Climb Aboard The Dreamweaver Train
A tumbleweed – dead, dry, and brittle – rolled across the dusty cracked road that ran through the old western town. The tumbleweed was so perfect, so right, it was cliché. Lester adjusted his lapels without moving his hands, which at the moment felt wet.
He was supposed to be somewhere, but he couldn’t be there. The sensation was oddly frustrating which made him feel insecure. He turned and looked over the roof of the saloon and stared at the Manhattan skyline beyond. There, it was. There.
And he wanted to go there, but he couldn’t. There was laughter and he could see behind him without looking that his crew was pointing and laughing at his nakedness. Lester was overcome with embarrassment at having forgotten to get dressed that day. It didn’t help with the insecurity.
The laughter stopped suddenly, unexpectedly, and Lester did turn and look and his crew was gone. Instead he saw a beautiful woman in a clever diaphanous outfit of dark blue and gold. She wore a mask that covered half her face and he didn’t recognize who she was, only what she was. He moved towards her to initiate sex but she put out a hand and stopped him.
One finger extended and did a “no, no” gesture while she slowly shook her head. He heard her voice but never saw her mouth move.
“Where is it?”
“I… I can’t.”
The western town slid sideways in streaks of brown and tan to be replaced by Avenue P in Brooklyn. This was where he grew up. Bobby Royce, who used to beat Lester regularly for his lunch money in the third grade, stood near holding his scooter. He looked pissed.
“Lester, you punk. Go there now or I’m gonna make you cry again!” Bobby Royce’s threats were punctuated by the mocking laughter of children played on a loop like on the old TV shows.
“I can’t!” he shouted, and then said again, this time pleadingly. “I can’t.”
“Sure you can,” the blond angel in blue and gold whispered gently in his head. “See?”
Standing next to Lester was the big man himself, Sherman Drake. He was smiling and nodding his head pleasantly, resplendent in an expensive grey suit.
“R-really?” Lester looked confused and wary, like he might be staring at a mirage that would disappear any second and leave him hanging in a bad, bad way.
“Go on,” the woman prodded. “He wants you to.”
Lester looked again and there was Sherman Drake again, this time in a brown suit, nodding and supplementing it with a thumbs-up gesture.
“I… I…” Lester was on the edge.
“C’mon, Lester,” the woman in blue and gold whispered persuasively. “You can do it.”
Lester looked at the woman for a moment, lost in her beauty. Then he looked up and saw his crew, Bobby Royce, Sherman Drake, the cast of Good Times, and his Mom all there with him. They were smiling and giving encouraging gestures and nodding their heads.
Brooklyn fell away and Lester was standing with the woman on East 19th Street now. The street was totally empty, devoid of car or pedestrian or sewer rat. The scene was silent with unburdened guilt. Lester turned to face north, stared directly into an alley, and instantly they flew there without moving. There was a plain metal door painted the same color as the surrounding brick.
Lester pointed. “There.”
The door exploded outward sending shrapnel in all directions. Sherman Drake leapt through the explosion screaming like a demon. He carried an old Soviet-era RPG launcher and leveled it at Lester and fired.
The shadow with blue and gold highlights leapt from the fire escape down to the street below. The thick slush which muffled the sound of boots hitting sidewalk did nothing to lessen the might music of Lester McClellan’s screams.
Reaching down to her boot, Dreamweaver pulled out the burner phone she'd bought for use while on duty. It was one of the many she had purchased when she first decided to use her gifts to get the goods on those who slipped through the system and she could almost imagine herself as a spy as she began to dial a number she had memorized before leaving her apartment. Half way through she stopped, wondering if she should make sure the door she'd seen in Lester's dream was real before calling the FBI agent assigned to his case. Making up her mind she put the phone away and made her way through the alley's to see the door for herself.
Being Manhattan, the few times she was forced to expose herself to the eyes of others she hardly drew a curious glance or two. Not that beautiful masked women in blue and gold were a frequent sight but hey, it's New Yawk, baby. Eventually the distance was closed and Dreamweaver found herself peering around a building's corner and into the alley she'd seen in Lester's dream.
The scene seemed surreal enough to make her question whether or not she had inadvertently crossed over into the dream world again. There was a tall and muscular clown, all made up and dressed in a typical ruffly, big-shoed getup. He was mainly purple except for the white face makeup and lace.
As she watched, he violently banged together the heads of two men, rendering them unconscious to the sound of coconuts. Her trained eyes took a harder look and spotted the three others, and the rifles, scattered about in the snow.
"You have got to be kidding me. A clown?" Dreamweaver said to herself as she examined the scene. She'd heard you could come upon some strange sights in New York but she would have never guessed she'd see a clown roaming the streets beating up on people. It was a scene nightmares were made of and she should know, she had seen first hand the nightmares clowns caused in some people. Whether this particular clown was good or some version of Stephen King's Pennywise wasn't clear but given the scene she had stumbled upon she was leaning toward the latter.
She thought about just calling a tip into the FBI and leaving it at that. She had confirmed the door was right where Lenny had said it would be, that's all she really needed but then she would never find out who the clown was or why he was knocking a bunch of people silly in the middle of the night. She could always use her power to make him take a nap if he really did turn out to be evil. Clowns did sleep didn't they? What if he was like the Joker? She shuddered at the thought. New York didn't need a maniac like that on the loose.
The thought made up her mind and she stepped out into the the alley. "Hey Krusty, What do you think you're doing?" Inwardly she groaned. She'd have to work on her lines.
OOC: We're caught up! And fast, too.