The Hidden Ones
All I could remember was the crisp rain crashing against the window -- the deafening roar of thunder, as drops of rain slid down the crystal glass. The snowy bright moon was up, and I laid tousled against my small bed that gently rocked back and forth like a swaying boat on the calm sea.
Then there was a figure. An ominous dark shadow that loomed over my crib, with a silver pointed knife at hand. The moon shone against the blade and the dagger glistened brilliantly before my eyelids gradually opened.
The night was beautiful with the sweet whisper of wind as my terrified screams burned through the dark.
I was stolen, swept away from all that I had ever known and loved -- taken away secretly in a hushed breath.
And when I looked back at my warm comfy cradle, my outer self ten years older as I banged mercilessly at the invisible force that constrained me from entering my past world… the baby inside the crib was not me.
My parents always warned me about the Dream World. The mystifying world of subtle fantasies and the prosperer of heart-wrenching nightmares.
It is said that any person who enters into the dream world through blanketed sleep is to be erased from the reality realm. Knowing too much about the abnormal universe on the the other side, rumors tell that Overwatchers from the Dream World come to abduct any innocent minds that live in the momentary trance.
For it was promised through shrouded cloaks and insecure handshakes that both worlds would keep their cursed peace… if they didn’t know the truth about the other.
But I was different. Growing up as a inquisitive and anxious individual wanting to know everything about the world and its mysteries, it was definite that I would have the capability to infiltrate the confounding world beyond.
So foolishly shunning out the warnings from my blood parents, only a young baby in my crib, I glided to a shrouded and misted land far away from our universe. Venturing through paradox cosmos and flaming stars, everything seemed to mix together in a equivocal space. Time, emotion, and the knowledge of anything seem to freeze… until I reached the Dream World.
When I was there the feeling of warmth spread through my skin as I steadily woke. All around me was the sprouting roots of grass and the blank gray sky that seemed to mourn for color. The tall rays of grass reeked of a dead but lively dull green tint -- the sky complementing it with it’s insipid taste of life.
Unhurriedly rising to my knees, I scanned the vast lands of the Dream World. Dark mountains seem to conquer every sort of scenery and any living organism seem to die in it’s colorless comforts.
Beginning to search around the inexplicable land, my heart suddenly stopped to a halt.
My eyes diverted down to my feet and my tender hand briskly swept against my face. I stood motionless in the fields of grass as the world seemed to come crashing down on me.
Unlike my former self inside my fine and elegantly-made cradle, now inside the dream world I was older and took on a different shape. I was more mature and built like an adolescent, nothing like my fragile structure as a baby. My brown hair was longer and I wore clothes that tailored towards my uprising posture.
Thoughts, memories, and pictures of realization snapped into my mind as my heart slowly began fluttering against my chest again. This is what the Dream World is like, I thought to myself, as I ran with wonder towards the moonless mountains.
When I stepped on to the dusky mountains, a whole new world opened to my vision.
Everywhere like reigning weeds on the rolling hills of the mountain were shadowed figures progressively walking. The smoggy silhouettes seemed to inch systematically with each step despite their customized foundation.
The dark shadows were long legged creatures, with a vertical spine and a symmetrical small head. Some appeared to wear drawn-out cloaks or even hats that suited them perfectly.
Even through the crowd of inching outlines, some of the unfathomable creatures reminded me of young kids who wore the extensive cloaks in my world, except in the Dream World these shadows seemed more lifeless and lost.
Although the striding shades did prompt me towards my own world, this didn’t hide their strange behavior.
As I stood in the middle of the sauntering shadows, they seemed to pay no attention to me. They acted as if they had some kind of purpose, although for all that I could see, they seemed to be walking into nowhere.
I couldn’t put the tip of my tongue on it, but the shades were so lively… but at the same time so lifeless.
But as I hesitantly reached out to touch one of the creatures to remedy my curiosity, a strong grip pressed against my shoulder and spun me around.
I was faced with one of the same shadows, except this one in particular was dramatically shorter and possessed a more gruesome face. Realizing that the shade was an Overwatcher, my legs mounted against the ground in a stunned reaction.
Then as the Overwatcher slowly drew me in closer into his blank features, he graciously whispered the words: Ream Lander.
I awoke to foggy clouds and soft winds as the Overwatcher stood in front of me. We were surrounded by complete darkness and nothing but the vibrations of our ringing voices.
As I stared in a trance into the nothingness of the Overwatcher's face, he spoke in his deep rumbling voice as he explained everything to me.
He told of dreams and how they pulled and allured people into their deep fantasies and fascinating pleasures. Whether the dream is conducted by a person whose minds are drawn with immoral thoughts, or the individual is just curious… the person is forever embedded in the Dream World.
The Overwatcher continued with the shadows, how these humans who have fallen into the Dream World by mistake or with purpose never return to the reality realm. And that if they desire to return to their home, they must live eternally and surrender their lives to claim their original form.
So each one of the shades are given a vision to their true reality, where they cannot be seen by their loved ones or other shades. Rather, they are challenged with the ongoing impediment of getting back their lives through a clear invisible force. Whether these spirited shadows fight to grasp their souls or be consumed by the hate, envy, and emotions of the shade is up to them.
When the dark Overwatcher finished his description, he shot his hand into the darkness and created an empty swirling portal that ignited quickly through the dark.
Although tears began flowing down my face and I refused to enter the doorway, the Overwatcher illustrated his last final piece to me.
He spoke of how entering the portal would make me serve as one of the shadows that aimlessly walked for lifetimes… never aging but with purpose until there was none. How as a young shade I would get a flash of my own reality in my own world and that I had to save my past form or I would slave as a shade forever.
The Overwatcher advised me of how as a shade in the reality realm, even though I couldn’t be seen in my regular or shade structure, that I could reincarnate as a personal spirit animal in my world.
And how when I was in the mesmerizing fake reality, that I would be accompanied with a simple aged tree that counted the transient time I had left in my own realm.
Then before words could softly fall off my lips, with a single nimble motion, the Overwatcher pushed me into the portal and I tumbled down to my invisible vision.
Now in my mere reality that was blocked by an interior force, I recounted the mission on my hands and reawakened my motivation to return back to my own world. I ran around my own realm and constantly knocked at the invisible shield to notify my parents I was there, trying to tear away at the eternal tenacious window that secluded me on the other side. I would also change timelines and certain events to show them that I was present.
And most of all, I would battle my Dream World replacement and struggle to gain back my place in the real world.
Where I would take menacing risks and chances to free myself from my distressful state. To find that wisp of hope to help me endure through the tragic times. And to observe my parents grow old with my replacement, feel the piercing pain of their memories, and to watch as the leaves from the faded tree wither and gently fall to the ground… while I die further away from reality.