Autumn Magic, Playground Sky
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by Edward T. Keller
Description: What if you met the girl of your dreams -- inside your dreams? Would this be enough for you? Or would you want more? When the season of school and homework returns, the magic of summer fades into an echo of a dream. But for Tim, the magic is just beginning, and soon the girl he meets every night will tell him who she really is.
eBook Publisher: Solstice Publishing/Solstice Publishing,
eBookwise Release Date: February 2012
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [68 KB]
Reading time: 38-53 min.
With a start, Tim breathed out noisily and opened his eyes--heart thumping, face burning with adrenaline. What he had just seen with his eyes closed was impossible.
He wiped his cold sweaty palms on his pants and looked around, just to convince himself that in the real world everything was as it should be. It was. He was back in the good old bus.
"Nothing strange happening, dude, just a normal bus," he whispered to himself. "No weird glowing faces, no crazy green eyes looking straight at you."
He looked at the window, changing the focus of his eyes to see past his own reflection. Artificial lights shone outside: streetlights illuminating pedestrians, headlights hovering in front of cars, house lights pouring from windows and shop lights inviting the late shopper to come in and buy something. The bus was already in the town.
People fumbled with their possessions, and Tim did the same. He opened his backpack, took out the wet wipes and cleaned off the sweat from his face and hands. Then, after shoving his book inside, he zipped the backpack closed and shrugged into his jacket.
With a wheeze and a few lurches, the bus stopped. The door by the driver opened with a clang and a hiss. Tim got up and gave a grunt and a yawn.
He was back. Vacation was over.
His parents were there to meet him. Mom kissed him, Dad squeezed his hand, and off into the car they went. Half an hour later, they were at home, having dinner.
Tim certainly felt as if everything had changed while he'd been away. These were the strange days of transition. A time when summer seems over, but autumn hasn't yet made its presence felt; a time in which nothing seems stable.
Dad had more wrinkles, Mom was shorter, Lily, his older sister, looked like a TV celebrity, and Muggles the dog seemed slower than before.
As the whole family sat at the dinner table, Tim answered a few questions about his time with grandpa Kurt, listened to a few items of town gossip, and that was that. Everyone was now doing their usual thing. His sister was texting someone while screwing up her lips and blinking rapidly; his parents were watching a sitcom, slowly chewing their spicy chicken. No one expected him to talk, so Tim also chewed slowly, and thought about the weird incident in the bus.
He'd finished his book before the end of the journey and had decided to nap. Then, as the churning dream-waves washed over his mind, instead of normal fragmented visions and adventures starting, a deep and unnatural darkness had appeared in front of his inner gaze.
An unfamiliar darkness at the center of which floated a girl's face.
The way her big green eyes looked at him had felt so real, quite unlike any dream he'd ever experienced. Then the girl asked the question that sent chills up his spine. Looking straight at him, she said, "Who are you? How did you get here?"
Yes, that had certainly snapped him awake; shivering and covered with sweat.
Tim swallowed a piece of chicken and took a sip of coke. Now that he was back home, with his family, and with the start of school just a day away, it was almost impossible to believe that this crazy stuff had actually happened. He still remembered how real it had felt, but he was now more prepared to believe that it had, after all, been just a dream.
Perhaps he'd just read too many fantasy paperbacks in that last month of his stay with Grandpa Kurt. That's all the two of them did in the summer: read books and walk in the park and read some more books, and walk some more in the park. Maybe that was it. Maybe the ghostly face had just been the result of a fantasy overdose.