Dreams of Destiny Pt. 04byKrenna Smart©
John was about three quarters of the way asleep in his bed in Takoma Park when his astral self started to rise from his body. John was surprised but did not disturb his trance-like state. He had had several experiences like this in the past. He met it with a sleepy rush of excitement.
John’s spirit slid off his body. Making fists he put his hands out in front of him and pressed them through the right side of the bedroom wall. His hands traveled first through gravel, then sand. His astral body followed his hands as he slithered through the wall. Then he was free and clear. He came out on an earth plane and drifted towards a crevice in the ground under his rose arbor. He traveled down through the ground. He found himself wafting down a red and black stair case. The staircase was familiar and looked like the stairway of an office building, except for the colors and the lighting, which did not seem to come from any particular source.
As he traveled, John he encountered fellow travelers. Some were heading up the stair case, some were tromping downward. Some of the beings were more corporal than others like him, who were mere wisps of matter.
It was dark in the staircase at first. As John traveled down the steps it became warmer -- almost hot, and pinkish lighting improved. Now there were sconces with flames recessed in the walls of the staircase.
Down he traveled. As he went he became excited, exhilarated, but wary. He knew instinctively that this was a dangerous place to travel. Or have I been here before?
He began to notice the gurgling of running water which grew louder as John walked He came to the end of the stairway. The rushing water was nearer now, and made a nice, seamy atmosphere. There was a heavy gray slate door in front of him. It was closed.. John didn’t need to push the door open, His substance was not of this “world.” He pushed himself through using the same technique he had used to get out of his bedroom He slid through the wall and found himself in a large cavern carved out of white, black and red stone. There was an abundance of warm and hot springs bubbling up from underneath the cavern. There were fountains interspersed around the cavern depicting vaguely lewd and suggestive subjects. Curious about the nature of the cavern John stuck his hand into the water of one of the fountains. Visually the water passed right through his hand as if it wasn’t there. But the water scalded his hand badly.
Various entities were lounging on outcroppings of rock and in seats carved out of the marble walls. The cavern was lit by red flames coming from wall sconces. It was an eerie and unsettling scene. No emotion was shown by any of the entities John passed as he explored the cavern.
There were alcoves at various spots in the cavern. John peeked into the alcoves as he passed by. There was a man sleeping in one of the more opulent alcoves. The form was familiar to John. Looking closer he recognized Esteban Rodriguez from earlier dreams. This is bazaar, John thought. If this is real, does this mean that all of my other dreams and night travels have had substance in reality. And then, in a flash, he realized that Esteban’s alter ego was the serial killer John had been chasing since the incident a Fair View Park so many years ago. Or maybe I’m just as nutty as a fruitcake, John thought with wry amusement.
John stepped back from the alcove. He didn’t want Esteban to know he was here. But it was too late. John’s shadow had passed over Esteban and Esteban awoke and uncoiled himself like a snake.
“Welcome, brother” Esteban said as he stood.
Brother!? John thought.
“What brings you here tonight? How do you like my realm.? Its been a long time since you’ve been here.” Esteban spoke with false affability. Can I get you a drink, or perhaps show you around? My little abode has grown larger since you were last here.
Perhaps you would like to play some chess. Oh, that’s right, you don’t play me because I make up my own rules. That’s what you told me when we were 7 years old. Don’t you miss those tender times while we were living together on San Angeles island.
“You’re no brother of mine. And I’d rather wrestle a cobra than play a game with you.”
“But John, don’t you see, this is all a game. It’s the greatest game of the all. And I’m winning because the rules don’t concern me. I bend them rules to suit me.
You’re not winning Esteban, you’re deluding yourself.
No, its you that’s delusional. You’re living in a dream world., I see. You should know that by now. Or have your travels been so circumscribed that you’ve missed the nuances of the game.? I think you training has been seriously lacking and that you are out of practice, but that is to my advantage. Of course you are my brother. The fact is indisputable. We are mere flip sides of the same coin.”
“That’s a crock, and you know it. You’re just a miserable little killer waiting to be caught. And I promise that I will catch you some day in the very near future.”
“In your dreams, maybe, John, but not in mine. Oh no. That is not part of the scenario this time around. Oh, and John. I like your taste in women. I’ve been following Destiny for a long time. Maybe we can work something out about her. Do you like to share? She’s getting pretty good at the game too. I’d hate to see something happen to her. Something like what happened to Juan’s dear friend, Nicoletta.”
“What are you saying, you bastard? You’d better keep your filthy hands off of Destiny. I’ll come after you if you even think about touching her. There won’t be a safe place for you in the universe.”
“Be very careful John,” Esteban replied. “I’ll take what I want and you won’t be able to stop me.”
“Oh I’ll stop you. I’ll put you down for good. There won’t be a plane from here to the end of time for you when I’m done with you. There will be a reckoning, I can promise you that.”
With that being said, John turned and left out of the chamber. His body was calling to him urgently. He beat a speedy retreat and was blinking and rubbing his eyes in his own bed within minutes....
Destiny got back to Judge Raven’s Courtroom just as the Judge was taking the bench. Good timing, she thought. Now back to the real world. But what the hell is real anymore? Destiny wondered with a shiver. Now that I know about the reality of dreams, can I control them. If I want to get out of here, do I simply blink my eyes and end up back in bed? It can’t be that simple. What the hell are the rules. My understanding of the nature of the whole universe has been altered forever and I don’t know the rules.
She tried to concentrate on what Judge Raven was saying. She noticed Elaine looking at her curiously. Now, where does Elaine fit in to all of this, she wondered, Elaine sure made it a point that I notice John Rodgers today. Was that mere coincidence or something else? I need to do some research on the nature of dreams, she decided.
Judge Raven called the case of the James children. I got lucky today, Destiny thought. First case to be called. Let’s see what the government wants to do about Devon’s siblings.
Apparently the parties had worked out an agreement ahead of time. Devon’s mother agreed to have the children placed in shelter care, which meant they would go to a foster home. The judge made it clear that the siblings should be placed together if at all possible. The mother agreed to go into drug treatment and parenting classes, and to keep away from the boyfriend. The case was set for a status hearing six weeks down the road. The hearing took about ten minutes.
After the hearing Destiny introduced herself to the social worker. She told her she wanted to set up visitation for Devon with his siblings. They worked out a plan. She went back to the juvenile cell block to give Devon the news which made him happy. She found out that her four o’clock neglect review had been rescheduled as one of the other attorneys was sick so she was done with Court for the day. Happily she headed for home.
She kicked off her shoes and threw off her clothes the minute she arrived at her apartment. She slipped into a short cotton shift, checked her telephone messages, and fed Top Cat who stuck his nose up into the air at the evening entree and marched out to the back deck.
Destiny flopped into her favorite overstuffed chair. She was beat! She realized that so far in this day she had been in four different dream sequences. None of them had been restful. She wondered if she had been going through this all of her life unaware that each sequence was a separate reality. Could that possibly be the case? And if so, why was she suddenly becoming aware now? If each dream sequence was a separate reality, when did she actually rest?
She thought about that last question for a while. She’d had many restful dreams she realized. Dreams about flying, for example were very healing. She often dreamed about taking long, blissful runs by the ocean in the summer. Dreams about skiing were wonderful. Dreams about swimming, walking, bicycling, and boating also seemed to be rest dreams.
What about travel dreams? How may times had she visited Paris in her sleep? Maybe those were her vacation sequences. Not all of her dreams were purposeful or involved work, she realized. Some were pure sensation. Others were pure drudgery. How many thousands of dishes had she washed in her dreams, she wondered. Were those minor punishment dreams?
No! Destiny thought suddenly. This thinking is pure insanity. There has to be a solid reality somewhere. We are corporeal beings, not flights of fancy. Reality does not shift at will.
But then she thought with a sickening wrench I’ve been dreaming about that damn serial killer for years. He’s been stalking me and playing with me. Most of those dreams take place in Florida. That’s who was in the House of Horrors. Now I know he’s real. And I know when it happened. 18 yeas ago. But it didn’t happen eighteen years ago in this time line she realized which confused hr even further. I only dreamed about making a graduation trip to Florida. It never happened. Or did I?.
Who is the killer and why is he focused on me? Did I create him. Is he my unconscious death wish? God, I need to talk to Dr. Phaeton. But dare I? He might think I’ve gone off the deep end and prescribe medication. Or worse yet, he might hospitalize me. Can he be trusted? John knows him better than I do. I’ll have to ask him. Maybe we can go to the doctor together with our discoveries.
And how does John fit into all of this anyway? He sure is as close to a fantasy man as a girl can get. I’ve got to step carefully with him. Mr. Youth Division, indeed!. Most men would eat something like that with a spoon. It made him angry.
And what about Juan Rodriguez. I say I created him out of my imagination. John says, no, HE IS Juan Rodriguez. How can that be? Did Juan dream me up, or am I some other person’s fantasy gone haywire. Maybe nasty old Sean O’Donnell dreamed me up and that’s why he was looking at me that way this morning.
On that sickening note, Destiny decided to get up out of her chair and make some dinner. She perused the refrigerator and the freezer with little success. Guess its gonna be ice cream tonight, Destiny decided sadly. Or maybe I should go out and get something healthy. Nah. Its still too hot out. I’d have to get dressed again She made a deal with herself. Ice cream now and workout before bedtime.
While she ate her ice cream, Destiny finished up her work for the day. She checked her calendar to be sure she was ready for the hearings she had coming up, made a few business calls, updated her computer generated time keeping program and sorted through her mail. She made note of things she wanted to accomplish in the office the nest day.
Once her office work was complete, she dished out another helping of ice cream workout tomorrow for sure she promised, grabbed her novel and her bottle of soda, turned on the TV and stretched out on the couch, ready for another exciting night as a single young professional in Washington, DC. She felt a pang of loneliness as she bit into her dinner. She thought about calling John Rodgers but realized he was probably asleep, gathering strength for his next shift on the Youth Division. She finished her meal, sighed, and let the television pull her into the plot of a poorly written made-for-TV movie.
She didn’t really mean to fall asleep at 8:00 p.m., but she was so tired from the day’s activities that she just slipped off...
Destiny was body surfing naked in a chute of fast flowing cool, water that was crystalline blue. The walls of the chute seemed to be made of glass, or maybe even diamond. She wasn’t wearing any breathing device but had no need to come up for air. She was like a log in an amusement park water ride, but better, so much better because she could feel the water coursing over her, around her, through her very being. It was cleansing, healing. The sun was high in the sky and more brilliant that it ever was on earth. There was a freshening breeze blowing. Dolphins swam in the water ahead and behind Destiny, and they called to her to come along and play. She delightedly realized she had a tail rather than legs and swam ever faster. They traveled together headlong towards the falls. The falls were terrifyingly beautiful. To traverse them, was dangerous, perhaps deadly. Destiny tried to stop herself but it was too late. She hit the falls. She plunged over the crest. She shut her eyes in terror...
John woke up in his bed. It was 10:30 p.m. on July 10. His room smelled like sulfur although the ventilation in his house was good. It was time to eat and get ready for his shift.
The memory of his recent dream was strong to he decided to tape his memory of the dream before he did anything else. He pulled out his recorder and gave a succinct rundown of events. He wasn’t clear on a lot of the details. There had been so much action and everything was jumbled up in his mind. He did the best he could with what he remembered, made and entry on the label an put the machine back into place.
When is my next appointment with Dr. Phaeton, John wondered. Oh, good, its at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow. I’m going to bring these tapes to Dr. Phaeton. Maybe he can help sort things out. I wish I could call Destiny. Its kind of late thought, maybe she’s already in bed.
John decided to give it a rest for the time being. He needed to be alert for his upcoming shift. Sometimes the nights were brutally boring, with nothing much to do but answer hot line calls, work on old cases drink horrible coffee, swap stories, and wait for the calls for help that made it worthwhile to work in the Youth Division.
Unlike in homicide, youth division officers handle everything from petty family squabbles, crank calls, thousands of calls regarding child abuse and/or neglect which turned out to be unsubstantiated, and the thousands that were substantiated.
Because of the nature of the allegations, youth division officers had to have excellent people skills. The officers often went into settings as highly charged as in homicide cases. And, because children’s placement was at stake situations could become very volatile very quickly. Between the boredom and the tension, work at the youth division was extremely stressful.
John arrived at the station at 11:30 p.m.. It was a surprisingly quiet night. He only went out on two calls, and they were nothing compared to yesterday evening’s incident. The first call was from an anonymous neighbor who thought a child was being whipped. The investigation turned up insufficient evidence to take action. Child and Family Services would be put on alert to follow the family informally for a few months.
The second call was from an irate aunt who had agreed to watch her 18 month old grand niece for two hours. That was two days ago. The baby’s mother had failed to return to pick up the baby. The aunt had called the child abuse hot line saying she was going to leave the baby in the park across the street from her apartment f someone didn’t come and get her. John and Maria hurried to the scene. This was at about 4:00 in the morning.
The aunt had nothing good to say about the mother. The mother was a sixteen year old high school dropout with no stable address. According to the aunt the girl flitted from one boyfriend to the next, taking the baby with her when she could. More often than not either the girl or the boyfriend would tire of the demands of caring for a young baby and turn her over to her aunt. The aunt had been taking care of the child on and off for a year and a half and was thoroughly fed up. “The mother never even provides a diaper when she drops off the baby.,” the aunt complained. “Then she’s gone again God knows where.”
The aunt was also afraid that he baby might have crack in her system from the mother’s smoking crack in closed areas with the baby in tow. The child was taken into custody and taken to Children’s hospital for a physical evaluation. That process ate up the rest of John’s shift. Once the baby had been cleared medically, the officers took the baby to a social worker at Court Social Services and went back to the station to complete their paperwork.
It was Maria’s turn to handle initial Court hearings so John was free until his appointment with Dr. Phaeton He decided to head over to the Courthouse for a few minutes hoping he might meet up with Destiny. He thought maybe Destiny would be free to go with him to Dr. Phaeton’s office at 1:30. I Might as well get some breakfast while I’m at it he thought.
When John didn’t see any sign of Destiny in any defense counsels’ regular haunts in the Courthouse he went to the cafeteria for some poor quality, overpriced food. He stood in line for some luke warm bacon and eggs, and grabbed a blueberry muffin. He added a cold coke to his tray and went to pay for his meal. Four bucks. I wonder how the average single mother with children can afford to buy this crappie food when she’s stuck in Court? Add parking or bus and metro fares and that’s a pretty penny.
He was about to pack it in and call it a day when he say Destiny trip skip into the cafeteria. She looked better than she had when he had last seen her. Now where was that? Outside the Courthouse yesterday afternoon. Its getting awfully difficult to keep the dream lines or whatever they are straight. But I know it was yesterday afternoon that we parted company after meeting with regard to Devon’s case, getting pulled into Florida and then POW, back here again. I wonder what happened next in Florida? Maybe that hasn’t happened yet and won’t until things play out here. As things stand Florida is in flux. And a lot depends on what happens there. Does Destiny go home and reconcile with Nathan. If so, what’s happening here won’t happen because Destiny will have taken the job as a government attorney. Then she’ll go on the dream vacation and meet me as Juan. On the other hand, if she stays in Florida to help catch the killer, do we then part ways so she and I can meet here now, and then what happens. As far as I’m concerned the chemistry between Destiny and me is dynamite.
Is there a third option? What if we vanquish the beast in Florida and then go back to Washington together. Destiny can break up with Nathan and have a totally different life -- one that doesn’t appear to have been written yet. He realized he had dreamed something like that not too long ago. That’s odd, I wonder if there was a time that Destiny and I lived together?
But the glaring question is how do we deal with Stephen? He’ s real and he’s out for Destiny. I’ve been tracking him for years. Can Destiny and I get together and do something about him?