With an eerie calm in his voice, J.D. answered. “Sadness can often come unexpectedly. It creeps up from underneath you and has a tendency of not wanting to let up.”
Right in that very spot, a quarter of a mile from the field, a platform about a mile south from where they were at suddenly sunk several hundred feet until only an opening remained far above them, opening onto the speck of a full moon they’d been looking at within Draem. They were also in ankle deep water.
“What is this?” asked Katya startled by the appearance of the splashing water.
With a grim look on his face, J.D. clarified on this occasion as well, “These are the Despair Docks. Normally people sink into sadness and this is where they dock.”
“What’s that smell?” asked Silent Feather scrunching up her nose.
“Ah, that should be the asparageese. They do tend to smell rather odd. Come this way, there’s no time to lose.”
J.D. helped each of the young ladies to get up on the dock and led the way to a hill on the right, just above the briny waters. He held out three semi large rings to each of them. “Here, slip these past the neck of your shirts.”
“Why?” they all asked in tandem.
“To ring yourself out of course.”
Rather than doubt the logic of dreams, they did as he said and tucked the rings into their shirts. By the time they wiggled their bodies enough for the rings to make it out of their pants or skirts, they were completely dry.
“I don’t feel so well,” said Katya.
“That’s the risk of bringing you here. We have to act fast and as soon as you finish your task you need to open this bag.
J.D. handed what seemed like parachutes to each, which they slipped on quickly. Nodding and making sure each had fastened the chutes correctly, they made their way swiftly past various columns that stuck out from the grass.
“Katya, we must work fast and since you showed the first signs of effect, you need to go first.”
“All right, what do I do?”
“Right now, there’s a row of dull drums past the columns blocking our way. I need you to do whatever you need to do to get them moving. After that, pull the chord on your pack. Can you handle that?”
With a kitten smile, Katya fluffed her hair, gave JD a tight hug and ran past the corner, leaving her three friends to peek over the corner.
They saw as she pulled the sleeves of her shirt so they reached her wrist and her lacy shirt flared with a single spin that transformed her brown skirt to bright magenta. Without a thought, she began beating a salsa rhythm on the drums.
The grey drums at first remained motionless until the beat got the better of them. Slowly but surely, they began to start shaking their midsections and taking different colors while hopping on their rim bottoms.
Katya started clapping her hands joyously and in no time, the drums were dancing it up and like some magenta colored pied piper, she began leading off a parade of drums that were no longer dull and leaving the path clear for all three to pass by unnoticed onto a series of buildings. In the distance, they could hear the parade continue and suddenly a dazzling fireworks display with a joyous voice whooping, cheering and laughing into the night sky.
“Was that Katya?” asked Silent Feather.
“Yes it was and that’s the signal that she’s fine. We’ll meet up with her soon.”
“Good a that know to,” said Silent Feather, taken completely aback by the sequence of words she spoke aloud.
“Ok Feather are silent you?” said Claudette, also taken aback by the words that fell from her mouth.
The look on J.D.’s face was grim and dark. He pointed to the end and said two words that explained the situation as best as he could, “Grammar Jammer.”
Claudette had an angered look on her face and was beginning to pull out one of her pencils when Silent Feather stopped her, signed something to her and pointed to the end where finally they could make our what could only be described as a robotic hairball about three feet high with six eyes. One of them was pink and rather nasty looking.
She slipped off her sandals and slipped on a fresh set of soapy skates. With a gentle push of her feet, she slipped into the shadows.
“She what’s to going do?” said Claudette.
“Idea no,” replied J.D.
At the end, the Grammar Jammer continued sending syntax disruptor signals and looking nasty with its wiry hair and pink eye. Luckily for J.D., they didn’t have to endure the sight much longer because they saw when Silent Feather skated past the little creature and gave it an eye full of soap.
The Grammar Jammer whooped and wailed in pain because if it’s bad enough to get soap in your eye, imagine that multiplied by six.
“Good job, Feather!” said J.D.
“Hey-ho, we can speak proper again!”
“Yeah, that was the Grammar Jammer, which is a pain in the syntax because grammar is tough enough as it is, imagine with something born to make it harder still.”
“Where’s Silent Feather?” asked Claudette.
Right then, they could hear fireworks going off and the sweet laugh of the girl in soapy skates, which sounded as if she was soaring high above.
J.D. answered calmly, “She’s doing as she was told. How are you holding up?”
“I’ve felt better, I’ll admit.”
“Just a little longer. I still need your help, dear friend.”
“So in the building we go?”
J.D. smiled at the bravery of his friend. “That’s correct. So alonsy we go?”
“Alonsy indeed,” she said.
Claudette followed J.D. into the large square building. It was vast and hangar-like and there was a white platform with a single ray of light shining on a young woman kneeling in a white robe with long brown hair that flowed gently past her shoulders.
Although about to run forth, J.D. stopped Claudette, holding her back as he scanned the area. Questioningly, she looked at his face. “There’s nothing surrounding her, we should get her now.”
J.D. took a deep breath before replying. “When was the last time you had something bothering you that you told someone about on the first go? Now tell me, how often is nothing something when you’re asked what’s wrong?”
The young woman’s curls bounced confusedly, “So what do you suspect it is?”
“It’s not my job to know. My job is to show her we can get through every and anything life and dreams bring... the same way she does for me.”
“I’ve got an idea,” said Claudette and pulled out a pencil and a sharpener.
First she rubbed the tip of the pencil until she ground out a fine dust of carbon and then snapped the tip off. She put the pencil and sharpener back into her coat before brushing the dust into one hand and holding the tip on the other.
She then threw the pencil tip, which landed on Jane’s lap, waking her from the deep sleep. J.D. gasped when he saw his wife awake in dream and whispered to her.
“Shh... We’ve come to get you out of here, my love.”
“Who’s that with you?” she asked.
“This is Claudette, a good friend and she’s here to help me out.”
Claudette waved her hand happier than the circumstances probably called for. “Nice to meet you! Stay put, we have to try to see what’s around you.”
She blew the pencil dust in Jane’s direction and slowly it spread and covered the entire room. As the dust settled, six figures came into view around Jane as they became covered in the dust.
“J.D. ... what in heaven’s name are those?” asked Claudette.
“Worry wolves,” he answered shortly.
The figures began to growl and Jane became very tense atop the platform. The skylight above still shone brightly.
“So what’s the plan?” asked Claudette and when she turned to J.D. he was crying freely.
“I’ll lure them away and you make a run for it. I’ll go through the door to the right. You get Jane and get out through left. Make sure to put this pack on her.”
With that last word spoken, he passed his own pack to Claudette and rushed to the door on the right. Where the invisible and now visible worry wolves followed him. With no time to question his methods or what was happening, Claudette rushed to Jane.
“What’s going on?” asked J.D.’s wife.
“We’ve got to get out of here, NOW.” As they ran out the door, it was still nighttime in Draem, though that might have been the fact they were deep in Malaise. Claudette ran towards a vast field with Jane trailing close behind. Luckily, she didn’t have to worry about J.D. for long as she saw him rushing madly towards them from the back part of the building. He was laughing and giggling in his sprint even if tears were still streaming off his face.
“Make sure she has the pack on!!!!” he yelled and the worry wolves came bounding from the exact spot he had come from, although he had already arrived to his wife and friend.
“Although I feel as if I’m repeating myself, what now?”
“Now we pull.” He yanked on Claudette’s chord and a canopy of fireworks sprang from her pack and pulled her up from the ground laughing.
“Ready, baby?” J.D. asked his wife and taking a tight hold of her, he pulled the ripcord and a rainbow the size of a house sprang from the pack, causing them to soar away from the worry wolves and up, up and away into the Draem sky.......
Until she woke up looking at J.D. in the bed.
“Everything Ok, my love?” asked J.D. from his side of the bed.
“I had the oddest dream. It was so crazy, and you were there.”
“Oh really,” he said with a Cheshire grin. “Then how about you tell me all about it.”