Today’s Dreamer is a fellow NaNoWriMoer. I can’t remember how we got close but it happened along the way, he’s part of the reason as to why I’m building up a tolerance to beer again. Thanks for that Crash. Here’s his story.
Wulfa’s Story Part One
In a city the rain pattered around, in the loneliest of buildings odd sounds abound. In the darkest corner a creature did sit, with horn on his head and tail on his back, his big brown eyes watched the rain pita-pita-pat. His name was Wulfa and he was alone. He knew not where he had come from, nor not where he had been, his only company at this moment was his friend the fruit tree. The rain danced on the window pane as he watched it drift by. He clutched his knees to his ratty old suit, it was brown and worn bare. He didn’t remember where he got it from; in fact he didn’t really care.
He watched the rain and listened to the thunder, he had been in the house longer then he had remembered. He couldn’t remember anything beyond this house, he couldn’t remember how he had gotten to it and he couldn’t remember why he stayed. Thunder roared and he whimpered again, he remembered now. It always rained here, or if it wasn’t raining it was about to. He hated the rain, it always meant lightning. He watched through the safety of the house. It had survived many lightning strikes and no matter what shattered or broke it was repaired the next day, sometimes even when he watched it he could see the wood reform or the glass return seamlessly to the pane. He sometimes watched it do it actually, but not often it was scary. Wulfa looked out at the fruit tree, he liked the tree. It was always green and had fruit.
He stared at the fruit. He liked the fruit, it was so tasty and sweet, although he never went out to get any when it was raining, and the rain and lightning seemed to take offence to it. Lightning thundered and Wulfa whimpered clutching his knees, he had been struck by lightning before while he had tried to get a piece of fruit when it was raining. It hurt, and was the reason he always waited for the rain to go away. Wulfa watched the rain silently as he stared at the tree.
The rain gradually dwindled to a stop and Wulfa brightened instantly, he waited though, and as he waited the streets outside filled with life. He didn’t dare go outside when the rain dimmed it was too flooded with people. People he didn’t trust, they walked strangely and spoke in a language that only after listening to for a while Wulfa got used to. He sighed and stared out the window. One of them, a little one, a child, used to live here with him and bring him something called bread. He also used to bring him fruit from the tree outside even if it rained. He sighed. He missed the child, he was lonely because of it and the child was always smiling or always had a game and it rarely rained. Wulfa stared at the window and waited some more until he was satisfied it was safe.
Wulfa slinked outside into the fresh air. He breathed in the fresh air deeply as he made his way to the tree carefully. To say Wulfa was afraid of everything would be a lie; he led a life of secularity so he was merely cautious of everything. He scampered over to the tree and began to climb, he had found from experience the best fruit was always at the top. He carefully made his way up, the tree was always slippery after rain, Wulfa looked through the leaves, they curtained him from sight of passersby and only the most astute watcher would see the bestial hand grabbing a piece of fruit.
Wulfa smiled happily as he grabbed what he thought was the most luscious and descended without a care. He reached the bottom and slipped crashing onto the ground. The muddy ground was no consolation that it broke his fall. He’d need to stay out in the rain to clean the mud off. He whined slightly but immediately brightened when he saw his fruit unharmed and still looking as tasty as it did before, even if it was a bit mud covered. He smiled and brushed the mud off before he realized he was being watched.
He stared at the small figure watching him for a moment and scrambled up the tree, only looking back when he was safe in a branch. The child sat there looking at him curiously and then began to climb after him with a broad smile. Wulfa watched in a mix between fear and curiosity as the child climbed. Whenever he got near Wulfa scampered up to a higher branch, the child followed him. Fruit in mouth and filled with fear as the child closed in he leapt to the tallest branch and watched from its safety. The child laughed and followed like it was some big game until he got to a branch he could not get to. After moments of trying he gave up and sat looking at Wulfa with a broad grin.
He stared at the small child who stared back. He wasn’t sure what to do, Wulfa cautiously took a bite of his fruit and the child laughed and applause as juice dribbled off his chin. Then as if mimicking him the child took a nearby piece of fruit and bit into it. Juice dribbling from his chin as he did so, Wulfa sat on the branch and looked at the child in confusion as he finished his fruit. The child merely laughed and watched him with big green curious eyes. He laughed and said something which Wulfa couldn’t understand before taking another big bite. Wulfa picked another piece of fruit from the branches and offered it to the child. The child accepted it happily.
It was about then the branch snapped. Wulfa hung there in surprise for a moment and then came crashing into the ground. He groaned loudly and slipped into unconsciousness. He dreamt what he always dreamt, he dreamed of his wonderful friend, and then the memory of being alone in the dark and stormy night as fire was everywhere around him and a terrifying roar echoed as a figure fought against a something.
Wulfa awoke and the child was watching him silently but with a smile. He stared at the child with his brown eyes and tried to return the smile. The child stared back and smiled and then laughed. Wulfa looked around hesitantly unsure of what to do next.
“I’m Julian.” The child announced happily as he gestured towards himself. “What’s your name?”
“Wulfa.” Wulfa replied hesitantly. He was at a loss; he hadn’t dealt with anyone in a long time. “Fruit was tasty. Tree always has tastiest fruit.”
“Really?” the child asked with a smile. “Nice! Want to play?” he asked with all the energy of a ten year old behind him. Wulfa’s memories of the first child and him playing resurfaced and he remembered all the fun they had.
“Yes.” He replied making up his mind. “What game?” he asked as Julian launched himself at him with a smile and they began to play wrestle in the mud. Time past as it does and eventually the sun began to set. The rain set in again but only as a drizzle.
“I need to get home.” Julian sighed looking at the sky. “It’s getting dark.” Wulfa nodded and looked at the sky. “Thank you for playing with me Wulfa!” he proclaimed and hugged him. “Where do you live?”
“Here,” Wulfa replied as he yawned loudly. “This is home.” He said as he brushed the mud off himself.
“Can I visit tomorrow?” Julian asked with a smile and Wulfa nodded happily, it was good to have someone else around.
“Great!” he exclaimed, his smile increasing in size. “I’ll see you tomorrow then!” he exclaimed as he rushed out of sight. Wulfa sat patiently, today had been fun, normally he would have to have entertained himself by watching the street from the tree again. His stomach growled loudly and it quickly cut off any further thoughts along the lines of loneliness. Wulfa looked at the tree and a piece of fruit swayed there before snapping from the tree and into his hands. Wulfa brightened and let the drizzle clean him off. Today had been a good day.
Sure enough, Julian came back the next day even when it was raining Wulfa waited by the door patiently “It’s too wet to play.” Wulfa said unhappily as he looked at the rain pouring outside. Julian laughed.
“It’s never too wet to play.” He said happily coming inside. “We’ll just have to play inside.” He announced and dragged him in. For his age Wulfa was surprised by the amount of strength that Julian had and was dragged slightly for a moment before following him.
Julian reached a corridor and stopped letting out a slight gasp.
“This place is huge!” he announced happily. “It must have taken ages to explore!”
“Explore?” Wulfa asked curiously “Home change constantly.” Wulfa murmured as he looked at a flight of stairs up, “Never go upstairs above second for. Get lost.” He whined and looked at the flight of stairs. “Don’t like being lost.” Julian looked at Wulfa and smiled before dragging him towards the stairs.
“Don’t worry Wulfa! We won’t get lost. It’ll be an adventure!” and with that Julian rushed up stairs. In one of Wulfa’s more courageous moments he decided to not resist and follow.
They explored the third floor with amazement, some rooms opened into complete new worlds some mystical some hellish, others were filled with books upon books upon books, and although never entering. As they explored Wulfa made very sure that he remembered which way to get out in case something horrible would come. So in the months that passed on the sunny days they played outside on the wet days they explored the ever changing third floor of the house. Months of this passed until one day.
Storms had echoed for days and Wulfa had hidden himself in a room on the second floor overlooking the tree. He watched Julian rush in from the torrential rain and waited patiently as he heard rushed footsteps. Thunder cracked and Wulfa huddled into a ball and whimpered.
“Wulfa!” Julian exclaimed hugging him happily, as he entered, he was dripping wet. “Want to go explore again!” Wulfa shook his head and looked outside unhappily.
“This Storm.” Wulfa whined as he cowered in the corner, “Strong storm. Don’t like this storm.” Wulfa murmured as he watched the lightning outside. Julian looked outside with the assured confidence of a ten year old.
“Granpa’s angry!” he chirped with a smile sitting down next to Wulfa as he watched the rain and lightning play in the sky. “Papa said that when there’s a storm it’s cause of Granpa!” Julian laughed. “Granpa’s always angry!” he mentioned in way of explanation.
“Why?” Wulfa asked slowly as he tried to get his head around it. Was Julian related to the sky? Lightning echoed around and Wulfa whined slightly. They watched the rain some more and it increased to a torrential pace. “He very angry.” Wulfa murmured as they watched bolt of lightning slam into a roof and set it on fire, the fire soon put out by the torrential rain. The lightning was stronger now than he had ever seen it before. Silently Wulfa wondered what the sky had to be angry at. The ground seemed inoffensive enough. His musings were cut short as a streak of lightning shattered the window.
Wulfa immediately backed into the nearest corner and cowered, Julian joining him almost as quickly as they watched the lightning crack and rumble outside. In a point to design for the other houses, some bolts linked from rooftop to rooftop as lightning rods drew fire from the houses and dispersed them. Wulfa sniffed the air; the smell of ash assaulted his nostrils. He looked around and wondered fearfully where it was coming from. Almost in answer to his question there was a tremendous roar from the next room and everything was suddenly hotter. In silent recognition Wulfa and Julian looked at each other, and Wulfa shakily stood up and went to the door.
About the Dreamer
Chris Ashworth is an accounting superstar and web enthusiast who lives in Adelaide. He has no previous publications but he organises the local Adelaide NaNoWriMo chapter.