“Will you be in here, Daddy?”
“I’ll be right here the whole time,” Miles replied.
Brian felt his eyes water. His father had always been his rock, his security. Once the sensors were in place, Brian went to bed. His father sat with him, reading books and singing to him until he fell asleep. Miles stayed by the bed, a pen and legal pad in hand.
“I’m writing down the times that he speaks and as much as I can of what he says, in order to document this in written form as well as the video.”
Brian mumbled, tossing and turning under the blankets. Miles leaned closer, listening. The sound was muffled somewhat by blankets, but the recording picked them up.
“October thirty-first, Halloween night—twenty-twelve. The boy shall see things unlike any in this life. He shall run at first, but soon he will stand up and take charge. He will dream dreams and see visions. And the guardians will watch over him.”
Watching it now, Brian realized that his six year old self had seen him fight off the wraiths in the fog on Halloween night. It was obvious the child didn’t know he saw himself nine years in the future.
They watched a while longer. Each dream narrative was as confounding to Brian as the first had been. His phrases were clipped, abrupt and frightening.
“I don’t remember any of this,” Brian said. “Why can’t I remember?”
“I wish I could tell you,” Heath said. “I don’t know.”
The last tape showed Brian in an office. He and his parents sat in front of a large, wooden desk, waiting. There were no wires or sensors, so Brian assumed that this was a meeting rather than another sleep session. A man in a suit and tie walked in. Miles rose, shaking his hand. Brian clung to his mother.
“Mr. and Mrs. Casey, Brian.” He smiled. His eyes were sad, but his smile was warm.
Brian looked at the man, searching his face for something familiar. The man raised his glasses and Brian shivered with recognition, but not in a bad way. There was something special about this man. He had mocha colored skin and his eyes were a silvery color that glittered like metal.
“He looks like Andre,” Jordan said in an awed whisper.
“I’m Doctor Beauchamps,” he said, his voice lilting with a Creole accent. “You were referred to me by my colleague, Dr. Rufus, in Natchez.”
“Yes, sir. He said maybe you could help us. Our son—sees—things,” Miles said slowly, gauging the doctor’s reaction.
“What sort of things, Mr. Casey?”
Brian’s parents exchanged a furtive glance. They weren’t sure how much to share with this unfamiliar man.
“Mr. and Mrs. Casey, Dr. Rufus is a close friend and mentor. He also—bears the mark.”
Brian’s parents gasped. Dr. Beauchamps took off his suit coat and rolled up his left sleeve, showing them something hidden there. Brian assumed it was his own mark.
“Anything you tell me will be in strictest confidence. And I assure you, I will believe you.”
“Brian dreams,” Maribelle Casey said, stroking her son’s hair. “He has such horrific nightmares that he wakes up screaming. He’s terrified to go to bed.”
“Does he always have them?” The doctor asked.
“No,” she replied. “But his dreams are so real to him. He can’t sleep. He’s scared, Doctor. I want my son to stop being afraid to close his eyes at night.”
“I see.” Dr. Beauchamps nodded, steepling his fingers under his chin. “Brian, can we sit over there a moment so I may look at you?”
Brian grinned, nodding. He regarded the doctor with complete trust. Dr. Beauchamps led him to a leather couch and sat next to him. He gazed intently into Brian’s eyes. Without relaxing his gaze, he spoke to Brian’s parents.
“I can take away the fear and dull the memory of the dreams—for a time. When he reaches the Age of Awakening, the dreams will resume. Quite possibly with more intensity than before. I can’t stop that. Anything I do now will last only until his fifteenth birthday.”
“We understand, Doctor,” Maribelle said. “But we have to do what’s best for Brian. He doesn’t understand what’s going on and we don’t either. We don’t know anyone who can train him.”
“I don’t either. The Dreamers are rare, as you know. But I can take the fear away. Shall I proceed?”
“What else will it affect? Will he remember us? What he’s learned in school?”
© 2016 Dellani Oakes