This is chapter 5 of my current novel project, Waking Dream. Other excerpts are linked here:
I step into the bright sunny day. Beyond the double doors laid a covered deck that extended a yard forward and running the full length of the building to my left. At the far end was a simple, circular table with a pair of chairs, one occupied by the heavily cloaked, fire-haired woman. I walk over and take the chair opposite hers.
“Hope the meal was good.” A fire was in her eyes, one nearly as fierce as her hair, and her lips were turned into that ever present smile as she watched me. I did feel full, and well, so I nodded my head.
“Good. You’ll owe me for quite some time for having to wait for so long for you to wake.” Her smile disappeared as she took on a serious expression, as if she was about to lecture a child.
“Was that you who caused that glow down that path?” The question shocked me. Her face softened slightly at my expression, but still awaited an answer.
“I suppose you could say that.” I let the end of the sentence draw slightly as I spoke. Then shook my head. “I have no idea what happened that night, honestly.”
She pondered for a moment, then her grey eyes stared directly at me intensely. After a moment, she nodded, her soft smile returning to her face. “I can explain a bit about it, but it could take a long time for you to understand it.”
I nodded, thinking that any explanation would be better than nothing.
“Something that I do wonder is where do you come from?” her eyes betrayed her inquisitive nature though her smile remained. I shook my head and laughed embarrassingly. “You probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you. I don’t even know where I actually am, and this world is already proving to be so much different than my own.”
“What do you mean, this world…?”
“Where I came from, the only magic or power or anything like that came in movies or stories.” I shake my head. “But that’s a topic for another day.”
“Odd thing to say, just to dismiss it.”
“Yes, I know, but it would take days to explain it, and I have troubles understanding it myself.”
“I suppose so.” She said, drawing out the last note. I nodded in response, settling deeper into my chair as I draw in a long breath. She nodded as well, before sighing, heavily.
“To be honest, I have never met a person who knew nothing of magic or how it works. So explaining it is out of the question.” Joy, something that can’t be expressed with words. She slipped a slender hand from within her heavy cloak, holding it over the center of the small table. Her hand was only slightly tanned, as if she never spent much time out in the sun.
Then her hand began to fade, slowly. A white haze formed around it, engulfing it, before turning into flames. The process seemed so slow as I studied it, shocked and amazed, before the flame vanished completely. Her hand darted back within the confines of her cloak as I continued to stare blankly at the space where the flame was. The center of the table had a slight singe to it, as if it felt the heat of the non-existent flame.
Then my eyes turned to her directly. Her smile was bright, almost whimsical. A small breeze shifted and changed direction for a moment, cooling off our corner of the long porch before returning to its natural path. I started feeling a glimmer of something that I just could not place, but then it was gone. I shook my head slowly.
“You felt it, didn’t you?”
“I felt something.” I said slowly, still deep in thought about what had just occurred. “But I don’t know if I could ever be able to do it myself.”
“You have it in you if you felt it. Just give it time, and it will manifest itself in its own way.” Her expression changed for a moment, like a mixture of irritation or anger with the look of someone who had been shot at, but then it passed.
“That, of course, is just a sample. But we’ll eventually see how it develops for you.” Her smile disappears once more, and she takes on a serious expression.
“I’ll be introducing you to a friend of mine in a couple of days. He will be willing to help you with the more mundane things in the world, like gold and how to earn it. He is also a great resource of knowledge of the land, a among other things.”
“Basically, he will give me a job and be a tutor?”
She nods, and smiles once more. “I can’t foot your bill forever, you know.”
We both laugh. When the laughter subsides, she begins to stand, and I follow the notion.
“Take the rest of the day to rest up some more. I’ll be off to talk with my friend this afternoon and will be back late. When the sun is almost down is when supper will be ready.”
I nod, and we both went our separate ways.
* * *
I was laying in bed as the last rays of sun began to die out. My eyes were heavy, and my body was still aching from my overly long rest. I had acquired a bottle of ink, a quill pen and a sheaf of paper from the innkeeper earlier in the evening and had wrote down all I could remember from before my month long coma-like rest.
Thoughts swirled and darted in my mind. Of wondrous worlds of fanciful delight and wondrous dreams. Of floating in the air above thin white clouds and flying with birds in a bright blue sky. I relished in my pre-sleep dreams when a knock on my door broke the silence.
And then I fell on the floor. My eyes had been closed for some time, the window showing no light except a few early stars. I wasn’t even close to the bed anymore. My thoughts were broken as the door came open from the outside, slightly ajar as the signature red hair and grey eyes looked at me from above.
“Do you sleep on the floor from that world you came from…?”
I quickly turn and lever myself upright onto my knees, then grab the door by the frame to stand fully upright and pull it further inwards. I shake my head, and look directly at her. “I actually don’t know what happened…”
She shrugged, walking into the room. As she passed, I close the door behind her, then move to take a seat on the bed.
“Maybe levitation?” She looked like she was deep in thought, then shrugged. “Anyways, I came to see how you were doing. The server girl downstairs said you had quite the appetite.”
“Well, I was out for over a month. Got to regain some of my strength.”
“Indeed.” She said with a rueful smile. “You think you’d be up for a run in the morning?”
“Might do me some good to get some exercise.” And I wasn’t lying. I still felt pretty weak. She nods, then turns to the door. Just before she opens it, she turns her head to look at me.
“Just be careful with your daydreams, David. You never know what might come out of it.” Before I could think of a reply, she had opened the door and gone. I sat there for a long time in silence, thinking about what she had said and what she had demonstrated earlier in the day.
I was still thinking about it as I drifted off to sleep.