14N

Here it was; the moment of truth. Nadine had deliberately traveled between worlds before with her Dad, so it was just a matter of applying what she learned to these dream portals. Too bad they hadn’t figured the portals out in time to help each other with some of their earlier problems. Then again, a visit without any attached mission might be better in preparation for more serious action later.

“This is where you are now?” Audrey was looking through Nadine’s portal.

“Yeah,” Nadine joined Audrey.

“How floating?” Horera cocked her head.

The other side of Nadine’s portal showed nothing but dark swirling colors, with Nadine, her Dad, JC and Phillipa floating around a small campfire amid all the chaos. The alternate dimension didn’t just look weird; its temperatures, sounds and smells all shifted just as randomly as the colors—and there was no clear sense of direction. It was hard to imagine her Dad’s past trips through the chaos by himself, because Nadine was overwhelmingly thankful for the others in their group to give her some sense of relative direction at least.

“I don’t really know,” Nadine shrugged, “we’re in an alternate dimension. It’s weird, sort of everything is all going on at once, but if you stay calm you can sort of flow with it and mostly get the results you want. In our case, staying close to each other and our fire.”

Horera nodded in a way that made Nadine think she didn’t really get it. Audrey, on the other hand, adjusted her glasses to examine the portal more closely.

“Fascinating… Like a physical manifestation of the dream world.”

Nadine shook her head, “Not really. There’s a whole lot more going on way out of our control. We don’t have a fraction of the influence over that dimension that the three of us have here. Come on, let’s pop over to Terra for a while.”

“Yip!” Horera dashed excitedly over to her own portal. “Yip! Yip!”

Audrey lingered a little longer at Nadine’s portal, but eventually joined Nadine and Horera at Horera’s. Through the portal, Horera still seemed to be in an underground warren, though now she was curled up between two horse sized white wolves!

“Uh, Horera?” Nadine looked at the giant sleeping wolves.

“Browf?”

“You’ve got two of those wolves with you now.”

“Yap,” Horera nodded.

“Are they friendly?”

Horera’s eyes widened, “Oh! Better come out other side White Wisp.” Horera pointed at the far wolf, “Stay other side from Diamond. Diamond less friendly.”

Nadine grinned, “Glad I asked. Okay, so the trick with portals seems to be your state of mind—even in the real world. So you have to sort of imagine yourself as a wind that can blow through to the other side. If you’re thinking you’re solid, it won’t work.”

“Wan,” Horera nodded before squaring off in front of the portal on all fours.

Wiggling her rear a little in preparation, Horera flung herself through the portal with a yip! As she disappeared from the dream world, her eyes opened on the other side of the portal and she looked around groggily.

“It worked!” Nadine laughed, “See you in Terra!”

Nadine leapt for the portal with a light heart. They were finally going to see each others’ worlds. That thought alone really did make her feel like she could fly. Nadine let go of her bodily awareness and imagined herself as a swift breeze blowing into Horera’s world. Then there was a numbing sensation as Nadine felt like she hit some sort of invisible pillow! Electricity shocked into her mind immediately and she felt herself falling.

“Are you alright!?” Audrey’s voice was worried.

Nadine was vaguely aware of Audrey’s hands on her shoulders. She could feel Audrey’s lap under her head. Hard wood under her back.

“It didn’t work…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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