“I, Vera Richardson, woke up sweating. I quickly looked around to make sure it was just a dream. Then I slowly sat up in bed.”
I, Vera Richardson, woke up sweating. I quickly looked around to make sure it was just a dream. Then I slowly sat up in bed. I swung my legs over my flower patterned blanket and slipped my feet into my soft, fuzzy slippers and got out of bed. While I walked over to the closet, I felt a shiver go down my spine. Was the window open? No, something was not right. I quickly got dressed and hurried downstairs.
The stairs creaked under my weight. I tried my best to noiselessly slip down the stairs and quietly open the door to my parents’ room. The door opened silently, and I walked in. I walked over to my parents’ bed and shook my mom.
“Mama! Mama, wake up!” She didn’t answer. She stayed still. It looked as if she couldn’t see me.
I tried my dad, but I only got the same response. Now I was starting to get pretty freaked out. I tried sticking my hand through her face. It didn’t go through, which wasn’t exactly comforting, but confirmed that I was not a ghost. Now the only question was: where was I?
Roaming The Underworld
I couldn’t explain where I was or what I was doing here, but I did know that I was trapped in some sort of dream. A dream where, I couldn’t wake up. A dream where when I woke up, if I woke up, I couldn’t say it was just a dream. I was pretty much about to pee my pants. I decided to go outside and see what was happening.
I shuffled into my shoes and opened the door. I was bewildered by what I saw. In the little town of Greensboro I had never seen any monsters. And even if I did, it would never be as many as these. They all had at least one extra leg or a wart on their face. I wanted to run back inside and never come out again. I wanted to cry for help. I wanted to barf. But I couldn’t move. My bones just wouldn’t do it. My brain screamed to run. My bones did. My hands did! But I couldn’t, I wouldn’t, and I didn’t. Until I came to my senses. I had to find the person who ran this place, or something. I gathered my courage and asked a monster.
“Excuse me? Mr. Hairy guy with warts?” He looked over at me. “Ummm, pardon me sir, but is there a high king or president here? I need to speak to him.”
“Eerfnooblegarfpuiyrtfegds,” he said and pointed to a tall building.
“So, the tall tower?” I confirmed.
“Erftooknjihgty,” he mumbled, which I took as a yes. And so off I went to the high king. (I hope.)
I learned a lot of things while I was looking for the head person.
The High Queen
When I finally reached the top of the hill I was… wait for it… wait for it: Parched, thirsty, hungry, tired, I probably had athlete’s foot, I was having heat stroke, and I really needed to pee. So, in other words, I was pooped. I couldn’t move one more inch. Unless, unless I had some sort of inspiration, something that would give me power and would motivate me to do it. I collapsed on the ground, and rolled over. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was big. And purple. And it looked very fancy and queenie. Somehow, the only thing I could think about at this second was that this was a huge coincidence and that it just so happened that less than ten seconds ago I was thinking that I would never ever ever get home and I would be stuck in this nightmare land forever and I would never see my parents again. But somehow I rolled over, and there was the High Queen’s castle, just waiting for me. Again, this was all a coincidence.
Trying To Convince The High Queen To Release Me (But Not Actually Convincing Her)
I was so relieved to finally get to the High Queen’s palace. I knew she would immediately let me go, because I was not a monster and she was obviously not evil. Or at least I really hope she wasn’t. Now that I thought about it she probably was evil and would probably not let me go because she was probably the Queen of Nightmare Land. This made me a whole lot more nervous. I used to be a lot more excited, but now I just felt like giving up and being trapped in Nightmare Land instead of being trapped in a prison cell with no food, water, or sunlight. I decided that I should go back and live as a ghost for the rest of my life. But then my survival instincts kicked in, and I knew that if I wanted to escape this land, I needed to go to the High Queen and convince her to let me go. And if that turned out well, I would ask her about why she trapped me in this land and that she should never do that again. And so I proceeded to walk to the door.
I walked up the stairs and rang the doorbell. Ding-dong. I waited. There wasn’t an answer. And so I tried again. Ding-dong. I twiddled my fingers behind my back.
Oh well, she’s not here. I better go, I thought to myself when suddenly the door opened.
“Hello?” the man said.
I turned around slowly, and stared. My mama told me it’s rude to stare, but I couldn’t help it. He was just so short. His head barely was up to my hip, and he just looked so ridiculous in his mini suit from the kids department store.
It was stunning. The walls were a bright red with gold drapery on the magnificent windows. There was fancy furniture everywhere you went. When I looked up, the ceiling was covered in glass paintings. I was dumbfounded. But I didn’t have time to look around, because he had already grabbed my hand and took me inside without even asking my name or why I was here. While we walked, I studied him a little closer. He was a short, stubby man. His chin was rounded, but his mouth was covered by a huge, bushy, curly mustache. Like the ones you see in the movies. It was accompanied by a tuxedo and black dress shoes. His eyes kept shifting around, like he was late for something, or he was going to get in trouble.
“Umm, excuse me? I need to see the queen. I don’t know where I am or why I’m here or why you are taking me wherever you are taking me, but I need to see the queen.”
I was surprised by myself. I was usually not this forceful, but I was mad. I was mad at the queen and Mustache Man here for taking me to a place I didn’t know how to get out of. I breathed heavily. My chest heaved up and down. The man stared at me.
“Okay,” he said.
“Um, yeah! And take me to the queen!” I responded, a little confused.
I had expected him to start a fight. He turned around and started off in the other direction. I didn’t move.
“Well? Aren’t you coming?” I shrugged and followed behind him. On the walk, he asked me my name.
“Vera Richardson,” I had responded. “What’s yours?”
I just wanted to stop thinking of him as the Mustache Man.
“Picher Lennox. Mr. Lennox to you,” he snapped.
The rest of the walk we walked in silence. It was probably just one minute, but it felt like a century. We finally arrived at the High Queen’s office.
“Here we are,” he said.
He opened the door and let me in. I was floored. It was by far the most amazing place my eyes had ever laid sight on. It was better to look at than a lottery ticket or an all-you-can-eat ice cream buffet coupon (not that I have seen one of those before). My jaw hit the floor, not literally, but it might as well have!!! Well, now I’m keeping you in suspense, so you really want to know what it looks like don’t you? Okay, okay I will tell you.
The walls were painted a wonderstruck shade of gold, and the floors were covered in a velvet carpet with yellow on the edges. There was a desk in the middle of the room, with two large windows on each side, pouring light into the dark room. Then there were the shelves. There were shelves. Lots and lots and lots of shelves. They carried books and games and toys, they held marvelous things that lured you in, wanting to touch them so badly. I looked at the desk, and peering down at me was the queerest woman I’ve ever seen. She was tall, with red hair on one side and blue on the other. She kept them each parted down her slim shoulders, like she didn’t want them to mix. She wore the glasses that you see librarians wearing, hanging from a chain on her ears. She wore dreamcatcher earrings, and her face was wrinkled up like she just sucked on a rotten lemon. I thought, Hey, she looks just like a bulldog, but of course I didn’t say that to her face, because she looked pretty scary, and I was afraid to make her angry so she didn’t blast me to ashes.
“Who are you?” she asked.
I didn’t hesitate to say my name.
“Vera Rihcardson, with an H before the C.”
“And do you know, Vera, why you are in the land Paradise?”
“Ummm, no,” I responded.
“You are here because you have been having dreams, Ms. Rihcardson. Very lively dreams. And, as you might know, I feed on human dreams. If I notice that you have started to have very juicy, very, very scary dreams, I send for you here. As your time here grows, you will turn into a monster, like these.” She pointed to the monsters outside. I shuddered. “To have the dreams you dream, my dear, is very unnatural. And so I bring you here, to the land of nightmares. To the land we call Paradise. And so all of your soon to be equals outside are all, I guess Stranded in Paradise.”
I gaped. I didn’t actually think that I was here for a reason. I thought that there was a mistake. I was dumbfounded for the billionth time today. I looked at the wall behind the desk. To my suprise, there was a giant dreamcatcher hanging on the wall. As I looked closer, I noticed that it was the exact same dream catcher as the earrings the High Queen wore.
Huh, I thought. I wonder what happens when I touch it. I ignored all of the High Queen’s yammering, and I started to walk over to the dreamcatcher, my hand stretched out in front of me. Something was pulling me towards it.
“Don’t touch that!!!” she screeched. I jumped back in surprise. She smoothed her skirt and adjusted her glasses. “Sorry about that. Just do not touch that dreamcatcher!!!”
I cowered in fear. But of course, as soon as she told me not to touch it, all I wanted to do was touch it. We just stared at each other for ten minutes. The door opened, and Mr. Lennox stepped inside.
“Um, sorry to interrupt, your majesty, but there has been a plumbing problem, and you are the only person who knows the plumber’s phone number — ”
“And the kingdom needs me, I know,” she cut Mr. Lennox off. She started to turn around and then faced me again. “And you, Vera Rihcardson, do not move a muscle, or there will be consequences.”
I nodded my head and stayed where I was. The High Queen turned around and headed out the door. The door slammed behind me, and I turned around. I walked inch by inch slowly getting closer and closer to that marvelous dreamcatcher. It had a dark wood outline with holes everywhere and rainbow string coming from all the holes, tied in the middle with a bow. Red ribbon hung from all the sides and tied together in a knot. It was hung on the wall by a simple red hook. I couldn’t help myself. I touched it.
The Ending of the Story You Are Reading Right Now
The world started spinning. I saw blurs of the castle falling apart and coming back together again. Spinning. Spinning. Spinning. I was getting dizzier and dizzier and dizzier and dizzier. And then it all stopped, and I was right where I was in my bed, laying there, panting. I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes. My dream was so… vivid. So real. I got out of bed, but I heard the High Queen yelling in anger when I brushed my teeth.