The Amazing Dream Journal – Part 4

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Nearing the end of this tale. Here is the fourth scene. Things are definitely becoming more uncomfortable for Abe today! Enjoy!

 Abe Table and The Amazing Dream Journal

Substitute

“Abe! Abe!” Liz cried out. Her voice was a little too loud, too eager.

Abe was talking with PeeWee Beauchamp before he went in to Social Studies.

“Okay, PeeWee, but the Sliding Bunch has more health,” Abe was saying while holding up his hand to Liz.

“Abe, We’ve got–” Liz tried to say.

“Hold it, Liz. PeeWee, I’ll let you have it this time. Next time, not so much,” Abe said. He played a monsters card game with several people and they often made moves between classes. PeeWee left and Abe said, “What’s up, Liz?” with a hundred dollar smile.

“Everything.” She leaned her head forward and opened her eyes wide like she was going to scold him. “You aren’t going to belie–”

Just then, the bell rang and the two had to dart into the classroom to be considered on time.

Liz whispered on the way to their seats, “The girl on the horse is here at school and she was running from ghosts.”

“What?” Abe turned to look at Liz and she ran into his sudden stop. “What?” He looked at her like she had turned into a wild turkey. They sat down, Abe fighting a wild panic that topped talking with a turkey.

And that’s when the substitute asked for everyone’s attention. Liz and Abe turned for the first time to notice they had a sub and they both stared: It was the lady who had been driving the hearse! Abe thought he was going to be sick. He was turning into the freak of Lake Middle School. It was reminding him of the Cornelia Funke book, Inkheart. He didn’t want his dreams chasing him down in real life. This was all too much and it was freakin’ him out so much he knew he needed to talk with Ray.

“We gotta see Ray ASAP,” Liz said. Abe thought she was reading his mind… and using terms like ASAP that she learned from Mr. Harrison. He said it all the time.

He leaned forward, closer to her desk. The substitute, who had written her name on the board, Mrs. Whittier, was saying something. All Abe heard was that creatures and people and ghosts from his dreams were coming to invade his life. He whispered to Liz, “Yeah, you got that right.”

“Young man,” Mrs. Whittier said, “I’ll remind you only once that I expect you to be listening when I am talking, okay?”

He nodded. Argh! Abe thought. I’m already a target and I’ve got real life issues to worry about! He dug through the pencil pouch in his binder looking for a #2 pencil. He found it! A never-before-used #2. Perfectly unsharpened! Tapping Liz on the shoulder, he headed to the pencil sharpener in the back of the room, expecting her to follow.

“When I am finished teaching you and give you time to write,” Mrs. Whittier was saying, “I’ll allow you to ask permission to sharpen pencils.” The room was quiet and everyone’s eyes were on Abe.

He turned and couldn’t believe that this lady could single him out so easily, so cleverly. Then it dawned on him that he shouldn’t only be panicked about the ghost-fleeing horse girl, this lady was a hearse driver! She could be planning on capturing him if he kept breaking her rules.

“What is your name?” She asked. Abe noticed that all eyes went to her and then back to him. It was like a tennis match. And he knew who was going to win.

“Abe Driver… I mean, Hearse. Table. Abe Table,” he corrected as quickly as he could but knew he was in deep now. He was dead. She would poison him by lunch and pack him in her little death mobile by the final bell.

“Yes, well, Mr. Table, why don’t you join me here at lunch for detention.” She picked up where she had left off like nothing ever happened. Game, set, match. He lost.

Liz looked back at him and mouthed “Sorry.” Now, Abe knew they had to get to Ray as soon as class was over… before he met his doom at lunch.

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The Amazing Dream Journal – Part 3

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Here we go with the third scene in the story. If you are just tuning in, make sure you go back and read the posts that have Part 1 and 2. Enjoy!

Abe Table and The Amazing Dream Journal

Part 3

Hallway

“…Ghosts,” the girl declared. “That’s what I was running from. They were all over the place: behind the recliner, coming out of the fireplace, swirling around the light hanging in the kitchen. Everywhere!”

A group of kids formed a ring in the hallway and the new girl was the diamond. The girl gestured too much with her hands like she was on stage. At least, that’s what Liz thought. She was standing just outside the ring of listeners with Jessica McMulligan. The minute bell was going to ring any moment and she still had to get to Language Arts upstairs.

“OMG, Jess. My gosh. Unbelievable!” Liz said.

“I know. Unreal. I’ve gotta go, Liz. This girl is crazy. Can you believe that?” Jessica asked.

“Well, a week ago I wouldn’t have,” Liz said. “But that’s not what’s crazy. I’ve gotta find Abe and Ray.” The two girls began threading their way down the hallway leaving the ring of listeners and the ghost-girl. “But you know how Abe is,” she said, rolling her eyes. “That boy is messing with my thinking.” She knew this was crazy beyond belief. This was the girl from the horse! She tried to play it off as not that big a deal with Jessica, but she knew she had to get to Abe ASAP.

“Yeah, Liz, you should be careful. You are hanging around him and his friends a lot lately.”

“There’s nothing to be careful about, Jess. He and Ray and those guys are nice. Weird sometimes, but nice. Anyway, we saw that girl this weekend. She was riding a horse down the middle of the road by the state park. She looked panicked. Like she’d seen a ghost.”

The girls reached the stairs and began to climb. “Oh, so you’ve started believing all of Abe’s ghost stories and stuff now. The stuff you used to make fun of.”

Liz felt attacked. Her eyes narrowed and she tensed, but she let out a long breath, trying to stay calm. “Hey! I know what I saw, that’s all,” she said.

“You think this girl really saw ghosts?” Jessica asked.

Liz chewed on it as they climbed.

“Liz! Did you study for Math?” Someone said going the opposite way down the stairs.

“Who was that?” Liz asked as she looked back through the endless crowd.

“Not sure,” Jessica said. “So what do you think, Liz?”

“Oh, about the girl? Well, who knows,” she said as she peeled off from Jessica. “Maybe.” But that’s not what Liz thought at all. In fact, she thought about Abe’s dream. Not only did this girl probably see ghosts, there was a very good chance she was a werewolf. Liz saw Abe down the hallway and, clutching her notebook, she snaked her way through the crowd as fast as she possibly could toward him. She had to talk to him before class started. Had to. She didn’t know what bothered her more: a werewolf or the fact that she was starting to think like Abe and Ray.

The Amazing Dream Journal – Part 2

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Breakfast

Abe hadn’t dreamed anything wild (that he could remember) for the rest of the weekend so his little dream journal was quiet. He thought of that as he entered the Monday morning cafeteria and looked for Ray. Students weren’t allowed to go to their lockers in the morning until 7 minutes before class started. But they could eat breakfast. Abe and his crew always sat together. Monday was the big story day. Whatever happened on the weekend made its way out onto the table and Abe wasn’t too glad about what happened on Saturday morning. He knew that was going to be the headline.

When everyone had gotten their breakfast and sat down – James, whose nickname was Pick, Elijah, who was called Gravy, Liz and Ray – Ray kicked it off.

“Alright. No one has a better story than we do. But anyone can have a shot at it. Pick? Gravy?”

“Hey, Ray, I saw a chicken fight with a snake at my grandpa’s. That is pretty good. I even took some video on my phone,” Pick said. He showed the video. “The snake slithered off, so I guess the chicken won.”

“Got anything with crocodiles?” Gravy asked.

“Yeah, Elijah, like James’s grandpa has crocodiles…” Liz said.

Abe smiled. He knew that Liz was who she was. There was no changing that. She could be funny sometimes and rude or snappy sometimes. Mostly she just needed a group to belong to. Now, after the whole Liza Thurman problem, she belonged to them.

“Well, old Abe, here, has a little something that everyone needs to hear,” Ray said. He looked at Abe and nodded.

“Yeah, well, I guess I’ve had some weird dreams lately that we better watch out for. Like, I’ve been dreaming some things and then seeing them in real life,” Abe said.

“Tell ‘em about the car, Abe,” Liz said.

“I did see a white hearse in my dream on friday night and when Ray and Liz and I were fishing at the park on Saturday morning, we saw the car from my dream.”

“I dreamed that charcoal colored aliens were dragging me off a cliff in my house last night,” Gravy said. “Should I be worried?”

Everyone laughed a little. But Abe was already feeling uncomfortable inside. Why was stuff showing up from his dreams?

“That’s not all Abe dreamed. He saw a werewolf riding a horse the same night and we saw a girl ride by, on the road, on a horse,” Liz threw in.

“There is a stable right by the park. A big one. My sister goes there for riding lessons with a friend of hers,” Pick said.

Abe held his hands palms up like it was the greatest mystery to him. And it was. For some reason, Pick’s explanation didn’t help; he was still worried.

“See, Abe, nothing to worry about,” Ray said as if he knew what Abe was thinking.

Abe Table and the Amazing Dream Journal – Part 1

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So, Here it is. The first installment of the Amazing Dream Journal. Enjoy!

Abe Table and the Amazing Dream Journal

Side of the Road

While the sun tried to find a way through broken clouds, Abe Table and his two friends, Ray and Liz, waited at the entrance to the state park. Waited to be picked up. And waited.

“Is your mom ever coming, Abe, or what?” Ray asked. He was kicking stray gravel rocks across the road, soccer style, lining them up like a corner kick.

“She’ll be here. She texted me and said when she was leaving and that has been about 15 minutes. She’ll be here,” Abe said.

“Yeah, well, I’ve got to get to soccer tryouts, Abe. You know that,” Ray said.

“Look, Ray, she is on her way,” Liz said. “What more do you want? A helicopter pick up?” Liz picked up a small rock and threw it at the park sign… and missed.

Like the road it was on, the little wood sign for the park wasn’t large. Abe held a fishing pole and a small box with fishing lures. They had been hanging out at the park. Abe fished. Nothing was unusual about where they were or what they were doing.

They all heard the clopping sound at the same time. None of them could see what was causing the rhythmic beat, but it was from somewhere beyond where the road bent around the trees along an edge of the park.

They all turned.

“Sounds like a horse,” Ray said. “…on the road.”

“Maybe it’s Abe’s mom coming to pick you up and take you to your tryouts,” Liz said. “I’m sure she knows you’re in a hurry. And what’s faster than a horse?”

“Hey, funny thing,” Abe said. “I dreamed of someone riding on horseback last night. Only he was scared to death of something and was galloping like his life depended on it. Like he was running from someone. He was in a dark robe thing and I think he had claws like some creature or something.”

Except it wasn’t a funny thing. Abe was having bizarre dreams recently and writing them down because he read that if you wrote them down, you could actually begin to control them. And it was starting to scare him a bit; he didn’t want to be trying to control creatures on horse’s backs.

The horse might have been a quarter mile from them when it came into view. It was galloping down the middle of the street… as hard as it could. The rider was hunched over. As the horse came closer, Abe’s eyes grew larger.

A young girl was driving the horse at a full gallop, constantly looking back over her shoulder and then forward to where she was going. She looked panicked.

The three kids stepped back into the weeds. As the rider blazed past them, she glanced their way. Abe was sure she made eye contact with him.

They all three looked at each other.

“Whoa! That was weird,” Ray said.

“Table, does stuff like this happen to you a lot?” Liz asked. She’d known Abe long enough to know that he had some pretty odd ideas about ghosts and cemeteries and strange appearances.

“Yeah, Liz, you should know it does. You were there for the ghost-in-the-kitchen ordeal… and the ghost in the graveyard,” Ray said.

“Well, those don’t count: they weren’t real. That horse just went by. For real.”

Abe said, “It’s weird, but, you know, it’s not like my dream was coming true or I saw the future. And it was not the same person. This was just some girl on her horse. Things like this happen all the time.” But he didn’t believe that for one minute.

Liz edged over to Abe and Ray. “Yeah, well, if you say you dreamed a giant rollercoaster with ghosts on it showed up at our school, and one actually does, I’m gonna say you’re a freak of nature.” She was looking directly into Abe’s eyes.

He thought it was creepy when Liz did stuff like that. He guessed Liz was still getting used to being friends with him and Ray and she sometimes slipped into her old habits. Like being mean or rude.

Ray stepped in holding his hands out as if parting two boxers in a ring. “Okay, guys. Abe, you’re not a freak. And Liz, weird things just happen sometimes. We can’t judge people without exploring what is going on. That is something Abe here is pretty good at.”

“Sorry, Abe,” Liz said. She smiled – and it wasn’t that nasty smile she used to wear – and said,   “Did you dream anything else that we should know about and explore?”

“Yeah,” Abe returned looking down at the ground. “Yeah. It’s even more ridiculous.”

“Come on, Abe, let’s hear it,” Ray said.

“A hearse.”

“A what?” Liz snarled.

“A hearse,” Abe said. “You know, a car that hauls a coffin to a cemetery. I dreamed I saw a white one with a crazy looking woman driving it.” Saying it out loud was even dumber sounding than when he wrote it in his journal. Was he out of his mind?

“Not too unusual for a kid who works at a cemetery, right?” Liz said.

“Of course not, Liz. See what I mean?” Ray raised his hands over his head like Liz had just proven gravity. “Abe is just a regular guy like us. Now, when is your mom getting here, Abe? I’ve got tryouts to get ready for this afternoon.”

Just then, Abe’s mom turned the corner and pulled off the road to pick them up. When they had all piled in her minivan, she pulled onto the road and asked how the morning went.

Abe described how the fish weren’t biting but they saw a snake and found a creek they had never seen before.

Ray was trying to get his attention from the seat behind. Liz was staring out the window on her side.

“Abe. Abe,” Ray whispered. He made a motion with his head and leaned close to the front seat. “Look behind us.”

Liz turned. “What?” she whispered with her eyes wide open.

Abe turned too and felt his blood turn cold: A hearse followed them. And it was white.

Get Ready for Abe’s Next Adventure

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Tomorrow will mark the release of Abe’s 5th adventure. Join him as he untangles the knots of hearse-driving, ghost-seeing dreams that become all too real! I’ll be releasing the story a bit differently this month: a serial release – the first installment is tomorrow right here. Nothing to download.

I will release the whole story as usual (pdf, mobi, epub) after 1 installment each day until it is complete.

Jump in tomorrow and spread the word: Abe Table is terribly misinformed!

 

 

Writing Tip #7

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I just posted Writing Tip #7 over on the “I hate writing – help!” page. Get over there and check it out. Enjoy!

Technical Writing?

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I’m having a blast creating the newest Abe Table story: Abe Table and The Amazing Dream Journal! Here is a peek into my process (the technical side of my writing):

  • I use Evernote to keep track of things that go well in lists: Abe’s classes, characters in all the stories, ideas.
  • I also use Evernote for the working outline of the story. That involves colored fonts for Goals/Problems/Solutions.
  • I am using Google Docs for the working draft of this story. I’ve used LibreOffice and Evernote before for writing stories, but have chosen Google this time because it makes the story accessible from all my devices (an embarrassing amount).

Stay tuned this week for the next writing tip where I’ll share some of the tools I use inside Google Docs to help me out.

What writing tools do you like to use?