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Dreamspun

What would happen if a powerful, malicious supernatural being were set loose in a part of the world it was never meant to inhabit? In Dreamspun, a stolen sacred Australian artifact turns up in the Midwestern U.S. as an innocently-given gift, but it harbors a "passenger" which wastes no time wreaking havoc in its new home. But there is a counterpart spirit, one that has dwelled here for eternity and known to Native American people, that will not tolerate an invader in its world. The battleground they choose is within the mind of Lance Hayward, a seemingly ordinary man, who must struggle to understand why he has been chosen to be the pivotal figure in the conflict. Through bizarre, often terrifying dream experiences and real-life events, the two spirit-beings stop at nothing to sway Lance's loyalties. He finds himself in a race against time to join forces with the two people that hold the key to solving his dilemma, a mysterious Native American elder living nearby and an Australian Aboriginal, lying unconscious in a hospital half a world away. At stake is not only Lance's sanity, but the eternal balance of the supernatural world.

A Hard Shell Word Factory Release


Kevin Brewster

Kevin Brewster is a life-long resident of northern Wisconsin. "Addicted" to writing since childhood, he has been published in a diverse range of topics, including natural history articles in newspapers and magazines, technical papers in scientific research journals, and photojournalistic coverage of grass-roots environmentalism in Central America. Dreamspun is his first novel.

Besides writing, Kevin and his wife Catherine run an environmental consulting business. In their spare time, they train horses on an old farmstead north of Eagle River, Wisconsin, and take part in numerous outdoor activities with their teenage son and daughter.

Reviews

"A new twist on SF/Fantasy plot concepts. A supernatural Australian spirit-being with a definitely sadistic side runs amok in the Midwestern U.S. The dream sequences in the story are both frightening and erotic, drawing the reader down a twisting path to an unpredictable conclusion. A fun read!"

Jerry Bresseau -- Amazon reviews


"Dreamspun is well worth reading. The story will carry the reader on a riveting journey of dreams--are they dreams or reality?--and Native American and Aborigine mysticism. Author Brewster has done extensive research into the legends of the Native Americans of the Northern Plains and those of the Aborigine. I found his use of Australian dialect so effective I could "hear" the speech."

Scribes World Reviews
Excerpt

Chapter 1

A SMALL, humpbacked figure sat on the rocky heights of a ridge, absorbed in something that he held in his hands. From beyond the steady sigh of wind, the thin, high notes of a flute song could be heard. Far off across a field of ancient black lava, a monstrous storm was brewing. A cumulus cloud piled crazily upon itself, driven into the stratosphere by building afternoon heat. The top of the cloud flattened as high altitude winds pulled white veils from it and spread them across a brilliant blue sky. Dark gray and contorted with downward bubbling cold air, the cloud's base spread menacingly.

The small one on the ridge was not interested in what the cloud was doing. He was preoccupied with the cedar flute he played, keeping the song going. He always kept it slightly more audible than the growing song of wind as it rushed across the lava into the hungry base of the growing monster. As the storm swept toward the rocky ridge, new domes of unstable air began boiling up and punching through its base, racing each other to towering heights. The flute player knew all of this was happening, there was no need to look up from his work. He played louder and with more conviction, barely staying heard above the mounting wind.

As a dark curtain of rain began to descend from the cloud's base, lightning danced between ground and cloud, making the storm seem to stalk spider-like across the lava, suspended on many lightning bolt legs. Wind grew to howling intensity as darkness fell around the flute player and crazy shadows flickered among the high rocks. Time was growing short now, and he knew that he must play his best. His lungs ached from the effort, but the song persisted.

The storm overtook the ridge, dwarfing it under a low black ceiling overhung by a gigantic, flashing column of seething gray reaching into the heavens. The flute player suddenly stopped his song and gazed upward. He broke into a broad grin as the feathers of his headdress were torn away by the wind. A bolt sprang from the cloud's base, incinerating the feathers before they had flown the length of a man's arm.

The sun came out over an empty ridge. No more flute song could be heard, only the fading echoes of thunder as the storm played itself out against the flanks of the Capitan Mountains. Parched and shrunken cactus would swell with new water tonight, and all creatures would benefit.


* * *


LANCE HAYWARD'S head slipped from the numb prop of his hand, bouncing rudely on the hard glass of a car window. He snapped back to consciousness, not sure of where he was. His eyes were instantly filled with a frightening spectacle, sweeping across the windscreen in front of him. The dark sky ahead was split repeatedly with blue-white lattices of lightning. Huge, piled up storm clouds burst briefly into view as hidden lightning bolts lit up their interiors in oranges and pinks. An increasingly stiff wind buffeted his station wagon as it rushed down a deserted New Mexico highway, defying the enormity of the elements that unfolded before it.

The woman sitting in the dark next to Lance cursed softly as she fought the crosswinds with tired arms draped over the steering wheel, never quite compensating enough to keep the car from swaying alarmingly from side to side. The two of them had been on the road for sixteen hours, and their weary eyes ached with each blinding flash in the sky.

"Well, isn't this just lovely," Kaitlyn commented to her now fully awake husband. They both squinted ahead at the violence in the sky. She put a comforting hand on Lance's thigh. "Great weather to set up camp. Sorry I woke you up. Is your head okay?"

"Glad I woke up. Was having a damned weird dream. I think we'll be sleeping in the car tonight," he replied, his voice betraying a trace of relief. After hours on the road and watching the pyrotechnics outside the car, intimacy with Nature had lost its appeal. What they both craved now was a king-size bed in a quiet room. But they had passed the last vacant motel over an hour ago, and were committed to stop somewhere before fatigue became a danger to them. They sped silently on, pushing the car through a stubborn wind.

When at last the sign announcing the campground turnoff swam up out of pitch darkness, all that mattered was the need to stop moving, once and for all, to let burning eyes be closed. The lightning was gone and not a drop of rain had fallen, but the wind howled steadily on, shaking the little station wagon and reminding its occupants what a frail bubble of metal and glass it really was.

Malpais State Campground sat along a lonely narrow ridge of rock jutting up amidst a vast ancient lava field. While the ridge undoubtedly afforded a spectacular view of the lava field during the day, right now it was about the most hellish place Lance and Kaitlyn could imagine, fully exposed to every cruel impulse of the wind. A few other camp sites were occupied by RVs, but at this hour they were dark and no one stirred.

Kaitlyn parked at a site close to the campground's tiny latrine, hoping to reduce their exposure when the dash to relieve themselves came. Peering out of his window, Lance could see the rocky ground plunge out of view a few dozen feet away, and only roaring blackness extending to the horizon.

"There's nothing for it, I've gotta go like a racehorse. I'll see you in a couple," he muttered as he dragged on his heavy coat. "This sure has been a helluva vacation so far."

"The lava was your idea, idiot," Kaitlyn reminded him, struggling into her own coat. "Let's see what tomorrow's like before we panic, okay?"

"But I was counting on camping out tonight," he teased in a voice that mocked hers. "I'm so tired of motel rooms."

Kaitlyn grabbed Lance by the hair, pulling him close to her. "I'd trade this car and you both for a motel room right now, especially one with a hot tub. Now get on with it and get back here so I can take my turn," she growled.

He pulled up the collar of his coat and opened the door, stepping quickly outside and slamming it behind him. The wind was unbelievably fierce. Walking in a crouch, he faced into the gale and struggled toward the latrine. Fine particles of sand scoured his face and pecked relentlessly at his eyes. If not for the utter lack of rain, he would have feared a tornado was bearing down on him. Groping for the latrine door handle, Lance gave it a mighty tug and stepped inside, blinded by the sudden brightness of the deserted interior. The simple facilities reminded him of what one would encounter in a prison cell. "Christ, there aren't even any seats," he muttered, looking into one of the toilet stalls. As he left, Lance cast another doubtful look around the latrine, now convinced that he was not going enjoy his stay here.

Returning to the car, Lance found Kaitlyn already zipped into her sleeping bag, her seat reclined to near horizontal. Only her face was visible. "Boy, you were quick," he commented as he wrestled his own sleeping bag out of the back of the tightly packed wagon.

"It was dark enough, I just went around the other side of the car," she said, sleepily. "Hope that old guy in the Winnebago next door can't see too well."

"You probably made his day."