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The Dream Master 2

Prisoner of the Mind

Doctor Wendy Nelson had just arrived at the sleep lab for her shift. During the day, she saw patients in her office, but for a few nights per week, she worked in the sleep labs of several hospitals throughout the city.

Wendy was a very successful child psychologist and helped most of her patients discover and deal with their greatest fears. Wendy’s high success rate was due to her special gift which very few people knew about. In fact, besides an old Colleague, Dr. Robbins, the only two people who knew about her secret were her personal assistant and Caleb, her younger brother.

Wendy first discovered her special talent twenty years earlier when she was seventeen years old. Caleb was nine at the time and had been having bad nightmares. One night, while he was sleeping, Wendy held him close to comfort him and she was pulled into his dream. She discussed the fear that was causing his nightmares and she helped him to conquer his fears. Through trial and error, Wendy learned how to control her gift. She could enter people’s dreams and alter the dream. She could appear to the subject in the dream, or she could remain invisible. She could merely observe, or she could participate in the dream.

While still in high school, Wendy began working with Dr. Robbins, a psychologist at a hospital in New York City. Once Wendy informed him what was tormenting the patient in their dreams, he would start treating their fears and anxieties.

After high school, Wendy went onto college, and by the age of twenty-five, she had earned her PHD in psychology, specializing in helping children and adolescents, though she occasionally helped adults as well.

At thirty-seven, Wendy was still single, but was dating a Lutheran pastor named Paul Evans. She first met him when he referred some troubled teens to her practice.

Wendy’s brother, Caleb was twenty-nine and was a lawyer, working for the district attorney’s office in New York City. He and his wife Anna had three children; Brad who was nine, and twin girls; Beth and Kelly who were five. Caleb’s children were very fond of their Aunt Wendy and she loved them as if they were her own children.

Caleb and Anna could see that Wendy and Paul were perfect for each other, but whenever Caleb brought up the subject with Wendy, and suggested that she make a more serious commitment, she would insist that her special gift kept her too busy and it wouldn’t be fair to Paul. Caleb hit a nerve one time, when he accused his sister of being afraid to open up completely to Paul, and love him unconditionally. Wendy became angry and quickly changed the subject. Caleb never brought it up again.

That evening, while on a break, Wendy was talking with a neurologist at the hospital, and he was telling her about a patient that was puzzling him. The patient had fallen several weeks earlier and even though his brain had healed, and all tests were normal, the man remained in a deep coma.

Wendy discovered that the patient was in that hospital and she decided to visit the patient. When she was alone with the patient, she sat in a chair beside his bed. She had an idea that she wanted to try out. She placed her hand on the man’s arm, and instantly, she was transported into the man’s dreams. In the dream, Wendy saw the man sleeping in a bed. Wendy walked over to the man o wake him up, but before she reached him, she heard a voice commanding her to leave the man alone, and to leave the dream immediately.

Wendy ignored the voice and began to shake the sleeping man. He woke up startled. Wendy told him that it was time for him to wake up from his coma.

The man looked at Wendy. He looked ashamed and said that he couldn’t wake up, because he was waiting to die. He explained that he was sixty-five and he had planned to retire, but that he couldn’t. He told Wendy that he had a gambling problem that gotten out of control. He had gambled away his life savings. He and his wife had been saving for years, to take a trip around the world after they retired. He told Wendy that he was too ashamed to tell his wife that the money was all gone, but if he died, she could use the insurance money to go on the trip by herself.

Wendy asked the man how long he and his wife had been married. When he told her that they had been married for forty-five years, Wendy why they had been together for so long. He told Wendy that they loved each other very much and could work through any problem they encountered over the years.

Wendy told him that if his wife truly loved him, she would forgive him and insisted that his wife would rather have him alive, and not travel around the world, than take the trip alone.

The man slowly began to smile and said that he suddenly felt strong and alive, as if invisible ropes that bound him to the bed had disappeared. Wendy realized that it was time for her to leave the man’s dream. A moment later, Wendy was wide awake, looking down at the man. He too began to awaken. When he was fully awake, he sat up in the bed and Wendy told him that everything would be okay.

Wendy paged the neurologist and when he arrived, he was amazed to see that his patient had come out of his coma. When he pressed the subject with Wendy, asking her what had happened, Wendy told him that she would explain, but first, she needed to know if there were any more patients in that hospital who were in comas for no medical reasons. Dr. Gordon told her that there was an elderly man who had collapsed from a possible stroke, and had been in a coma for over a month. Several doctors had examined him, and after extensive tests, they could find nothing physically wrong with him.

An hour later, after Dr. Gordon had called the family of the man who had awoken from his coma, he took Wendy to see the other coma patient, Mr. Phillips. Mr. Phillips was eighty-seven years old and had lived in New York City for many years. He was widowed and had several children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren living in New York. As Dr. Nelson and Dr. Gordon entered the patient’s room, the only sounds were the beeps and the hums of the medical equipment in the room.

Wendy moved a chair next to Mr. Phillip’s bed. She sat down and told Dr. Gordon that what he was about to witness, if it worked, had to remain a secret. After he agreed, Wendy placed her hand on the patient’s chest and closed her eyes. For the next twenty minutes, Wendy remained perfectly still, as if she was in a trance. Dr. Gordon was mystified. Just as he was about to shake Wendy, she suddenly woke up. She explained that she had entered Mr. Phillip’s dream and was able to learn why he remained in the coma.

Dr. Gordon couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He was a man of science and he didn’t believe in things that couldn’t be explained by science and logic. He followed Wendy into the hallway and she asked him if there was somewhere private where they could talk. Dr. Gordon led Wendy to his office and after he closed the door, Wendy again made him promise that what she was about to tell him would remain confidential.

“I’ve kept this secret for twenty years,” said Wendy. “Only a handful of people know about it. I am able to help people with this gift, but if it becomes public knowledge, I will no longer have any privacy.”

Dr. Gordon gave her his word that her secret would not leave his office. Wendy then proceeded to tell Dr. Gordon about her ability to enter the dreams and nightmares of people to reach their subconscious mind and determine what deep-seated fears were keeping them from leading a normal life. She explained that in the twenty years since she first discovered her gift, she had helped hundreds of patients.

Wendy revealed what had been keeping Mr. Adams in his coma. She explained about his gambling problem and the fact that he had gone through all of his life savings. He was ashamed to tell his wife. Wendy told Dr. Gordon that she had convinced him to trust in the love he had for his wife and to tell her the truth.

“What about Mr. Phillips?” asked Dr. Gordon, still somewhat skeptical of Wendy’s so called gift. “What deep dark secret is he hiding?”

“Well first of all,” said Wendy, “his name is not really Phillips. His last name is really Fitzgerald. He was raised by foster parents in Chicago. When he was fifteen, he was walking home from a high school baseball game when he witnessed two guys with guns robbing a man. Mr. Phillips sensed that the man was in grave danger, and he acted without thinking. He snuck up behind the robbers and with two swings of his baseball bat; he landed blows to each of their heads. He only wanted to knock them unconscious, but he hit them so hard, that he killed them instantly.”

“When he saw all of the blood, he got scared. He threw the bat away and ran off. He kept running and when he saw a freight train headed away from the city, he quickly climbed into an empty freight car and pulled the door closed. He eventually fell asleep, and when he woke up, he realized that the train had arrived in New York City”

“At that moment, Mike Fitzgerald ceased to exist and Mike Phillips was born. He tried hard to forget about his past life, but he was always looking over his shoulder in case his old life was to catch up with him.”

“If this happened over seventy years ago,” said Dr. Gordon, “why is it keeping him in a coma now?”

“Because he is not alone in his coma,” said Wendy. “There was a demon in there with him. The demon told him that his family would disown him when they discovered the truth and that he as well as his family would become publically disgraced. The demon promised Mr. Phillips that if he just let go of his life, and went with him, the demon would reunite him with his wife who had recently died. I tried to convince Mr. Phillips that the demon was lying to him. I told him that his wife was in Heaven and that if he went with the demon, he would never see his wife again.”

“I told Mr. Phillips that if he woke up from his coma, he could admit the truth to the authorities and his family and unload the burden that he had been carrying around for all those years. I told him that because he was only fifteen years old at the time, that he would be cleared of all charges, especially since he had saved the life of the other man.”

“Will he remember you if and when he comes of the coma?” asked Dr. Gordon.

“No,” said Wendy, “because I chose to remain invisible to him. I was just a voice in his head.”

The logical part of Dr. Gordon told him that everything Dr. Nelson told him was impossible, but the scientific part of him was very curious and open to anything. As he thought about the first patient that awakened from the coma and about the story that she told him about Mr. Phillips, he was surprised to see, he was startled when he saw Mr. Phillips wake up from his coma. He asked the patient, “How are you feeling, Mr. Phillips?”

“Okay, I guess,” he said. “But, please call me Mike Fitzgerald. That’s my real name.” Then, Mr. Fitzgerald repeated the same story that Wendy had just told him. Mr. Fitzgerald told Wendy and Dr. Gordon that it was time he finally told his family the truth, and turned himself in for his crime. When Wendy asked him if he wanted them to help him, he told her that his family would help him. He told Wendy that his daughter was a retired Federal judge, and that his granddaughter was a U.S. senator from New York. He also told her that his great granddaughter had recently married the son of the Governor of Illinois.

Before Wendy went home after her shift ended, she reiterated to Dr. Gordon the importance of her unique gift being kept a secret. He promised to keep her secret and asked if she would be able to help him with future coma patients in the future. Wendy agreed immediately, as she knew that she had been given her gift for a reason.

On the drive home, Wendy made a couple of phone calls. She called Paul and they made arrangements to have dinner together that evening. Then, she called her brother. She wanted to tell him about her latest discovery about her gift. Wendy and Caleb were very close and her gift was a secret that they had shared for twenty years. When she asked Caleb if she could swing by that evening to visit him and his family, he told her that it wasn’t a good time.

Wendy could tell from the tone in Caleb’s voice that he was upset about something. When she asked him about it, all he said was that he was very busy at work and a few cases were stressing him out. He promised Wendy that he would call her a few days later to talk, and meet for lunch the next week.

One week later, Dr. Gordon met with Wendy to bring her up to date on the two patients who had awakened from their comas. Joey Adams took Wendy’s advice and told his wife everything, about his gambling problem and about their life savings. As Wendy had predicted, his wife forgave him and promised to help him fight his addiction. She also informed her husband that she had been investing some money over the years and they still had enough money to take the trip around the world.

Mr. Fitzgerald’s story was much more interesting. His granddaughter, Senator Thompson called the governor of Illinois and asked him to help her to put the case to rest. When Governor Andrews heard John Fitzgerald’s story, he was intrigued, as he had heard a similar story when he was a small boy. He arranged to meet with Senator Thompson, her mother and her grandfather in New York City the following week.

Dr. Gordon met with Wendy a few days later, and told her that they had been invited to meet with Senator Thompson. A few days later, as the two doctors were heading to meet with the senator, Dr. Gordon told Wendy the life story of Mike Fitzgerald. Mike was born in Chicago in 1928. His parents were not filthy rich, but lived comfortably. Most of their wealth was tied up in the stock market. Mike was one year old when the stock market collapsed in October of 1929. Mike’s parents lost everything. They were so devastated that they saw no reason to go on. They dropped Mike off at a local church with a letter addressed to the priest of the parish. Then, Mike’s parents got into their car and drove into Lake Michigan.

Mike was placed in an orphanage, where he lived until he was thirteen years old. It was then that he learned the truth about his parents. He became angry that his parents had abandoned him, and he ran away from the orphanage. He lived on the streets for the next two years, scavenging for food where he could find it and sleeping wherever he could find shelter.

After Mike killed the men with the baseball bat that he had stolen from the high school, his life in Chicago ended. When he arrived in New York City, he reinvented himself and became Mike Phillips. He was big and strong for fifteen and looked eighteen. He began getting odd jobs at warehouses loading and unloading freight cars.

When Mike was eighteen, he met Charlotte and it was love at first sight. One year later, they were married. About the same time, he became foreman at the warehouse where he had worked for four years.

Mike did whatever it took to support his wife, and later their daughter. Sometimes, he worked as much as eighty to ninety hours per week. Every time Mike felt overwhelmed, he thought about his parents’ solution and it inspired him to forge on, and he would work even harder. Mike instilled a good work ethic in his daughter and when she decided to become a lawyer, he supported her emotionally and financially.

Barbara had a successful career starting out as a lawyer and working her way up to a judge in the Federal Courts. Her father supported her emotionally the entire time.

Mike’s granddaughter followed in her mother’s footsteps, but instead of becoming a judge, she became a lawmaker. He career took her from state senator all the way to U.S. Senator from New York.

While Senator Thompson’s daughter was attending Harvard University, she fell in love with and eventually married Steve Andrews, son of Tom Andrews, the Governor of Illinois. Steven Andrews also came from a long line of politicians. Governor Andrews’ father was retired U.S. Senator Robert Andrews from Illinois and his father was John Andrews, a retired Justice from the Illinois Supreme Court.

On Saturday morning, five days after Mike Fitzgerald woke up from his coma, Dr. Gordon and Dr. Nelson arrived at the home of Senator Thompson. They were introduced to everyone present. While Wendy talked with Mike Fitzgerald, he looked at her as if he knew her from somewhere, but couldn’t remember where.

A few minutes later, the doorbell rang. Besides Governor Andrews, his son and daughter-in-law (John’s granddaughter), there were two other gentlemen and their wives. Governor Andrews introduced the two men as his father; retired Senator Andrews, and retired Justice Andrews.

After everyone was introduced, Governor asked Mr. Phillips to tell about the incident that occurred in Chicago in 1943. Mr. Fitzgerald hesitated because he was so ashamed at what he had done, but Wendy encouraged him to get it out in the open, once and for all.

After Mike finished telling the story, he looked at his daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter and told them how sorry he was for keeping the secret from them for so many years. He told them that he didn’t blame them if they were ashamed of him.

Sarah Andrews looked at her great-grandfather and told him that she was proud of him for saving that man’s life, and that he was a hero.

“Yes,” said Mike, “but in the process of saving one man, I killed two other men.”

Justice Andrews, who was almost one hundred years old, had remained silent while Mike told his story. After he heard Mike make that statement, he began to speak. “I owe my life to you, Mike,” he said, as does my entire family. You see, I was that man that you defended and saved that day. But, those two men were not trying to rob me. They were hit men from the mob. I was assistant district attorney for the city of Chicago. We were prosecuting some mobsters and the mob put contracts out on the district attorney and me.”

“Why didn’t you ever tell us that?” asked Governor Andrews.

“When Mr. Phillips ran off after hitting those man with the bat, our office decided that it would be in our best interest to say nothing about the incident. The newspapers reported that two men suspected of being hit men for the mob had been mysteriously killed. To keep our families safe, we never mentioned what really happened, to anyone, not even our families. Mr. Fitzgerald, I’ve waited seventy years to thank you for saving my life. I owe you my deepest gratitude. If you hadn’t been there, and saved my life, I wouldn’t be here today, and neither would my son, or my grandson or my great-grandson.”

“Or your great-great-grandson or daughter,” said Sarah.

When everybody looked at Sarah, she replied, “That’s right, I’m pregnant. We just found out last week. He or she wouldn’t be her either if it weren’t for you, Grandpa Mike.”

By the end of the afternoon, Mike was feeling better, with his long kept secret out in the open, he decided to change his name back to Fitzgerald.

When Wendy headed home, she decided that she needed to tell Paul her secret, as she saw what keeping secrets had done to the Andrews family and the Fitzgerald family. She called Paul and they arranged to meet at their favorite restaurant.

While eating dinner, Wendy told Paul about her gift. To her surprise, he believed her and was very interested to know more about it. As they were finishing dinner, Wendy got a call from her sister-in-law. Anna told Wendy that she was worried about Caleb. He had called her and told her that he loved her very much and then he hung up. When Anna called his cell phone, there was no answer. She was very worried.

Wendy tried to calm Anna down by telling her that Caleb was probably working late on a court case and had turned his phone off. However, after Wendy ended the call, she immediately tired calling Caleb. After calling Caleb’s phone for the third time, someone finally answered, but it was not Caleb. It was a nurse from the ER at St. Anthony Hospital. After the nurse was convinced that Wendy was Caleb’s sister, she told her that Caleb had been involved in a very bad car accident. He was being taken to surgery at that very moment.

After Wendy hung up, she immediately called Anna and told her about Caleb, then, she and Paul headed to the hospital. She and Paul were waiting in the surgical waiting room when Anna arrived. Paul and Wendy did their best to comfort her and the three of them prayed together.

Three hours later, they were informed that Caleb had made it through surgery, and all they could do, is to wait for him to wake up.

Over the next two days, Caleb remained in a coma and Anna remained at his side. She made arrangements for friends to watch her children. Because Wendy and Paul had other obligations that kept them from staying at the hospital, they could only visit Caleb in the evenings. They were both worried about Anna because she had not slept much in two days. On the third evening, they convinced Anna to go home and get a good night’s sleep. They told her that they would stay with Caleb all night and promised to call her immediately if there was any change in his condition.

After Anna went home, Wendy told Paul that she planned to enter Caleb’s mind, to see if there was any permanent damage from the accident. Paul was worried, but he knew that she would do whatever it took to heal her brother. Wendy told Paul that if it looked like she was in any danger, to wake her immediately.

Wendy sat in the chair next to Caleb’s bed, and held her brother’s hand between hers. Within seconds, she was pulled into Caleb’s mind. When Caleb saw Wendy, he became extremely agitated. “Get out of here, Wendy,” he said. “You shouldn’t be here.”

“I’m here to help you,” said Wendy.

“You have to leave.” said Caleb, or he’ll take you too. It’s too late for me, but you must save yourself.”

That’s when Wendy noticed the demon sitting across the room. “Leave my brother alone,” Wendy told the demon. “You must leave immediately.”

“It’s not that easy,” said the demon. “Caleb asked for me. He’s mine.”

“What do you mean he asked for you?” asked Wendy.

“Caleb’s accident was no accident,” said the demon. “He was trying to kill himself, therefore he’s mine and this time you can’t stop me.”

“What do you mean this time?” asked Wendy.

“Don’t you recognize me?” asked the demon. “We met once before, around twenty years ago, when Caleb was just a boy. You made me leave his mind then, but I’m much more powerful now, and you can’t stop me.”

Wendy did remember the demon and how he tried to take over Caleb’s body and mind when he was eight years old. It was just after she had discovered her ability to enter dreams. She walked over to Caleb and sat down on the couch beside him. “Is it true that you tried to kill yourself, Caleb?” she asked.

“Yes,” said Caleb quietly.

“But why?” asked Wendy. “Your life is going great. You have a great job and a wonderful family.”

“My office was prosecuting a man for rape,” said Caleb. “One afternoon, I overheard a conversation between the District Attorney and the assistant D.A. Apparently, there had been another suspect and all of the evidence pointed to him. But the father of the young man was very rich and powerful. He had influenced several other politicians to do favors for him. He paid the D.A and the assistant D.A a lot of money to keep his son out of jail. So, they stacked the evidence against an innocent man. When I overheard the conversation, the trial was in progress. The assistant D.A suspected that I had overheard them talking and he told me that if I wanted to keep my job, and keep my family safe, I should keep my mouth shut. I wasn’t worried about my job, but I was worried about my family, so I said nothing.”

“The innocent man was found guilty and sentenced to sixty years in prison. The man not only lost his job when he went to prison, but many of his friends turned their backs on him. His wife and children lost many friends as well. If I had said something during the trial, the man’s life wouldn’t have been ruined.”

“What happened wasn’t your fault,” said Wendy. “It was the corruption in your office. You just got caught in the middle.

Caleb, however still believed that it was his fault and was willing to be thrown in the fiery pit of damnation for eternity to pay for what he did.

Wendy asked Caleb to give her one day and she would find a way to save him and keep his family safe. She made him promise to keep fighting the demon until she returned. Then, Wendy left the dream world.

When Wendy woke up, she began to cry. She quickly explained to Paul what she had learned. She told Paul that she had to make a few phone calls, and that she needed his help as well. The next morning, after Anna returned to the hospital well rested, Wendy went home and called Senator Thompson. She set up a meeting, which included the senator’s mother, Judge Harrison. Later that morning the three women sat down in the senator’s office and Wendy explained the situation to them. They agreed to do whatever they could to clear the innocent man and to keep Caleb and his family safe.

After the meeting with Senator Thompson, Wendy called her parents who were vacationing in Europe. She told them about Caleb’s accident and suggested that they return home as soon as possible.

Wendy drove over to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church to meet Paul. She explained what she wanted to do and asked him to help her. He quickly agreed to help her and they began driving to churches, synagogues and other houses of worship around the city. They visited as many different religious organizations as possible. Wendy asked the religious leaders to bless a silver medal that she always kept with her. The medal was blessed by leaders of the Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, Catholic, Hindu and Tao faiths as well as several protestant faiths. By the time they finished, it was almost six o’clock in the evening. Wendy called Dr. Gordon and asked him to meet her and Paul in Caleb’s hospital room.

At seven o’clock, Wendy convinced Anna to go home and spend some time with her children. Shortly after Anna left, Dr. Gordon arrived. After she introduced him to Paul, she explained what she was planning to do, something that she had never attempted to do before. She was going to take Paul into Caleb’s mind with her, to help her fight the demon. She told Dr. Gordon that he needed to keep everybody out of the room and only wake her if he sensed she was in danger.

Wendy arranged two chairs next to Caleb’s bed. Wendy and Paul sat down and joined hands. Then, Wendy took Caleb’s hand in hers. In a matter of seconds, Wendy was sitting on the couch beside Caleb. She looked on the other side of her and saw that Paul was with her. It had worked.

“So, you have returned?” asked the demon. “And you have brought Paul with you. You will still lose. Caleb is mine and you can’t have him back.”

“Release my brother,” said Wendy. “He made a mistake. We will fight you for him, if necessary.”

“You don’t have the strength, or the commitment for a fight,” said the demon. “You can’t even be honest with Paul, or make a commitment to him. How can you help your brother when you are so screwed up yourself?”

“You are right,” said Wendy. “I have been afraid to let people know me totally, but now I am willing to drop all of my shields to help my brother.” Then, Wendy turned to Paul and said, “Paul, I love you with all of my body, mind, heart and soul. Would you marry me and spend the rest of your life with me?”

“Of course I will,” said Paul. “I’ve wanted to marry you for a long time, but I was waiting until you were ready.”

Both Paul and Wendy looked at the demon and Wendy said, “We are taking Caleb with us, when we leave. You have lost.”

“You will have to do much better than that,” said the demon.

Wendy opened her closed fist, and held up the silver medal. It began to glow brightly, and its intensity continued to grow. There was an inscription on it that read; ‘Through the Creator, all things are possible.’ The medal glowed brighter and brighter, and soon the demon couldn’t stand it any longer and he disappeared.

“You are free now, Caleb,” said Wendy. “It’s time to wake up. There are some people who are willing to help free the innocent man from prison.”

“What will I tell Anna?” asked Caleb.

“Tell her the truth,” said Wendy. “I know that she will understand and she will forgive you.” Caleb hugged his sister and thanked her.

Dr. Gordon stood there, looking worried. It had been a while since Wendy and Paul had entered Caleb’s mind. As he stared at them, Wendy and Paul opened their eyes and they both smiled. A moment later, Caleb opened his eyes and he had a look of peace on his face.

Later that night, the endotracheal tube was removed from Caleb’s throat and the doctor told him that he had to remain in the hospital for another couple of weeks for further surgeries.

The next morning, Caleb met secretly with Senator Thompson and Judge Harrison. He gave them as much information as he could about the rape case and told them where they might find evidence that had been buried.

Caleb told Anna that he had tried to kill himself, and why he had done it. As Wendy predicted, Anna forgave him and their marriage grew stronger over the next several weeks of his recovery.

Paul gave Wendy an engagement ring and officially proposed to her and she officially accepted.

One month later, both the D.A. and the assistant D.A. were indicted on several charges of corruption, obstruction of justice, as well as many other charges. Evidence cleared the innocent man and he was released and the court publically apologized to him. The true rapist was convicted and sentenced to prison as was his father for bribery and obstruction of justice.

Six months later, Pastor Paul Evans and Dr. Wendy Nelson were married in his church by the bishop of Paul’s synod. Paul told Wendy that he thought that she should keep her last name, but she insisted on changing it to Dr. Wendy Evans.

Wendy’s parents helped Caleb with his recovery, and they never learned the truth about the accident. Caleb, Anna, Wendy and Paul all agreed that it was less complicated that way. After the accident, Wendy and Caleb grew much closer, and Wendy continued to help people discreetly, whether through their dreams or their comas. Wendy never thought about turning her back on her special talent, because she always thought of it as a gift from God.

The End

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