Name: T.L. Bodine
Dear Guest Judges,
When social worker Adrian Montgomery's seven-year-old client Nathaniel disappears, he jumps on the chance to aid in the investigation. He doesn't expect the search to lead him to another world.
At the scene of the boy's disappearance is a doorway that only Adrian can see. On the other side is Tagestraum, a faerie realm fed by the energy of children's imaginations. Without their dreams, the whole kingdom would be plunged into the sort of Darkness where monsters are born and nightmares become real. But Tagestraum's been suffering an energy crisis lately because someone has been stealing dreams – and the kids who make them.
In order to find the dream-thief and rescue Nathaniel, Adrian must journey through a savage wonderland of flesh-eating unicorns, dream-addicted faeries and corrupt monarchs. Worse, Tagestraum itself assaults the sanity of rational minds, and Adrian's is made up of locked doors and labeled file cabinets. At night, the Darkness drags him through his darkest memories, forcing him to face horrors from his own troubled childhood.
As the search unfolds, he realizes that he's not here by coincidence. And if he can't stop the dream thief, Tagestraum isn't the only world that will be overrun with Darkness.
TAGESTRAUM is an 80,000 dark fantasy that would appeal to fans of Neil Gaiman and China Mieville. My short stories have previously appeared in the Dark Valentines anthology from Whortleberry Press as well as Freedom Fiction Journal and MicroHorror.