"People think dreams aren't real just because they aren't made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes."
- Neil Gaiman
Ren could feel herself. She could feel the crisp, pastel blue sheets crinkling under her as her muscles tensed, could feel the warm weight of the comforter wrapped in a messy nest around her body. The mattress was doing what all good mattresses do and was sagging comfortably under her weight. There was a fluffy pillow under Ren’s head. Somewhere in her mind, she was perfectly aware of all of this. A part of her knew that she was asleep and dreaming.
The lights were going out, one by one. All the students were being ushered out of the school. It was nighttime. ‘How?’ and ‘Why?’ didn’t come into it. It was a dream, and dreams didn’t need to have a point.
The floor was glowing green. That was bad. Something bad was going to happen when the entire floor turned green and when the lights all went out. For some reason, Ren wasn’t running away like everyone else. There were people stuck in the school’s lower level. Someone needed to go save them, and in dreams, the dreamer was always either the victim or the hero. Ren was the dreamer, and right now, she wasn’t a victim.
Something in the outside world jolted Ren, trying to bring her back to consciousness. But the dream wasn’t letting go. It tugged and pulled at her, like the rough waves of the ocean, keeping her from waking.
The stairs were all green. The antagonist of this dream didn’t want to be beaten. Ren swung her leg over the balustrade and with a sort of terrified, excited scream, she slid down the railing. Her no-longer-white sneakers flew out in front of her and caught the rushing floor square in the face. Momentum was nonexistent right then, and she didn’t go tumbling into the wall.
The ghastly green light began creeping out from the shadows, reaching slowly for her. Ren took off at a run. The thing hiding in the dark wouldn’t wait much longer. She was playing a game against time and she was losing. It was a dream, but the sense of urgency was scarily real and overpowering. The orchestra room. There were people trapped in the orchestra room. Ren wondered how she knew that
But in dreams, you just know things.
Ren’s mind lurched again, balancing precariously on the edge of consciousness. She didn’t want to wake up yet, though. Too many of her dreams were ended at the wrong times.
Someone was calling after her. She recognized the voice, but couldn’t place its owner. They were telling her to come back. But Ren’s legs wouldn’t let her. Dreams were powerful, especially when a lucid dreamer decides not to take control of their own dream. The dreams sink their claws in then. They realize they are in control and go power-crazy, refusing to be dominated.
‘You had your chance,’ the dreams say. ‘You had your chance and you didn’t take it. It’s our turn now.’
Ren flung over the doors of the orchestra room. Someone screamed. A mass of shadow rushed at her face.
She woke up.
This is how I spent my day: sitting on my couch, looking up quotes by Neil Gaiman, contemplating irrational fears and other aspects of life, and finally, writing this. Sometimes I think I think too much. Basically, this was a way for me to organize my thoughts about some things. When I dream, I'm a lucid dreamer. I almost always know that, yes, I'm dreaming, and nothing is real, but I don't take control of my dreams like some people do. A common accompaniment to lucid dreaming is rapid eye movement cycles. REM sleep has more "creativity" than NREM (non-REM) sleep, and dreams that occur during REM are more easily recalled.
Over the past few days I've been having loads of dreams (I don't dream that often). The dream that Ren endures during this story is quite similar to one I had last night, though mine had the Harry Potter cast in it (I don't know why). The "bodily awareness" that is described in the beginning isn't something that happens normally, I think. I get it a lot though. Just last week, during a lovely dream about a zombie apocalypse, I was perfectly aware that I was sleeping on my fist, which was jammed in my tummy. Also, Ren's name is just me changing the last letter of REM. Did anyone notice that? (Oh my God, why is this so long?)