WARNING: This story contains strong language and sexual themes.
>I was not entirely sure if the brief moment of sexuality warranted a "strict" rating, but better safe than sorry.
NOTE: While this takes place in the Dreamkeepers universe, the only thing that could count as a proper spoiler is the name of a city mentioned, which is given at the end of Volume 4. While the story itself is not very spoilerific, the description following this warning will likely contain spoilers. It is highly recommended that you read the entirety of the Dreamkeepers Graphic Novel Saga, including the entirety of Volume 4, in order to understand this story properly. Volume 4 has only been partially released to the public, however, so you will either have to wait for the rest of the pages to be released or purchase Volume 4 (if you don't already have a copy).
My fourth submission to the 2017 Dreamkeepers Halloween Fanart Contest, further exploring the concepts introduced in my first short story, Upside Down.
The premise: Maren, a young human soldier, has somehow managed to travel to the Dreamworld as he sleeps, as opposed to his fellow comrades, whom experience the Dreamworld only as dreams through the eyes of their respective Dreamkeepers. In the Dreamworld, Maren spends his time with his own Dreamkeeper, Keita, as they try to keep each other sane as both their worlds seem to slide ever closer to the end...
Let me explain what I'm trying to do here:
The only information given about the human world in the Dreamkeepers canon is the blurb at the beginning of Volume 1 that states that the Dreamworld is connected to the human world, and that each human being has their very own Dreamkeepers, who's existence prevents the Nightmares from entering the human's mind and, presumably, killing them.
But given what is known about the Dreamworld so far, especially with the information given at the very end of Volume 4, it is difficult to match up the Dreamworld to any period of known human history. Factors that contribute to this include population (if Anduruna is truly the largest city in the Dreamworld, does it actually hold billions of people or is the human population devastated after the Nightmare invasion?) and history (the GNS takes place in the early 1200's and there was 700 years of unwritten history before that, making it nearly 2,000 years after the original Nightmare invasion; this doesn't exactly match to any period of Dark Ages or mass death or match any kind of human development at all). So what is the human world like? If Dreamkeepers are truly based on our subconscious, then Anduruna in the early 1200's is quite similar to a first-world, 21st-century, western country in terms of culture, but only consists of a single large city. Does time move differently between worlds? Is the human world even Earth to begin with? Hell, Dave could easily make the human world an alternate Earth and save himself quite a bit of trouble.
As for myself, I came up with a theory that the human world is indeed Earth and that the original Nightmare invasion occurred during the 21st century, leading Earth into an apocalypse as the human population was decimated alongside their Dreamkeepers. Then, after nearly 2,000 years, Earth now features a large city similar to Anduruna, where the people have long forgotten the apocalypse. This city is the "America" that serves as the setting for Upside Down (hey, Anduruna has the same number of syllables, it's a cultural melting pot, and assuming that the Dreamkeepers actually do speak English and Spanish, it does fit the language demographics of the present United States).
Also, I decided to make it so that when a Dreamkeeper is killed, their human isn't killed outright, but is instead possessed by a Nightmare. Hey, the GNS never explicitly stated that once a Nightmare enters your mind through your dreams, you die outright. I find the idea of the Nightmares "snatching" your body and transforming into a Thing-like monster once cornered far more terrifying than people merely dying in their sleep.
I am aware that this concept does not fit perfectly with the available information, but this is fanfiction after all--it does not have to be perfect.
Anyways, constructive criticism will be greatly appreciated.
Also, if there happens to be a canon source that gives more information about the human world relative to the Dreamkeepers universe, one that I somehow missed (I am a relatively new fan after all) and that might contradict my little idea here, please comment about it and provide a link to the source.
A quick note on the development of this story: I originally intended for this story to be "creepy" rather than "sexy," with quite the downer ending, but the word limit got in the way and, besides, all three of my previous stories are competitors for "creepiest"--I thought that I should make an attempt at one of the other categories. Perhaps I'll write a part 2 later.
DISCLAIMER: The Dreamkeepers universe is owned by Dave & Liz Lillie. Maren, Keita, and Blackstone are my original characters and the concept presented is also my own idea. If the concept of the story, character descriptions, or any of the Powers depicted resemble those already made by someone else, the similarities are purely coincidental--it is not my intention to steal the work of others.