2A

“I think this is all a dream.” Audrey spoke.

She and Nadine were on the swings of the old playground by the lake, but were both slowing down. Audrey actually walked herself to a stop, though Nadine rocked on her toes a bit longer.

“What do you mean?” Nadine raised an eyebrow in Audrey’s direction.

Audrey shrugged, “Well, after we got to know each other a little bit, I ‘woke up’. I was back in the forest where I’d gone to sleep, with my stupid cat telling me to get up.”

“Cat?!” Horera’s ears perked up and she began looking around excitedly from where she’d gotten herself trapped inside the climbing frame.

“He’s not here, Horera.” Audrey called over to the excited dogling.

Satisfied, Horera let her pigtail-like ears hang back at their normal level and began scratching at the ground. It looked like she was thinking of trying to dig her way out of the climbing frame, even though the last five times she’d made it halfway out before getting worried she’d get stuck and going back in.

“And then, after another full day in Fantasia, I went to sleep and it was after that I made my way back here and we ran into each other again.” Audrey pushed her glasses back up, “It has to be a dream.”

Nadine pulled herself up her swing chains with her arms before twisting around to hang from the cross bar by her legs. “I guess that matches up with my experience too. But then whose dream is this? Because even if none of the rest of this is real, I’m pretty sure I am.”

“Well, I’m still just theorizing,” Audrey got up, followed by Nadine dropping down, to go over and see how Horera was doing, “But where I come from, there are some people who have put forward theories of Active Dreaming where you can actually interact with other dreamers in a shared dream state. Basically a form of Lucid Dreaming.”

Nadine shook her head. “I don’t think I followed much of that. Why us? None of us even seem to be from the same world.”

“Well, even when I’m awake I’m not in the world I’m from these days.” Audrey shrugged as she crouched down to talk to Horera, “Are you okay, Horera?”

Horera looked at Audrey with saddest puppy eyes Audrey had ever seen, “Horera stuck.”

Nadine put one of her mismatched boots up on the climbing frame. “No you’re not. Give me your hand.”

Horera reached through tentatively to take Nadine’s hand. “Horera stuck.”

“Just follow your arm through.” Nadine smiled encouragingly.

Audrey stood back to watch with Andromalus’ spell-book tucked under her arm. Horera was so small and cute, and it was hard to decide if she was more like a person or a dog. She dressed in primitive skins, but seemed like she was speaking a broken form of a fully developed language. Audrey guessed Horera’s world was at least around a medieval level of development, though Horera herself seemed more primitive. Perhaps because she was part dog?

“Horera get stuck!” the dogling whined and tried to pull back after getting her head and shoulder through the opening, but Nadine held her fast.

“You won’t get stuck. Just climb on out.”

Nadine was curious, her eclectic clothing didn’t really seem like it all belonged to the same time period. She was really cool, not the sort of person who’d normally give Audrey a second glance, but she was kind too. It was a toss-up between her fiberglass bow and designer boots as to what element of Nadine’s outfit was indicative of the most advanced technology. Audrey wanted to say Nadine was actually from a modern time. It’d be a relief if she was; Audrey wasn’t sure how much more of the middle-ages she could take—even with all the magic.

“Yippee! Horera free!” Horera’s tail began whipping excitedly as Nadine pulled her the rest of the way out of the climbing frame. The excited dogling threw herself into a tight hug with her rescuer.

Whatever these dreams were, Audrey hoped they continued. She always felt in danger or exhausted in Fantasia, but here with these other two strange girls things seemed oddly okay.

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6 Responses

  1. Margaret says:

    This is so sweet. Your dogling creation is really well realised and convincing – like her a lot!

  2. Glitterlady says:

    So they are all in a shared dream state that creates the lost girl’s society. That makes sense but won’t they all be very tired with their consciousness being active constantly? Maybe they sleep more in their own worlds? Great developement so far.

  3. Elsie says:

    like it so far a lot…drawings are cool

  4. Sarah says:

    Horera may quickly become my favorite character.

  5. emilia_quill says:

    I liked Horera when she first made her appearance and I like her more with each story. I like that she has spaniel ears instead of sharp upright ears.

    Like Nadine and Audrey as well. I want to get to know them better before I decide how much.

  6. Andy says:

    I nearly lost it from how cute the “saddest puppy dog eyes” were. And then I think Nadine seems like she’s from a post-apocalyptic time period. It feltto me like reality was not fully formed around then and gradually coalesced as they went, such as Horera’s clothes, the playground, the swings, lake, etc, even before Audrey threw out the bit about lucid dreaming.

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