Ferris had never been much of a dreamer. Rare was the time he had one that he could even recall after waking, and even those that he could recall were never particularly interesting or inspiring. Ellie, on the other hand, had always had vivid dreams, or perhaps it was just her skill in recounting them. Often, over breakfast, she would regale him with tales of journeys and quests, of falling, and monsters and terrors. She never seemed fazed by them, however. When he asked her if she was ever scared, she would often just shrug, and smile at him. Once, she added, “Sometimes, but they are also beautiful.”
He hadn’t known what to make of that, it had seemed so strange, that something could be beautiful and terrifying at the same time. Perhaps he was just feeling sentimental at the time, but when the book on lucid dreaming caught his eyes, he wondered what sorts of things it might have about them. He never imagined that it would do anything for him.
The first couple of chapters were…esoteric. Not unscientific by any means, but also not…well, as soon as he thought it was grounded in something resembling fact, it would spiral off in some other direction. Spirits and astral planes and hypnosis and metabolic restructuring. He didn’t understand much of it…but with each chapter, he began to notice something–he was dreaming.
Every night, he would have these dreams, these impossible visions, and when he woke, he would remember them, and he would cry. He would cry, because all he wanted, was to share them with someone, share with them how…how powerful they made him feel. And he knew then, what Ellie had meant, about the beautiful and the terrifying. Even the most nightmarish things had such a…strange ability to fascinate. He read the book obsessively, and finished it, then he started it again, and the first few chapters began to make more sense. He understood now, that he had more experience, what the book was talking about.
Control came slowly at first, but soon, he was dreaming actively, choosing what he wanted to see, being what he wanted, doing what he wanted, and he was sleeping more and more, pouring over the book when he was awake, especially about those rare times, those spirit times, like Halloween, where the boundaries between waking and sleep begin to fray, ever so slightly, when the impossible becomes possible, when nightmares can walk right out of your mind and into your room–if you aren’t careful, that is. But Ferris would be careful, ever so careful.
Come Halloween, the house was dark, because Ferris was in his room, in his bed, preparing himself. Sleeping, yes, but deeply, deeper than normal people might ever reach, slipping through layers of the self, layers of reality, sliding further and further from his body, almost entirely present in the dream, where anything might be possible–especially tonight. He could feel it, he could feel how powerful he was here, with only a thin strand connecting him to the world, to reality, to his body. It was risky, but the rewards could be…great.
He was in a void–a dark nothing, just himself. He focused, as he had learned, and thought about himself, felt himself, this dream self. It was nothing, made of figments, and yet could be so powerful. He harnessed his imagination, and his body began to shift–losing years, losing weight, nothing too extreme, moving him back into his thirties, as he remembered himself then. Slim with some muscle, but nothing too impressive, a full head of hair again, full of color. He could feel it, sliding back down the tether, back into his body–and it too, was changing, he could feel it! It was working, it was really working. He did a little whoop and a jig where he stood, wondering how much of his fantasies, how much of his dreams he might really want to try to bring back with him. After all, once the alignment faded, some of what he took would fade–but not all of it. But the more he tried to take, the riskier the venture would be.
And one of those risks, as it turned out, had been watching Ferris this whole time, in the void, which was not really a void at all. It was a being of dream–nightmare to some, fantasy to others–it could be many things, and take many forms, but it was mortals that fed it, mortals that it desired, and one had wandered ever so close, naively believing that he was safe here.
What does the dream being have in store for Ferris?
- The being wants to offer him power.
- The being wants to corrupt him into a nightmare.
- The being wants to control him into a thrall.
- The being wants to punish him for his hubris.
Votes will be counted on Thursday!