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January 24, 2017

January 24: Dreams

More about the 20 Days of Chill over here

Fiction: The Dreamer

Wandering under a starless night, a dreamer pauses on the sidewalk. He pokes with a stick he had found not two minutes ago at the fresh coat of snow. Little by little, the limbs of a tree is revealed. The tree is quite small and as it lay sideways on the pavement, the dreamer wonders whom had broken this tree's heart. He brushes the rest of the snow away and picks up the tree.

Down the moonlit streets, the dreamer walks with the tree tucked under his arm. A sweet scent much like apple pies, begin to emanate from the tree. The dreamer tries to memorize the scent and lets it soak him like rain.

At the cross street, the dreamer stops to transport the tree to the other side of his arm. His limbs has been tiring quicker these days but he still loves to wander each night. There is something about moving about while everyone is asleep that keeps him wondering - a dreamlike sensation that cannot be duplicated during the daylight hours.

At a yard that used to be a car shop with a tall wall surrounding the space, the dreamer stops at a wornout metal door with a 'No Exit' sign half covered in dirt and grime. He kicks at the door to open and after stepping inside, he pushes the door close. He walks the few steps to his home - a square cardboard box the size of three humans. He pushes a corner to open and enters. He leans the tree against a wall and slumps down in the other corner. Moonlight filters in through the trees that had grew around the place and through the small opening he had cut for a window. He swipes a drink from his flask. No alcohol for him - only tomato juice. He gets them from a friend who runs an Italian restaurant. He has found over the years, tomato juice keeps him alert.

After a time, the dreamer begins to decorate the tree with trinkets he finds on his moonlit walks - a broken glass ball, a bright red string, a doll with half a face, a cup with its handle missing - anything small that he can fit into his pockets. Every day, he adds a little bit to the tree. Every day, he starts to notice how the tree shines without light.

One cold night, the dreamer brings home a plastic star and sets it on top of the little tree. He snuggles under the three blankets that he owns and falls asleep. In a dream, he sits inside a telephone booth with the receiver in his hand. 'Hello,' he says merrily. His words seem to fly across the galaxy, crossing paths with billions of dreamers and descending down into a sunset color world where a star happens to catch the greeting. After a pause, the star sends a reply, 'Hello Dreamer!' and ends with a laugh. The dreamer laughs and wakes to find himself laughing still.

In the corner where the little tree stood, the star above it shines brightly. The dreamer smiles. 'Hello,' he says merrily, a whispered greeting only a star can hear. He lays back down and pulls the blankets over him. He closes his eyes to sleep. The laughter of the star from his dream echoes in the dark. He wonders if the star is missing the little tree.

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