John Dreamer is a cancer survivor who has outlasted most with his condition. He knows this is due to a remarkable nurse who loves him as a son—so much that she is willing to risk everything in experimenting with his chemotherapy. What they find together is that her medicines spark supernatural dreams in John. With the help of his nurse, John discovers that he can bring other people into his dream state and walk through their memories with more clarity than one could imagine and find what people need to learn in order to repair their own broken dreams.
But John has a dream of his own that will define the rest of his life, however long that may be. He dreams of a soul mate desperate for him to find her. How does one find the mate of his dreams?
John finds the task impossible, but slowly clues emerge in connections he finds between his soul mate and his nurse, and even a dream repair case he is working on. But all this will take time, the one thing it appears he does not have.
As his soul mate tells him in a dream, if he is to learn where dreams can take him and where they can’t, he must “have some faith.”
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.44(d)|
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A green luminescent curtain of clouds rippled before him, glowing, and he felt himself pushed into it. It had to be the aurora borealis, but it is impossible to get this close to it. The ground beneath him felt more solid than rock, but what could that mean? He felt a strange absence of fear, and still felt pushed. He was moving through whatever this was until suddenly there was a sound which seemed to come from everywhere. It was a faint rushing sound, perhaps a waterfall, perhaps it was everything breathing. The colorful world around him seemed blurred at first, but slowly came in to focus as if he had been looking through a camera lens. He found himself in a place alive with colorful plants, insects, f lowers, motion. There was a mist as far as the eye could see. John could not see the ground he was standing on, but now it felt soft. He could see a stream to his left, and both sides of a path before him were lined with ferns. The mist moved across from left to right at about his knee level, a gentle breeze waving it like a huge curtain. He was always mindful of his breathing, like he was receiving the gift of air, but he was surprised he could not sense the moisture or any coolness in his nostrils or lungs. For some reason he could not feel his breathing at all.
"Perhaps a clue," he spoke softly to himself. Whenever he faced some mystery he imagined that he filed it in his mind under the title "Clue." He let things mystify him with a rather firm suspicion the strangest of pieces may find a clear place in the puzzle eventually. Don't force them.
He lifted his right leg until he could see his shoe above the moist curtain and slowly rotated his leg counter clockwise in an attempt to stir the mist, but he seemed to have no effect on his surroundings. He stepped forward and walked along the path. The ferns seemed a lighter green than they should. One had the cutest tiny green frog on one of its leaves. He bent over to stare at it.
"Hi guy." It had bright red eyes. All the colors here seemed so sharp. A single water drop from somewhere above landed on the frog, a one drop shower was all that was needed. The frog used a big foot as a squeegee, sweeping the moisture away in an instant. This place was enchanting indeed.
The rushing sound did get louder as he progressed along the path, and the stream f lowed more quickly. It must be a waterfall. The path gave way to a boardwalk. He slowly began to see his feet again as he walked along and the boardwalk rose above the mist. Now to either side there were rock formations, walls of slate outcrops lined with ferns and colorful mushrooms, orange, red, and leafy green plants with purple stripes. They seemed to almost glow. He could see the boardwalk led to a series of huge staircases going up the side of a mountain. After just the first set of stairs he stopped and looked down. It was an amazing view. He felt a real sense of accomplishment in the height he had attained, but there was so far to go. He counted the stairs as he climbed. He climbed twenty five stairs and then walked along a straight course over the boardwalk and then there was another twenty five stairs. He repeated the process over and over again. He wondered if he would complete a circle of this area in a day. He also noticed he was not getting tired. "Not bad for forty five years old," he thought. There was no heavy breathing, no rapid heartbeat, no leg pain or strain of any kind. How could this be? "Another clue," he whispered.
After perhaps an hour of meandering his way, checking out all manner of plants, and even a green lizard, he could see the waterfall. The water drops sparkled in the sunshine. Almost like shooting stars. Looking down at one angle he could see a rainbow. The colors, the ferns, the pines with their sacred fragrance, this was magical. He stood in awe. Finally it looked like there were only three sets of stairs and boardwalks to go. He could make out the top, and there appeared to be someone up there. He still did not feel strained in the least but he noticed he was walking more slowly. He hardly looked where he was going, but instead strained to see the figure at the end of this journey. The figure appeared feminine, and angelic, and the closer he approached the more she seemed of both. He could not feel his heart beating faster, but he somehow knew it was. How beautiful could she be? How beautiful can anybody be?
If his nurse could be believed John was quite a handsome catch. For the first time he could remember he found himself especially hoping his nurse was right about that. She was not above teasing, but looked on John as a son and wanted him happy. He normally didn't even consider relationships because of his condition, but his condition did not occur to him now.
One more set of stairs, the waterfall sounded more strong than loud. He climbed very slowly up this last set of stairs staring at the apparition waiting for him until finally he was at her level with nothing between them but perhaps twenty feet of space to go. She was looking at the waterfall but knew he approached. She had long brown hair, a light blue pleated top that perfectly matched dark blue jeans, and a red and black silk scarf. John stopped. He could not get any closer. You see beautiful people everywhere you go, and any billboard model, you might say, could take your breath away, but what John saw here was beauty from another dimension. He was no longer breathing.
"Hi John." He breathed like it was his first breath and he had never done it before. There just can't be any pretense with somebody that beautiful. Unless you are blind you are confessing worship. But John was getting something back. There was such emotion coming from her, a sly smile because she knew things he didn't know. Love and admiration, and a sad concern, these feeling emanated from her. The clues were falling in place and he wished they wouldn't. He was dreaming.
He took one more step toward her and suddenly everything he could see turned translucent. It was like another reality was trying to poke through this one.
"I wouldn't do that," she said. John shut his eyes, held his breath, and held up his hands in absolute surrender praying not to wake up. "Please not yet." John resigned himself.
When he opened his eyes he found himself locked in her gaze. He could not look away for a second. He had never been one to hold eye contact like this. He thought to himself, "I'm staring," but he was powerless. Did he dare speak? Her blue eyes effortlessly looked straight through to his soul.
The figure smiled, she glowed, and she was radiant. She put out her hands palms facing John and joined the tips of her thumbs together. She had made a frame in which she studied John as if she was composing a picture. She seemed pleased.
There was no telling how much time it took, but finally he could speak. "You know my name," he said. "What is your name?"
She gave him a sly look. John felt that if she never spoke another word, if they stood there frozen in time forever in that moment, it would be Heaven. He would be content. What in all of life could follow a moment with her?
"That is for you to find out." She paused, and then said, "For starters."
John let out a heavy sigh. "I'm dreaming. I know I'm dreaming. That is the only way you could be so beautiful." He paused in wonder after making such a statement. When he saw that she heard him he couldn't help but let a few tears slip. He prayed to God, or her, it didn't matter which, "Thank you for letting this last long enough for me to tell you how beautiful you are."
She wept too. "My John."
If this was going to last another second he had to ask. "Are you actually a creation of my dreams?"
Now she really did laugh and poke his pride, embarrassing him.
"Silly you. You're not that good. Just maybe you have it backwards."
Then she got serious. "John, you are dreaming, yes, but I am not." She dropped her head and looked down, apparently at a loss for words. What words could follow what she had just said?
He stared at her, noticing the world was no longer translucent and feeling he could burn her image into his soul. He wished he could have some composure but this was too much. He spoke, "I don't want to be dreaming. I don't want to wake up and not see you again, and not get to know you. This seems even too good for dreaming, but you said I am." He fought back tears and lost.
She looked at him with such love. "John," she said. Then she looked at the waterfall for what seemed like a long time, but then looked back. Her eyes were such a perfect deep blue, and so soft and warm. She wore a necklace of dark blue beads and a matching bracelet. Her beauty almost hurt him. He just adored her and could not help what he was looking at. She looked at him in a way he had never been seen before. It was as if she would miss nothing. She lifted her hand as if tracing him with it.
"This is right," she said. "You will get to know me. You will learn where dreams can take you, and where they can't. Have some faith. John, I don't have all the answers either, not yet anyway, and not enough. Not enough." A tear slid down from the corner of her right eye. Seeing her in pain was turning the best dream he had ever known into a nightmare. What could be hurting her?
"Searching for each other is where our worlds join, and where our happiness can be found. Keep looking for me John. Please. I need you more than anything."
She put her hands up to her face as if in shock and sorrow as a little owl swooped their way. "I will," John promised quickly as he felt their time slip away. "I will."
The little owl landed on the window sill. The big old tom cat awoke instantly from the deepest of sleep. It leapt from the comfortable recliner where it had slept to the top of a bookcase, walked along the bookcase with its eyes glued to that owl, leapt down on John's bed, and scurried over to the window. The owl flew off. "I will," said John. "I will ... kill you Sebastian." He plopped the cat on his chest. It purred loudly, as if claiming innocence of an unspeakable crime. But it just must have been time for that dream to end.
"Alright," John said to the cat. "You're a good cat. I guess I get to enjoy you for another day." Those were words John had been telling his cat every day for a long time. There was a reason he didn't take things for granted. But this morning he told Sebastian something more. The bed sheets were tucked very tightly. It took some time, but as he got up, petting the big cat on the head, he looked at it quite seriously and spoke. "Sebastian, there is somebody I really want you to meet. But I don't know her name."
Of course this day would bring opportunities for more than just enjoying his cat, but John would not fail to do that. That would be a real failure. The world could have its opinions and measure success any way it saw fit, but John went with the f low of something he felt inside. He did love Sebastian, and Sebastian gave back with soothing purrs that helped ease his mind. But his mind could not be eased much after last night.
He was so thankful he did not have any cases pending. There was no way he could tear himself away from the thoughts racing through his mind. "Was that a dream?" He found it so merciful that there were no obligations to distract him from that dream. He had to relive it over and over and over again. He would never be the same. Dreams were his business and this was way over his head. He was suddenly part of a couple who needed to find each other. Reasoning failed him in every attempt to understand what had happened. How could he possibly find out her name? How could he ever find her? Did he have to dream? Was that the only way? How could she need him more than anything? Who is she? He was dreaming but she was not?
He had to stop the mental storm. Just listen to the purring. Scratch behind the ears and you have put that cat in Heaven even though it just tore you out of there.
"She is looking for me?" "I'm her John?" "Have some faith." "Silly you." This was not going to stop any time soon, and John had learned pretty well not to fight when you can't win. Looking at her in that dream was the most incredible experience of his life. He sighed. Dreams crash and burn all the time. That's what kept him in business. Maybe it was his turn to live it. Was it possible he might never see her again? Never figure out her name? But then, "You will get to know me." This was all so powerful. He was not just remembering. He was reliving, and that became living. He felt embarrassed at being so pegged. This stranger had come along and had his number, and boy she really did. "You're not that good." What could he say? It was all the truth. He could not have dreamed up such beauty in a million life times. He had to love her. He already did. He had just found who he loved. But he needed to find her again and there was no way to do that. She had said, "You will get to know me." John would cling to that, come what may.
"Ellen," her exasperated mother called to her through the bathroom door. "You don't have to be a glamour model for a babysitting job."
"I'll be right there, just a minute."
"I heard that five minutes ago. Susan is expecting us, she has an appointment."
"Okay I'm ready, no wait, my eyes, just a minute more I promise."
"Geez Ellen, I'm calling Susan and letting her know we're leaving NOW."
Susan was pacing. She felt guilty for making a nail appointment, but all her friends kept telling her to do something for herself. There didn't seem to be much of anything for her in her life. How long had it been? Not just for a nail appointment, for anything. The phone rang and she grabbed it before the first ring ended.
"Susan, its Jennifer. We're just leaving. Ellen has been driving me crazy but we'll make it. I'm so sorry for running late."
Susan was grateful to hear the voice of a friend. It was good to talk to somebody, anybody.
"Thank you so much Jen, and thank Ellen for me. I'll see you soon." She hung up the phone. She felt bad to inconvenience such nice people, but she would pay Ellen well for babysitting. It really was nice to think of getting out. Maybe there could even be somebody she knew there. God that would be great.
"I don't know about you kids. Why do you have to get all made up for babysitting? Who do you think will be there? It is just Danny and Caitlin. You are babysitting." Jennifer felt like teasing her daughter over the delay, but she also felt uncomfortable about this. It was about to get worse.
"I don't know, maybe Steven will get home before Susan is finished." Ellen had wanted to answer her mother's question, but she immediately knew she had blown it big time.
"Oh my God Ellen." Jennifer could not even begin to hide her disgust, even her horror. "Ellen, do you have any idea what a dear sweet woman Susan Richards is? Do you have any idea how much her friendship means to me? I was so proud my daughter would help her to get out and do something nice for herself. Do you mean to sit there and tell me you are doing this for a possible chance to f lirt with her husband?" Jennifer actually started to cry.
John sat at his desk and wrote out some notes. He wanted to record everything about last night's dream. With the dream business you can't afford to miss a single detail. He had learned that over the years. You never know what clue is going to make all the difference. He read over what he had written and shook his head. This was just incredible. This angelic vision had said, "Just maybe you have it backwards." Was that a clue?
John headed for the door to go out for a very long walk. He walked every chance he could get. He needed to for his health, and he needed to today to sort through all the thoughts and feelings that were storming through his head.
"Don't worry Sebastian, I'll be back and get your motor going. You have plenty of food and water. If you can catch that owl do it."
He stepped out into the fresh air. As much as he longed to be back in that dream it was very good to feel his physical body breathe and struggle over the steps. He had on his New Balance sneakers to take him the distance today, and he wanted to go far. He walked to the end of his block and crossed the street heading into town. He wanted to f low through some crowds today before heading out into the country. He loved to feel the contrast of community and solitude. The sun was not far up in the sky yet. It shined into John's face. He held up his right hand and blocked the sunshine for a moment. He felt as if he held the sun in that hand. He moved his hand back beside his head and looked at the sunlight he had caught. Life felt mysterious to him, especially now.
There was a health club in town, and a big billboard with one heck of a female model working out. It said, "A Perfect Body Is Waiting for You." John looked at it now with complete immunity. It was as if he was looking at a mail box or a trash can. This was supposed to be the best humanity had to offer of feminine beauty, but John just muttered three words under his breath.
Excerpted from "Fusheeswa"
Copyright © 2017 John H. Bidwell.
Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The Dream, 1,
Chapter 2: Close Encounters, 7,
Chapter 3: The Business Card, 13,
Chapter 4: Fusheeswa, 21,
Chapter 5: Finding The Name, 27,
Chapter 6: A Broken Dream, 31,
Chapter 7: The Richard's Case, 37,
Chapter 8: Real Estate, 42,
Chapter 9: Dying, 51,
Chapter 10: The Medicine, 54,
Chapter 11: Prepare To Dream, 60,
Chapter 12: Have Some Faith, 69,
Chapter 13: The Long Walk Home, 76,
Chapter 14: Magic, 80,
Chapter 15: Marty, 85,
Chapter 16: Blackmail, 89,
Chapter 17: Broken Sleep, 93,
Chapter 18: 9AM, 96,
Chapter 19: Talk Of Dreams, 103,
Chapter 20: Planning, 107,
Chapter 21: An Examined Life, 113,
Chapter 22: Tricks Of The Trade, 119,
Chapter 23: Lifting Clouds, 127,
Chapter 24: Afternoon Escape, 132,
Chapter 25: Moving Right Along, 136,
Chapter 26: Dream Repair, 140,
Chapter 27: Wake Up Call, 152,
Chapter 28: Lead Me Not Into Temptation, 159,
Chapter 29: Payday, 161,
Chapter 30: What To Do, 171,
Chapter 31: Good Things Come To Those Who Wait, 177,
Chapter 32: August 14, 187,
Chapter 33: One Year Later, 195,