The blue light settled comfortably on my skin, like the feeling of getting into the JUST right position on your bed and the blankets cuddle around you. It felt awesome. Taking in a deep breath, cool air blasting in my nostrils, or more like nose holes compared to a human’s, something in my lungs told me this was what it was used to. It was something I couldn’t explain with words… I just felt like this place fit into my life like a long lost puzzle-piece, my life now a complete portrait.
As my guide took me across the bridges of light, I looked around to my fellow dark-scaled brethren, smiling widely while they swung around on colorful trees on a rainforest floating-island-thing. We passed another bridge, reaching another white half-globe, which were what these globes were, and at the top of the bridge, I saw that the globe was simple filled with water. I spotted a few dark shadows slipping under the water, swimming with ease. One with mermaid fins jumped out of the water splashing around glistening white droplets everywhere. I almost stayed on the white rim, to jump in, but my companion drew me by the arm and led me to another bridge.
It was a world a half-globes, with all sort of different places to play. I hardly knew where to look. Each seemed to be chained to another by bridges of soft blue light. The light bridges were solid concrete; at least it felt like it. I could stare right through them and find some sort of island or a sheet of stars underneath.
Soon, a huge white full globe came into view, all of the bridges connecting to it, with several round windows that reminded me of those old pilot glasses I’ve seen in a few black and white dreams. (I know, weird right? I don’t understand humans either.) It was as if someone had smashed a REALLY big tire into the interior wall, denting the metal outwards, and then they stuck a piece of glass into the middle of it. They were weird. The entrance was a huge funnel-tunnel, large enough that I couldn’t even make out any details of the inside from far away.
Entering the funnel-tunnel, thousands of flashing lights from within came into view. All around the huge globe, black people with tentacle hair, like me, were sitting in chairs in front of screens with flashing lights, their desks sticking to the sides of the globe. That means, there were people hanging upside down, their hair sticking straight up, going along with gravity. There were people completely sideways, or just normal; it depended where they were in the globe.
“Yeeps, doesn’t that… feel weird?” I said, motioning to the people hanging upside down. My short tour guide just laughed.
“No, mixed gravity is common in the Dreamverse, we’ve been used to this kind of gravity for as long as I can remember,” the boy said, smiling, one of his black tentacles curling into a swirl-like pattern. Suddenly, he seemed to flinch, his green reptilian eyes looking ahead. He slapped his forehead. “Oh, I forgot. Shadra, I’m Kied, your guide. Sorry, I have to guide so many of you I sometimes forget to introduce myself.”
“There are others like me?” I asked, astonished.
“Yes, there are thousands of Dream-travelers in our system. After going through a set amount of dreams, they return here, where we give them tours. Though it gets repetitive, seeing as it’s always the same people returning and needing tours. But you get used to it.”
“They forget it? I’d never forget a place like this!” I think to all the islands, the happy people, everything. I would have died to be here instead of shifting dreams all the time.
“That’s what a lot of them say, but actually, Shadra, you’ve been at this shindig for longer than I’ve been a tour guide. You’re one of the senior Dream-Travelers.”
As he said this, a huge screen speared out of nowhere, showing a picture of me(I think, I actually don’t know what I look like) and my information, and a whole list of dreams. With a flick of the head-tentacle, the list scrolled down for what seemed like forever. I had been in thousands, maybe millions of dreams. I couldn’t wrap my head around it.
“Why wouldn’t I remember this? I feel like I’ve only been in a handful of dreams! This amount of dreams is insane,” I said, hardly keeping my mouth from gaping. The boy laughed again, his small hand forming a fist by his mouth.
“Because,” he began, as if this was routine, “the darkness between dreams.” He motioned toward the screen again, and a profile with the picture just a square of black.
“The darkness between dreams has been eating surplus memories for generations. It seems if our people have more than a few permanent memories, the darkness takes them away. So we have our Dream Travelers set a few memories they wish to keep on their runs so they perform their tasks and not lose their minds. We remove the rest of them and put them into our system. Required memories to have are your name, occupation, etc. Then we let you choose a few you would like to keep.”
He changed the screen to me again. My picture staring me in the face. I didn’t like my expression, a completely straight-faced girl with a slight slouched position. My feet were so stubby, and was the flab on my stomach? I looked down, and then decided not to think about it.
“For example, for you, you only seem to keep your name, occupation… and that you don’t exist. You could actually store a few more, like your parents or something, but you never seemed interested. You can always change it,” he said, motioning to my profile.
I wanted to say I didn’t remember anything else to actually put in there, but suddenly, the lights flickered and turned off, throwing us into pitch darkness. The ground began to shake
“What’s happening!?” I said, dropping to my knees so not to fall. I hoped I wasn’t the type to get motion-sick.
I felt heavy hands on my shoulder, the boy, I think, grabbing on with his sweaty hands with all my might. Ouch, he had strong grip.
“The darkness is invading,” he said, his grave voice shaking with the movements. “It’s caught up with us.”
“What does that mean?” I said, pretty sure I already knew, but not willing to say it. Fear stung my chest repeatedly like a nest of hornets.
“If it overtakes us…” he began, letting out a heavy breath, “many important memories may be lost. Sanities… and perhaps lives are at stake.
“Unless a Dream-Traveler can stop it.”