Brian goes to bed, hoping for a quiet night. Instead, he dreams of a creature pinned to the ground by ropes of sand. He starts to release it, but finds Jordan has entered the dream. She tells him to stop, they don’t know if the beast is friendly.
“It hasn’t attacked yet.”
“Of course not, it’s tied down.”
“It hasn’t growled or made any offensive moves, either.”
“Do you trust it?”
“Her,” he corrected, not sure how he knew the beast’s gender. “Yes, I find that I do. We need to let her up.”
“Are you sure?”
“Less sure every time you ask.” He reached out, petting the creature on the head.
Closing its eyes, it purred rather like a cat—if the cat were roughly half the length of a football field, had tawny yellow fur and big brown eyes. It reminded Brian of the dragon in The Never Ending Story. Rather than all scales, it sported fur on its head and the tip of its tail.
“You won’t hurt us, will you, Lady?” he touched the long, tapering snout. It was warm to the touch. “We’re here to help.”
“Are you hurt?” Jordan asked as she walked closer. Brian’s proximity had emboldened her.
The dark eyes flickered and they saw that one paw was wrapped tightly with cord. Jordan eased over to examine it.
“Oh, the poor thing! It’s cut into her flesh.” A silvery knife appeared in her hand. She attacked the cord that held the damaged paw.
Brian imagined his own knife, bigger and sharper than Jordan’s, to attack the ropes that held the dragon down. Patting the snout, he cut the rope nearest the head. It twanged slightly, flying up and over the arch of the neck. The dragon immediately turned its attention to Jordan’s task, trusting Brian to set it free. After he’d cut the fourth line, Jordan had managed to free the injured claw. It was crisscrossed with lacerations that were wickedly deep.
“Almost done?” Jordan called.
“Only a couple more. Come help me?”
Jordan excused herself from the dragon’s head. It nodded to her, closing its eyes and twitching up the sides of its mouth. Jordan felt deep, abiding love come from the animal. The last couple of ropes were tricky. Brian examined one, finding that if it were cut, as the others had been, it would trigger a trap and kill the dragon. He didn’t want that to happen.
“I’m not sure what to do here,” he confessed to Jordan. “This is a crude, but effective booby trap. I can’t do another thing until the dragon meets your brother.” Unsure what he meant by that remark, he looked over the ropes once more.
“My brother? Which one?”
“Scott, the eldest.”
“I don’t know. But we need him.”
Brian woke up, sitting up in bed, gasping as if something were around is throat, choking him. A glance at the clock showed him he’d slept over two hours. He vaguely remembered his dream, but not details. He remembered the dragon and something about Jordan’s brother, Scott. He barely knew the older man, having met him once a year ago at Christmas. He was a nice guy, but Brian had no idea why he would be needed to help out.
Giving a brief run down of his dream, he lay back down. He’d learned to do this, because not everything was revealed while he dreamed. If he slept again before doing it, he’d lose details. The dreams inevitably left him after the experience was shared. Hoping for more information, he went back to sleep, but rested the remainder of the night.
When he woke the next morning, Brian retained enough of the dream’s imagery to tell Jordan about it. He also recollected that, for some strange reason, he had to talk to her brother and get his help. He didn’t know why, but hoped that Scott could tell him.
Jordan was early. Eager and bouncing, she tapped quietly on the front door. Brian knew she was there before she knocked and met her quickly.
“Let me rinse my dishes and we can go. I have something to tell you.”
“I know,” she bounced on her toes, nearly jumping at him. “I was there! I saw it! The dragon, oh my God!” She squeaked quietly, trying not to make too much noise and bother the family.
Brian rinsed his dishes and put them in the dishwasher. Grabbing his backpack, he led her outside, closing the door quietly behind him.
“You really were there?” Brian helped Jordan into the high SUV and climbed in on the passenger side as she buckled her belt.
“Yes! That was so cool! I never thought for a second that I’d ever be in one of your Dreams.” She started the car and backed carefully into the street. “It was so cold there! But I thought of what would keep me warm and I found myself in a coat with a hat and gloves. It was like we were there. Is it always that vivid when you Dream?”
© 2018 Dellani Oakes
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