my energy I pushed towards the banshees. What happened next was nothing short of amazing! It was as if a wall of wind lifted up from the field floor and blasted the banshees into nothingness! One second they were screaming through the air and now they were gone! Suddenly my knees went limp.  I reached out my hand as I stumbled and touched the sleeper once again and suddenly I was no longer in the field anymore. Suddenly I was in the cavern again standing next to the pillar. I was not alone. As I turned I expected to see Nano but instead there standing before me was my Granddad. I immediately ran over to him and grabbed him and hugged him. If this was a dream I did not ever want it to end! Granddad worked himself free and directed me to the far wall. On the wall was an image of the field I had just been in. At first I had not recognized as the same place because it was a depiction of the field from overhead. As I looked at the picture my stomach dropped as I saw 7 dead bodies that looked like they had been drained of all life in an instant. Their bodies were skeletal with their skin shriveled like an old dried prune. As I stood there I looked across the fields to an out cropping of rocks and I saw there 2 forms. One of the forms was the soldier I had just been with and the other was me. Granddad then did something that startled me. He pointed to the soldier and back to himself. The soldier was my granddad. Granddad then directed his attention and mine to another scene. It was of the command center where I had seen the scientist and the sleepers. In the scene there were now 7 coffins that were being closed up and all of the equipment was being shut down. At the far end of the room stood alone figure next to what appeared to be some sort of coffin. I could see that this man was the same man I had met in the field…my granddad. I did not understand. As if to answer me the scene changed and suddenly the lone figure and the coffin came into clear view. Granddad was not next to a coffin but instead it was some sort of chamber that held a young woman. As I continued to look at here I realized I had seen her before…in our family photo album. This was my grandmother. As I turned back to granddad I …was falling….falling through a dark tunnel….I could hear a sound…a strange ringing sound…it was coming from my ears….I was back on the beach.
As I tried to stand I almost passed out again. It was as if my head was being tossed around inside a tornado. My equilibrium was all messed up. Fortunately I was able to steady myself and kept from falling down. After several moments of standing still and taking lots of deep breaths the ringing in my ears began to fade and I was able to stand up straight with no fear of passing out.
Now that I was upright I turn my attention back to the top of the dune and my house. From where I was blasted to on the beach I was unable to see the house but the flames and smoke were easily seen soaring into the morning sky. I once again started to make my way back up the dunes in an attempt to get to the house. I did not understand what had happened but I knew that if my family could not find me they would assume I had been killed in the fire. I could not let them go through that. I had to get back up to the house and let them know that I was alive.
As I reached the top of the dunes and started across the open field towards the house I began to run.  As I ran I knew that something was wrong; something far worse than just the house burning. It was my family. They were in grave danger and not just from the flames! I could feel them closing in on my family and I had to stop them! The banshees were here and I had to find my family and protect them. I had to run faster. No, not run, fly! I had to fly!
I am not sure how it happened but suddenly I pushed off with my legs like a long jumper and stretched forth into the sky. I was flying! Was I dreaming? I was not sure but dream or not I knew what I had to do. I had to stop the banshees.
As I wondered how I would find them I suddenly realized that would not be a problem. The banshees must have felt me like I felt them. As soon as I had approached the burning house I could see the banshees coming out of the flames and coming towards me. There were four banshees in all. They also were air born just like the last time I had seen them when I was in the rocks of the field. Uncertain of how strong these things were or even how I was to fight them I turn in the air and moved away from the house. As I looked behind me I could see that all four of banshees were following me. I quickly swooped down low and flew over the fields. I was only a few feet off the ground. If I was not so scared of my pursuers I would have really enjoyed this whole flying thing.
Before I could finish that thought I felt a great heat surge up my leg. It felt as though my leg was being cut in two by a blow torch. As I tried to look back and see what was happening I felt a strange burning sensation across my back. It was clear that I was under attack and these dream warriors had every intention of ripping me from limb to limb. If I was going to get away I had to act to do something to get these two demons off my back. The only thing that came to mind was that I needed them off me and now. So I crashed! Not by accident but with full intent! I had to have looked like an old Pete Rose clip of his crazy head first dives into home! Believe me when I say it was not graceful. I hit the ground hard and I flipped and twisted every which way until I was sure the banshees had left. As I picked myself up off the ground I realized that I did not have a scratch on me! This had to be a dream…I had hit that ground hard and had laid there sure that I had broken every bone in my body! But instead of pain I felt energy flowing through me. It was coursing through my feet and running upwards until it reached all the way to the top of my head. As I stood there reveling in the feeling of power surging through me the banshees had regrouped and turn back towards me. As they turned they started a deep dive that made it clear that their intent was to pound me into the ground. AS they got closer and closer something inside me told me to stay put and to stand my ground. The lead banshee was almost on top of me when I saw what I needed to do! I bent low to the ground and wrapped my hands around the edge of a large rock that was there next to me. With the effort of a discus thrower I spun and let the rock fly. The lead banshee was caught off guard as the rock blasted into his face as he flew towards me. The rock and the banshee both exploded in the air. The other banshees seem to take note of the demise of their leader and turned to regroup.
This was the chance I needed to get to the house and find my family. I once again focused all of my energy into the balls of my feet and pushed upward and once again I was in the air. As the banshees turned back towards were I had just pulverized their leader I shot by them and dived towards the flaming house. I t was at that moment that I saw the other 2 banshees. They were at the far side of the house which had not yet been affected by the fire. This is where the bedroom where located and I knew that my parents and sisters would be there. The 2 banshees were working to spread the fire but it also seemed that they were searching as they went. I did not know what they were searching for and to be honest I did not care. I was focused on one thing and one thing only…getting my family out alive!
I quickly changed my course and started to descend in to a steep dive with the intent to tackle the nearest banshee. I was hoping that I would hit him hard enough that I would take him out of the action long enough for me to find my family. Luck was with me even if common sense was not. As I hit the banshee he was taken totally unaware. His body slumped over my shoulder as I crashed through the outer wall. My plan was now out of control as was my dive. The banshee was starting to gain his composer and had started to fight back. Even worse, though I had figured out the flying thing I had not even started to figure out the stopping part. As the ground started to get closer and closer I grabbed hold of the banshee all the tighter hoping his body would absorb the brunt of the impact and spare me any grave injuries.
The impact was huge. The banshee and I plowed into the sand dunes with impact of a freight train hitting a wall. Sand flew into the air casting a wave of sand that lifted into the air like a volcanic eruption. When the sand storm subsided I rolled over readying myself for the banshee’s attack. But instead I found that the banshee was dead. As I stood looking down on his body the sands began to crawl over the banshee’s body and the body began to dissolve into smoke. It was as if the very earth was destroying the banshee.
With no time to waste I turn and pushed off and quickly set out after the other banshee who was still lurking at this end of the house. As I flew over the edge of the dunes the banshee saw me rise into the air and as if he was surprised by the site he let out a blood curdling scream and turned and fled the scene. The other three banshees rose out of the field and joined him and then they were gone. I did not waste time wondering why they left or even to wonder where they had gone to. I had to find my family.
I quickly landed in upper hallway which no longer had a roof. I quickly headed to the 2nd floor and ran to my parents room. As I crashed through their door I saw mom and dad collapsed on the floor. I quickly lifted mom and took to the air and flew her out of the house and turned back for dad. It only took me a second to get in and out. I then turned and headed in to my sisters room. As I got there I found it odd that she was still tucked into her bed asleep. It was as if she had not even noticed the utter destruction going on all around her. I lifted her off her bed and flew from the room and into the sky. I felt good knowing that I had made it in time to save my family. But I had not expected what happened next. As circled around the dune and to the field where I had laid my parents I was shocked to see my dad standing and watching me fly through the air. As I landed there in the field beside him I did not know what to expect but it was not this. Dad ran to me and threw his arms around me and hugged me tighter than I have ever been hugged before.
After dad let me go he had turned his attention to sis and was trying to revive her. I had turned to mom who was beginning to cough and stir. I raised her to a sitting position as she started to open her eyes. Mom had no words but sat and watched as our home burned to the ground. I jumped to attention when I heard a wailing sound approaching. In fear that the banshees were returning I turned and ready myself to go air born but to my surprise dad was standing beside me with a hand on my shoulder stopping me from flying off. As I turned to ask what he was doing he pointed to the road way across the field to where I could see an army of fire trucks coming over the hill. With the threat of the banshees gone for the moment I turn back to my family. TO my surprise mom and dad were both now up and moving about but my sister still had not even begun to stir. She still appeared to be sleeping soundly as if nothing was going on around her. Soon the paramedics had arrived on the scene and quickly started tending to my sister. They placed an oxygen mask over her face and recorded her vitals but they also had no luck in rousing her from her sleep. Soon they had her on a stretcher and were loading her into the back of the ambulance. Mom joined them as the closed the doors and head back across the field towards the road.
Both mom and dad had been checked out by the paramedics and were found to have taken in some smoke and were given oxygen for a short time. Me, they looked at and saw my torn and scorched clothes and were sure that I had to have been badly injured. But, to their surprise and mine I was fine, beyond fine. I did not have a mark on me. It was as if I had not even been near the fire. (Or in the middle of it) So, with shaking heads they let me go and I returned to my dad who was waving good bye to the ambulance.
Dad and I stood in silence for a long time as we watched the fire fighters wage battle against the flames that were devouring our home. No matter how fast they worked it seemed the fire grew larger and larger. By mid-day Just as the fire seemed to be under control there was a sudden explosion that blasted any remaining parts of the house in to smithereens! At this point all of the fire fighters dropped back and took a defensive position in an attempt aimed solely at keeping the fire from spreading to the dunes and surrounding fields. The house and everything it was lost. As I stood there I looked at my dad who was standing there with tears streaming down his cheeks. I did not know what to do so I just stood there next to him and watched as the flames continued to consume the last of the timbers.
It was late in the evening when the fire had been completely extinguished and the fire fighters had packed up all of their stuff and had started to leave. The chief had spoken to both of us and expressed his regret for our loss and told us the fire marshal would be here in the morning to try and figure out what had happened here. After they had packed up the last of their stuff dad turned to me with tears in his eye and said thank you. At first I thought he must be confused and thought that I was one of the fire fighters. But the he continued.
“Thank you for doing what I could not!” He paused and looked at me. He said, “I never believed what dad was trying to tell me…I thought he was crazy!” I tried to stop him but he put up his hands and continued “Dad had tried to explain to me after this had happened to mom but I would not hear him. I did not want to hear him. I just wanted to blame!” He took a deep breath and went on. “But you, you had always had that connection with him and today you were able to do that which I never could…you believed!”
He wrapped his arms around me and gave me a deep embrace that could only be shared by a father and son who had just healed years of strife. Dad turned and said he guessed we would have to go find a hotel to stay in and then go and check on mom and sis. But I stopped him and told him that I thought that I knew of a place much closer that would be a suitable place for us. With questions in his eyes I told him to follow me and we headed down towards the beach and made our way to the bunker. Dad told me that he had never been to this end of the beach and was not even aware that there was a bunker here. I told him that it was something more and that maybe together we could figure out just exactly what the purpose of the bunker was. As we reached the door I pulled the key out of my pocket and pushed the door out of the way. To my relief the bunker had been untouched during the attack. Dad and I walked in and I shut the door behind us. Before dad had a chance to comment on the dismal size and sparse interior I moved to the center and placed the key into the center hole and watched as the walls rotated to expose the other doors. As Dad looked at me his face was awash with a look of utter amazement. With the other rooms now exposed I showed dad the bunk room, the lab room, and the examination room. I did not open the other door at this point since I still wanted to check it out more closely before allowing others to go in there. At this point I also decide it best to not mention the cavern. After all Dad had already had enough new information dumped on him today. I though he just might hit overload if he saw it all at once.
After using the showers and rest rooms in the back of the lab room dad and I decided we had best head up to the hospital to check on mom and sis. On the way we stopped off at the mega-mart and bought some new clothes for all of us. It felt good to be clean and to have on a fresh change of clothes.
On the ride to the hospital dad asked me to tell him what had been going on here. When I tried to play dumb his only words to me were “You can fly!” I guess that shot a whole in any argument that I had for staying quiet. After several moments of silence I started to tell dad everything that had happened since granddad’s funeral. I told him about how I had the reoccurring dreams of my need to fly and that in the dreams I was never able to make it happen. I told him about NaNo the Indian guide and about seeing Thaddeus and granddad in the dream cave. I even told him about the dream journals and the keys that had gained me access to the bunker and the dream cave. The whole time I was pouring out my soul to dad he just sat in silence and listened. There was none of his usual judgment or bitterness that came whenever he heard me speak about granddad. Whatever was going on inside of dad he was not showing anything other than complete attention to every word I was saying? In the end I spent our whole trip to the hospital telling him about all that had happened. As we pulled into the parking lot dad only said one thing to me; “Don’t tell Mom!” I just looked him in the eye and nodded my head.
We stopped by the front desk and found out that mom and sis were on the third floor. She was in an isolation room. When we got off the elevator mom was standing outside the elevator doors waiting for us. As the doors opened and we stepped off mom collapsed into dad’s arms and just broke down crying. We quickly moved over to the waiting area and found 3 seats. Mom did her best to fill dad in about what she had found out from the doctors concerning my sister’s condition. It was a little hard to make it all out between all the sobs but it seems that the doctors were clueless. All they knew for sure was that she was asleep! Mom had asked for clarification wondering if they meant that she was in a coma. But the doctors assured her that she was not in a coma she was asleep. The one thing they did not understand was why they could not wake her up. As mom told us this my father’s face drained of all color. I had never seen a look like this before but it was as if someone had just sucked the life out of him. What made it worse was that he looked from mom over to me and just locked his eyes on mine as if he was trying to tell me something. After a short time the doctors came and told us that we could now go in and sit with sis. As we stood up to follow the doctors towards her room dad paused and took me by the arm as he told mom that we would be right back. We were just going to grab some snacks. Mom waved us on and we turned to head to the snack machine when dad pushed me into a nearby empty room. The look on his face was just short of panic! He began to speak rapidly and was telling me that this had happened before!
What did he mean? How could this have happened before? Dad slowed me down and told me to sit. As I landed on the doctor’s stool dad started to pace back and forth like a caged animal and then he stopped and began to speak. At first I was not sure what he was talking about because he was stammering and stuttering as if the words he was trying to put together were so foreign to him that his mouth was having trouble form them. But then he stopped and took a deep breath. And looked me in the eyes and said; “It was my mother!” with those words I knew what he was saying. Dad continued. It had been 40 years earlier when he was only 7 years old. He had been asleep in his room when he heard a loud crash and smelled smoke. He had jumped from his bed and ran to find his mother and father. When he had gotten to their bedroom he was confused to only find his mother. He ran to her and saw that she was asleep. He had grabbed her and shook and shook her while yelling her name but she did not wake. He started to try and drag her out of the bed as he began to call for his father. He does not remember how he managed or how long it had taken him but somehow he had gotten himself and his mother to the front lawn. It was just moments later that he recalls hearing the sound of sirens coming from across the field. He was confused and alone. He did not understand where his father was and why he had left him and his mother in the burning house. As he laid there sobbing while holding his mother in his arms he was startled when he felt a hand upon his shoulder. It was his father. As he turned to him he realized that his father was a mess. It looked like he had been in the very center of the burning house and yet somehow had managed to survive. He never understood until tonight what had happened. And now…it was all happening again.
His mother had also been taken to the hospital where she also had seemed to be in some sort of deep sleep. The doctors back then also did not understand what had happened and offered little hope. Dad did not see his mother again after that day. The next morning granddad had put him on a plane and sent him off to boarding school overseas. Sometime later he received a letter for granddad saying that his mother had never woken. Dad was just a child and he did not know how to handle all of these feelings so he did what often happens. He turned his feelings inward and shut everyone out. He blamed granddad for his mother’s death. This was the wedge that had kept them apart for so long. But know dad said it all made sense. It had all became clear when he had awoken in the field next to my mother. It was as if he had been transported back 40 years to that other fateful day. But this time he had seen what he had missed 40 years earlier. He had seen me flying. As I landed in the field next to him it was as if he were 7 years old again and looking at his Dad again. The smoking, torn and charred clothing that I was wearing. It was all making sense. Granddad had been trying to save them. He had been flying through the fire. That is why he was not there.
As Dad spoke I let the years of feelings just pour out. I did not try to interrupt or question but only listened. When he was finished I asked him to tell me what had happened to grandma. All he could tell me was that she was a sleep just like my sister and that she had never woken up. I then told dad about the Dream Warriors that had attacked our house and were responsible for the fire and I was pretty sure that they also were somehow responsible for my sister’s current condition. Dad looked at me. Not with shock or disbelief but rather a quizzical look upon his face. He then said to me that he had seen what looked like phantom shapes within the fire jumping from room to room before he had passed out. He also said that while he was passed out he remembered dreaming of a flying boy who came and rescued him. Then he stopped and looked at me with tears in his eyes and hugged me again.
Dad and I left the empty room and then managed to find a snack machine on our way back to my sister’s room. As we entered the room we saw that mom had curled up in the bed next sis and had fallen asleep. At first I was afraid that whatever was affecting my sister was spreading. But as we scooted the chairs around mom open her eyes to check out the noise. After seeing that it was dad and I she simply gave us a smile and went back to sleep. Dad and I just sat in silence for a long while before we drifted off to sleep.
Sleep. You know before the experiences of this last week I had always just thought of it as the thing we did to fill the night and to rest our bodies. However, in the light of recent events it had become a tool. It had become a way for me to gain information that I could not find any other way. And if there was ever a time that I needed information it was now. So as I lay there, somewhere between being awake and asleep I set my thoughts upon the two people who I believed could help me; my Grandparents. I pictured in my mind that photo I had found in the study and let myself drift off to sleep. At first my dreams were fleeting. They came in and out like short glimpses that reminded me of someone using a remote to flip through the channels at high speed. Every so often an image would clear and I could focus on it for a second and then it was gone. I saw the house burning, the dream warriors searching the house, my dad standing in the field as I flew overhead; I even saw myself being thrown through the air like a rag doll and smashing into the dunes as the house exploded. It was all so incredible! Then I felt something different? A feeling like I was being pulled through a tunnel. I did not fight it but instead I turned and went with the force. I was traveling fast and then suddenly everything stopped.
As I regained my bearings I found myself in the bunker only not the bunker I knew. It was different. It was not deserted like it is today but it also was not heavily manned like my last dream visit. I began to look around to try and figure out why I was here. Just as I was about to move from my location a man who I thought to be my father walked into the room followed by a young woman. I recognized her from the picture it was my grandmother. The man with her was my granddad only much younger than I had ever seen him. They crossed the bunker and entered the lab room where I could hear them discussing something that seemed very important so I moved closer to them. It seems that Granddad was quite upset with Grandma and was trying to stop her from doing something. But she turned and I could see the conviction on her face as she told granddad that they had to do everything they could to stop them. She said that the government no longer cared or believed in the dream warriors and so that left only her and granddad to stop them. Granddad did not try to argue but only said he wished there could be another way. Grandma smiled and hugged his neck and told him that it would be all right. She said that he would always be there to save here. And with that she kissed his check and then headed to the room behind the locked door.
As they entered this room it also seemed different. The catwalk to the stairs was still intact and all of the equipment was still up and running. My grandparents made a bee line down the stairs and moved swiftly to the far end of the huge room. As they reached their destination they began to power up something I had seen before. It was the chamber that resembled a coffin with windows and lights that I had seen when I had visited this place in my dreams.  I heard grandma say that once the dream tube was powered up that if it worked like last time she should be able to enter the Dream Warriors world in just a few minutes. Granddad told her again that he did not like this plan and that if anyone was going to use the tube it should be him. After all he was the dreamer! Grandma turned and told him that that was the very reason he could not go because if anything were to go wrong than he was her only hope of ever getting back alive! With a kiss on the cheek she slid herself into the tube and granddad closed the top and powered it up.
What happened next almost caused me to panic and flee from the dream. But I stayed knowing that it may be my only hope of saving sis. As I looked down upon grandma in the dream tube I once again felt the pulling force like I was about to be sucked down some unseen tunnel.  As I tried to fight it I found that I had no ability to resist the building force and soon I was gone from the room with the sleep chamber. Where was I? It was not a place I was familiar with and from the feeling it was certainly a place that I did not want to be! As I began to look around I felt a hand grasp my arm. As I turn in freight ready to attack I was startled to see my Grandma. She simply said; “Hello Junior!” and then motioned for me to get down and follow her. As we began to walk I started to realize that I had been here before. This was not somewhere unfamiliar it was just a sort of negative image of the fields and dune around our home. Grandma pointed to the rock out cropping that granddad and I had taken refuge in during a previous dream. Once there grandma turned and started to speak to me and explain what was going on. First she told me her name was Scarlet. She then told me that she had been expecting me for some time now. I was not sure what she meant and began to ask her but she simply held up her hand and continued on.
As she spoke I listened and learned. It appears that Scarlet and Granddad had been using the old military monitoring equipment to keep tabs on the activities of the dream warriors. She explained to me that the dream warriors were a band of shaman warriors who tried to overthrow their tribal leaders in an attempt to bring a new order to the Indians of the area. It seems that the shamans had seen in their dreams the coming of the white people to their lands and they had every intention of stopping the invasion. The shaman had gone to the Great Council and told them of their dreams and said that this was a warning from the spirits. But instead of the Great Council taking the advice of the Shamans they instead commanded the shamans and all the members of their confederation to bring no violence against the new comers but to instead embrace them as long lost brothers. The shamans did not obey. Instead they made a pack among themselves to neither in live or death to allow the white settlers to inhabit their lands. And so it started. With a small band of English settlers who came to a small island off the shore of Virginia. The Shaman warriors waited until the great boat had departed on to the great ocean before they made their move. The settlers were defenseless and the shaman warriors wipe the people and the settlement from the face of the earth removing all record of their very existence.
As word of the massacre got back to the tribal leaders their anger was stirred. They sent out all of their best warriors to hunt down and exterminate each and every one of these shaman warriors.  The Shaman warriors had fled the land of their ancestors and had moved up the coast. It took several months of hunting and tracking but the shamans were finally discovered taking refuge in a cavern along the cliffs by the bay. The same cavern that Thaddeus had taken refuge in. It seems that as the shaman warriors were making their last stand they also were working to try and escape by entering the spirit world. But as they tried to hold off the tribal warriors their time was growing short. So in an attempt to escape the fate of death the shamans banded together and created a rift that allowed them to escape this time and enter a dimension between reality and dreams. They had hoped that when the warriors found their lifeless bodies they would leave and return home believing the shamans to be dead. To their utter dismay the warriors found their bodies and drug them to the beach and burnt them in a giant pyre. This they had not planned for. Now they were trapped in between the dream world and reality. 6 of the shamans tried to return to their bodies as the flames grew higher and higher. To the utter fear of the tribal warriors those 6 bodies lifted out of the fire in a screaming dance of damnation that sent the warriors running like spooked rabbits. Those 6 shamans lifted into the air and burst into flames before disappearing. They reappeared in their new home with bodies that now burnt with flame. This plain of nothingness had saved them but it had also cursed them. For without a body they were left to live a shadow life never being able to dwell in the dream world nor reality for more than just a moment.
When the warriors had returned to the tribal council they reported all they had seen and witnessed. The Chief was visibly bothered by the news and sent the warriors away. That night he sent his fastest messengers to carry an urgent call for help to all the chiefs of the confederation. He asked in the message for them to send their greatest spirit guides and asked that they all assemble at the next harvest moon at the entrance to the cavern. On the eve of the harvest moon the chief, his strongest warriors, and the tribes spirit guide gathered at the cavern where they were met by many other warriors, chiefs and spirit guides. Together they banded as one group and began to chant and dance as some of the warriors worked to build a great fire while the rest kept watch. In this ceremony the chiefs came together and chose the wisest and strongest of the spirit guides. The rest of the spirit guides then proceeded to anoint and consecrate the chosen one for his new task. This man was chosen to be a protector of the confederation. It would be his sacred duty to watch and guard the cavern. He would be the first of the Dreamers.
The Dreamer was a watchman and a warrior. It would be his sacred duty to protect the cavern and keep a constant vigil ever watching for the return of the shamans. His duty would be passed down from generation to generation from father to son. There would always be a Dreamer to protect the tribes. The Spirit warriors had sanctified the cavern to make it a place where the shamans would never be able to enter. In this cavern the Dreamer would record the history of the dreams and the struggle between the shamans and the dreamer.  The first and most important message was passed throughout the confederation. It was a warning. BEWARE THE DREAM WARRIORS! Every tribe would train their spirit warriors for the return of the shamans. The dreamer would watch and wait ever ready for the day they would come.
Scarlet stopped and looked up at me. She told me I must wake up now. There was nothing else I could learn from her at this time and with that I could feel the strange sensation pulling me away again. I was awake again. I was back in the hospital room. I looked over at the bed where my sister and my mother were both still sleeping. Across the room by the windows dad was still out cold. I looked at the clock and saw that it was just past dinner time. I decided to head down to the cafeteria and find something to eat.
As I sat at a corner table away from the other people I tried to go over in my head what I learned from Scarlet. The things that I had done battle with were the some sort of crazed group of shamans who had gone rouge. In an attempt to escape the punishment by their own people they had entered some sort of dream state that allowed them to leave their bodies in hopes that their pursuers would believe they were dead. But, instead of escaping the warriors they had become trapped between life and death in this dream state. As crazy as this sounded, it all seemed perfectly logical to me. Of course I was a dreamer. I had the ability to enter this dream world and had done it many times in just the last few days. The real question was what did this have to do with what was happening to my sister.
As I sat there pondering this question my dad wandered into the cafeteria. After grabbing some coffee he came over to the table and took a seat across from me. He told me that the hospital had moved another bed into my sister’s room and that they were going to allow mom to stay with my sister. Dad told mom that he was going to collect me and that we would head out and find a hotel room for the night and that we would see them in the morning. As Dad finished his cup of coffee he and I headed out to the car. As we reached the car I looked at dad and asked if we were really going to a hotel. He simply shook his head and climbed into the car and turned towards home.
Dad and I talked about my visit with his mother. He asked me a lot of questions and I did my best to answer him every step of the way. When He was done questioning me I began to ask him some questions. I asked him to tell me what he remembered about the night he had found his mother asleep. He told me that all he could remember was that he had run to her room to get her and granddad because the house was on fire. He could not wake her and granddad was nowhere to be found. He paused and thought for a minute. Then he looked at me and started to tell me about something that his dad had told him one time when they had reached the same point that every argument had ended in. He said he would always throw it in his father’s face when he felt he was losing the argument. I asked him what he was talking about. Dad took a deep breath and he began again. He said one time when he was about 16 years old he asked once again blamed his father for his mother being gone. He had yeller at granddad and asked “Where were you!” To his surprise Granddad had not yelled back he simply said, “I had to go down and try to save her!” Dad paused at that point and said that granddad had just hung his head and kept saying, “I could not get in…I just could not dream…” dad looked at with sadness in his eyes.
As we pulled up to the house I told dad to drive across the field and park the car by the rock outcropping. It just seemed to be a symbol of safety at this point. I also knew that it was very close to the bunker entrance.  Dad pulled up to the rocks and as we climbed out I reached into the glove box and grabbed the flashlight. Dad followed me over the edge of the dunes and to the bunker door.
As we reached the bunker I walked over to unlock the door. As I did so I noticed that there were markings on the door that had not been there before. It appeared that someone or something had tried to blast the door open with some kind of explosives. I say that because the door was charred from top to bottom. But to my amazement as I brushed the door with my hand the charring fell away revealing the rust colored surface of the door. I reached up with my coat sleeve and rubbed the door in a wide circle and the charring fell off leaving behind no residue. Whatever had exploded on this door had had absolutely no affect. The bunker door was still intact.
Shaking my head I placed the key in the lock and I heard the tumblers fall away. I swung the door in and led the way as my dad followed closely behind. Once inside we closed the door behind us and I secured the lock once again. Dad and I crossed the bunker room and went through the doorway that led back towards the basement. I needed to find out whether the cavern tunnel was still intact after the fire. Dad was also eager to see the cavern for himself. So together we moved forward into the tunnel. Dad followed as I held the flashlight and led the way. It was very dark inside the tunnel and I was very glad for the flash light we had grabbed out of the glove box. It seems that the power source for the bunker and the cavern must have originated in the house because the switches inside the tunnel where no longer working. As we reached the junction the smell of burnt everything had reached my nose. My stomach turned as I thought about what was to be found at the end of the basement tunnel. I shook the thought from my head and turned to the right and head down the sloping tunnel towards the cavern below. I had warned dad about the tunnel and told him that the grip rail was put in for our safety. I was thankful that dad had chosen this moment to listen. The last thing I wanted to do right now was to end up on my backside.
Dad and I made quick time to the entrance of the tunnel. As we stepped inside I was thankful that the fire had not reached the cavern. It seemed as if everything was still the same. I crossed to the center pedestal and place the flashlight in the center hole. Just as it had done before the light flared up and the room began to glow. I am not sure I have ever seen my father unable to express himself before. But he was dumb struck by the sights before him. I crossed back over to him and started to tell him that this cavern was some sort of holy chamber to the Indian people.  I told him of how that when I enter this chamber in a dream the walls are filled with pictures that seem to point the way. I also spoke of how I had met here with NaNo the Indian guide, Thaddeus, and Granddad. Dad stood and listened and looked. He seemed to be in a state of disbelief.
After a few minutes I decided that it was time to show Dad the rest of the bunker. We made our way back to the main tunnel and turned left and headed to the bunker. As we approached the bunker I suddenly began to worry. Something in me had clicked. If there were no lights in the tunnels than would there be any power to turn the bunker? How did the bunker get its power? I did not know but I had to find out if the bunker was still able to turn. As soon as we hit the bunker door I told dad to come and stand in the center with me. With a quizzical look, dad moved closer to me. I handed him the flashlight and told him to be ready. For what I was not sure but I was sure that we really needed the bunker to work.
As I bent down to insert the key I told dad to cross his fingers and then I turned the key. I again heard the sound of the tumblers lining up and falling away. As The last one clicked the floor shuddered and dad looked unsure about all of this. I was holding my breath hoping that there was still enough power to work the bunker. With my fingers crossed I began to feel the walls rotating as the floor shook. To my relief the bunker was not powered by the electricity from the house but seemed to have its own source of power. Whatever the case I was just happy that it was working.
As the bunker locked into place, the lights in the bunker lit up. Dad and I were now able to move about freely. I showed dad the lab and the bunk room. We also briefly looked at the examination room. But my mission today was not to set up our new residence it was to enter the room behind the keypad door and get some real answers.
Dad followed me to the door and watched as I punched in the code. A moment later we were standing on the platform overlooking this giant hanger. Though there were no airplanes the word hanger seemed to be the best word to describe this room. I told dad that we needed to gain access to the lower level. I then pointed to the stair case on the far wall and to the catwalk that no longer was hanging from the ceiling. Dad stood and looked. He did not speak but suddenly he turned and walked back into the bunker. I followed him ad saw him enter the examination room. To my surprise I saw him walk over to a cabinet that the doors were ajar on. He reached in and pulled out a coil of rope!  With rope in hand dad turned and walked back to the hanger room. Without hesitation he tied the rope the rail of the platform and dropped the coil over the railing. As he did so he counted. When the rope hit the ground he smiled and said that it was close to 100 feet to the floor below. He just looked at me and said that he had not always been stuck in a lab. As a matter of fact he had met mother caving in Virginia. He said that it was essential to one’s survival to be able to calculate distance. I just shook my head and wondered what else I did not know about my father.
Dad had made a couple more trips back and forth from the bunker room and the hanger as he worked on fashioning two harnesses for us to use to lower ourselves to the hanger floor. After about an hour dad had us both tied into the harnesses and we were ready to descend. Dad had tried to go first but I had stopped him saying that it was better if I went first since I was lighter. Dad finally agreed and threaded the rope into my harness and over the edge I went. Luckily the lights in the hanger were functioning and I could see the floor slowly started to come towards me. It was only a few seconds later and then I was safely on the floor. I unthreaded the rope from my harness and dad hauled it up and soon was on his way down. I was very relieved when dad was standing beside me on the hanger floor.
It took us only a few moments to get out of our harnesses and we were soon moving down the length of the hanger. Dad and I both were taking mental notes of what we saw but I kept us moving. I had told dad that there was something I had to see…to know…to be sure of before we looked at anything else. Dad had just nodded and told me to lead the way. And so we continued to the end of the hanger.
As we neared the far end of the hanger the lights in this area were much dimmer and it became harder to see. Unfortunately we had left the flashlight back by the rope having believed that all of the lights were working down here. But the farther we got from the point of entrance the dimmer the light grew. I was just about ready to turn and go back when I saw what I was looking for! It was the dream tube. Scarlet had used this machine as a way to enter the world of the shamans and if I was right I could use it to save my sister. As I got to the dream tube I realized that it had been covered with a sheet. But from under the sheet I noticed two things. First that there was a soft glow of lights coming from under the sheet and second the dream tube was humming. Dad looked at me and I looked back shrugging and told him it looks like someone left it running. As I pulled back the sheet I saw my father’s face once again drain of all color. I immediately followed his eyes to the windows on the dream chamber. It was unexplainable. My mind could not understand what I was seeing. Had I somehow fallen asleep again? That was the only thing that made sense….I had to be asleep. That was the only way that I could explain why I was looking at Scarlet in the dream tube. As I stood their try to make sense of it I heard my father. He was crying. He looked at me and simply as ked how this was possible. I just shook my head and said it was not possible. We had to be dreaming. Dad looked in my eyes and reached over and pinched me. I jerked back and rubbed my arm. He said that this was not a dream it was real. Beyond my understanding the Scarlet we were looking on had not aged even one day. She was exactly the same as the last time my father had seen her. This dream tube had somehow held here in an ageless stasis.
This was beyond what I had come down here hoping to find. It was my hope to find the dream tube and figure out how to use it to enter the world of the shamans in order to save my sister. But now…now I found that Scarlet was still alive and still sleeping. If granddad was unable to save Scarlet than how could I hope to save my sister? I stood there not knowing what to do.

Dad stood unmoving staring at his mother for a long time. I decided that I would leave him and Scarlet alone for a while. I turned and decided I would head back to the rope and get our flashlight and look around. Maybe there would some other clues that I would help me figure out the next step. If I could just talk to Granddad I would ask him what had happened. As I reached to rope I bent down to grab up the flashlight I decided to sit down and rest for a few minutes. I leaned back against the wall and shut my eyes. What did this all mean? How could I do what my granddad could not? Why Me? Why did I have to do all of this? I suddenly felt very tired.
As I sat there with my head down and eyes closed I just wanted to sleep. As I was about to nod off I felt my dad slide down the wall and sit next to me. As he slid his arm around me I leaned into him and for the first time since the funeral I felt safe. As we sat there I asked him how it was possible for Scarlet to still be alive. To my amazement he started to explain. I quickly looked up and realized that I was not sitting with my dad but with my granddad! He smiled at me and pulled me tight again as he continued to explain how Scarlet had ended up in the dream tube.
The night of the fire he and Scarlet had left my father sleeping upstairs while they had went down to the bunker. For some time now they had noticed an increase of energy on the monitoring equipment that the military had left behind. Granddad also said that he had been having many more dream episodes over the last week and that they both had become convinced that the shamans were getting ready to try once again to enter into our world. I asked granddad why the shamans would still be trying after all these years to enter this world and why did it all center around our family. Granddad looked at me and started to talk again. He said it all goes back to the night that the shamans took refuge in the cavern.  That night the shamans had made a pack with each other to rid their lands of all that opposed them and that only death could stop them. When the warriors had found them in the cavern the shamans were unable to retreat and certain death waited for them if they left the cavern. So in an attempt to stop the warriors from capturing them the shamans combined their powers and in an attempt to fool the warriors their spirits entered the space between dreams and the living. When the warriors dragged their spiritless bodies out of the cave and set fire to them the shamans panicked. Some tried to re-enter their bodies to no avail while the others fled from the cavern.
The tribal council then placed a great seal over the cavern that stopped the shamans from ever being able to re-enter the cavern. The cavern also was sanctified as was the dreamer. This cavern and the dreamer were forever connected and together they were charged with the responsibility of keeping watch for the day that the shamans would return. For in that day, the dreamer and a dream warrior would join together and destroy the shamans once and for all.
Granddad continued. He said that there was always meant to be two, a father and a son. The father was the dream warrior and the son the dreamer. Together they could combine their powers and the dreamer would strengthen the dream warrior. Together they could stop anything. Granddad said the problem was that he and Scarlet had thought that this was only a legend. Though granddad had sometimes had strange dreams nothing had ever came true. His father had never spoken to him about the legend. He had been involved in the military project and had little time for him or the dreams. It was not until much later that granddad had started to dream. By then his father had passed away and he had married Scarlet. As his dreams increased he and Scarlet had found the bunker and had begun to figure out that the military had been trying to explore the legend and whether they could create their own dream warriors. The military was never successful.
Unfortunately by the time Granddad and scarlet had figured out that the legend was true it was too late to train my father. So Scarlet made the decision to take his place and use the dream tube that the military had left behind to try and stop the shamans. But something went wrong. Granddad was not able to connect with Scarlet in the dream world. The shamans had somehow captured Scarlet and trapped her in between the dream world and reality. She was not able to get back. SO granddad tried to break the connection by removing her from the chamber. He had taken her back to the house and laid her in her bed. Just as he was about to go back downstairs to try and figure out what had gone wrong when he saw them. The shamans were crossing over and attacking the house. They were trying to destroy the dreamer! Granddad said he did not think he just reacted. He burst through the air and began to fight the shamans. The battle was one sided for quite a while. But then granddad remembered something in the legend. The shamans could not be on the ground of the caverns for it had been sanctified. It was then that he made a connection. All of the land around the house was part of the cavern. With that thought in mind he decided to test his theory. He flew at the nearest shaman and grabbing him about the waist he lunged through the air and dove straight for the ground. To his utter amazement and satisfaction as soon as he crashed into the ground the shaman exploded! When he stood up he found that he was standing in a crater whose bottom was bedrock. It was the same bedrock that lined the cavern. He had smashed the shaman into the cavern wall and the shaman was destroyed. Needless to say the others took note and fled. At this point granddad said he saw my father pulling Scarlet out of the burning house. A few moments later the fire department was on the scene and had the fire under control.
Granddad said he took no chances from that day forward. He immediately sent my father to boarding school overseas in an attempt to keep him safe. After the doctors had run all the tests and said that there was nothing that they could do for her he brought her home and placed her in stasis hoping to find a way to rescue her. He told of all he had tried and how he failed time after time. 11 years passed and he was no closer. That is when he wrote the letter to dad begging him to come home. But dad never did come back. He never took his place among the dreamers. So all he could do was wait and hope that one day I would be ready. But now it was too late. He said I could not do it alone. To defeat the shamans and save Scarlet and my sister there had to be two, a dreamer and a dream warrior.
With that said granddad was gone and I was once again sitting in the hanger by myself or was I ? I stood up and walked back again to the far end of the hanger. Dad was still there looking down at Scarlet. He turned to me as I walked up and said, “We have to save her! We have to save both of them!” I just nodded knowing that I was not alone. I was with the dreamer!
I convinced dad that Scarlet would be alright and that he and I really needed to head up to the bunker. Dad looked at me with questions in his eyes but did not ask any. He just turned and followed me back across the hanger to the rope. The ascent back up the rope was 10 times worse than my worst gym class nightmare. In the end I made it with several rope burns. Dad again amazed me as he climbed the rope like and experienced mountain climber. I really needed to spend more time with him if we survived this ordeal. Once we got back to the platform we sat and rested for quite a while. We did not talk but just sat. Then we got up and went to the bunk room. Dad and sat down on the edge of two of the beds and I told dad about my dream. He sat and listened and took it all in. As I reached the end of the dream I told dad that we could save Scarlet and Sis but that it would only happen if he and I worked together as the Dreamer and the Dream Warrior. Dad sat quiet for a long while and did not say anything. Finally he looked up at me and told me that he was not brave like me. He said that the reason he had stayed away from Granddad was not because of Scarlet but it was because of the dreams. When he was little he had had many dreams. They had never made sense to him but he also had never told anyone. It was the last dream that he had before the night that Scarlet was taken from him that had caused him to stay away. I asked him what he meant. He paused and then looked me in the eyes and told me that he had seen the shamans coming for them. He saw them attack the house and he had even seen them dragging his mother away. So that night when he was awoken by the smoke he knew what was happening. The only thing he could think of was to protect his mother so he ran to here and found her sleeping. He did not understand that they had captured her spirit. So when he had gotten her out  of the house he thought he had saved her. When she did not wake up he realized that he had failed. He knew they were coming but he could not stop them. How could he ever tell his father? How could he ever look at his father in the face again? That is why when he went away he had not come back for so long. He no longer had those dreams while overseas and he never had to look at his father and feel the shame. I tried to speak but he just hung his head.
At this point I need to get dad to understand what he could do, not what he had failed to do. I was not sure it would work but I had to try. I looked at him and told him that we had best get some sleep or mom would be worried about us when we showed up at the hospital looking like we had not slept all night. Dad gave me a half smile and shook his head in agreement. With that we both laid down on our bunks and watched as the overhead lights shut off and the ceiling began to glow. I laid awake listening to dad’s breathing. It did not take long before his breathing changed and I knew he was asleep. I waited a few more minutes before I got up my courage to try my plan.

It was really a pretty simple plan and in my experience the simpler the better. Now that dad was asleep I was going to create a dream link with him by making physical contact with him. I decided it would be best if I sat on the floor and just leaned against his bed with my arm draped up across his side. This would allow me to not fall over when I also fell asleep. I did not want to chance that the physical breaking of the bond might also break our dream bond. So with dad asleep and me in place I settled down and tried to just let my mind go blank. It was only a moment of time until I felt the drawing power of dad’s dream pulling me in. I am sure I would ever get used to the feeling of being sucked through the dream vortex.
As the vortex spewed me out I was not sure where I was. I looked around for my father but the only person I could see was a boy sitting by himself against the back of a building that I had never seen. As a matter of fact I did not recognize anything in this place. I decided to walk over and checkout the kid by the building. Maybe he had seen my dad and could help me. As I approached the spot where he was sitting I could hear that he was crying. The boy was startled by my approach. It was obvious that he had not expected that anyone else would be here. As I looked at the young boy I realized it was my father. He was only 8 or 9 at the oldest. As he looked up at me I was surprised to see his features changing right before my eyes. Within seconds the boy before had morphed into my father. He looked up at me and started to apologize. He said that he had no idea that I was going to be there. If he had known he would have not acted like such a little kid. I asked him why he was crying? He told me that this is where he always went when life closed in on him. I asked him where we were. He told me it was the garden of his boarding school. It was his safe place.
I sat with him for a second and then told him why I was there. I told him that I had come to show him the dream world. He looked at me and nodded. He stood and I told him to hold on to me because we had to go to a different place. As he grabbed my hand I focused on the image of the dream cavern and the pull of the dream vortex started again.
I was glad that when the pull of the vortex released us that we were actually in the dream cavern. Even better was that standing in the center of the cavern with a lit torch was the Indian guide NaNo. NaNo placed the torch in the center pedestal and I watched as the light flowed to the ceiling and ran down the walls. That was my favorite part of the cavern! Dad stood there with the look of a man who had his every belief shaken. I tugged on his arm and led him over to NaNo. I looked at NaNo and he stared into my eyes and then led dad and I to the far wall. NaNo had never spoken but always understood what I needed to know and this time was no different. NaNo pointed to the face of the wall and there in front of us was a picture that had just begun to take shape. The image that took shape depicted the dream cavern. Inside the cavern there were four people lying on the stone slabs that surrounded the pedestal that held the torch. As I looked at the people lying on the slabs I realized that it was my father, my sister, Scarlet, and I. Then the image changed. I was no longer in the chamber but was now outside. I was near the rock outcropping and the shamans were there. Again the image changed. Now I was back at the hospital with dad and mom. We were checking sis out of the hospital even though she had not awaken yet. Once again the image flashed. This time I was in the stasis tube in the hanger while dad was in the bunk room asleep. We were working together building the bond of the dreamer and the warrior. Somehow as dad dreamed I was able to connect with him. I did not understand how it was possible but I was stronger and faster. It also seemed that I had an extra set of eyes through the connection. It was as if I could see what was right in front of me while also seeing everything from a wide view. It was very strange. The scene changed once more. The image showed a great battle between the shamans and the dream warrior. I turn to NaNo because the image did not show who would win. As if to tell me that he did not know the wall went dark. I had grown used to the strange, weird and unpredictable over the last several weeks but what happened next took me by total surprise! NaNo spoke and said that the battle that we saw was yet to come. The victor could not be seen in the dream for dreams only told half-truths. The only thing that was certain was that it would be the last battle. Either the shamans would win and re-enter the world or the dreamers would win and the shamans would be destroyed forever.
Dad looked at me and NaNo and wanted to know about the scene with Scarlet and sis. NaNo told us that the dream cavern was the only way that spirits could re-enter this world. If we were to safe Scarlet and sis we would have to bring both of them to the dream cavern. This could be a problem.
The problem is that my parents were not just your normal scientist. They were Paleo-American archeologist. In the world of those that studied the prehistoric records of the American Indians Mom and Dad were known as the myth busters. So even though Dad had come a long way in his understanding of our current situation I did not believe for a second that Mom would just let us take sis out of the hospital and drag her down to the dream cavern where we were going to do battle with a group of shamans who have been stuck in limbo for close to 500 years. AS I stood there trying to fabricate some type of half-truth that would convince mom to let us have sis Dad looked up and told me not to worry. He would tell mom everything and it would all be okay.
As I started to speak I felt the pull of the vortex. Suddenly I was awake and back in the bunker room. Dad was on his feet and looked like he was ready to attack. I looked around wondering what was going on. As dad looked down on me he softened his stance and began to relax. He said that he was sorry for breaking the link but the thought of saving sis had caused him to wake up. He had panicked when he realized that I was asleep. He had feared that I had also been taken.
As I began to lift myself off the floor dad reached out and gave me a hand.  Instead of standing I landed on the edge of my bunk with every intention of just sitting long enough to get my bearings. But dad sat down across from me and he started to talk about what we had just gone through. He said that his father had told stories to him about the cavern many times both in person and in his letters but that he never had believed him. As a matter of fact dad said it was his father’s crazy belief in this dream world that had caused him to become a Paleo-archeologist who specialized in the dream myths. He just wanted to proof his dad wrong and to stop him from acting so crazy. But in the end it had only put more distance between them until it was too late to make a difference.
I listened and when he was done I looked him in the eye and told him it was not too late. We were here now and Scarlet and Sis needed our help. It was now up to us to save them. I reminded him of what NaNo had said about bringing both scarlet and Sis to the dream cavern. It was the only way that we could save them. Dad stood up and paced back and forth and then turned and said that we had better get going than if we were going to talk mom into bringing sis here. I stood up grabbing my knapsack and headed out after him. We exited the bunker and climbed up over the dunes and walked back to the car. The drive back to the hospital was quiet and dad and I exchanged very little words. I think we were both worried about how mom would react when we tried to take my sister out of the hospital.
In the end we had arrived at the most opportune time. As we reached sisters floor the consulting physician was just finishing a conversation with mom. As we approached the doctor turned and headed back down the hall. As we got to mom she was in tears. She told us that the doctor had just informed her that there was nothing that the hospital could do for sis at this point. And since she was in no danger they could no longer allow her to take up a bed in the hospital. He said he was more than willing to help us to arrange hospice if we felt we needed help with her. Dad wrapped his arms around mom and guided her back into the chair inside sis’ room. As he embraced mom he told her that it would be alright. He told her that he and I had a safe place that we could go to and that everything was going to be alright. To my surprise mom just shook her head and laid her head on dad’s shoulder.  They leaned back and closed their eyes shutting out the world.
I had walked over to the window and climbed up and sat on the sill and just sat there staring out the window. I just need to clear my mind. I wanted to go to sleep but I was not in the mood for another dream journey. So instead I once again got up and head out of the room to the elevators. I figured if I was not going to sleep then I was going to need to pump some Mountain Dew into the old system. The best place for that was the cafeteria.
I only had to wait a second before the elevator doors opened. When they did I was relieved to find it empty. I walked in and turned around and pushed the button that would take me to the cafeteria. As the elevator descended I listened to the instrumental elevator band jamming a melody from the WHO. I found it ironic as I listened to the lyrics to “Who are you?” I was really beginning to wonder the same thing.
As the doors opened I stepped out and blindly started to walk down the hall to the cafeteria. It only took me a few steps to realize that I was not in the right place. At first I thought I had gotten off on the wrong floor. But then I realized that I was no longer in the hospital at all. I did not recognize the corridor that I was in? It was a long narrow passage that was well lit. I noticed that there were no doors to either side. As I turned around to see if the elevator had shut yet I was startled to only see a blank wall. It seemed that the only way I could go was forward.
So forward I went. I progressed slowly trying to gain clues as to where I was and how I had come to be there. As I neared the far end I could see a ladder ascending the far wall. There were no doors only the ladder that disappeared far above my head. With no other options I took hold of the ladder and started my climb. I am not sure how long I climbed but it was a very long time. As I neared the top I saw a hatch cover like those found on a ship. I slowly unfastened the hatch cover and pushed upwards on the cover. To my surprise the hatch moved easily.  As I climbed through the hatch I found that I was sitting inside a stone chamber. This chamber was much smaller than the cavern. It was only the size of a small minivan.
As I looked around the chamber I realized that like the cavern this chamber was a dream room. Who did it belong to and why was I here? As I sat there wondering there was suddenly a noise next to me. I turned and saw my granddad He looked at me and smiled. He then began to talk. He said that he was very happy to see me! He had much to tell me and was glad that I was here. I asked him where is here? He replied and told me that this was his dream chamber; A refuge from the world and the dream Warriors. I asked him where it was located. Was it near the cavern?  Or the house? He said neither. It was inside him. Now I was really confused. How could I be inside a dead person?
He laughed at my confusion and began to explain. He said that I was not inside of him but rather that I was in the dream world. He then told me that in the dream world there is a record or place where all dreamers store their thoughts and memories. It is what allowed the dream chamber to create the images that I saw when I visited there. In reality thought the dream world was a place where the dreamers who had went before and the current dreamers interacted and shared their knowledge. That is why all of my dreams all ways had a familiarity to them. It was the part that I had shared. I understood what he was saying except for one thing. This dream was not familiar. I did not know this place and so far what he was telling me was not information I already knew. He looked at me again and smiled. He then told me that it was because it was not a dream!
Not a dream? Then what was it? Granddad laid his hand on me and I could feel a cool calmness flow over my body. He said that this place was real. He had stumbled upon it many years ago shortly after he had gotten married. He knew that I was still not getting it so he asked me to think about what my mind had been wishing before I had ended up here. I thought for a moment and told him that I had been wanting to rest, to sleep without fear of taking another dream journey. He again smiled. He said that is how I had gotten here. When a dreamer has reached a point that they are too tired to enter the dream world then they must rest. In order to rest they must physically be able to move to a place where no dreams or visions can reach them. This is that place. He said that I had physically slipped between dimensions and that for now I was nowhere.
Nowhere, how could that be? I did not understand but as I turned back to ask him what he meant he was gone. I must have lost it was what I finally decided. This had to be a dream and I had to still be sitting on the window ledge in sis’ room. Soon I would wake and would realize that none of this strange episode was true. So with that determined I shut my eyes to my surroundings and I went to sleep.
When I woke I felt great! It was as if I had re-energized. I am not sure that I had slept that well ever before in my life! And to my amazement I did not have a single dream. As I stretched myself I suddenly realized that I was still in that small cavern that I had been in before I closed my eyes. This did not make sense! It had been a dream…or had it. I stood up to try and get my bearings and as I did I cracked my head on the low ceiling. The pain was instant as was the blood! It seems that I had managed to split my head wide open. As I reached up to feel the gash I instantly realized that this was no dream! My blood soaked hand was all the evidence I needed to know that I was here in the flesh. I quickly looked around hoping to find something to stop my bleeding. But there was nothing. So I tore the bottom of my shirt and used it to slow the gushing fountain.
As I turned to try and find my way back from this place my eye caught a glimpse of something under the edge of a rock. As I reached down to pick it up I realized it was a small journal. Across the front where 3 words ‘“Do Not Remove”. I looked and felt very puzzled by that message as I opened the front cover of the journal. I knew right off by the hand writing that this was granddad’s writing on the journal pages. I sat down on the rock that had been its hiding place and began to read the pages. The words were plain. They said that this was the journal of William Stevens. The pages that follow contain a warning to whoever reads it. For I know this if you have found this place than you have the power of the dreams. For only those who can walk between reality and the dream world can find this place. This is why I have left this journal here for no man can enter her nor can the shamans. Be warned by what follows and learn what you can but do not take the journal from this place. If this journal were to be discovered by the shamans then all hope would be lost!
I sat and read. The journal spoke of the cavern and the stasis tube and how they were connected. It also told of how the military had believed that they had destroyed all but 6 of the shamans. As I continued to read there was little new information that I had not already learned on my own or from NaNo the Indian Guide. As I turned to the last page I once again saw the words “BEWARE THE DREAM WARRIOR”. I laid the book back in its place and wondered why granddad had seemed so panicked in the journal. I would have to take a closer look at this place sometime when 2 people’s lives were not on the line and my head was not gushing blood.
I made my way back to the ladder and descended to the lower hallway and walked to the far end. To my relief the elevator doors had reappeared. I climbed into the elevator and headed back up to sis’ room half expecting to wake up at any moment. However, as I walked out of the elevator and onto her floor I quickly knew that this was no dream. It is amazing what a torn up shirt and a head wound spurting blood can do for a guy in a hospital.  I had not managed to take 2 steps off the elevator before e a nurse saw me and gasped. She hit a call button and within seconds I was in a wheel chair headed to the ER. It would seem that the gash on my head was a little more than just slight. It took about 2 and a half hours for them to clean me up and sew me shut and get me back to sis’ room. Dad had met me at the emergency room and had asked me what had happened. I responded by telling him about the strange chamber that I had gone to when I had left the elevator. He listened and shook his head in disbelief. He commented about a myth he had once read about that told of a group of tribal witch doctors who claimed to be able to walk between dimensions. Not in a dream state like we had done the night before but in the flesh. This intrigued me and I would have liked to hear more but at the moment the medicine they had pumped into me while they stitched my head together had me feeling pretty groggy. Also it appeared to be time for us to check sis out of her by the look of the wheelchair that they had just brought into the room.
Mom and Dad worked with the nurses to get sis into the specialized wheel chair that would allow sis to be reclined back. Of course the hardest part of this was still yet to come. The transfer from the chair to the minivan was not as difficult as I thought. However Dad informing Mom that we were going back to the house to stay in some World War 1 bunker was exactly what I had expected! Mom yelled, cried, accused use of being crazy and had insisted that we turn around and put sis back in the hospital. What happened next was very unexpected and caused me to wonder about my father’s sanity. He simply looked at mom and said that it was the only chance that we had of getting sis back. When mom asked what he meant dad told her. He told her everything I had told him and Mom sat and listened.
I am not sure how they were able to listen to information like this like it was the evening news, It had to be their training in the field of paleo-archeology that allowed them to process this information as just another matter of a fact. Mom even stopped dad at certain points and asked for clarification as if she were cataloging some field site.
When dad was done mom turned and looked at me and asked if I really could fly to which I simply shook my head. She grinned while shaking her head and said that of all the myths she had come across this was one for the books. She said that other cultures have always had myths of individuals with super powers who were called on to save the day from time to time but that there had never been a single incident of such stories in our area. I stopped here and told her that yes there had been. She looked at me with a puzzled so I continued. I told her that granddad had always shared stories with me about superheroes that were once real. I said that I had never believed him until I took flight. She asked me where these stories came from and I told her that even though it may sound crazy I think there had to be truth in them. She looked at me and asked where once more, I said in granddad’s comic books. Expecting her to laugh in my face and to tell me that this was just too much I was caught off guard when she said that we would need to really check out those comics in order to gather as much information as we could.
Dad pulled the van to the edge of the dune where we had parked earlier. It took all of us to move sis down to the bunker and I was pretty sure that the Three Stooges had nothing on us by the time we actually had gotten inside. Once in we all moved to the center of the chamber and I inserted the key and listened as the tumblers fell away and the walls began to spin. Dad and I led mom and sis to the bunk room and helped get sis into one of the beds. Mom tucked her in and gave her a kiss on her cheek and then turned and looked straight at me. She had on her scientist face and the weak scared mother that had been in the hospital was gone. She asked me to show her the journals and granddad’s comic books. I led mom to the lab room and showed her the trunk and I also took the dream journals out of my back pack and handed them to mom. She then took all of the stuff and moved to the conference table which filled the center of the room. She started to sort and arrange all of the materials in a fashion that only seemed to make sense to her. As if it had just dawned on her that dad and I were still in the room she looked up and said that she would be okay here and that we should go check on Scarlet. And with that we were dismissed.
Dad and I headed over to the hanger chamber and knew that we had a problem. NaNo had told us that our only hope of restoring Scarlet and Sis’ spirits to their bodies was to get them in the dream chamber. The problem was that Scarlet was fast asleep inside the stasis tube and the only access to the chamber was by rope and harness. As we were putting on our harnesses dad said that we had to be missing something. I asked him what he meant. He told me to look down in the hanger and tell me what you see. I looked and started to name the different objects. Desks, chairs, science machines, shelves, the stasis tubes and a whole lot more things that I did not know what they were called. Dad said exactly and then asked me how I thought they had gotten it all down there. I was about to say they must of used the stairs and that is when I understood his point. Most of this stuff was too big to have been carried down the stairs. So with that in mind we established a new quest in the hanger; to find the elevator.
As we descended to the floor dad headed left and I headed right. With flashlights in hand we had decided to stay close to the outer walls since it seemed the most logical location for an elevator. As I headed across my section of the entrance wall I was amazed at how far it stretched. I easily had traveled the length of 2 football fields before finding the side wall. There had been no openings only smooth rock. The side wall that led towards the far end of the chamber where the stasis tube was located stretched at least 2 football fields but again all I saw was smooth flat wall. I was hoping dad was having better luck. As I turned across the back wall I could see dad and his light coming towards me. We met in the middle next to the stasis tube. I had found no other chambers, doors, hallways. or elevators. My father reported the same thing. However they had gotten all of this equipment in here was a real mystery. As we stood looking down on Scarlet I had a simple thought. One that I was amazed had not crossed my mind before. I looked at dad and said “I could fly her out of here!” Dad stood and looked at me. He began to smile and the asked if I was sure I could do it? I told him that of course I was sure. He said with a chuckle that if he had been able to fly he certainly would not have used that harness system to get up and down the entrance wall. I just shook my head and chuckled with him. It had never even crossed my mind to fly instead of climbing that stupid rope.
Now was my turn to ask questions. I looked at scarlet and back at dad and asked him if it was safe to take her out of the dream tube. Dad began to look very carefully at the tube and the control panels. He checked all of the meters and made some mental notes. He then said that it would be best if we left her in the tube until we were ready to move everyone to the dream chamber. With that part of the plan determined dad and I turned to check around the hanger for any other clues that might help us as we prepared to enter the dream world to bring back Scarlet and sis.
This time Dad and decided to team up instead of taking our separate ways. We thought that perhaps two sets of eyes might be able to pick up something that one set could miss. So we set off on a systematic search of the bunker. We looked at workstations that had been stripped of all equipment; we found file cabinets with no files, examination tables, and an array of chairs, beds, and tables. There were even close to a dozen or so televisions spread throughout the bunker. In the end the only thing of any importance was the stasis tube. With our search over we decided it was time to go check on mom and see if she had gleaned any useful information from the comic books or the dream journals. And to my delight I greatly enjoyed watching Dad struggle his way back up the rope as I watched from above. It was amazing how much I was enjoying this flying thing.

Once dad had reached the top we both stopped in to check on sis. Needless to say she was sleeping. It was funny because I had learned that as a dream warrior that when I touched a sleeping person I could enter their dreams. When I touch sis there was nothing there. I t was like I was looking into a blank tunnel. Dad caught my attention and we headed out of the bunk room and into the lab. Mam was exactly where we had left her. Sitting at the conference table and still pouring over the journals and the comic books. The difference was that she had sorted everything into different groups and had grouped everything according to its relevance to our mystery.  Mom barely even looked up as we entered the room. She simply indicated that we should take a seat and that she would be with us in a moment. As she finished writing the line of notes she was on she leaned back in her chair and brushed the hair from her face. She took a deep breath as she stretched and then she leaned forward and began to tell us what she had found.
The first thing she said was directed at my father and she said it with softness in her voice. She looked dad in the eyes and told him that my granddad had been an incredible man. The information that was recorded her was beyond amazing it was incredible in every way.  I assumed she was talking about the dream journals and started to indicate that I had also thought so. But she stopped me and said that the dream journals were not to be trusted! I was shocked! She told me that they were intended to give information to cause our actions. When it was obvious that I did not understand what she meant she explained that what was in the dream journal was only the information that we had seen in our dreams. No matter how real that the information seemed it was not to be trusted. At least not on its own! She said that she also had thought of them as the best source of information until she began to look at the comic books. She laid out a series of the comic books that had all been published on the same date. She then opened to the first page of each one and circled the first word on each page. The words that she had circled carried a familiar warning; “Beware the Dream Warrior!”  Then she turned the pages to the second page where she had circled the second word in each comic book. This was a new warning. “The Journals are false.” Mom continued and on the third page third word was the message; “They must be stopped!” At this point Dad looked at mom and shook his head and said this was not possible. How could 4 different comic book authors come together to write a secret code like this? This is when mom showed dad something that I had never seen before. She said that as she was emptying the trunk she found that it had a false bottom. Under it was a sketch book that had many drawings of the characters from the 4 comics we were looking at. Each drawing had a signature under it and it was my granddads. Each of the pictures was dated a decade before the publishing date on the comic books. It turns out that granddad had been a comic book author. That explained why he had held onto these comic books and how the message had gotten inside each comic book. But it did not explain how mom had figured it out.
Dad was thinking the same thing. He asked mom to explain how she had come to such a realization. Mom said that it was granddad’s personal journal that I had found. The journal at first appeared to be a random collection of thoughts. It turned out that as she had worked to make sense of the journal she realized that granddad had used a cypher or code in the journal. Once she understood the code the journal began to make sense. It appeared that in this journal granddad had set out to record information that he had never seen in the dream journals. She said that the first message seem to be an explanation of the dream journals themselves. He had written that his best understanding of the journal was that the dreamer created these images as a record of their dream journey. But one must understand that the dreams are filled with symbolism and half-truths. He also wrote that the dreamer was not the only one in the dream world. Others were present shaping and driving the dream. These were the dream warriors. After mom had decoded this part of the journal she started on another section. This section told of dad’s fear that this journal would be discovered or lost so he had decided to use the comic books to hide his messages. This is how Mom knew to look in the comics. Once she knew what she was looking for the rest was easy. She only had to figure out which books he had used and what code he had designed. That was the hardest part.
Mom stood up and stretched and walked around the room. She looked back at us and said that this was all so new to her…to us…that there was definitely enough of a warning here that we should not rush into anything too fast. That she really thought we need to give her time to finish decoding granddad’s journal and the comic books. It was here hope that the comics would tell us what to do next. I said that we already knew what we needed to do next. We had to get sis and Scarlet into the dream chamber so that we could guide their spirits back to their bodies. Mom said that we should not rush, we had plenty of time. After all Scarlet was still a live and we did not did not need to rush now that sis was safe in the bunker. Dad did not say anything. He just nodded in agreement. So with that mom turned back to the books and began to work on another section of the journal. Dad and I stood and walked out into the center of the bunker. I was heading to the bunk room to lie down for a while but dad caught me by the shoulder and told me that we needed to talk.
So instead of heading to the bunk room dad and I turned and headed down the corridor towards the dream cavern. As we walked dad started to express his worry with mother’s plan. Dad was worried that the only thing that had kept Scarlet around was the stasis tube and without another stasis tube it was rather obvious that sis did not have forever for mother to figure out all of granddad’s notes. He felt that we would have to act sooner than later. Mom may have missed the doctors’ comment about hospice but dad had not. Without food and liquid she would soon start to deteriorate physically. He said that he felt we would have to move tonight. His plan was that he and I would move Scarlet and sis to the dream chamber after mother fell asleep. If all went well we would be back up to the sleep chamber well before mother woke up in the morning.
I was not keen on either plan. Mother’s plan seemed to be much too cautious for me but Dad’s plan seemed rash. I knew that dad was right about sis and that we would have to act soon. But I was worried about the prospect of running into the shamans in their own world. I trusted what NaNo had shown father and I but I was unsure of what dangers we would face while in the dream world for an extended amount of time. I had hoped that we would have had longer for dad and I to figure out this whole dreamer and dream warrior connection. But it seemed that dad’s mind was set and tonight we would find out the answers to all of my questions whether I was ready or not.
So while Mom again lost herself in decoding granddads writings Dad and I set out to make all the preparations for adventure. Since we knew mom would undoubtedly want to check on sis before she would be able to go to sleep. We would have to move her after mom was well asleep. In the mean time we headed done to check on Scarlet.  I told dad I would meet him in the hanger but that I had to go and check on something first. Dad did not ask what I was up too but only told me to be careful. He then headed into the hanger while I went into the bunk room. I sat down next to sis and started to talk to her. I wanted to let her know that we had not left her but I also want to do more. I wanted to find her. So I took her hand in mine and I closed my eyes and concentrated. At first all I was aware of was the cold black tunnel I had seen before. But I pressed harder and I became aware of objects taking shape around me. I was in the fields around the house again. There was the charred remains of the house so I knew this was the here and now. Everything was quiet. I did not notice any movement around me. Wanting to gain a better view of what was here I took to the air. I flew over the remains of the house and out across the dunes but there was nothing unusual. As I flew down towards the bunker everything seemed quiet. I started to circle back as I noticed movement across the field by the large rock outcropping. I moved closer to the outcropping and took up a hiding place with in an old oak tree. As I peered through the branches I could make out 4 shadowy figures moving around the rocks like they were keeping watch or guarding something. I needed a distraction to find out what it was that they were so interested in. So I decided to head back to the dunes to find a way to lure the figures away. As I flew down along the dunes I saw the buoy bell. I quickly set out to find something to replace the clangor I had taken when I realized that the hanger I had taken was still in my pocket. So I restrung the key into the bell and tilted the bell to an extreme angle and using a small twig I locked the bell in place. The twig was already bending under the weight and I knew that in less than a minute it would snap sending the bell swinging. Hopefully the sudden sound of the bell would draw the shadow figures away long enough for me to find out what was so important about the rock out cropping.
I quickly flew to the far side of the outcropping and took up position behind a hedge row and waited. From this position I had a straight line view of the rock outcropping and the dunes where the buoy bell was located. If I had picked the right twig than it would be any moment now…There it was The bell rang 4 times and the shadowy figures took notice. They took to the air and like lightening they were off. I would only have a few seconds to discover what they were guarding. Hopefully it would be enough time.
I shot from the hedge and land at the rock outcropping. I circled around until I found the split between the rocks that I had used in an earlier dream. To my amazement huddled inside the rock formation were Scarlet and my sister. They bolted from the back wall and ran over to me. Sis threw her arms around me and was crying. Scarlet began to ask me what I was doing there and wondered if I too had been trapped. I reassured her that it was okay. I asked her why they were in here. She said that it was the only place that the shamans would not enter. She said it took her a long time to understand why but that she believed the rocks that we now stood between were part of the dream chamber. It was the only explanation that made sense to her after all this time. She told me that she had been hiding in other places over the years but that the shamans always managed to find her. When the house was set on fire she saw sis fleeing from through the front doors with the shamans after her. At that point she came out of hiding to try and help sis. That was when she saw me attack the shamans! She told me she had never seen anything like it and neither had the shamans. Even more amazing was that the 2 that I had attacked had actually been destroyed. I asked her how many shamans remained and she told me only 4.
I then began to tell her our plan to move their bodies to the dream cavern. She looked puzzled but I told her that  we had learned from NaNo that the only way that a spirit could return to their body was through the dream cavern. She nodded and told me that granddad had said the same thing. But for some reason he feared the dream cavern and that is why they had used the stasis tube. Unfortunately something went wrong and once she had entered the dream world she could not find her way back to her body. She said that she was surprised to find out that after all this time her body was still surviving in the stasis tube.
I sat and talked to both of them for a long time. I held sis and reassured her that we would be coming back that night to take her home. I also took the opportunity to find out from scarlet all I could about the stasis tube. We went over our plan for the night one more time before I stood up to go. Scarlet grabbed me and told me there was no way that I could leave this chamber now. She said that surely the shamans had returned by now. I reassured her and sis that I had no intent of confronting the shamans at this point. Scarlet looked at me with questioning eyes. I just smiled and told her I would see her later and then I vanished. I stood up next to my sister’s bed. I no longer was holding her hand. It had worked. I had entered the dream world while I was fully awake! This was my ace in the hole.
I left sis and headed down to the hanger to check on dad’s progress with the stasis tube. I am sure my travel time across the bunker was much faster than dad’s. As I landed next to him he jumped. He was not very appreciative of the gut splitting laughter that came out of me at this point but his shocked expression was priceless. After he had regained his composure and I had stopped laughing he told me that he had made very little progress with the stasis tube. I told him that I thought I would be able to help and he raised his eyebrows wondering what was going to happen next. I told him that I had just had a talk with scarlet and she had given me the skinny on the stasis tube. Dad was very surprised at this development but also felt a sense of relief. I then told him that Scarlet and Sis were together and that they both were safe. Dad’s eyes welled up with tears as he stood there looking at me. I continued to share more of the information I had gained. I shared with him their location and also shared with him that I had apparently destroyed 2 of the shamans during the attack on the house because Scarlet said there were only 4 shamans remaining. Dad was impressed with this new me and told me how proud he was of me.
I suggested that we needed to formulate our plan with this new information and get it down before we removed Scarlet from the stasis tube. Dad shook his head in agreement and we moved over to one of the deserted work stations and took a seat as we began to discuss what our options were. We used an old chalk board to draw out the dream scape as I had just seen it. We sat and talked for a long time and went over and over our plan. We had only one chance to save Scarlet and sis and we had to get it in the end it seemed much simpler than it would actually be. We would move both scarlet and sis to the dream cavern. With the four of us placed around the pedestal in the center we would lie down and go to sleep. Dad and I would then exit the cavern through the bunker door which would allow access for sis and Scarlet to get back to the dream cavern. Once we had them inside the bunker we would seal the door preventing the shamans from entering. Then we would all return to our bodies and hopefully wake up before mom was even aware we were gone.
I could not put a finger on it but while dad and mom and I were all sitting and eating a late dinner in the lab room I was bothered by something. I was not sure what it was though. Mom had been working on the journals and comics all afternoon but had little new information to share. She said that granddad must have felt it to be an urgent message because he had repeated it many times both in the journal and the comics; “Beware the Dream Warrior!” It was as if he was trying to point out something that was not obvious. But, having gone head to head with the shamans I fully knew that the dream warriors were something that I did not want to mess with if I could avoid it. The question was how do you avoid them when you are about to enter their world? Another thing that was nagging at me was even if we were successful in tonight’s adventure would the dream warriors give up? I seriously doubted that. So I wondered how they could be stopped.
After we finished eating and had ended our conversation we all agreed that it was time to go to bed. After all mom said that we would have plenty of time to solve this problem there was no point in staying up all night. Dad and I agreed and we all headed into the bunk room. As we all laid down the ceiling was aglow with the blue light. It was only a few moments before mom was out cold. Dad and I slipped out of the room and rehashed our plan quickly in the center of the bunker.  We had decided that dad would get sis and I would fly down and grab Scarlet and we would all meet in the center of the bunker. Both of us made short time of the task at hand. Within 15 minutes I was down to Scarlet and back to the center of the bunker where I was pleased to find Dad with sis waiting on me. I quickly placed the key in the center hole and listened to the tumblers fall away once again as the wall rotated. Now were had access to the dream cavern through the tunnel system. Dad led the way with sis in her wheel chair. I followed behind carrying Scarlet over my shoulder. Once in the dream Cavern we placed a flash light in the center of the pedestal which once again lit up the whole cavern. We moved quickly to place Scarlet and Sis on the rock slabs that a joined the pedestal and then dad and I also laid down. I laid there looking up at the ceiling nervously fearing what would happen next. As I heard dad’s breathing change I reached over to where sis was laying and I took her hand. I closed my eyes and concentrated. Soon I was standing in the rock outcropping once again with Scarlet and Sis.
I knew that I should have told dad about this change in my plan but if I was right this was our only chance of getting the edge on the shamans. Needless to say Scarlet and sis were surprised to see me pop into their world.  But as soon as the surprise wore of Scarlet looked at me and said’ “You are not dreaming are you?” I told her that she was correct. She looked at me and shook her head and said that granddad would have loved to seen this! I told them that I had to move quickly in order to keep dad from being harmed. I explained that we would have one chance so they had to ready to move. If dad had figured out what I was up to then he should be at the bunker door waiting for both of them. I told scarlet that once she was inside the bunker she had to help dad seal the bunker. No matter what was happening they had to seal the bunker.  Sis started to cry and said they would not leave me. I looked at her and made them both promise to go and do as I had said. Scarlet said she would see to it.  I then took Scarlet aside and told her one more instruction to which she at first wanted to balk at. But I made her promise me which she did with some hesitation. With promises made and the girls ready to make a dash to the bunker there was only one thing left to do. The lamb had to get to the slaughter!
I waited until just the right moment and then I shot out of the bunker with all the energy I could muster. As I exited the rock outcropping I smashed headlong into the shaman who had just made his turn back towards the entrance. I felt my shoulder crunch as I lifted this dream creature into the night and flew away from the rocks. I turned my head to look back and was happy to see the other three shamans in hot pursuit. I knew that this would only work if I could keep all of their attention on me. So with that in mind I changed my flight from an upward angle into a straight down dive. The shaman who was sucking air on my shoulder began to wail and scream in some ancient dialect. The other three raced after me in an attempt to stop my dive but they were not fast enough. With the shaman screaming I plunged head first into the dunes over the dream cavern. As we hit I felt the explosion of earth all around me. A Wall of sand was thrown high into the air and our forward progress was only stopped when we smashed into the bedrock of the cavern. At this point all of the screaming from the shaman had stopped and I was thrown back by a secondary explosion that came from the shaman. As I flew backwards through the air I saw the shaman vanish in a fury of flame. It seems that these guys are highly allergic to rock!
Before I was able to regain my composure the other shamans were right on top of me. Their banshee screams were filling the night. As they were about to grab me I was struck with one thought; stop flying! So that is what I did. As I started to free fall the three remaining shamans who were right on top of me crashed together in a scene reminiscent of a bad Saturday morning episode of Scooby Doo! If I was not so worried about myself and the others I surely would have role on the ground in side splitting laughter. Of course the shamans were not amused. They had already started after me again and this time they were being much more cautious than before.
I had pulled out of my free fall and had spun back around towards the back of the house when a large fire ball shot past my head. A fire ball? Where did that come from? I turned to find the source of this new weapon and I was shocked to see all three of the shadow figures had gone Fantastic four on me and flamed on! These shamans were a part of the six who had tried to retake their bodies while they were in flames! They had somehow gained the power to burn when they had re-entered their flaming bodies. I wonder what other surprises these demonic banshees had in store for me.
As I dodged another fireball I was able to see Scarlet and Sis making their way down the dunes towards the bunker. To my relief Dad was standing at the entrance of the bunker waving them on. I was happy to know that he had figured out my plan. I only hope the remaining part would go as well.
As I saw sis and Scarlet enter the bunker I was caught off guard by one of those fireball wielding demons. He had managed to out flank me and had attacked from below. As he hit me I went summersaulting through the air. Just as I stopped spinning I was hit again. This time the attack came from above. It seemed that the shamans had taken a position around me so that they could take turns smashing me. By the time the third one had taken his turn I had had enough. I once again went opossum on them and simply allowed myself to fall from the sky.  Hitting the ground whether in the dream world or in reality hurts! But, I had no time to worry about hurting I had to move before my playmates could catch up to me.
I quickly stood up and pushed off with all of my might. I had decided it was time to take the fight directly to them once again. I had again timed my take off with the movement of one of my attackers. He had decided to try and catch me off guard while I was trying to stand up. So just before his over aggressive dive would have impacted me I burst upwards and away from him. The banshee was caught off guard and plowed headlong into the outcropping of rocks where I had conveniently landed when I fell from the sky. The ensuing explosion of the dream warrior’s body seemed to ring like a warning to the last two shamans. They had been moving to take up position based on the belief that the third shaman was going to be successful in his assault on me. But with my quick movement and the shamans’ destruction the other 2 had decided that it was time to flee. I was not going to let them get away.
I shot after the nearest banshee and was able to grab him by him. He turned and delivered a crushing blow to my nose. As my eyes filled with stars and tears I felt the banshee start to slip free. I could not let him get away. I adjusted my grip and pulled him tight against me. My vision had started to clear despite the banshees continued assault on my head and face. As I pulled him tight I changed our course. The banshee had taken us out over the ocean and I was able to turn us enough that we were again headed inland. The banshee knew my plan! He had seen me twice before obliterate 2 of his comrades by smashing them into the earth. He began to fight harder and his screaming became panicked. He tried to pry himself free but I was determined to smash this demon into the very outcropping of rock that he had imprisoned Scarlet and my sister inside of. I felt it would only be fitting. The shaman screamed and raged it was his final effort to call for help. But no one was coming the other banshee had vanished over the ocean. No one would come to his aid. And with that last thought we impacted the outcropping of rocks with such force that the rocks themselves were turned to dust by the explosion of the shaman. I was thrown backwards towards the center of the field. I was not flying any longer but rather flipping end over end like a rag doll in the dryer! As I hit the ground my speed was greatly decreased by the friction of the ground. I was sure that I had broken every bone in my body! As I lay there for several minutes trying to decide whether I was alive or not I began to her voices? It was my father and my sister…had they returned from the bunker to try and save me? I lifted my eyes and saw no one. As I laid my head back down the pain had become unbearable I was going to pass out and yet I still heard their voices.
There is no telling how long I had been out cold. But during the time I was out I did not dream which was a relief. I simply slept. As I started to wake I realized that I was not in the dream cavern. By the glowing ceiling that was over my head I would guess that I was in the bunk room. As I tried to sit up I heard a voice tell me to just lay still. It was my mother. She said that I was pretty beaten up and that I was in no condition to be moving around. Then I heard another voice say that even heroes need to rest if they want to get better! To this I lifted my head and looked in the direction of the voice it was my sister. She was dressed in her own clothes and sitting at the end of the bed where she had been keeping a watch over me. All I could do was smile at her as tears filled my eyes.
I drifted in and out of sleep for several more hours before I actually woke up. When I did I heard mom and sis talking to someone else. They said that I was starting to wake up. As I opened my eyes and looked to see who they were talking to I was happy to see Scarlet standing next to my bed. She sat down on the edge took my hand. She looked in my eyes and told me that I was so much like my granddad. She thanked me for saving her and sis. She went on to say that she had given up hope after all these years of ever getting home again. But here she was, in flesh and blood and she said she owed it all to me. I said speaking of blood, what in the world happened to me? I said I did not think that my body could get hurt in the dream world. Scarlet looked at me and told me that I had not been dreaming when I entered the dream world but had instead crossed dimensions in the flesh. Therefore what happened to you in our dreams happened to you in the flesh! I felt foolish for not realizing this and said that I was stupid for doing such a thing. She told me I had not been stupid but that I had been brave. For it was only the fact that I was flesh and blood that allowed me to be more powerful than the dream warriors!
At This point I asked her if this was the end of our problems and she looked at me and smiled and nodded her head no. She then said that as long as one dream warrior remains than the threat still remains. The dream warrior will use his powers to manipulate and control the dreams of others and then someday he will return with an army and no one will be safe then. Si I said we would have to stop them here and now and I moved to sit up but my shoulder and ribs protested and I stayed lying on my back. Scarlet just smiled and told me to rest. She said it would take time for me to heal and that the remaining shaman would also need time before he would try anything. With that I closed my eyes and went back to sleep.
For the next week I spent more time sleeping than anything else. It seemed that my body had taken quiet the beating during our last battle. I had bruised many bones and was black and blue from head to toe. But by the end of the week I was able to move around without much pain. During my week of rest my sister and I had some long heart to heart talks. Somehow this had changed our relationship for the better. I also noticed that mom dad and Scarlet had taken this opportunity to get to know each other. I really think that dad was happy to have his mom back even if she was considerably younger than he was!
Once I was back up mom, dad, and Scarlet led me into the lab room where we all took a seat around the conference table. Mom and Scarlet had been working together on translating all of the messages left by granddad and wanted to share all that they had found. Mom began by saying that granddad had known a lot about the shamans. It appears that after Scarlet had been lost to the dream world Granddad had dedicated his life finding out all he could about this group of shaman. And with that mom began to share what granddad had discovered. It starts in the late 1590’s. The shamans or as they were called by their tribes the dream watchers began to see visions. In these visions they saw great ships crossing the oceans and bringing with them a strange people. The strangers from the ships did not respect the spirits the way the people did. They brought death and sickness. The dream watchers also saw that these strangers would also bring war to the people. At first only a few of the shamans had these visions but by the end of the 1590’s many shamans had seen the vision and believed it was a warning.
They tried to convince the Elders of the tribes to come together and prepare for war. The shamans believed these strangers had to be turned away and never allowed to set foot upon the sacred land. But the elders met and they did not feel this way. They believed that these strangers were a lost clan who was finally returning home. They commanded that all of the peoples treat the strangers as such.  Of course as we know from the dreams that the shamans did not heed the command but instead banned together as one and attacked the first group of strangers who tried to build their homes on the sacred land. They had killed every one of the colonist who had come, including the women and children. This out raged the clan elders who then sent their best warriors to hunt down and kill each of these shamans.
I stopped mom at this point and told her that this information is not new. I had been shown it in a dream by the Guide NaNo. That is when mom told me to hang on and just to keep listening. And so she continued.
As you know the shamans were tracked and hunted all the way to our current location where they took refuge in the cavern below. It was at this point the shaman who numbered around 30 formed a spiritual pack and together they left their bodies and entered the dream world in hopes that those who found their bodies would see them as dead and leave their bodies in the cavern and depart. But the tribal warriors had been commanded to kill the shamans and then to burn their bodies so that nothing was left of them. The same fate they had cast on the colonist. It was in that moment of time that 6 of the dream warriors had tried to re-enter their bodies to only find that in doing so they had set their spirit a blaze for all time. I was about to stop them when mom looked at me saying that this is where the story gets interesting! You see the tribal elders did have the cavern consecrated so that only a dreamer with a living body could enter the cavern and that a spirit with no body to inhabit would be destroyed. The blessing that they put on the cavern was so strong that even the very rocks of the area had become blessed explaining why the shamans blow up every time you smash someone in to one. Mom stopped and I asked her what it said about the dream warriors who were appointed to watch over the cavern? She said there were none. I looked at her and then to Scarlet to try and understand the joke but no one was laughing.
Scarlet began to speak here. She told me that Granddad had never believed to history of the dream warriors. For some reason it just did not sit well with him that the Indians would ask a white family to take on such a responsibility. As the shaman stated earlier the white people did not understand the spirits and therefore how could they be expected to follow them. Though he had no proof granddad believed that someone was using the story of the dream warriors protecting the cavern for their own gain. He did not know how only that they were doing it.
Mom and Scarlet sat back. They had no more information just a look of concern. Someone had wanted our family to believe that we were dream warriors responsible for defending this set of caverns from the shamans return. Who would want us protect the caverns and to what gain? I had no answers. I had to think so I stood up and told everyone I needed to go for a walk and clear my head.  Dad offered to go with me and I just shook my head. I needed to be alone.
An interesting thing about the bunker one could not just wander off without imprisoning the others. The rotation of the doorways meant that you either had access to the outside or you had access to the bunker. This most assuredly was designed by the military to keep all of its people accounted for at all times. A great idea when you are guarding secretes but a real bad realization for a 15 year old boy who wants to take a walk! With no chance for a quiet stroll on the beach I decided I would head to the hanger.
As I entered the room I was still amazed at the sheer magnitude of the room. I could not fathom why the military would go to such great lengths to build such a massive room and then only use it as a lab. As I leapt over the edge and flew down to the floor I began to formulate and idea in my head. I needed to find a way to gather some more information. To do it I would have to talk to someone who I had never met and worse yet had been dead for two generations! I had to speak to my great grandfather and find out why the military had come here.
There was only one way that I knew to easily enter a dream state and that was to use the dream cavern. But as stated earlier I was not able to leave the bunker at this time and that also meant that with the current door setting that the tunnels to the cavern was cut off. As I sat pondering my situation I wandered around the hanger. Absent-mindedly I had walked all the way to the far end and found myself standing next to the stasis tube. What was it that granddad had said about the tube…it was connected to the dream chamber! That was it. If I could use the tube then I could find my great grandfather and get some answers.
I looked over the stasis tube and concentrated on the control panels. Scarlet had given me enough information that I believed that I could figure out how to work the tube. The first thing I did was to turn of the stasis settings. If I did this right I was not even going to fall asleep. It was my plan to venture into the dream world once more in the flesh. The difference this time was that I was going to be targeting a specific place and time. That was something I had not tried before. With the total confidence of a teenage boy on his first date I initiated the power to the tube and climbed inside. Like the bunk room upstairs the tube began to glow as soon as my head landed on the pillow.
It only took me a few moments of concentration and then I began to see different scenes pass before me. Once again it was as if someone was flipping the channels with a high speed remote. I concentrated on the hanger and on great granddad. I tried hard to focus only on those 2 things and then I began to feel the pull as I was sucked into the dream world.
So far so good! I was in the hanger and I could see many people running back and forth. They all had on army uniforms. There was a siren blaring and I heard a man over a PA system say that they had another one coming through. Everyone stand ready! It only took a moment but suddenly I heard a shattering sound which was followed by the distinct cry of a banshee! I turned half expecting to find myself back in the field but I was still in the hanger. The sound was coming from a stasis tube at the far end of the hanger. Sitting up inside the tube was a man who looked like he was sick onto death. He had on a hospital gown. The man looked around the room and then spoke in some ancient dialect that no one understood. But what happened next mad his intentions clear. He shot out of the tube and grabbed hold of the closest soldier and ripped his head from his body! I could not believe what I was seeing. Suddenly there was a call to open fire and the man in the hospital gown collapsed to the ground, dead.
I was not sure what I had just seen but I moved closer to hear what was being said. There was a man in a white lab coat talking to one of the head army guys. He asked how many did this make now. The soldier answered and said that with this one they had killed an even 2 dozen of those devils. The man in the lab coat looked tired and asked how many more were there? The soldier answered and told him that according to the intelligence reports there were only 6 more. The scientist said that it could not go on. The pentagon was cutting them off before word of what they were doing here got out. The soldier looked and nodded and asked what we should do with all of the bodies. The scientist turned to the soldier and asked if these men had all been sailors on the same ship. The soldier answered him and told him that yes they were. The man in the lab coat turned away and told the soldier to dump the bodies in the ocean and report their ship missing.
I could not fathom what I was hearing but I needed to understand so I followed the man in the coat up the stairs and into the lab room. I watch as he sat at the desk and reached inside a drawer. He seemed to be searching for something and then I heard a click. The man pulled his hand out of the drawer and lifted on the surface of the desk. To my surprise there was a secret compartment. The man took out a file and wrote. When he was done He placed the file back and closed the lid and exited. I had the information I needed I just hoped it was still there!
I sat up and was relieved to still be in the hanger. The dream tube had worked perfectly! I climbed out of the tube and flew to the landing. Once over the rail I shot across the bunker to the lab where mom, dad, scarlet, and sis where all sitting and talking. Without even a hello I walked to the desk I had seen in the dream world and pulled out the drawer. As I was feeling around for the switch everyone in the room had gotten to their feet and was staring at me. As Dad began to ask a question I help up a finger and then I heard a click! I pushed up on the top of the desk and there in front of me was the file I had seen. The others just stood and shook their heads. I told them that I believe this folder will give us some of the answers that we have been seeking. And with that I handed it to dad and went to the bunk room and flopped on the closest bed. I was tired and I was going to take a nap!
While I slept mom and Scarlet went through the files and made notes on the important stuff. And Sis and Dad had headed into town to buy some groceries and pizza for dinner. When they got back Dad woke me up and we all gathered around the conference table for dinner. As we ate Mom said that the files belonged to my great grandfather. He had been a scientist during World War II. The government had enlisted his services to help them develop a way to enter into the minds of enemy soldiers. Since He knew that it was possible to travel in the dream world he believed that he could do this. So he invited the military to come and help him build a laboratory on his property.  The military came and they built the underground bunkers. William also had the military to connect a tunnel to the house and the dream cavern. Once completed William was put in charge of the research facility. He had started with only a few men. Together they developed the dream tubes which a loud them to tap into the power of the dream chamber by locking into its harmonics. Once they had tested the tube and had demonstrated its abilities the military wanted more tubes built. While the tubes were being built the military also built the hanger. The tubes were placed in the hanger. They had built 25 tubes in all. The plan was simple William was to use the tubes to train 24 soldiers how to enter the dreams of others so that they could gain their secrets.
On the day of the first test everything went great. William and the 24 entered the capsules and they all fell asleep and reappeared in the field above the chamber. William was pleased. He and the soldiers spent some time interact and moving about in the dream world. And then they were awoken by a preset timer in each tube. This time they were only in the dream world for 10 minutes. Over the next two weeks they continued to train and lengthen the amount of time. At the end of the second week they had established regular sessions of two hours in length with no difficulties. William was ready to target a dreamer.
This time one of the men volunteered to stay upstairs in the bunk room and sleep. It seemed to be a very simple assignment. In the hanger below William and the other 23 entered the tubes and targeted the soldier in the bunk room. They did this by concentrating on the soldier. As they each feel asleep something strange happened. Instead of appearing in an active dream they found themselves in a dark empty chamber. Though they tried to find a way out they were unable to so they aborted the dream and awoke in the tubes. William figured that there had been a glitch in the tubes until a young soldier came running down the stairs. It seems the soldier in the bunk room was not waking up. When William went and checked on him he found that indeed the soldier was still sound asleep.  They tried to shake him, made noise and even injected him with a stimulant all to no avail. The soldier was asleep.
William had the soldier moved to the infirmary. He called it a day and every one was ready to turn in for the night. William took the tunnel up to the house after locking down the bunker for the night. All of the soldiers retired to the bunk room while the other scientist and their helpers had bunks in the hanger. William had a fitful night. He kept seeing the image of that soldiers face but he was not seeping. The soldier was awake and seemed to be searching for something. William drove the image from his head and slept a dreamless sleep. In the morning he headed back down to the bunker to check on the young soldier and to start another day of training.
As he opened up the bunker and rotated the doors the scientists were up and moving and finishing there breakfasts. The soldiers on the other hand were all still sleeping. William banged on the bunk room door but no one stirred. Something was wrong. All of the 23 soldiers were sound asleep just like the one from yesterday. It did not make sense. Not knowing what to do. William had the team of scientist move all of the soldiers to the dream tubes. He thought maybe that there had been some kind of glitch that he could figure out and undo.
As the scientist began to place the soldiers in the tube something incredible happened. Almost immediately the first soldier sat up and opened his eyes. William was relieved. It had only been some sort of malfunction. As He started walking towards the soldier he heard him say something, something very odd. The soldier was no longer speaking English but seemed to be speaking in some ancient Native American tongue. Suddenly the soldier sprang from the tube and lunged at the nearest person. He had grabbed hold of one of the lab assistants who began to scream. This in turn caused some kind of reaction in the soldier who started to howl like a demonic banshee! As he raised his voice in a blood curdling scream he ripped the head off the lab assistant. The soldier than took off like a deer through the woods leaping and jumping towards the stairs and the light of the doorway. William ordered the door shut and a guard on the platform sealed the door just as the demonic soldier reached the platform. The guard raised his gun to fire bit as he squeezed off a shot the bullet only hit thin air. The soldier had vanished from the platform. As William watched what it became obvious to him what was going on. The soldier on the platform had jumped over the edge as the guard pulled his weapon. To Williams surprise and utter shock the soldier did not fall but instead flew. William then new that he had opened Pandora’s Box and he would have to shut it before the world found out. With no emotion William picked up one of the soldiers rifles and shot the flying soldier in the head. It was a direct hit and the soldier fell to the ground dead. William told the scientist to move the soldiers back to the bunk room and to seal this chamber until further notice. He then went up the stairs to his desk in the lab and picked up the phone and made a call. When the person answered on the other end he simply told them that the worst has happened bring reinforcements.
At this point mom looked up from the text and said the rest is not very pleasant. You see William had realized that by him sending the soldiers into the dream world through he had awoken the shamans. The harmonics of the dream chamber had acted like a spiritual alarm clock signaling the shamans that company was on its way. When the soldier in the dream tube had acted the way he did William had realized that his worst fears had come true. The shamans had either captured or destroyed the spirits of all of the soldiers and now were waiting to use their bodies to return. When William shot the demon possessed soldier he had killed the shaman for once spirit and body are united they are mortal again. So, William had briefed the general when he arrived and said it was a simple plan. We place the soldiers’ bodies back in the dream tubes and when the shamans take them over we shot them. The General protested for a few moments until he was shown the bodies of the soldiers in the bunk rooms. Though they were alive they were starting to deteriorate due to the lack of food and water. At the sight of these men the general gave the go ahead.
The plan was simple they would load a body into a tube and when a shaman took over the body they would blast it to smithereens! The group of reinforcements moved in and had brought the bodies from the bunk room to the hanger. They gave the command and loaded the first row with 5 soldiers. They switched on the tubes which then started to send out the harmonics to create the connection to the dream world. The soldiers sat on pins and needles and waited. It was not very long before one of the soldiers started to move. William told them to hold their fire until the shaman had fully taken control of the body or the shaman would escape back into the dream world. The reasoning was sound but unfortunately they had underestimated the power of the five shamans. As if in a coordinated attack the five shaman burst from the dream tubes and shot in to the air. They instantly separated from each other and began to take a quick survey of the room. The soldiers had been caught off guard. They quickly tried to reposition and get a bead on the shamans. The shamans were not making it easy. They zigged and zagged their way all over the room trying to find a means of escape. Suddenly a shot rang out and one of the shamans fell from the air. Then a second and third shot took out 2 more shamans. The remaining shamans did not understand what was happening to the others but the understood enough to get behind something. Unfortunately they did not understand the power of the weapons they were facing. So when they ducked behind a filing cabinet the soldiers opened fired and cut the cabinet and the remaining shamans into pieces. William and the General surveyed the damage and adjusted their plans. They ordered that only one body was to be put in the tubes at a time. Everyone was commanded to stay clear of the tube for fear of someone being shot or taken hostage.
From that moment to the one that I had witnessed in the dream world they progressed one at a time until they were out of bodies. The military had created a story to explain the loss of these men and then with the same swiftness that they had arrived in they were gone. William had hid his notes in the desk with one last note. It simply said that since the military had left there has been no sign of activity from the remaining six. Maybe they had been destroyed somehow in the dram world. And with that we sat back and just looked at each other.
After a few moments scarlet spoke up. You know with the five you have taken out that only leaves one. I shook my head in affirmation. Dad said that he felt like William did. Maybe since there was just one left he would give up and go away. I looked at him and told him that if I was the one I would not give up. I would do everything I could to get back. Dad shook his head in agreement knowing that wishful thinking would not solve our problems. We needed a plan; one that would rid the world of that demon once and for all. I told dad that I felt like we needed to find out more about this shaman. We needed to understand who and what we were facing. I needed to go to the dream chamber and seek the answers from one that knew. I had to talk to NaNo. Dad looked worried. He said what would happen if the shaman came while I was in the dream chamber. I told him not to worry. I was not going to enter as the soldiers did. I would be awake. I also told him I would not be alone. If anything went wrong NaNo would be there to fight with me. With that dad felt more at ease. As we were finishing our conversation Scarlet excused herself saying she was not feeling well and was going to go and lay down. Ever since returning to her body Scarlet had become increasingly fatigued. I had heard mom and dad talking about scarlet. They had said it seemed that the years in the stasis tube had been hard on Scarlet’s body and they did not know how long her body would hold out. In the end it seems that her youthful looks were being betrayed by the effects of age. But this is the first time that she had given any sign of being worn out.
We made the decision that the girls would move into the bunker while dad and I went to the dream chamber just in case anything went wrong. Once we had entered the tunnel system mom was to rotate the wall back so that the tunnel would be cut off from the bunker. This was again just a precautionary measure. Mom was very reluctant to cut us off from the bunker but we assured her it would be alright. If worst came to worst we would exit the tunnel system through the burnt out basement. (of course we did not mention that the house had caved in on the basement so the likely hood of us gaining access was very remote.) In the end we agreed to the plan. Mom was to rotate the bunker back to the tunnel access in two hours. If we were not there waiting then she and sis and Scarlet were to seal the bunker and leave immediately in the van and not come back. The drama of the situation was not lost on any of us and it was sis who said, “All we need now is a cheesy sound track and some popcorn and we would have a real blockbuster on our hands!” I looked back and smiled at her as dad and I headed down the tunnel.
Dad and I turned on our flashlights just as the bunker disappeared from view. The fire had managed to burn through the wiring to this section of the tunnels and everything was left in total darkness. The lights we carried managed to light our way but just barely. The once white stone walls had been turned black by the smoke and suit from the fire. As we approached the cavern intersection I stopped and took Dad by the arm. I told him that we had to be very careful with what we were about to do. He looked at me and asked what I was talking about. I told him that I had a very bad feeling about all of this for some time now.  I asked him if he did not find it peculiar that every time we needed information that it was just handed to us in our dreams. He looked at me and slowly shook his head. I did not understand how this was happening but someone was trying to manipulate our every move. The only time this did not happen was when I had stayed awake and passed into the dream realm in my conscious forms was I fully able to control what was happening. Dad looked at me and asked what the plan was. I told him that I did not want him to enter the dream chamber but to remain in the tunnel just beyond the entrance. Then I would use the rock slabs around the pedestal to enter the dream world. If all worked right I would find NaNo and come back with the information I needed. Dad looked at me and asked what if it did not all go right, then what? I said that is where he came in. If it looked like I was in grave danger then he would have to come in and drag me out of the chamber. Dad looked hard at me and asked if I was sure about this. I shrugged and told him that a week ago I was just an ordinary boy but know I could fly! Heck no, I was not sure, but it was the best plan we had! Dad almost laughed and slapped me on the back as he told me good luck and took his position in the tunnel.
To say that I was a little nervous would have been the greatest understatement of the century. I could feel my heart pounding in my throat and felt sure that I would vomit at any point. But I continued to walk across the chamber to the pedestal where I placed my light and stepped back to watch the walls start to glow. As I laid down on the slab closest the tunnel entrance I looked over to see if dad would be able to see what was going on. To my relief he was right there and he had a great line of sight. I could rest assured that if something strange started to happen he would be right there. Something strange? I had to laugh at myself. As if preparing to enter the dream world was in itself not something strange. With that thought I laid myself back and closed my eyes and began to picture the Indian Guide Nano.
It did not take long for me to move from the dream cavern to the dream world. Apparently the more you do it the easier it becomes. I found myself outside standing on the beach at the base of the dunes. As I looked up the hill I could see the burnt out shell of our house. As I turned towards the clanging buoy bell I saw NaNo walking down the beach towards me. As he approached me he greeted me and said he was glad to see me again. I told him that I had come to find some information. NaNo said he knew why I was here and was more than willing to help. I told him that I was interested in finding out all I could about the shaman who had lead the rebellion. Nano walked over and took a seat on the dune and motioned for me to do the same. As I walked over to the dune I glanced skyward just to be sure there were no shadow figures lurking overhead.
NaNo said that what I asked was difficult for two reasons; first that it had all happened so long ago and second that the shaman had been from his own tribe. NaNo paused and looked to be collecting his thoughts. As he looked up there seemed to be tears in his eyes. He said the shaman was name Wrimo. He was the brother of their chief. Many of the tribe had looked at Wrimo as a co-chief so when he had seen his vision of the white man coming and had warned his brother many of the tribe sided with him. When the chief ruled against Wrimo he took it personally. He knew what he had seen and he was sure about what he had to do. The white man would bring death to their lands. Wrimo would not allow that to happen.
Wrimo set out from his tribe one night and went and gathered together a band of shamans who also had seen the vision of the white man. These shamans all felt like Wrimo and were willing to banded together to stop the white man. Together they traveled to the coast were it had been reported to them that a band of white men and women had begun to set up a village. As the closed in around the colony they laid in wait until their supply ship had sailed away. Then in the dark of the night the shamans that numbered 30 snuck into the colony and slaughtered every one of the colonist. And to be sure that no one would ever settle upon this land again the destroyed all the buildings and erased every sign of the colonists very existence.
I noticed that as Nano paused before going on that the look on his face was one that carried pride or honor. He then continued and spoke of the night that the warriors of the confederation had cornered the group of renegade shaman in the dream cavern. He told of the plan of the shamans to enter a state of sleep and leave their bodies so that the warriors would believe they were dead. But, he paused again and as he began to speak there was a hint of anger in his voice. He said that the warriors had found the bodies of the shamans and instead of leaving them for dead the desecrated the bodies by burning them. This trapped the spirits of the shaman in the dream world for all time. Nano stopped and looked away from me like he was trying to compose himself. I asked him if there was any way for the shamans to return from the dream world to which Nano said that if a trapped spirit could find a body that was without a spirit they could return to the living. But he repeated to me. Just like with your grandmother and sister the bodies would have to be in the dream chamber. Only then could a lost spirit find their way back to our world. I thanked him for the information and was ready to depart from him when I decided to ask one more question. I asked him if the shaman could only return through the dream cavern then why the dreamer had to keep watch. Could we not instead just seal the cavern for all time? Nano looked flustered. He stammered for a few moments and said that the dreamer must continue to watch in case the shaman learned of a new way to cross over. I shook my head in agreement showing that I understood. As I started to walk away I told him to not worry that I would keep watch and be ready. Nano smiled and waved good bye as he walked down the beach away from me.
As soon as he was out of sight I turned my focus back to dad and I instantly found myself back in the cavern. As soon as dad saw me sit up he ran over to me and took my hand. He asked me how it went and what did I learn. I told him that everything went well and that I believe I had learned more than Nano had even wanted me too. Dad looked at me with a puzzled look and I held up my hand and told him I would reveal all when we were back in the bunker. No need telling a good story twice now was there. We collected my flashlight from the pedestal and headed back up the tunnel. Since we had a half hour to spare dad and I decided to check out the basement entrance. To my amazement the basement door was still in one piece! Whatever these doors were made of was sure one tough material. We opened the door and shined our flashlight through the door way. All that we saw was a massive pile of burnt lumber so tightly backed that even a mouse would have trouble finding passage. With that little fact confirmed dad and I sealed the door and our mouths to this fact for fear that mom might do bodily harm to us if she knew we could have been trapped down here for all time.
We reached the top of the tunnel just as we heard the bunker wall rotating into place. Mom and sis were standing there and grabbed us and gave us each a big hug. As we started to tell them about our adventure mom stopped us and said it would have to wait. She turned and lead us to the bunk room were Scarlet was lying in bed. It seems that without the stasis tube her body was failing. Scarlet looked up at dad and me and smiled. She tried to sit up but quickly gave up that effort. Instead she patted the edge of the bed and had us sit close to her. As we sat close to her she began to ask me about what I had learned. I told her that Nano had identified the leaders of the shamans as Wrimo the brother of the tribal chief. I told her that the rest of what he said did not really add anything to what we already knew but it was more of what he did not say and some other telltale signs that gave me some new information. I shared with her that Nano seemed to take pride in the action of the shamans when they wiped out the colonist. I said that I had also noticed a tone of outrage at the action of the warriors when they burnt the bodies of the shamans in an act of desecration. Finally I told them that I pushed him a little farther by suggesting that we just seal off the cavern and leave this place forever. AS they looked at with a with a look of astonishment on their faces I told them that Nano was flustered and took several tries before he could come up with a clear answer. Finally I told them one more thing that I had noticed. I said that when I was on the dunes I could see the burnt out shell of our house. They looked at me and then to each other as if they were trying to understand what I had said. I looked at them and explained that in the dream world there are 3 different realms; the state of the dreamer, the stored dreams of the dream cavern and the plain of the dream world. When I had first entered Scarlet’s dream it was her dream that I found myself in. But every time that I had interacted with Nano it was in the dream chamber because Nano was dead and I was really entering the dreams stored in the dream chamber.  This time however we were not in the dream cavern we were on the dunes behind the burnt out house. So I knew that I was not in a dream but rather in the dream world. They all looked at me with a look of confusion on their faces. To help them make the complete connection I said I believe that Nano and Wrimo was the same person. This explained why Nano had always seemed to know what was happening. It also explained why Nano had sought out our family to play the role of the dreamer. He had been trying to discover a way back and knew that he had to keep a connection to the cavern if he ever was going to escape the dream world.
Scarlet took me by the hand and looked me hard in the eye. She said that this changes everything! She began to talk about the horrors that she had experienced while she had been trapped in the dream world. She told me that the head shaman was ruthless and would stop at nothing to get what he wanted. She said that if this Nano was truly the head shaman then I would have to be ready for absolutely anything. She stopped as her eyes filled with tears. She said she had seen him destroy the spirit of other sleepers that he had trapped but not before he had tortured them in an attempt to find the location of their bodies. When he was sure that he could not access their bodies he would destroy their spirits. Scarlet said she could only imagine what those families went through when their loved ones had not awoken…ever.
I told her that I would not face him as a sleeper but as one who was awake. She said that is what really worried her. She said she was afraid that if Nano was to find out that he had been tricked then she was sure he would do me great harm and maybe even kill me. She said that we had to plan and outsmart him. I said it was too bad that the military had run out of soldiers before they ran out of shamans. Scarlet just closed her eyes as if she were too tired to continue our discussion. Dad placed his hand on my shoulder and said we should go and let her rest.  As I stood up to follow him out of the room Scarlet said, “Meet you in my dreams!” and with that she gave me a wink and closed her eyes to rest.
Dad and mom and I headed to the lab room while sis decided to stay and sit with Scarlet. It really seemed to me that Scarlet and sis had really bonded while they were in the dream world. I had never seen sis open herself up to anyone like she had Scarlet. I wondered how she would handle it if Scarlet’s body were to give out. I only hoped that they would have more time together before that happened.
While Mom and dad sat at the conference table going over the notes from granddad’s writings I excused myself and headed for a chair in the corner telling them that I was going to try and get some rest. In reality I was going to keep a date. A date I had made with Scarlet as I was leaving the bunk room. As I got comfortable I closed my eyes and concentrated on Scarlet. I soon felt the pull of the vortex as I moved into Scarlet’s dream. When my head stopped spinning I was in the bunk room and Scarlet was sitting on the edge of her bed waiting for me to arrive. She smiled and said that she was so happy that I had understood her message. I told her that I was a pretty smart guy and that I believed that I took after my grandparents! She laughed and patted the bed. As I sat down she told me that when she had entered the dream tube so many years ago that she had only planned on being gone for an hour or so. But when she woke up in the dream world the shamans came from out of nowhere and chased her into the darkness where she lost her way. She said once she lost her way in the darkness she could no longer feel the connection to her body. After what seemed forever she said she was able to make it back to the field and found the hiding place in the rock outcropping. This had been her home and her refuge for 3 decades. She had lost all hope of ever going home and seeing her family and then I showed up. With my arrival 2 things happened. The shamans became active again and Scarlet said she had started to feel hope again. She stopped and looked at me again and said I still cannot believe that you saved me.
She paused and then her tone changed. She said I had given her something that she would of never had if she was still in the dream world. She asked me If I knew what she meant. I shook my head indicating that I had no clue. She then said that I had given her the ability to die. At first I thought she was resentful for her failing body but then she said that in there you never die you just are there waiting, hoping, that someone or something will connect with you. She said in death she would know peace and that is the best gift she could ever have after all these years. Scarlet then told me that she had a plan. It was a way to give Nano exactly what he wanted without allowing him to escape. I did not understand. Scarlet shared her plan and as I listened I began to understand. I was not sure that the others would like the plan but I did believe it was our only chance to end this once and for all.
The good thing was that the first part of this plan was my favorite part. Phase one was to wait. It was during this time that we decided to take a short vacation from the old homestead. Dad had gone into town and rented 3 rooms on the beach. The hotel had a swimming pool and a hot tub. With this being the off season and the middle of the week we had the place pretty much to ourselves. It may seem like this part of the plan was just an excuse to live it up but in reality we had decide that if we were gone from the area of the dream cavern than Nano would start to become antsy and might even think that we had left for good. I guess you could say we were starving our prey in order to make him more willing to jump later. This also was a way to get mom and dad to relax so Scarlet and I could share our plan with them. As predicted they thought that there had to be a better way. But Scarlet sat them down and was able to bring them around.
On our third day at the hotel Dad, Scarlet and I headed back to the bunker leaving Sis and Mom at the hotel. Once there we headed over the dunes and down to the bunker. As I headed to the dream cavern Dad and Scarlet head to the hanger after rotating the bunker in order to cut off the dream chamber.  Once in the dream cavern I placed my light on the pedestal and as the walls began to glow I laid down on one of the slabs and fixed my mind on Nano.
Meanwhile over in the hanger Dad and Scarlet were readying their end of the plan by prepping the dream tube. The plan was simple. Scarlet was dying. Over the last three days she had grown very feeble and all of her systems were starting to shut down. Dad had actually carried Scarlet from the car into the bunker and lowered her over the rail and then carried her to the chamber. Dad placed Scarlet into the chamber just as she was starting to lose consciousness. Before she was totally gone she looked up at dad and told him how proud she was of him and with her final breath she said, “Stop him, Stop him here and now!” and with that she closed her eyes and was gone. Dad quickly activated the stasis tube and revived her body. There was no telling how long her body would hold out but hopefully it would be long enough!
It did not take long for me to appear in the field. As I stood there my eyes darted back and forth watching for Nano. To my surprise I saw him walking across the field. If he was aware of anything that was going down he was not showing it. He greeted me as a friend and said he was glad to see me. With that I had to figure that dad and Scarlet had been successful in activating the stasis tube otherwise I believe that Nano would have picked up on the fact that I was not asleep. I told Nano that I had come once again to find out some more information. He said he had figured as much and was willing to help. I said my question was simple. “I just wanted to know what it was like to betray your brother and kill all of those innocent people.” Nano reacted very quickly. His appearance changed in a flash as his flesh burst into flame. He did not move towards me but instead started into a rant.
“You dare question me? Your people are the ones who have brought death to our land and my people! My brother was a fool to not see what was coming. He allowed his jealousy of me to cloud his judgment. Instead of stopping your people from coming he invited them in with open arms and treated us…me…as a traitor! They hunted us like dogs and cornered us in this cave where they killed us and desecrated our bodies. They damned us to the dream world forever.”
As he ranted on and on he started to move closer and closer to me. I was backing away trying to plan my next action. As I moved he continued on turning his rage fully on me.
“And then your pathetic family came upon this land. Their minds were weak and easy to train and manipulate. It was so easy for me to convince your family to become my guardians!” his rage was growing as he continued. “I knew that it would not be hard to destroy their spirits and take their bodies for our own once we lured them into the dream world. But my followers would not agree to our group being split up for fear that we would not all get back. Therefore we had to wait and manipulate your family for centuries in order to get the chance. But when the chance came we did not all make it back. Your family became aware of our plan and deserted the chamber. It was not until your Grandfather came that hope returned.” I decided that being on the ground was not the best place to be as his rage continued to grow so I took to the air. I did not make an attempt to flee but to just back off. Nano did not much care whether I was on the ground or in the air he was bound and determined to finish his venting.
He began again, “We managed to trap one but her body was protected by some unfamiliar force. We tried for decades to catch her and then you come along and lead her back. YOU STOLE HER FROM US!” And with that he went air born and blasted a volley of fire balls at me. Luckily I had seen it coming and was able to dodge the attack.
“Not only did you free those spirits but you also destroyed the last of my brothers! A Child like you? How is that even possible?” he screamed at me as our nice conversation had turned into a game of cat and mouse.
As I flew down along the dunes he flung a few more fireballs my way hitting the dunes blasting sand into my face. As I moved to avoid the spray of sand I heard him start to speak again. “Unfortunately for you I no longer have my brothers here to stop me from doing as I please. So after I destroy you I will return to your body and enter the world. Once there I will begin to exact my revenge on all those who defiled our lands!” And that ended our conversation.
Nano started after me in full fury! It was all I could do to just stay out of reach. I ducked down to the house and flew low through the burnt out frame work. As I dodged in and out hoping to get some space between Nano and myself I began to hear the sound of explosions from behind me as Nano was plowing straight through the frame work. My plan needed an adjustment. I need to cause NaNo to panic in order for our plan to work.
I quickly shot out across the field towards the location that once was the outcropping of rocks that Scarlet and Sis had taken refuge in. The structure was gone but I was not looking to hide, I flew down grabbing a large rock. As I got my grip I turned and shot into the air directly back in the path of Nano! As he shot off fireball after fireball I was able to narrowly avoid each one. We were on a path that would lead to a head on collision in a demonic game of chicken. At the last moment before I pulled up to avoid a collision I unleashed my earthen missile. The rock caught Nano square in the gut and to my surprise the rock and Nano dropped from the sky. I quickly circled back and grabbed another rock and took off to find Nano.
When Nano hit the ground he had flamed out and as I turned back towards him he had resumed his native form and looked panicked. I quickly took a pot shot at him with the new rock I had acquired. Nano panicked. He took off in the air and fled. As I followed Nano said he was not going to lose out. If he could not destroy me than he would trap me and with that he vanished! I only hoped that I was right about where he went!
I changed my thought s from Nano and the field to the dream cavern and soon I found myself lying on the stone slab. I quickly sat up and grabbed my flashlight and headed up through the tunnels. If everything had gone alright then dad should have left the hanger right after he had initiated the stasis tube and headed back to the bunker. He was to rotate the bunker so that the access to the tunnels and the dream cavern would be clear. I was relieved to find the bunker door standing open when I hit the top of the tunnel. Dad greeted me telling me that Scarlet had passed and that her body had responded to the stasis tube as we had hoped. He had a little trouble setting the dream frequency but it finally started after he kicked it several times.
I filled dad in on what had happened while I was in the dream cavern and that I belief that Nano had taken the bait. Dad placed the key in the slot in the center of the floor and we watch nervously as the hanger door came into view. As soon as the door looked into place I used the combination and opened the hanger. As we stood for a moment everything was silent and I feared that we may have jumped the gun. I grabbed dad under the arms and flew us both over the rail and down to the floor. We separated as we walked down the hanger keeping watch for any surprises. Soon we were close enough to the stasis tube to see that it was still intact and that Scarlet’s body was still inside. As we came closer I could see that her eyes were opened and darting back and forth. As the light from the stasis tube fell on my face those eyes locked onto me and a curse came from her lips and then she began to speak. It was no longer scarlet in the tube but rather it was Nano.
Nano asked how this was possible. He said he was sure that there had only been one dreamer and one sleeper. He was sure. I told him that he had been right. There was only one dreamer and one sleeper the problem is that I was the dreamer but I was not asleep. Nano asked how this could be possible. I said that I could enter the dream world without being asleep. Nano was shocked. He could not believe what he was hearing. He said only the dream walkers could do such a thing and dream walkers were only a myth. I laughed and told him that a lot of myths seem to be biting people on the bottoms this day.
Nano tried to get up but found that the body he had taken was strapped down and very weak. He asked how he had come to be in this body. I explained that he was in a dream tube and that we had used it to fool him into believing that it was my body. I went on to say that in reality it was a failing body of my grandmother Scarlet that he had entered and that as soon as the power to the tube is cut the body will fail. To this Nano looked defeated. He could already feeling his strength failing. I looked Nano in the eyes and told him one last thing. “Sweet dreams!” and with that I shut off the stasis tube and dad and I left the hanger.
We never rebuilt the house. Instead we decide to move to the city. Dad had sold the property to the military which was looking for a deserted stretch of beach to use as a bombing range. Dad’s only condition on the sale was that we could all be on an observation deck to watch the first bombing run. It took place on a cool fall morning. As the jets flew over and dropped their bombs I felt a great sense of relief as I watched the whole dune side disappear in a matter of seconds. I knew we would all sleep well tonight.

The End