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  • Writer's pictureCharles Zitta

Season of Shadows (Chapter 3 - A Special Place)

Updated: Jan 18



The Library of Dreams is far more than any ordinary library. Hidden deep within the United Kingdom Pavilion, on Tudor Lane in Epcot, only a select few Patron Council members know of its location and how to access it. The secret entryway, a challenging task in itself to find, is tucked away behind a warm brown door with distorted, lavender glass windows, marked: CAST MEMBERS ONLY.

Frank slowly turned the door knob, not wanting to draw unnecessary attention from The Toy Soldier shoppers. Quickly, he entered the secret room, quietly closing the door behind him.

Happy silence.

A grin of admiration came over his face, as he looked around.

Many had seen Christopher Robin’s bedroom before, but most likely it was in a movie or a television special. Not here, not in back of The Toy Soldier shop. And those who had been there, most certainly had forgotten.

It was the perfect place to conceal a Dream Dot. An entry point into the Library of Dreams.

The old Imagineer eyed the vintage Hercules ferris wheel made of tin sitting atop Christopher’s white wardrobe. He walked over and stopped, his nose nearly touching the ferris wheel hub. Carefully, he studied the toy over the rim of his sunglasses.

Lifting his right arm, Frank inserted his index finger between the spokes of the ferris wheel. He turned it one full circle to the right…two full circles to the left…then, three more to the right.

Lowering his arm, Frank turned and faced Christopher Robin’s toy chest.

The chest lid opened upwards as the front facing panel, baring a sail ship, lowered to the floor. A soft, warm glow from beyond the opening exposed a descending staircase.

Frank quickly looked around to make sure nobody was watching, then strolled down the stairway into a magical place known as WONDER.

The front panel of the chest raised back up and the lid closed, leaving the room as it were before.


******

The spiraled, wooden staircase emptied into a long, torchlit hallway, which opened up into an enormous circular room with marble flooring and a domed ceiling supported by large, arched beams made of dark, stained wood. The beams divided the ceiling into six equal parts like a piece of pie. Within each segment painted murals of colorful sunshine breaking through pleasantly white clouds, set within blue skies, symbolized the endless possibilities of dreams. Amazingly, the clouds in the sky appeared to be very much real, and were moving.

Unlike most libraries, the spacious room was not lined with book filled shelves. Instead, it was filled with dreams. Concealed by magic, within luminescent orbs that were suspended in air like stars populating a galaxy, the dreams, concepts and any other unrealized ideas thought up by Disney’s Imagineers and animators, randomly floated about the room. It was not just a library for dreams, but also…a library for the very place in which it existed. WONDER.

Centered in the room sat a large circular table. It too, was made of dark, stained wood, with eight, ornately-carved chairs. In the middle of the table sat a golden, four-prong stand, also decorated in ornate fashion. It was sized perfectly to hold one floating orb at a time.

Frank approached the table and pulled back a chair. The unpleasant sound of the chair’s heavy legs dragging across the floor resonated throughout the massive room. He sat down.

Seconds later, another gentleman up in years, with a long white beard, appeared from the shaded perimeter of the room.

He too approached the sunlit table and sat down.

“Looks like you have been busy, Alfred,” said Frank.

“Somebody has to keep this place running, don’t cha think?” replied Alfred, who was wearing a pair of oversized overalls, white t-shirt, a crooked train engineer cap and scuffed work boots—all covered in grease from head to toe. He set a large wrench down upon the table, creating a loud THUNK. “So what are we here to talk about anyway?”

Frank stared at his friend, as if he should know. “The ring, and…the Magic Dream Expander,” said Frank.

“Oh yes, right. So the ring...the exchange went well? No problems I presume?”

“None at all,” said Frank. “In fact, it went very well indeed. I would imagine, at this time, as we speak, the young boy most likely has it safely stowed away where nobody else will find it.”

“Nobody?” said Alfred, with a sarcastic grin. “Really?”

Frank squirmed in his chair from Alfred’s reply. “Charlie is a smart young man, Alfred, a very confident, and courageous, young man.”

“That may be true, but I wouldn’t put it past those heartless Dark Thorns to try and get their filthy hands on that ring. Don’t be foolish, Frank, you know what we’re up against.”

“Even in reality?” said Frank.

“Yes, even in reality,” said Alfred with a scowl on his face.”

“What about places beyond Disney World property?”

“Still possible,” said Alfred.

“Really? How so?” said Frank.

“Remember the watch incident last year?”

“Of course, how could I ever forget it,” replied Frank, “Bella Bark, the evil witch of the enchanted woods, somehow, was able to transport into the real Magic Kingdom and zap the Watch of Wonder with a bolt of lightning.”

“That’s how,” said Alfred.

“Are you saying the leaders of FOTO have found a way to extend their reach even further throughout reality?”

“Like, beyond the parks? Yes, you could say that,” replied Alfred, “but not in the manner of which you may think.”

“Please explain,” said Frank.

Alfred stared down at the table, closed his eyes…then, looked up and said, “Micro-dream particles.”

“So FOTO has…no…you mean…how?”

“Yes,” said Alfred, “they have figured out a way to access the minds of anyone who has consumed our micro-dream particles using dark magic. One of the most brilliant inventions we have ever created as Disney Imagineers is now being used against us, and is a threat to everyone involved. Including your young friend, Charlie. And what’s worse, they don’t even need the Magic Dream Expander to do it!”

“That means, if they can access his dreams—using dark magic dream interactions,” said Frank, “they will be able to manipulate, or interfere, with the boy’s future intentions, know what he’s thinking…or worse yet, know what the entire Patron Council is planning to do.”

“Yes, we’ll need to be very careful how we pass along information to the boy, regarding the Kingdom Crystals and how to obtain them,” said Alfred.

“Extreme precaution. Even more so than before, will be used from here on out when communicating with Charlie,” said Frank.

“Right. Any vital information you share with the boy. Any at all, will need to be done using your very best magic. It is imperative we keep FOTO out of our circle of communication to better our chances in protecting WONDER, and all that is hidden within it.”

Frank paused, then looked upwards, taking in all the dreams concealed within the luminescent orbs floating throughout the room. “Yes, it would be devastating to lose all that we have achieved through the decades, wouldn’t it? Which brings me to the next topic at hand, which you mentioned just a minute ago. The Magic Dream Expander.”

“Go on,” said Alfred.

“With evil lurking nearby, and apparently, as you just said, becoming more of a threat each passing day, with the ability to now tap into our micro dream particles—”

“It is nearer then you think,” interrupted Alfred.

Frank shot Alfred a frustrated look, then continued. “As I was saying, with evil lurking nearby, and becoming more of a threat each passing day, I feel now, more than ever, it would be in our best interest to move the Magic Dream Expander.”

Alfred’s scrunched up his face in thought, his eyes looking up and to the right. He stroked his long, grey beard, then turned his attention back towards his fellow Patron. “I think you're on to something, Frank. You know, there’s no tell’n how much that bunch of rabble rousers already know. Especially the Dark Thorns and their mysterious leader.”

“Which reminds me,” said Frank, have we any good leads yet on who it may be?”

“Not yet, Frank, but I feel we will find out soon enough. Whether that is a good thing or not, is another matter. But for now, we need to focus on what we CAN control. The last thing we want to do is make it easy for them.”

“I agree one hundred percent,” added Frank.

“So what do you have in mind?”

“Have in mind?” said Frank.

“You know…about moving the Magic Dream Expander,” said Alfred.

“Ahhh yes,” said Frank. “Simple. We call a meeting to discuss when, where, and HOW, we want to do it.”

“And where do you suggest this meeting take place?” said Alfred.

“The Magic Dream Expander’s current hiding place,” said Frank in confident tone.

Alfred gave Frank a squint-eyed stare, turning his head ever just slightly to the left. “Very smart, that way we can—”

“We can act immediately on our intentions,” Frank interrupted. “Take the ‘when’ right out of the mix.”

“Precisely,” said Alfred, pointing towards his friend.

Both men stood up from the table and shook hands.

“It’s settled, then,” said Frank, “I’ll arrange a meeting.”

“See you soon, my friend,” Alfred replied over his shoulder, “but now, I have to get back to my chores.” He walked off into the darkness, wrench in hand.

Frank watched Alfred disappear into the shaded perimeter of the room, took one last glimpse at the bright orbs above, then exited the Library, back into the torchlit hallway. The wise Imagineer slowly ascended the spiral staircase—emerging from the toy box in Christopher Robin’s bedroom at the rear of The Toy Soldier shop. He quietly exited the room, closing the door behind him, which read, CAST MEMBERS ONLY.



© 2024 Charles E. Zitta. Charles E. Zitta and Disney and the Wonder Within blog novels are in no way part of,  endorsed or authorized by, or affiliated with the Walt Disney Company or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

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