series –

The Dreamer

None of this makes any sense.

On the cobblestone streets, we held our heart in our hands. But people urged us to put it back, while all we wanted was to dance to its beat.

(“What does it mean?” you ask. I answer with silence.)

We wandered through the woods; a song captivated our minds, and we began to sing. It was the most beautiful song we’d ever heard, but we knew we couldn’t take it with us through the void. We decided we had to teach it to someone else quickly before we woke up, so at least they could bring it into the world.

(“What does it mean?” you ask. I sigh deeply.)

We were held captive in an opulent mansion by a cruel and conniving man. He wanted us to work for him, but we refused. We tried to run, but his army of demons kept us from escaping. Through the fear, one question remained: why was he so desperate for our compliance? When fighting became inevitable, a power surged through us; our skin hummed with light, our back sprouted wings, and our eyes could see through all deception. We broke free and destroyed everyone in our path.

(“What does it mean?” you ask. I relent and say, “Perhaps a desire, unmet?”)

We ran through the back room of the old house. The shadows jumped at our heels; we knew something was closing in, and the only way to escape was to take the mirroring staircase down. We were terrified, but we made it to the door and out into the street. We caught our breath, and then the realization hit: the house hadn’t looked like that in over twenty years. There was nothing here but a memory.

(“What does it mean?” you ask. I say, “A place of comfort, a place of fear, a place where the world was formed before it lost its otherworldly glamour. But no longer a home.”)

We walked up a narrow pass when we saw an entrance to a cave. Someone approached us — someone we loved. Before we got to greet them, they plunged a knife into our chest. As the hurt spread through us, we felt no betrayal, only a dull sadness. And then we died, and in death we kept on living. At first, there was confusion, then annoyance, then anger, as we sat in the darkness of the cave. Why keep on being when you are dead? And there it came to us: the dark felt so much lighter than the light ever did. We shook off our sorrow; we could now exist as a part of everything.

(“What does it —” I cut you off. “My friend, the mind is a labyrinth; we simply wander through it until we make our way to the center.”)

We reconvened with our group in a classroom. Beyond the doorway, we could all feel an entity stir. It would be risky to turn our backs or leave without its blessing. We tried to communicate but failed. We knew there was a spell that could be used, if only we had a blank page to write it on. We collected all the paper we could find, but not a single one of them was without writing on it. A disembodied voice whispered in our ear that any blank canvas would work to activate the magic. We didn’t hesitate and drew a pattern of dots on our own hand and held it up towards the doorway to initiate the commune spell. From each dot, a line started to form that reached into the ether. We knew it worked, and that we would be free.

(Don’t ask. Come see me tonight and tell me what it means.)

Image – Sleeping beauty from Sing-Song. A Nursery Rhyme Book, illustrated by A. Hughes (1893). Original from the British Library. Used under CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication
Font – Bungee font family. Used under SIL Open Font License

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