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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2042580-Ithareal
by brom21
Rated: ASR · Short Story · Action/Adventure · #2042580
A man is trapped in a dream world and must use all that is inside him to escape.
I ran as fast as I could from the strange ball of moonlike color that gave out human cries. I did not know what it was. It chased me down an old, cracked road with buildings like shrines an cathedrals on both sides. Then it cornered me at a steep precipice with spiraling smoke at the bottom. As it neared me, I saw small glowing orbs within it. I made out what one voice was saying.

“Jump! Destroy yourself! It will take your soul!”

The voice was gargled like a person trying to speak as they were drowning. I was afraid to jump and I held up my sweaty hands and screamed.


Suddenly a bright flash lit up the dim, twilight-like shade of my surroundings. Out of the burst of light appeared a man with a shining unsheathed sword holding a shield. He was positioned between me and the ball of light. The glowing sphere retreated from the presence of the man and backed away. Then with a barrage of loud cries, it vanished.

I was confounded with the notion of what was happening to me. The last thing I remembered was laying my head down to go to sleep in my apartment. I swept my head from side to side with my eyes closed but when I opened them I was still there, in that murky, abyssal place. But now I was focused on the being that appeared out of nowhere.

“Who are you?! How did I get here?!”

The being sheathed his sword and he spoke.

“Its’ a good thing I saw you when I did. Dreamers rarely escape the Dream Dwellers that seek sleeping souls.”

“I am dreaming?! Why can’t I wake up? And where am I?”

“You’re in the ruins of Ithareal, an evil, ruined city of the dream dimension.”

My heart was beating and I was still in shock. I thought I was losing my mind. Next I tried to calm myself. There has to be a logical explanation. Maybe I’m in a coma or I got knocked unconscious and can’t wake up at the moment. I thought.

My thoughts seemed to comfort me some. “So what are you then?” I asked.

“I am a dream guardian, posted here to protect any human souls from being engulfed by the Dream Dwellers. I’m here to help you return you to the waking world.”

“How did I get here?” I asked again.

“You’re one of the few humans to possess the dream oracle.”

“Excuse me?” I replied.

“From birth you were gifted with ability to travel to worlds created by other people’s minds. Unfortunately you are now in a world brought from an evil mind. That is where the Dream Dwellers can infiltrate.”

“So how do I wake up?”

At this point I was a bit overwhelmed but fascinated as well. It was surreal. Nevertheless I was eager to return to reality. So, I asked the guardian.

“How do I get back home?”

“You must free the souls trapped in the Dweller.”

Suddenly a wave of fear came over me and I trembled.

“What!? And how do I do that?” I said.

“With plain faith.”

I did not know what he meant, but it sounded ridiculous so I questioned him.

“What do you mean?”

“It takes a childlike faith that you have even though you do not know it. The power within you is strong.”

“And how do I use this faith?”

“Take authority over it with your words.”

“Okay fine, whatever. What do I do now?” I was quite apprehensive but what else was I to do?

“I will take you to face it in the Tower of Strife a little North of here.”

I was now even more scared. I did not know what he meant by taking authority over it. Could I simply command it by ordering it to do so? It seemed there was no alternative. I had to face this evil being.

“Lead the way,” I said.

The trip to the tower was faster than I thought it would be. I barely had time to ponder my situation. Finally we reached the tower base. At the base was the beginning of a spiraling staircase.

“It will not be long now,” I heard the guardian say to me grimly.

The ascent was a short one and at last we had made it to the top. Yet I did not see it.

“Where is it?” I asked looking around.

Next, I saw that repulsive glow rise from the ground with the tormented souls crying out. It moved in my direction and I froze up.

“Don’t give into fear! Use your faith! It is inside you!” the guardian yelled.

A small part of me understood what he meant and I felt an infinitesimal strength. I felt it and I sought to read deeper and bring it completely out, but I was very scared. It continued to near me. I backed away. Yet at that moment I was coming to grips with what the guardian meant by faith. It was slow and sporadic at first. But I started to feel courage and I did not know where it came from.

Suddenly the living ball of light stopped as though it was sensing my inner power. That was a veritable affirmation that I was doing what I was supposed to be doing. Then, loudly I gathered all that was within me and lifted up my voice and commanded the ball of light.

“I command you evil manifestation to release the souls and be no more!”

Immediately, it began to flash for a few seconds and exploded releasing the souls that were like stars in physical appearance. Then they took human form. Groups of people came to me thanking me with tears.

Then, the being took my hand and gave some comforting words.

“It’s time to go home.”

With that, he touched my forehead and I awoke. It was all over.

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