The Child Dreamer:
A Dead Dreamer Prequel
Lies and Goodbyes
I shouldn’t be writing in this. If they find me, I would surely be punished for it.
But I want my truth written along with my husband’s. You can make up your own mind from there. Or they will tear this page out and no one will hear my words. It is not my place to say what Fate will dictate.
My husband, George, has died. His guardian, Lorcan, told me that his death was noble and quick; That he passed away while away on one of their journeys away from home. He told me to take solace in the fact that he died doing God’s work and I should be proud.
I’m certain Lorcan truly believed in his words. But they tasted like acid. An acid that finally released my chains.
The voices were beginning to destroy George from the inside. Even in this journal, it was clear the voices had tainted his memory. There were words he couldn’t seem to write or recall. He had to write them in the characters he used to seal the doors.
His death wasn’t peaceful. It was painful. His second death was worse than his first. He told me only once of his first death. The death he suffered at the hands of his drunk father. The spirits he had met on the other side who took the souls away. He spoke of them in hatred.
But this second death…it wasn’t the same. He wouldn’t not meet one of those spirits on that day. Of that, I am almost certain.
When I first met my husband, it was when my family was inducted into the Gatekeepers. The church blessed us with knowledge that few were privy too. They were only allowed within because of me. You see, I am sensitive to the other side. I can feel when a spirit or something else is nearby. They knew they could use me; Use me to find the doors to the other side.
My parents were so proud. But I was afraid.
They kept the secret for seventeen years; Afraid they would anger whatever demon had possessed me. Only when they finally requested an exorcism from the church did they learn the truth. The clergyman put me through tests, to see if I truly had a demon within. When he discovered what I really was, he told my parents of the secret order beneath the church.
That was the first day my parents weren’t afraid of me. It was the first time they were proud of what their daughter could do. They gladly joined and allowed the church to use me as they saw fit. They beamed with pride, while I shrunk in fear.
My fear grew when they my parents began discussing my prospects. Those in the church were few, but most were cruel. I did not see the other side as they did. Their greedy eyes only made me cower as I tried to hide in the shadows. But many men wanted me for my ability, to pass it down to their children.
But one day the fear disappeared when they brought my future husband to me. Only recently did I learn of the falsehood behind that smile. Discovering the truth should have left darkness and hate in my heart. Something that should have destroyed me. But it didn’t.
I discovered that my life was a lie soon before his left for his last trip.
My husband did not love me.
He did not love our children.
He was merely a tool. A tool to keep me under control. A tool to further the Gatekeeper’s cause.
The clergyman made a suggestion. One that normally would have been forbidden for someone like George. He suggested that George seduce me. Show me love. Give me comfort. Marry me. And solidify that marriage with children. Children that would be tied to the Gatekeepers, forever.
I still remember the day we met. The first day I saw his bright eyes hidden beneath his sandy blond hair. That infectious smile as he approached. The image of him before our marriage still left me blushing, despite knowing the truth. He paid me plenty of compliments before asking my parents if he could join us for dinner. They agreed, gladly. They knew what he was doing. It was the beginning of our many evenings together.
The night I fell in love with him was the night he told me about his first death. I felt pity for that child who only wanted love, but was only killed in the end. The child who had no mother, and knew no love from a parent. I held him that night, believing the passion was his relief to finally have me. It was the night we conceived our first born.
But after reading through his journal, I see he only told me a part of the truth. He told me of his father. He told me of the natives and how they had raised him; raised him to be a tolerable man who knew nothing but kindness and who only wanted to help others.
He did not tell me about the spirits he revered; the ones that danced within the flames. The ones that he loved. The ones who frightened me.
He did not tell me about how he left the tribe. He did not tell me that the only woman he had ever known as a mother was burned by his own flames.
George destroyed everything he had ever touched. And he reveled in it.
Lorcan saw all of this.
He saw the darkness in my husband and believed it to be light. Believed his flames to be the flames sent from God. He was proud of him. More so than the child he had adopted. And Lorcan received a love I could never receive from my husband. My husband was only doing his duty with me. His true passion always laid elsewhere.
Lorcan loved George not only for his pride, but for his power. His power to do what no other Dreamer could. He surpassed all of them. He was the only one who could create the blood seals. And he told no one how he did it. Not even Lorcan. He wanted to be the most powerful Dreamer in all of creation. And he was. No one could challenge him.
Many tried to repeat the process. Lorcan described what he had witnessed only to those closest to the order. And I had heard they were trying to repeat the process, but to no avail. Only through my husband’s written word did I discover what the process entailed.
I can feel the tears as they fall down my cheeks. It is funny. Even after knowing the truth, I still cannot stop myself from loving him. The man who married me, the man who gave me my children. My heart still yearns to feel love from a man who never loved me. A man who only did his duties and owed me nothing more.
I bet you’re wondering how I found out. How I found this journal and discovered the truth behind it all. My husband was very secretive. The only person he spoke with true honesty to was Lorcan. But in his later years, he began to lose control of his power. He lost control of his own mind.
He told me about them once, the voices. How they were a burden he had to carry to protect the world from the demons. But with each seal he created, the louder they would become. It finally got to a point when he couldn’t hear himself think anymore. When I would try and calm him, he would spit at me, screaming his true thoughts.
“Away with you, filthy whore.”
“I don’t want your pathetic hands to touch me.”
“You’re only another burden I have to carry. Don’t I have enough to deal with?”
One evening, before his last trip with Lorcan, he left his precious journal, open, on the table of our home. Although I knew I shouldn’t read his private thoughts, I wanted to know how to help my husband, the man I was in love with. As each page turned, I felt the rage, I felt the hatred, I felt the disgust. He was a proud man, who was disgusted with his life. Only finding solace in the deeds of the Land of the Dead and his time with Lorcan.
His words spoke his true feelings. His beginning, our beginning, and the lies that went along with it. He had always found me revolting, but could never tell me, fearing I would flee. Instead, he plastered a sweet smile on his face when he saw me and kissed me; all for obligation. Not love.
And here we are. My children, nearly grown. My husband, dead. This house, once filled with love, is now filled with false security and a darkness I cannot fight.
With this journal, I’ll bury my final thoughts of my lost love.
I loved my husband.
The man whose first death cursed him.
The man who caused all of this destruction. The man who caused all of this hate and all of this suffering.
I write in this journal now, burying my husband and burying the truth. A truth I tried to expose to my parents and those closest to us within the order. A truth I had always known deep down, but denied for my husband’s sake.
But none of the other Gatekeepers will believe me. Even my own son will not believe me. None of them realize that what we’ve done was a curse to the land. A curse laid on the living. There has been so much death and so many disappearances since all of this began. I turned a blind eye at first. I believed it to be nothing but a coincidence.
They believe they sealed away the demons. They believe they sealed Lucifer’s minions away, protecting these lands from evil. But I question if that was really what happened. Ever since the doors were sealed, I have seen my neighbors mysteriously disappear or turn up dead in the most peculiar places, in the most violent ways. Some had even changed personalities drastically, becoming angrier and more prone to violence.
The law blamed some of the disappearances on a man who was never quite right in the head. But I watched that man as he grew up. He was slower than most, and couldn’t grasp even the simplest concepts. But he was harmless. He never hurt anyone or anything. And yet they hung him anyway.
But the evil never left.
My son will not believe me. He will not follow us as we leave.
But it is not too late for my daughter. She and her husband have promised to take me away from this place. To hide from the Gatekeepers, so that they will never find us.
Kieran and Claire Byrne. My sweet Claire. They found each other through all of the lies and pain. Kieran watched my husband as a child. He knew the truth but was always too frightened to tell anyone. But the scar on his arm was proof of my husband’s cruelty.
Claire had always loved Kieran. But even I knew their love was forbidden. A Dead Dreamer must never love and must never have children. That was law. They were considered only half human, therefore abominations. Tools used for a purpose and nothing more. Only George was permitted to break one of those laws. And only because the church had asked it of him.
They hid their love. And I helped them. But now it is their turn to return the favor. Now they must hide me.
You’ll never find us, Lorcan Pratt.
I know you wanted Claire. She is like you. She is the Watcher who fell in love with the Dead Dreamer.
May your heart break as mine did.
May your body lay cold each night. Lay cold as my husband lies deep in the snow from his second death. Cold as his soul was taken.
Break just as you broke George.
And lay broken knowing his daughter will never be with you or the rest of them. The Gatekeepers and the order will never use them as you have used me.
Widow of George Walker
Former Member of the Gatekeepers
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