-"Welcome, my friend, to the Chamber of Stars"
I threw an incredulous gaze all around me. Dylan closed the door, which immediately disappeared into nothingness. I couldn't believe or imagine where I was. All around me the stars were twinkling in the inky blackness of space. I stepped forward, and was surprised even more by the fact that I could step. Where was the gravity coming from? I made a few more timid steps and turned to look back at Dylan. He looked serene yet far away, and only when I called him did he pay any attention to me.
-"Dylan, how…where…WHAT is this place?"
He smiled and spoke softly, as if he were within a church.
-"That, my friend, I cannot tell you, for I myself do not know. Many have found this chamber before me, and though none speak of it, I can see it in their eyes. That distance…they know yet they do not understand. Nor do I. No one understands. This is it though, this is THE place, it is the Chamber of Stars, that much we know. Yet this knowledge brings distance between us and the rest of the world. We know there is more and they do not. Yet we do not speak. We don't know why, but we never speak of it. One must find it by him or herself, or die knowing nothing.
-"But Dylan…why did you bring me here then?"
-2Because I knew you had to know…don't ask me how, I just knew it. There's something in you Dave, something I cannot fathom."
I hung there breathless, at loss for words. Dylan was starring at me in an eerily intense manner. The stars twinkled calmly in the dark and not a sound was to be heard. Suddenly Dylan whispered:
-"What?" I was taken aback by his sudden request.
-"Teach us what you know! Teach me! Bring light to the mystery! Teach us!"
-2Dylan, I don't understand what you mean, I'm as lost as you, I…"
Dylan's shoulders slumped and he dropped his gaze. He seemed deeply disappointed and curled himself into a ball.
-"Why did I show you then? What for? All I did was bring more questions. Forgive me."
-"Dylan, I..." I felt an odd twirling sensation. I was spinning faster and faster. I saw Dylan before me look up at me sadly across his folded arms.
-"Farewell" He whispered. "You can't stay here…wake up Dave"
And with that I began racing among the stars. I had left the Chamber of Stars. Or had I? Dylan shrank to a dot and vanished almost instantly. The stars all around me became streaks. Then there was a flash, and I sat up, drenched in sweat. I was in bed, apparently at home. I felt the surroundings all around me and looked for any sign of Dylan. I got up hesitantly and stumbled out of the room. It was dark outside. I stumbled down the hallway to the kitchen where Martha, my co-tenant sat, listening to the radio with wide eyes. A dream…it was just a dream.
-"Hey there, I just…what time is it?"
She said it was close to six in the evening, and looked up at me with a heavy gaze.
-"David, I don't know how to say this…Dylan's gone"
-"He wasn't here when I woke up, and hasn't shown up all day….but he left this. She handed me a small black jewellery box. I took it, and gently opened it. Inside was a single, sparking star of silver, and a torn piece of paper which read "with love, from Dylan". And scribbled hastily on the other side I read "never forget it my friend".
It took me a moment for thoughts to assemble in my head. I had barely opened my mouth when Martha said:
-"You slept all day Dave…do you have any idea what this means?"
I didn't answer right away, but gazed straight ahead. A dream? The pictures in my head were fading. The stars, the door, Dylan…the only clear vision was of Dylan wishing me farewell, a tear running down his cheek. Then all was blank.
-"No" I finally answered "I don't have the slightest clue"
I closed the box and set it back down on the table.
-"Do you think he'll come back?" She half whimpered.
-"No, he won't be coming back." I said softly.
-"But how do you know?! You said…" She stood up angrily, tears running down her cheeks.
-"If I told you I would finish like Dylan."
-"So you know what happened to…"
-"No Martha, I don't. All I know is that Dylan is gone and he will never return."
At that moment I felt a sudden urge to run. I stood up suddenly, staring blankly in front of me, trying to find out where the feeling was coming from. Martha was cowering in a corner of the small kitchen. Barely without noticing, I walked out of the room, grabbed a jacket and went outside, oblivious to Martha's increasingly desperate calls. It was raining outside. Cool rain…good. I breathed the cool evening air and let the wind blow against my face and through my hair. I realised I had taken Martha's jacket, and forgotten my shoes. No problem. Slowly, resolutely, I began running.