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Dangerous Dreams/Chapter 3 The Stranger
Something hit my head, and I opened my eyes to see what it was. I couldn’t see what is was, but the scary part was that I couldn’t tell which way was up or down. I felt dizzy and lightheaded. I was loosing oxygen and couldn’t breath. I suddenly saw a flash of light through the waves and followed it. The closer I got the harder the pressure pressed on my body. Just when I couldn’t take it any longer, it stopped. I no longer swam in the water. Instead I was floating in the light with nothing suspending me. The light quickly morphed into pure white. I dropped onto the solid white floor and looked around. I was surrounded by white emptiness that stretched and went on for forever into nothingness. I refused to believe I had fallen into oblivion so I stood up in hopes to find an ending or at least a beginning.
Each step I took echoed as I went nowhere. I had no sense of knowing how long I had been walking for. Time doesn’t exist in a place like that, or at least it seemed that way. I was about to turn around when a chill came over me as I realized there was nothing to go back to. I just sat there and put my face in my hands. I was confused and felt completely defeated. I tried to clear my head and focus on how I got there. I retraced my steps but after the flashing light I hit a wall. I bit my lip with frustration and tasted the bitter sweet sting of sea salt on my tongue. In that moment it all rushed back to me. I felt a slight tap on my shoulder and spun around hoping it was Andy. I jumped back to see the face of a stranger. His thick black hair was neatly slicked back and his diamond blue eyes sparkled wildly with excitement.
“Well hello there.”
“Who are you?”
He took a sweeping bow as he introduced himself, “Angel Lucifer at your service.” as he stood back up he flashed me a dazzling smile.
I gawked at him and stammered, “Y-you’re an angel?”
He chuckled and rolled his eyes at me. “Hardly, it’s not a title. Angel is my first name; and you must be Abbey.”
My eyes widened, “H-how did you know my name?”
He sighed, “It’s always the same thing, the same ridiculous questions. No one ever bothers to say, ’Nice to meet you.’ or ask, ’How are you?’. everyone is quite rude if you think about it.. I suppose you want to know where you are too.” I nodded, even though it wasn’t a question. “Well in complete honesty you’re nowhere, at least not until I decide to make it somewhere.”
The words that came out of his mouth made no sense to me. The only thing that did make sense was… “Am I dead?”
He sighed and put his hand to his head out of frustration as he muttered, “Why must all mortals react the same?”
“Excuse me, if you don’t mind me asking, what do you mean by mortals?”
“Obviously if you believe yourself to be dead you have to be a mortal to die in the first place. And another thing; why is it that whenever someone is faced with an impossible situation that seems to defy nature and make no sense what so ever why then do they feel that the only explanation is that they are dead?”
“It makes the most logical sense, to be dead.”
“Ha! Logic, who needs it? I for one do not!”
“So, I’m not dead.”
“Precisely. But really you people have not the least bit of imagination.”
I was completely baffled and stunned with stupidity. I had no idea where I was, how I got there, or why I was arguing with a raving lunatic. Then it clicked, of course nothing made any sense; I was dreaming. Maybe, if I clicked my heels together three times I would wake up.
“You could try that if you’d like, but I don’t think it would work. You haven’t the ruby slippers and there isn’t a witch around for miles. This isn’t the land of Oz you know.”
“I didn’t think it would be that simple. By the way I would appreciate it if you stayed out of my thoughts.”
Angel looked rather surprised, “I didn’t think you would be so calm about me reading your thoughts.”
I sighed, “Like you said, this is a dream. I won’t really be surprised anymore, but I would like to have some privacy, if you don’t mind.”
At that moment he looked as though I offended him. He shook his head and smiled, “If only it was that simple. You see, I am what one would call a product of your subconscious being.”
My face screwed up into an impossible frown. He outstretched his hand to mine with a dazzling smile and said, “Come on, take a walk with me. I have a lot to explain.”
I took his hand and we walked in no direction. He explained to me that there are two worlds. The one that we exist in, and the one that we are connected to through our subconscious mind. Each person has a wall or a shield that protects them from getting too close to the other world. When a victim has a traumatizing experience the mind retreats so far back that the shield shatters. The other world is a dangerous place, but when one is careful enough completely beautiful. The inner subconscious can go there to escape the real world or become trapped within it. I did not want to believe him, but deep down I knew it was true. My eyes screamed with puzzlement while his spoke of understanding.
“So if you’re my subconscious, does that mean I’m talking to myself?”
“Forgive me, I have miss spoken. I am part of the subconscious order, not your subconscious. I exist in the other world, I was only sent to warn you.”
At that point fear rushed over me and my chest clenched together. I closed my eyes and slowly drew in a breath as I concentrated on relaxing.
“Warn me about what?”
“Exactly what you are feeling right now, pain. In a dream, like you are in now, you can imagine anything, even go through the motions of pain. But you are never supposed to physically feel it.”
“What is that suppose to me?”
He looked as if he was going to tell me that someone had died, but he sounded very professional, almost like a doctor.
“It only confirms what we feared the most. Your shield is broken. Even though you are dreaming right now it is just as real as life itself. You should also get a better handle on those anxiety attacks. They will only leave you vulnerable.”
I was frozen stiff. I didn’t know what to do or how to react to this. What does this mean for me and the rest of my life?
“There is no way to react to this. But the first thing to do is breathe. Next, you should know that the rest of your life, if you choose to have one, is to be a survivor.”
“If you’re not part of my subconscious then how do you know what I’m thinking?”
He shook his head at me, “That, my dear, is a story for another time. Right now I need you to tell me what it is that you want to do now.”
It didn’t take long for me to think. I swallowed hard as I tried to hold back the tears. I looked down as I choked, “I want to go home.”
“Then take this. You can’t get anywhere around here without a key.”
As he said this an old fashioned key manifested into his hand and he placed it into mine.
“Use this to open the first door that you find and you can go home.”
He then bent down and kissed my hand goodbye. As he walked away I shouted after him, “Wait! How will I find a door?”
“Just open your eyes!”
With that he snapped his fingers and disappeared. I glanced down at the key he gave me and realized it had the same design as his ring. A flaming red arrow came shooting through a blue crescent moon as silver sparks flew in different patterns and directions. As I looked up there before me was a large wooden door. The key slipped into the lock whole with ease. I took a deep breath as I turned the key and unlocked the door effortlessly. It swung open as I exhaled, and once again I stepped into the light.