Excerpt Dreamland by Nick Clausen

Friday, May 3, 2019
Title: Dreamland: A Ghost Story
Author: Nick Clausen
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Genre: Paranormal/Ghost Story
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: Mar 19 2019

Some nightmares never end
In his sleep, Louie starts visiting a magical world where he meets his father, who died when Louie was still a baby. But nothing turns out to be what it seems, and great horrors loom very close by ...

Welcome to Dreamland

A mysterious teen ghost story about fear and loss and losing yourself in dreams, Dreamland was originally published in Danish to great reviews, and is now available in English.

A moment later he found himself in the park in Dreamland.
It was a lovely afternoon; the sun was shining and the sky was the color of rye bread. Louie saw the man in blue sitting on the bench underneath a big chestnut tree.
He went and sat down next to him.
“Hello, Louie. Nice to see you again.”
“Hello, Dad.”
John smiled at him, curiously. “Why do you call me that?”
“Because you have to be my father. Only my dad called my mom Capella.”
“I’m part of your dream, remember?” John said, extending his arms. “It’s all taking place in your brain.”
“I thought so at first,” Louie admitted. “But I didn’t know the name. So you couldn’t have gotten it from my brain.”
John smiled. “You’re a clever boy, Louie. I would have waited a little while longer before telling you. I wanted to be sure that you were sure. Like I said, it can be difficult to tell the difference between what you see and what you want to see.”
“So … it’s true? You really are my …?”
John nodded.
Louie didn’t know how to react. He had often wondered what it would be like to meet his dad, and now he was sitting right next to him. In a way.
“You told me so much about yourself,” his dad said, getting up. “Perhaps you want to know a little about me?”
Louie followed him, as he wandered to a lake where a swan couple was floating around amongst the waterlilies.
“How did you die?” Louie asked.
“Your mom didn’t tell you?”
“I think it was some kind of disease. She said something once about the last days being really tough.”
Dad nodded. “I died from cancer. I got the diagnosis when you were only ten months old, and I died shortly after you turned one.” He looked like he remembered something. “Do you want to hear one of the last memories I have? Your mom baked a cake and brought it to the hospital. I had to blow out the candle for you, but when I did, you started laughing like crazy, so your mom lit the candle again, and I blew it out once more. I think we did it like ten times. You laughed until you were red in the face.” Dad chuckled.
Louie looked shyly down into the grass. That was such a nice memory—why had his mom never told him about it?
“Did it hurt to die?” he asked.
“I didn’t feel anything. I was very weak and slept most of the time. Sometimes I would sleep for days on end.” Dad seemed to be slipping away into memories. He was almost talking to himself now. “That was when I started having the dreams.”
“What dreams?”
They came to a wooden bridge leading to a small island in the middle of the lake. A flock of ducks were lying in the reeds, basking in the sunlight.
Dad stepped out onto the bridge and leaned against the railing. Louie followed him and looked down into the water. It was clear enough to see the bottom and the goldfishes which were swimming about.
“Dreams about your grandmother. My mom. She started showing up in my dreams, always wearing a pretty blue dress.” Dad glanced at him. “Do you know how your grandmother died?”
Louie shook his head.
“It was a car accident. I was only fourteen back then. I always missed her a lot, so when she suddenly came to me in my dreams, I was very happy. I spent a lot of time with her. It was a relief, too, because here in Dreamland I wasn’t sick or afraid.
“Towards the end I started preparing for death. It was incredibly hard to have to say goodbye to your mom and you. I didn’t feel like my life was over, not by a long shot. It was all very unfair. But then your grandmother told me something amazing one day.”
Dad produced a lump of bread from his pocket and tore it into halves, handing one to Louie. They started crumbling the bread and letting small pieces fall into the water. The ducks got up and waddled down to the brink.
“She told me I could live on if I joined her in here. You have to understand: at that time, I slept almost around the clock, and I spent more time in here than in the waking world. I somehow felt more at home in here—that’s why I made the decision.” Dad was out of bread. He brushed off his hands. “I felt ashamed because I left you and your mother before it was time, but I was afraid of dying.”
Louie realized he too was out of bread. The ducks grabbed the last pieces and looked eagerly up at him. He turned to his father. “So you didn’t really die. You just went to this place.”
Dad leaned his back against the railing. “I died all right, but only in the waking world. Here in Dreamland I have lived on for eleven years.”
“How about Grandma? Is she in here too?”
Dad shook his head. “Sadly, she disappeared shortly before I met you for the first time. I don’t think she will be back.”
“Then why did you and I meet? I mean, how did it happen?”
“Suddenly one day I just saw you. I understood right away who you were, but I decided it was better to hold off on telling you all of this until we knew each other a little better.”
“But why am I here? I’m not sick.”
“Apparently, you don’t need to be sick to visit Dreamland.” Dad shrugged. “I don’t know the rules, and I don’t know who makes them.”
A whole bunch of questions tumbled about in Louie’s brain. Mom had often told him that clever kids would think before they asked any questions, and he had already asked a lot of questions. So, he just stood for a little while with his dad looking at the ducks and the goldfishes.
The light was beginning to dwindle when Louie looked up and noticed the first, bright star burning on the horizon.
“That’s not a star,” his dad said, as though he had read Louie’s mind. “It’s a planet.”
“A planet?”
“Venus. She’s beautiful tonight. Do you want to see her up close?”
Between them was suddenly a large telescope on a tripod. Louie put his eye to the ocular and gasped at the sight of the planet. It was beige and had the form of a sickle.
“Did your mom ever tell you I had my own observatory?”
“I made it in a small chamber in the attic underneath a skylight. It had a telescope, a chair, a computer, and everything. Your mom thought the equipment was too expensive, but the night sky was my great passion, so I had to have it.” Dad smiled and looked up. “I was up there almost every night, even if I had to get up early in the morning.”
Louie tried to imagine his dad’s observatory. He tried to imagine Mom and Dad together, talking with each other, laughing. But it was difficult.
“Mom never really told me anything about you,” he said. “I don’t think she wants to talk about you.”
“Every time she remembers me, it breaks her heart a little,” his dad explained. “We loved each other very much.”
Louie thought about it, and suddenly he got why his mom would move so often. He’d always had a sense that she was looking for something, but maybe it was the other way around—maybe she was trying to get away from something.
“But she doesn’t need to feel sad anymore,” Louie said. “Now I can tell her that you’re still alive—sort of.”
“I think it’s better if you don’t tell her about me anymore, Louie.”
“Why’s that?”
“She hasn’t visited Dreamland herself, so she can never understand. It would only make her even more sad if you told her you are spending time with me.”
“Can’t she come here?” Louie suggested. “So she can meet you?”
“Like I said, Louie: I have no idea how this place works, or how you get to come here.”
Louie lowered his head.
“Perhaps, one day, your mom will show up,” his dad said, placing an arm around his shoulders. “Until then, it can be our little secret. What do you say?”
Louie looked up and smiled. “Sure, Dad.”

Book Links
Amazon FREE for a VERY LIMITED Time May 4 2019

Hi there!

My name is Nick Clausen* and I reside in Denmark, a small country in Scandinavia you probably heard about but can't locate. That's alright, I'll help you: We're kind of like neighbors with Britain, only a small sea between us (we're friendly neighbors nowadays, though we haven't always been - there was a little thing concerning some Vikings who would go about raping and murdering ... sorry about that, Britain!)

Let me start by answering a few things upfront. Yes, this is me speaking directly, not a translator. English is my second language, and I'm pretty fluent. But forgive me if you find any strange typos, I'll try to weed out as money as I can (that one was on purpose). Alright, with that out of the way, let me tell you a little about myself and my work.

Author Links
Amazon Author Page
Twitter @nickclausen9


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