Ch. 1: Bad Dreams

Ch. 1: Bad Dreams

A Chapter by Brenden Brown

Brenden, John, Scarlett, Tara, Anna, and Seth all have the same three dreams.

Brenden Duden, a seventeen-year-old, had just awoken from a nightmare. it was about the Sun being destroyed and the environment being turned dark, cold, and snowy. He shot up and ran over to his brother. 
"John, John wake up!" Brenden whispered as he shook his only brother John Judycki's shoulder violently. The truth is, is that Brenden and John aren't blood brothers. Brenden Duden's parents had died in a plane crash, but another passenger, John's father, had saved the two month old. He was arriving home from a trip when this happened. He took the child in and went to a local hospital and had gotten the records for the black haired green eyed child. 
"What!?" John whispered. John, Brenden's only sibling, is a year older than him. He has blonde hair and blue eyes 
"I had a... hold on." Brenden said while getting a text. It was from Seth Colette, one of Brenden and John's friends. He took his phone and read the text, which said, "I can't sleep." As Brenden read the text, John snatched the phone, angrily. 
"What did you wake me up for!?" John angrily whispered. "It's two-thirty in the morning!" 
"I... had a dream that our friends and us saw the Sun crack into pieces and it turned all snowy and dark." Brenden explained. 
"W-what!? That can't be!" John exclaimed.
"What? Why not?" Brenden asked. 
"Because..." John said with some hesitation. "I... had the same dream." 
"Whoa, w-what!?" Brenden stuttered. "Hold on. To make sure we had the same dream, explain what happened." 
"Well, in my dream, we were on Green Street and we heard a large cracking sound and an explosion. We couldn't find anything until I looked up and saw the Sun crack." John said. "Was yours the same?"
"Yeah." Brenden responded.
Brenden took his phone back and texted "Why not?" to Seth. He said he had a dream the same as Brenden and John's. 
"That's odd." Brenden said. "Seth says he had the same dream. I wonder if everyone in the whole WORLD had the same dream!" 
"Don't talk nonsense!" John demanded. "It's probably just a coincidence. Now let's go to bed. It's only Tuesday." 
As he said that, a flash of light came from outside their house. It was far too red to be lightning, and it lasted about three seconds. Plus, there wasn't a storm going on right then.
"What was that!?" Brenden yelled. John pulled the curtains aside and opened the blinds. They looked around for a few moments but could not see anything. 
"It was probably just fireworks or something." Brenden guessed. 
"Are you kidding?" John scoffed. "Who would light fireworks at two-thirty?"  
"You're right, but I don't know what else it could've been." Brenden shrugged. "Let's just go back to sleep and forget it ever happened."

°  °  °

 The next morning, John and Brenden notice something quite unusual about the weather. "What the...?" Brenden said. "Look John!" 
 "What?" John asked. "Outside!" Brenden shouted. 
"Okay, okay." John said. "Just hold on for a few seconds. I gotta get my shoes on." 
After he squeezed on his right shoe, John peered outside his window. When he did, he was shocked to see a light blanket of snow over the ground. 
"Woah!" John exclaimed. "Are we still going to school?" 
"Yeah, mom started up the car." Brenden replied. "She didn't seem to pay attention to the weather though. I wonder why." 
"Well at least now we can tell our friends about our dreams." John added. 
"Dude, don't say it like that. It sounds weird." Brenden laughed. 
"Whatever." John said. "Let's leave. We don't want to be late." 
"But isn't weird that it's snowing in the middle of May?" Brenden asked 
"Yeah." John agreed. "That is quite strange. It is also more dark outside too." Brenden didn't realize that. He looked outside and John was right. It was definitely a lot darker than normal. The weird thing was, the Sun was out. It wasn't covered by a cloud and it wasn't about to rise.  
"It's as if the Sun has, weakened somehow." Brenden said, astonished. 
"Are you boys coming or are you just gonna stare out the window all day?" Their mom said. 
 "Oh. Sorry." John and Brenden said at the same time.  
"Also, why are you two wearing coats?"  
"Well..." Brenden said, trying to come up with a lie. "It... is very cold in our school."
 "Yeah." John agreed. "sixty-eight degrees? More like twenty-eight degrees."  
"Okay, okay." Their mom laughed. "Just get in the car ya goofballs."  
They got in their mom's silver car and drove to school. 
When they got to school they saw something unusual.  
"Why is everyone wearing shorts?" John said. "Shouldn't they be wearing a jacket or a coat?" 
"Yeah, that is weird." Brenden agreed. "It's like they don't even know that there's snow."
 When Brenden and John went in the building, everyone was looking at them and thinking that they were weirdos. As they were walking their friend Drew Berry walked up to them. Drew has glasses over his green eyes, and a camo hat that covers most of his black hair. He is very smart, but can sometimes be a bit ignorant.  
"Why are you guys wearing coats?" Drew said. "It's freakin' May!" 
"What?" Brenden said. "You didn't notice the snow?" 
"What snow?" Drew laughed. "Dude, your acting crazy. Did you bump your head?" 
"Look." John said as he pointed outside. "What does that look like to you?" 
"Grass." Drew responded. "No snow there." 
"What about the sky?" Brenden asked. "Did you at least notice how dark it is?" 
"Looks the same to me." Drew shrugged. 
John and Brenden both thought that either everyone was playing some sort of prank on them, or something was wrong with their heads. 
"Whatever." Brenden said. "Hey, I wonder where our other friends are." 
After he said that, they heard a familiar voice say "hi" right behind them. They turned around to see who it was. It was Tara Hexner, the oldest of their friends. She has black hair and green eyes. She wears a pink jacket and a pair of skinny jeans. Right behind her was Anna Ranford, the youngest of their friends. She has short brown hair and green eyes. She is also the shortest of the group. 
"Hey." Anna said. "What's up?"  
"Nothing." Brenden said. "Oh yeah! John and I have something to tell you two."  
They explained to Anna and Tara about how Brenden, John, and Seth had basically the same dream. They also talked to Anna and Tara about the weather. When they said that. Anna and Tara both said that they had the same dream and that it is snowy and dark outside. Drew, however, did not have the same dream. He didn't even have a dream last night. 
"Nope." Drew sighed. "I don't even know what you guys are talking about."  
"Well now there are three more people we have to talk to about the dream." John said. 
"Yep." Anna said. "And I think I see two of them outside." 
Everyone looked out through the glass doors, and sure enough, there were two of the people that John was talking about. More specifically, it was JT Burton and Frank Cantrell. JT, despite being eighteen, the shortest one in the group. He also has glasses and has long blonde hair. Frank, a seventeen-year-old, has brown hair, green eyes, and is a little large. 
 "Well, let's go ask them!" Tara said. They waited for them to come into the building, then asked them about the dreams and the weather. Both of which did seem to change to either of them. 
 "What are you even talking about?" JT asked. 
"Yeah, and why the sun?" Frank added. "It just seems kinda odd."  
"Well, all of us had that dream." John said. "The only one we have to wait for now is Scarlett." 
 "But what about Seth?" Tara asked. "I texted him last night whenever the dream happened." Brenden said. "Well actually he texted me. Then I texted him back." 
"Oh." Tara said. "So I'm guessing he did?" 
 "Yeah." Brenden said. They were sitting at a table close to the entrance so they can can see when Seth and Scarlett arrive. They waited for a while but there was no sign of them. They both rid the same bus and it was usually late. They waited some more and finally, after twenty minutes, they spotted. 
 "Finally!" Drew said. Everyone quickly got up and went towards them. They seemed to be talking about something to each other.  
"What're you guys talking about?" John asked. 
"I told her about the dream and the weather." Seth said. "She said both happened to her."  
Scarlett, a seventeen-year-old is pretty short with red hair. She has trouble keeping her cool. Seth is also short, but he is a little taller, and younger, than Scarlett. He has short, scraggly black hair and blue eyes, and is not very smart. 
"Hmm..." Brenden said while thinking. "Six of the nine of us got affected."  
"Which ones didn't?" Scarlett asked. 
 "JT, Frank, and Drew." John answered. After John said that, the bell rang for first hour. This is unfortunate for them because they all have different hours for all hours. 
When school was over, everyone of them except Drew, Frank, and JT went to Brenden and John's house. They went to an old, circular table in their backyard. Tara, Seth, Scarlett, and Anna sat and waited while Brenden and John went to go get snacks and drinks for everyone. 
 "So why do you guys think the dreams mean?" Anna asked. Everyone was thinking for a while and there was complete silence. A few seconds later, the silence was broken by John and Brenden. 
"We're back!" Brenden said. "With stuff! More specifically: tortilla chips, salsa, and some soda!" 
"Thanks guys." Tara smiled. 
Brenden put a giant plate with six small bowls of salsa at the edges of the plate, and one big bowl of tortilla chips in the middle of the plate. John gave everyone a bottle of either grape, orange, or regular soda, whichever one they wanted.  
"Like I said before..." Anna said while opening her orange soda. "What do you guys think the dreams mean?" 
"I don't know." Seth said. "The dream was kinda weird. I mean seriously, why the sun? And why is the weather acting up?" 
"Yeah." Brenden said while biting into a chip. "And even though it is all snowy, no one notices it except us. Strange, huh?"  
"Who cares." Scarlett said. "I bet the dreams have no importance what-so-ever." 
"They might not be important now," John said. "but I have a feeling it wasn't just coincidence. I know I said it was last night, but I changed my mind." 
They kept on talking for about 2 hours about what they thought about the dream. 
"I gotta go." Scarlett said. "See you guys tomorrow." 
"Yeah, I gotta go home too." Tara said. "Bye."  
Pretty soon, everyone left and so all who was left were Brenden and John. So Brenden and John cleaned up the mess, went inside, and went to bed. 

°  °  °

During that night, they had another dream. It was about how they watch the news and on it the camera looked up and there was a beam of light going towards the sun and draining it of something. They weren't sure what it was draining the sun of. Then, at the end of the dream, someone turned into some sort of demon-like thing. This time it was John who woke up first. He got out of bed and woke Brenden. 
"Darn it!" John said. "I thought that dream was it! Guess I was wrong." 
"Was yours about the sun and the beam of light and the weird demon-thing?" Brenden asked. 
 "Yep. Guess we'll have to discuss that tomorrow with everyone."
"Alright." Brenden agreed. "Let's go to sleep." 

°  °  °

 Brenden and John woke up the next morning. Well, what felt like morning. It was a lot darker than usual, even more than yesterday.  
"Oh not this again!" Brenden said. "It's even darker now!" 
"Are you sure it's even the fourteenth?" John asked. "I mean, it looks like it's still night time."  
"Well the alarm went off, and it says "six-o-clock" on it. I think it's same to assume that it is morning." Brenden explained. 
They looked outside and it was even snowier than usual. 
"By the way..." Brenden said. "I don't remember there being any snow on my shoes yesterday." 
"Well it wasn't very snowy yesterday." John said. "We'll probably figure out if the snow is real or not when we go outside." 
 "Let's go then!" Brenden and John went outside, and for some reason, their feet went right through the snow. And when they pulled up their feet, there was no snow. It's like the snow was an illusion. But they knew it was there. It couldn't be an illusion. It was also as dark as night, even though it was morning.  
"Something's not right." Brenden said. "It just doesn't add up!"  
"Are we dreaming?" John said. "This doesn't feel right."  
They both pinched each other to see if they were asleep. Surely enough, they weren't.
 "Well, let's go to school." John said. "It doesn't feel cold so we don't need a jacket." 
"Okay." Brenden said. "Let's go see if Seth, Scarlett, Anna, and Tara had the same dream." 
When they got to school, they saw the others already there. They seemed to be flipping out. Most likely for the same thing that John and Brenden noticed.  
"What." Seth said to a random person. "You don't see snow?" 
"There's snow everywhere!" Anna added.  
"Yeah!" Tara added. "And look at how dark it is!" 
"I can barely see anything!" Scarlett added.  
John and Brenden ran over to them and told them to stop freaking out. It took a while, but they slowly started to calm down.  
"You don't need to make a big fuss over it." Brenden said. "I don't know much more than you do about this, but freaking out isn't going to solve anything.  
"You're right." Tara said. "Sorry." 
"We need to figure this out." Seth said. "It's making me crazy!"  
The rest of that day was just like any other day for them. They went to school, went to John and Brenden's house. Talked for a while, went home, and went to bed.

°  °  °

 The dream they had this night was was the worst of the three. You could call it a nightmare. It was about everyone they knew, except the six of them, were being killed by the thing at the end of the second dream. A sort of red demon. It was a sight no one should see. There was just screaming and crying and there were corpses everywhere. 
"Ah!" John shouted as he awoke. "I don't like nightmares because some just feel too real!" 
 "Ahh... geez!" Brenden exclaimed, awoken. "That better be the last one!"  
"Yeah, no kidding. I mean, if we had another one, and it was worse than that one, who knows how bad it would be!" 
 "Hey." Brenden said. "Can you turn on the light?" 
 "Sure." When John turned on the light, he and Brenden noticed that the light was a lot weaker than usual. 
 "That's odd. Why is this lightbulb not working good." John said. "Did it burn out?" Brenden said. 
"It shouldn't have. I put a new one in this morning. Well, yesterday morning." 
Brenden looked over to the clock and it said one twenty-seven a.m.  
"Well, I guess we can discuss this dream with everyone when we get to school." John said. 
"No. I have an idea that'll make sure we don't have to go to school so we can discuss this more." Brenden said. "But right now we have to go to sleep." 
 "Okay. Good night." 

°  °  °

 The next morning they set up the plan. They said that they would rather walk to school since it is only a mile away. John texted Seth, Scarlett, Anna, and Tara: 
"Tell your parents you want to walk to school. Tell them it's not too far away. But don't actually go to school. Go to our secret hideout on Green Street."  
Their secret hideout is an old rundown house behind a forest about a mile from their school. It is a longer walk, but it's better than going to school. About a half hour later, everyone arrived at their hideout.  
"Alright." Seth said. "How do you guys think the dreams are tied together?"  
Well maybe the sun is needed for a person's survival." Brenden said. 
"Yeah!" Seth agreed. "What if-" 
BOOM!!! There was a loud explosion of some sort outside of their hideout followed by some cracking sounds. 
 "What was that!?" John asked. "It sounded bad!"  
Everyone rushed out and looked around, but didn't see anything that could've caused the noises. 
 "Oh no!" Annna said. 
"What?" Tara said. "What is it?" 
 "Look up!" 
Everyone looked up and they saw it, the sun was broken in pieces. That means that the first dream that they had... came true.

© 2018 Brenden Brown

Author's Note

Brenden Brown
Review if you think something is good or if something needs changed.

My Review

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The story had possibilities. The same dream and the death of the sun. If the sun die. Would earth stay in rotation? Remember the who, what, where, when and how of every situation. I always deep edit after writing. To ensure the flow of story is right. Thank you for allowing me to read the chapter.

Posted 2 Years Ago

Bottom line: you cannot record yourself telling a story aloud on the page. Storytelling is a performance art, but a reader can't either hear or see your performance. When you read this you "hear" your own voice, all filled with emotion. The reader gets a monotone.

There is also the problem that with each piece of dialog you include a tag, of "he said," or "exclaimed," or...

Tags are ONLY used when there is some doubt as to who might be speaking, or how they speak the line.

In short, you're trying to write fiction without knowledge of either the mechanics or the techniques of the field. And you can no more use the nonfiction techniques we learn in school than build a house with the skills learned in wood-shop classes. Writing fiction for the page is a profession, one that's difficult and demanding. It only looks and seems easy for the same reason that acting does: practice, study, and training.

You have the desire, and that's great. You have the perseverance. Now, you need the tricks-of-the-trade, the specialized knowledge unique to our profession. It's not a matter of your potential and talent. Nor is it a matter of the story. It's that in our schooldays we learn only the skills our future employers need us to have. So we learn to write reports, letters, and essays. We learn to INFORM our readers. But we do not spend any time learning the ways to entertain them. And people read fiction to be entertained, not learn the events in a fictional character's history. So unless we take the time to learn that profession, when we turn to writing stories they read like a report or essay.

Hit the local library's fiction-writing department. It's filled with the views of successful writers, publishing pros, and noted teachers. And, it's free. There's lots to learn. For example, if you don't know the structure of a scene on the page, and the elements that make it up, can you write one? We all assume we can, but the current rejection rate is 99.9%. So obviously, there's a lot more to it than simply sitting down at the keyboard and telling ourselves a story, typing as we do.

The good news? Since most hopeful writers aren't aware of that, you now know more than most. Act on it, and pick up a few professional tricks and who knows what will happen?

I won't kid you, or give you false hope that it's that easy, though. Writing fiction IS a profession, and like any other, it takes time to master, and practice to make it as automatic as your schoolday skills are now. But if you never begin you'll never finish, because you cannot use the tool you aren't aware exists. And as the great Mark Twain observed, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

And finally, a bit of scientific advice from an engineer: You might want to look into what the sun is, and do a reasonability check on the idea of the sun weakening with no one in the scientific community—or the news media—noticing or commenting. Or the electric power grid "weakening," without repercussions. And you definitely need to look into what the sun is, so you'll understand why it cannot "break into pieces."

I see that you're trying to write what amounts to a traditional quest stories, but if it's set in a world where magic works you need to establish that in a way meaningful to your reader before you start tossing around breaking stars. And your story CANNOT read as if everyone in it has read the script, and understands their role. People must be people, not animatronic robots or the story can't work.

Jay Greenstein

Posted 2 Years Ago

I know you asked me to review chps 9 thru 17, but I wanted to read chp 1 first, to get a bead on what your story is about. All in all, your writing & storytelling are strong. You do a great job using lots of dialogue to create action in your story, as well as revealing characters thru what they do & say. I love the idea for your story -- sun cracking & going dark – nice symbolism for the “climate change” debate without taking sides. Just making things interesting & keeping your story pertinent to real life.

I notice at the beginning, you get a little tangled up on the brotherhood detail. Even tho this is interesting to know, this is not the way to open a story. The opening has to be compelling and we don’t know your characters yet, so we don’t care if they are brothers or not. You’re making a distinction that doesn’t matter instead of selling your storyline. I suggest starting with drama. I suggest making up a unique word to be the “crack” in this chapter. Like: “CRACKLE-SNACKLE-BOP!” Make this a signature line to refer to the moment the sun cracked. Open your story with the actual sputtering, frizzling sun in the middle of the night. This would be compelling . . . remember, your job is to make the reader want to dive in & spend considerable free time reading your entire book! (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 2 Years Ago

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5 Reviews
Added on September 27, 2015
Last Updated on October 26, 2018
Tags: Dreams, Demons


Brenden Brown
Brenden Brown

Buffalo, MO

I like to write and make music. Currently focusing on school and TSR. more..


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