The Toymaker's Lost Dream
Chapter One – Patrin’s Dream
WCSPatrin’s dream started out warm and pleasant as firelight, family all together, the smell of gingerbread and roasted apples filling the kitchen and the kettle boiling merrily on the hearth. His parents were smiling and sitting side by side, while his older sister and brother peered into a small carved box with a mouse pantomime playing inside. The toy mice scurried back and forth getting ready for a party, setting baskets of berries and acorn bowls of cider on a little mushroom table.
WCSThere was a tall man standing by the table too, buttoning up his winter coat to leave. Patrin could tell he was a Toymaker from the long scarf that he wore tucked under the lapels of his white jacket. Curious to meet this honored guest in his family’s home, he crouched down to get a better look, but a wide brimmed hat kept the Toymaker’s face in shadow. Dreams will play tricks, so as many times as Patrin moved around the table, he could never quite get a true glimpse of the man’s face. And the more he tried to see who he was, the more the fire sparked and the kettle hissed, though not so cheerfully as the dream unwound.
WCSA loud pop from the fire startled Patrin and he glanced away from the mysterious visitor to see a large toad sitting on the hearthrug, steaming from the heat of the fire. Three more sharp pounding taps shook the room, and Patrin noticed another grey green frog on the table next to the milk jug and two more on a shelf next to some platters. He tried to shoo them away, but as he did other bullfrogs appeared, croaking puffs of smoke from their wide stretched mouths. More and more of the fat slimy creatures hopped from the fireplace to hide under the chairs and behind the pantry, their croaks filling the room with puffs of smoke. The tall man in the white suit melted into the swirling haze and Patrin awoke to the sound of someone knocking softly on his bedroom door.