Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dream Keepers

This is day three and I am already making excuses. Not a good sign, but I will make up for it. This week I had to go on a business trip and well I wanted to spend yesterday with my kids so I didn't get any writing done. Now I am stuck in a hotel room with nothing but time so....

Enough about me. On with the story.

The New from Poughkeepise Day # 73

General Stuff Fridays

People think that there’s one Sandman who puts people to sleep and gives them dreams. Nope. Dreams are fabricated by humans; but once they’re dreamed, if they’re not harvested by the dream keepers, terrible things can happen. They make songs about how your dreams can come true, but do your really want that?

Dream Keepers

"Humans have such fragile minds that they cannot yet mold their dreams in to the reality without damaging it." The instructor droned for what had to have been the four millionth time since he had started the course. "If their dreams are not harvested within a day or at least a week, it will being to drive them mad, any longer and the dream with begin to manifest itself in ways that are completely out of their control." Now there was something new. Dreams going out of control. That was something that would have to be explored Zach thought of the possibilities.

When the lecture was let out nearly three hours later, the idea that had formed in Zach's mind at the beginning of class had been buried under a mountain of other things that he would need to pass the finally exam only a week later. He had two more classes today and was supposed to meet with the very young very charming recent graduate of harvester school for dinner tonight. It was not until much later that day that he remembered it at all.

"Zach! Are you paying attention to me?" The field instructor asked.

"Yes, sir!"

"What did I just say?"

"You were discussing the practical methods of dream collection that is passive and less harmful to the host."

"So you were listening. Good. Tonight I am giving you charge of the Paulson household. Collect the dreams and report back to my office by 9:30 tomorrow."

Zach watched the older catcher go and headed glumly to the Paulson home. There were only two of them and they always had boring dreams. He liked he dreams of kids and younger adults they were always more interesting, or what about that guy they had seen in the video last week, his dreams actually contained real demons. Now that would be a case to handle. But the Paulsons' dreamed of their children, and schools in the past, occasionally each other; even their nightmares were nothing to get excited about; what if I show up late to work, and naked, and have to give a speech. That was about as good as they got.

He sat quietly on their headboard waiting for the first sings of waking and carefully began extracting first misses Paulson's and then mister Paulson's dreams. Neither of them were awake yet, but this was the easiest time to get the dreams, when the mind was not yet fighting to keep hold of the idea or thought that it had last had.

Some of the catchers believed that it was better to let them go until they were already awake and then pull the dream, but that was much more work, and Zach was not in the mood to hang around the Paulson house any longer than he had to. But then he remembered. Leaving a dream for more than a week would cause it's manifestation. Then he remembered something else. That if you got dreams and humans mixed up the dreams became contaminated and could go completely wild.

If he left a dream in mister Paulson, first the bean counters would notice that he was not turning in enough, and second the administrators would recognize whose completely boring dream it was, and he would get blamed, and probably expelled. But if he were to take just the hint, the idea of a dream from misses Paulson and give it to her husband that could get interesting. So he took the her dream and stripped it of the idea, that would never be missed, and he took mister Paulson's dream, and then carefully ever so gently on the final threads of the dream he was pulling out, he slid in the idea from misses Paulson.

The older man sat up at once. Zach barely had time to break the connections before mister Paulson's brain pulled the dream back in. He left then but he could still hear the man's heart pounding.

"Are you alight dear?" misses Paulson asked groggily

"Yes, I think so, but I have had the strangest dream."

"What was it?"

"I can't quite remember." He said shaking his head

The Following night as expected he was given the Paulson house again. This time he didn't wait until they began to wake. He immediately pulled her dreams while they were still fully formed, stole the idea and as he was extracting the dream from mister Paulson, again slipped her idea back in. This time since he was fully asleep the idea had a chance to take hold and it formed a completely new dream, which he left with mister Paulson. With two completely formed dreams he would have the right amount and now there was now a third completely formed but contaminated dream in mister Paulson's head. Tomorrow night he would extract it and it should be something every interesting. Satisfied with his work he took the too dreams to the administration and then headed off to bed himself.

A knock at his door woke him. "Zachery K. Smithwell?" The very official looking man asked

"Were you in charge of the Paulson house last night?"
"Yes," He answered as his stomach dropped to his knees.

"We checked our records and it is clear you turned in the correct number of dreams, but it appears that mister Paulson has gained the ability to generate more dreams and they are manifesting themselves very quickly and quite dangerously. Your instructor said that you should see this. Please come with us."

Zach put on his uniform and followed the two elder dream catchers to the Paulson house. When they arrived he could not believe what he saw. Mister Paulson had himself and his wife in the backward tree house that he had built for their children. The grass around the house was on fire, and he was screaming at the top of this lungs in a language that Zach was pretty sure mister Paulson had never spoken before. There were nine dream catchers all of first class status, attempting to extract the demon infested dream from mister Paulson's mind but not having much luck at it. He watched in amazement as they poked and prodded the dream demon first this way and that, as it lashed out at them. Finally two of them caught it off guard and started to pull it in. It would be a long hard fight, but it looked like they would win it.

"If no one gets hurt, I will not report what you did." Said a voice from over his shoulder. Zach turned with a start to see his field instructor.

"But, I..."
"Don't try to deny it boy. I will have to expel you for lying. But if no one gets hurt then I will chalk this up to experience."
"How did you?"

"Did you really think I was going to leave you alone to collect their dreams. If you had done your homework on the Paulsons you would have found out that they have a history of minor demons. We have been watching them for years, knowing that it would only take a minor cross contamination to cause a problem."
"But if you knew then why?"

"I have seen your type before. Been there myself in fact, and I knew it would take an experience to get you to pay attention. You will fail your exam next week, and have to take my course over again, but I think you will be alright in the end." The instructor smiled.

Creative Commons License

Dream Keepers by
Jeffrey Hite is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

Based on a work at