The Beginning

Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, 1973....

            The chilly breeze that wafted over the swaying grass plains of Wiltshire caused William to wrap his coat about him tightly. If the tour guide's monotonous voice wasn't bad enough, the cold breeze certainly made the history lecture even more unendurable. The guide's speech about the mysteries and history of Stonehenge was painfully rehearsed, as though he had done it a thousand times or more. And probably had, William thought.
            William was a young man of seventeen years with eyes of blue and shoulder length dark brown hair. His demeanor was obviously that of a withdrawn type of lad. An introvert, you might say. He only had one close friend and preferred to spend his time playing Dungeons and Dragons and re-reading books such as Lord of the Rings and Robert E. Howard's Conan stories. And not that he wasn't intelligent, mind you, as one could not find fault in his grades. Of course his parents' aspirations were that their son would one day go to Oxford and achieve his dreams for himself, hoping too that he would grow out of his intense obsession of fantasy literature.
            But something else had his parents even more worried than spending all weeking playing Dungeon and Dragons with Llan. It was the dreams, the nightmares. For the past three months he had been plagued by various types of dreams. Dreams so real one could not help but think they were memories.
            Every night, without relent, the dreams would come. Images of strange fantasy kingdoms, conflicts, wars, crys for help. A voice calling to him. A strange man in a dark cloak. And then also, the darker ones. Images of horrific beasts and dragons.
            The description of his dreams to his parents enraged them. To them, he was merely describing Dungeons and Dragons setttings, and this had to be stopped. He hadn't played a game with Llan for weeks now, but the dreams continued to escalate. Sometimes he would wake up screaming, covered in sweat. Othertimes the morning waking would come gently, as though he was really part of what he was dreaming.
            But one dream above the others stood out ever so clearly above the rest. It was the one dream that reoccured the most, a dream about Stonehenge.
            Or at least he thought it was Stonehenge.
            The dream would always show a circle of stones. Huge stones. Standing upright and forming a circular pattern. In the middle a small burnt patch of fertile dirt. Then a high pitched keening noise would sound, seconds later a tall rectangular blue glowing portal would rise from the ground. And from the portal, a voice called to him.
            "....believed to have been a monument over King Arthur's grave..." the tour guides voice interrupted his thoughts. "...other theories have attributed it to the Phoenicians, Romans, Vikings, and visitors from other worlds; modern theory inclines to the view that it was a temple."
            William looked at his parents, who were intently focused on what the tour guide was saying, as were the other tourists. He had begged them to take him to Stonehenge without saying why, and they agreed, although somewhat surprised. But they were happy to see his enthusiasm to get out into the open air for once. Of course, he wanted Llan to come with him as well.
            William looked to his right and saw Llan taking down notes of the tour guide's speech. William smiled. Llan would turn anything and everything into a song, even a boring history lecture. Llan was a year younger than Will and his closest and only friend. Short blonde hair and goatie, he carried the stereotypical label of hippie. Never seen without his guitar strung over his back, he looked to be the upcoming British musician he dreamed about. He was also somewhat of a stand up comedian and entertainer, who loved to sing for his friends and bring cheer wherever he went. He and Will were totally opposite personalities, yet strange enough, close friends.
            The tour guide continued "While we can't say with any degree of certainty what it was for, we can say that it wasn't constructed for any casual purpose. Only something very important to the ancients would have been worth the effort and investment that it took to construct Stonehenge."
            The tour guide was a large Yorkshireman with a deep voice and two chins. "We are surrounded by 1500 acres of bare plains, just how did the ancients move standing stones of such size to this open plain?"
            "The circular bank and ditch, double circle of 'bluestones', and circle of sarsen stones , are concentric, and the main axis is aligned on the midsummer sunrise--an orientation that was probably for ritual rather than scientific purposes."
            Without thinking William spoke out loud to nobody in particular, his eyes fixed on the tall stones. "Perhaps a portal to another dimension?"
            A few of the onlookers in the tour group chuckled and his parents gave him a puzzled look. The large tour guide cocked his head sarcastically to one side and smiled. "Well why not, I mean, some believe it to be the work of aliens, why not doors to other planets?"
            The tour guide then smiled further, a smile born of relief that another tour was coming to an end, rather than a smile of enthusiasm for his work. "Feel free to take pictures but do not touch any of the stones. And feel free to ask any questions."
            As the daylight began to wane and the temperature dropped, the tourists were ushered back onto the bus to depart for Amesbury.
            On the short bus ride back to town, Llan nudged William. "Blimey Will, you shouldn't be talkin' bout your dreams openly, your parents already think you are crazy enough." Llan chuckled.
            "A portal to another world? I really think you need to cut back on the campaigns a bit, my friend, and that's a lot comin' from me."
            William's gaze was focused out across the plains of Wiltshire, watching the sun begin to set.
            "Something is happening Llan, I don't know what it is, but I felt something back there"
            Llan smiled wrily. "Yeah, too much cold wind on yer head. There's no King Arthur's ghost, aliens or any magic doors to fantasy kingdoms around 'ere, I'm not gonna play any more D&D with you until you get a grip" Llan grinned jokingly.
            "Listen matey, I don't know what yer going through or why these weird dreams are plagin' ya, but, I'm here as your friend, you know that right?"
            Will smiled "Yes, and I appreciate it, it's nice to have a friend around when you are going insane."
            Llan stared at him sideways, as if attempting to read his expression to see whether he was serious or not.


            Druid's Lodge was a quaint little motel less that two miles away from the Stonehenge site. It was furnished in expensive Victorian era furniture and paintings, and had a very old fashioned feel to it. This was where they decided to stay the night after their little trip to Stonehenge. Will's father had family in this southern part of England and preferred to spend the night at a nearby motel rather than drive through the night. The
parents did not notice the sounds of two people sneaking out in the early
hours of the morning, followed by the soft hum of a car driving off into the

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