Was something burning? Jersey wondered, sniffing the air. She was vaguely worried she was having a stroke.
Being in a dreamscape was unpredictable. It was their territory. But it was also affected by dreamers. Whether she was in a specific person’s dream or the Worldmind itself, dream worlds were warped echoes of consciousness. Currently, Jersey was in Molly Kennedy’s dream. Molly was fast becoming an insomniac due to nightmares. Hence needing a dreamcatcher like Jersey to take care of things.
Molly’s dreamscape was innocent at first. School hallways leading into bedrooms, which turned into kitchens, which turned into…
Hell. Or a teenage girl’s approximation of pop culture hell, anyhow. Fire warbled the kitchen/bedroom/school walls, chasing along every surface. Jersey began to sweat as the fire encircled her. She had to remember that this was just a dream. Yes, a dream that could leave her brain-dead, but as long as she remembered that it was a dream, that outcome wouldn’t have to happen.
Jersey could sense Molly’s fear. Echoes of her terrified murmuring boomed all around the dreamscape. Why hell? Because she was Catholic? Did she think she did something to deserve this fate?
As the fire closed in, Jersey swept her dreamcatcher net into the air, the owl feathers fluttering and carrying her away from the flames. The dreamscape seemed to melt into the form of an endless hallway. A cavern. A ring of fire. Jersey lifted herself so she was straddling the handle of her net, pitching it forward like she was riding a broomstick. She motioned for the net to fly down the cavern, and was soon speeding off.
Eventually she came upon a place where the flames burned hottest. The fire isn’t real, Jersey recited. She was still sweating.
There looked to be a bonfire at the center of a room. This was where Molly’s echoing fear turned to piercing screams. Not real, not real…
It was then, flying overtop the pyre, that Jersey saw a silhouette inside the flames. The screams. They were coming from there. Molly’s nightmare was the fear of being burned alive. From hell or something else, but that was definitely it.
Jersey kept flying. She didn’t want to abandon Molly’s anima, but Jersey needed something to catch so she could do her job. Trying to capture fire wasn’t possible. She needed a monster. A villain.
But… if the villain was fire, and the nightmare was being burned alive…
She was such a fool. Jersey returned to the room with the pyre. She commanded the net to stop flying, seized its handle in her fists, and swooped it net-down as she fell right on top of the burning Molly Kennedy.
And the fires vanished.
Today’s three random prompt categories were, “Is something burning?” “The fool,” and, “Dreamcatchers.”
Man, Jersey always seems to get caught up with devils and hell everywhere she goes. Maybe the problem is her, not the dreams she goes into.
Day 65! Only 300 more to go!