old rough draft/outline from sept 2010
Alex and Jonathan
The walls of the station rose into the sky, a matt black monolith. It was shapeless, as if a bit of space had been displaced onto the planet. Like a black hole in an old science fiction movie (Jonathan loved old science fiction movies) things which came out of the gate were of a different universe, and things which went in didn’t always return.
Animals and plants avoided it instinctively, as if the were an invisible line around it which only they could see, a forcefeild repeling anthing of the real world, maybe. Jonathan had touched the monolithic black wall just to see if it would repel him. it was smooth but texturless, and neither hot or cold. it was like touching nothing. it was strange. He liked it. I must be the other pole of this magnet from the birds, he thought. sometimes he would lean against it, feeling like a chamelion [find some sort of creature native to mexico which can change colors like that], he imagined he could blacken and blend and be absorbed into it. He could become Paragangian.
The gate near the village square opened into what was called the American side. a bright opening appeared in the wall when you approached it from the square. Jonathan had explored the gate many times. if he walked along touching the wall, following the wall, the gate wouldn’t open. if he touched the wall even with his mind, the wall remained. he could snaek up on it, stand with his hand at the center and will it open by turning to face it and the opening would spiral out from his hand as if he were creating the world beyond the gate. let there be light.
it didn’t open, really, the wall became transparent, and then non existant as you approached and then you found yourself inside the American Side. if you turned right, the bright passage would take you to the American side transport Depot from where you could go anyplace in the universe, from the depot, you could go to the other part of the station…Paragangia-of-Earth. but to go there you had to have a link to the community mind. I’m 4 now. The Dream man could give me a link and I could go to into the darkness, into space, like the Dream man.
Jonathan turned left, and walked into the clinic where Marisol worked. the clinic served all three communities, the village, the American side, and the Paragangian station. Paragangians rarely needed medical care, they had technologies which repaired their bodies, restored them to perfect health, and thus there was rarely a need. But the children came to the clinic. Paragangian children were permitted to grow and develop naturally for the first 4 years before they were linked to the community mind. They had to be ready to receive their community by choice, old enough to give consent, and for most Paragangians, that age was 4.
I’m 4 now thought Jonathan. If I gave consent I could become a Paragangian. He smiled, turning back towards the door, thinking he would go to the Paragangian side, and watch them, tall and black, mysterious and silent. The space people.
like the dream man. The dream man was Paraganian. Maybe he will come back and take me away with him again. he thought of Marisol, the life and warmth of the clinic, and his friends in the village, the monolithic wall which stood betweens the worlds. as much as the darkness called him he knew he was of this place. not of the desert or the darkness. Two tall black figures hurried past him silently. He followed after them, but they disappeared before him, leaving him standing outside the nursery. he went in. Christina Linn was on duty that morning “Hey Jonathan.” she smiled down at him. “no babies yet today, honey. we might have one later though. “ Jonathan grinned. Some body being born to day?
she nodded, “life and death here today honey. An old Paragangian woman has chosen to have a baby her before she dies. They have brought her to the clinic for the birth because she wouldn’t be able to take care of the baby.” Jonathan brightened “I’ll take care of him”
Christine laughed “ I’m sure you would too. Don’t worry honey, we’ve got it covered. go on now, I’ve got to get back to work.”
she turned back to her desk
“bye Chris” he headed out the door, opened it, let it close loudly as he walked silently back in, crossed the room behind the nursery nurse’s turned back. He walked quietly into the next room, curled up behind the blinkets in the linen closet and lay in the comfort of his nest there in the dark thinking of the Paragangian baby. His mother is dying. He will be alone. Like me.
Jonathan discovered long ago that he could sneak into the medical clinic any time he wanted. The guard would let him in if he smiled cute. He willed the gaurds to let him in like he willed the station gate to open after sneaking up on it, and the way opened before him. the nurses knew him and would look the other way and not notice him if he willed them not to. Marrisol brought him in often enough that nobody really noticed him much anyhow. like I have a link to their community mind, and I can just blend in to the background.
The clinic was interesting, busy, full of many people, full of life and sometimes death. he liked to look at the new babies. Shining with new life, and fears, crying to be held, clinging to the people who held them. he could feel their fear, a familiar ache which for him had no answer, but for them had arms and food to ease their fears. He shared in their comforting and felt comforted with them.
He didn’t remember his own mother. Did she hold me? did I call her with my thoughts was I born here? who held me and comforted me? Only Marisol and the dream man. Why did my mother leave?
He ask Marrisol, and she told him little. A pretty woman, who lived only long enough to give you life. Marrisol held him, Marrisol fed him and yet, somehow he ached, he feared, he felt alone. He asked about the dream man once. my father was Paragangian. is the dream man my father? but she denied it adamantly. No, the dream man is not your father. I don’t know honey. just a dream, just your hopes and fears. The dream man never came back for me.
He had come to the nursery, hoping to find comfort in the bright new lives, but his thoughts turned to darkness, to loss, and he felt his own lonliness, projected it onto the child who would be borm motherless that day. He could be my brother. He heard voices somewhere near, but beyond his hiding place. in the dark of the storage closet, it was warm and the smell of the hospital chemicals and clean linins seemed comforting and familiar. Suddenly, he thought he heard a cry, a scream, someone calling out to him, the way he called out to the nurses to look the other way, and the watcher to let him in, and the wall. it was in his mind, like a dream, his ears could not hear it, but it was loud and real and desperate. He peeked out of the closet, glanced around, but there was no one rear him.
Christina entered with a physicians assistant. “He’s alive. he breaths and his heart beats, but he only cried once, and then fell asleep. not a normal sleep. He needs his mother. but She left as soon as he was born, perhaps too soon. she came here to give birth because she knew she was dying. held on only long enough to give him life. poor little thing, it seems like he’s not pleased with the life she gave him. Not that I blame him, under the circumstances. I’ll never understand why they do it this way.
Poor baby. Thought little Jonathan, curled up in the closet …He’s like me. He has no mother, he has no one. He’s alone. Was he calling me? I will find him.
he looked out again. the nurse had left, and the ward was quiet. he left the clinic, thinking of the child who had lost his mother and the scream he had heard. out into the heat of the Mexican desert he went, the warm was comforting. he found a color changing lizard and chaised it and caught it, and let it go in different surroundings, to watch it change and caught it again. he watched some bigger boys racing and junping bicycles on the dirt-paved sidestreets of the village, rested in the shade of the big tree in the center of the commons and slept, thinking of the baby in the clinic who was alone.
He dreamed. first, he dreamed of the dream man. [write his early dreams, have this dream echo them] I will come to you…said the dream man. you will be safe here. Jonathan had had this dream a thousand times.
The voice he heard screaming in the closet spoke in his mind
“Where are you? I am alone. I have only you. Why have you left me?
it is only my fears, thought Jonathan. Only the dream man can walk into my dreams. my fear for the baby and thoughts of the dream man prodced this deram.
The dream was dark and misty, like air filled with smoke obscuring the sun, thick and hot, like syrup. but the voice was there, a silent presence in the mist, reaching out.
who are you? Jonathan wanted to hide but there was no place to hide and nothing to hide from. only darkness and thick mist. Who are you?
the dream deepened, became more vivid, more life like
a boy stood before him, just his size. brown skinned like him, almost a reflection. wide dark terrified eyes caught and held him, accusing. I am born. you were there. we have a dream bond. you are all I have. I will not wake alone. you will come for me, hold me. this is not what I expected. I will not live this way. Hold me. I cannot live alone. I will not live.
NO, you will live. Jonathan cried in desperation, reaching for the dream-child, remembering the dream man. the dream man held me. He helped me live. I am this boy’s his dream man. Maybe we all have one.
I will hold you. I have never been a dream man before.I don’t know how, but I will learn. choose to live. I will find you.
He reached for the child, and embraced only cold damp mist and woke with a shiver into the hot humid Mexican afternoon. I have to go back. I have to find him. he went to the clinic, hid and listened. he asked the nurse at the nursery about babies who were born that day, could he see them.
There are no babies. Only the Paragangian boy who was born this morning. Alexandreil Teppin. but he isn’t dong well, he wouldn’t wake to eat so he has been taken to neonatal intensive care.
“he needs to be held,” Jonathan told her. Directing the whole power of his thoughts at her. “he’s lonely and afraid. let me see him.”
she smiled patronizingly. aren’t you cute! she tousled his hair…I’m sorry honey. It’s sweet of you to want to help, but the docters and nurses will take good care of him. Don’t you worry. run along home now. Jonathan stared at her, willing her to let him see the baby, and hard as he had ever willed anything before. She seemed to waver, then suddenly broke free and realized…”who let you in here? you don’t belong in this part of the clinic alone. how did you get in. Where is Marisol?” Jonathan left in haste, retreated, making excuses, frustrated from the clinic, and went out to play kick the can with the older boys. in the village.
but when he lay down at night, he thought of the baby, alone, afraid, and thought of the ghost-child in his dream and knew they were the same, and as much as the ghost child scared him, he wanted to hold the baby to comfort him and make him safe, and he knew he couldn’t. He remembered the dream man. but the dream man was there, in lifeand in dream, holding him. the part of the clinic where the baby was impossible to get in to for a 4 year old.
he went to sleep.
desperate wailing, and is afraid. please stop crying, I’m here now. I’m your dream man. talk to me.
why don’t hold me?
Jonathan reached out in the dream, but the ghost child faded as the wall of ESM when you walk through the gate.
You’re like a ghost here. I can’t touch you. you don’t have a body. are you Alexandreil Teppin?
I will become him, If I live. but he is so alone. no one deserves such a lost life. if you will not hold me I will die.
I can’t. they’ve taken you where I cannot go because you don’t eat. maybe if you eat they will bring you back. maybe I can see you. I will be your dream man. I will hold you, as the dream man held me.
Jonathan tries to hold him, but he is like a ghost. Jonathan’s arms pass right through him.
what are you? are you a ghost?
I was born today. please, hold me. I will not wake until you hold me. Don’t want to be alone.
He remembered the dream man.
Pleas, Alex, you have to eat. if you don’t wake and eat you will die. the dream man helped me in life and in dreams. I wanted to live, he held me.
I will not choose to live. loneliness is too painful.
maybe you can only have a dream body if you have a life body. If you live, if you eat and own your body there, them I can hold you here. but you have to eat. Wake Alex, eat for them. dream again. I’ll wait for you. I’ll be your dream man.
the ghost child vanished.
when Jonathan dreamed again that night, he found a baby. too small to speak, but Jonathan could sense the comfort he felt in the nursery, when the parents took the child and gave it comfort, and the void was filled, and he dreamed and slept in dream with the baby blissfully curled up in his arms, feeling whole for the first time. He dreamed that Alex awakened, gave the baby dream milk from a bottle, and Alex gazed up at him, trusting, safe, and Jonathan knew that this was the soul purpose for his living, for his fighting to survive, for the dram man, his dream man bringing him to marisol. his fighting to survive: to take care of this baby, to protect and comfort him. This was the purpose of his life thought Jonathan. and together in dream, they slept again.
In the morning, Jonathan awoke and felt comforted. the emptiness he had always felt that could only be filled for that moment when he felt the comfort of the babies when they were held, the emptiness he had lived with was gone. Completely gone. he knew he was not alone. He would never have a mother or a father, but he would be the dream man for this baby,--for Alex. In giving Alex comfort, he, Jonathan, could feel that comfort too.
he went to the clinic and asked about Alexandreil Teppin, but Alexandreil had recovered well enough that he had been sent home. To Paragangia, where Jonathan couldn’t enter.
- conversation with Marisol about wanting to become Paragangian. she denies him this, as Sen’tran has asked her to. She contacts Sen’tran, and lets him know what is happening. She keeps him from the Paragangian section as much as possible**
for the next two years, he played dream man with Alex, and Alex grew.
during this time Alex is haunted by Thaeron’s attempts to control him, and Jonathan tries to protect him.
but then there came a time when Alex didn’t want to wake up any more, and Alex cried when Jonathan woke, and was sick and even in his dreams he was sick. He does not want to become Paragangian. They want him to receive a Central control implant so he can become the center in place of Paragan. He does not want to do this. Even Jonathan [Derreck] cannot convince him.
Jonathan was then 6 learns alex [Marisol mentions him perhaps} is at the clinic, went to the clinic at night and snuck in and found him, and held him in his sleep.
When Jonathan was missing in the morning Marrisol searched the clinic, and they found him, curled up with Alexandreil, who is feeling better, but clung to Jonathan, and cried desperately when they took him away. Jonathan was taken from the clinic. Marisol questioned him, and learned that he had been dreaming with Alex.
Marisol calls Sen’tran?
Alex’s people did not want Jonathan to be with him and insisted he be kept away, and Alex became dream bound AGAIN.
Jonathan and Marisol talk about Alex and the dream man. She called Sen’tran, (or would Alex’s people call him? or both?) why was he nearby? his is staying nearby to watch over Jonathan? He has come because they are considering giving Alex a control implant )
He tells Alex’s people that he will consider giving this child a central control implant if he lives and thrives until he is 4 years old. Motivated thus to save the child, they let him be with Jonathan, reluctantly tolerating Alexandreil’s chosen companion.
For two years they are good friends and happy, and Jonathan can stay close to him and protect him from Thaeron.
When Alexandreil is about to turn 4 Sen’tran returns to the station and meets with the two boys. He realizes how weak Alex is, how much he depends on Jonathan, and how hard it would be for him to have a control implant. He is not suited to rule.
At this time Jonathan Meets Sen’tran in person, and knows he is the dream man,
and Sen’tran also meets with the two boys in dream.