Stella - Book 1 - MAURIZIO RODOLFI - darmowy ebook

Our world, the Waking World is threatened by the King of the Nightmares.The Nightmares have returned,they steal dreams from those who are sleeping,the Nightmares that come in the deepest sleep,carry the souls to their world.When you have heard the words of this song it is already too late. A freezing wind penetrates to the bone. The eyelids become heavy. The dark envelops everything. You fall asleep and no one can awake you from an endless nightmare.Until today the magic labyrinth in the realm of Sleep has been able to protect every one of us from this terrible tragedy but now something terrifying is about to happen.A child named Stella who grew up in an orphanage in Florence, Italy, is the protagonist of this story and it will be she, through her incredible journey, who will seek to save the Waking World.

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Table of contents


Chapter I

Chapter II

Chapter III

Chapter IV

Chapter V


Chapter VI

Chapter VII

Chapter VIII

Chapter IX

Chapter X



The Nightmares have returned,

they steal dreams from those who are sleeping,

the Nightmares that come in the deepest sleep,

carry the souls to their world.

When you can clearly hear the words of this chant it is already too late. A cold wind penetrates your bones. The eyelids become heavy. Darkness envelops everything. You fall asleep and no one can ever wake you up from an endless nightmare.

So far, a magic labyrinth has protected us from this immense tragedy, but now something terrifying is about to happen.

Chapter I

Where the night has no beginning or end, where fears take shape, where whatever it is that disturbs sleep has its abode, the one who is all the more wicked and powerful has long ridden through endless desolate valleys. The wind hissing and the scraping of heavy hooves were all that the king heard for many miles. In the dark beyond the narrow slit of the helmet, his scarred, fierce and impassive eyes glittered at one time, like those of the beast that is about to tear apart the captured prey.

He galloped until he reached the shores of a lake with brown water, at the entrance to the land of the dark fairies. He slid out of his saddle, took off his helmet, releasing his thick gray hair, his face was carved with strong, sharp lines. Numerous and deep scars raked his ash colored skin.

He stood still for a long time, waiting. Then a dense fog wrapped the lake before him; from those impenetrable vapors a sinuous female figure appeared, suspended on the water, covered with the finest of black veils like a mournful bride who went to meet him.

“What is the king of the Nightmares doing in this land so far from his fortress?” the fairy asked with a thin voice and a veiled smile.

“An answer to the question I am about to ask you, Neremana,” the king replied firmly.

“I already know your question,” said the fairy with deference,” and the response your Majesty requires. That which many yearn to resolve is the following puzzle: can the reign of the Nightmares ever obliterate the Realm of Dreams?”

The king agreed with a nod, and Neremana continued,

“What you are asking is not easy, my king. There is only one way, one chance to satisfy your request and I will show you the way. But what can you offer in return?”

“Is not it not perhaps true that dark beings appreciate the terror of the children of the Waking World more than anything else,” said the King. Neremana's eyes gleamed like rubies, while a thin thread of foam spilled from the corners of her mouth.

“You will have the sleep of all the children you want if I achieve my intention! You will be able to feed your people for centuries with the fear of helpless creatures, trapped in their worst sleep for eternity,” said the king.

“Then listen,” said the fairy, persuaded by the benefit of the exchange, “Only one being can help you achieve your purpose; a creature having greater power than any magician, greater than that of the King of Dreams, and even of yours, my Lord, the Supreme Being.”

“What are you saying? There is no such creature!”

“It does not exist yet, but it will if you follow my suggestions; it will enclose within itself the shining and dark soul, the real Blood of Dreams, and that of the Nightmares in a single offspring. Your daughter will give birth to her, and Amon, successor to the realm of dreams, will be the father.”

“How dare you?” thundered the king. “I would never allow such a thing!” “Think about it, Majesty. If you act as I say a being will soon be born whom, once she is eleven years old will have enough power to break the eternal balance in your favor! It would be enough to sip this potion,” the Fairy insisted, opening her gray and tapered hand and showing a small ampoule, “and your daughter's skin would become clear, her eyes blue, and she would look like the most irresistible woman to the Prince Amon in the realm of Dreams. Your daughter cannot cross the Labyrinth, but she must wait for Amon to go out for one of his usual excursions: as soon as he sees her he will fall madly in love. When you see her coming back to the fortress showing her true aspect, you will know that the Supreme Being has been conceived. Your Majesty will only have to wait for your daughter to give birth to the creature, but ... the fairy stopped for an instant,“ when she has been born you will have to make sure of one thing.”

“Tell me, Neremana,” said the king who seemed increasingly interested in the proposal. ”If the newborn creature has her mother's scarlet eyes, then she will grow to your side for ten years and will help you complete all of your plans. But if she has the emerald green eyes of her father you will have to kill her immediately!” The king studied the fairy for a long time and understood she was not lying. The dark fairies had the ability to see into the future, and Neremana was the most powerful.

“And this creature will have enough power to cross the Labyrinth?” asked the king.

”Not only will she cancel the spell of the Labyrinth, she will obliterate the whole realm of Dreams forever.”

The king could not hide a grimace of astonishment. ”It is so, Majesty: in my vision I saw a little girl, a red-eyed little girl who will guide your army beyond the Labyrinth against King Dream, and into the Waking World itself. Your enemies will be annihilated and you will have a whole universe of defenseless creatures all for you!” The king closed his eyes thoughtfully for a moment. When he opened them again, the small ampoule was in his hand and the fairy had vanished.

Chapter II

In the realm of Dreams, on the banks of a stream whose shimmering waters reflected the high towers of the castle enveloped in climbing ivy, old Gami narrated ancient stories to a group of attentive children sitting on the grass around him.

“What I'm about to tell you is not a legend, but a story that really happened in at remote time that is lost in the night of time! Have you ever wondered why there is the great Labyrinth around the realm?” asked the old man, pointing at the imposing hedges that stood on the horizon. The children looked at each other and did not answer.

“To protect us!” exclaimed the old man.

”Protect us from what?” one of the little ones asked timidly.

“There was a time when our land was threatened by terrible beings, wicked creatures who came from the realm of the nightmare.” A shiver ran through the group a mix of fear and curiosity that is aroused by every story involving fear.

”The sun suddenly set,” the old man continued, gesturing with his arms, “and anyone that fell asleep ended up captive in a dark world they could not leave, as in a very long seeming death. The creatures of the reign of the Nightmares then attacked our world. They were monstrous, terrible beings, with blood-red eyes. King Dream gathered an army of brave warriors from every corner of the realm in this castle, whose secrets are still retained in the swords and armor worn by those valiant knights who have now been forgotten by everyone. They defended the realm with their life, they fought for a long time and valiantly a war that they could not win. They did not sleep for days and days, knowing that if they had fallen asleep, it would be the end. The Nightmares crossed the lands of Half-awake and advanced to the gates of the realm. Their leader was the King of the Nightmares in person, the most wicked and powerful being found in history. It is said that he was capable of killing an enemy with only one glance. Thus every creature of Dream stayed awake, including women and the elderly, they joined the knights in defense of the realm. They waited for the arrival of the Nightmares for the final encounter right down there, where the Labyrinth is now. Imagine seeing an infinite array of creatures on foot and on horseback, with banners fluttering in the wind, and King Dream in front of them waiting to fight a stronger and more powerful army.”

“Was he the same king that is here now?” one child interrupted.

“No, little boy, Dreams do not live so long. He was one of his ancestors, a valiant and proud man,” replied Gami.

”Did he die in the battle?”

“Slowly, slowly, let me get to the end of the story,” the old man chuckled, and continued.”Even the enemies did not see it, but they were preceded by an immense black cloud that even obscured the stars on the horizon. Then a freezing wind carried their battle song:

The Nightmares have returned,

they steal dreams from those who are sleeping,

the Nightmares that come in the deepest sleep,

carry the souls to their world.

That mournful melody numbed the mind of everyone and aroused terror even in the most daring hearts. The horses raked the ground nervously. And in the distance, the imposing figure of the enemy king riding approached followed by the endless horde of red-eyed monsters like flames. It was at that moment, a moment before the conflict, that something unexpected happened; between the two armies appeared as if from nowhere a minute man, dressed in a green tunic, so old that he seemed to be a thousand years old. After a first moment of surprise, some of the elders recognized that being: it was the one people called the moon wizard. They had met him the last time when they were still children. The legend said that he had gone to live in the moon, and that they could only meet him by climbing to the highest mountain of the realm that was closest to the sky. But of course it was a legend to tell the children and everyone was convinced that he had died many years before. They could not believe he was right there in front of them.