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May I Dream?

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One lone starry night, when the crickets chirped in unison and all seemed right with the world a father and son climbed a tall hill as the father’s father had done with him time before time each year it was his birthday. The hill overlooked a sunset which in the morning was photograph worthy.

The father was old and wasn’t the boy’s true father, but since birth he’d been raised in a small hunting village away from the affairs of the town folk.

Staring out into the vast night sky the boy said, “Father may I dream?”

Up until this point, the boy’s father had been troubled and distant with thoughts of the war, the comment abruptly aroused him.

“Why ever not Hycith?” He said, placing a gentle hand on his shoulder.

“I just thought,” squeaked Hycith’s voice, not more than a whisper. “That the men who attack our home wanted more than money…..” he trailed off.

“Son, explain.”
Hycith turned to the old man.

“Mother tells me that evil men want foolish things like money and riches. But these men, they aren’t evil, they slaughter innocents in front of their families, that’s not evil, its hatred, a low form of evil there isn’t even a name for it. So I’ve chosen a reason of why they do this,” he paused, and sat down on the grass cross legged, “they want our dreams, they want to destroy our happiness for the sorrows they’ve experienced, an eye for an eye, I will surrender my dreams to save you and mother, father.”

Treyson, the father, didn’t reply at first he’d done all he could to keep Hycith from thinking about war, and now, he was lost.

“Hycith,” he began, stroking his frazzled beard, “See those grasshoppers in the grass there?” Crouching low next to the boy he pointed at two grasshoppers merrily hopping together. Hycith nodded.

“Those grasshoppers, don’t talk, but they have dreams like you and I. When we cut the grass we are burning their homes, but they keep going. Together, hearts heavy sure, but together they can dream no matter what confronts them.” As he spoke he pulled up the grass the two grasshoppers headed too, seeing that it was gone they simultaneously changed directions, “despite, the loss, they keep at it, together, connected, anything attainable, every mountain climbable. Free to dream.” Treyson’s voice grew soft, “do you understand, Hycith?”

Hycith, enthralled by the speech, opened and closed his mouth with no words to come out.

“Free to dream,” he said. “I love you father.” Hugging the old man the grasshoppers jumped on to the nape of his neck, the young boy’s laughter filled the desolate air releasing the tension of the matter.

In his old age the man grew teary eyes as he watched Hycith play with the grasshoppers, remembering when he used to do that.

The night came and went, eventually, the boy nodded off to sleep, his head resting on the man’s shoulder; the orange sunset began to rise over the hill, running up the boys face.

In the distance, Treyson began to hear yelling of two names frantically, and over and over.


Two shots rang out.



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