Chapter 1: The Undreaming is unchained
-...and so, here I am, don't know am I dead or alive... I ... simply am...
-Yes! Answered Vagabond. - Now you've done all I asked you for, thank you for that, he said and turned to campfire.
Zoë closed her eyes, like waiting for a warm breeze – but nothing happened. She had told her whole story patiently form beginning, and now .. it ended. She had not a clue how long she had been talking – but she was sure it was more than a few hours.
She was trapped somewhere, where was only emptiness, except for deep, dark and endless gaps around, the starry sky above the glittering, numb ground, and the tree, under that stood a strange-looking guy, the Vagabond, trying to keep the only campfire burning. Suddenly she thought about April, who maybe felt the same way when she wasn't able to shift anymore – but she's gone now, "and it's not my business anymore" Zoë whispered quietly and opened her eyes. She didn't know how long she had been there, and how long she would be. But whole this time she felt … so relaxed. She felt actually good, in spite of the most dangerous and longest journey, she had ever done. In spite of people, who she loved so, were gone or alone now. In spite of she was alone between nowhere, where was no future, where was nowhere to escape. In this place were no feelings left. But still… she was OK. Not even tired or hungry. She just … simply was… numb.
- What we're going to do now, she suddenly asked.
- What do you mean? Vagabond turned to her.
- I've told you my whole story, and now, is time to act you told me about, remember? The undreaming is unchained. We must do something, right?
- Yes, you're right… the undreaming is … unchained… . Vagabond sound so weird. He was insecure about his words, like he had lost something.
- Are you OK? Zoë asked.
Vagabond noded approval and turned around to staring at the stars.
The sky looked as an ordinary sky everywhere – the dark, mystery, infinity place, where is a lot of shining and beautiful stars. Zoë lifted her head to look at the sky too, and when Vagabond said:
- The countless stars… Every star, has a story to tell. And that star, which suddenly became black… tells the soon coming story. A bad one.
Zoë was confused. Instead of looking at the stars she started to look at Vagabond. She wondered what he was talking about. He was wise and knew things that he didn't tell. It was a while when she thought she felt something – maybe a cold shivering running down her spine? No, that whole place is numb – no feelings, only thoughts, moves and talking – nothing else.
- Here, take this, Zoë, he said and gave her the talisman that hung on his neck .
- I-I don't know why …
- Take it! He said and gave it in her hand.
- Thank you, but I still don't understand...
But Vagabond just quiet her down and said:
- It's coming. The time's up. The undreaming ... is free. That all depends now on you, Zoë. I wish you good luck, I cannot help you anymore. You're alone now…
- Stop! Don't go! What's coming and… Zoë tried to shout hopelessly to Vagabond, who just walked away, to the endless gap. He didn't look back, but when Zoë did, she couldn't do anything – not breath, move or think – not even scream. But deep inside herself she was totally confused, torn.
She saw a black thing – like a hurricane that was coming closer – but it was something more dangerous, more mysterious and black. Is that the undreaming?
The creepy voices of million dreams were everywhere in Storytime and they were teasing her, but vaguely she realized Vagabond's words:
- … all depends on you now… the undreaming is unchai-- free ... you're alone now… .
- Good luck.