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‘Twas dark, that lovey night.

As the moon crawled into the black night, an illuminating child rose with it. They were wrapped coolly in splendid blue robes, woven from the silk of spiders, embroiled with the feathers of dodos and doves. At their waist hung a leather umbrella, carved from the hide of an animal that never existed.
Just beforehand Chern had passed, without so much a peep, through the Gates of Horn and Ivory. It was a large gate, which spanned the horizon of a dreamless valley. Currently, Chern drifted unseen among mortals, allowing the midnight breeze to carry them dancing above the city lights. Chern suddenly lurched down into the city below, happening by a window with an artist inside mulling over a black sheet of paper. The artist, although ignorant of the entity’s presence, felt a sudden inspiration and began to paint.

Chern came to a stop by another window and as if the window did not exist, or perhaps as if Chern did not exist, passed through it into the room inside. The bedroom was simple, just one of an infinite number that Chern now stood in (Chern existed wherever required). A scientist named Beth lay in her bed, not yet sleeping but with her eyes closed. Looking over the exhausted bundle with pride, Chern opened their umbrella, stitched together by forget-me-knot roots, and let the stuff of dreams pepper down from inside it like rain. The immensity of possibilities, the vastness of imagination, all in a single grain of sand. The scientist did not notice Chern, nor could she notice as the sands of sleep slid seamlessly from their umbrella and fell across her form and submerged her into sleep.

With a short courtesy and a wave, Chern drifted unnoticed back into the night.

In the Kingdom of Lithamax Beth raced onwards upon a mighty steed, past the Valley of Sugar and through the Field of Lucky Dreams. She pressed forward, dashing within reach of the sinister villain of Wax. The Princess’s life was in her hands! The villain named Wax cackled wildly, the Princess riding in a trolley pulled his own vile horse. Beth grew closer and closer, Wax continued to just stay out of reach. Closer and closer, Beth lent out her hand.

“Grab on!” Beth shouted.

The Princess reached out, adjusting her tiara with her free hand. Their hands grew closer and closer, the horses thundering madly across the now endless Field of Dreams. The horses came closer and closer until suddenly the Princess slid off her horse with a tumble; the dastardly villain flinched with every bump as the princess skid to an inglorious stop. Both Beth’s and Wax’s horses wailed as they skid painfully to a stop.

“CUT!” Hissed a voice.
Beth turned to her right and saw a group of people who she certainly did not notice before. A group of teddy bears in all black huffed about what looked to be a film set. Beth turned back to Wax! Her mind was racing mind dazed yet still focused on the task at hand. The villain was standing awkwardly by the Princess, before helping the girl up to her feet.

“Whoa dude, you good?” Said Wax.
“I would feel that in the morning, if my existence wasn’t bound to that sleeping dreamer,” The Princess nodded at Beth, sighing with a mixture of disappointment with an existential hint.
Beth slowly climbed down off her loyal horse and began to approach the film set.

“Oh, crap the dreamer is coming!” Shouted one of the bears.

One of the bears fumbled over to a box labelled ‘Props,’ pulled out a frighting clown mask and fumbled it over his button-eyed face.

“Grrrr!” The bear said, “I am the, uh. Um…”

“Gosh Stuffy! You’re supposed to be the understudy!”

Stuffy looked dismally to the floor, before he tossed the mask away and marched off. Beth continued to stare as rationality began its slow crawl across her mind.

“What has happened here?” Said a pearly voice.

Beth turned behind her to see a strange figure, a child with vibrant robes and a leather umbrella.

“My lord!” cried the bears as they threw themselves onto the floor.

They all began to grovel, beg, and cry. Some threw their hands up into the air in reverence.

“We’re so sorry, we failed you! We ruined your vision!” They cried!

Chern smiled and waved dismissively. “Worry no longer!”

The teddy bears and their film set as well as the actors and horses all vanished into nothing. It was here, taking a moment while standing in an empty valley, that the penny finally dropped.

“Am I dreaming?” Said Beth.

“Why a lucid dreamer! Such a laugh! It is my pleasure to personally welcome you to your dream!”
Beth took another moment, blinking three times.

“So I am dreaming then…So this is all fake?”

Chern made what perhaps was a grin, or something else; whatever it was, it spread wide and overpowering and brilliantly clever.

“Oh, this is all real, just not material.”

Chern placed their arm around Beth and lead her on down a suddenly snowy path. The landscape changed again without any obvious transition from a snowy landscape into a circus, a museum filled with nothing but shrimp-related art and onwards into an abstract cosmos.

“This all is so strange… So, you’re the one behind all dreams?”

“I am your dreams. The underlining substance of thought and all things psychosomatic. The substance is mine, but the premises are yours. Well, mostly.”

Chern let out a little huff.

“Well, in all honestly it's all far too complicated for logic to make sense of.”

“If I can be honest, this makes the human mind seem less, I don’t know…magical somehow. Unoriginal, even? I work to understand things people can’t understand, to make everything certain. If you’re real, then I should be excited. Yet, I’m now worried about my mind’s limitations.”

Chern stopped, turning with urgency to Beth, and held her close. It was quite strange to see such authority in what appeared to be a child.

“Oh please! I mustn’t make you uncomfortable. Nothing is as magical as you think it is, or things are far more impressive than you realised. Everything comes down to execution, or what edge you look at it. Just because all dreams come from the same material, it doesn’t change the meaning of what you create. All that matters is that it is your story”
Beth felt the Sandman’s warm embrace compress and mould into a feeling distinctly familiar. The feeling of a warm blanket wrapped firmly around her body, the cushioning beneath her head, the gentle feeling of sunlight against her skin.


Beth groaned as she clumsily slammed off her alarm.

“I’m up, I’m up…” She mumbled.

Beth was quiet that morning. The kettle whistled furiously behind her, steam belling out from its spout. There was a nagging feeling tugging at her mind. Something important. What was her dream again?

“Ah well,” Bath mumbled, as she poured a coffee, “It’s nothing important. Just a silly dream.”

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