• Chapter 1.1 The Dream

    Dreams are something different. They are images; they are our goals; they are our fantasies; they are our futures. We humans call them these things and believe that that’s what they are, but we’re wrong. Dreams are possibilities, they are hopes for different people, they are what keep us believing that we can do something more than what we, ourselves, and other people thought we couldn’t do.
    This is My Dream.

    My dream is what some people would call ‘strange’; because the world that is my dream has forgotten its shape. There is no land or water; no forests or deserts; no mountains or flat lands; no cities, towns, villages; there is no living soul in my world except me and it. Just… nothing. No matter what I did, it would never move; it had no face, no hair, no distinctive body features other than having the same shape of a human being.
    We would stare at each other, searching for I didn’t know what. There was nothing he had, no weapons, no secrets, no voice, or thoughts. He didn’t exist. So, why did he scare me? The reason is simple; He was a reflection- my reflection.
    I was seventeen; too young to pay the bills, but old enough to have my a** kicked. I’d been traveling with my friend/uncle/guardian since I was seven, after my parents were caught in a military crossfire. I was sent to a friend of the family’s for about two weeks before he came and took me away. Since then, we’ve been traveling around the world, said he wanted me to see the world from every angle; and he was right to do it. The people I’ve met had their stories to tell, full of happiness, sadness, revenge, they taught me how to think.
    There was this one old man I met in a hotel when I was ten, he was a servant there, I asked him what he did before the hotel and he looked down at me and said, “I was a soldier for the Eastern Country, lota bad folk over there. When the Ol’ war broke out between us and the West, I was drafted. Hated m’life during those days; too much loss on both sides. Me brother’s a KIA and the rest of m’family tried to evacuate the town they was livin’ in”, I still remember him stopping dead in the middle of the hall, “but it was too late”. Then he bent over to hold my shoulder and whispered in my ear, “Don’t neva follow war, little suh, neva”.
    After him, I learned how to listen. Whenever we traveled to a town or city, I would find a crowded place, a bazaar or marketplace, sit down somewhere, and try to find any noise I wanted to hear; the sound of people walking, a foreign man complaining about a price or something, a blacksmith sharpening a blade, anything I wanted to hear was heard. Lucky for this one woman I heard scream the night I turned twelve; her boyfriend was cheating on her and when she confronted him, he tried to kill her. She was stabbed in the abdominals and was losing blood a little too quickly, but she made it. She asked me to visit her in the medical building a few days later and she thanked me and gave me a few words of advice, “When I was your age, I saw this boy pushed off a building for not doing what his friends told him to. I called the guards and they were arrested. I had sight and you had hearing; but you need both to make a real difference”. She handed me a vial and told me to drink it when it was night or dark.
    A week later, when I couldn’t sleep, I tried it and, get this, even though it was nearly midnight at the time, I could see everything clearly! I mean, it looked like it was the middle of the day, but the sky was still dark. When I couldn’t find the lady again, I decided to take her advice. Now, I had sight and hearing to back me up in a situation. And since he was teaching me everything I needed to know about history, grammar, biology and chemistry, astronomy, and arithmetic’s, I was going to make it.
    Now, here I was; looking back at everything I’d been taught and how I could use it to find out who this person was, or what aspect of me he represented. I dipped my head and closed my eyes; I couldn’t bare to look into that thing’s face.
    What are you?
    Are you me?
    Or are you something else?
    Are you my Pride?
    My Greed?
    My lust?
    Or are you my wrath?

    I am all of you.
    When I open my eyes again, I see him. He’s still a white figure and standing, but he’s taller than most people-maybe seven feet. But excluding him, nothing was different; the line was still there dividing us from each other; the world around me was still black as night. It reminded me of a prison cell; no way in or out, with just me and my cellmate, good times I’m sure. He’s the convict, I’m the prisoner.
    Every second I sit there staring at him, he comes a little bit closer to the line. As he strides, he raises his arms from his sides; like he’s going to walk off a ledge, like I did. But when he comes a few inches of the line, he stops. With his arms wide open, he stands there like he’s waiting for me to get up and either punch him or embrace him.
    “I’ll wait for you.”
    Four words; that’s all he says. That’s all I needed to hear, apparently, because the next thing I know, I’m crying. One tear at a time and then in short waves; my vision blurs. I wipe my eyes and then the voices come. Screams fill the world as I sit there with my legs crossed and his chin raised.
    Women, men, children; their voices consume me with fear and anger. Fear, because I have no idea where they’re coming from. Anger, because I don’t recognize any of them, and I’ve heard a lot of voices in my life. I ducked my head between my knees and put my hands over my ears as the voices grow in number and volume. Within minutes, I can’t hear my thoughts, my own voice, but only theirs.
    Then my body begins to shake uncontrollably and viscously; as if an earthquake had begun. The world was crumbling and I was going with it. I dug my finger into my scalp and waited for it all do crumble and to for me to wake up from this nightmare. I hear crackling, like glass cracking after age or a stone being tossed at its surface. A few seconds later, and the world finally crumbles.
    This is my dream; but it is also my curse. My dream is to see and hear all, no matter how far I am, so that way I can defend and create a new dream for those that need me the most; the veteran and the witch. My curse is that my dream has a cost, a very steep and dangerous cost.
    But it is my life that I dream, not my death.