Marty and Nidek
Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, PA, USA, Master Universe
Marty sat by himself on a long, wooden bench in Fairmount Park. Fairmount Park was Philadelphia's largest park. Marty went there nearly every day to play dodgeball with his friends from the other side of the city.
Today, though, he had nobody to oppose or team up with. The night before, one of his friends had been killed in his sleep…or something like that. Nobody was exactly sure how it had happened. Harry Drake had gone to sleep normally. The next morning, his mother had found him dead. A scar was stretched across his throat, but everyone thought that that was old. Nobody had broken in; there were no broken windows, doors, or walls, and the burglar alarm had not gone off. Harry's death was unexplainable.
So, Marty sat on that lonely bench, watching little children play on the playground and families walking to one of the museums that were part of the park, while his friends were at Harry's funeral. He had refused to attend. His life seemed to be getting weirder and weirder ever since he had seen that silver-eyed boy in a dream two months earlier.
Suddenly, he heard footsteps that sounded as though they were approaching him. Then they stopped. A voice he had never heard before said, "I'm sorry about your friend." Marty looked up…and there he was. The silver-eyed boy. He was wearing a blue-green t-shirt and blue jeans.
"Who are you and how did you know about Harry?" Marty accused through gritted teeth.
"I am Nidek of the Responding Universe. I saw your friend die."
Nidek went on to tell Marty how when people dream, they leave their world and enter a parallel universe that is manipulated by dreams. He continued and informed Marty that the Responding Universe had areas for every person of the Master Universe, or Masters, as they were called, which changed for every dream and different (and sometimes the same) people appeared in that area, depending on what the Master was dreaming about.
Then Marty was informed that there are also people who live in the Responding Universe all the time. Nidek was one of them. These people can "visit" Masters' dreams, and if the Master whose area the person lived on dreamed (which didn't happen often, Nidek said), their homes would be changed.
Nidek told Marty that he had been visiting Marty's dreams for years and that's how he knew about the young Master. He loved watching the dodgeball games that Marty usually won (like he did in real life), the flirting with girls (that Marty was not confident enough to do in the Master Universe), and the arguments with his parents.
"Are you sure I am not hallucinating right now?" Marty asked, unable to believe he was talking to someone from an alternate universe.
"No, I assure you I'm real."
"Fine! But what does any of that have anything to do with the murder of my friend?"
"Harry was murdered in his dreams by his dreams."
Nidek frowned. "Frightosis."
"Who to the what now?" Marty replied.
"Frightosis," Nidek repeated, "a disease from my world that somehow made its way into yours. It causes victims to only have nightmares.
"From my observations, the virus that causes it has mutated since the first outbreak. This mutation causes the victim to enter their nightmares entirely. Body and mind. That is how Harry died. His nightmare killed him. Literally. A giant rock, a mythical creature, killed him by using it talons on his throat."
"But there were no visible wounds!" Marty pointed out.
"But there was a scar…"
Marty was silent. He remembered there being a scar across his friend's throat that he hadn't remembered ever being there. He just assumed he had forgotten how it had happened. Now it made sense. Except: "Why is it a scar? Scars appear over weeks of healing. You told me Harry was killed last night. How would it have healed that quickly? And if his entirely body went into the Responding Universe, wouldn't it still be there?"
"I have the right to believe that the virus has not yet mutated completely, but is still in the process of mutating. I have the idea that bodies don't actually go into the nightmares yet, but anything that happens to a victim's body will pass on into the Master Universe to an extent. Harry's gash on his throat was only passed on to a point. A scar was the only thing that was able to return with him to the Master Universe. But he still died."
Marty was silent again. There was too much information to process. A nightmare had assassinated one of his best friends. A disease from another world is spreading beyond its place of origin. Victims of the disease were beginning to leave the real world entirely during their nightmares. To Marty, it seemed like this was how the world was going to end. This was the beginning of the end. The apocalypse.
"I want you to help me, Marty," Nidek said.
Marty almost fell off of the bench. "What?! What can I do?"
"You can come to the Responding Universe with me."
Marty fainted. "I'll take that as a yes," Nidek muttered. He put his hand on the unconscious boy's head and closed his own eyes. He felt himself being lifted off of the ground. He was coming home to the Responding Universe…with Marty.
Author's Notes: Yes! That is the same Harry Drake from The Virtual Files (Physically Virtual, etc.)! We can just assume that this takes place after all of the Virtual Files books, or else Harry would not be able to be in them: he'd be dead!
Fairmount Park is definitely a real place! You can Google it, and it will come up right away! And, yes, it is the largest park in Philadelphia! There are museums, too!
If this makes you afraid to go to sleep tonight, please be aware that my intention was definitely NOT to keep you from your rest! I want you to go to sleep! Don't be afraid that your nightmare will kill you! I made up the whole concept of Frightosis! None of the Frightosis thing is based on factual information! I made it up! So try to have a good night's sleep tonight!
Author's Request: R&R (Read and Review) is something that I absolutely love! Now that you have read this, it would be greatly appreciated if you review this story (or chapter, if you've already reviewed chapter 1)! As of this chapter's publication date (12/12/08), True Dreams remains the only Worlds of the SightSpirit Production (my stories) that is "review-less!" Your reviews of any of my works are welcome! Flaming is NOT welcome, but constructive criticism is helpful (as it helps me to make my future chapters and stories more "solid" and enjoyable to read)! So, if you come across another of my works, please, if you hadn't yet done so, review! Moral: I love reviews! -SightSpirit, author
This is a work of fiction. Any similarities between the characters in this work and real people, alive or dead, are either entirely coincidental or are used fictiously.