This is a sort-of outline of a sub-plot I plan to make for my novel, the Dreamfeeder. A background on the trio of incidents caused by an eldritch abomination's relentless crusade to get out of its true home, the Void, and into our world to feed, as well as how this effected the local people. Feedback of any kind is more than welcome!
“The dark has a beauty of its own.
It speaks to the part of us we beg to be gone
And slithers through our bones.”
The lower dimension where the Dreamfeeder originates from is almost completely airless, without warmth or light because it has no sun or moon to light the sky, which is merely an empty void that if penetrated goes on coldly and eternally.
In a sense that is as disturbing as it is incomprehensible, most of the entities there are not alive, not alive as we think of it. But neither are they dead. This lower dimension is more of an astral realm than anything else, largely populated by beings of sheer will and consciousness, strange minds, some of which can shift themselves into any form.
Few of them are at their cores benign, and those that are fight a constant battle with the relentless predators that constantly track them, seeking something more enduring than flesh. The void is cold and hostile enough to kill the body of a human being, but accessible enough where we can occasionally visit in dreams.
The minority of its denizens that has a form of biological existence needs sustenance, and rarer still are the ones which can actually pass through the protective veil between worlds and land unscathed on the other side.
The Dreamfeeder, a being of such massive power that it is almost God-like, came into our world in search of physical and spiritual nourishment because it’s immense body and mind, unlike the majority of the shadow world's inhabitants, required fuel.
The creatures it absorbed in the past are gone; but their minds are somehow still alive, in Communion with the Dreamfeeder, speaking in its voice, one with its thoughts, feeling blindly from the cold recesses of its memory.
Like a tightly sealed jar the lower realms remain unseen by most in our universe, but occasionally there are openings which threaten to leak in the pure chaos that thrives in total darkness on the other side of the veil. The existence of portals is often caused by nothing more than negativity, high amounts of emotional and intellectual energy concentrated through the complex minds of sentient beings.
That is what happened so many thousands of years ago when an obscure number of our ancients discarded their old Gods and adopted the warped philosophy of a visitor, which came in through a dimensional rift from that void too dark for human life to thrive.
It was the Dreamfeeder, its first ever appearance on Earth. And, drawn by the often negative and alluring energies of the ancients, it emerged from the portal and took root inside a rural temple in South America, where it was worshiped by a culture akin to Mayans but not quite, a culture later mysteriously wiped from existence with no trace of them left at all.
Its vastly knowing mind probed the unresisting currents of these people, quickly learning their language and whatever else it wished to learn. Once it could properly communicate, its deep Call of obedience was willingly obeyed by the naïve ancients. An unholy cult was formed.
Like a fungus, it grew, and like a malign God, it demanded of the pliable ancients routine sacrifices of their own people. In return it promised peace and prosperity, slyly using their gullibility and yearning for universal understanding against them.
For many years, it contentedly feasted. The ancients were not given anything by the entity but dreams, which were strange and often pleasant, yet they took this as a sure sign of their blissful destinies in the Afterlife, and continued feeding chosen members of their own people to the beast that festered and grew in the temple.
Often these people were respected members of the community, selected because they were deemed worthy of the Dreamfeeder’s “sacred” embrace. Others were peasants or even slaves, who never went willingly, perhaps because they instinctively knew what was really in store for them.
For a long time they existed, tucked away in their city in the jungle, their population steadily growing strong even with the increasing numbers of people eaten, in hideous Communion with the Dreamfeeder, their strange God who offered nothing but peaceful dreams…and death.
When the Dreamfeeder was given what it asked for, it developed something one would never expect from a brilliant inter-dimensional entity: arrogance. It reveled in the ancients’ blind adoration of it; even in all its grotesqueness, the people bowed to it and offered what it wanted and a part of it which could be called ego soared. And with each unearthly hunger quelled, it absorbed a little bit of their minds each time, and learned.
Without warning a sudden and ruthless disease began to spread through the ancient community, killing off any who came in contact with the infected. The tightly compacted masses, perhaps in accordance to some protecting destiny, died off in a matter of months. Perhaps if they had left their little death haven a few of them could have survived in the jungle somewhere, but because of what tethered them there, they all perished.
Deprived of its only available sustenance, isolated, the Dreamfeeder was forced to return to its own world, to its cold uncaring void, where it waited for many years for another opportunity to flourish again.
At the pinnacle of its world, having taken and sucked dry nearly all the physical creatures in its proximity, it eventually found another way in through a portal in an Indian reservation, on the outskirts of Mellowbrook Michigan. The families were at first unaware as it grew like some deadly fungus in a nearby cave.
It took time, a few months at most, for it to grow strong enough to influence their dreams. By then it had spread its tendrils and slimy form through a large portion of the cave, and now at the height of its power it began the Call again. The weak and unprepared received messages from the alien consciousness through bizarre dreams, and those that were not able to resist its influence answered the Call by going to it like sheep following a shepherd. Some of them were consumed; others were used as harvesters to gather those that the Dreamfeeder could not currently reach with its limited physical abilities, or with its mind, which grew more aware of the new world and its inhabitants by the passing days, a world it so deeply yearned to understand and control.
A young boy named Bluewind, who would eventually become a loved Chief and Elder, watched many of his family members, friends, and others sway to the hypnotic, demented will of the Dreamfeeder, and venture into the cave never to return.
Those the Dreamfeeder valued most were kept alive, their bodies dissolved slowly while their minds were occupied in its thrall. Still others went in and out of the cave in an altered state of consciousness, neither fully asleep nor fully awake, beckoning those they knew—or had once known—with the promise of peaceful dreams, a blissful Afterlife, unearthly rest that would never be broken.
Bluewind saw and felt in his heart what was going on. He told his family, warning them of the malevolent force that threatened to tear apart their way of life and send the remaining peace of the world reeling. At first they did not listen, but soon they knew.
As before, the more the Dreamfeeder ate, the more it grew. And the more it grew, the people who were strong enough to resist began to devise desperate plans to eliminate the threat. Two of Bluewind’s brothers went into the cave with weapons, arrows and spears, and although the Dreamfeeder seemed to be harmed at first; it did not die, because in the world from which it slithered, the line between life and death was not as sharply drawn as here, and it was both biologically and ethereally sustaining itself, thus impervious to the crude attempts to kill it.
Bluewind’s brothers, both strong, were still no match for this otherworldly force of unimaginable power. They succumbed.
Bluewind grieved poignantly, as did what remained of his terrified community, but they all eventually realized through their detailed spirituality and connection to nature the true and ultimate weakness of the Dreamfeeder.
The power of their minds and emotions, which had actually brought it here, could be used to send it back. The Dreamfeeder’s twisted mind was more vulnerable than its soft, squishy form. It fled from the love and understanding, back again to the darkness, where it waited again, still feeding on any creature unfortunate enough to come close while at the same time probing, seeking, for another more convenient entrance into the bright and beautiful universe in which Earth spun.
For the third time, it found one; in the same town where the Indians had driven it away, on a quiet country road where twenty eight year-old Molly Harland lived alone, trying to write her novels. The 21st century had been reached now, and much had changed, but not enough where it didn’t recognize the place where it wanted to be.
It entered the well in Molly’s backyard, seeping its fungous seeds first through the portal that temporarily opened, then through pipes underground leading into the hot water heater in the storm cellar, and took root again, spreading its hungry biological chaos in a damp quiet place it preferred.
And then it reached, felt for minds to seize.
Molly, strong-willed enough to evade its mental attacks, had quite a job to do and it would eventually bring her face to face with the person whose family had dealt with the Dreamfeeder years before. And together they would unite forces young and old, naïve and knowing, to fight the madness and decay which cultivated and thrived in Molly’s cellar.
But the question was this: could it even be stopped this time? Or would the whole world slowly succumb to the strange and seductive will of the Dreamfeeder, eventually leaving it a stark black lifeless dreamscape fatally similar to the shadow world?