Chapter 15: Dream State

Determined to know the identity of the mystery man in her recurring nightmares, Chantal read the information that Sierra shared with her about lucid dreams. Immediately, over the next few days she incorporated different strategies to help her recall details from the nightmares, and recognize when she was dreaming.

Each morning, she wrote down anything she remembered about her dreams in a journal.  Throughout the day she paid close attention to her surroundings. Any distortion in fixed details could help her to recognize when she was truly awake or dreaming. 

She had read about and liked a technique, which involved closing the mouth and pinching the nostrils together to stop breathing. A person would only be able to  breathe air in and out of their lungs while performing the technique  in a dream. It would distinguish wakefulness from dreaming. 

“Ha, the nose pinching technique is not for me. If that didn’t stress my heart and kill me, Sierra would if she ever found out I tried it. I have to think of something else.” Chantal said to herself.

She came up with the clever idea of sketching a structural outline of a man’s head without any real expressed facial recognition. All  the features of the face, which included the eyes, lips, and nose were unidentifiable.

If I notice any recognizable facial features in the picture that were not drawn by me, that would mean I was in a dream, Chantal thought to herself.

She taped the portrait to a wall next to her bed and titled it, You are the Man in My Dreams.  She did reality checks, and looked at the drawing several times during the day, asking herself, “Am I dreaming?” 

Then, one night, Chantal had another nightmare with the same recurring theme about the storm. The atmosphere in the mansion was gloomy and chaotic as a young man walked up a spiral staircase carrying a little girl. There was a stain of blood shaped like a person’s hand on the back of his shirt near his collar. 

“Son, you have a grave expression on your face. What’s wrong?” his mother asked when he reached the top of the stairs, where she stood, to give her the little girl.

“Mother, Christa is gone!” the young man said loudly, full of sadness as he passed the little girl to her arms. 

In shock, his mother replied, “William, it can’t be true.” 

“But it is,” he said.

“Are you sure?”

 “Yes, I was holding her when she died. I just left her side.”

 “How?” she asked.

“I will tell you later. Right now Sophie needs me.”

William’s mother asked, “Where is Sophie?”

“She’s unconscious lying on the floor, bleeding from her head. I must go now!”

“Go! Hurry son and be safe!” 

Wait, thought Chantal. She continued dreaming, and looked at the picture of the indistinguishable face she had drawn, and placed on the wall near her bed a few days ago. Distorted, the face now had a strong jaw line and a sharp nose that was not present before.

How cool is this? This is a dream and the mystery man’s name is William. The blood on his clothing is from his wife’s hand, when they held each other one last time before she died in the last dream.

Chantal attemped to control the dream. She began yelling to William in the hopes that he would hear her before he turned around and walked downstairs into danger, which ironically, would have allowed her the opportunity to finally see his face. 

Chantal yelled out to William in her sleep, “No, don’t go back downstairs! It’s not safe!” 

Her yells were loud, and awakened Sierra who slept across the hall in her bedroom with the door closed. Right away, Sierra hurried into Chantal’s room where she found her sitting up in bed crying.

 “Dearest, I’m here,” said Sierra. She took Chantal into her arms and comforted her.

 “I just had a lucid dream. I tried to save him.” said Chantal between sobs. 

“Enough. Tomorrow, I am taking you to see a doctor. When I was at the library, I wrote down the name and contact information for a doctor in Woodbine.” 

“OK,” said Chantal.

 The next morning, Sierra scheduled an appointment for Chantal to see a sleep specialist later that afternoon. She sat quietly at her desk and wrote down a few concerns she had about Chantal that she wanted to discuss with the doctor, with Chantal’s permission. Then, there was a knock at her room door.

 “May I please come in?” asked Chantal.

“Sure,” said Sierra. 

“Sierra, I’m so sorry about waking you up out of your sleep last night, but last night was different. I felt like I had control over what could happen in my dream. The information you gave me was helpful. My only mistake was that I should not have gotten emotional. I should have kept dreaming, because I’m pretty sure I was about to see William’s face.”

“Did you just say William?”

 “Yes, I learned his name when his mother was talking to him.”

Sierra did not want to frighten Chantal, so she did not tell her about William D. Lloyd, the young man who died at Brooke Manor in the hurricane in 1938.

“Sweetie, it’s OK. All is well. I’m glad I have been able to help you make some progress in discovering more about your dreams. I would still like for us to speak with a doctor for more guidance about the best way for you to practice the lucid dreaming.”

“Fair enough,” said Chantal. 

“Now let’s get dressed so we can leave early enough to grab some brunch in Woodbine,” said Sierra. 

“Where will we eat?” asked Chantal.

 “I don’t know, but I’m sure we’ll find someplace nice,” said Sierra.

“What are you wearing?” asked Chantal. 

“Just some jeans, a white t-shirt, and my black linen blazer.”

“I think I’ll wear the pink shirt-dress that you gave me for my birthday.” 

“That will be nice, said Sierra.” 

“I’ll be ready soon,” said Chantal.

Two hours later, Sierra and Chantal arrived in Woodbine.

“Hey look, Colby’s Pancake House is on the left side of the road.”

“Great, we can eat there. I just need to make a u-turn.” 

“Do you think this franchise will be as good as the one in Thousand Oaks?” asked Chantal.

“Yes, I answered that question based on the number of people standing in line outside waiting to get in. Oh great, we have a parking space near the door.”

Chantal took a closer look at the people standing in line as Sierra parked the car. She paid particular attention to a young man who was tall with curly blond hair. He wore a white short-sleeved dress shirt and navy pants. He held a matching navy colored sports jacket.

Chantal turned around and looked at Sierra with an agonized expression on her face.

“Sierra, there’s a guy here who looks just like Miles Banks,” she said.

“Chantal, that is Miles Banks.”

“Are you kidding me?” asked Chantal.

 “No.”

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