Chapter 6

She reached the car quickly, moments passing within a few steps and she was there, pulling at the large tree that had fallen over the hood. Dream time always threw her off as distances never seemed to matter, nor should weight. However, as she pulled on the branch, expecting it to just lift a way and be tossed aside so she could save her friend, it stayed firmly in place.

“Riley, I thought this was safe.” Suzy said. Riley stopped from pulling at the tree and looked at her friend. She could see the tears that were streaming down Suzy’s face and her face was red and upset.

“Hey, it’s going to be okay. A dream wraith got in, but they’re fighting it and this will all be okay.” Riley said as calmly as she could, fighting her own fear that was welling up inside of her. It wasn’t easy. As she spoke to her friend, more lighting crashed down nearby, and the thunder of the coming storm rumbled the ground around her.

“What was that?”

Riley felt the earth shifting and looked at her feet. The lightening had split open the earth and now a crack was spreading, widening as it moved towards her.

“It’s nothing.” Riley said as she turned back to her friend and studied the tree. She tried again to life It, this time looking around the car as she did. Was It stuck on something? Had to be? Why else wouldn’t she be able to lift It.

But she couldn’t see anything.

Frustrated, she took a step back and felt the ground slipping below her. She looked down to see the crack had reached her.

What was she going to do…?

“Riley?” Suzy asked.

Riley shifted so her foot wasn’t directly on the crack. The ground shook and the crack was already starting to widen. It was growing to be large enough to trap her foot. She could already picture herself falling into it as it continued to stretch.

Inside the crack, she could already see the glowing red from beneath the surface and knew what it was. She recalled the rivers of lava from her first trip into the dreamscape and her stomach sickened at the thought of those first memories, of the dragon that had nearly taken Bruce.

Suzy.

She had to get Suzy out of there.

Why wasn’t she just force powering the tree up? Get her out of there that way and saving her friend.

Riley looked at the branch and realized she hasn’t been thinking like a dream warrior. She has been acting like a scared girl in the real world who couldn’t control everything. This wasn’t the RL. This was the dreamscape, and this was her dream. She wasn’t powerless here.

Riley took a step back, placing her feet on each side of the crack, then looked at the tree.

“Riley, where are you going?”

“Hold tight.”

“Riley, watch out!” Raz called out. Riley barely had time to turn to see that the hooded creature the others had been fighting had rushed over to her and was swiping at her with its large blade.

“Suzy, when I say go, get your car out of here.” Riley yelled as she dodged the swing. She didn’t need to move beyond that as Saber had caught up to it and was already moving to pull it away from her.

Riley turned back to the racer and lifted her hands up. As she did, she imagined the tree lifting from the racer. She thought about how she had controlled dreams before, trapping dream wraiths with mounds of rocks back when they had taken the form of dragons, and how she had force thrown knights who had attacked them when they were in the dungeon. She remembered when she had taken out goblins or gremlins, whatever they called those disgusting little creatures they had faced in the caverns, just by using her mind. She drew all of that into her and pushed.

She didn’t just lift the tree… She had thrown it high into the sky and it flew off into the far away distance of the gathering storm.

Riley had barely had time to watch it before Suzy screamed.

“Riley, look out!”

Riley didn’t turn this time. She could sense where the blade was behind her and knew it was swiping high towards her head. She knew where her friends were and that they were again running after the creature to keep it from her.

“Get her out of here.” Saber yelled.

Riley first ducked forward, feeling the breeze of the blade and the chill it left running down her back as it just missed her. As she did, reached forward and unbuckled Suzy from the racer.

“Come with me if you want to live.” Riley said. Suzy looked at her, scared and frustrated.

“What?” Suzy asked.

“Hold on.” Riley said as she grabbed her friend and jumped…

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