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Imagine a world in which all of our hopes and dreams follow us around like tiny pets—little creatures everywhere, serving as constant reminders of the things we have achieved, and those which we have not. Something once held dear to an individual and that existed only in a person's mind and heart is now on display for all to see. Society's judgments now become based on the quantity, size, and complexity of those hopes and dreams. These "dreamlings" are tangible organisms we are forced to take care of, nurture, and help grow just as we do. As we move towards achieving the goals contained within the dreamling, the dreamling begins to sparkle, and at final achievement, the dreamling disappears into the sky.
As young people, dozens of dreamlings pop up and die very quickly, as our desires change and our thought processes roam. Our physical capabilities to take care of these organisms are limited as children, so even if a large dreamling is born, with great power and force filled with high hopes, it can crumble into pieces just as quickly as it comes to life.
As adults, these dreamlings become stronger, and begin to control our life. They become angry when we let an opportunity pass us by, violent when we make poor decisions, and can hold us back from nurturing other dreamlings. We cannot always fulfill the dreamling goals fast enough. Jealousy erupts between conflicting dreamlings; they bite each other, scream, and wake us up during the night. Evil dreamlings with harmful intentions band together, betray their owners, and cause trouble. Each person is held responsible for the actions of their own dreamlings. With one word, we can cause obstreperous dreamlings to disappear out of existence: "failure". However, deleting a dreamling is not always an easy task for a person to complete, or fully accept.
As we age, many of those dreamlings die slower than before, lying and decaying in streets and homes around the world. Some take years to fully decompose, leaving their remnants everywhere for owners to see and remember, watching what others around them have lost. Other dreamlings turn to dust once dead, with nothing left for the owner to remember but an empty memory.
As time goes by, these dreamlings evolve and become more aggressive. Humans begin to send out stronger dreamlings than ever for excessive desires: sex, money, alcohol, fame, power. Now, when the dreamling's owner ignores it, the dreamling goes out and takes initiative to forcefully make the goal come true. Anarchy erupts in some places as we as a human race become controlled by the dreamlings. "Failure" has disappeared from most languages of the world, and is replaced with "fear"—a word that allows the dreamlings to become stronger.
Several hundred years after the emergence of dreamlings, one scientist discovers how to make dreamlings completely invisible, and creates ways to shrink them to the size of small human cells. He says that with the help of his new technologies, these dreamlings could even be implanted into the brain, where they would become mere nerve impulses. He demonstrates that his own dreamlings are now a part of his thoughts and emotions of which he can control with brainpower—apprehend negative desires and help positive ones flourish by his own actions.
The scientist's findings take the world by surprise. Most are against implementation of the new technology; many claim it is all fake, that scientist's dreamlings are just tied up somewhere in another lab. In anger and disarray, the leaders of the world decide to hold a multi-national conference to discuss the fate of the technology, and its societal impacts.
"How will we know who to pick as our leaders if we cannot see their dreamlings?" says the leader of Britain, "Intentions are unclear when we hide a person's desires."
"How can we gather and capture all of the dreamlings? The more we capture, the more will be created," protests the president of the United States, "If we accept this as a worldwide goal, millions of people everywhere who help us with the project will create dreamlings for gathering dreamlings. Holding this conference is useless; no matter what we do, we can't accomplish anything."
"Nothing can happen until humans accept that their own desires, the dreamlings created for their individual goals, are not going to flourish until the worldwide problem is solved. The world has to put the safety of everyone before their own selfish goals." says the leader of Japan, "But that is not an idea that can be feasibly accepted."
The room erupts in anger after the leader of Japan finishes. The inner workings of every person have come to life and taken control, and the only way to control them is to control humanity. But they all ignore the inner truth, and begin to point fingers.
"The leaders of the Asian countries are to blame, yes! They have the angriest and most evil dreamlings."
"No, it's the Americans! All their dreamlings ever do is have sex, smoke, gamble, drink, and take drugs!" There is continuous shouting from everyone.
The leader of Brazil then takes the floor.
"Hush! This is completely ridiculous! We have no one to blame but ourselves."
Silence fills the room. He begins to speak again.
"These things, these dreamlings, are just a manifestation of our own desires. We have let them get in the way of accomplishing anything. When selfish desire is stronger than the drive to achieve goals that will cause change, progress stops. We are at war with our unconscious, and we, the humans, are losing."
There is more chatter throughout the room. The leader of Iraq steps forward to speak.
"This is not like wars in the past, however. We cannot draft an armistice; we cannot fight them with our most sophisticated weapons. Even if we put the human race into caves, away from technology, away from one another, there will always be something we wish to fulfill, and more dreamlings to be created. The new goals will be to get out of the caves. How do you champion your own desires?"
There is silence, then a loud knock at the door.
An older man enters the room. He looks as if he has not eaten nor had anything to drink in days. His clothes are torn and tattered, his beard untrimmed. He has no shoes. He is short and disfigured, and holds the leashes of ten gray decrepit dreamlings, frowning and squealing as they are dragged across the floor. The man slowly turns around to his dreamlings, and speaks in a grumbling, raspy voice.
"You are defeated."
His dreamlings turn to dust.