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Grade
11

 

People didn’t visit dreams in those days. They did not know what it was like to create a world of their own, or to fashion objects in their mind. The dream-world was seen as an evil place, because it trapped anyone who visited. It would hold people away from reality, until it would take them as their own. Occasionally, a person who had the ability to enter the dream-word would come along, but they did not know how to stop the mutants from the traps of the dream-world, until he came along. They knew from the beginning the man would never be normal. His first wail was of confusion. They did not know what was wrong with him, and they had no cure. The first symptom of his difference was his long periods of slumber, and the next occurrence was an addiction to music. He claimed it kept him in reality, but they did not understand, and they would say “aren’t we always in reality?” He must be crazy, they said with exasperation.

 

As he grew, he spent his waking moments thinking of music, and his sleeping moment stuck in the dream-world. He concocted his own land and people and couldn’t stop building in his mind. He built so much that his dream-city was almost the size of the real-world, and eventually his dreams were silenced from sounds. At one point it had been so long since he heard music, he chose to leave the dream-world just for one sprinkle of it. He had traveled as far away from his bed that he could muster the strength for but there was an uncomfortable yanking feeling behind him. If the concert did not start soon, he would be dragged to dreams.

Before he could be overtaken by sleep, he saw her. Her long brown hair swept over her back like a willow tree’s branches. He was so close to her that he saw her slender fingers caress the keys with a gentleness that left him bewildered. How could such a powerful sound come out of the piano with that touch? She was playing Chopin. The romantic style poured from her heart, and the music was dollopped like batter onto every person that filled the room– it was food for him. Food worth living for. The keyboard was a palette of emotions, every chord was tender with life and echoed in him. The minor keys saddened him, while the majors excited him. The tempo changes caused agitation. Every nuance impacted him, and his body was brimming with more feelings than he’d ever felt before. There was no pulling feeling on him. It was relaxing...

“She is amazing,” he uttered. He was captivated until the end, and the usual tugging on his back did not return immediately. From the audience he handed her a single rose, and she looked into his eyes and smiled with gratitude. He opened his mouth to speak but instead, with great melancholy, floated home as if sleep was pushing him away. He collapsed onto his bed and slipped into the other world.

His dream was like a silent movie, but it was meant to be played along to each piece she had so graciously fed to his ears and mind. How did he remember every note? He blamed it on his difference. He understood that the music was hers but couldn’t spot her anywhere in his dream-world; it was his own creation and he knew it inside and out, so even after scouring the world, she was nowhere. Now he was itching to see her. The music was intensifying; where was it coming from? He looked up and shrieked for her. The shout pierced his dreamworld sky, and the music abruptly stopped. It had not finished, it had merely been silenced in his dream. Nothing had ever tantalized him as much as what had just happened. It was torture. It was unbearable. All he wanted was to feel the relaxation she gave him. To feel what it was like to not have the burden of the dreamworld pulling him back. It always needed him to rejuvenate its lands and to build more and more, but he wanted to escape. As he continued to exist in his own dream-world, he started to build parts that could call her. That was his longest dormancy from the real-world.

He mustered up more willpower to get up, because he wanted to find her. She could help him. Weeks had passed, and his heart thudded furiously while he searched for her in the concert hall. Where had she gone? Had she left him? But there she was, sitting elegantly at the piano with one leg crossed over the other, and adorning a sheer black shawl over herself.

Her look of confusion made him worried. He was getting tired; time for him went slower than others in the real-world. It slowed him down, and his internal timer ticked in his gut and went off. His eyelids wanted to tuck his eyeballs to sleep. He staggered closer to the piano.

“Who are you?” she queried, with a little worry. She pulled the shawl tighter around herself.

“I am a problem,” he began, “but I think you are the solution.” She shook her head, and took a step backward. He was a crazy man to her, a crazy, maybe homeless man who was staggering through the aisleways. “Let me explain,” he pleaded. His eyes bored into hers, but she continued to move away. He sputtered his situation out loud and gasped that he wanted to stay in the real-world, because the dream-world was overworking him and making him obsessed with adding more to the city. He explained that her music kept him awake and away from the addiction to building; he wanted to get away from the madness and finally lead a normal life. He had calmed down after explaining and remained standing where he was.

“All I need to do is play music,” she mused. “I can do that.” She faced the piano and he waited eagerly, and burned with anticipation.

“I feel like sleeping,” he said hurriedly. “You’ll have to play quickly.” Just as she began, he thudded to the ground. The last thing he heard was the dissonance of keys and her crying out with shock.

Months went by in his head and he aged in both worlds. Part of him was always in the dream-world, confused about whether he was in the real-world or not. He decided to build a concert hall in his dream-city to lure her there. When it was finished, it was his pride and joy, and was his fruitless effort to cajole her, but she hadn’t come yet. That is why part of him stayed in the dreamworld: to wait for her. Occasionally the sky would rumble, but he dismissed it. She never came and so he knew there was no way out of the dream-world.

He stayed in this stage for a long time, because he was still in the process of finalizing his city. People had begun to spring up from every nook and cranny– every house was occupied, every building was painted, and every road was paved. The city was expanding to become even larger than the real-world. The sky began to rumble again, and his people noticed it as well. He could hear the colors of the piano again, and not just like a memory. He could hear it inside of him, filling him with more energy. He could feel her furiously pounding on the keyboard, but with grace. The city was crashing down, but only the concert hall remained. The notes were bullets, breaking through the walls; she was curing him. He opened his eyes. The music was his medicine, and was used from then on.

State
MI
Zip Code
48103-8936