The Story of Promiseum - Dream Walker
Chapter Eleven - Sanctuary
Friday evening, Danny was working on a door. It was a solid door made from the finest English oak. He hung the door on heavy brass hinges and installed a large brass doorknob. Underneath the knob was an old-fashioned lock plate with a large keyhole. And, primarily for decoration, there was a brass knocker. It was like the kind with a Lion’s head, but instead of a lion, it was Hibbit’s head, horns and all. He had a large brass ring in his mouth, with a ball resting on the brass knocking plate. When Danny was finished polishing it, an inscription appeared at the bottom. It said, "Thank you, my Lord."
Shortly after, Robert came back down the stairs. Before finally approaching Danny, he stood there for a minute, wondering why Danny was putting a new door in for the workshop.
"Can you help me out, bro?" Robert said, "I need to get to the garden to see Aisling. It's been three days since I've talked to her. She's going to think I don't like her anymore!"
"Relax bro!" Danny said. "You can use this door."
Robert turned the knob and pulled the door open.
"Is this a joke?" Robert said, “It's just a brick wall!"
"Hold on," Danny said, "let me finish."
Danny turned to face Robert. He closed his hand and held it out in front of himself, fingers up. Then he opened his hand. There was a ball of light floating just above his palm. Danny raised his hand slightly, and the ball of light floated up and toward Robert. It went into his chest, making him jump slightly.
"That almost felt like an electric shock," Robert said, "but it kind of tickled."
"Here," Danny said, "this is for you."
Danny handed Robert a key. It was an old-fashioned key, the kind most people call a skeleton key. The key was four inches long. On one end, the blade had four teeth of various lengths. On the other end, the bow was shaped like a rose. Then, Danny closed the door and stepped back. He gestured for Robert to step up. Robert looked at him skeptically but moved to the door anyway.
"Now put the key in and turn it one full turn to the right," Danny said. "Now remove the key, then turn the knob and open the door.
"Robert did as he said and opened the door. This time the brick wall was gone. Now, it was the area with the grand gate.
"Come with me, and allow me to explain," Danny said.
They stepped through and closed the door. They were in a sort of bailey. There was a wall behind them with the new door that Danny just made. The wall appeared to run a half a mile in either direction and had an open archway every two hundred yards. Danny explained that all of them lead into the inner maze. He further explained that since a labyrinth was really a prison, only one path would take you out. The rest just led you back here, and all the paths changed randomly.
Across from that wall was another wall, and it was about fourteen yards from them. There were dead trees everywhere. The only living tree was near that wall, by the grand gate right in front of them. Robert noticed that on this wall, there were smaller gates. These gates were also spaced two hundred yards apart, but none were in front of an archway. They fell about halfway between.
"These," Danny explained, "are other gardens. You can also go in and out of these gardens through the central garden, but only if you have the proper key. This is the one you want, The rose gate.
"Danny walked through the gate, as Robert followed. There were no fruit trees here, but there were more flowers. There were roses, irises, orchids, and lilies of all varieties and colors. Instead of cobblestone, the paths were grey marble, with a white marble border on either side. About halfway down, off the left side of the path, there was a small open area with a tree in the middle. Hanging from a large, sturdy branch was a swing. The swing consisted of two ropes and a short plank. One end of each rope was tied to the branch. The other end of each rope was put through a hole in the plank and knotted at the end.
To the right of the tree, there was another area with a fence around it. It was a white rail fence made entirely out of four-by-four posts and rails. There was an open gate on the side facing the path. The only flowers in that area were roses. In fact, other than the round bench in the middle, the only thing that was in there were roses.
"This is the garden where Aisling will meet you," Danny said. "Simply pick an Easter Lily and place it on the swing. She will know you want to see her."
"Thanks, bro," Robert said, "I owe you big time!”
Then, he picked a lily and placed it on the swing. A minute later, Aisling stepped out from behind the tree. She picked up the lily and smelled it. There was something different about her. It wasn't too obvious, but there was a difference. She looked to be 5'11", 195 lbs., with red hair and green eyes. She was wearing a green and white flower print summer dress, and her feet were bare. Her face was round. She had dimples and light freckles on her nose and cheeks. Then, they noticed the difference. She seemed to be a little thicker in the middle, and her hips had more of a flare.
"It's about time you show up," she said. "I was starting to think you forgot about me."
"I could never forget about you," Robert said. " You're my dream girl. And now you're more of a dream! Did you do that for me?"
"No," she said, "I was trying to catch your eye before, but now that I know you like it, I don't have to change."
As Danny left the garden, Aisling and Robert were holding hands, walking further down the path. Danny didn't really need to use the door to get back, but he did anyway. When Danny got back, he texted Emily to meet him in the workshop when she was ready for their date. In the meantime, Danny stepped into his office to get a few things. When he came back out, Emily was coming down the stairs.
She was wearing a simple yellow sundress with flowers on it and sandals. She barely did her makeup and wore her hair down. It was more than enough to take his breath away. Emily noticed and smiled. As she got to the bottom of the stairs, Danny took her hand and kissed it. Still holding her hand, he led her out to the open floor. He gracefully spun her around like they were dancing, then he pulled her close and kissed her. Now it was her turn to catch her breath, and Danny smiled.
"This is for you," Danny said.
Emily was waiting for Danny to give her something when she noticed that she was now wearing a necklace that she wasn't wearing before. On the necklace was a locket. It was twenty-four-carat white gold, with a yellow gold inlay in the shape of a heart.
"How did you do that?" She asked.
"It was in my hand when I spun you around," He said, " I slipped it over your head when I moved in to kiss you, then I adjusted it while you were distracted."
"I didn't even notice, "she said. What's it for?"
"It's for you, as an expression of my love," he said. "It's also a key. As long as you wear this, you can go anywhere in any world I create, even without me."
"That's nice," she said, "but I don't want to go anywhere without you."
"Then shall we go on our date?" asked.
She simply nodded and hooked her arm in his. He guided her forward, and they stepped through the door. But instead of being at the grand gate, they were somewhere else. It appeared to be a dead-end in the maze. Before them stood a brick wall. Danny explained that this was a different place hidden deep within the maze, and it wasn't attached to the gardens at all. It was a secret place just for them, not to be shared with anyone else.
"I made this out of my own energy," he said. "It's part of me. No matter where I'm at, if you can't find me, just come here."
"But I don't know how to get here," she said. "What if I get lost?"
"Don't worry," Danny said, "as long as you have the locket, any path will lead you wherever you want to go."
He put his hand on the wall. A second later, the wall started to open. As it opened, Emily could feel something strange. At first, she didn't know what it was, but as soon as she stepped through the door, she knew. It was Danny! She could feel him like she was part of him too. Now she understood the secrecy and how much of himself he was sharing with her.
Stepping through the door was like stepping out of a cave. The path Danny and Emily followed was cut through a dense forest. After walking for what seemed like miles, it started to thin out a bit. Then there was a clearing up ahead. Less than half a mile from the clearing, there was a giant lake. On the other side of the lake, there was a cliff that must have been at least a mile high. And on this shore, there was a cabin. They followed the trail down to the cabin, then out to a dock on the lake. At the end of the dock, a large fish floated out of the water.
"This is Samson," Danny said. "He's part of me too. During the time of the 'great split,' extra pieces separated from the medial spirits. These pieces became independent beings. Some are guardians. Others are high or low-level spirits. Samson split from mine. Samson, this is Emily."
"Nice to meet you, Samson," Emily said. "Your fins are lovely."
"The pleasure is mine," he said. "You are gorgeous."
"When I created this place, I asked Samson to be its guardian," Danny said. "To carry out his duties, as such, I gave him two other forms. As caretaker of the cabin and private garden, he has a human form. And, as the protector, he can become a dragon."
"And it's an honor to be part of this world," he said, "and to have such a noble purpose.
"With that, Samson floated to the front of the cabin. By the time Danny and Emily got there, he had shifted into his human form to open the door for them. Samson looked like a traditional butler, except his suit was a colorful long flowing robe. He bowed slightly as they walked through the door.
It was a reasonably small cabin at 864 square feet. On the front, there was a ten by thirty-six-foot porch. It went all the way across the front and was entirely covered by a roof. There were also wooden steps from the dock up to the porch. Inside, there were only three rooms. The main room had a kitchen in the back, a bedroom on the side, and a bathroom attached to it.
Danny showed Emily around before they went out through the back door. They stepped out onto a relatively large deck. The backyard was the same level as the house, so there were no steps. It was also completely fenced in with a wooden picket fence. A third of the yard was a vegetable garden. To the left, separated from the rest of the yard by a fence with a gate. On the right side, in the back corner, there was a huge tree. Hanging from one of the branches was a swing. Near the swing, there was a ladder. Emily looked confused but soon realized that the tree also had a treehouse.
Danny led Emily out the back gate and up a set of steps into the forest at a slight incline. They didn't go far before coming to a glade.
"This," Danny said, "is the private garden. This is where we will have our date."
Emily noticed that this was a reasonably large glade. The grass was short, but there were wildflowers everywhere. Off to the right, there was a stream running through the edge of the glade. There was a small bridge across the stream with a path on the other side. Danny explained to Emily that it led to the nature trails in the forest. On the other side of the glade, there was a giant tree. This wasn't an ordinary tree. Danny pointed out that this single tree contained every variety of fruit and nut in existence. It was under this tree that Danny set up the picnic.
When they got to the blanket, Danny pulled out a small box and opened it before Emily could sit down.
He dropped to one knee and said, "Emily Lynn James, will you marry me?"
Through tears of joy, she said "Yes," then waited patiently as Danny slipped the ring on her finger. Then, she threw herself into his arms and kissed him.
While having the picnic, they discussed wedding plans, the honeymoon, and married life in general. Afterward, they walked the nature trails and returned to the cabin. Back at the cabin, six other people were waiting to be introduced.
"These are other spirits attached to us," Danny said. "They live in the forest as different animals. But they will appear in human form to help take care of the place. This is Kyra (kee-rah). She is attached to you and will be your personal handmaiden when you're here."
Danny introduced the rest, then they headed back. Emily couldn't wait to call her mother and tell her the news. When they got back, they told Robert the news. He was very happy for them. Then she said goodnight, and she went to her room to call her mom.
About the author
The stories that you see labeled chapter one - chapter sixteen are chapters from my completed book, The story of Promiseum - Dream Walker. So if you decide to escape to my fantasy world, start with chapter one and read them in order.