Marcus crept along the dark cobbled path, listening. Marcus! Marcus! Come to me! An eerie voice called. Then he was falling, down, down, down, further into the black, endless hole.
Marcus jerked awake, his face covered in cold sweat. He snuggled his old teddy, Moe, and curled under the blankets. Moe smelled like roses and sweat, exactly like Marcus’ mum had smelled like before she died. Marcus glanced down at the mattress underneath his loft bed. His friend Kirk was still sound asleep. Marcus would never want Kirk to know that he still slept with Moe. Kirk was one of the coolest boys at school, and now that Kirk was over for a sleepover, it seemed like they were finally friends. Marcus wouldn’t want anything to destroy his new friendship with a cool kid.
Marcus burrowed under his covers and waited for sleep to come, but his mind was still racing from his nightmare. Marcus had been having a lot of nightmares lately, more than he usually had. Suddenly, Marcus noticed a little light in the corner of his room. He crept out of bed and walked towards the window where the little light was coming from. Marcus gasped as he noticed the light was sparkling and glittering. He grasped in the air, trying to grab the twinkling object. Finally, Marcus’ fingers seized a very tiny doll. “What in the world is this?” Marcus pondered aloud. He knew it couldn’t be his sister Ruth’s doll, because all of her dolls were big and bulky, and none of them flew. Suddenly Marcus heard a soft tinkly voice. “Hello Marcus!” the voice said, “My name is Penelope. I am a dream weaver.”
Marcus could hardly keep from laughing out loud. What kind of joke was this?
“It’s not a joke, Marcus,” said the voice, “This is real. Every night, you dream, correct?” Marcus nodded. “Well, me and some of my friends work hard to mix your dreams together and make them into Dream Dust. We take a portal to Human World, sprinkle on the Dream Dust and voila! A dream! But lately, the evil Nightmare and her gang have been tinkering with the Dream Dust and making it be full of nightmares for the children. The other Dream Weavers and I have been trying to stop her, but we don’t know how.” “I would love to help!” Marcus exclaimed, “I love adventures! “Can I trust you?” Penelope asked. Marcus paused, then nodded. “Of course you can.” “Then let’s go!” Penelope declared, “To the portal!”
Penelope sprinkled Marcus with some dust that made him sneeze, and then he was suddenly the size of a fairy. The two flew through a gap in the screen of the window, with Penelope leading the way. They fluttered over to the lake where Marcus used to go fishing with his dad before his mum had died.
“Where are we taking the portal to?” Marcus asked.
“To Dream Land of course!” Penelope chuckled, “Some people call it La-La Land as well. It’s a very nice place.” Penelope jumped into the lake. Marcus gasped as she disappeared into the murk.
“Follow me!” called Penelope, her voice echoing around the expanse. Marcus reluctantly jumped in after her. He was flabbergasted when he emerged totally dry in a strange and sparkly world. A crowd of fairies fluttered over to Penelope and Marcus.
“Hi! I’m Aislin! Are you here to help us defeat the Nightmare? I’m a Dream Weaver!” a thin fairy said. Many other fairies clambered to introduce themselves to the new-comer.
Penelope pushed aside the fairies and frowned thoughtfully for a moment. Then she spoke.
“I have a plan.”
She whispered furiously to the Dream Weavers and Marcus. Then it was time for action.
The Dream Weavers fluttered stealthily along the path to Nightmare’s lair. Penelope had just mixed up a happy dream that contained balloons, smiles, bright colours and more happy things. All the Dream Weavers knew that Nightmare would hate it. Penelope fluttered through the window and sprinkled the Dream Dust onto the dark haired fairy. The crowd of Dream Weavers waited patiently as Nightmare snored away. Finally, Nightmare’s dark, brooding eyes snapped open.
“AAAAH!” Nightmare cried, “What a horrible dream! Oh, it was ghastly seeing those streamers and hearing those delighted giggles!”
“1-2-3!” whisper-shouted Marcus, happy to join in with the plan to defeat Nightmare once and for all. The Dream Weavers attacked. They tossed ropes and lassos at Nightmare, but before they could get very far, a swarm of fairies clad in black descended upon the troop of Dream Weavers. They attacked the other fairies with stones and shot arrows ferociously. An arrow whizzed past Marcus’ head but he ducked just in time. Marcus hurled his lasso at a swift fairy and surprisingly, the fairy was caught in mid-air. Marcus reeled her down and tied her up tight. He noticed that the other Dream Weavers had managed to capture most of Nightmare’s henchmen. Marcus jumped up and found himself flying through the air. He flapped his wings, trying to get back to the ground but it was no use. Marcus was flying straight toward one of Nightmare’s henchmen! Suddenly, Penelope swooped in and pulled Marcus away just before the evil fairy could throw a huge boulder at Marcus.
“Thank you Penelope!” Marcus gasped, “You saved my life! Good thing you know how to fly!”
Marcus gasped as he realised that Nightmare was getting away. She was sneaking out of the window!
“Quick!” Marcus shouted, “After her!”
No one heard Marcus’ frantic calls over the chaos. He raced to the window and threw a lasso at Nightmare, but he missed by a millimetre. Marcus feet pounded along the carpet of Nightmare’s dark and dank room. He jumped through the window, heading after Nightmare.
“Get back here!” Marcus heard a voice behind him say. It was one of Nightmare’s henchmen! Marcus dashed away in the nick of time. He managed to tear Nightmare’s wing as he dove away from the evil fairy behind him.
“Youch!” Nightmare screamed. Marcus grabbed hold of the evil fairy, but she was too strong and she slipped away. Marcus tripped up the evil henchmen and continued chasing Nightmare. Then Marcus realised that Penelope was running beside him. Behind her were all the Dream Weavers.
The fairies circled around Nightmare and captured her.
“Throw her down the Endless Hole!” shouted a fairy Marcus recognised as Jalpana.
“What’s the Endless Hole?” Marcus asked.
“It’s the nightmarish hole that humans always dream that they are falling down,” Penelope explained patiently.
Suddenly, Nightmare pulled out her wand and muttered some magic words. Most of the Dream Weavers fell down in a deep sleep. All but Marcus, Penelope and a few others were left awake. Nightmare flew away as fast as she could.
“After her!” Marcus shouted, but felt his eyelids closing. “I’m so tired!” he said drowsily.
“Fight against the sleeping spell!” Penelope exclaimed, “We have to catch Nightmare!”
Marcus snapped out of his sleepy daze and started to run after Nightmare again. Marcus panted and gasped as he chased after her. Finally, with an immense bound, he leaped onto Nightmare’s back and held on. The other Dream Weavers, who were now awake, tied her up tightly with rope.
“You saved us, Marcus!” Penelope cried, “You saved the dreams of the children!”
The troop of Dream Weavers carried the kicking and screaming Nightmare to the endless hole, where they threw her down.
“She’s going to be falling for a long time,” Jalpana said.
“You must receive a reward,” demanded Penelope. The Dream Weavers put their heads together and murmured for a few minutes. Finally, Aislin stepped forward.
“Your reward is that, using this dust, you will be able to travel back to Dreamland whenever you want,” said Aislin. A thought flashed through Marcus’ head. Kirk was still in Marcus’ bedroom at home! What if he had woken and found Marcus gone? Even worse, what if Kirk had seen him leave? Now Marcus would never be the cool kid.
“Don’t worry about that, Marcus,” Penelope said, reading his mind, “Time has stopped back on earth. You shouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you. Just be yourself!” Marcus nodded. Penelope’s words made him feel better. Suddenly there was a fanfare of trumpets. Riding on a cloud came two very fancy-dressed fairies wearing crowns.
“The King and Queen of Dreamland!” whispered the Dream Weavers amongst themselves. The female fairy flew towards Marcus gracefully.
“You have saved the people of Dreamland. The king and I are very grateful to you,” the woman, who must have been the queen, said.
“Thanks, but I couldn’t have done it without Penelope. In fact, it was her idea in the first place. I just helped her out,” Marcus replied, blushing a bit.
“Then we shall crown Penelope as Princess of Dreamland.” The king said. Penelope stepped forward, beaming.
“Thank you Queen Sanya. Thank you King Morpheus,” Penelope said softly. She bowed low before the royal couple.
“Well, I believe it is time for you to be on your way,” Queen Sanya said, “Penelope will guide you home. Thank you again, Marcus.” Marcus bowed, then followed Penelope to the portal back home. He blinked away tears as he bid Penelope farewell at his bedroom window.
“I’ll never forget you,” Marcus whispered. And then she was gone.
Marcus clambered through the window and climbed back into bed. Kirk was still fast asleep. Marcus smiled as he remembered his adventure that night. Slowly, Marcus’ eyes shut, and he was fast asleep. That night, Marcus had a wonderful sleep with happy dreams. And every time Marcus had a dream he remembered Penelope, the Dream Weaver, who had saved the humans from nightmares. Marcus never had a bad dream again.