The Dream Navigator

PART ONE: THE TWEAKER  – London, England

Chapter One Ewah the Great

(Vibrant Emerald Green)

I was twelve years old the first time it happened.  Or at least the first time I noticed it happening.

I was babysitting Quincy Graham, the neighbours’ little girl.

My first ever job.

I fed her and played with her, and then, just like Mrs Graham had told me, at seven o’clock I went to put her to bed.  But Quincy wouldn’t sleep.  She cried and cried, and so I did the only thing I knew.  My one real memory of my mother’s love … I climbed into the bed beside her, and cuddled her until she fell asleep.

Lying there in the dark, listening to Quincy’s steady breathing, and feeling her delicate rib cage rise and fall against my arm, it was hard not to be lulled to sleep too, but I knew I must stay awake.  I was a big girl, and the Grahams trusted me.  I was responsible. I must stay awake. And so I looked around the room for some distraction.  And that was when I heard it.

The noise appeared so suddenly it made me jump.  In fact that was how I knew I wasn’t asleep.  I felt myself jump.  Quincy was still beside me, sleeping soundly in my arms, and everything around me was just the same, but there was that noise.  Like a television sprung to life in another room.  These days I like to think of it as a radio frequency I’m specially tuned into.  A menu of shows, exclusively for my viewership.  But that night, it was a TV.  A TV someone just happened to switch on.

A TV Quincy switched on for me.

I still can’t work out how I knew.  Because I did know.  I didn’t move.  I didn’t unwrap my arms from the sleeping child.  I didn’t go looking for the TV.  I just lay there beside Quincy, tenderly stroking her arm, and I fell right into the sound.  I fell into the show.

I’ve revisited that night a thousand times, and the more I remember that show, the less I believe it was the first time.  Perhaps I’d always had the gift, but I’d just been too young to appreciate it?  Perhaps in a world of adults and older children I had understood what I’d seen, because their shows belonged to a world I knew, and just accepted it … but Quincy’s show was different.

I fell into the show, and there I was, in a room full of pillows.  It was strange because I couldn’t see them, but everything just felt so soft, and the only thing I could associate with the feeling was pillows …  I could smell milk, so sweet it made me drowsy, and the world flashed with colours and noises I understood and yet I didn’t.

And then I heard her.  Her voice rang clear.  Clearer than anything in the perplexing world of things I felt I knew but didn’t.  Quincy spoke.  Not the confused burbling of a toddler, but the fluent thoughts of an adult.

‘Save me!’ she cried.  ‘Save me from the monster!’

Suddenly in amongst the smells and colours, I could see her.  The tiny toddler stepped into view.  Her steps were as confident as her voice; completely different to the uncertain wobbles I had seen her take in everyday life.  Quincy stepped into the show, and behind her was the scariest monster I have ever seen.

And trust me, these days I know my monsters.

I am faced with them on an almost nightly basis.  But Quincy’s monster was definitely the scariest, because it was the first time I had ever seen a monster in the flesh.

You see that’s the thing about the show – the forecaster believes it.  Every part of his or her mind sees the show as reality … and so that monster was as real as day.  Or should I say night…?

The monster was thirty-feet tall, its scales a putrid green, and smell reminiscent of pond water.  Two evil slits claimed to be eyes atop his pig-like snout, and his sharp teeth dripped with sticky saliva.

‘Ellody, I’m scared!’ Quincy shouted at the top of her voice, and yet I was still so aware of her sleeping peacefully in my arms.

It was the first time I’d ever heard her say my full name.  ‘E-wah’ was the moniker I had become used to.

‘Ellody!’ she screamed again, and I ran to her.  ‘Quincy, I’m here, I’m here!’ I shouted, but the little girl didn’t hear me.  I grabbed her arm, and felt the warmth of her skin, so similar to that of the child who still lay in my arms, and yet she didn’t turn.  She didn’t even flinch.  It was as if I wasn’t there.  Instead, she stared up at the evil monster, completely unaware of my presence … and then I stepped into the show.

Not the ‘me’ I know.  Not the five-foot three weakling I see in the mirror, but a giant, formidable version of myself.  It was definitely me.  I recognised the jet black locks and icy blue eyes … but there was something so different about me.

Apart from the obvious fact that I was forty-foot tall!

You see in the show, I towered over the evil monster, and yet the first thing that struck me … the first random thought that pinged into my brain … was how radiant I looked!  I seemed to glow – a look I doubt I would ever be able to achieve even with the most carefully applied make up!  But here in the show, I glowed like a Cover Girl commercial.  My very presence seemed to warm the room, or the hollow, or whatever weird pillow-filled reality we were all standing in.

Quincy beamed up at the Giant Me, and then I spoke. Well I didn’t speak, but the giant radiant me did … ‘Quincy, I will save you.  Do not fear!’ I boomed in a voice that reminded me of my primary school headmistress.  And Giant Me whipped a sword out of nowhere and cut the evil monster in two!

I leapt from the tiny single bed, panting for breath.  Not quite sure what had gone on, but knowing that somehow, the gross monster slime that had spurted out from the decapitated beast and covered me, was on some level real.  As I brushed my arms, trying to remove the sticky substance that wasn’t even there, Quincy stirred. I had woken her up in my haste.

‘E-wah …’ she said sleepily, and then beamed up at me, with a look that I knew meant that I had really just saved her …

My name is Ellody Rose and I’m a Dream Navigator.

Or at least that’s what I’ve come to call it.  Giving it a title, it’s like giving myself a vocation, making what I can do legitimate.  But in reality, what I can do is pretty bloody weird.

I see people’s dreams.

I don’t just see them, but I take part in them.  I travel around inside people’s head, an uninvited visitor.  I live their dreams along with them, unseen.  Hiding behind the excitement, the drama or the fear.  But being a Dream Navigator is much more than that.  I’m not a helpless spectator to their selfish whims and hidden fears.  No, I physically live in their dreams.

I experience their demons with the same tangible reality as my first day of school, the day my mother died and my first kiss.


© C-C Lester 2011

31 responses to “The Dream Navigator

  1. My newest offering to publishers. I literally just finished the final draft on TDN, having decided to double it in length. Originally it was going to be the first in a two-part series, however under the very sensible guidance of my agent Lucy Dundas at Peters Fraser & Dunlop, I decided to make TDN a stand-alone book.

    Took TDN to a Writers’ Group in Vancouver in January 2011, and was asked if my motivation for writing it was that I could really travel into people’s dreams!!!!

    C-C xx

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  3. This is so wonderful! I’m looking for more……

  4. WOW. I was so sucked in, I forgot I was at work for a moment! I have always fantasized about writing a childrens book, I found this excerpt quite inspiring. Congratulations on becoming a ‘real writer.’ I am jealous of your tenacity.

  5. Amazing! I would so read all of this.

  6. blackshepherd

    brilliant…I’d like to read the whole story…that makes you an author in my opinion…

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  8. I want to repeat myself and everyone else…

    But let me reiterate somehwat…

    Over the past few years I’ve read about (on a supernatural level) people who could control emotions, people who could control ghosts (farrrr to often though I do enjoy them *sheepish grin*) and people that could control elements among other things…

    But never something quite like this. Dreams. Wow, and an amaizing way to grasp it. Being there living in reality of it. “tangible reality as my first day of school, the day my mother died and my first kiss.” Brilliant. A harsh honest, endearing truth that makes it so real and approachable. Kudos on another, sure fire best seller (if it isn’t, then the world really has gone bonkers). ANd what a captivating opening. I love that it was a todler there. The contrast between her in her dreams and her in ‘real’ life… Can’t wait to read chapter two tomorrow. Thanks!

  9. Thank you 🙂 Have to admit I finished the first draft the week before Inception came out, and thought I might be scuppered, however the full story has actually taken dreams and mind control to such a different place, that I think it’s pretty original 🙂
    Thanks again for your feedback Mirella – it’s SO good to have a teenager reading my stuff, as that’s exactly who it’s written for! Looking forward to hearing what you think about Chapter Two. Will put some more Flicker up very soon, promis 🙂
    C-C xx

    • oooooohhh my goodnes! I didn’t even think about inception with this, and I’m an inception freak! A good friend of mine in Canada first brought my attention to the film but I was travelling acros some of eastern europe at the time and didn’t get to see it until it came out in Greece and was furious that I was the last to see it when I was the first to want to! Haha, so I think you past the test there. I think its not alike at all… Inception was kinda- corporate. It was very much like construction work but TDN is more like… magin? I’m not sure, but they are deffinitely not akin! Very original!

      No problem! Its my pleasure (litterally). I’ll read chapter two and more flicker soon. My browesr seems to be taking a long time to load new pages. I was only able to read Flicker and TDN because I’d loaded them the first night I read your FP post… Will have to get this resolved soon!
      Miraella XX

      • Ha ha, good to hear that about Inception. I think probably the main distinction is that in Inception their ability seems to have been created by drugs and machines, where as the Dream Navigation is more like a superpower. Will definitely be interested in hearing what you think once you’ve had a chance to read more 🙂
        Would you like me to send you some chapters directly? Your yahoo address comes up with the comment, could email some Flicker and/or TDN to you directly 🙂 LOVE having a teenage girl reading my stuff!!!
        C-C xxx

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  11. Thats it! There was something so.. in sincere and mechanical about everything they did. I couldn’t figure out what exactly it was when I was trying to figure out the difference just then. I’m not always the best with words, sometimes too tired to think beyond impressions- so my selection of words in writting normally tries to replicate a certain impression than actually tell the story by words…

    It really is great, and I actually had the most BIZARE dream the night I read this. I don’t know what it was, but I think i must have had a navigator or something in there because it was unlike anything I’ve had before!

    Sure! That would be great! I would love to read more, and I can’t wait to have the book too! I’m so glad I’m of service! I’d hate to be just another squealing girl reading your book just when it hits big and gets massive publicity! I’d be so great to be able to tell someone who actually wrote the book what I think, rather than just my friends and teachers! (You can’t imagine how exciting this is for me!) 🙂 Send away!

    Mirella ooo

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