The Perception of Dreams

June 1, 2010
By , Issaquah, WA
It was two o’clock early Thursday morning. Startled for no reason at all, John was awakened out of his heavy sleep panting and sweating. Silently his wife who lay beside him lifted her head to check the alarm clock on the nightstand. “Go back to bed, ” she urged him. He tossed and turned for the remainder of the night, wishing desperately he could.

That previous week, a case had broken about a young male hiker who had disappeared. No one had seen or heard from him in some time. Images of his family flooded the news, and headlines of his disappearance were everywhere. Search parties had been conducted every day in the mountains near his residence, but no trace of the young man had been found. Time was running out for local authorities, and his safe return home was looking less and less likely every day.

In his dreams, John had seen visions of the missing man. The dreams were odd and strangely familiar. He would see the missing man lying on the ground, face down. In vain he would shake him, trying desperately to awaken the man. Much to his horror, the man would not move.

It was a Thursday and routinely the commute into the city from the outskirts of town, the mundane desk job he worked from nine to five, the predicable lunch of turkey salad in a brown paper bag continued with no change.

That night he lay down and was soon in deep sleep. It was good; he had never felt so well rested. He clenched his eyes shut, lying there peacefully. There were no dreams that night.

Paramedics found John’s body the next morning. The man with the dreams, the man who had been missing, now was the man who was dead. His dreams of ordinary life were reality to him. Reality, in fact, was something else entirely.

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