“She’s waking up. Help me get her to her bed.”
“Why didn’t she have a monitor on her if she was kept overnight for observation?”
“Dr. Phillips didn’t think it was necessary.”
Riley heard the words being said but they floated around her, hard for her to comprehend. She had seen a light, she was sure of that. It had been bright and had blinded her. Then there was nothing again except for this throbbing pain in her head.
What just happened?
She had been in a dream? Raz’s- no Bruce’s dream… but that wasn’t possible. Even Saber had said it wasn’t possible. So had she imagined it all.
That was dream logic for ya. She knew it didn’t make sense but couldn’t help using an explanation someone told him in the dream to explain the dream itself. She knew that it didn’t make sense but yet, somehow, some part of it did.
All of this, thinking about what had happened to her, the people moving around her, all of it caused her head to hurt that much more. She could feel their hands as they formed around her, then as they lifted her up.
“Hey, put me down,” was what she tried to say, but she could hear the garble that came out. She grimaced, tried to open her eyes while shaking her head. It was a mistake as it felt like bowling balls were rattling around inside her noggin. Her eyes stayed close but shafts of light formed stars at the corner of her vision.
Where were they taking her? Who were they? Maybe they were the people who were coming after Raz in his dream?
No, that had been a dragon. She was getting herself all kinds of confused, the thoughts not coming to her. It was like she was swiss-cheesed.
“Hey, what’s going on?”
“Everything’s okay Bruce, we just found our young friend here collapsed on the ground by your bed. Do you know why she would have tried to make it over to you.”
Riley was trying to shake her head no, and tell them about the dragon but she knew they couldn’t understand. She knew she had been on pain meds, but she’d have thought they would have worn off. Why couldn’t she talk and the room was continuing to spin around her.
“Well, I was having some really bad dreams.”
“Alice, grab her legs-”
“Maybe she was checking on me.”
“-help me get him back in bed. Be careful with the cast.”
“Doctor Linn will have to check it, make sure it doesn’t need to be reset.”
“I’d think she’d be in a lot more pain if it refractured.”
“She must have hit her head from the fall. Might have a concussion.”
Riley was trying to follow the voices as she was finally able to blink open her eyes and look at the people holding her. She just turned to look at who held her under her arms when she was lifted up onto her bed. The world shifted and she quickly closed her eyes to keep from vomiting.
“She going to be okay?” Bruce asked.
“I’m sure she will. The doctor will be in soon and check on her before the end of his shift.”
“Well that’s good. She’s got too thick of a head. Was worried she might have hurt the hospital falling down.”
“I heard that.” Riley choked out as she risked opening her eyes again. The light was bright, but the world had stopped spinning. She looked up to see a man and woman nurse standing over her.
“Hey, I can’t help if you forgot how to walk. You know, limpy, you shouldn’t go falling around like that. You’ll end up braking the other leg.”
“See if I ever trap any other dragons for you.”
“Man, you be crae, lols. I can’t help it that I get nightmares but man, you need to be staying in your own bed.”
Riley took the hint and realized her mistake just after she’d said it. Bruce was right. She shouldn’t be talking about what happened while the nurses or anyone else was in the room. Then they would think she was crazy and move her to another kind of hospital. One where the rooms were padded and she wouldn’t be getting out when her aunt came in the morning.
“Well, don’t cry out like a little baby and I won’t try to wake you up. Some of us need to sleep ya know.”
“What, you need to get you’re beauty sleep to wake up as a princess in the morning.”
The nurses were both shaking their heads.
“She’s fine,” the woman said as she made her way toward the door.
“Ms. Herman. You get out of bed again, we’ll have to restrain you.” The male nurse said. Riley vaguely remembered talking to him before she had fallen asleep. The guy had been cool then, swapping skateboarding stories. The guy had done some wicked stuff on his board, or so he claimed, and had been so laid back. He seemed completely different now, almost a jerk as he followed the other nurse out the door.
“Damn.” Riley said once he heard the click of the door and knew the two of them were finally alone. Now maybe Riley could get some answers.
“Hey Bruce, or would you rather I called you Raz?”
“Bruce. We’re not in dreams now. I only go by Raz in the dreamscape.”
“Cool, Yeah, I kinda figured that. Do you mind if I asked you something?” Riley shifted in her bed and immediately regretted as a sharp stabbing pain in his leg reminded him that he was supposed to stay immobile.
“You want to know about the dreamscape?”
“I want to know just what the hell just happened. Is Saber going to be okay?”
“I can’t tell you.”
“What does that mean. We were just there.”
“It means that you were never supposed to consciously be there and that it’s not my secret to tell. Bro, I can’t tell ya. But I can, maybe, show ya.” Bruce said as he looked around the room. Riley couldn’t help but feel like she was looking around for listening devices.
Riley tried to shift again, this time not using her leg like she would to help in the adjustment. It was hard and the cast was cumbersome, but he was finally able to maneuver it so he could sit up and be slightly more comfortable. It was an improvement but not by much.
“Show me? Show me how?” Riley was already wondering if there was like, some magical way Bruce had of showing her this dream world where kids jumped into others dreams and saved them from their nightmares.
“How soon you think you be up walking?”
“Walking now, lead the way.” Riley wasn’t kidding either. She was ready to run out of the hospital if she thought she could get away. One night and she was already wanting to escape.
“Yeah, no, take it easy. Bro, I’ve broken enough bones to know you need rest. Take a week, then swing by the shop and I’ll see if I can get you in the back room.”
“Shop?” Riley wasn’t sure if the disappointment came through in her voice but she felt it gripping his chest.
“Yeah. It’s a book store downtown. ‘Where Dreams May Come’ down on first street.”
“Just come down there. You’ll see.”
“Okay, so, first there’s still book stores? Come on, my IPad has all my books, but you call the place ‘Where Dreams May Come?’ Isn’t that a bit obvious.”
“Yes there are still book stores. Try reading an actual book you caveman, and secondly who would think to look there? Who even knows what we do?”
“I guess-“ Riley was saying but got cut off when a hurricane burst through the door.