Dreamcatchers - After Darkness Light - Part One

It’s September 2012 and five school friends, all suffering similar horrific nightmares, decide to investigate why – only to become embroiled in an apocalyptic feud between two Mayan brothers.

Their investigation leads them to the sudden disappearance of a former school teacher and to the source of their nightmares - a dreamcatcher, hidden in the depths of a parallel universe, saturated with evil. Its guardian is the immortal Anunaki, a murderous Mayan warrior.

The Mayan prophecies are nigh and Anunaki will fulfil them. He will unleash the dreamcatcher and shroud the world in such darkness that none will survive. And if by a miracle some do, they will pray every night that they had perished also.

The only person who can stop him is his younger brother, Iktaniki, a spirit guide - but not without the help of the five. There’s just one problem. They don’t trust him.


1. Part One: Strange Times





Monday, 3rd September, 2012

109 Days To Go


Ronnie couldn't remember the exact month he started having his nightmares only that it was after the killing began and before his Dad had gone to war. Nights blurred into days, days into nights and sleep deprivation had muddled his find. Fuddled his mind. Damn, he couldn't think straight anymore.

He lay down in his bed, staring at the ceiling, like a corpse with its eyes wide open. He wondered if this was how Clifford Montgomery had looked underneath the lid at his funeral service. His mother had told him not to go but he had snuck in anyway, just to get a peek – to see what the fuss was about. He overheard the chatterboxes outside the church telling each other with more and more horror how poor Mr. Montgomery had been walking his dog behind the church cemetery, where it had mauled him to death. They couldn’t believe it, they said, as his dog Spike was ever so docile and would never turn on him like that. The news from Tom Davies, the coroner, was the worst of all. The funeral would be a closed casket service because the raging animal had near torn through Clifford’s neck; his head was hanging under his armpit when they brought him in. What confused Tom Davies, however, was why the doting pet had then clawed into Mr. Montgomery’s chest and ripped out his heart.

The animal was shot immediately.

Ronnie vacantly heard his mother bawling at him to get up this instant or he would be late for school.




Ronnie’s mum buzzed around her kitchen like an agitated fly. Her face was blotchy and stressed and her brow creased as she multitasked, buttering Ronnie’s sandwiches and crumpling a pile of his clothes into the washing machine. She jumped, startled, as she heard the metal snap of her letterbox spring back into place and scurried into her hallway. She fingered through the morning mail. One was from her husband. She gingerly placed it at the front of the clutch of letters and would open it later.

“Come on! Let’s go. Otherwise you’ll be late for school.” She cupped her hands around her mouth and yelled up the stairs. Ronnie jumped down two at a time and rubbed his purple-ringed, doe-like eyes. He stretched his arms high above his head and yawned deep and long. A hideous, recurring nightmare had prevented him from sleeping. He had lain rigid on his bed the entire night as a sickening, primeval animal had bayed and roared after him in his mind, its sharp incisor teeth gnashing after him and its jowls dripping acidic saliva, burning his face. He had been too petrified even to close his eyes. “Put your school clothes on and let’s get going. I’ve got to get to the florists early you know, I’ve got a big order coming in. Just wait till I tell your father!” She wagged a frustrated finger at her son.

Stationed in Afghanistan, Ronnie’s father was an Army Sergeant serving his country with pride. By late morning, his mother would open the letter and all would be well with the world, as he would write that he was safe.

Ronnie jumped into  his pressed, flannel grey St. Monedel’s school trousers that his mother had hung up for him, slung on his blazer, wrapped his striped navy and maroon tie around his shirt collar  and wedged his heels into the backs of his shoes. He shuffled through the front door and his mother slammed it behind them. Minutes later, they were on their way to school, with Ronnie’s mother driving erratically as she threw furtive, worried glances at her son. He was looking ever so tired lately.

Floretta Rough dearly wanted Ronnie to attend a secondary school where he would flourish. He was an intelligent but stubborn boy so she decided it best that he went to a school where achievement and a strong work ethic were encouraged. Her thoughts first turned to the nearest Academy with a decent reputation for schooling, a half-an-hour drive from the family home. Upon meeting its gruff and discourteous staff, however, she decided to look elsewhere.

Thankfully, the answer lay closer to home. She had attended an open day at the local St. Monedel’s school and was greeted politely by its engaging music teacher, Mr. Snowdon, a wiry man who buzzed with infectious enthusiasm. She spoke to neighbours and friends from the surrounding villages about the school and many recommended it. They spoke of smart uniforms and a traditional, disciplined approach to schooling; exactly what Ronnie needed.

If there was one thing that Floretta Rough hankered after herself, it was family stability. Before his posting abroad, her husband’s job had often taken the family around England and Ronnie, who was an only child, had become independent at a young age. But it was unfair, she would fret, for a boy on the cusp of his teenage years to keep moving. The family needed to settle somewhere and after living in Monedel for over a year, she felt quite at home. She had been lucky enough to secure a job as a florist and finally felt like life was working for her.

She had smiled as Mr. Snowdon recounted the history of St. Monedel’s, waving his arms as if he was conducting an orchestra. Founded as a monastery in 697AD, it had evolved into a church and then, in the last few centuries, a school. It was a tall building, constructed with thousands of dark flint stones and supported by wide, sturdy buttresses. Leaded, latticed windows dotted its walls and its slated roof stretched skywards. It was a large and impressive structure, hinting at its historical importance to the town.

The house-proud Mrs. Rough, however, noticed a few areas of the school that warranted some upkeep - a jaded school sign hanging limply from its hinges and a schoolyard riddled with potholes and surrounded by crumbling walls. St. Monedel’s was old, she was reassured, and every year there was some kind of maintenance. F loretta’s gold Honda Civic weaved through school run traffic and rolled up to the gates. Inside of the car, Ronnie’s mother corrected her son’s mess of a tie and brushed his lank brown fringe into a manner she considered more fitting for a new boy’s first day at secondary school, much to Ronnie’s embarrassment.

“Oh Ronnie you look awful, you’re half-asleep! Now that’s not going to impress the teachers is it? And on such an important day?” She harped in an anxious, high-pitched tone. “Now go on in there, smarten up and show them how good you are.”

“Sorry mum, I had a nightmare,” Ronnie mumbled sheepishly.

As he was soon to find out, he wasn’t the only one.




Ronnie’s eyeballs throbbed with tiredness. His head down with his long hair flopping around his temples, he scraped his shoes along the ground as he ambled into the schoolyard, stumbling through a pothole. He climbed the steps into the assembly hall next to the main school building. Inside it was chaos, with first-year pupils fidgeting nervously at the periphery while elder, more confident students pushed and shoved in a melee.

Mr. Smedley, the school’s heavily bearded, barrel-chested science teacher restored order in a strikingly straightforward manner. “Big ‘uns at the back! Littl’uns at the front,” his gruff, angry voice growled across the hall. The misbehaving students simmered down without looking at him, as his voice was even more intimidating than his bear-like figure.

“Adams?” Mr. Smedley yelled as he began registration.

“Yes sir,” squeaked a frightened pupil.


“Yes sir.”


“Nope.” Billy Boxer sniggered. Mr. Smedley’s eyes bulged from their sockets at the disobedient boy as his friends around him erupted in laughter. 

“Quiet!” Mr. Smedley leant over and bellowed into his ears, wiping the smirk instantly from his face.

Ronnie craned his neck forward to see who was causing the trouble and was gladdened, instead, to spot one of his friends, Tommy Bailey.

Ronnie and Tommy knew each other from their primary school in Hickleston, a neighbouring village to Monedel. They had cemented their friendship the previous spring, when Tommy saved Ronnie from serious injury after he crashed into a bike shed chasing a football, and brought the flimsy, rusting structure down. The overweight Tommy wobbled over just in time and was strong enough to hold the collapsing shed, allowing Ronnie to scramble away on his hands and knees. Now they were at Monedel together.

 With the morning registration over, Mr. Snowdon led a discordant rendition of “All things bright and beautiful” by teachers and pupils alike. The school bell ended the torture and the new school year had begun.




Frederic Fontaine was always thinking two steps ahead. He had a natural ability to be organised and logical. The afternoon before his first day at secondary school, he was knelt over a neatly unfolded map on the floor of the conservatory at home, a short pencil tucked under his wiry hair, plotting a drive-in route to school for his mother the next day.

 “You know I don’t know where you get it from.” His mother, Marjorie Fontaine, called cheerily in from the kitchen, wearing pink marigolds and accidentally flicking water at him with a dish brush.

“From ‘is father ‘o course,” Gerald Fontaine’s Sunday newspaper rustled as he chuckled heartily.

Bald, ruddy-faced and lithe, Freddie’s father had risen to Chief Engineer at The Monedel Manufacturing Corporation, the largest employer in Monedel and had been its loyal servant for almost thirty years. With his index finger wagging in front of his nose, he would put his modest success down to “sheer bloody hard work” and would often remind Freddie, the rest of the family, or, in fact, anyone who would listen about how to get on in life.

Gerald Fontaine kept a keen eye on his children’s education. He felt that it was as much his responsibility as a parent to educate his children as the schools to which he sent them.  He was delighted, then, when Freddie began to show an interest in engineering and how things worked. Freddie had shown a real gift for numbers and would often follow him into the garden shed to help him out with building things – just to find out how they were made.

“That boy’s gonna’ be better ‘an me someday,” he would often whisper to his wife as they retreated to bed after the ten o’clock news.

“You should be telling him, not me,” Marjorie, who was by far the most sensitive of the couple, would reply.

Freddie’s older brother and sister, both of whom looked like their mother, with soft, heart-shaped faces, had already left home. His older brother ran his own flying school close to Monedel while his sister had headed straight for the bright lights of London to pursue a legal career. Freddie, meanwhile, had inherited his father’s genes. He was thin, with dark brown eyes and a slightly rouge complexion but his most obvious feature was a full head of black, curly hair as entangled as a birds nest. “You should enjoy it son,” Mr. Fontaine would chuckle, “if you’re anything like me, you won’t keep it for long.”

Freddie’s parents were a generation older than those of his friends, but they were still young at heart, especially his father, who was fond of practical jokes. Freddie’s most vivid infant memory was of his father’s return from work one summer lunchtime, unknown to his mother, via a joke shop. He had purchased a large, plastic tarantula with a bulbous abdomen, fat hairy legs and fluorescent green eyes and left it crawling on the kitchen floor. He had split his sides laughing when Marjorie had walked in to make the children some lunch, let out a terrified, shrill scream and burst past her young son through the conservatory, out onto the patio and up the garden. Unfortunately for Freddie, his mother’s reaction branded his psyche.  Ever since that moment, Freddie had learnt to be intensely afraid of spiders, just like his mother. On the eve of his first day at secondary school, Freddie was dreaming of a family holiday in Greece. What he didn’t expect to appear, however, were spiders – lots and lots of spiders.....

.....It was early morning in Greece. The sun was already burning hot and yellow in a cloudless blue sky, not that Freddie would have known, as he was snug and comfortable in his soft bed. His mother loved the relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle and was sure that she would be able to convince Freddie’s father to move there one day but for now, a two-week holiday would suffice. His mother had booked the four-star Landmark Hotel but as it was the height of the school holidays, the only available apartment had been on the 22nd floor.

Marjorie Fontaine skipped out of bed early and packed a small bag of bronzing creams. Within ten minutes, she was down at the pool in her two-piece bikini and sunglasses, beating the other tourists to the sun loungers. His father followed shortly afterwards in small swimming trunks and a pair of blue goggles. He wanted to swim fifty laps of the pool before the gaggle of families and children arrived. Success only came with discipline and that applied as much to his lithe physique as it did to his career.

 “See if you can make it down for breakfast sleepyhead,” his father called into his bedroom on his way to the hotel lift.

Freddie woke bleary eyed an hour later. He had already missed breakfast. He climbed out of bed, ambled to the bathroom, splashed water over his face and his mass of curly hair, slipped on a clean white t-shirt and pair of red shorts and went to forage for something to eat in his hotel room. At no point did it seem amiss to him that he would find a box of Weetabix and a single pint of milk – which just happened to be his favourite breakfast cereal. His normally sharp brain did not understand that they should not have been there. His parents had not shopped for food as they were on a package holiday.

Freddie grabbed the yellow cereal box. It was already open. He dipped in his right hand to grab a couple of fibre blocks that he was going to liberally coat with sugar and afterwards slurp the sweetened milk.

Instead, his mind swam.

In his hand was a black, hairy spider whose pulsing abdomen filled his palm. His mouth turned sticky and sour with fear. His legs wobbled beneath him as he stared at the red-striped spider for a fatal second.  Freddie’s lips wrapped tight around his gums as its fangs plunged deep into his wrist.

Freddie could only think of needles; hot, venom-laced needles thrusting through his skin and into his bloodstream. He warbled frightened as he instinctively hurled the arachnid at the wall. He staggered into the living room, bumping into the hotel T.V. along the way. His cells were popping, bubbling, boiling inside of him. The arachnid scratched its hairy legs over the marble floor after him.

Freddie had to get out. He was hallucinating. The poison was coursing through his veins, stripping his insides like acid. With every heartbeat, he felt an explosion of pain. He made for the apartment door. Hundreds of smaller spiders swarmed from under and around the doorframe, their fangs snapping after him in a malicious, clicking chorus.

 Freddie twisted, his eyes searching frantically for the hotel balcony. It was the only way out. There were hundreds, thousands of them, spreading like a virus across the room. He limped towards the glass balcony doors. The spider’s bite was paralysing his limbs, interrupting his brain signals to his body. He dragged his dead left leg behind him. He was half-way there, he would have to jump.

Freddie collapsed in the middle of the living room floor, his chest rapidly rising and falling. His breathing shallow, armies of arachnids scuttled from under the living room sofa and chairs towards him. He had lost all motor function. He could not close his eyelids. The spiders itched along his legs, up his shorts and under his T-shirt. The large, hand-sized, red-striped spider danced imperiously through Freddie mass of wiry, curly hair, its pads tapping one by one onto his forehead, down towards the bridge of his nose. It lifted its pulsing body and its quivering fangs up into the air and plunged deep into the whites of his eyeballs.

Freddie’s breathing quickened and stopped.

An hour later, his mother and father returned from beside the pool. Marjorie Fontaine twisted the handle of the apartment door as they giggled like newlyweds. When he looked into the room, his father dropped his bottle of beer to the ground in shock, its liquid soaking a brown, urine-like stain into the carpet.

Freddie’s body was cocooned in spiders’ webs. His eyes had been eaten and in their place were black arachnid abdomens. His tongue was black and striped red. Hundreds of spiders were feasting upon his dead, limp body, creeping in and out of his nose, mouth and ears.

Marjorie Fontaine opened her mouth wide and curdled the skin-crawling roar that had been stalking Freddie for months.


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