“Our world is falling apart.”
I looked at him askance; like I would to anyone who would make this statement. I hated overdramatic statements and was about to make good with my reply when his face flickered. I blinked but that did not help; his face kept periodically flickering. It was not like the bad reception of a television after the digital upgrade mandate. It was more like he would turn, just for a second, into a different person. I peeled my eyes away from him and looked around.
“I wasn’t kidding. This place is dying. Without you and her, this place won’t survive. Where have you been?”
His face flickered to a more familiar one for a second and I felt like I knew who this was, even if I could not remember his name. I was back in the dream world. I did not know what to say to him. I was not sure how much I should really care about keeping a dream world alive. The letter that he had left me flashes through my head but that was a dream letter in a dream world; it wasn’t real.
“I know what you are thinking and you are wrong.” He says as his face comes back into a single steady image. The flickering features have smoothed out and it is almost as if his determination has caused his features to align. I stare at him and the new face he wears. I know this person but I just can’t place how.
“Where do I know you from? I mean besides these dream encounters.”
“I…..” He stops talking as a look of horror flashes across his face. Then he starts flickering again and even his voice starts changing and I can’t understand anything he is saying. It sounds like all the words are said at the same time and all in different keys. Then a bright flash blinds me temporarily and when I can see again I am no longer looking at him just the spot he used to be in.
“You asked the wrong question.” I turn around to see where the voice is coming form; and I see the crocodile friend from my other dreams. We can’t interact that directly in the dream world. You need to be more creative when you ask questions here.”
“Are you saying that there is something important to know?”
“You ask stupid questions.” The croc turns away from me and begins walking away. He waves for me to follow him and I do. I have no reason not to; I am just standing here with a talking crocodile and nothing else. If I did not follow him I would be standing alone and the very thought of that scares me for some reason.
“How am I supposed to ask good questions when I am not even sure what this dream is about?” The crocodile laughs at me and keeps walking; without even pausing to laugh in my face. I feel a little rankled by him. If this wasn’t a dream I might want to attack him. Of course, if this wasn’t a dream he would be a regular crocodile and my desire to fight would definitely be absent. Suddenly we come to a stop. I look around and it looks kind of like my living room in my apartment. Everything looks familiar but the carpet is swaying like tall grass in a summer breeze and the place is filled with noise that sounds like a Disney movie about Africa.
“You think that because you are asleep that this stuff does not matter. You, of course, are mistaken.” The croc kept talking but my mind wandered as images fluttered by; when I was able to refocus the crocodile was quite a distance from me. I started running to catch up but I was going nowhere. I felt like I was on a treadmill or that if I looked behind me I would see a pile up of road that I had pulled behind me. Either way he kept walking and did not look back but he did yell. “Get over reality vs. dream and realize that the two are not that far apart. It is almost time for you to wake up but I have a few instructions for you. First, think about how this world feels compared to the other, with the exception of a talking crocodile does this ‘dream’ seem real? Second, decide whether you want to see the people that made your dream world so vivid again. Are they important to you? If they are real would you want to give up on them? My time with you is over. We will do this again tomorrow and make sure you dream of yourself as a faster walker.”
Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep!
I woke up and I was still in my sister’s guest room. I could hear my sister talking to my niece about staying quiet and waiting for me to get up. My niece responded by promising to just check to see if I was awake and swearing not to wake me if I wasn’t. Then my sister told her that under no circumstances was she to check on me. My niece took that as a reason to park outside my door and to very loudly play with her ponies. I could not help but smile as I laid there debating getting up. I was conflicted. I knew I needed to think about my dream but my niece sounded like more fun. Then I thought about what it would mean if the dream world was real. Would I lose my niece? With that horrifying thought in my head I got up and headed out to get in some good quality pony play time.