I write about dreams a great deal–because dreams are weird and fascinating. Wouldn’t it be cool to create something in your dreams and bring it with you into reality? (We’re not talking the dreams where people melt like ice cream, or something lunges at you out of the darkness.)

Have you ever seen something in your dreams that you wish was real?

It’d be weird and probably abstract, but fun.

*    *     *     *     *

From Sleep

When she was four, Holly discovered she could take things from her dreams into the waking world. Not when her mommy woke her–that was too quick and they popped like soap bubbles–but when she woke on her own. Dreams were heavy, and she had to rise to the surface slowly, as careful as a breaching whale lifting their calf to the air.

If she held on tightly, she would wake with the dream in her hands, flecked with spray but drying into reality. Sometimes they slipped out of her grasp as she woke. Even when she dragged them to the waking shores, the dreams never stayed with her for very long. One night they would slide back under the surface, into her dream world, and wait for her in the deeps.

Mostly, she discovered, adults couldn’t see her dreams. If it was something that could exist outside of dreams–a fluffy stuffed animal, a colorful doll, a bouncy ball–some of the adults would notice her dreams, especially if she was playing with them. But the little unicorn with a horn like the inside of a shell, and a blue mane and tail could prance around on a tabletop right in front of a grown-up and they would look right through it.

Some kids couldn’t see dreams, either. Holly figured out that the older ones often couldn’t, especially the ones that didn’t have time for a little kid like her. Sometimes the younger ones were blind, too. If they could see her dreams, they could touch them. Holly didn’t mind sharing her dreams, as long as the other kids were gentle. Dreams were fragile, and handled too roughly, would pop. And they wouldn’t be waiting right under the surface for Holly, either, instead diving into the deeps to hide.

As much as Holly looked, she hadn’t found another kid who carried their dreams around with them. When she started her first day of second grade, she thought she never would. But when she followed her teacher into the cafeteria for lunch, she spotted a girl she’d never seen before, with short dark curls and dark eyes lowered to the table. To most everyone else, it would have looked like she was staring at her tray. But Holly could see the brightly colored figures prancing around the edges of the plastic.

Holly took a deep breath as she waited in line for her tray. Picking it up, she carried it over to a seat next to the other girl. The other girl gave her a blank, distant stare, and then looked away. Holly reached into her pocket and coaxed out the shell-horned blue unicorn, a favorite dream of hers, and set it on the table. When the little dream pranced up to the other girl, she startled and raised her eyes to Holly.

Holly smiled.

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About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

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  1. […] I was writing “From Sleep,” it came to me that while it would be wonderful to take your dreams with you into reality, […]

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