I was walking along a road in country. There wasn’t anything in sight. Golden fields rolled over hills for miles in every direction. I stopped and took a deep breath. The ground began to shake and the sky darkened. Simultaneously, the sky cracked a loud, monstrous crack and houses, buildings, pieces or road, and other parts of a city started to fall from miles over head, below my feet the ground cracked and in places lampposts, more pieces of road, and other buildings and houses grew from the ground. In a riotous rage the city birthed itself. Still there were no people to run the city, but it soon fixed that problem.
I saw through windows, and saw on some corners, strange pink masses growing out of the ground, the walls, the floors and chairs. The blobs took shape and formed people. They were in the midst of morning conversations, coffee, breakfast, running to work, and watching for vehicles to pass by. The vehicles, which had spawned or fell to make the city, had spawned their own people. As the people woke up, they started to drive, as if grown for that exact purpose. Everyone moved like clockwork, moving to a rhythm that was invisible but for the sight of them moving.
The city stretched behind me and before me and on all sides. It was impossible to find a hint of the golden fields that were there but minutes earlier. The people that passed me didn’t look at me. One ran into me, looked confused and then I asked what they were doing. The person looked even more confused, decided that they didn’t see me, and walked around me on their way to whatever they were about. The giant clock moved around me, indifferent to me altogether; until I tried to talk to more people. After I stopped about ten people to ask them about what they were doing, a new pink and blue mass grew out of the ground and took the shape of a man in uniform.
He walked over to me and asked me to follow him. As we walked I saw across the street a new building wedge its way between the buildings that were already there. The people on the street who were going into the buildings had to shift what they were doing. The stairs in the two buildings on the sides of the new building had moved as well. The people who were intent on walking up the stairs merely looked confused for a moment and then went on with their business as if the stairs had always been in the place they were now. The new building took shape as a police station.
We waited for the traffic to let us pass and I was led to the station. Inside the other officers were still taking shape, but the pens and paper were already there. By the time my arresting officer had finished filling out the forms for my incarceration, the shape behind the desk had finished taking form, realized that it was what it was, looked at me frowning, and then processed the papers to lock me up.
I was led to a jail cell, where another shape was taking form. It was a fellow inmate. I was to share my cell with another prisoner. When the door was locked and the arresting officer walked away the inmate looked at me.
“Who are you and why are you here?” The voice was strange. It wasn’t a voice that belonged to such a small man. It was a voice that was used to being in a much bigger body. It was also a voice that rarely had to be used, and was unaccustomed to speaking my language.
“I was already here.” I answered simply and hoped that the inmate containing the voice would continue talking.
“I was here first, I made this place, these people, I made all of it.” The voice was struggling with the strange form it had to inhabit.
“I saw the city being born.” I answered simply again, hoping that this answer would keep the voice talking.
“You could not have seen it being born! It was born with the world around it! I made it all!” The voice was angry, and the eyes of the inmate were now beginning to change into something that a person should not have in their head. The eyes had a red tint to them.
“I saw its birth. I saw it being born. I saw the golden fields that stretched to eternity before the city came into life. I saw the people grow into their homes and cars. I saw it all come about.” My new answer had a strange effect on the being behind the voice. It’s eyes grew wide and fear crept over it’s features.
The inmate had not been designed for this eventuality. It had been grown to be fierce, intimidating, scary. Now it tried to look scared, and it couldn’t. The result was an angry face twisted into a sense of rage that could only be at itself. It clawed at its own body for a few minutes and then the eyes went back to being those of the inmate.
He then blinked, looked at me, and lunged. The officer in charge of the cell had happened to walk over at that moment and yelled at the enraged inmate. This obviously didn’t do any good, so he called the rest of the policemen who were in the station over and the entire group of them pulled the crazed inmate off of me. The next minute he was taken out of my sight and a few minutes later I heard what sounded like a gunshot, only it wasn’t quite right. The sound was more tinny, a higher pitch, and lasted a fraction of a second too long. The officer came back and looked in on me.
“You won’t have any more trouble here.” He drawled out, as a puppet would recite its lines.
“But you won’t be leaving either!” This time I looked more closely at the eyes of the officer and saw that the strangeness, the hint of a red tint, was back. There was also an echo in the voice now. The officer seemed to be struggling for control of itself.
“Who are you and why are you here?!” The officer looked at me confused and scared. It had never been grown to say that.
“I am simply here.” I had no other answer. I did not know where I had been before I saw the golden fields, and could not remember anything before that sight. The thought of it gave me a strange peace.
“You are here to destroy everything I am making! Admit it!” The voice struggled to control the officer.
“I am not, I was asking questions of the people outside because they seem to know exactly what they are doing. However, none of them know what it is or how to answer me when I ask them about their tasks.” I sat and watched the officer grab his head.
“You’ll be-” The officer tried once again to regain control over himself.
“You lie! You were grown like the rest but something is wrong with you!” The voice took control briefly.
“I don’t think so. I saw the clouds form and the ground shake. I saw the people grow, but I don’t remember where I came from. I was already here.” I had little more to tell the voice.
“I will find out where you came from! I will discover who you really are!” The voice seemed to be trying to shriek, but the officer wasn’t able to handle that type of gymnastics of the vocal cords. I decided to wait and see what was going to happen next. The officer, regaining his own mind once again, looked at me with a strange fear. He slowly unlocked the cell, grabbed me, and threw me out of the police station as an animal would get rid of a danger that was in its home, but it couldn’t kill.
The door was slammed behind me. The people on the street barely gave me a quick notice. I walked on, through all the parts of the city I could find. I even tried to get onto the rooftops, but since no one was made to go up there, there wasn’t any direct way to get there. I ended up having to find a series of houses and buildings that were close enough together, and whose roofs were close enough in height, to scramble up. When I got to the top I could tell which buildings had fallen and which ones had gown.
Those that had fallen had a cloud like top. When I walked on one it was firm, but giving. The ones that had grown had rocks and dirt on the tops of them. Some had a strand of the golden field left, but it was dull, muted, and turning gray. I walked along the rooftops and tried to see the edge of the city. I could not. The city stretched as far as the fields had before it. There was no end to the cityscape.
I sat next to a graying strand of golden field, now a remnant of things past, and wondered how it all came to be. I then thought about the people, how all of them had been grown to be adults. There were no children, and no old people. So I focused on an alley that wasn’t being used and thought about an old man playing with a young girl.
The first thing that happened was that the toys I was thinking of started to grow out of the sidewalk. There were two sticks and a ball. Then, with more effort and focus on my part, two lumps started to grow and take shape. An old man and a young girl were born. They immediately began to play with the sticks and the ball. I watched them as I had watched the other people and realized that I had made exactly what I was surrounded by. This barely disheartened me.
I then tried to think of something for the police officers to do. I thought up a purse thief. It was a failure. He grew, took shape, and stole a purse. But the woman who had lost her purse only looked confused for a moment, and then a new purse was grown out of a nearby building. She grabbed it as if she had left it there on purpose and kept walking. My purse thief had rummaged through the purse, finding nothing, and left it on the ground. The purse decayed quickly and disappeared. I thought about this experiment. I then thought up posters. I thought up posters of the thief. Posters began to surface on the walls of many buildings. The people took some notice, but not much. The thief continued to steal. The police officers had taken notice of the posters, however, and were now turning round the corners of the streets and coming for the thief. I had forgotten to make the thief afraid of them and it was a quick end to him. To my surprise the officers also took the young girl and the old man as well.
A bird grew out of the rooftop next to me.
“What do you think you are doing.” It croaked. It was a raven, built for speaking and now a more capable host for the voice. It hadn’t asked a question, not really.
“I am learning about your world.” I pondered this for a moment, as did the raven. “It is interesting.” The raven paused, fluttered its feathers, becoming aware of them for the first time, and looked at me.
“You can manipulate the dream eggs.” It looked at me more closely.
“Is that what I’m doing?” I wasn’t sure what it meant, but “dream eggs” were not something I had known about a moment beforehand.
“Yes, but why can you do this? No one can do it but me. I have never met anyone before who could do what you are doing.” It was calm. It was the kind of calm that comes before a war. I took full notice of this before responding.
“I do not know, but I could stop if you like.” I stood still holding the wisp of gray that was turning to dust in my hand.
“This must end. There can be only one who can manipulate the dream fabric.” It fluttered its wings and flew away. I noticed that it had said fabric this time. I knew what was going to come. I even saw the first attempt made. There was a tank that grew unsteadily out of the street below me. It tried to point its barrel to fire at me but couldn’t get quite high enough. A blob that took the form of a Sargent popped out of the top and looked up at me. It pulled out some binoculars, said something to the inside of the tank, looked at me once more, and then went back inside. It fired. I jumped to the next roof. I focused and another tank grew just behind the first. It leveled its barrel and fired at the first tank. The first tank hadn’t been thought up to withstand a shot from itself, and nearly imploded in a cloud of purple and green gas.
Three more tanks sprouted from the ground. I jumped and ran across the tops of buildings and houses until a new thought occurred to me. I turned back to the endless number of tanks sprouting from the street, pushing the cars out of the way. I though up a giant beast with a hard carapace shell on its outside. The building across from me made an organic sound and when I looked my beast was there. It looked at me, nodded, and then went to the tanks. It was over quickly. The raven landed near me.
“You are a quick study, but I am not finished. Watch!” It stretched out a wing and I looked to where a formation of fighter jets were screaming through the air. They sent a volley of something at the beast and it shuddered and stopped moving. It then became a building once more. The building was however in the middle of the street, which caused some problems for the people around it. I thought again. I focused once more, and a whole city block shuddered and groaned. It slowly rearranged itself into a giant monster. When it stood up it had a thicker shell than before, glowing red eyes, and was billowing black smoke to envelope itself. The jets circled around and flew into the smoke. There was a loud explosion, pieces of the jets flew out of the smoke in far more directions than they should have.
While this was happening, other things were happening as well. I knew that my new tool of this dream war wouldn’t be the last step, and had thought up a plan to that end. As I suspected, larger explosives were fired and dropped onto the cloud of smoke, and soon the city block went back to the shape it had been originally. But I had been working too. Behind the raven two things had happened. The cityscape had disappeared to be replaced with the fields of gold that had been there beforehand. The other thing was a cage that was made of a pure form of the dream fabric, or egg, and was just about to clasp shut.
“Ha!” The raven looked smug. I closed the cage. “What have you done!?!” It screamed and yelped inside the cage I had built for it.
“I have made a prison out of the world you came to.” I was calm. I picked up the cage and turned it so the raven could see the golden fields.
“No! Not that! Don’t send me to the oblivion! No!” The raven was distracted with an agony of being. I watched the fields as they reclaimed the entire city. The building we were standing on melted slowly back into the ground and was covered over with gold. The raven yelling and whimpering the entire time.
“It is time for you to wake up.” I looked at the raven. His eyes finally saw mine, and he blinked. He was gone. I let the cage be taken away like dust by the wind and went back to admiring the golden fields around me. They were beautiful. They stretched to the horizon, and swayed like a sea.
What does the God of dreams dream of?
He dreamt of a world without dreams.