The Dream

Have you ever noticed how black and white the world becomes after a while? It almost seems pointless to dream when all the world's dreams are simply.. washed away. All the colour fades and all your impossible wishes become more and more impossible each day.

Of course there were those who held on to their dreams, who didn't stop wishing, who were never tainted by the world's greyness. But those people seemed to have disappeared. I don't know where they went, exactly. Perhaps they simply vanished into nothingness. Or, maybe, they went to another world. Maybe those are the few who's dreams do come true, whose lives can be colourful and bright. The people who simply cannot be corrupted.

I was once like that. I was once so lost in my wonders and my thoughts, so drawn to things that were strange or unusual.

It was a time, it seems, a very long, long time ago, when I did dream. When I not only dreamed but imagined too. I was a storyteller. A person who simply wouldn't accept the way things are.

A dreamer.

I remember waking up from a dream once. A dream so colourful and beautiful it brought me to tears. But the moment I awoke, the wonderful memories of the dream trickled away, leaving me lying there in my bed, face stained with tears from an unknown source. I knew it was a beautiful dream. I knew it was one I wanted to remember, but I couldn`t. I just couldn't.

It was gone.

I started to think that the dream had never existed at all. That maybe I only thought it had been beautiful. Maybe it was a horrible dream, a sorrow-filled one and that was why I`d been crying. Or, maybe, there had been no dream at all. Maybe it was just an illusion I`d made up for myself, a way to convince me that I could still dream when I couldn`t.

Because, you see, I`d been dreaming less and less that year. I stopped looking up, stopped noticing the sky. And the flowers, well, they started becoming duller. Their petals seemed less bright, less beautiful than they had been. And I stopped telling stories. Because what use are impossible stories in a world that values logic above so much? What use is colour when you can't see it any more?

But that dream still hung in my mind. I couldn't get it out, really. It just lingered and lingered, like it was taunting me... Or reminding me of something... Something I'd forgotten.

But just as I was about to stumble upon the meaning of the dream, I would forget it all again.

I would go to school as usual. I'd pass by my friends in the hall, but I would barely talk.

"Why don't you see us any more?" They would ask.

And I would shrug and turn away.

Because I couldn't explain it to them, could I? It was the dream. It haunted me. I knew they wouldn't understand. They were too into this world. This cold world of machines and technology. Of gears and electronics. When I would rather sit alone with a pencil, writing and thinking. But my stories wouldn't come as easily now. I couldn't just sit down and write. It was harder. Stories had to be logical, had to make sense, had to be informative.

I would always ask "why?" when my English teacher would tell me to write essays. Fiction writing still existed, surely. People still needed to escape, didn't they?

And she would always look down at me with that same cold frown on implanted onto her face. "Because essays are important. You'll need to write them later, so you have to learn now."

And I would look down at my paper and sigh, tearing the whole thing up and starting again. I guess stories weren't important anymore unless they were true.

But dreams were real. I was still sure of that. Reality is what you perceive in your mind to be real. That means dreams, which take place directly IN your mind, MUST be real.

But I still couldn't remember that one dream. And since I'd had it, my sleep had been nothing but darkness. No more dreams at all.

That is, until I fell asleep one English class.

I remember there was a rabbit. A white one wearing a waist-coat and a pocket watch held in its paw. I found myself smiling because I knew that rabbit. I knew him from a story I'd read when I was little. So when he looked at me and tapped his watch I felt compelled to follow him as he went racing into the forest.

He leaped down a hole and of course I went with him. But something was different. This wasn't like the story. As I was falling I saw many strange things, but things I had never seen before. Things I hadn't read or seen in movies. I saw purple bats fluttering around, a floating green dog on a cloud, a cotton-candy skunk hanging on a branch. There were flowers on the walls with colours so bright and so beautiful I could barely look at them with eyes so atoned to dullness.

There was music playing too. Classical music from all over the world. Songs switching around as if being played by some unseen D.J. More creatures appeared. Dragons and unicorns, griffins and Pegasi. Colour seemed to explode from the walls, bursting like fireworks from an unknown source.

-And suddenly my fall came to a halt.

But I hadn't hit anything. In fact, I was floating an inch above ground.

Floating? I thought, looking around. Then I felt the hands on my sounders. I was being held up by creatures I want to call angles. But they weren't angles somehow. Yes, they were people with wings, but they had no halos, no angelic glow. In fact, they wore tie-dye and headbands like hippies. They had flowers in their hair and on their necks were hemp necklaces.

They flew me to a river and placed me on the ground. The sun was bright purple, the clouds a misty pink. And the sky was such a brilliant blue, I had to shield my eyes. And the water from the river was a mystical silver, mixed with the reflected colours of the sky. I peered into it and looked at myself. I was different. I didn't know how, but here I looked different than I did outside the dream. I looked brighter, happier.

I looked REAL.

And suddenly, over the fluorescent green hills and past the golden forests, creatures came pouring out. Many creatures of many sizes. Creatures I knew and creatures I didn't.

Or perhaps I did, but had merely forgotten about them.

A dachshund with an accordion for a body, a cat that was nothing but a shadow on the ground and bright yellow eyes that stared, not with menace, but innocence. There were characters from books and cartoons I remembered, pets I once had, drawings I once drew. And my characters were there too. Characters from stories I'd forgotten I had ever wrote. Creatures I never remembered I had made up.

And they were all looking at me. All happy but also, somehow, sad.

"What's wrong?" I asked when they all gathered near.

Mera, a cat I'd once drawn, shook her head. "Don't worry about that." She said simply, looking up at me with her royal blue eyes. "We're having a party and we simply must have you come."

I hesitated, thinking. This dream didn't feel like a dream any more. It felt real. It felt right. "I'd love to." I replied with a smile.

They lead me deep into the forest. I must say, it was stunning. Gold and silver and copper trees. Bushes with candy instead of fruit, streams that looked clear but tasted like cool-aid. And mountains in the background, the kind I always used to draw as a kid. The kind with jagged peaks and snow at the top, mist at the bottom. I smiled more and more at each little discovery.

We stopped at a clearing with a huge picnic table in the center. They sat me down at the end, then took their own places. Just as I was wondering where all the food was, a wizard near the end of the table raised his wand. The table listed off the ground up into the sky. It soared higher and higher until you could see the whole forest from above. Then he flicked his wand again and food appeared from nowhere. Mountains and mountains of it. Cupcakes and pizza, chicken and soup, roasted duck, roasted pheasant, roasted everything! There was cake and candy of every kind, ice-cream and caramel, there was even a chocolate fountain in the middle of the table.

Everyone dug in. And I mean that literally. Everyone practically leaped onto the table and grabbed things with both hands, shoving it in their mouths. I joined in, slurping soup and scarfing down pizza. I chugged several bottles of pop and sipped(slurped) as much tea as possible.

Eventually we were all too full and too tired to eat any more. We were all laying on the table, staring contentedly up at the darkening sky.

The sunset was quick, but beautiful. The whole sun seemed to crack in half and spill over the horizon in one humongous wave that reached up so high I thought it would engulf the whole forest, but then it faded, leaving the sky dark and the clouds darker.

I smiled as stars appeared. Stars of all different colours, like someone had shattered a rainbow and thrown it to the sky, where it stuck and stayed, delighting all with it's glory. The moon was massive and perfectly round. But it was green, which didn't seem strange at all, just unique. Beautiful, really.

I sighed a long, happy sigh and smiled even wider. This had to have been the most smiling I'd done in a lifetime. I never wanted this to end. I wanted to stay in this world forever.

The wizard set the table down on the ground and once everyone had gotten out of their seats, he made the whole thing disappear entirely and in its place, instruments appeared. Most I had never seen or heard of before and had no clue at all how to play. So I watched as each creature took up an instrument and played to their heart's content. Eventually, all the creatures started playing as one, a tune so wonderful I simply had to sing along.

I knew this song too. I'd heard it before in a movie I loved, a movie I had forgotten even though it meant so much.

"If you want to sing out, sing out.
If you want to be free, be free.
'Cause there's a million things to be,
you know that there are."

Yes I knew the song. And it nearly brought me to tears singing it again after forgetting for so long. It had meant a lot to me. How could I have forgotten?

But that didn't matter any more. Nothing mattered. I was were I should be. I was where I belonged. I was in the real world.

But as I was thinking that, I noticed the creatures had slowed down their playing. They were looking at me with their large, glassy eyes... I wanted to look away.

But I couldn't.

I couldn't because they were about to tell me the truth.

They were about to tell me that this was-

That this was-

"I'm sorry." Mera said softly, padding over to me on her little cat-feet. Her face was so sad... So, so sad....

"I can't go." I stated simply. "I can't go back. I want to stay here, with you." I looked up, scanning the faces of all the creatures. "I want to stay here will ALL of you!" I was crying now. I couldn't help it. The tears were just streaming down my face. Emotion wasn't something I let people see from me. Especially sorrow. But no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't stop the tears from coming.

"So this is it, then?" I asked when I had stopped crying long enough to speak. "You're all going to leave me? Just like that?"

Mera shook her head. "We're not leaving you. You're leaving us."

"But I don't want to leave you!" I shouted, angry now. "I want to stay forever!"

"Your world won't accept that. Not now. Not yet." She was looking up at me with those big, sad, blue eyes.

I wanted to cry harder now, but the tears simply wouldn't come. I was done crying now. I couldn't live in my mind, no matter how much I wanted to. And if the world wasn't ready for my stories yet, then so be it. They would still be there. Still in my shelves, open for anyone who wants to read them.

I looked at each creature in turn, smiling, making them smile too. "I'll miss you." I said.

"We won't be far." Mera told me. "We will meet again, when the world is ready."

I hugged each in turn and waved goodbye. Soon their colourful, smiling faces started to fade.

-And then, in one jolt I was awake. My English teacher stood over me, still frowning, still dull and grey-looking.

I sighed and pulled out a pencil, continuing my essay.

I didn't know what Mera meant when she said they wouldn't be far, or what she meant by us meeting again when the world was ready. How could I tell the world was ready? How do I know they're still there when I haven't had a single dream since.

Dreams are pointless anyway. There's no real use for them, no real purpose, no-


There's a sound. Out the window....

But not just a sound... Someone's whistling. And it's a tune I know well.

I pull back the blinds and peer outside.

There's a man there. All dressed up in a suit, holding a briefcase as he walks down the street. He turns and looks at me as I watch him from the window. But he doesn't just ignore me, nor does he frown or look suspicious, no... he smiles and begins to sing.

"If you want to sing out, sing out,
and if you want to be free, be free."

And I look at him, studying him. He looks rather normal... grey pants, grey coat, white shirt-

And a brightly coloured, tie-dyed tie.

I smile and grab my coat and shoes, running out the door, joining in the song.

He laughs and keeps singing. People are staring, giving weird looks, turning their childrens' heads away, but we just keep singing.

And I hear a small voice-

"Did you miss us?" Mera asks. And I just have to smile.

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