Dream Lover - Extended

Chapter 4

When my eyes opened next, I found myself laying on the end of a branch in a tree. It was disorienting at first, but I had to look around to make sure that I knew where I was. I noticed my house in the background and figured that this tree must be the one in the front yard. But...geez, it looked so much taller than normal from up here. And it seemed to be slowly 'sliding' further away from the house as I looked down and saw its roots gliding gently out towards the street.

There was a subtle wind that breezed through the branches and rustled the leaves, and then a soft voice from above me. "You came back. Rad. I missed you while you were gone."

I looked up and saw Caleb leaning up against the tree trunk, a cluster of branches cradling him like a mother's arms. He smiled at me, happy to have someone to talk to. Did I do this? I wasn't trying to. I was supposed to be taking a break from this tonight. What triggered this dream again?

"What the heck am I doing up in a tree?" I asked him, and he just giggled in response. I watched him phase out momentarily, and then reappear on the branch at my side.

"Do you wanna play a game?" He asked.

"What kind of game?"

"I don't know. We could race." It sounded a bit childish to me, but his grin was irresistible.

"You're on. How about we go down to the end of the block? And no cheating..." I started to sit up and hop down from the tree, when Caleb warned me not to.

"Hehehe! I wouldn't do that if I were you."

But I jumped down anyway, and suddenly felt the ground, the grass, the whole world, crack beneath my feet. I stood perfectly still, my eyes wide, not knowing what to make of it. I took a step forward, and the ground cracked even more, like a sheet of thin ice.

"Told ya." Caleb grinned. "You're not in a deep enough state of sleep yet. I kinda brought you in early.”

Brought me in?” I asked. But Caleb avoided the question entirely.

”The dream's not finished being built yet. It's gonna take a little while longer for things to become more stable. Me included."

"What do I do?" I said, afraid to move one inch to the left or to the right.

"Just climb back up." He said. How could I do that if I couldn't even move without the ground giving way? I don't know why I was so invested what I knew was clearly a dream, but some human instincts take over automatically...and falling into whatever bottomless pit there may be beneath this cracker-thin surface I'm standing on does NOT sound like my idea of a good time. Looking back up at Caleb, he smirked playfully at my situation, and simply motioned for me to join him back in the tree. "Come on up, already. Go ahead. It won't hurt you." I guess I took his word for it, and with a lean towards the tree, I lifted one of my feet and took a step forward. The second it touched down again, the ground caved in around my right leg and I sank down into it. All the way to the knee.

Caleb laughed at me. "I thought you said it would be ok!" I shouted up at him, holding on to the trunk of the tree to make sure I didn't sink any deeper.

"Hehehe! Stop thinking that you're gonna fall. You're doing it to yourself, you know? Just concentrate on being back up here with me." He said.

Right. Ok. Doing this to myself. Got it. Of course I am. I knew that. Feels so real. But it's not real. Just...climb back up. Simple right? If I think about falling...then I'm gonna fall. So I need to stop thinking about...YIKES!!! More of the ground broke away and I was hugging that tree trunk for dear life as I saw pieces of grass and concrete fall away into a black abyss without end. Oh Jesus! Oh shit! Got to concentrate. It's not real. None of this is real.

I held on to the tree, and I felt my arms starting to pull me up. Once I got my legs higher up I was able to dig my feet into the small notches on the bark. The funny thing is, I hadn't realized just how easy it was to pull myself up once I was determined to do so. With just another few seconds used to gain a better foothold, I was able to effortlessly climb my way back up to the branch we were sitting before, and held my chest as I panted breathlessly at his side. Caleb lightly applauded me for regaining my position. "See? It's easy."

”There was nothing about that whole ordeal that I would consider 'easy'.”

”You'll get used to it.” He said,and we looked down as the ground below began to slow repair itself. “See? You just needed a few more minutes of sleep. It looks better already.”

As I looked up through the leaves, I noticed a school of aqua colored fish swimming in the sky above us, and a series of waves and ripples breaking over the rooftops of the houses on the block. And, of course, in the background...there was the fog. "Say, let me ask you something. What's over there?"

"Over where?"

"Behind the fog. It's always there for some reason."

Caleb shrugged his shoulders. "I dunno. I guess that all depends on what you want to be over there?"

"Oh yeah. Right." I know this stuff, but it's easy to get lost in the 'unreality' of it all. I guess rational minds don't really work in irrational places. I thought about it for a second, and suddenly, with a wave of my hand...some of the mysterious fog was wiped away from the background. Only to reveal an enormously tall mountain shaped like a giant erect penis standing in the distance. Baxter would have been proud.

"Hahaha! I like the way you think, Donnie!" He laughed.

”There it is, Baxter Cock Mountain. And look...something's happening.” I made the ground shake and rumble for a moment, and then the very tip of the mountain erupted with white lava, a long stream of it oozing obscenely down the side. Caleb seemed tickled pink at my perversity, and I couldn't help but to crack up myself as he held his sides and tried not to fall off of the branch.

It was such a warm feeling, being near him again. Like visiting an old friend. I stared for a moment or two, admiring the gentle beauty of him, and wondered just how far I could take a dream like this. I wonder where the heck I could have possibly seen this boy before. Maybe Chucky's books made a mistake. Maybe...I just plain made him up.

"Can I ask you a question?" This was my dream, did I really have to ask?

"Sure."

"Where do I know you from?" I said. "I mean...before the dream. Did we meet somewhere, or...?"

"Hmmm...nope. I don't think you know me from anywhere. I've never seen you before." He answered.

"Then...how can you be here right now?"

"I dunno. You tell me."

He always had an answer that led to me remembering that this was all make believe and completely under my control. But despite it all, I couldn't shake the feeling that this wasn't 'me' making all of this happen. I know because, as we were talking up in that tree, I would occasionally try to focus on something else around us. I would think about making a leaf fall, and it would fall. I would think about hearing a dog bark, and it would bark. It was just like Chucky said it would be. The whole dream world was under my guided influence. Everything...except for Caleb. I thought about changing the color of his hair from blond to red, or purple, or black. I tried to change his eyes from green to blue. But nothing happened. He didn't even notice me trying to alter his appearance. He just kept happily talking away about this and that while I tried to directly influence his role in the dream. I wanted to change the color of his jacket, or make his voice deeper, or get him to say something specific...but nothing worked. It's like there was this weird mental 'block' on my authority when it came to him. And it led me back around to the exact same conclusion that I had before. That he wasn't a natural part of this dream. And certainly not something that I came up with on my own. I have my moments...but I'm not that creative.

Even his conversation was strange. I didn't really understand a single word he was saying once I actually tried to focus on it. It was like this random mumbling under his breath. No real words or sentences. But when he smiled and mumbled and followed it up with a laugh...I felt myself wanting to laugh too. As though there was some shared meaning for what he was saying, even though I couldn't really decipher it. And it was cute. I was fascinated with the fact that this dreamlike mumbo jumbo was easily absorbed and translated into a language that only my subconscious could understand. Finally, after what seemed like an hour of witty banter between us, I felt myself drawn closer to him. I was watching the way his pretty lips were moving, and the way he would lightly push his blond hair back with two fingers every few minutes, and the way his eyes would sometimes catch me staring...and would give me a smile all their own. My heart was full of this unknown energy, and since this was only a dream, and I didn't know when I was going to wake up again, I figured...what the hell? I might as well have some fun in here while I can. Right?

So, without any more hesitation, I simply leaned over and kissed Caleb softly on the cheek while he was in mid sentence. It wasn't like I had to worry about being 'outed' in a place like this. A world without consequences. Besides, it was an impulse that I had been trying to hide from myself since I first laid eyes on him.

Caleb was speechless for a moment, and then turned he bright red as this huge grin spread across his face. "Donnie...." He giggled.

The thing about dreams...you can be as confident and as bold as you want to be. You can take all the risks as you want and not care. Just knowing that I was going to wake up and bring this fantasy to an end soon, the words 'carpe diem' never held more meaning.

I don't know what came over me, I just....I had been daydreaming about this boy all through school yesterday, we've been talking and laughing for what felt like five or six months now in the past two nights alone...and I just...I wanted to know what it was like to kiss him. I realize how silly it may sound, but I had become so infatuated with him that it was hard to hold back any longer. "I think you're beautiful. You know that, Caleb?"

His blush deepened considerably, and I felt this rush of emotion wash over me like a warm chill cascading down my backside. "No. I'm...I'm not." He said shyly.

"No, I mean it. You're amazing. I really like being here with you. A lot." Maybe it was a cool twist to not have total control over Caleb. Something about this interaction felt so genuine. I had no idea what he was going to say next. His cute little gestures and flirtatious smiles...they seriously added a bit of charm to my usual lust filled attacks on other dream characters. This was different. This was sweet.

”I like being here with you too, Donnie...” He said. Another nervous giggle escaping his lips.

I figured that I should just lay it all on the line and ask, "Can I kiss you again?"

"You wanna kiss me?"

"More than anything. Sure." I said, and he hid his grin from me for a moment before sheepishly nodding his head, shyly giving his silent permission for me to continue. So, with a slight tremble in my chest, I leaned forward on the tree branch and lightly touched my lips to his.

I could feel it in my stomach. The anxiety, the passion, the longing. I had never really shared a kiss with anybody before, but Caleb's sweet offering was just as real and just as exciting as any other. Or so I imagined. I was surprised at how my emotions just leapt up into my throat as if all of this was happening in the real world. I was also amazed at how uncomfortably hard I was getting as I felt Caleb's tongue slide timidly forward to touch my own. My arm went around his back, and my other hand went to rub small circles on his chest as we slowly began to find a comfortable rhythm to share. Our lips getting in sync with one another as we gently increased our kiss with a moan. I could taste the saliva on his tongue, and its sensual flavor caused my pulse to race like never before. It was like...the more I kissed him, the more 'real' he became. And his kiss was getting stronger by the second. I heard a noise and stopped our kiss just long enough to look around. The whole neighborhood had become ten times brighter, the sky was more blue than it had ever been, and the buildings themselves seemed to lean and sway with every comfortable gust of wind. The grass was greener, the street was cleaner, the air was sweeter...my entire reality seemed to wrap itself around the joyous feelings in my heart and it just made everything...beautiful. If only April were here to take a picture of this place. She'd love that.

I was so overwhelmed by the sight of this glorious transformation that I became mesmerized by it. I lifted my head to look around some more, and Caleb continued to kiss the side of my neck...sucking gently as tightened his grip on my back. I couldn't really explain it, but my body felt like it was being charged up with some kind of foreign energy. I couldn't tell if Caleb was giving it to me, or if he was getting it from me. But the more my dream body began to vibrate...the hungrier he got for it.

I felt a hand on my chin as Caleb turned me to face him so he could kiss me deeply on the lips. This time with more passion. Almost with desperation. I felt his hands pull me closer to him, and then he positioned himself on his back to have me lay down on top of him. The tree branches safely cradled us both, and the way he was pawing at me, moaning his excitement through our loving embrace...it just left me breathless.

The world around me began to rise in temperature, and I swore that I could feel a sheen of sweat breaking out on my forehead. The flowers bloomed, and the birds sang, and the fog was pushed further back than ever before to reveal huge green meadows and oceans of silver. And still, Caleb clung to me. His feverish kiss didn't know where to land. He wanted every inch of me. He was holding me soooo close. His fingers threading themselves into my hair, his slender body humping itself up into my thrusting hips as he silently begged me for more. It was almost like he was getting stronger now. More solid. As solid as dreams get, I suppose. It was almost as if he were somehow willing himself to crossover into my waking reality. As if I might wake up tomorrow morning...and find him there in bed beside me.

 

We were making out as if our lives depended on it, our lips smacking as Caleb whimpered frantically beneath me. It was like he had been waiting his entire life for this moment. I must have had some serious sexual frustrations going on in my subconscious recently, because Caleb was being rather...intense about getting the chance to be with me. Out of all the wet dreams I had ever experienced, not a single one of them could come close to the heat generated by the seductive cravings of this unknown boy. A dream figure that seemed to materialize out of nothing at all, and remained completely in tact...two nights in a row.

 

Caleb reached down with both hands to grab my ass and pull me deep into the cradle of his spread legs, moaning loudly as he pushed his tongue further into my mouth. For such a shy boy, I never once expected him to be so openly aggressive all of a sudden. Not that I was complaining, mind you. It's just that he went from 0 to 60 in the matter of a few minutes. As I felt his legs wrap tightly around my waist, his whimpers and heavy breathing increasing in their lustful craze, I had to open my eyes to make sure that this was the same boy that I had been talking to just moments before.

Then, I stopped for a second. "Hey..." I said, as Caleb clutched to my torso with both his arms and legs, not wanting to stop. He craned himself up and began to lick and chew at my neck, sucking on the flesh and trying his best to continue our sensual game. But I wanted to really enjoy this connection some place nice. The tree was getting a bit awkward. I wanted to relax. "Hey...why don't we go inside?” I asked him. “We can get out of the weirdness of this freaky tree, and just...have some more fun in the house where it's comfortable."

His eyes peered into mine, the green orbs that were once glowing with such joy...now almost showing a hint of fear. "Inside?" He asked.

"Yeah. We can go to my room, so we can spread out a little bit. Get out of these pesky clothes, maybe?" I smiled, giving him a brief kiss on the lips. His expression had changed considerably, and the passion and fire in him was gone. What had I done? The spell had been broken. He turned his head and looked away from me as though something was truly bothering him. "Caleb?"

"Yeah?" He said, his voice trembling. Here was a moment where he seemed confused. Displaced. Frozen in thought. He stared off into space as if he were remembering something...tragic.

"Caleb, I wanna be with you. We've got all the time in the world, right? I want you too. Come on, let's have some fun..." I said with a smile. But his grin was no longer existent.

"I can't." He said abruptly.

"Hehehe...what? What do you mean you can't?" I kissed him again to persuade him, and I could definitely feel his hardness rubbing up against me as I pushed my hips into him again. "Come on, let's go." I whined playfully, making a few circular gyrations to get him revved up again so he would follow me. But as he turned to look at the house...a foreboding look appeared on his face, and he refused.

"No. I can't. Not in that house. I don't like that house." It was strange. Was he supposed to be able to tell me no? I would be a pretty sad bastard if I couldn't get laid in my own dreams.

It was at that moment that I noticed the world around turning a murky shade of grey, as though the colors were beginning to fade. At first, I cursed myself for taking so long because I thought I might actually be waking up in real life. But that wasn't it. That wasn't it at all.

I looked up at the sky and saw this thick army of black storm clouds quickly rolling towards the neighborhood block, surrounding us on all sides. Covering the entire area with a black shadow. The fog returned with a vengeance, and the storm moved to swiftly block out the sun. The wind picked up immediately, whipping around me and making it hard to breathe. Lightning and thunder began to strike with fury and anger all around us. What the hell was happening? I wasn't doing this. Was I?

I used all of my focus to try to change the dream back. To clear up the turbulent storm and get things back to normal. But all of my once 'god-like' powers were suddenly useless in this place. And Caleb was the one in total control.

"What's happening?" I shouted over the noise as the sky got even darker. The winds nearly pushing me off of the tree branch and blowing my hair into my eyes. As the clouds covered the area above us, and the fog fully swallowed up the background, and every living thing on the block...plant or animal...simply withered up and died right in front of my eyes. The storm clouds didn't hesitate once the sky had become consistently black for as far as the eye could see. They opened up and began to suddenly shower us both with a rain of warm blood. It came cascading down upon us, first staining the leaves, and then drenching us in the thick wet liquid. I looked at my arms and legs, covered in dirty crimson, and could taste the bitter tang of it on my lips. Caleb's eyes were focused up at the sky, and when I looked down towards the base of the tree...a baseball glove was sitting there on the ground. A single ball, covered in blood, came rolling across the front lawn towards it to land directly in its grasp. The branch became slippery and it was hard for me to hold on. The streets ran red, the sewer drains flooding as they reached their full capacity. It was a nightmare the likes that I've never seen before.

I watched as Caleb began to cry and sniffle next to me. His tears were pure black, like oil, running down his bloodstained cheeks as the wind nearly blew me right out of the tree and onto the ground below. It got to be so dark that I could barely see my hand in front of my face until a strike of lightning gave me a brief flash of some much needed light. The wind was now strong enough to choke me, and the air grew stale and rotten. Nothing I could do would fix it. Change it. Or even calm it down. The dream world itself fought against me, and I was trapped it in it's tainted reality.

"You don't love me, Donnie..." Caleb wailed. "Nobody loves me. Nobody."

"What? What are you talking about?"

"I'm unworthy. You HATE me. Everyone hates me for who I am!" As he cried, the thunder got louder, and the lightning got dangerously close to striking us. Long rivers of blood carried every car and loose fixture down the street. Why was this happening? Why won't it stop?

"I don't hate you Caleb!" I shouted, still trying to figure out how I could have lost control of everything so quickly. Nothing I thought of would work, and everything spiraled down into the horrific images of a terrifying vision that I didn't understand.

"Don't LIE to me! Please don't lie to me! You NEVER loved me! You never gave a SHIT about me, not EVER!! I can't take it anymore...." He said, the sound of his voice doubling and tripling up on itself as it seemed to cause the blood rain to fall down with even more torrential anger than before. Drenching us from head to toe, and turning the ground into a thick slosh pit of crimson mud. "No more heartbreaks. I can't survive another heartbreak. It hurts too much...." He sobbed.

And then...behind us, sounds coming from my bedroom window. The record player began to spin, and it played that mellow old jazz tune again....

"Somewhere, someday....we'll be close together, wait and see. Oh, by the way....this time the dream's on me."

"Caleb?!?! What are you doing???"

"I can't stay here with you, Donnie." He cried. "I'm not supposed to be here. I'm not supposed to be here! I'm a good boy. A good boy....." He looked over at me, his eyes turning completely black as his face went pale...nearly blue. And he said, "You can't save me..." And a bolt of lightning knocked me clear out of the tree to come crashing down on the concrete of my driveway. The clouds swirled up violently above us in a vicious whirlwind as I just tried to shelter myself from the rain of blood. And the last thing I heard, was Caleb screaming up at the sky, an unnatural echo rumbling through the heavens for miles and miles, like the voice of God itself. "HOW COULD YOU JUST LET ME DIE?!?!?!"

I woke up in an instant. This time, in the middle of the night, about four O'clock in the morning. It wasn't the long night of restful sleep that I had experienced before. I had been forcibly tossed out of the dream and back into the real world before even getting a chance to use Chucky's spinning technique to keep myself engaged. I jumped up in my bed, feeling as though I were still falling back to Earth, still hearing the echoes of his scream in my head. I clutched my hand to my chest as I felt my heart beating so hard that it hurt.

I put my feet on the floor, my sheets damp from a cold sweat, and I wondered what the hell had happened to me in there. My mind was spinning around in circles, bewildered, lost in a world that wasn't real to anyone but me. And it almost took me a full five minutes to catch my breath again. What did I do? Why did Caleb react so violently to the idea of coming into my house? I know what Chucky said...that everything inside the dream was a part of me. Everything was my own creation, and if someone was there or something happened, it was because I created it personally. Right? But...nothing about that dream felt personal. None of that could have come from me, I'm sure of it. Am I cracking up, or what? I've got to see Chucky and tell him to take some real time and effort to interpret this for me, because this doesn't feel right anymore.

This is actually starting to freak me out a little bit.

I didn't go back to sleep at all that night. I was afraid to. Instead, I stayed up and watched music videos on TV until it was time for my parents to go to work. My dad was in a rush to get out of the house, but he gave me the strangest look when he saw me on the couch in my bathrobe so early in the morning. My mom sat with me for a moment while making some coffee in the kitchen, just to make sure that everything was alright. What was I going to tell her? That I was having sex with a boy in my dream and it turned into a full blown horror movie, so I'm staying awake now so the boogie man can't get me? I'll be under psychiatric care by the end of the day. I just nodded and let her know that I was fine. She tried to convince me to go back to bed and get some more sleep in before school, but she could see in my eyes that it would have been a useless pursuit. I just told her that I was having trouble sleeping these days and I left it at that. She said, "Maybe you're still getting used to being in this big house. All the space just for the three of us...it can be a little intimidating. You'll get more comfortable after you settle in a bit more. You'll see."

"Yeah, I suppose." She wanted to do a better job of comforting me on the issue, but she was on a schedule and had to get going before she ended up being late. So she kissed me on the forehead and reminded me to eat a decent breakfast before leaving the house.

Then...the house was quiet. And I was left with this really strange feeling that seemed to be crawling back and forth underneath the surface of my skin. A buzz of some sort. An extra presence that wasn't there before. I kept thinking back to the dream...and it was like I could still taste him. I felt his hardness. His lips. His arms and legs wrapped around me. He was there. I swear he was. Even more last night than the night before. I can feel him all around me. Even inside me. He's there. And he's waiting.

By the time Jeff, Baxter, and April, arrived to take me to school, I was almost ready to nod off again. I was so out of it. Completely drained. I might have only missed an hour or two of sleep, but I was exhausted on a level that made it feel like I hadn't slept in days.

"You're awfully quiet today." Jeff noticed.

With a yawn, I told him, "I'm just tired. That's all." I saw another flash in the car as April took a picture of me stretching.

"You're so cute when you stretch." She laughed.

"Whatever." I giggled back. “I've been up since 4 AM, so forgive me if I seem a little distant.”

”What the heck were you doing up at that time of night?” She asked.

Baxter grinned. “Isn't it obvious? Donnie boy had himself a late night visit from the jizz fairy, didn't ya?”

”Not everything is sex related, Bax.” I told him.

”Not everything. Just the important stuff.”

I didn't have much energy to even banter with him today. I just grinned and let it go. I felt weird. Really weird. I hope I'm not coming down with a cold or something.

April wanted to get to school early that day, as she wanted to check on her pictures for the yearbook committee. She had been waiting all weekend to finally see what they looked like so she could start coming up with arrangement ideas. She was practically dragging me through the halls to get to the office and claim her photos. She rushed over to a nearby table and ripped the envelope open. Even through my fatigued haze, I couldn't help but smile at her eagerness. It's like watching an excited chipmunk stacking up a collection of chestnuts in the hull of a tree stump.

"Awesome! Oh, I like this one. What do you think?" She said, showing one of her many pictures of me in the high school library. "Hehehe, this one is classic Chucky behavior..." There was a photo of Chucky, head down, resting on his elbow on a desk, hand tugging at his hair, looking frustrated while working on his science homework. "I can definitely use this one for the Junior Class." I held back a yawn so she wouldn't see. Not that I was bored, just...tired. So very tired. But I didn't let on. She'd take it to heart if she thought I wasn't interested. "Oh man, this one is cool too! I've got a great idea for this one." She walked over to a nearby shelf and carried over a stack of older yearbooks the committee used as guides to structure the next layout. And she opened a few of them to check them out. "I figure, I can do one of the pictures like a collage, like this one. Or..." She opened up an even older yearbook flipped through a few pages. "...I can maybe sort of morph the pictures together like this one. Like if I change the pattern up a little bit..." She went through book after book, trying to get my opinion on what would look cool...when suddenly, I caught a flash of something and I had to stop her!

"WAIT!!! What was that? Go back!"

"What? What is it?" She asked.

"Go back! Go back!" She was confused, but turned back a few pages in a yearbook for the graduating class of 1996. And what I saw there caused me to take a few steps back from the table and cover my mouth to keep from gasping out loud. "That's him..." I whispered.

"Who?"

"That's him...that's Caleb. That's the boy."

"What are you talking about?"

"The BOY that I've been dreaming about! That's him! I swear to God...THAT'S HIM!!!!"

”Ok! Let's not get loud. Geez...” April looked closer at the page, and said, "Hmmm...Caleb Jordan, Sophomore Class of 1996...see 'memorial page'." She squinted her eyes. "Memorial page?" I couldn't speak. Just looking at that photo, with Caleb's definitive smile gleaming brightly for me to see, had shaken me to the very core. A chill took over me, and I was almost afraid to turn away. April turned to the page it mentioned and read the small inspirational message at the bottom. Basically saying 'rest in peace'. She gave me a tilted smirk, "Ohhh...I get it. Har dee har...Happy Halloween, right? Big time creepy. Yeah, I get it. You're joking."

"What? No...April, I'm not joking, that's him."

"Suuuure. Trick or treat, very funny. Now stop playing games, I've gotta get some ideas floating around before class starts..."

"APRIL!!!" I said, a seriously worried look on my face. She seemed a bit concerned, like she was almost ready to believe me.

"You're not joking around, are you?" I slowly shook my head, not taking my eyes off of his picture. "Donnie...this memorial says that Caleb Jordan died years ago. If what you're saying is true, then you've been dreaming about a ghost for the past few days."

"Maybe even longer than that." I whispered to myself, taking another step backwards.

"Come on, Donnie, you were like...a baby when he passed away. How could you have possibly have known this guy."

"I didn't.” I mumbled with a blank stare. “I just met him." My mind wouldn't process it. I refused to acknowledge it. "How did he die?"

"Well, gee, Donnie, let's see. Let me just look that up in the 'horribly morbid' section of the high school yearbook and find out." She said. "How am I supposed to know? Look, I've gotta get to class. Just...ease off of the dream walking for a while, ok? You promised. Get some sleep. You look like shit today."

"I thought you said I was cute?"

"Get over yourself. I was trying to be nice."

"How sweet of you." I said. She wrote down the name of the yearbook and the copy number before handing it to me.

"I personally think you're going bonkers...but if you want to come back at lunch time or something to check out this book some more, I'll leave a note with the desk clerk to loan it to you for a while. K?"

"Thanks, April." I said, and she gave me a quick hug.

"Don't you flip out on me, Donnie James. You're one of the only best friends I've got." And she left to go to class.

My feet wouldn't move at first. I just stood there, thinking about the dream, thinking about the storm, thinking about Caleb's kiss. Whatever happened to him...it must have been pretty bad, and he's still holding on to it. Somehow, for some strange reason, he picked me to share it with. What does it mean? What does any of this mean? I've got to look further into this. This is something I doubt even Chucky can help me with. Or anybody for that matter. Who would believe me? I might just be on my own.

Caleb Jordan....that was his name. Where do I go from here?

And how long before he finds me again?