"The Mist Rider"

or "Through the Passer"

© Rick Kephart

CHAPTER 1: Behind the Loose Brick

It all started with the strange dream Skippy had one summer night. He dreamed that he was home, and he saw a stranger sitting in the living room. The man was sitting on the floor with his legs crossed. He was very big; if he stood up, he would have been at least 9 feet tall. He had violet hair and eyes, and wore a green robe.

The man looked over at Skippy when he started coming in, and he called over, "Come here, child."

Skippy slowly approached the strange figure. "Who are you?" he asked him.

The man shook his head. "You have the most powerful object in your world right in your basement, and you don't even know about it."

Skippy wondered what he could mean by that. "My world?" Skippy asked.

"Yes", the man replied, "In your world. I can show you where the device is."

"Are you from another planet?" Skippy asked.

"No, I am from another world. Come with me to the basement."

The man stood up. He had to bend down to avoid hitting his head on the ceiling. The man reached for Skippy's hand, and Skippy walked with the stranger toward the steps.

"Who are you?" Skippy asked again as they were walking. Suddenly, he found he and the man were already down in the basement.

It was only a half-finished basement, with a dirt floor. It was used mainly to store old junk.

The man moved a big cabinet away from one corner, and pointed to a brick behind it. "It is behind that brick," he said. "It is loose. Move it."

"Won't you tell me who you are?" Skippy asked one more time, as he moved the brick aside. When he pushed on it, it fell out, accompanied by a shower of dust. In the hole behind the brick was a chain with a perfectly circular piece of wood on it, like a twig that had been broken off a tree, but it was completely round, and was about the size of his hand.

"I am a Hyperworlder," the man said. "My name is Haaw. Come down to the basement tomorrow and claim the passer. This is only a dream."

The moment the man said that it was a dream, Skippy woke up. He was in his bed again. He knew it was a dream, but he remembered just where the loose brick had been, and he would go and see if he could find it in the morning.

The next morning Skippy went right down to the basement and began looking for the loose brick. The dream had been so vivid, he had no trouble at all finding the spot with the loose brick. There was the case, just asked he has seen in the dream. Once he had succeeded in pushing aside the cabinet and had located the right brick, he pushed on it, and the brick did move! He pushed it out, and it fell out with the shower of dust just like in the dream. Behind it was the wooden ring on the chain, just as it was in his dream!

Skippy took the ring out from inside the wall, and he put the chain around his neck, and stuffed the ring down under his shirt.

He was still there when his older sister Lynn came downstairs. She looked at the spot where he had moved the brick away, and Skippy noticed how surprised she looked.

"That's just where that weird man said I'd find that thing!" she said.

Skippy just looked at her for a moment. "Did you have a dream about a strange man too?"

"Yes. Did you too? He said he was a Hyperworlder, whatever that means, and that his name was Haaw."

"When did you have that dream?"

"About a week ago. Did you find anything behind there?"

"I had exactly the same dream last night!" Skippy said. He pulled the circular twig out from under his shirt. "This was behind there," he told her, holding it up. "How could we both have dreamed about the exact same thing like that?"

"I don't know. What was it he called it?"

"A passer, I think."

"Yes, that was it. Do you know what it does?"

"No, do you?"

"All he said was that it was the most powerful thing in our world, whatever that means."

"I'll tell you what it does if I can figure it out. Let's keep it a secret for now though."

"Alright. Let's go get some breakfast."

They both went upstairs and they got some breakfast, Skippy wondering the whole time what could be the purpose of his new secret.

He stayed home all day, thinking about it.

There was definitely something odd about the circle. It did look funny when he looked through it. He wondered if it might make him able to see through things, but if that's what it did, he couldn't figure out how to make it work. Then he thought of trying to put something through the ring. He took a pencil and passed it through the circle. Nothing happened. He carefully stuck his finger into the circle. Again, nothing happened.

Then he began to wonder what would happen if he could step completely through it. Then something did begin to happen! He imagined he could see the ring growing larger and larger, until it was so big he could easily step right through it!

Then he did step through it, while he was holding it at the same time. He didn't really understand how he did it, but he had passed through the passer. It didn't seem to make any sense to him, but he had done it.

Once he was on the other side, nothing seemed to have changed at first. But then he began to notice that he couldn't completely focus on anything; everything was like a fuzzy picture on television. He could see, but not as clearly as he should have been able to see. He looked down at his hands, and found that he could see them perfectly clearly. They didn't look at all like the rest of the room. He could see the rest of his body with perfect clarity asked well. There was definitely something different about him, but he still could not figure out what it was that was different.

He left his room and went downstairs. He was wondering if anyone else would notice anything different about him. But there wasn't anyone around to ask about it. The other parts of the house seemed a little fuzzier than his room had been.

It worried him that the rest of the house was so unclear. He went back to his room, and was relieved to find it looked the same asked when he had left it, and no less clear.

He wondered if he would be able to do the same thing again, to go back through the passer, and be able to see everything asked clearly asked before. He tried doing just what he had done the first time. The ring became large again, and he passed through it again. He thought he heard a strange voice call out something from somewhere as he passed through it. Once back through the passer, the room looked perfectly normal again. Then he did it a third time, and again the room became blurred.

Not long after that, Skippy's mother came in. She was looking for him. She was calling his name, as though he weren't even there. He thought perhaps it was his mother he had heard calling as he was going through the passer before, and she just sounded different as he was going through the passer.

"I'm right here," he said. But she didn't even seem to hear him. She was looking right at him, but continued to call him.

It didn't take Skippy long to realize that she couldn't see him: he was invisible! "So that's it!" Skippy said to himself, "The passer has the power of invisibility!

End Chapter 1

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