Lucidity (Short Story)

LSvajonė’s cat jumped onto her lap. He meowed, leaning towards Svajonė, hoping to be petted. His bright white and black fur rippled as he moved. 

This isn’t right.

Svajonė placed her hand on the cat’s head, and his fur felt like water. In fact, the whole place felt like water – it was raining, wasn’t it?

Wait, no, this isn’t right. 

Svajonė stood up, walking across the water streaming across the floor. The hardwood floor under the stream seemed to wear away, turning into marble. 

Oh, right. I’m dreaming. This dream. Again. 

The marble floor felt cold under her head. Svajonė reached out, stroking a scratch on the dry floor. Why was it always marble? She had never owned a marble house. 

“Marble indicates stubbornness,” a voice called behind her. “You must be very stubborn.” 

Svajonė turned from where she was standing, facing the wall, to see a man behind her. 

“Who are you?” She called. Her voice echoed around the empty room. 

“The patron of lucid dreamers,” the man answered. “You may call me Amets.” 

“Amets,” Svajonė repeated, the name taken by wind sweeping up around her. “I’ve never heard that name before. How did I come up with it in a dream?”

“You didn’t,” Amets replied. “Nor are you summoning the winds. The wind is a sign of change, you know. And I am here to change your life.”

“You’re very dramatic,” Svajonė said. “My dreams aren’t usually this interesting.”

“And you usually don’t hold onto a scene this long, do you?” Amets asked. “You are aware when you dream, but you cannot control your dream, can you?”

“Watch me.” Svajonė took a deep breath in and decided on something. “We are now surrounded by eggs.”

Eggs slowly sprung up from the ground, like flowers. 

Amets nodded. “Impressive. But I can do better.”

He snapped his fingers, and the room expanded. The marble turned to glass, and the glass showed water surrounding them. Looking around, Svajonė could see similar egg-shaped houses around, connected by a series of tunnels. Above her, planes flew through the water. 

“Okay, this is cool,” Svajonė admitted. 

“Is she the one?” 

Svajonė turned to see a woman come through a tunnel. Unlike anyone in her dreams before, the woman looked real. And she didn’t change into a fictional character in a few seconds, unlike some of Svajonė’s wilder dreams. She had long brown hair in a braid, brown hair, and black eyes. A falcon feather hung around her neck.  

“I am Xquenda,” the woman said. “You have been chosen.” 

“Chosen for what?” Svajonė asked. 

“To journey with the lucid dreamers,” Xquenda replied. “Your partners stand behind you.”

Svajonė turned to see three people standing behind her – a boy her age, and an older man and woman. 

“Is she ready?” The woman asked. She was surrounded by a red aura. 

“She has no choice,” Xquenda replied. “This is Aisling, she is your team leader. Next to her is Heidrich, and his younger brother Alkebia.” Heidrich had a blue glow to him, Alkebia a yellow. 

“I’m Svajonė.”

“We know,” Heidrich said. 

“Can you swim?” Alkebia asked. 

“In a dream? Easily.” 

The ceiling above them gave way, and the four of them were flying through the water. Svajonė felt herself began to glow green, and the water around her turned to kelp. 

“Augh,” Heidrich complained. “Who summoned the kelp?”

“Sorry,” Alkebia replied. “I saw green.”

The kelp solidified the area around them, and Svajonė felt the weird texture on her bare feet. 

“So what exactly are we doing?” Svajonė asked. 

“Stopping the anti-dreamer,” Aisling replied. And it made perfect sense. 

They walked towards a castle made of marble, Aisling in the lead. The ground shook beneath them, but no one noticed. 

They reached a cliff. 

“We must jump!” Aisling called. She leaped off of it, and disappeared. Heidrich followed suit. 

Svajonė took a few steps, and leaped off the cliff, Alkebia right behind her. She landed on a rubber floor, and bounced upwards a bit. Alkebia landed beside her on a slanted ground. The ground tilted, and the four slipped down. 

“Seriously,” Heidrich muttered. “Have some control.” 

“Give him a break,” Aisling said. “He’s young.” 

They fell into a garden surrounding a castle. Aisling led the team around the castle, and through a wide bay window. 

The ground gave way, and Svajonė found herself falling. 

“Not my fault!” Alkebia yelled. 

“Well it’s not mine!” Heidrich replied. 

This is a really weird dream, Svajonė thought. But it’s a dream. And I do not like falling. 

And just like that, she stopped falling. 

“You’re flying!” Heidrich yelled. “That’s not fair! I can’t fly!”

“It’s just a dream!” Svajonė yelled back. “What do you mean you can’t fly.”

“Just come down here and save us!” Aisling yelled. 

Svajonė focused, trying to stop them from falling, but apparently it was one aspect of the dream she had no control over. So she dove after them. 

She picked Aisling up, and then Alkebia, and then finally Heidrich. 

“Summoning a floor!” Heidrich yelled. They collapse onto a marble ground. 

“Flying… is… a symbol of control over dreams most people don’t have,” Aisling breathed. “Good job, girl.” 

Svajonė grinned. “Thanks.” 

Once again standing, the four continued on through the castle. Svajonė chewed on a pecan as they walked. 

They appeared in a stage room, surrounded by faceless people. 

“Sing!” They cheered. 

“It’s a trap!” Aisling said. 

“What? How?” Svajonė asked. 

“I always wake up here,” Aisling said. 

“You’re not leaving yet,” Heidrich pointed out. 

“You must be exhausted,” Alkebia said. 

And thats when he toppled backwards and disappeared into the crowd. 

Svajonė’s mind registered that as bad before Heidrich and Aisling were pulling her away. 

“We have to hurry!” Aisling said. 

“What about Alkebia?” Svajonė asked. 

“Who?” Heidrich asked. 

“Alkebia,” Svajonė replied. “He was right here.” 

“Failure! Failure!” The crowd cheered, and Svajonė knew they were talking about Alkebia. 

He’s in trouble. 

A penguin waddled by, giving Svajonė a wink. 

Svajonė dove into the crowd, ignoring Heidrich and Aisling’s calls. She wasn’t leaving Alkebia. 

The crowd and ground gave way, and she was falling again. She could see Alkebia falling underneath her. She forced herself to fall faster. Faster. Faster. I must reach him. 

She grabbed onto Alkebia’s arm, and flew him back up onto the roof of the castle. 

“Thank you,” Alkebia muttered. 

Svajonė rolled over and laid with her back against the marble roof, only moving again when an alarm began to beep. 

Violet Svajonė Janson woke up to the sound of her phone alarm, ringing from her desk. Still half-asleep, Violet rolled over and hit the snooze button. She had been having an interesting, if weird, dream, and she wondered if she could continue if she fell back asleep now. 

But she never fell back asleep that morning, and by lunch she had filed it away as just another dream, unaware that somewhere across the ocean, a boy named Alexis woke up, wondering about a dream where a girl who glowed green had saved him from a crowd. 

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