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Out of Dreams

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This was, to put it bluntly not the kind of dream she would normally have. She would have dreams where she was in the world of a game she currently played or one that she just likes in general. Like, say Pokemon, quest based games, rpg and, on a sporadic basis, games that involve shooting or racing. Guess you can say she is quite the gamer. Enough that half of her dreams tend to be game based. The other half was just the usual mundane/wtf/weird kind of dreams.

That really doesn’t mean she just stays home all day and do nothing but play video games. That’ll be irresponsible of her. She considered herself to be pretty successful as far as balancing what she needed to do to be a decent/responsible person in society with her geeky hobbies. It does help job wise that it is game related as she works as a manager at a nearby game store. Pretty damn good she must say for someone that hailed from a rich family with screwed up family issues. Thankfully those issues aren’t anything more than just simple naiveness about the world around them.

Which speaking of which while she gave her parents and two sisters credit for not doing any heinous crimes or being complete utter assholes, she would rather just live in an apartment somewhere far enough without feeling like she up and abandoned them. Don’t get her wrong, she loved her family but she felt like she is the only one that knew how the rest of the world worked. Or more specifically while they were decent open-minded human beings who were always nice to the staff, they just came across as those who never seemed to have experienced anything with basic house stuff beyond cooking.

Eliza knew enough at least to get by like anyone else and knew from a reasonably young age that she had to get a job someday. Plus she also wanted to move and get her life going so hence her having decided to move down to Nashville and work while she went to college. She did work beforehand and felt accomplished that she was able to get an apartment. But she also did appreciate her parents wanting to help with the rent money by sending some every so often.

So now that we got some of the backstory exposited away, we can move along with this story that regarded the dream Eliza has right now. The first thing she noticed was a vast meadow full of green grass mostly surrounded by the densest woods she ever saw, dreams or otherwise, underneath a vivid blue. It was quite comfortable too, not too hot and not too cold. Just right. Maybe she was in some dream based on the setting of the latest Zelda game or maybe Monster Hunters. Or maybe scratch the last one since she hasn’t seen any monster like that. Probably a good thing too cause she wasn’t feeling up to fighting monsters and beasts at right now.

Just a few of your usual woodland animals like birds, rabbits, deer, butterflies The second thing she realized was how vivid the whole thing was. Like this was real life or something. But she knew it was a dream, she had always for some reason been aware of when she is in a dream ever since she was a young girl. Basically her whole life really. She didn’t realize nobody really remembers much of their dreams much less be aware they are dreaming until she was in elementary school. At that point, she didn’t want to be seen as the weird one and wanted to fit in. Not to the point of complete conformity mind you, it was always good to be an individual. She just also wanted to have friends too and be decent enough socially wise. She never wanted to be popular but she wanted to have some good friends and try to get less shit thrown at her as possible in life. Not that she hasn’t had shit thrown at her during her school days everyone does regardless. But she felt like she would’ve had a much worse time if she was completely relegated to the bottom of the school’s pecking order just cause she can remember her dreams more often as the average person.

She looked up ahead and saw in the distance a statue(granite? limestone? mixture? She wasn’t sure) and further beyond that some sort of town square. Hmm weird, she recalled nothing like this exactly of any of the games she played. From what she can remember anyways and she was pretty damn sure she might’ve played some games that looked similar, it was just the statue that threw her off. It was one she had not seen before in any game before(or real life for that matter) but it sure looked impressive and interesting enough to take a closer look.

She slowly walked towards the stone statue. It appeared to depict a young man that looked like he came from the 70’s with the wild hair and clothes. No scratch on the statue at face value. She also noticed that the clothes looked more modern with a 70s inspired look on closer inspection. It managed to make the man presented appear regal and important yet approachable at the same time. Which is a feat really in itself as most of the clothes from that decade looked wholly outdated if she was honest about it. The base of the statue had a plague that simply stated “The Colonel” however. It was engraved into the kind of metal one would find on statues and trophies and the like in the real world.

It was pretty cool she thought. But aren’t dreams a result of whatever your brain and senses took in for the day? Where did this Colonel statue come from, she recalled nothing off the top of her head that had a Colonel character that looked like the person etched out in stone before her. Well, she did watch a bunch of Classic Who episodes lately it could’ve came from there. Made good enough sense for her and besides dreams can be pretty weird sometimes.

Sometimes she had dreams that caused her to wake up wondering if she took any form of hard recreational drug the night before. And that was impossible since she is a casual smoker at the most. Cigarettes mostly, sometimes weed whenever she is at one of her friend's house. This wasn’t one of those weird dreams however, in fact it was already sorta bordering on mundane. Like the dream needs to try harder to bring itself onto her top ten weird ass dreams she ever had thus far list.

She looked around just lost in the moment of the nice day that her dream conjured up. Dream or no dream a sunny. warm but comfortable weather was always welcomed and appreciated. And it was quiet and peaceful so that was kind of a bonus too. Like she was the only one in a big dream world.for the night.

Or she thought she was the only one in this dream until she turned around and had to do a double take at plaza area up ahead. Was that a person waving hello at her from the fountain? Eliza could’ve sworn she didn’t see anyone there earlier. Or she might’ve had but just not paid attention to closely. She had done that before in dreams, but to be fair the statue did catch her attention first.

Eliza walked closer, she was used to seeing dream versions of people that she would see in real life, either those she knew already or just randomly see out in public such as at work or around town. But she was still confused somewhat. She liked conversing with dream versions of people, it can be equal parts helpful/funny. It just depended on her state of mind at that point and time really. Whether she went through a happy period or a period where she felt like saying fuck the world and everyone in it.

She noticed that he looked similar to what the statue depicted. That and he looked kinda like if Justin Timberlake was a brunette and had an afro with sideburns, “Justin Timberlake?” She teased good naturedly as she came up. Said guy stood up from his spot on the edge of the fountain. It was now that she noticed the water was somehow purple. That’s weird, but neat at the same time.

“Ha no I’m not but that’s a new one.” He laughed as he came up towards her with a mutual smile. Eliza then noticed she started to get a weird vibe from him. Like he was more than just some dream fabrication of someone she randomly saw in real life. She had seen pics of Justin Timberlake before so really she should just assume that maybe this was some dream version of him. A version of him that had dark brown hair instead of blond and it was just dream logic at play here.

And dreams are said to have at least some meaning to it right? She can pinpoint where mind got Justin Timberlake from, she and her sisters were huge NSYNC teenyboppers back in the day and she had a crush on said guy. But her senses still flared up that something was off about this like this was someone who just happened to look like Justin Timberlake if that made any damn sense. It frustrated her that her vibe kept up on the same track about all of this. She kept feeling like the man before her was someone real. Someone that wasn’t from forgotten memories. Someone who she hadn’t met before ever in real life.

She was just happy it wasn’t creepy kind of vibe. That would make the whole thing awkward and she freaked out at the same time. Like he was some kind of Freddy Krueger type person able to invade people's dreams. If it turned out that movie was true then she would definitely be up shit’s creek times infinity. Something weirdly told her thought that wasn’t the case.

“You look like the guy in the statue over there.” Eliza pointed out as she made a gesture behind her.

“Yeah that’s cause it is me, I put it there. I’m the Colonel but that’s just a nickname people use, name’s Jon Hensley.”

“Oh...well pardon me for saying so Jon, but that sounds kinda narcissistic of you.” Eliza joked then added, “I’m Eliza by the way.”, There was no hint showed from her demeanor that she was confused about what’s going on even though on the contrary she wanted to ask a million questions so to speak. A good part of her does want to find out what made Jon different than your generic dream person. That stemmed from the fact that the vibe around him told her that he may actually be a real people. That and she also sensed an aura around him, from her experience generic dream people don’t tend to have those at all.

Thank god she knew how to wake herself up if it turned out to be a horror movie come to life.

“You’re right it is but I have a good reason.” He replied. Eliza just looked at him with a skeptical look on her face. Jon expected her to not take him a face value. Who the fuck would with this kinda stuff? Nobody but a rare few of the population knew dreamwalking was a thing or speculated it was a thing. One would have to really dig around in general to find the few academic journals and studies on the subject. It was that obscure.

“You do?....” Eliza gave him a questioning look.

“Yeah, I realize this all sounds goddamn crazy so I’ll cut to the chase. I put that there sorta for a little test if you will.”

“A test? Really?” She had enough of that from her grandparents growing up to make sure she or her sisters listened to whatever they scolded them about. Sure some of it was warranted a scolding or two and she got that in hindsight. But they were pretty transparent with them and it got to the point where she and her sisters were more annoyed than anything. Her grandparents never understood the meaning of subtly. Even if it’s right in front of them in big bright neon letters within an inch of their faces.

“I wanted to see if you noticed how off it was in relation to your general.” He quickly added. Shit, that could’ve came out less awkwardly, but what can he do? Sadly there wasn’t any precedent for telling someone that they were a dreamwalker. And he certainly just can’t go and fucking ask for advice either. Dreamwalkers seemed to be as rare as a noncorrupt politician. And it has always been like that through history. He would know, he did his research.

Plus people are more liable to think he’s crazy.

“Off? I’m not sure what you mean by. Like different somehow?”

“Yes,” Jon stated carefully to not let too much giddiness show in his voice. He didn’t want to weird her out completely. He just can’t help but have the hopeful feeling grow bit by bit in the pit of his stomach. He finally won’t be alone in who can dreamwalk and control dreams. He’ll finally have someone whom he can talk to about this kind of stuff.

Don’t get him wrong, not like he wasn’t completely alone in other aspects of his life. He has a great family and a good amount of great friends. But ever since he realized he had something no one else was able to do, he felt a certain kind of loneliness. He didn’t have anybody to turn to for help and he learned early on it was better to keep his mouth shut about his ability.

Nobody was really able to take him seriously unfortunately as he learned as a kid. Not even the ones he thought would believe him like his parents and his closest buddies at the time. It was mostly dismissed as a child’s imagination. And for the longest time, he just reckoned he had a natural talent for lucid dreaming. Under the pretense of it was all just lucid dreams, he honed his skills cause why not? To control your own dreams sounded pretty cool as shit to honest and who wouldn’t want to take advantage of that. He can go on and on about the fantastical dreams he had using this unique power.

He just didn’t realize what he had was more than just lucid dreaming until one night during his freshman year. He had gone to sleep one night and he expected to be in his own dream just like how it always been. Back then his dreams usually started in a dream version of his house or neighborhood. So that night instead of where he lived, he found himself at History class during some presentation. He found himself at his desk while a kid recognized as one of his classmates. He was confused at first and got an odd sense that he wasn’t the one in control this time. He connected the dots and realized the control belonged to the kid in front who sounded nervous as he talked about the ancient Romans and some battle he hadn’t bothered to read about for class.

Well, that had explained the weird vibe he got, somehow he stumbled into this kid’s dream he surmised. Which meant he can probably walk into other people’s dreams. After that, he had started his research into dreamwalking

“Most of my dreams tend to be a mixture of game world and real life and I’m pretty I haven’t seen that thing before. Game or otherwise.” Eliza confessed after a moment to remember.

Jon smiled, she passed his admittedly not well thought out test. Eliza appeared to be a dreamwalker who didn’t realize she was one. Eliza, on the other hand, was confused on where he was getting at. He talked as if he was actually a real person in real life, and the voice inside her head kept telling her that he was. She was getting more intrigued really, and bewildered kinda at the same time. Was there a word that meant both of those things at the same time? She wasn’t sure but whatever it was she definitely felt that at this moment.

“You’re acting like if you’re not a figment of my imagination…” Eliza stated curiously.

“That's cause I’m not,” He stated matter of factly before he paused for a second unsure of what to say next. He decided to just go for broke and let it out there, “I’m what’s known as a dreamwalker. Have you heard about dreamwalking before?”

Eliza thought for a second before she shook her head. She wasn’t sure if she read about it before or not. Probably not, but there was always the chance she did and just forgot she had. Plus she never thought about dreamwalking being something someone can do. It was always just a thing of fiction. Or so she thought, “Doesn’t it only exist in the Freddy movies and that bad Robert Downey Jr movie?” She admitted. Nobody can’t say she was ever close minded. Skeptical sure depending but never close-minded.

“Wait you saw In Dreams?” Jon asked a bit off tangent,

“Yeah, it was a pretty bad horror movie.” Eliza said with a casual laugh, “I made a snarky review video for it on youtube some years back.

“Cool, I might have watched it then. I lost 2 hours one afternoon just watching video reviews for that movie. Robert is a good actor but man that movie fucking sucked.” Jon laughed.

“Thanks. Well if you say what you just claimed you are then I can imagine how much more annoyed you probably felt after seeing that movie.”

“I was yeah. And the cops were just uselessly annoying too in the movie.”

“Well, cops tend to be useless idiots in some movies like that.”

Jon gave a nod, “True. Nightmare On Elm Street is way better overall.”

“I agree.”

“And let me assure you I am nothing like Freddy or Vivian. I don’t have any major untreated issues.”

Eliza laughed. She observed too that unlike the characters in the movies mentioned, she and Jon seemed to get along fine so far. This was real life after all and movies, in general, don’t tend to represent things too well so just because Jon was one, doesn’t mean he was a psycho manchild or a psycho demon from hell. In fact, Jon had an angelic appearance around him that accentuated his friendly nature.

“Well that’s always good, neither do I.”

Jon laughed then faded into a comfortable smile, “Right so anyways to answer your question earlier, dreamwalking is very much a thing, but it’s very rare. There’s been only a handful of dreamwalkers since the first recorded one in the 1500s.”

“Oh wow.”

“Yeah, which meant I had to figure out everything myself when I realized I was one.”

“Makes sense since I assume there wasn’t any dreamwalking for dummies book or something. Still must’ve been tough to not have someone to help ”

“Yeah, and plus it also means no one will take you seriously 99% of the time if you try to tell them.”

“Did you try telling someone about it?” Eliza hesitated a little to ask but forged ahead anyway to satisfy the cat in the bag. Well, it was more like a kitten since it wasn’t a burning question but this is all new territory for her. This was something that, given from what Jon said, is an obscure aspect of the world. Of course, she was going to be interested enough to ask! She now knew something most the of the world don’t and that was quite the surreal, wondrous feeling to be had. Still though a part of her wondered why she was chosen to be privy to this in the first place.

“Yeah, I sorta tested the waters first by asking my family about it when I was and shit. I framed it like we were doing a unit in science about the mind, dreams, and whatnot. No dice. If they can’t take it seriously then what chances do I have that my close friends will?”

Eliza felt bad for him even though it sounded like it was to be expected, “I’m sorry.”

Jon shrugged her apology off and shook his head a bit, “Nah it’s fine I mean…” He paused, it wasn’t like his life was complete shit because of that little fact. He has a great family, great friends and a career he is happy with. Or to be more honest, only one close friend of his knows about it. But on the other hand being a dreamwalker served to be different enough to have an unfilled void take up part of him. Or unfilled until now rather.

He was confident that Eliza was a dreamwalker like him, her dreams felt different to him. He couldn’t explain it but his senses blared up after he decided to observe her dreams. Totally in a non-creepy way mind you, Jon has a self imposed rule that he doesn’t stay in someone’s dream for longer than 30 minutes. Otherwise, he’ll just feel like he is being a creep. Of course, there are exceptions like if there was someone that could use a good supportive person(he had that happen quite a few times, he obviously doesn’t mind). Or if someone was having a nightmare, then he would subtly change them for the better.

“My life is great don’t get me wrong. I was even able to tell just one friend of mine about my power, but I would feel more like ‘I’m not the only one’ knowing someone in this fucked up world has the same kinda thing I do.” That might’ve not been the more eloquent way to put it, but he hoped she got what he was trying to say.

“I getcha, and I feel completely awkward saying this but I don’t think I’m exactly the right person? I mean you can trust me to keep a secret, lord knows how many dumb shit I’ve done as a teen and younger that I kept from my parents.” Eliza chuckled followed by a friendly smile, “But I don’t think I’m exactly what you’re hoping for.”

“But you are, dude you wanna know how you think lucid dreaming comes so easy to you? That’s actually your dream walking abilities. With lucid dreaming, it can take years to get it down.”

“How can you be sure I’m a dreamwalker then?”

“That I can’t explain it any further than a weird vibe. I uhh….this is gonna sound creepy but I observed your dreams the last couple of nights for almost an hour. I can tell you that from what I know the dreams of dreamwalkers are inherently different enough than lucid ones. And obviously, your normal one of the mill dreams too. “

“And dreamwalking is different because you can control other people’s dreams right?”

“Yeah. You still can’t make things a reality though. Anything you create in your dream is still just that, a dream, but you can make shit realistic enough to mess with someone.”

“Well, I certainly don’t want to mess with someone like that.”

“Same, that’s why I only mess with myself.” Both of them laughed lightly at his little joke as Jon moved over to the edge of the fountain. It was still the same purple color as earlier, “Would you like me to show you?”

Eliza paused for a split second before she nodded. Jon proceeded to put his hand underneath. Her eyes widen with wonderment when the color changed to a shade of bright green. She walked up and leaned over a bit, a giddy smile on her face. This has to be the coolest damn thing she ever saw dreams or otherwise.

There was definitely no reason to doubt Jon’s claims now, “Ok that is fucking cool, not gonna lie.” Eliza exclaimed as she faced Jon. He was sitting down on the edge again.

“I agree. Why don’t you give a shot?” He offered.

“You still think I’m able to do this?” Eliza still sounded a bit unsure. She really didn’t want the guy to feel disappointed if it turned out he was completely wrong. Jon already seemed like the kind of guy she wouldn’t mind getting to know more.

Jon still sounded pretty sure if things, “Yes. Hey, worst case scenario is that I will end up feeling like a complete dipshit and everything turns awkward.” Eliza chuckled at that statement. That is a good point in terms of possible bad outcomes.

“Well, there is no harm in trying at least.” Jon conceded. Deep down he started to hope more than his gut feeling about this was right. Even though the majority of him told him to trust it, there was that one tiny unsure part of him. Probably stemmed from the fact that this is the first time this had happened. That he came across another dream walker.

Eliza then sat down next to him with her body turned towards the water, “So how do I do it exactly then?”

“Put your hand over it or in it if that makes easier. Then concentrate on what you want it to be. Imagine it. It can be a different color or it can be filled with something else entirely if you want. Doesn’t matter to me.” Jon explained.

Eliza nodded. Jon’s instructions sounded easy enough. She put her hand under the water then closed her eyes. She wasn’t sure what to think off. She decided to just settle on something she always liked after a few seconds of thinking. She still wasn’t sure it worked until she felt the water turn from a liquid to something solid. That and the fact she suddenly heard the sound of celebratory laughter told her it worked! Jon meanwhile felt like he could hug her in excitement.

Eliza opened her eyes and was very much surprised that it worked. It actually freaking worked! She had turned the fountain of water into a fountain of old NES games. She picked one up for closer inspection, it definitely felt solid and realistic enough to her. She stared at it in amazement that she was able to do this. Jon was right, she was a dream walker all this time. And here she thought she just possessed a natural talent for lucid dreaming. Was her whole life up to that point a complete lie? Everything makes more sense now.

Jon still laughed but it subsided a bit, “Video games?” He thought that was an interesting choice.

“I’m admittedly a geek,” Eliza said with a laugh.

“So am I. I like video games too.” Jon replied back with a smile. He was still riding on the fact that his senses were 100 percent without a doubt right! Now it was the next part, and that was hoping they would be good enough friends. Which if she liked video games then the chance they could be have gone up a little bit. Obviously making new friends is more intricate but he hoped they could be though.

“So where do we go from here? What’s next?” Eliza asked after she took another minute for this new revelation to sink on. She stood up and walked a bit closer.

Jon stood up as well, he wasn’t too sure either. Well no he does ie teaching her, but how does one teach it? He hadn’t done that before obviously. He supposes the best thing would be to start easy and go up from there. Start in tutorial mode so to speak. Common sense really, “Practice and I can help you if you’d like.”

“I think I would like that.”

“Ok great!”

Eliza smiled, she would feel better if she had someone teach her the ropes of her newfound but cool abilities. At least get her started before she tried this on her own. She wouldn’t know where to anyways, “Is it alright if you show me how you can change up dreams on a bigger scale?”

“Oh sure, I can do that. Anything in particular?”

“Hmm, you can pick.” Eliza said casually. This was all still new to her so she figured why not just let the more experienced dreamwalker choose. Plus she wasn’t sure what to choose anyways right off the top and didn’t want to take too long with her decision.

“Alright.” Jon said. He waved his hands in a grand flourish. The surroundings started to slowly blur and fade into something else entirely. Like a smooth dissipating transition from one slide to the next in a powerpoint or a photo slide. The previous scenery melted away and a grand palace took its palace. Eliza looked around in amazement. She never saw a palace this big before. Actually she has never been in any in real life or in her dreams, but still. She noticed the intricately designed walls in between the mirrors that ran down this hall.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg of what dreamwalkers can create. In the wrong hands, it can really fuck someone up.” Jon explained. He looked around a bit too as if he was admiring his work, “Bring their worst fears or memories back to life so to speak.”

“Or conjure some generically creepy like an abandoned mental asylum.”

Jon softly cracked up into a smile, “Yeah or that.”

“Do you worry some psychopathic criminal having this power too?”

“That is always gonna be something of a worry but I don’t let it take over my life. I’m pretty damn sure we’re the only ones though. I do google one in a while though...that probably sounded a little more paranoid than I wanted too haha.”

“Eh, I don’t blame you. I would too, one of those easily corruptible things I can imagine.” Eliza simply stated as she looked around then suddenly noticed their clothes. She joked, “Feels like we’re not dressed right for this, uhh fake reality.”

“Ha, I suppose we’re not.” Jon agreed as he checked himself in the nearest mirror then suggested, “We should fix that.” With that, he made a humorous dramatic twirl. When he stopped Eliza noticed he might as well come out of a Victorian set movie or tv show.

“Now you try. Same principle as before only imagine yourself looking royal.” He encouraged in a patient tone.

“Alright.” She closed her eyes as remembered what she did before. Only this time she was coming up blank, “I’m not thinking of anything, and it doesn’t have to be period accurate?”

“Nope doesn’t have to be. It’s a dream, nobody gonna kick our ass for getting some shit wrong.”

“Good point.”

“Hell, you don’t have to if you don’t want to. I don’t give a shit. Could be good practice, I was having a hard time in the beginning with this cause I would overthink something. So another tip with this would be you have to be sure about your decision.”

Eliza lightly nodded, that made sense to her. That and don’t worry about any details. It was a dream who the hell was gonna know about it but them. It was also nice to know that he didn’t care either. Still, she wanted the practice and it was a chance to play dress up without actually doing it in the real world. She closed her eyes for the second time and when she opened them, she had on a deep purple Victorian era looking dress. She had to admit it felt different and neat wearing old times royal fashion.

“Wow, you look pretty, I mean not that you weren’t before but…” That came out a bit awkwardly soon but luckily Eliza didn’t think anything of it but to just laugh softly with a smile. It was just the sight unexpected caught his breath. She looked gorgeous.

“No no, I get you thanks. You look handsome yourself.” Eliza repaid the mutual compliment with a smile. The black outfit and that dark hair of his brought out the blue in his eyes in stunning fashion, “I bet you have a girlfriend with how good you look.” She lightly teased.

“Haha actually I used to but I’ve been single for a few years now.”

Eliza felt a part of her perk up at the sound of that one keyword. She briefly wondered if they were compatible enough to date. Of course, there should be more time to determine if they would work to be in a relationship. She didn’t want to go too fast obviously and they could just end up being nothing more than friends.

“I’m single too. I dated before but all I got were assholes.” Eliza shared with a laugh. A comfortable silence fell between them as they wandered down the hall. It was pretty bright in the room and there were windows that let in the dream manufactured light.

The two walked to the end of the hall of mirrors and aimlessly went down the corridor. This hallway led further into the dream palace to a more open area with grand elegant stairs in the middle. They definitely looked fit for a royal, fancy palace. Eliza soon faces Jon and stated, “I want to try and change the surroundings.”

“Oh, that’s fine. Maybe try something small first, that’s what I did when I started out.” Jon suggested with a smile.

“Yeah, that sounds good. We should change our outfits back first.” Jon suggested almost as an afterthought. Eliza silently agreed with a nod and Jon reverted both of their outfits back to what they previously had on with a quick snap. He definitely made this ability look easy.

“Oh wow, that was fast.” Eliza commented, that was impressive no doubt about that.

“Yeah, after a while you can do the changes without thinking too hard on it. It can be tricky at first.” Jon stated. It definitely took him a little while before he was able to make the changes look like magic really. Lord knew how many times he screwed up in the beginning.
“So is there anything specific you want me to change the um...scene too?”

“Eh, I don’t care haha, surprise me.”

“Alright,” Eliza said before she mulled over for a second, “Probably dumb given the kind of movies with dreamwalking in them about something abandoned for shits and giggles?” Eliza suggested with a playful smile and Jon laughed lightly. It wasn’t that she didn’t like abandoned places or found them uninteresting. She did and in fact, may or may not have explored some abandoned buildings here and there. It was just the association of dreamwalking and anything creepy really.

She just didn’t want Jon to somehow think she thought that what all dreamwalking ever is. A power used by a psychopath to torment and eventually kill people. But that was only a part of her that felt that way. The majority of her realized she was overthinking things. The overthinking stemmed from the fact she was feeling something connected already with him. She wanted to be at least good friends with him. If something more happens then that’s great but best friends is perfectly fine too. She felt like she had somewhat better luck making friends then keeping a date anyways.

“Sure.” He simply said. He didn’t seem to be too bothered by the suggestion. That served well to keep her at ease. Eliza concentrated and about a minute later the scene around them had completely changed to that of a hallway in an abandoned posh hotel. It was still a sunny day with light that bathed the walls and floor in a warm glow. It gave the whole place an inviting look despite the eerie atmosphere.

“Kinda based it on a hotel I saw on Hell Hotel,” Eliza admitted which made Jon let out a chuckle.

“No wonder it looks familiar.” He teased with a smile as he looked around. She did a pretty good job he thought.

“You’ve seen that show too? Watching Gordon Ramsay go off on people is a tv weakness of mine.”

“I don’t blame you. His shows are entertaining.”

“So how did I do?”

“Hmm, you did a good enough for me. Looks real enough, eerie,” Jon started as he looked down at the simplistic dark green floor for a second, “Could look a little more with abandoned with the walls but it’ll be stupid for me to expect more out of a beginner I think.”

“And I would agree.” Eliza smiled with a small nod, “I’m assuming since we’re dreamwalkers we can make blood or something appear from walls?”

“Yep. You can make anything you want to appear. You don’t mind if I demonstrate?” Jon asked while he gestured to the wall. He was in someone’s else dreams so he felt better if he asked for permission first. He did get the vibe that Eliza trusted him pretty much to not suddenly go psycho like in the movies. But it was still the principle of the thing, always ask first.

“I don’t mind go ahead. Creep me out.” Eliza joked with a casual, light laugh that turned into a smile.

“Haha. Ok so like I said you can make anything appear. You can make the usual horror stuff come out of the walls like blood,” Jon explained as he made a small spot on the wall in front of them leak with a little bit of blood. He made that disappeared in lieu of for one single bug coming out towards the top then disappearing once it went down a ways towards the bottom, “Or bugs. Just one for this demo cause I don’t want to creep the hell out of you.” Or himself out too for that matter.

“Thanks haha,” Eliza replied before Jon continued on.

“You can make any sort of writing appear on the wall. You can make it creepy as shit or elegant as shit.” Jon demonstrated the latter by making his full name appear on the wall before them in cursive. It stretched along for most of the portion of the wall between the rooms.

Eliza admired the fancy writing, it looked like it came from a time long gone, just like the dream palace they had from earlier. They both decided to explore more of the abandoned hotel while they made small talk. Or they would have if it wasn’t for Jon getting a vibe that they were both about to wake soon. So he quickly changed the surrounding back to what he had when he and Eliza met before he explained to her.

“We’re about to wake up soon,” Jon started, they both stood in front of what looked like a huge tower several stories tall. It was completely purple, bright purple to be exact with big arches to pass through. Jon gestured to the tower, “You can still wake up normally but you can also create something to immediately wake up from. This is my way.”

“Oh wow that’s handy,” Eliza commented before getting back to her most important thought. That being the fact that she didn’t want this to be the only time she talked with Jon. She wanted to meet him in real life. She took a second of a glance before she faced him, “But wait I don’t want...I mean...I would like to see you again.” She could have sounded a little less awkward there she chided herself a bit but it wasn’t that bad she felt.

“Same here.” He smiled, “You said you lived in Nashville right?”

Eliza nodded, “Do you?” If he does that would make things easier but honestly, it would be fine if they have to for now just rely on text messages and Internet in general for the time being. But deep down she hoped that they would live close enough to meet up and hang out.

“Yeah, I have a place there for when I need to for work.” Jon replied.

Eliza smiled. She wanted to find out more about him and was even about to ask what he does for a living, but held the urge back. It had to wait until they were awake and seeing each other in the real world. Or at least that seemed to be the case from how hurried Jon sounded a bit here. And it was only now that she got the sense that she was about ready to wake up as well. Shit if they were gonna meet then they would have to figure out where they were gonna meet.

“You want to hang out in a few after we wake up? I mean if you...want to.”

“Sure. How about lunch somewhere downtown?”

“Alright. Wait before we plan this would I even remember where you tell me to meet you at? I mean given this is a dream and all. Dreams tend to fade.”

“They do but it’s a little different for the person who walked into someone’s dream. I’ll explain it but there’s not much time now. Why don’t you tell me your number and I’ll call you shortly after we both wake up.”

Eliza nodded and told him her number. And he was right as hell about the waking up part. A few short seconds later she immediately found herself in her bed in her small apartment. She lay there for a good minute or two staring up at the ceiling. She remembered the dream still in vivid colors. Especially Jon. She stared up at the ceiling, a tiny part of her wondered if Jon was actually real. Not that she still doubts his claims and all, but she got worried that maybe her mind was playing a cruel as shit prank on her, like come up with a guy who said he actually exists in real life. Someone that she can see herself easily being friends with or hell more than friends. Only to wake up and realize it was just nothing but one of those lucid dreams she had all over life and Jon was just imagined. She felt like she would feel a bit irrationally pissed and disappointed at the same time if that turned out to be the case.

A minute later a sound pierced through the air, it came from her phone on the nightstand next to her bed. She must’ve been mostly expecting Jon to call cause she didn’t feel freaked out when a now familiar voice came out from the other end. Well, she did feel a bit freaked out when she saw the unknown number and subsequently his voice but not in the way she would have if it had been a stalker. It was a more pleasant freakout. A pleasant surprise that confirmed that her mind didn’t decide that her life was due for a good old shitfest to be set upon her. She smiled to herself, Jon was real. That meant everything he said was true. He was a dreamwalker. She was a dreamwalker.

She’d been a dreamwalker all her life and she didn’t even know it. And all this time she just thought she had a natural talent for lucid dreaming. Well better a little late than never she supposed. Though that being said, she thinks she is happy to know it now than say her golden years. She also felt completely relieved to know that this guy, this handsome nice guy was undeniably real. She didn’t even realize she felt anxious to know the answer to that lingering question.

And it turned out the dreamwalker who walked into someone dreams remembers details about the person more easily than the person whom the dream belonged to. Or as per what Jon said after a quick apology before he explained it more in detail. He admitted however if it was a little different with her since she herself has the power too, but he didn’t want to take any chances. Frankly from what he said it did sound a little risky had they planned to meet up somewhere later today while they were still in her dream. There may have been a good chance she’ll end up forgetting the important details in a short amount of time. That really wouldn’t been good for either of them.

Or what if she forgot them as she was searching for a pen and paper to write them down on? Plus this is uncharted territory so to speak so it was smart in her opinion to play it safe. They eventually just planned on meeting at his house.

“Oh and I should tell you that I also told a friend of mine about my ability for your information.” Jon informed her after they decided on what they were doing. He figured he should let her know about anyone else that knew. It’s only fair as Eliza deserved to be given the heads up on whoever else knew about dreamwalking being a thing. Otherwise, it would just be awkward. And dickish to hold that kind of information back in his opinion. Luckily it was just one person outside of them both.

And that was fine with her really. In fact, it was nice to hear that someone who wasn’t like them seemed to be open-minded about it enough to take it seriously, “Oh cool, so I take it he was the only one that believed you?”

“Yeah,” Jon answered with a casual smile. Eliza can imagine how grateful and relieved he was when that happened. It would totally suck if he had told a friend and said friend laughed like he was 100 percent crazy, “Course I had to show him that dreamwalking is a thing, but that’s to be expected. So far he’s the only one that was readily open-minded enough to the idea. His name is Shooter.”

“Cool. That’s an interesting choice of name.”

“It is, his parents gave him that nickname. I’m actually his manager, he’s a singer. His name is Shooter Jennings” Jon elaborated matter of factly.

That name was familiar to her. She might’ve heard some of his songs before but wasn’t sure. She did remember that the legendary singer Waylon had a son with that name, “Is he Waylon Jennings son? ”

“Yep. Don’t worry he is a really nice guy. Awesome dude, we’re close buddies so I just wanted him to know that part of me..”

“Once you felt like you can trust him?” Eliza questioned. She hoped that didn’t come off as she was untrusting of what he was saying, Jon felt pretty damn trustworthy already if you ask her. And he did mentioned back when they met in her dreams that he told one person that was like the majority of the population. Seemed like she was able to remember most of her time with him in dreams. She felt happy about that little fact.

“Yeah but that didn’t take too long as opposed to other people. We connected quickly.” Jon added to his explanation.

The two went over where and when they’ll meet before they hung. Eliza was happy that she didn’t have to go to work today so she killed most of the morning by playing video games. She also looked forward to the whole thing. It definitely something meeting someone in your dreams only to find that they exist and you’re gonna meet them in real actual god damn life. It’s exhilarating really. Who the fuck else can say that! Well except maybe Shooter if that’s how they met. But that didn’t seem too likely from how Jon said things. Sounded like he met him and only walked into his dreams after he took him.

How does he walk into people dreams? Eliza suddenly wondered. Obviously one had to be asleep she reckoned, but how did the process go? Ok, she has one question to ask him now. She wanted to know how to do that. And it wasn’t like she was gonna go rogue and abuse her power, not in a million damn years would she do that. She just figured it might be good information to know.

When she arrived at the restaurant she spotted Jon in one of the corner tables fairly quickly. He must’ve arrived a bit earlier. And he was also pretty easy to find despite only having met last night in dreams due to the fact he looked about the same. Same wild hair, same height, the only difference really was the aviator shades he had on. He smiled brightly as she walked up and took the seat across from him.

The other difference Eliza mentally added was that his blue eyes seemed to stand out more and looked more dreamy than she remembered from inside her dream last night, “Hey it's nice to meet you in the real world.” Eliza greeted with a casual laugh. There’s something that wouldn’t make sense if anyone else had said it.

Jon laughed lightly at her joke, “Same to you. May I say you look more pretty than in dreams.”

“Oh, thanks.” Eliza had paused then continued with a casual laugh, “There’s something that only makes sense with us.”

“Ha yeah.”

“I do have a question about something, how exactly do to walk into other people’s dreams? What’s the process?” Eliza decided to get to the question.

“Well that’s easy,” Jon answered with a smile then paused for a second, “Or it is once you get the hang of it. You just make a psychic link with either a person in mind or someone at random.”

“Oh ok.”

“It sounds complicated but it’s not really once you’re used to it. I only use it to enter the dreams of the friend I told you about earlier. Uhh well aside from you obviously.”

“Right yeah haha. How do you establish a psychic link?”

“You just think of the person whom’s dreams you want to go into. Then you concentrate and let your...psychic energy be directed at that person.” Jon started, a bit unsure of how to explain it, “Maybe I can show to you instead? This can admittedly be tricky at first cause if you think of another person while you’re doing it then you’ll end up in that person’s dreams rather than the one you wanted.”

“Oh, that’ll be helpful, thanks. Yeah I’m sure people don’t want a random stranger walking into their dreams.” Eliza finished with a laugh. This part of the whole dreamwalking business sounded like it was one of those things that it was easier to just show someone how to do it then try to verbally explain it.

Jon laughed back and agreed with a nod, “Yeah. My friend ain’t most people though haha he enjoys it whenever I walk into his dreams and come up with something fantastical and awesome for him to do. Or both of us really.”

“What kinda stuff do you create in his dreams?”

“Well anything reasonable really, most of the times it’s an epic fantasy type where we have to collect treasures and fight evil monsters.”

“Sounds awesome.”

“It is. There would be fairies and dragons and whatever mythological creature he’d want. With things like vampires and werewolves or zombies, I have to make sure they don’t get too outta hand. Otherwise, the whole dream is liable to become a nightmare and you can get woken up all of a sudden in a fright.”

“That sounds like a good idea. Had that ever happen by mistake?”

“Nope. A couple of close calls in the beginning but not really.” Jon answered. It was understandable as he hadn’t created anything like a quest to fight a strong monster before he met Shooter. For his part, he quickly got the hang of creating a decently strong foe that won’t turn the dream into a hellish nightmare.

“And Shooter understood I was still learning how to fine tune my powers with that kinda stuff so that’s good too.” Jon added just as the waitress came to take their order.

Eliza decided to take the moment to catch another smitten glance at Jon again. She suddenly wondered if he too wanted to take this further. But wait should she ask herself that question in the first place so soon? She wasn’t even still sure they would work out as boyfriend/girlfriend. And don’t get her wrong she had enough confidence to at least bring it up, but the other thing was she hadn’t really thought about dating since she graduated high school. The doubts that flooded her mind at this moment probably stemmed from that little fact.

After she gave her order she and Jon faced each other and Eliza stammered for a second before she remembered the next question she was going to ask, “Are you able to take other people along for the ride to other people’s dreams?

“Yeah um I’ve taken Shooter once or twice before. Few times I think actually. He likes doing that. I remember the first time we went was to was a dream where the person was watching a golf tournament.”

“Oh that sounds riveting,” Eliza sarcastically said before she chuckled casually, “Though if I get the chance I won’t mind wacking the golf balls.” Jon replied with a casual laugh before he went on.

“But yeah the guy’s dream was pretty boring haha. Shooter’s dreams are way more interesting than even half of the people who dreams I observed if you ask me. The last time I walked into a dream of his we went on a quest. Fighting monsters, fairies….”

“Sounds like fun.”

“Yeah it was! One time we fought an evil oppressive government that was run by a demon posing as a human. I made up this dystopian post apocalyptic world set in the future and we had to uncover this conspiracy and defeat the demon boss.”

“Oh wow, that honestly sounds fun! Sounds easy to accidentally become a nightmare though.” Eliza mentioned at the end and Jon shook his head a bit to assure her

“It wasn’t I made sure of that.” Jon said and a comfortable silence filled the air. Eliza was definitely her time with Jon more and more. That was a good feeling to be had that she made a new friend. A new friend that could end up being a boyfriend, and she did wanted to go there. But obviously she didn’t want to rush and she assumed Jon felt the same way. A part of her still wanted to date him but she also felt like maybe it was still too soon. It wouldn’t be good to screw up a friendship so early after all, she would feel bad and regret it if she rushed things. Maybe they can do a dating trial. That way they can go back to just being friends without it being turned into the next broke up with significant other type song.

“Sometimes I have to remind him that we need to wake up soon.” Jon continued after a minute passed with a light hearted laugh.

“I imagine, I reckon you might have to remind me too.” Eliza laughed along, “I have to do more of what you show me for practice. That was a lot of fun doing it last night.” She complimented and Jon smiled warmly in return.

“Yeah I agree. Don’t overdo though or you might accidentally give yourself a nightmare….kinda did that by mistake once when I was younger. And one more thing I feel I need to add, sometimes you’ll get awaken abruptly. Had it happen to both me and Shooter multiple times.”

Eliza nodded. She wasn’t sure how to bring up the whole dating trial idea without sounding a little awkward, “We should definitely hang out again sometime.”

“Totally yeah. You’re a cool gal Eliza.” Jon said sincerely, “If you want we can go to my place after this. We can play videos games and I can show you a book I’m working on. Well, it's kinda a book, more like a personal journal but I’ve written so many pages it might as well be one. Or at least a novella.” Jon finished with a casual laugh.

“Oh? What’s it about?”

“Well it’s mostly for reference purposes but I’ve been compiling all this stuff about dreamwalking on my computer. It's slow going but I find it helps. And with this, I don’t have to worry about any deadlines.” Jon added in a teasing way. He had thought in the past that it would be cool to have this be published. He wanted it out there so someone that had the same power can easily find a very informative book about it. He didn’t want anyone to go through the same arduous process he did to fully understand dreamwalking. Plus it also would be a great way to educate the masses about this rare, but admittedly cool ability. ….

But. as he also explained, two things made him reconsidered the notion. One, it still wasn’t the right time. People will most likely still find it crazy and too out there. Since the whole thing was rare as shit, it was gonna be a hell of a long time Jon felt before dreamwalking was taken seriously. The other thing was that he was worried that someone else with the same ability (whom they wouldn’t have an idea about until it was too late) could use the information to malicious ends. The world does not need a real life Freddy Krueger or Vivian Thompson.

Jon would feel guilty if that came to pass so for now he planned to keep the book a secret. The only issue with that decision was now he felt bad that some other good hearted person is going to have a harder time to find an answer. For all he knew there could be one or two more people other there just like Eliza, but he also didn’t want to put innocent people at possible risk of a dreamwalking madman.

The food came and the two kept up the talk. Eliza had agreed to come to Jon’s place and the urge to ask him about what he would think about the idea of doing a dating trial period. She just now was not sure when was the right time to ask, maybe at his place after a while? Eventually though when they have already spent about 30 minutes later at Jon’s place Eliza bit the bullet and asked. It was damn understandable that she would feel anxious about it. Would he think it was a good idea? Would he just want to be friends cause he not ready yet?

Turned out Eliza didn’t need to fret too much after she asked and explained her reason for the suggestion. They were currently playing a game and now that she took the plunge, the playing paused as Jon looked at her for a brief second before he gave her a smile, “I think a trial period sounds like a great idea. I’m not sure either if we should wait it out a bit to try dating or what?” Jon admitted with a warm chuckle.

“Haha great. How long should it be then? Eliza asked and Jon thought about it for a second.

“Hmm, we can just do it for as long as it takes until either one of us or both have an answer either way.”

“That sounds good to me.” Eliza replied with a smile.