Prologue- The Tale of The Other WorldEdit
A soft, soothing lullaby played sweetly and quietly in the darkness of the bedroom; and surely it would have served its purpose had anybody be in the room. The floor was cluttered with dolls, their plastic faces facing upwards, their unseeing, blank eyes glaring plainly at whoever dared to venture into the messy, garish room. The bed was neon pink, and it glowed in the dark; it was ruffled and unmade, but for its occupant it was just as inviting as a well made one would be to the careful individual.
A thin shaft of moonlight crept sneakily through the waving rouge curtains, through a slight gap, hoping not to be seen by anything or anyone, as if afraid. The sounds of a cold, strong wind whistled through the window, pushing the curtain around like a bully.
The light bulb was shaded by a thin, moth-eaten veil, cowering behind it silent as a mouse. Loud footsteps filled the hall, echoing through it for seconds after the person making them had passed by. There was the murmur of affable chatter between father and daughter before the door pushed open and the light streamed through faster than a speeding cheetah.
The father, if he had been dressed in the correct suit, could have passed easily as a rather convincing Santa; but that wasn't particularly on his mind as he squeezed carefully through the door frame with his young daughter cradled carefully in his arms- the music fell silent.
Freya, the daughter, was a vivacious redhead, her hair resembling fire, leading to her best friends nicknaming her 'firebrand', which she liked. She had fierce amber eyes like a hawk's...but nobody, sadly, nicknamed her for that- but they glowed very brightly in the shadow.
He hoisted her very carefully but heartily onto his knee, rocking her softly, with a bright smile. His Cockney accent became even more evident in his glee.
"Want a bedtime story?" he asked her, grinning; a story he had been told many a time about... it had scared him stiff, but surely Freya was braver than he had been, she wasn't lily livered by any stretch of the imagination, to be fair.
"Yes!" exclaimed Freya, clearly ecstatic at the idea of a story, it had been a long while since he had had the time to tell her one and she was excited. She hugged him tightly for what seemed like an age before he could prise her arms from him. She cocked her head to the side.
"Well..." he began carefully. "Somnus, the god of dreaming and sleep, once created a world of dreams." He sighed, he remembered now. "There are rumours of what it might be like, but nobody knows for sure; as far as we know, nobody has been there..."
Freya gazed up at him, enthralled by the story.
"There is a castle, so reinforced it is almost impossible to get to...you have to see past cunning illusions. He had to call on other deities to assist him. It holds a dragon...flaming red, hawk eyed... scales of pure fire that burn anything they touch. You either have to be chosen, or have supreme luck and skill to defeat this monster...Beside it there is springy grass, green...and tundra far west... and rocks and volcanoes to the north. There is a deserted city to the east, and a desert to the south. It never ends..."
"Woah..." And at that, the girl fell asleep, and he tucked her in with a wan smile, before pulling the door to behind him. The toys stared again...and the music began to play.