That day, Thomas had a difficult time deciding what he should do. Should he keep quiet about his new adventures, or tell someone? I mean eventually. For now, he decided that the best thing for him to do was to see what he could learn before letting anyone in on the secret.
There were only a few ways this could go down as he saw it:
- he could tell some token nerdy kid who no one would believe, but would help him in 80s John Hughes movie fashion to discover his newfound powers.
- he could tell the wrong person and end up the pawn in some government game, or worse end up the subject of some sort of terrible experiments.
- He could tell no one and use his walks as the subject whenever he had some sort of creative writing assignment in English class.
Of the three options that occurred to him right away, number 3 seemed to be by far the best option.
The day seemed to stretch out forever as he waited and waited to go home. As soon as he got through the door, he rushed upstairs and dove into bed, hoping to fall asleep. Unfortunately, he was still a teenaged boy and was therefore… hungry.
Thomas did what most teenage boys would do. He went foraging in the fridge for leftovers. There didn’t seem to be much in that way that appealed to him in the refrigerator, so he took a look in the freezer. There in all of its plastic-wrapped glory was a thin crust, supreme pizza. Perfect for a growing boy’s needs. He pre-heated the oven, popped it in and just over 20 minutes later, he was happily munching on something so cheap and delicious it was a wonder people ever ate anything else.
A bit bored, he decided to turn on some cartoons and was pleased to find an old roadrunner cartoon marathon on cartoon network. It was good, nice short cartoons with a cartoon canine who despite his high intelligence was unable to save vs. dumb luck at every turn.
The pizza and cartoons started to have their effect on him and after the 13th or 14th anvil dropped on the coyote, he nodded off to sleep.
It wasn’t spoken, but was instead held on a cartoon placard by the coyote.
“Yes?” Thomas asked.
*We need to talk.* (another placard).
“Alright, so talk.”
*You’ll have to invite me in.*
“Please come in.”
As the coyote came in through the television screen, which was now for some reason an old tube-style television, rather than the flat screen his family had had for years.
“Thank you.” the words came into Thomas’s mind, deep and sonorous, not unlike Johnny Cash.
“Great,” thought Thomas, “Now I’m imagining a Simpson’s episode.”
“Not so fast,” came the words of the coyote. “I’m much older than either of the incarnations you know. I’m Coyote.”
“I know you’re a coyote,” said Thomas, “I recognized the rocket skates before you came out of the television.”
Coyote winced, “That was a deal I made with another dreamwalker. And I’m not a coyote. I’m Coyote. Like Madonna or Cher or any of the other would-be goddesses who pretend to divinity these days.”
“Pretend to… Oh I see. The worship and adoration they get from their fans. I see where you’re coming from.”
“No. You don’t. But you are not as blind as most. I am here to teach you, just as I taught the first dreamwalkers, just as I taught the first men who I made when the world was young.”
“I’m sorry, but didn’t evolution create man?”
“It doesn’t matter for the moment young one. What does matter is that you learn to use this power well before you get into real trouble. Do you know why the medicine men use peyote and eat the mushrooms that bring visions?”
“Because it’s fun?” Thomas wasn’t stupid, but he was a teenager and this definitely colored his views.
“Heh, well I imagine there is a part of that too. However, there is another reason. They do this so they can learn to walk in dreams. Most cannot really travel in dreams as you do, and yet you are able to move from place to place while asleep. Do you know why?”
“Just lucky I guess.”
“Ha, luck. Luck is just a word lazy people use to avoid responsibility for their misery. No. You are a walker.”
“Yes. That’s my name. Thomas Walker.”
“Yes, you are Walker, as I am Coyote. You must learn to be a Walker, or you will stumble into dangerous places. When next we meet, we will walkabout and I will teach you some of what I know. Now wake. Your pizza is about to fall off the couch.”
Thomas woke with a start and as he jerked up, he knocked the remaining pizza to the ground. Before he could react, the dog got to it and managed to eat his last piece.
“Damned Coyote.” Thomas thought and he went to clean up the mess on the floor.