Stuart Beard

The Dream Stealers

The Dream Stealers

28th July, 2024

Keep your children close at night

For the Squidgicum-Squee’s a creeping

Never let them leave your sight

Or forever there’ll be weeping

Count your children one to ten

And when you’ve finished, count again

For where you counted ten before

You’ll find that there are ten no more

When the Squidgicum-Squee comes creeping.

A brooding malevolence has emerged from the shadows, and loved ones are disappearing without a trace. Stranded on a strange alien world, with no idea how he got there or how he was going to get back home, Joshua Ellis meets a mysterious pirate; but can he be trusted? Will Joshua and his new friends discover the dark secret of the Dream Stealers and prevent the unearthing of an ancient evil? Or are they already too late?


Read some excerpts from the book

“The things that I have seen, in the dark corners… such evil.”

    “That’s young Joshua Ellis, isn’t it? I always knew he would achieve great things. And there he is, bravely sacrificing his life by becoming breakfast for a dinosaur and a giant lizard so that his friend, a rubbish pirate, can escape up a tree.”

    A skeletal figure; a scarecrow in an ill-fitting suit and with a fixed childlike grin upon his face; emerged from the shadows. He put a hand-carved bone flute to his lips and played so melancholy a song that all who heard it would surely weep, and then, without further ado, he skipped up the steps of the cavern to the festival above.

“Well, you are but a child, young Joshua. And a child’s dreams are incredibly powerful, far more powerful than those of most adults. The dreams of an adult grow dim over time until, eventually, they become regrets. And perhaps some adults were visited by the dream stealers in their youth and so have lost their dreams forever.”

    “How many times have you pressed the big red button?” Joshua asked.
    “Joshua, there are only two reasons why you would ever press the big red button. The first is if you are facing almost certain death with no possibility of escape.”
    “And the second?” asked Crumplehorn.
    “If you are bored and looking for adventure.”

    “In the cold and inky depths of space lurk ancient horrors and unspeakable abominations, waiting for their moment to attack. Most of the peoples of the worlds that they covet go about their day-to-day lives oblivious to what hides in every darkened place; crouched, ready to destroy all they hold dear.”

    Creeping towards them was a Grotesque.
    Its powerful forearms were slowly dragging its pustulant body along the ground. Its bloated abdomen was throbbing and pulsating with an eerie fluorescent green light, as if something inside was desperate to burst the sac asunder and leave the umbilical protection of the womb and hungrily gulp the air of a new world.