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Authors: Bryan Davis

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Nightmare’s Edge

BOOK: Nightmare’s Edge
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ECHOES FROM THE EDGE

NIGHTMARE’S EDGE

Other books by Bryan Davis:

Echoes from the Edge series:
Beyond the Reflection’s Edge
(Book One)
Eternity’s Edge
(Book Two)

Dragons in Our Midst
®
series:
Raising Dragons
The Candlestone
Circles of Seven
Tears of a Dragon

Oracles of Fire
®
series:
Eye of the Oracle
Enoch’s Ghost
Last of the Nephilim
The Bones of Makaidos

Pronunciation Guide:
Mictar — Mis-tawr’
Patar — Paw-tar’

ZONDERVAN

NIGHTMARE’S EDGE
Copyright © 2009 by Bryan Davis

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on-screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of Zondervan.

ePub Edition June 2009 ISBN: 0-310-86329-5

Requests for information should be addressed to:
Zondervan,
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Davis, Bryan, 1958 –
Nightmare’s edge / Bryan Davis.
p.    cm. — (Echoes from the edge ; bk. 3)
Summary: With the collapse of the entire cosmos at hand, Nathan Shepherd, in the company of his restored mother and two mysterious beings called supplicants, seeks God’s help as he enters the land of dreams to find his father, who holds the answers to what Nathan must do to save billions of lives.
ISBN 978-0-310-71556-6
[1. Space and time — Fiction. 2. Christian life — Fiction. 3. Fantasy.] I. Title.
PZ7.D28555Ni 2009
[Fic] — dc22

2009000825

Scripture taken from the
New American Standard Bible
, © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Internet addresses (websites, blogs, etc.) and telephone numbers printed in this book are offered as a resource to you. These are not intended in any way to be or imply an endorsement on the part of Zondervan, nor do we vouch for the content of these sites and numbers for the life of this book.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means — electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other — except for brief quotations in printed reviews, without the prior permission of the publisher.

09 10 11 12 13 14 15
22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

CONTENTS

COVER PAGE

TITLE PAGE

COPYRIGHT

1: WAKING UP DEAD

2: PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORIES

3: DEFUSING THE BOMB

4: TO DANCE OR DIE

5: SOLOMON YELLOW

6: FELICITY

7: PASSION AND PAIN

8: THE NIGHTMARE HOLOGRAM

9: KELLY’S SONG

10: THE SUPPLICANT’S CALL

11: WHEN COURAGE IS BORN

12: WITH IN SARAH’S WOMB

13: SOLOMON SHEPHERD

14: MICTAR RETURNS

15: VIEW OF A KILLING

16: RETURNING TO RED

17: VISIONS OF SCARLET

18: THE ASSASSIN

19: RETURN TO THE WOMB

20: BLINDNESS

21: THE REAL FELICITY

22: FRIENDS FOREVER

ABOUT THE PUBLISHER

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

ECHOES FROM THE EDGE

NIGHTMARE’S EDGE

1

WAKING UP DEAD

Nathan ducked under a low-hanging branch and pushed a dangling python out of the way with his bandaged hand. The snake hissed, startling him for a moment. With its beady eyes and flicking tongue, it seemed real, as tangible as everything else in this dim, dream-fueled jungle.

Just ahead on the narrow path, Cerulean paid no attention. After all, in the realm of dreams, even the forest was imaginary. To Nathan, however, all the details — from the thick, green foliage of overarching trees darkening their steps to the high humidity dampening his armpits — painted a three-dimensional landscape that felt as real as it looked.

Wiping his brow with a sleeve, Nathan pulled off the gray Iowa sweatshirt he had borrowed from Nathan of Earth Blue and tied the sleeves around his waist. Nathan Blue wouldn’t need the shirt back, since not long ago the murderous vision stalker Mictar had burned his eyes out with a life-absorbing touch.

Nathan peered into the murky jungle. Who could tell if that killer now stalked this dream world, ready to leap out from behind one of the tropical trees and repeat the attack? And — a more immediate problem — with just a slender candle in Cerulean’s grip lighting their way, how could two awake people find another one of their kind in this enormous, dark land?

He hurried to catch up with Cerulean, Earth Blue’s supplicant from the misty world. Keeping his eyes focused straight ahead and the white candle from Earth Blue held out in front, Cerulean stayed quiet. Only the swishing sound of his dark blue shirt and matching trousers made any sound at all. Nothing seemed to faze him, even the images conjured by frightened sleepers. Earlier, he had ignored the twelve talking chipmunks dressed in purple tuxedos. They had been funny at first, chattering about their political ambitions and the proper way to shave an elephant, but when a six-foot-tall electric razor buzzed into view, Nathan dove out of the way. The razor flew past, chasing a three-headed elephant into the forest. Cerulean merely helped him back to his feet and pressed on without a hint of a smile. He seemed unflappable.

“So,” Nathan said as they marched past an old man wrapped in golden chains who was floundering in a quicksand bog, “this dream world really isn’t all that dangerous once you get used to it. Why did you insist on just the two of us coming? What’s the risk?”

Cerulean replied in a calm tone. “Not everything is a dream. Jack is here somewhere, is he not?”

“True. But what other things could enter this world? No one else knows how to get here in the real world. Even you had to get Kelly to go to sleep to create a portal.”

“When there are no wounds in the cosmic fabric, the dream world can be penetrated only by a supplicant or through a person’s sleeping mind. With interfinity at hand, however, and many holes throughout the cross-dimensional plane, I suspect that passages abound.”

“How can you tell the difference?” Nathan asked. “I mean, if that poor guy in the quicksand was real, shouldn’t we try to rescue him?”

Cerulean smiled, finally breaking his stoic countenance. “As the elephant has taught you, dreams are as real as you allow them to be. Once you train your mind, you will see through them. The imagined elements in the dreamscape are transparent and whatever is left is reality.”

Nathan glanced around again. “Anything real here besides people?”

“A few things stay whether someone is dreaming or not.” Cerulean nodded at a bent, leafless tree in the distance, illuminated by the dreamscape’s ambient light. Draped with long, hanging vines, it looked like a cross between a live oak and a tropical species from a dense rain forest. Yet, without even the smallest leaf dressing its crooked branches, it seemed frozen in winter dormancy.

“For example,” Cerulean continued, “it is best to avoid the spider trees.”

While Nathan eyed the tree, Cerulean pressed on. “Come. Kelly’s dream has now formed in her mind. Since she sleeps at the edge of a cosmic wound, her vision will be the best place to look for Jack.”

Nathan followed Cerulean’s lively pace. “Whose dream are we in now?” Nathan asked.

“A mixture of several.” As Cerulean passed by a leafy vine that hung from a branch, he gave it a shove, making it swing. “Dreams about jungles are often created by souls who feel lost. They struggle through vines, snakes, quicksand, and many other obstacles of their own making, thus illustrating their lives of desperation. When I saw this vision, I thought it would make sense to search for Jack here while we waited for Kelly to dream. Even though he is blind, Jack might have found his way to this place of troubled thoughts.”

“Sounds reasonable,” Nathan said, “at least as dreams go.”

After following a meandering path for several minutes, they entered a suburban neighborhood darkened by storm clouds overhead. Now walking on rubberized streets, they passed a headless woman on a bicycle who was trying to find a place to insert her earbuds. In front of a mansionlike house on a perfectly manicured lawn, a man in a clown costume juggled a woman, three children, and a briefcase. As if on a treadmill, he ran in place, huffing and puffing, but getting nowhere.

Nathan stared at them, knowing they couldn’t possibly be real. When they faded into ghostlike images, he shuddered. This was just too weird.

With each change of scenery, they passed through a soft membrane, a dry, gelatin-like substance about ten feet thick that sent a buzzing sensation across Nathan’s skin. Although the transparent wall raised a tickle for a few moments, it seemed harmless. During each passage, however, a precipice appeared on the right, and a vague pull forced Nathan to lean to the left to keep from walking over the side and into the dark void. The membrane obviously marked a boundary of some kind —perhaps the wall between different dreams or alternate realities a dreamer could visit. But the dark hole seemed different; something dangerous, something to be avoided.

After a brief walk through a sandy, cactus-filled desert, they penetrated a third membrane, again entering the buffer zone between dreams. Nathan slowed his pace for a moment, allowing his eyes to adjust. Ribbons of light swirled into the void from every direction, as if it were a drain. The pull this time was harder, but not unbearable. Yet Cerulean seemed oblivious to it. A strange sound emanated from the depths, like a song — a soft, familiar song. Nathan craned his neck, listening. Could it be? Yes, it sounded like someone humming “Be Thou My Vision.”

“What’s that dark place?” he asked.

Cerulean paused and looked toward the abyss. “The void. This world of visions surrounds it. Every dream eventually crumbles and is pulled in there.”

“Why is it pulling me? I’m not part of a dream.”

Cerulean turned his head abruptly toward Nathan. “The void affects you?”

Nathan gave him a half nod. “Is that bad?”

“I am not sure.” Cerulean stared at Nathan for a long moment, then marched on.

Soon, they entered the darkest place yet, a cemetery with old tombstones rising at odd angles from grave plots. Bones littered the weed-infested ground. Gnarled oak trees with hanging moss painted twisted shadows on the path that coursed through the abandoned yard. A large raven perched atop one of the burial markers, staring at Nathan as he passed by.

BOOK: Nightmare’s Edge
13.88Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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