Prairie Jones is a high school student who is a dream walker. She uses the knowledge she gets from other people’s dreams to get what she wants. Now she has walked into the wrong person’s dream. He is not happy, not human and looking for Prairie Jones.
“PJ, wake up,” I heard whispered in my ear.
The only thing visible in the room was the red blinking numbers on the clock radio, 2:30 a.m. Rolling over I pulled the duvet around my head like a hood. The house was silent except for the faucet dripping down the hall. My yawn felt good as I let my eyes drift shut again.
“PJ, there’s not time.”
I jerked awake again. This time I saw a form stalking at the edge of the darkest corner of the room. Almost part of the shadows.
“Grab some clothes and your shoes. They’re coming.”
The form lurched towards me and became solid. A tall man, not much older than me. Except not like me. I was a high school senior. My biggest issue was picking a prom dress. The stubble on this guys face did nothing to hide its gaunt appearance. He raise a scar cut eyebrow before scooping up my clothes and shoes from the floor.
He jerked me out of bed. I stumbled. He didn’t pause, dragging me towards the shadows. It was then I realized this wasn’t a dream, that a man had broken in and meant to kidnap me.
I called out, more of a yelp than a cry for help. I was home alone, no one was here to help me.
He looked at me, his forehead wrinkled as if he was considering for the first time that I might not want to go with him.
I slammed my fist into his stomach, hoping to knock the air out of him. He faltered, but tightened his grip.
“You’re in danger.” His eyes glared into mine.
Oh God, a true wacko. Perhaps I could buy some time. “What kind of trouble?”
“That last dreamwalk brought you an enemy.”
“Don’t pretend with me, I know what you are, Dreamwalker.”
How did he know what I was? I didn’t even know what he was talking about.
A high-pitched squealing sound came from the corner where my full length mirror stood. Its surface undulated like waves on a lake.
“What the -” Before I could finish my question a wolf-like creature emerged, crouched on its hind legs.
It turned its red glowing eyes on me. The beast crouched and sprung. An arm wrapped around my waist pulling me back. My teeth jarred as I landed with the stranger on the front lawn. The shadow man jumped across the hood of a dark SUV.
“Get in,” he called, starting the engine.
A howl came from my room. I shivered as the feeling of pins and needles swept over me.
The man threw open the passenger door. “He won’t be far behind us.”
I stood frozen. What was I doing here?
“Look, you can either come with me or take your chances with that thing.”
The sound of wood splintering, glass smashing and fabric ripping came from upstairs. My grandmother had been worried about wild parties when she left me alone this weekend. I was never going to be able to explain this. The sound of the destruction seemed to be making its way downstairs.
“PJ, now,” the shadow man yelled over the noise.
I did the one thing I thought I would never do. Jump into a car with a complete and total stranger. But at least it was to escape a beast bent on tearing me apart. I shook my head and tried to focus on what was happening now. I was in a speeding car with a man I didn’t know and I didn’t know where he was taking me.
“Where are we going?”
“Some place safe.” The tires squealed as we round a corner.
“Who are you?”
“You know you didn’t really answer either of my questions, right?”
“What do you wish to know, Dreamwalker?”
“What is a dreamwalker and why do you keep calling me that?”
Prairie Jones and Martin were talking in the halls just before summer break.
“What happened to you?” Martin asked, shutting his locker door.
“I’m trying a new look.” I knew the orange plaid jacket was a big mistake when I put it on this morning, but clean laundry hadn’t been high on my priority list for the last week.
“Give it back to your grandmother.”
“You know there are days that if I didn’t like you, I’d tell everyone you’re gay.”
Martin stopped in front of our English class, first period. “You know there are days that if everyone in school didn’t hate you, they’d listen.”
“That’s cold.” Like I cared.
“It’s true. Stop using people’s dreams against them.”
“Hey, I only make them do what’s right.”
“In PJ land maybe.” Martin slid into his seat. “What about Ms. A? Did you have to threaten to out her to the principal.”
“She’s crushing on him, so what?” I chucked my books under the desk.
“So what? You used that knowledge to make her change your grade.”
“I deserved an A.”
“You couldn’t settle for a B+.”
“Alright, I’ll give it a rest for a while.”
Martin didn’t realize I’d stopped dreamwalking a month ago. Ever since I walked into that Joshua guys dreams and he walked back.
“I’ll find you Prairie Jones.” Had been the last thing he said, “And not just in your dreams.”
“Students,” Ms. A said above the den. “I’d like to introduce a new student, Joshua Bennet.”