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Abra Stone

Doctor Sleep
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February 24, Y109

The hotel was alive.

Abra had been forewarned about this. Uncle Dan told her, made sure she knew what she would be getting into from the moment she stepped through the doors, but there was something very different in seeing the thing for herself rather than just hearing about it. Ghosts were in these halls. Dead people from long ago who smiled when they saw her, and they weren't kind smiles. They were hungry smiles, predatory, like the ones the True Knot wore when they were luring in prey. It was...worryingly bad, but that wasn't the worst thing. Not today. Not right now. Right now, not even Rose the Hat, who might still be somewhere inside these walls, could be the worst thing.

It was Uncle Dan.

It wasn't his fault. It wasn't even him when it came right down to it. It was the hotel working through him, using his body against his will. She knew that without the slightest doubt, but it made little difference in the moment when the man was wielding an axe. She wanted to help him work through this, talk him down, but first she had to be safe. So she ran from him, ducking into the first open room she could find. Had she been able to slow down and pay attention, even for a moment, she might have noted the room's number: 237.

Even with the door closed, she could still hear "Dan's" deranged shouts as he searched for her. He was limping when she saw him, hurt in some way, and she wanted to help him. As she considered her options, some movement caught her eye somewhere to the right of her.

Abra looked. She saw, through an open door into the bathroom, the corpse of an old woman smiling out at her from the bathtub. The corpse drew back the curtain and made to stand, to come towards her, and Abra felt a surge of emotion lurch in her belly. It wasn't fear, though; it was anger. "Try it," she snapped. Whatever you've got, I bet I've got more of it.

Then she felt a tugging at her legs. This caught her off guard; she was aware of the danger in the bathroom and the danger outside the door, but what else could be going on? Another trick of the hotel? She frowned and looked down in time to see some kind of vine catching around her knees, and then, with a sudden yank, she was drawn into darkness.

Abra emerged almost instantly into blinding light. She squeezed her eyes shut, but the brightness quickly abated after the initial shock and she was able to open her eyes again to assess what had happened to her. She was sprawled out on her back, rough sand beneath her and a clear blue sky above, harsh sunlight glaring down upon her.

It didn’t make sense – that was the first thought that came to her. This was winter, she was in Colorado, and she was supposed to be indoors right now. So why – what – how was she outdoors instead, and in the middle of a desert?

There was no making so sense of it, not really. The closest Abra could come to an answer was to consider that she might not be there at all. The Overlook hotel was tricky, and so were the people inside of it. She could be in someone’s mind right now, somehow. It wasn’t a comforting thought, but then, nothing about this situation was comforting.

Abra sat up and looked about with a deep frown crossing her features. She was scared, but she was also angry, and it was easier to cling to the anger. At least with anger, she didn’t feel quite so helpless. Unfortunately, there was nobody around to direction her anger to: she could see a road stretching out into the emptiness of the desert in both directions, but no one was walking it. In frustrated desperation, she let out a yell at nothing in particular – and then she did it again, both aloud and in her mind. Uncle Dan had told her once that her shine could hurt, if she was loud enough. Well, maybe it would hurt enough to get her released from this place.

@Danny Torrance

 
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Danny Torrance

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The sofa was oh so very comfortable underneath him, there was warm sunlight filtering through the window. Dan was trying to read a book but if he was honest all he was achieving was the same paragraph for the third time, it wasn’t going in and his mind kept trying to switch off to take a nap because he was comfy here. He’d spent the previous day at Anderson’s Orphanage looking after all the kids there and trying to convince them that a little DIY could be fun, mostly just to make the job go by a bit quicker with more hands to help out, but it turned out kids took a lot more out of you when you weren’t just idly driving them around a miniature village on a small steam train and then letting them go back to their allotted guardians. Dan still hadn’t earned all the kids trust yet, they still looked at him with the same predatory knowing looks of a class full of kids seeing a supply teacher walk through the door. They still tested him every day he went to work.

He stifled a yawn with the back of his hand and reached over to pick up his cup of coffee. He took a sip and read, for the fourth time, the same paragraph as a moment ago. This time he took it in and managed to make it a little further into the story which was admittedly pretty engrossing when he felt a little more awake. Just as he blindly reached over to place the coffee cup back down onto the table something Danny could only describe as sensing an oncoming tidal wave made him hesitate for a second. He didn’t know how to describe it aside from that feeling of electricity in the air just before a thunderstorm broke, the eerie rush of silence before disaster. The rumble of thunder warning of lightning. Like everything had been sucked out of the air, like someone had just taken a breath deep enough to steal all the oxygen...

What followed was a suddenly ear-splitting pain like a shard of glass being sliced through the front of his skull. It was startling enough that he squeezed his eyes closed and grimaced, dropped the coffee cup which clattered onto the tabletop and spilled dark liquid all over the carpet, dropped the book, where he promptly lost his place, and clutched his hand to the side of his head. It hurt unlike a headache, what it felt like was the night he’d woken up with a girl screaming in his head about someone being killed; baseball boy.

”Abra?” Dan said aloud as he sat upright, swinging his feet off the couch in the apartment and stared across the room to the far wall while the coffee soaked in on the floor. Once upon a time not so very long ago he had done just that and read a familiarly chilling message that looked like it had been sledgehammered into the wall. This time there was nothing but the lingering pain in his head that said someone like him, someone with shine in them, had just reached out to cause pain and it felt like her. Was it possible that she’d been here too the whole time and somehow he hadn’t known? Was it possible that her scream, intended to cause pain was because she was somewhere out there right now and someone was doing that to her? Dan squeezed his eyes closed and with a smooth stretch he was slowly but surely growing familiar with feeling, he reached out to her with his mind.

“Is that you?” He asked, broadcasting loud and clear and far and wide. His lips still and unmoving, eyes squeezed closed as he tried to figure out what direction she was in. She felt far away. Maybe to the north east?



 
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Abra Stone

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Abra didn’t feel good after shouting, but she did feel a little bit better to have released some of her heightened emotion. Unfortunately, her actions didn’t seem to be doing much else. She expected to see the world around her shifting, to experience some kind of disturbance that would indicate she’d made an impact. If she was in someone’s mind, that’s what should have happened, she was sure of it. But…there was nothing. Then:

A voice. “Is that you?” it asked.

It was Dan’s voice sounding in her head, there was no mistaking it. But…Dan wasn’t himself right now, was he? He was possessed, raving like a lunatic through the halls of the Overlook hotel. He sounded like himself, though, and she knew he was strong. Maybe he fought his way back to being in control. Her heart leapt with hope, and she focused, seeking out his familiar mind in order to broadcast her voice back.

“Uncle Dan?” Her voice sounded smaller and more scared than she would have liked. Worse was the uncertainty. She had never doubted him before, but right now, she couldn’t help it. “Is it…is it you, or…”

Or the hotel. She didn’t want to say it, feeling as though the words might will it back into being. She didn’t want to see him like that again. Shaking those thoughts away, she focused on what was happening to her instead.

“I don’t know what’s going on, I don’t know where I am. We were in the Overlook, and you were…and then I was…but now I’m in a desert!” Frustration leaked into her tone, and she could feel angry tears at the corner of her eyes. She wiped them away with her forearm impatiently and looked around again, still expecting to see some change in her surroundings. They remained the same, though she did feel a breeze picking up. That was new. It seemed to clear the dusty air a little, and as she squinted off into the distance, she thought she could see shapes on the horizon.

“I…think I see something. A city.” Somehow, the world began to make even less sense. This didn’t feel like being in another person’s mind, nor did it seem like she was still somehow in the hotel. So what was it, then? She couldn’t begin to guess, and more than anything, she hoped that Dan would be able to explain away all of these unknowns.


 
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Danny Torrance

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Dan couldn’t even be certain he was looking in the right direction, unlike back in their world he’d had a fairly decent idea of which part of the country Abra had been in to go looking for her but here in Pandora that familiar ear splitting headache she’d caused him could have come from anywhere or even beyond, he’d heard about the city outside of the box as they called it. He could be shouting at nothing for all he knew, shouting into the wind in completely the wrong direction. After a moment of what felt like entire minutes ticking by a small voice returned to him, Abra’s voice but it wasn’t the boisterous noise of a confident girl coming at him with a plan and the enthusiastic immortality of youth, this was a small uncertain voice. Dan would have said she sounded...almost frightened. Of what? Of him? Of...something else?

The unsaid words of her question revealed far more than she needed to say, Abra wasn’t convinced she was talking to him. Immediately Dan tried to reassure her with, ”It’s me, Abra, just me, I promise.”

He listened as she spoke, trying to explain where she was, what sounded like it had just been happening to her (Danny had had enough conversation with people in Pandora to understand time didn’t necessarily run parallel here to anything outside of it) her frustration seeped through into her voice, he felt it in his mind, she was confused and even though he’d only known her such a short time he knew she was upset, fighting back tears and perhaps losing. She was just a little girl for all her bravery and her fighting spirit, a little girl who had been hunted, kidnapped, seen her father killed and now this. It sounded like she’d come right from the Overlook, the same as he had. Now she was in the desert. Well that helped him narrow down where she was, the only real desert was the Dread Wastes to the North East. That was no place for a child.

Dan didn’t speak this time to try and reassure her, instead he pushed himself forward, out of his own body and towards the desert. It was the strangest of sensation and part of him felt the immediate panic of disconnection, he ignored it and kept pushing towards her voice in the desert. Near a city, that had to be the capital out there, Lethe. The world rushed by until suddenly it stopped rushing and he was right there beside her, at least some part of Danny Torrance was there with her. He blinked in the bright sunlight of the desert and turned to see Abra’s familiar face.

”Found you.” He said with a relieved sigh, Danny couldn’t reach out to her but he did smile at her reassuringly. Unaware that a moment ago she had seen something else looking out from behind his eyes, something that wanted her dead. ”This place is called the Dread Wastes, I don’t know if that city is safe but I know where you are now. I can get to you but it might be a while, a few hours maybe. You think you can sit tight right here for me?” he asked her, ”I’ll explain everything I can when I find you.”



 
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Abra Stone

Doctor Sleep
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Human
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Female
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Dan promised that it was really him and Abra wanted to believe him – so, she did. There was enough going on without any lingering doubts left about something as vital as that. She felt relieved, and proud that he’d broken free of the possession, but she couldn’t relax yet; there was still the matter of figuring out what was going on now. Dan went silent for a few worrying moments, but it wasn’t for long. Before she knew it, he was beside her there in the desert, looking just as relieved to see her as she was to see him.

Immediately Abra took a half-step toward him, ready to wrap her arms around him in a hug, but then she caught herself. He wasn’t really there, not physically anyway, and an attempt at contact wouldn’t do much for either of them. She smiled just the same as her eyes moved over his face, grateful to see no signs of the madness that had been there before. It really was just him, just Dan, and that was the most important thing of all.

This place was called the Dread Wastes, he said. The name didn’t sound very promising, and he even went on to say that the city she could see off in the distance might not actually be safe either. He could get to her, though. This wasn’t the most comfortable place she could imagine waiting around for a while, but it wasn’t so bad, especially when compared to the Overlook, so she immediately agreed and nodded seriously. “I can wait here. Just – hurry, okay? I don’t like this place.”

Abra shrugged off her winter jacket in order to get more comfortable for the wait. She tied it around her waist and walked a few paces to get out of the road before sitting down cross-legged in the sand. She still didn’t have any idea about how she’d come to be in this place, but Dan was coming and he said he could explain. For now, there was nothing to do but wait.


 

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