So, week 2 of NaNoWriMo is over. I’ve been to two local write-ins so far and they were nice, but I am not sure how much they actually helped me progress with Dreamer. I’ve found out that word sprints and the likes aren’t really for me, I like to write in my own pace and time and not be forced to do so. As I am writing this, my current word count is at 14,215 words and by the end of the day I should be at 25,000 words. I think we all know that’s not going to happen, but you know what? It doesn’t matter. 50,000 words is still a valid goal and I like writing my story, so I’ll get there sooner or later.
I heard that 98% of the NaNoWriMos struggle during week 2 (totally a made up number by the way!), but it is important that you keep going. I wrote something every day during the past weeks, sometimes only 100 words, other times more than 2K. Sometimes your characters just won’t do what you want them to do. They’ll argue and talk back like little children, but if you just keep going, the story will pick up again. Your brain will produce something awesome and new and exciting. Just keep writing!
So, how are you my fellow WriMos? How is your WIP doing? Is everything going the way you thought it would?
And as promised I will continue to post chapters of Dreamer here. (You can already read Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 by clicking on them!) Please keep in mind that this is a first draft. A lot can change after I go about editing and I wouldn’t be surprised if there are still typos in there. (Last week I wrote “She was scaring the screen” instead of “staring at the screen” …) Enjoy!
The materialisation wasn’t as painful the second time around, but Wick still had to grab onto his desk chair, which promptly rolled away. He only barely managed to prevent himself from hitting the floor face first, but when he looked up again, he wished he had.
Don, his supervisor, was standing arms crossed right in front of him. He knew then that he was in big trouble.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” Don whispered angrily. Wick didn’t expect that, he was more prepared for a full on shout-attack.
“I’m sorry. I was … it was an emergency … I just tried to …” Wick tried to whisper back, but Don immediately shut him down.
“Don’t bullshit me! You know that it’s against the rules. You can’t just go into a dream!” Wick tried to focus on Don’s lecture, but he couldn’t get over the fact they were still whispering. Maybe his supervisor had a sore throat? “What do you have to say for yourself?”
“Sorry, sir, but why are we whispering again?”
“Cubicle walls are thin and we don’t want anyone to know what just happened.”
Another thing Wick had not seen coming. There was many a thing to say about Don, but not that he was lenient. Ever since the day the Council had sent him, they’ve all worked with more focus and accuracy than ever before. Wick knew that he was the reason Don got dispatched to them, even though his co-workers didn’t seem to realise it. He had taken the tests to become a Field Agent one too many times and it had sparked a red flag with the government. Apparently he needed some monitoring of his own and they wanted him to be too busy to even think about trying out again. But Wick would never give up on that dream. Still, he had to hand it to Don, he really knew how to work them. He always found something for them to do or taught them new things about how to use the dream-software to their advantage. Don checked in with Wick about three times as much as he did with the other guys from his unit though and it started to frustrate him. More often than not he resorted to annoying Don on purpose now. He had to understand that it simply wasn’t that hard to watch a screen the entire night. Pretty much anyone could do it. Whenever Wick made an attempt at a joke though, Don would be the one with a sarcastic response and a roll of eyes while all the others were laughing. Wick just knew that he disdained him for getting dispatched to monitor Monitors. It was a thankless task. Rumour had it that Don had been close to an important promotion before he got transferred. A job that would have probably granted him many privileges among Dreamers and maybe even real voting power. Yet now he was stuck here. Still, not once did he doubt Don’s loyalty to the Council and their system, until now.
“Wait, you are not going to tell on me?”
There was a pause, but deep inside Wick knew what the answer would be.
“But … I don’t understand. You could probably get rid of me once and for all if you reported me to the Council.”
“And what good would that do?”
“But I thought you hated me.”
“You’re an idiot, Wick, but I don’t hate you. I want a full report on what you’ve been doing. Every. Single. Detail. Do you hear me? If you messed with something in the dream-landscape we have to find out before someone else does. Understood?”
“Yes, I … thank you, sir!”
“Don’t tell anyone about this, or I won’t just report you to the Council and deny any involvement in this whatsoever, but I will kill you myself.” With that warning he left the room and slammed the door doing so. Wick couldn’t believe he got away this easily, it felt like some sort of trap.
“And he just let you go!?” Aurora almost screamed through the entire cafeteria.
“Shush! Not everyone needs to know what we are talking about.”
“Wait a second, that’s what you took away from his story?” Ely now also chimed in. “He went into a freaking dream! If the Council ever found out …”
“But they won’t, Ely. Right? Don made his point clear, Aurora would never tell on me and neither would you. You wouldn’t, right?” Wick grabbed the shoulder of his best friend and made him look him in the eyes. He could see the hesitation, his whole body struggling with the idea of going against Dreamer law. Rules were rules and Ely loved to obey them, but Wick hoped he would make an exception for him.
“Of course not! I’ve kept your secrets before and I will keep this one as well.”
“Good.” Wick noticed that Ely had difficulties looking at him, but he had to believe that his best friend wouldn’t betray him. It was true after all, he had kept many a secret of him before, just never anything this big.
They stayed quiet until they all got their food and found a quiet corner away from the other Dreamers.
“Okay, tell me again. How did you even get into the dream-landscape? I always have to go through the portals.”
“I’ve told you! I just pressed the button.”
“What button?” Aurora inquired.
“Monitors have this big blue button on their console to get into the dream in case of emergencies.”
“But if the button is there, isn’t it sort of allowed for Wick to actually go into the dream. Why else would it even exist?”
“My point exactly! It was all there and saying that I had to act quickly and couldn’t go and look for some Field Agent, who just happens to have some spare time on his hands to help me. Also, for once, I wanted to be the guy who saves the day and the button totally got that. It even encouraged me to do it.”
“It said all that?” Ely asked with a raised brow and grin on his face.
“Yep! It’s very talkative it turns out. But now I do wonder if the portals are gentler.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, does it hurt to get transported into the dream?”
“No, did it hurt for you?”
“A little.” A lot, but his friends didn’t need to know that. Aurora already looked alarmed as it was and even Ely’s face was streaked with concern.
“So, what was the dream about? Why did you jump in? The girl I assigned you to should have just dealt with some confidence issues and former mean girls. Nothing out of the ordinary.” Aurora finally broke the awkward silence.
“Oh right! Something definitely went wrong.”
“But I don’t understand. I calculated all the possible scenarios. She shouldn’t have been able to deviate from the path I prepared.”
“Well, she obviously did! She was running from some sort of blurry something. It chased her through the night of some kind of city.” Wick felt Ely getting tense beside him. “Have you ever seen something like that before? I’ve had my fair share of humans with nightmares, but this was different.”
“You shouldn’t have gone into that dream. You should have gotten help.” Ely’s teeth were gritted and his hands clasped into fists.
“Dude, relax. Everything turned out fine.”
“Nothing is fine! You could have gotten yourself killed!”
“Keep it down, Ely!” Aurora warned in a whisper, while Wick stared at his friend in shock.
“What do you mean? You can’t get killed in a dream.” He tried to laugh it off, yet he had felt something while being in the dream-landscape. Something dangerous and scaring, something that had chilled him to the bones. He knew then that he had been afraid for his life.
“You have no idea what you’re dealing with.” Right then the gong signalled them to return to their stations. Wick wanted to go after Ely, but Aurora stopped him.
“Let me talk to him.” She smiled at him kindly and he nodded as he watched her disappear out of the door.
As always, my final question: What did you think about the chapter?