This story is completely original. All characters are property of me.
Continued in Knight and Dae 2
The Dream Land Companion was originally invented to catalogue information about the dream lands and to assist new dream lander's to find their way in the world. It has since evolved into the primary source of communication in the dream lands. Composed of over nine hundred pages, (with more added daily) It is still a slim three inches thick. It contains directions, social ettiquette, and the ever expanding citizen class directory.
--- Excerpt from page one of the Dream Land Companion.
Jesty the clown of Knight rolled out of bed early to face the new day. He strolled to his giant window and threw open his heavy curtains to peer into the twilight that was the land of Knight. A beam of sunshine broke through, causing him to squint his large blue pupiless eyes. He always looked to make sure the realm was the same as when he left it the night before (as much as his eyes could tell anyway) He always checked, cause you never know what was going to happen next in the Dream Lands.
He cartwheeled to his closet, and pulled out a one piece orange and purple costume. One of several hanging in there. He slipped into his suit with an ease and grace that was otherworldly. As he turned though he tripped on his own foot and fell backward into the wardrobe with a loud crash. The wardrobe became unbalanced and fell forward over Jesty with another crash. Dormio watched all this calmly with his bulging green eyes. "Ribbet?" He croaked.
"Not a problem." Jesty's muffled reply came from under the toppled wardrobe. "This is why I put a door on the back." He jiggled with the back wardrobe door to no avail. "Uh, Dormio? The door seems to be stuck." The door rattled a few times. "Dormio?"
Dormio had bedded down on Jesty's PJ's and was fast asleep, dreaming the empty sleep shared by all the inhabitants of the Dream Lands.
Jesty had powers of amazing agility and grace, for a time. Then he would lose it and all the clumsiness he had avoided would come all at once. It was an unfortunate affliction, but they were years from a cure. If indeed there ever would be one. A few bangs later the closet back door finally popped open and he flipped up into the air and landed perfectly on his feet fully dressed. "Not a bad start for a Monday." He told himself, then opened his copy of Dream World Companion. If anything interesting had happened it would be in the recent gossip section of the book.
Emo had been officially accepted as an emotional concept. Before they had languished in amibiguity as the Dream Land council tried to place them in a category. This would no doubt annoy some people (like Annoyance) and anger others (like Anger.) But most of the dream landers would simply be indifferent. Most people had their own things to deal with. Plus, new emotion concepts were created regularly, while old ones were reassigned to new categories. It was a fact of Dream Land life.
* * *
He was a bit late getting to Castle Sunflower to report for duty. But it was alright. He doubted anyone had noticed his lateness. Or cared. The throne room was huge. Larger then the castle itself. But that was the wonder of dream architecture. The thick walls were made of blocks carved from pure logic, and cemented together with certainty. A line of dream landers was waiting for their audience with the princess, who was not only ruler of Knight, but also the judge in legal matters.
The princess herself was seated in the middle of the room looking bored as several attendants brushed at her bed tussled long brown hair. Her demeanor brightened up at his appearance. "Jesty!" She smiled, and gave a small clap.
"Your majesty." He sank to one knee, and removed his jester cap, and bowing.
"Dr Tellect has something to talk about with you, sir jester. He's down in the cellar tinkering with his toys like a troll." She smiled again, but it seemed less comfortable on her face now. "I suppose you best get down and see what's up his lab coat."
"Yes majesty." He rose and walked quickly towards the castle basement.
* * *
Dr. Ian Tellect's lab was pretty clean. You have expected it to be cluttered with half finished projects. But the work table was covered in notes and drawings and equations. The man himself was tall, with pointed ears and half glasses that he was always starring over. Which kinda defeated the point of wearing them. But Jesty had the sense to keep certain observations under his hat.
"How much do you know?" He grunted without turning around, as Jesty entered the lab.
"The princess is not here?"
"Very astute of you Jesty. We had to employ her body double to avoid a panic. Or worse, a massive wave of indifference. Whichever. Princess Sunflower disappeared from her royal chambers last night. We have suspects, but nothing concrete enough to mobilize a force." Jesty nodded, sensing the bad news was yet to come. "About midnight one of the servants heard the princess cry out, followed by a horrible laugh."
"How horrible?" Jesty asked.
"So horrible the servant fainted." Dr. Ian Tellect replied. "I don't need to remind you that the ambassadors of the various dream reams will be here in a week for territory division meeting and that copy upstairs cannot fill in for Sunflower." Ian Tellect's priority's might have seemed a bit cold. But if the princess wasn't here for the meeting everything could become chaotic.
"Where is the princess?" Jesty asked, guessing the answer.
"The I.D.O.Fear." He sighed. "We have no proof of course, but she was taken by Boogeyman nonetheless." This was bad. The princess was being held somewhere in the land of nightmares. A twisted realm that was always dark, and smelled like sour milk and fright. It was arguably the worst place in the Dream Lands to be, not counting Madness, which no one was sure existed as a realm, or just as random outbreaks here in Knight and Dae. "To facilitate your mission we have a liaison from the I.D.O.Fear. A retired closet monster."
At this a figure from stepped from a shadow too small to hide its bulk. It had the form of a man, and wore am ill fitting trench coat. Under the coat he seemed to be wrapped in gauze, or spiderwebs. His eight black eyes were blank and reflected the light in a creepy way. His mandible mouth was very intimidating to look at too. There was no doubt he was a nightmare.
"Hello. I'm known as Cobweb." He said in a low, slithery voice that was perfect for whispering from the shadows and closets. Or from underneath beds. Loud enough to send a child into involuntary tremors, but quiet enough to be easily missed by an adult. He offered a a three clawed appendage to Jesty, who shook it amicably.
"How's retirement." Jesty asked, to make conversation.
"For a closet monster that doesn't scare anymore? Its rough." He tried to growl, but it turned into a weary sigh. He certainly seemed fright inducing enough to Jesty. So maybe this monster had chosen retirement for other reasons.
"Right, well then." Dr. Ian Tellect grunted, breaking the gloom. "For this job I'm authorized to give you our latest defensive advancements." He handed Jesty a large handgun with a gloved, four fingered hand hanging out the large muzzle. "This is the new Extend-O-Matic grabbler gun. It has a enhanced propulsion firing mechanism, and the line can stretch in length anywhere from absurd to insane. Though it has never been tested under field conditions." He also gave Jesty a holster for the gun, which he strapped to his waist. "And this is a standard issue propeller-chute." Jesty shrugged into the small back pack."One more thing." He gave Jesty a small black circle. It was the size of a button and perfectly black. It was cold, and rubbery. And heavier then a button would have been. "If you get into a dangerous spot, and I do mean very dangerous, throw that on the ground, or against a wall. It is a last ditch escape though." He said that so gravely even Cobweb shivered slightly, though he covered it well.
"Princess Nightshade of Dae has also offered one of her body guards in training for our mission." Dr. Ian Tellect continued. "I understand this will be her first time in the open dream lands. Why don't you and her get acquainted Jesty? Her name is Meemee and she should have arrived by now."
* * *
Upstairs Jesty saw the copy princess being entertained by someone performing a mime act poorly. That would be the clown guardian of Dae. It was a good thing he was versed in Mime speak, which wasn't really speaking at all. It was miming combined with sign language and expressive facial expressions. The mime seemed to be trapped in a glass box. This was of course standard mime fair. But this one, bizarrely enough, actually seemed trapped. This mime must have just fell of the clown wagon.
He walked up to the mime who had not started to panic. Yet. Which was good. There was nothing for pathetic then a panicking mime. As he stepped up to the box he noticed the mime was shorter then him. And smaller in build. She turned to him with not quite panic in her eyes, and a forced smile on her lips, and waved a white gloved hand. She had very pale skin. So pale that grease paint was almost redundant. Her eyes were small and pink, and the the tips of her jester cap were tied down and behind her head like braids of hair.
"Cover your face." He said close to the imaginary box. She nodded understanding and ducked her face, covering her head with both arms. Jesty removed the Extend-O-Matic Grabbler gun from its holster and tapped it hard on the side of the "glass" wall. Jesty almost thought he heard the sound of glass breaking. The mime girl stepped carefully over imaginary shards off glass only she could see. The she mimed have a broom and dustpan, and quickly swept up the pieces of imaginary glass. Glancing around, she apparently found a trash bin, and mimed dumping out the dustpan. It was arguably the best part of her act yet.
"Meemee? I'm Jesty, the clown of Knight." He shook her hand and bowed slightly. She returned the gesture by curtsying the skirt she wore over her black and white stripped leggings. "I'm supposed to show you around. I guess you're new to Knight?"
She nodded. Actually, she had very little experience with the outside world do to her intense mime training. Now she had to use her miming abilities under unsupervised circumstances to pass her final test. Signing up for the Princess guard had seemed a great way to do that. Jesty noted that she had her own Extend-O-Matic grappler gun. Hers was smaller, and the hand part had painted nails. But otherwise it was the same as his.
"Okay, lets gets some food. I know a great dinner close by." He smiled then, and she smiled back.