She sat on the park bench beside me, bathed in the orange glow of the blazing sun.
I could hear birds chirping in the gardens from behind while before us, the sunset, a lone performer to an audience of two, reached out to the sea and the sand. The warmth of the surf breaking onto our feet was comforting.
She hadn’t been curious about this strange setting; I had expected her to say something. She hadn’t spoken to me at all so far. Nevertheless, we sat there in our reassuring silence.
“Dez?” She suddenly turned to me. She looked so confused, so fragile, “Don't you feel something’s…wrong? The sunset-it’s been like this for hours.”
“I know. And it’s beautiful,” I whispered, leaning in closer to her. “Nothing’s the matter.”
She smiled her little smile. I wished I could have frozen that moment forever, both of us in our perfect world.
And then the sky shattered from above. I looked up to see pieces from the heavens fall away and reveal an inky black underneath.
I got up, hesitant. “I have to go.”
“Ok,” She said distantly, not removing her gaze the sun. “Will you be back soon?”
More destruction ensued overhead. I took out a marker from my pocket, and scratched out her name on my hand.
I heard myself cry out in a low voice, through the dream, and this world slowly oozed in.
I woke with a throbbing pain, a feeling that something wasn't right. I lay on my stomach for a while, keeping a hard grip on the pillow.
The stench of the cheap room I’d booked the evening before hit me at once.
I slowly gathered my thoughts. I’d been in a new motel a different town every two days. I had to change my location ever so often, being on the run.
The clock on the table next to me glowed ten past midnight. I’d been asleep for hours, I mulled.
A shaft of wispy moonlight streamed in through the open window. I sensed I wasn't alone in my room. In the darkness, a few infiltrators stood by the bedside.
I slipped out a knife from under the pillow and slashed the throat of one of them with a swift stroke. He crumpled to the ground without a word.
Before his accomplices could fire I jumped and rolled out of the cramped room.
I reckoned there were two others, and I heard them giving chase. I ran down the dark corridor all the way to the end where there was a solitary door. I brought it crashing down and then ducked into the room beside the doorway, pressing myself against the wall.
Their footsteps were coming closer.
I quickly took out the black marker from my pocket, and scribbled deftly onto my wrist: “Kill them.”
And then I screamed, and let my mind explode with a million different thoughts as I created a new dimension from scratch, drowning the two poor souls in it.
* * * * *
I woke upon a strange, cold surface, under eerie lights. I immediately glanced at what was written on my hand. I looked up to see two men in black staggering, reeling, under the strange metaphysical conditions of this world. My world.
They were now the unwilling subjects of the dominion of my whims.
With just a thought of mine, their heads popped into a mass of liquid and their bodies turned to dust, decomposing at an accelerated rate.
And then I willed a wind to blow away their remains into infinity, mites that they were. And then the land was cleansed.
I got up and stood on my feet, swaying a little. I looked around me to adjust myself in this place I’d created.
It’s strange. I’d never feel the effects of being here. This subconscious would never let me experience pain, or any other physical emotion, in my own head.
I thought of taking a look around to explore the aspects of my handiwork, but I then I thought there would not be much time on the other side, on reality.
It was like flipping sides of a counter, waking from your imaginings. It happens too quickly; and when it does, you can try all you like looking to the other side, but you can never get a full view of what’s hidden there.
So I fell back down on the motel floor. My last outing had left me weak, exhausted. I dropped to my knees and lost consciousness.
When I finally stirred, I saw two men on the ground, looking suspiciously lifeless.
They were the ones I’d taken and killed in my dream, I realized. My work had left both brain-dead now. I inspected them closely, seeing if they had any ID on them. There was none. But I knew they were agents for sure.
I had no idea as to how long I’d been knocked out, so I had to make my getaway from here as soon as possible.
I knew there would be more like them after me. My abilities are beyond what you would call…normal.
As I walked, I thought once again the great risks I’d taken to drag those agents into my mind. It’s strange, for when I’m at my most powerful, in my head, it’s also when I'm most vulnerable in reality.
I usually have no strong recollection of events, either, when I bring myself back here.
Beside me on the grey streets, there were the wretched and the hungry, dying souls. Across them, stormtroopers marched to their fascist calls, imposing their will over their slaves that were the people.
Overhead, the sounds of fighter planes drowned out my thoughts momentarily.
But how true is this world we are placed in? This reality is thin, isn't it? Nothing more than a veil so many choose to put themselves in front of, a curtain of belief they steadfast cling onto, blotting out murky shadows on the other side, from the true world, nothing more than an abyss.
What’s to say that this might not be just a thought of somebody’s that was left open??A world that was let be for eons, untouched, disregarded by its creator? I shudder at the very idea. But I cannot help but think how true it might be.
My own capabilities justify such a possibility. How real is everything around us?
I let myself be soaked in my circle of musings, oblivious to the mundane rituals that went around me.
For it is only in dreams that I am who I am.
And in between dreams, I wander.
I took myself back to the dimension I’d made the last night, where I’d eradicated the agents.
I found myself wandering through the strange lands of trees and water. I was…proud of my creation. I’d long wished to see such beauty, but alas, it was not to be, where I come from.
An intense silence hung, giving me peace like I’d never known.
There had been many before - many places I’d made in my dreams. It had taken me a lot of time and pain to reach this level - to create a setting on such a large scale.
And yet, yet - I couldn’t be satisfied. No matter how much I’d tried varying it, I always find it frustrating to see how earth-like my world is as well.
I stared down at the glowing grains on the ground. It slowly formed into a mass as I puppeteered it with my thoughts. And it gradually took shape as I filled in details.
And as I gave it a spark of life, I couldn’t help but think how much it looked like me. How human it looked.
I cursed myself for not thinking beyond.
Disappointed, I crushed this world into oblivion.
I travelled to the countryside over the weekend, and took up residence with a kind enough family at a large farm. I reckoned I would stay there for a week or so, before the agents got wind of my trail.
* * * * *
That night, I found myself at the beachside with her once again - my wife, who I had brought here to this utopian world of my thoughts as she lay dying all those years ago in the plane where we belonged.
“What took you so long?” she asked.
I gave her a peck on the cheek as I sat down beside her. The perennial sunset still blazed before us.
“It was nothing.”