The Nightmare Plague: An Unexpected Guest, part one

Barnabus was enjoying the flight, partly sitting in the dreams of the passengers and partly in the plane itself.  It was intrusive he knew, but some were having a terrible trip so he felt the need to tinker about to take the stress off their rest.  They were somewhere over the Atlantic, though, when he felt a pull.  Someone’s dream became entangled with another.  The second dreamer was not on board, yet the two were intertwined.  He could feel an intruder in the dreams and felt the familiar rage at the pain it caused.  He walked through the nearest dream, cutting it off from whatever was influencing it, crossing into the other.

He emerged into a nightmare of water, filled with sharks of tremendous size and gaping maws under a violent sea.  They were only a symptom, though, and not the cause.  He dealt with them regardless, giving the dreamer some measure of comfort.  He re-emerged into the world, soaked, and left small boot prints as he squished along.  

The nightmare was quickly understood when the bear realized he was on a cruise ship.  He followed the thoughts of the workers until arriving at a laundry station.  Climbing into a nearby dryer while the attendant was busy, he was soon tumbling around in a mass of sodden bed sheets.  He could have found other ways to dry out, but felt that being expedient was in order.

Feeling better and smelling of lavender, Barnabus began to walk the ship, looking for nightmares.  He passed through several normal nightmares before he felt a pull.  Following the sensation, he noted, in a clinical fashion, that it was unfamiliar.  Probing the sensation, Barnabus assessed it, assigning the experience to his various senses.

The trail led him to a small cabin.  Barnabus partially entered a dream to slip through the door.  There was a person on the bed, writhing and whimpering.  Next to the bed was an apparition of a child seemingly dressed in white with long dark hair.  The bear looked on in boredom.

“You can knock it off.  I know you aren’t a ghost.”

The apparition spun around in shock, before snarling and disappearing through the wall.  Shaking his head with a sigh, Barnabus bolted through the wall, pursuing the apparition.

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