'Fallyn and the Dragons' by K J Rollinson

Allan and his twin sister Eileen, together with their best friend, Martin, are persuaded by a mysterious visitor, called Dorius, the Keeper of Dreams, to go to the aid of King Rudri of Outha, in the land of Nashta. In the dream world they are known as Lord Fallyn, Lady Eila, and Lord Merin. In the 'real' world Allan and company are aware of their visits to Nashta, and are able to use their conscious thoughts to aid Fallyn and company to overcome the many problems encountered in their adventures in the dream world.

King Rudri and his brother, Prince Bato, have been enemies since their father died, who left the Kingdom in the hands of younger brother, Rudri. Despite King Rudri's brother generosity in granting half of Nashta to his brother, together with titles, this is not enough for the scheming prince, who seeks to gain what he considers rightfully his, the crown and the whole of Nashta. To do this he must invade Outha with his dragons. The plot moves between the real/dream worlds.



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1. A Mysterious Visitor

Allan tried to keep his balance on the rain-slicked school playground. Colin Bates pushed him and he fell sprawling on his back. Bates, with a triumphant laugh moved to kick him, but Allan managed to catch hold of his ankle. Bates, now off balance, fell to the ground, his laugh turning to a cry of pain as he sat clutching his ankle. Allan scrambled to his feet ready to resume the fight should Bates wish to carry on.

'You've got him now Morris, finish him off,' came a cry from one of Allan's supporters.

'No, he's had enough.' Allan offered his hand to Colin, but with a scowl Bates brushed the proffered hand away, and rose unsteadily to his feet.

'I'll get you some other time, Morris,  you wait, Just because you're captain, you needn't think you can drop me from the football team just like that.'

'We've been through all this, Bates,' Allan sighed. 'I've' tried to reason with you and asked you not to play so dirty, I think three warnings are enough. And, in any case, you know already that I was told to drop you by Smithy for the last three games.'

"Smithy" was Mr Smith, the school football coach, and Allan was the captain of Morton School's junior football team.

Eileen, Allan's twin sister, and his best friend, Martin Hartland, joined him. Both had been watching the fight anxiously, particularly when Bates seemed to be winning. Eileen tried to brush some of the mud from the back of Allan's raincoat but only managed to make it worse.

'Oh crumbs, what will Mum say about your raincoat? She's going to go ballistic when she sees it.'

'Give it to me. I'll take it home to my mum,' offered Martin. 'She has a dry-cleaning friend who can do something with it.'

'Wicked! Thanks Martin, I owe you pal.'

Allan and Eileen arrived home a little late for tea, because Allan had called into the school cloakroom to wash the remaining dirt from his hands and knees. Fortunately, their mum was in the kitchen, and hadn't noticed that only Eileen had hung her coat in the hall.

'Here you are luvs - your favourite; fish and chips with apple pie and ice-cream for afters. Your Dad is working late, so I'll have to cook his later.'

Mum ruffled their blond hair and kissed them on the cheek before she placed the hot plates of food in front of them. She went back into the kitchen and returned with her plate, joining the twins at the table, flushed from working in the hot kitchen and a smile on her pretty face.

'Well, how was school today? Anything exciting happen?'

The thirteen-and-a-half-year-old twins glanced at each and giggled. 'No nothing. Just the same old thing.'

                                                                *

That night Allan tossed and turned in his sleep. His dreams seemed so vivid.

Out of a swirling mist emerged a tall, hooded image. The grey cloak the figure was wearing was held close. Allan could not distinguish whether the apparition was old or young, but he got the impression it was male. This was confirmed when the imposing figure spoke.

'I am Dorius, the Keeper of Dreams. I have come to ask you to venture afar and enter the Island of Nashta. the people of the province of Outha are in dire need of your help. Your time there may not be without danger, but it is hoped you will accept.'

Before the figure could continue Allan interrupted, unable to control his incredulity. 'Hang on, sir. I've never heard of this place called Nashta, and I don't fancy the danger bit either. Also what about school? I don't think Mum and Dad will allow me to go.'

The mysterious figure held up a hand, his deep voice issued from the depths of the dark cowl that enveloped his head.

'If you will let me proceed, I will explain. Your sister, and your friend, Martin, will also receive a visit from me and be requested to go with you on this journey. You will be assisted in your venture by dragons.'

'Dragons!' Allan spluttered. 'Dragons? You're telling me we'll meet dragons? Dragons are going to help us? You must be joking!'

Dorius sighed patiently. 'Yes dragons will help you. You will enter the Land of Nashta, but only in your dreams. You will not be aware of your existence here while you are in Nashta. Also, time will not have any meaning in the accepted sense. Minutes of dreamtime could mean that hours, days, months, or even years may pass. I will visit you again tomorrow night for your answer.'

Before Allan could ask any more questions, the figure shimmered and gradually faded from view, his receding voice echoing through the swirling mist.

'Think well, think well. The future of Outha is in your hands.'

'Well I never! That must have been some nightmare,' thought Allan, as he pummelled his pillow before trying to get back to sleep.

He couldn't seem to get the visitor's words out of his mind and it took him a long time before he drifted off.

The next morning he pushed what he thought was a strange dream to the back of his mind, until he saw Eileen giving him searching looks. While their mum was in the kitchen preparing breakfast she whispered to him.

'I think we have to talk, don't you? You had a visit from a weirdo the same as I did last night. It was real, wasn't it?' A note of doubt had crept into Eileen's voice until she saw Allan's quick nod before their mum placed hot buttered toast on the table.

Allan sensed that Eileen couldn't wait to discuss the Dreamkeeper's visit, but they waited until they were out of the house and Martin had joined them. As they waited for the school bus they excitedly discussed and compared their dreams.

'I almost forget to tell you Allan, call at our house before you go home and I'll give you your raincoat. Mum's tking to her friend today to be dry-cleaned.'

That morning at school all three of the friends were reprimanded by their teachers for not concentrating on their lessons, as, not surprisingly, their minds were elsewhere. They couldn't wait until break-time to discuss the events of the previous night. They wandered down to the bottom of the field, which contained the hockey and football pitches, and sat down in a patch of long grass. Allan plucked and chewed a piece of grass, pushed back his unruly blond hair, and narrowed his blue eyes thoughtfully before he spoke.

'I don't know what you two think, but I'm prepared to go. I think it will be the adventure of a lifetime. As long as we keep it a secret, who's to know, because we could carry on our lives the same as normal.'

'I can't wait to see the dragons. I still find it hard to believe they'll be our friends. I always thought dragons were supposed to be fierce and frightening. After all, St. George was to have slained one, wasn't he ?' Eileen said. 

'Yeah, but some people think that this was a legend and not for real.' Martin looked at the enquiring raised eyebrows of the twins at this remark. 'Ah, I see what you mean...do we really know Nashta and the dragons atre real? I supposec we'll find out soon enough, as it looks as if we've decided to go.'

'You'll come with us? That's great! I knew you would,' Eileen exclaimed, as she threw her arms around Martin's neck and kissed him on the cheek. Allan chuckled at Martin's rapidly reddening cheeks, and nudged his friend, gratefully acknowledging his loyalty. He also knew that Martin had a soft spot for his sister.

When the twins' got home their mother gave them permission to stay at Martin's house for the night and the next morning, which was Saturday. The twins promised their mother that they would be back home by lunchtime. Martin's parents were happy when the friends said that they were going to his room to play computer games.

By ten o'clock Allan was tired. 'Well, it's getting late,' he said, stretching and yawning. 'I'm gonna try and get some sleep. 'Night Eileen, 'night Martin. See you in the morning.'

'Allan, do you think the next time we meet will be in Nashta?' Eileen asked, with a hint of nervousness in her voice.

'That's a point. I don't know, but we'll see each other here tomorrow morning, and we can find out whether we did or not.'

                                                                        *

When Dorius appeared he said in his quiet, deep voice, 'Hail Allan. What decision have you all made?'

'Well, sir, we've decided to go, but there are still a lot of questions we'd like to ask you.'

'I am pleased. You have made the right decision. Feel free to ask any questions you wish. I should mentiom also, that whilst you are in the dream world, you and your sister, because you are twins, will be able to use thought transference. Although, there will be times you may not be able to make contact.'

'Gosh! Do you mean we'll be able to read each others minds?'

'Not quite. It will be more of an unspoken language between you.'

Dorius waited patiently while Allan absorbed this startling piece of information.

'Oh, I've thought of something else. How will we know what to do when we get there? We don't know anyone in Nashta. I can't believe we're going to be much help to anyone. You said the people in Nashta need us. What people and why?'

There was amusement in Dorius' voice as he replied. 'One other thing, did you say, Allan? I will endeavour to answer your many questions. Firstly, it will not be the first time you have been there. All three of you have lived your lives in Outha on  the island of Nashta for the past thirteen years.'

Dorius held up his hand, when he saw Allan was about to interrupt him.

'I know what you are going to say. Why haven't you known  of this before? This is because up to now you were not aware of your dreams that have taken  place in Nashta. You should bear in mind that I am the Keeper of Dreams. I keep all dreams; those you remember and those you do not.'

Whilst in Nashta, you are known as Lord Fallyn, Eileen is called Lady Eila, and Martin is known as Lord Merin. You are a warrior, skilled at riding dragons as is Merin. Eila has a great understanding of the dragons, and tends to man and beast when they are ill or wounded. All of you command great respect from the other Outharians. Up to now, your dreamland personas have lived in your subconscious, but it is imperative that your conscious minds join forces with your subconscious, and thus become a force that can meet the threat that awaits Outha.'

'So, Fallyn, Eila and Merin are just in  our imaginations, or, as you put it, in our subconscious, Allan said.

'They are real.' Dorius answered. 'Without your subconscious you would not exist, but you do not always remember or understand what your subconscious is telling you. Often, the subconscious mind talks to us in metaphors - that is, you may have a dream you remember, which does not make much sense because you fail to interpret its true meaning.'

'Oh, I see,' Allan replied. He thought of another question to ask Dorius. 'Do you know what threatens Outha?'

'Ah, a good question! I am able to gain impressions of all subconscious thoughts, thus I know there is something that threatens the dragons and the people of Outha, although I am unable to predict what form this will take.'

 

 

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