Chapter 52

It had been one stressful day at school for Andie, but it was over now. The sun was down, her friends were with her, and she was in dreamwalker form. She was in her element and ready for anything.
“So this is where you saw the… the thing?” Dyllan glanced over the edge of the skyscraper he, Andie, and Cedric had chosen for a meeting place earlier that day. “ ‘Cause it definitely isn’t down their anymore. Any idea where that thing might be now?”
“No. I just kinda assumed the Daymare would still be here.” A sheepish look crossed Andie’s face, a rare display, given her usual – oftentimes unwarranted – confidence. “Which, in retrospect, seems pretty stupid…”
“Daymare?” Cedric wandered around the edges of the rooftop, looking over the railing for any clues as to where the “Daymare” had gone. “You’ve named it already?”
“Well, yeah. You like it? I think it’s pretty clever.” Andie slumped up against the railing next to Dyllan, trying and failing to relax. “See, I figured the physical world is the ‘awake place’ and the mindscapes are the ‘asleep place.’ So if a Dream manifested in the physical world, it would be a Daydream, and the nightmare equivalent of a daydream is a daymare, so…”
“I dunno… Usually something about the names you come up with sort of clicks. They feel natural, like the thing’s always been called that.” Cedric moved his search to another side of the building. “Which, given how Finnegan responded to our lingo as though he’d been using it his whole life, despite the fact Andie made it up, would make sense. Perhaps there’s something instinctive to the names. We know them before we know of the thing they represent, sort of like how we just knew the phrases we needed to summon our Virtues.”
“Uh, guys? I hate to interrupt, but you might wanna see this.” Dyllan gestured toward an alleyway across the street from the bus stop where Andie had encountered the “Daymare.”
“What? Wha -” Andie rapidly pulled herself upright to see what was going on, then froze in place. “Oh. It wasn’t a Daymare, it was a nightwalker.”
“Ah! Now that name clicks!” Cedric turned to start walking towards Dyllan and Andie, his facial expression shifting rapidly from satisfaction, to a dawning realization, then over to concern. “…Which bodes quite poorly, now that I think about it. I don’t actually want to see the thing Dyllan just found, do I?”
“No. No you don’t.” Andie climbed the railing and got ready to jump down to ground level. “But if the alternative is letting it rampage unopposed, I don’t think you have a choice.”


A note from the author ninja:

I thought this might be a good chance to explain how dreamwalkers turn into their dreamwalker form. They just go to sleep. See, when a dreamwalker dreams, the version of that dreamwalker that exists in their dreams is their dreamwalker form, and has all of their dreamwalker powers. That said, unless the dreamwalker is lucid dreaming, they don’t realize they have their dreamwalker powers. As soon as they do lucid dream though, the dreamwalker can open a portal out of their dream and into the physical world, just like the dreamwalker would in a mindscape.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the answer is ten and fifteen. I said dreamwalker ten times in that one paragraph, and I said dream fifteen times. Quite a lot.

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