Walk a Dream-Chapter 9.

Chapter 9.

They both landed on the sands of a large shore washed by the waves of an ocean hidden in mist. They could hear her breathing in and out slowly, her voice mixing with the rasping sound of the breeze rolling the bits of sand along the shore. Moonstone tiles lay scattered around, like remnants of a pathway long lost.

Holding hands, Jordan and Kai ran ahead, laughing happily. The salty mist curtain opened before them…then closed silently after, hiding the two silhouettes from the view of any unexpected pursuer. As they reached the swaying expanse of turquoise waters, Kai closed her eyes for à moment, breathing in the scent of the Ocean.  

-I knew you would like it-murmured Jordan. I’ve read it inside you. You and I, we  seem to share so many secret dreams and wishes… Maybe this was the reason why I stumbled upon you and the door of my world opened to your touch…

Sensing the warmth of hisher hands seeping through my palms, I felt the same deep connection. My  own thoughts were echoing in hisher words. In that elusive, mysterious space where dreams are born, our  two worlds  have met and got entangled. By now, it was difficult to say where one of us was ending  and  where the other one was beginning. We seemed to have merged like two galaxies full of stars and  we were about to build new starscapes.

Open your eyes, girl-said Jordan. Look! What do you see?-she asked.

Kai’s eyes popped open and she stared into the space before her. The Ocean had come closer, its refreshing waves embracing, caressing the girls’ feet, while in the distance, the waters have turned into translucent mist. From that glowing haze, mermaids and mermen came splashing joyfully, surrounding them for a moment and vanishing seconds later.

-Wow!….-that was all Kai could say. Jordan grabbed her hand and they walked through the oceanic vapors, till they reached an even stranger place. The chirpy chat and frenzied splash of the inhabitants of the Ocean was long lost in the distance and was replaced  by the hollowness of the new space where they stopped.

  Like a world locked in a crystal ball, this was a real dream sighting. Huge, elongated blue trees were soaring above, rooted in an untouchable depth. Older or younger, all the trees were swaying to the rhythm of a music only they could hear. The thin, silky leaves growing on the tips if the branches were filled with lines of various inscriptions. They were pieces of poetry, captured on each leaf. Rain drops were falling from the infinite sky, splashing the leaves, scattering the letters and words, carrying them to the equally infinite, translucent depth.

  Jordan stepped forward and touched the surface of that space, sending a shock-wave of emotions through the blue forest. The trees leaned towards her, trying to touch hisher palms, eager to receive a droplet of hisher feelings and turn it into new pieces of poetry leaves.

-These are my poems, my heartfelt teardrops that never reach the bottom of that inner land. My dreams, my pains, my hopes and fears, my moments of light, my loves and disillusions, my nightmares and rages, all the echoes of  the numerous, fragmented myselves. I brought you here, girl because I need you to remember them…for the time when  I could not.

How would I remember them all ?!-I asked, concerned by the unexpected task. They are part of you and I don’t want to lose even à line…

-Don’t worry! Just relax and let me guide you.

       Heshe took my hand and we jumped into that eerie space, flying through the lively blue forest of poetry. Like swimming through à powerful torrent, I was caught, pushed forward, sucked in and permeated by dazzling , conflicting, elating or shattering emotions. Words, hundred of words clung to my skin, my heart, my mind, rushing to find à place in the corridors of my memory. They carried me through Jordan’s life and under their touch I witnessed the birth and rise of all hisher embodiments. We flew through this blizzard till each and every letter or word fell into position, leaving behind an emptied space, with those strange blue trees finally at peace with themselves.

   As we left that space bubble, I fell off my feet, exhausted. We were standing  now on a hilltop, under the green dome of a lime tree. Jordan helped me up and as I leaned my back against the trunk, heshe asked worriedly:

-Are you ok, girl?

  I gazed in those dark brown eyes, wonderingly….Why did heshe want me to remember ? What was happening? Before I could answer the question,space shifted position and  we found ourselves one atop the other. Lying on my back, I held himher closer and we kissed…long…passionately…desperately….breathlessly. That eternity of a kiss tasted like summer wine, exploding in my mouth in taste of love and fragility. In the embrace following the kiss, we’ve lost boundaries and we fell slowly, swirling in circles of light into the abyss of stars opening acquiring below us….

 Kai woke up in front of the mirror, her forehead touching the cold, smooth surface.

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Walk a Dream-waking up in someone else’s dream

Chapter 5.

“ If  this is a dream, I don’t want to wake up anymore!”-she thought, walking slowly, hand in hand with the slender young Magician.

When the echo of the last word died off her mind, she felt an unusual tickling through her body. With a soft crack, something invisible peeled off her entire being and she breathed more easily after.

-You successfully shed your first layer of armor, my dear…-said the young man, smiling at her.

The girl was puzzled.

-What armor?-she asked.

-An armor is your protective wall, one that shelters the soft inner core from the claws of unfriendly reality.

-I see….-murmured the girl. Do you wear an armor too?-she asked, half serious, half teasingly.

-I am an armor-he replied swiftly, showering her with another of his radiant smiles.

-Oh!-she exclaimed, worry echoing in her voice.I wouldn’t want you to break like my armor did!

His eyes sparkled in amusement.

-Don’t worry! I won’t! I am both an armor and a piece of the core. And I am not the only one.

“ This is getting more and more interesting…”-thought the girl, breathing in the refreshing air of the forest. The mix of scents and the taste of the mist in her mouth filled her with an eerie sensation. She kicked off her shoes, leaving them behind and she walked barefoot in the cooling azure grass. Her feet recognized the pathway, herskin remembered the touch of this place. She yelped as the surge of emotion washed over her and she started to run, leaving the Magician behind.

  The forest thinned before her and the grass blades under her feet merged into à rivulet flowing to an unknown destination. She splashed joyfully the clear water, running breathlessly till the young man caught her from behind, lifting her up in the air. The forest ended abruptly and they flew over the now bubbling river that was falling in a spray of rainbows in the abyss below.

-This was close!-chuckled the Magician, landing on a cliff. You’re quite surprising sometimes! Now- he continued, raising his magic wand-we have one more task to complete tonight.

 Writing a sign in the air, he changed the scenery. Night fell upon the land and a pathway was shining before us in the air, leading into the distant depth of the darkness. Each tile of the road was à star and when touched, it gave à musical sound. The Magician turned to me, invitingly.

-Come!-he said, sparks filling his dark eyes. Let’s go! Don’t be afraid.

He made a few steps, to show me that the path was solid and safe. With heart beating in my throat, I followed him.The sound rising under my feet reverberated in the space all around, like wind-chimes. But  he was  walking faster than me so I hurried after him, creating a whole surge of sounds entwining,rolling, echoing in and out, sending shivers all over my body. With a soft crack, my next layer of armor shattered, leaving me floating in the air, weightless….I kept flying in the sound of wind-chimes, while the stars of the pathway turned into fireflies, filling the space with strange, greenish light.They swirled and zigzagged in the air, showing me the way. Before me, the Magician was a shooting star, with a long trail of blaze.

-We’ll meet again!-he shouted, before fading.

I was alone, flying  into the unknown…….I woke up with mixed feelings, sprawled in my bed, arms wide open. The elation of the flight was undeniable and the sight had been magical.I had a twinge of sorrow for losing so early my companion of wandering. I tried to recall his face, but his features were already fading from my memory. But there was one thing I couldn’t forget: his smile, coming from inside.

      His smile was coming from inside…me.

Walk in a Dream-waking up in someone else’s dream. Chapter 4.

Chapter 4.

She woke up crying, emotionally drained by the dream. She couldn’t understand. How can anyone do such thing to its child? Why? Why would you use your child as a battleground in a fight with your spouse? It’s senseless and cruel!

She got off the bed and pushed herself into the daily schedule, leaving the impressions of the night to sink deeper and to clear inside her mind. By the time she was sipping her coffee, she felt less vulnerable and she returned to her previous thoughts.

Maybe the parents themselves were a bit lost, not knowing how to react to the fact that they had a very special child. The world they were living was not prepared either and thus, answers or help in understanding how to deal with, were scarce if none at all. This was an important issue in the fragilisation of their connection. While their child needed love, acceptance and protection, both mother and father were desperately trying to “fix” reality according to their own vision. The result….

The girl shook her head in disbelief. The result was nothing less of a disaster. Peeling off the elements of fantasy, the final moments of the dream were speaking volumes about it. Somewhere in this world, a shattered soul was reaching out for help…

“So be it!”-though the girl and stood up to leave for work. She locked the door when she heard the little bell ringing….

~~

The sound was unmistakable; it was little Jordie’s belt bell. I’ve recognized it instantly. Was I truly awake or my dream was continuing? Could it be that the one dreaming it, found a way into my reality, warping it and changing it? The simple thought of such happening made me question my sanity.

So I’ve shrugged off the thought, took a few deep breaths and I walked out the door. No more bells ringing….

~~~

She woke up at the same hour, in the middle of the night, with a heavy heart. “What’s next?”-she thought, remembering the other night and the painful question in the eyes of the shattered teenager.

The room was dark and silent and her throat was sore of unexpected thirst. Half asleep, she dragged herself to the bathroom and let the cold water flow for a while. She poured a glass of water and gulped it up. Her eyes met the reflection in the mirror and she froze. At first, she saw herself, sleepy and ruffled but then, there was something new in that image. Something or….someone? Someone was with her in the mirror. Someone was inside her own image, someone whose image was overlapping hers. It was difficult to detect the changes but they eyes were darker, the look inside them, piercing , veiled only by the sheen of sleep in the girl’s eyes.

Then, the feeling became stronger. The more she looked inside those eyes, the stronger the feeling of entwining with someone else became inside her. She instinctively put a hand on her chest; something was moving inside, digging deep in the intimacy of her soul. Something was trying to nest inside her, to find a safe haven. Someone was moving with her, in her. She was herself and someone else as well.

Words appeared on the translucent screen of the mirror, written by an invisible hand: “ Do you remember me ?….”

~~~~~~~~~~~

What should I say? I stared in the eyes of the one(s) in the mirror.

-Help me to remember!-I said. Lead my way through this quest. I want to remember….

The mirror wobbled and I’ve found myself on a white surface, stretching endlessly in all directions into a dense, milky mist. I stood there, waiting….The silence of the place was almost tangible, the mist was slowly undulating in the distance. I closed my eyes and opening wide my arms, I tried to touch….something with my fingertips. In the mirror of my mind, I touched the one nested inside my soul. Its touch was warm and soft. Our fingers, our palms, our hands touched at both ends of the Infinity…Then “+” and ”-” collided in an embrace. I opened my eyes to gaze into the face of the one holding me.

-I’m glad you’re not running anymore!- he said with a playful smile. A youthful face with dark brown eyes, wearing a top hat and a black and red cape. A Magician. He took me by the hand and we stepped inside the forest. The pathway under our feet was covered by azure-blue grass, the leaves of the canopy were shimmering with a golden-yellow glow and a bluish mist was filling the in betweens of the tree trunks. I was mesmerized.

“ If this is a dream, then I don’t want to wake up anymore!”- I thought.

Walk in Dream-When you wake up in someone else’s dream (1)

She woke up gasping for air, her face wet with tears. Leaving the embrace of this dream was becoming increasingly difficult. Each time she was stepping outside the gates, the call of the powerful emotions left behind was tearing into her heart.

She wiped off her tears with a sigh and jumped from the bed. It was getting late. She went to the bathroom and washed her face, then confronted the image in the mirror. Dark eyes, chestnut hair. The average face of an ordinary girl, living and happy, comfortable life. She had no reasons to complain. She had all the reasons to be cheerful and content about her life during the day. But her nights….

Well, that was an entirely different thing. Her nights were opening into another world and another life. It hadn’t been always like that. Her sleep used to be just as quiet and peaceful as were her days. Then everything changed. It happened one night, one particular night when the Moon knocked on her eyelids and she woke up, slightly confused and with an eerie feeling…

She was sitting on her bed, in full moonlight, shivering at the touch of a faint breeze. The walls of her room were gone and she has awaken in an unfamiliar milieu. Wrapping the blanket around her shoulders, she stepped down and walked into the surrounding light. This place was shrouded in a silence so deep that she could count her own heartbeats. She walked cautiously, trying to decipher some contours inside that glow. Emerging under the reign of the Moon, the space unfolding before her wasn’t entirely dark.

 Only a few steps further, the night ended abruptly before the pair of round gates opening in an old wall of bricks. The landscape visible behind the intricate pattern of bars was in full daylight and she could see a grassy pathway curving into the patch of summer forest. The girl stopped at the gates and gingerly touched them. A strange current seeped through her fingers, running down her spine and shaking her confidence. It was a kind of warning and for a moment she felt like she was intruding in someone’s intimacy. She suddenly realised that this wasn’t her dream anymore.  Somehow she has awaken in someone else’s one and the gates she was facing were guarding the entrance of another person’s soul.

The weight of the discovery was overwhelming and the girl turned back sharply, running to her bed left in the moonlight. She curled up under the sheets and closed her eyes.  The wave of dreams washed over her, sending her back to the swirling river of fantasy. Hours later she woke up at home, carrying only a faint memory of her awkward trip.

But when her eyes popped up the following night, she knew exactly where she was. The gates were there, slightly cracked, inviting her. This time, she took the challenge and entered the realms of the opening land. The grass was soft under her feet and the air was warm and fragrant. The sound of the excited giggling of a small child reached her ears:

-Kittyyyy! Kitty-kit!! Wait for me!Kitty!! Where are you?!

A little boy, four or five years old perhaps, came running, chasing a small white cat that was escaping towards the forest. With a playful spring, the ball of fur disappeared in the greenery ahead, leaving the child baffled but determined to pursue his goal.

-I’ll catch you, kitty! I’ll catch you!

He ran into the woods with arms open, eyes shining in expectation. The girl looked around for a parent but she saw no one. Oh well, this was a dream and logic was the last thing you would expect….Still, she felt responsible for the child so she hurried to catch up with him. Under the canopy of the forest it was pleasantly warm and the light was playing in dots and shimmering patches around her. She caught a glimpse of the child’s white shirt and she sped in that direction. The kitten was nowhere to see…

-Kitty! Kitty?! Come back! Kitty…..

The small voice was turning upset and tearful.

-Hey!-shouted the girl. Hey, little one! Wait! Don’t go further! It might be dangerous!

But the child didn’t seem to hear her. His whole world was focused on his quest for the runaway kitten. Eyes glued on a moving spot of light, he jumped back to action shouting joyfully:

-Here you are! I saw you! I saw you, kitty! I’m coming!

The girl ran after him but despite her best efforts, the distance between her and the child wasn’t shortening. The pathway under her feet was propelling further the little boy, while somehow it was slowing  her down. She fought the strange feeling and gathered all her strength to run faster. The contours of world washed into a blur and her vision tunneled towards a shadow-filled perspective, with its only bright spot the small, running silhouette of the boy. The fragments of giggling and laughter were bouncing in the air, disorienting the girl. But she kept running and finally she saw both the child and the kitten.

The cat was sitting in the middle of the path, teasingly moving its tail. There was a mischievous glint in the yellow eyes. With a victorious cry the boy jumped forward to catch him. All of a sudden,Time slowed down while the shape of the white cat broke up into a fistful of butterflies and a pit of darkness opened under the feet of the boy. The girl launched forward quickly to catch him before falling…The child vanished and she bumped into…someone. She almost fell but two strong hands held her up and she heard a voice questioning her:

-Do you always smash into people when you run?

THE PATHWAY

The pathway took off and boldly emerged from the morning mist. We were both a bit nervous as we have left the group and we were heading to an entirely different direction. I could feel the disapproving glances in my back and the murmur of reprobation was carried by the wind to my ears.

We live on a planet of pathways and roads. Each of us has a personally tailored one, a pathway both alive and active, just like the person generating it. The colorful landscapes are crisscrossed by the traces of recent or rediscovered roads; you can find anything from the narrow footpath to the large boulevards, depending on the number and the personality of the pathway-carriers that walked the surface of this special planet. I’ve spent most of my life leading my pathway side by side with others of the thousands of inhabitants of the megapolis,walking day by day between its soaring , fantastic buildings. We didn’t have too many options and we were not making much difference in the turmoil of the city. Still, living here was both safe and comfortable. Oh well, maybe a bit too comfortable for the well disguised rebels we were, me and my pathway. Few of the city dwellers had ever tried to venture outside the perimeter of the buildings. The ones that tried, usually reached the grassland and inevitably turned back in the arms of steel, concrete and glass of our town.

The grassland outside the city was stretching for miles, delving into the blurred horizon where the dark silhouette of a forest was trembling in the light. None of my friends or acquaintances had ever ventured that far. Telltales of dangerous dark depths and monstrous creatures were passed for generations from one another but I was skeptical about the truth of their content.

As I said, my Pathway was just as bored and boisterous as myself. This lukewarm anonymity was becoming tiresome for both of us, so we decided to run away without saying a word. The chosen morning proved to be a cooling early autumn one, with strands of mist crawling lazily in the streets. There were only a few people passing by, still some of them turned curiously after us. The street we had chosen was leading….nowhere, as much as they knew. But for us, it ended abruptly facing a nacreous wall of fog. We both stepped forward, brushing the high stemmed grass and shaking the dewdrops pending on their tips. The Pathway trembled in excitement under my feet and sprang ahead. We were outside the city and inside the unknown.

Moments later, the rising sun hopped higher in the sky, sipping the last scintillating drops of dew. The scenery cleared and filled with sizzling colors. Under the warm touch of the sunlight the silver-green of the grass blades was gradually turning into golden yellow, the grass-ears releasing their tiny grains to the ground while grasshoppers were caught in a frenzy of somersaults. Birds were singing in the skies and under the seemingly endless blue dome, we were running like two crazed spring-bucks. For awhile I wasn’t sure even that my feet were touching the ground as I was riding the speedy ribbon of my Pathway as he was heading towards the towering wall of the forest.

As the day was descending into afternoon, the heat of the sun tempered and the shadows of the trees were leaning more and more towards the field. It wasn’t just a shadow but a constant flow of cold breath emanating from the deep-green, almost black vegetal thick. The forest was growing taller and taller as we approached it, until its silhouette engulfed the last corner of blue sky. The spidery fingers of the trees were pushing the autumn azure away from our reach.

The Pathway stopped abruptly on the rim of the wood. It seemed impenetrable. I was baffled by the fact that I couldn’t find even a faint weed-covered trace of an old pathway passing by. Nothing. All I could see was a dense wall of huge trunks connected by the darkness between them. The canopy was sky high. Baffled and slightly uneasy, we both stopped, pondering if we should follow our way or try another way round. But the wall of vegetation seemed to stretch from left to right indefinitely; the only possible way was through the woods. And it was already getting too late to go back to the city; so we decided to trying our luck walking through the gap opened between two trees. The Pathway moved boldly forward , carrying me as we punctured the barrier of darkness.

Surprisingly there was a faint bluish light inside the forest and for a moment I felt I was under the water. What light could pass through the dense fabric of the canopy was falling in slow motion, dispersing and undulating around us. You would’ve expected a school of fish to emerge behind a tree or to catch a glimpse of a whale swimming gracefully above us.

Looking around, I realised that the forest was not shutting out only the light but it was muffling also the sounds of the outside world. Still, it wasn’t entirely silent. There was an almost imperceptible whisper, surging, receding, surging, receding like the breath of an enigmatic living creature. The more I listened to it, the more eerie it became, sending shivers down my spine. Even my Pathway was feeling nervous, its delicate senses connected to me. I took a deep breath, sending him some reassuring thoughts. Anyway, my curiosity was stronger than my fear.

We jumped over the fallen branches on the forest floor, over the moss covered trunks and the puddles of water soaked fallen leaves. I took a sip of air: it tasted bitter -sweet, like almonds. After awhile,the ground was sloping towards a shallow valley inside the woods. Here, the distance between the trees was becoming wider, lifting some of our anxiety caused by the confined space. We breathed out in relief. Confident, the Pathway sped up and soon, we made our exit into a clearing.

It was a perfect circle on the ground continued by a clear-cut hole made by invisible hands in the dome of sticks and leaves of the canopy. You could see the darkening sky filling with stars. Night was near so we decided to stop here and sleep till the next morning. The Pathway retreated and relaxed at my feet. Curled up on a heap of grass I fell asleep easily. The murmur of the forest was dimming into a lullaby and the air of the night was warm enough to rest comfortably. We were not concerned about wild beasts roaming the place; the forest was visibly devoid of any kind of animal life and you wouldn’t have expected trees to un-root themselves and move away while we sleep. I closed my eyes and drifted away with the waters of the dream….

I jumped from the ground, awakened by a sharp cry that soon turned into an ear-piercing veiling. Uncoiled from its rest, the Pathway was trembling at my feet. Above us, the Moon was turning gradually red; it was the night of the Eclipse and the installing of the Blood Moon was bringing the forest alive. In the thick, honey-like light the shadows of the trees were undulating, pushed from inside by an ancient, long forgotten rhythm, shaking their spidery fingers towards the orange glow above. Caught in the frenzy of tremor, the leaves were cascading on us menacingly. Carried by a sudden wind raised by the twist and turn of the entire forest, the torrents of leaves were pushing us aside, swirling, jumping in the air then falling again towards the forest floor in high speed, like furious vegetal dragons. As the eclipse was reaching its peak, the veiling turned into howling and the whole forest was crying out its pain and fury to the night skies, to the bloody eye of the Universe. So, my friends, if you were wondering where those mythical beasts did disappear from the forest, I tell you: they didn’t. In fact, the Beast was right here all the time, sleeping its thousand years dream. It was this particular night that brought him back to life, shaking off his moss-covered dreams, letting him once again weep over his solitude. The sorrow of the stranded alien, the Forest washed over me and I stumbled, stepping on the roots of a tree. It was slippery and I grabbed the trunk to stop my falling. The touch of bark felt like a lizard’s skin and in a split of à moment, the vegetal giant turned to me….

The Pathway saw it coming and took off , jumping ahead through trees and bushes like a bullet. I crouched and let him carry me, hoping to escape from our pursuer. We smashed into twigs, leaves, branches, thorns and shreds of moss but we kept speeding ahead. We’ve lost the count of minutes and we didn’t even realize that the night was over. The eclipse was long gone and the forest had fallen back under the thousand years enchantment. The shrubbery was thinning before us and light was reigning again beyond the rim of the woods. My faithful companion slowed down its run and we both checked each-other, trying to asses the damages. Surprisingly, we got off this harrowing adventure with only of few scratches and a slightly shaken confidence. But then, we were seeking adventures, weren’t we?

Stopping at the edge of the forest, we watched for a moment the wall of bright light outside. It was almost painful to look at it after so much time spent in the shadow. I’ve sent an encouraging smile to my Pathway and once again, he flew us ahead, puncturing the brightness. We landed on a grassy slope and rolled down chuckling. The veil of warm air was undulating in the valley below but the shimmering contours on the horizon were holding promises of new adventures. We both laughed and stretched our limbs in expectation.

The Pathway jumped forward, carrying me into the light.