The Dream of Reality

A light shined through a pane of cut glass. Hanging on the other side was small net of dangling wood blocks. They cast grey blotches on the floor, moving and shimmering across it and the wall. The hall was quiet. The apartment doors, painted navy blue, were all shut. Outside, the noises and sounds of the city clamored in different decibels. The cars and trucks on the street swooshed gently. Pedestrians walked by. Sometimes a horn blast, or someone shouting, startled the air. But the net of wood blocks still drifted lightly in the breeze.

Jake opened his door, scratching his head with a sigh. Across from him, Violet opened her door. She stepped sideways and shut it.

"Oh, just in time," Jake laughed. "What have you got there?"

"Just a piece of paper with names," Violet answered. She crumbled it up and put it in her pocket. "But they don't mean anything to me, strange huh?"

"Did you write them down?" Jake asked.

"If I wrote them down, wouldn't I know why?"

"Do you have to be so cold?" Jake shivered. "But if you're going to be that way, I can warm you up."

"And I can set you on fire, literally," Violet huffed. "Now let's just get this over with."

Jake shrugged as they both stopped in front of the door just down from them. Violet took out a key and winced. She blew into it, knocking off dust and then smirked. Sticking it into the door, she turned and then jingled the handle.

It was another apartment, old and worn. There were heaps of boxes and dirty looking furniture. Old rusted brown bureaus pushed against the walls. Near the bathroom, stacked metal frames lined the walls like a fence. The carpet kicked up dust as Violet took each step. Jake covered his mouth and turned his head. In the kitchen a huge box took the place of where the refrigerator should have been. Large white and black bags formed a little mountain toward the stove.

"That's not a safety hazard," Jake muttered. He hopped over a broken doll and almost tripped over a green suitcase. "Did you find it?"

"Not yet," Violet answered. She bent over a small white box and looked inside. Piles of paper stacked up to its edge. "Mr. Covelli said it'll be a black box which should make it easy to spot."

"Black box?" Jake asked.

"A woman will come by to pick it up. That's all I know." Violet stood and glanced around the room.

"Hey, come help me move this bed," Jake called. He pushed the side of a large king-sized mattress. "I think there's a bedroom here."

Violet walk over as Jake gave a hearty shove. "Quick! Slide through, shit this thing is heavy."

"You crush me and I'll kill you," Violet answered. She ducked and squeezed between the doorframe and bed.

"Lovely," Jake mumbled. When Violet made it to the other side, she took two breaths and then shoved the bed the same way. Jake squeezed through, almost getting stuck. But a bellow of pain later, he ended up on the other side of the room.

"Howddaya like that," Jake groaned. He exhaled and pointed to the corner of the room. There was a small black box, not wider then the length of someone's torso. Violet squatted in front of it and grabbed its side. The flaps had been folded in a spiral. She gave a heave and lifted it up to her chest.

"Want me to carry that?" Jake asked.

"Bed," she answered. "Push and I'll squeeze through."

He mumbled, but did as she asked. Violet crawled through and set the box down in the center of the living room. She helped Jake across and the two of them stood over the black box.

"What's inside?" he asked.

Violet stuck a foot out and brought the white box with the papers to her legs. She sat down on it and inspected the black box. Jake sat down beside her and waited.

After digging a finger into the center hole, she grabbed a flap. She pulled, but her finger slipped. Violet yelped and rubbed it, but only a bruise was left to show her pain. Jake held a hand to her and motioned her to move back. Violet glared but Jake stuck in his finger and grabbed the flap. He pulled sharply. The top blossomed out, almost opening completely. Dust lifted into the air, agitating both their noses. Jake waved his hands and finished opening the box.

"It's nothing but a bunch of books and some junk," Jake said in surprise.

"Books yes, junk; I don't think so," Violet corrected him. She reached down and pulled out a white headband. It was tightly wound with a soft fabric. Violet lowered her eyes as she picked up another object, a small trinket. She brought it up to her eyes and turned it in the light. It had a coarse wood frame and a large green glass piece. Inside, a cross was embedded.

"I think it's a broach," she whispered.

Jake lifted up a small white marble. "Hey, check this out." Violet turned and saw the shiny white sphere. "This looks just like the white marbles that are at the mall. You know, the ones that the fountains shoot up when you go up the stairs?" He hummed and rolled it in his hand. "I wonder what it's doing here."

Next, Violet picked up a black ribbon, soft and warm. It shimmered beautifully as she slid it across her wrist. She then looked down into the box and held up a book. "Cross and Blood: A Vampire's Poem," she read. "This looks interesting." She saw another book, all white with thin black letters. "Kalipstery: The Book of Shadows," she mumbled.

"Of Benches and Streetlights," Jake said next. "A story about friends who meet by chance in a city that changes all the time." He grabbed another book and turned it over. "A story of love between a girl in her last year of high school and a writer who comes to town. The feelings they have for each other bloom like a wonderful fantasy, but must weather the obstacles of…" Jake smirked and shook his head. "Love stories, please."

Violet peeked at the book and then stared sideways. She returned her gaze to it with newfound curiosity. "What story is that?"

"The Cure for Writing," Jake answered.

"Who's the author?"

Jake shook his head. "It doesn't say."

Violet picked up another book and paused. Jake set down both of his and leaned closer to her. They both stared at the title in silence.

"The Dream of Reality," Mimi called. She stepped into the room, eyes set on the book. After a few seconds she looked around in amusement. "Man, talk about a storage room."

"Well, hello there," Jake said, jumping to his feet. "Can we help you?"

"I'm here for the black box," Mimi answered.

"This book, it sounds familiar," Violet said. Jake also returned to staring at it.

"I doubt that," Mimi laughed. "It's a special book, one of a kind, the only one of its kind." She picked up the black box and held it out. "But if you've seen the name somewhere, perhaps it's important in its own way."

Violet cocked an eyebrow, taking in the unique clothes of the woman. "Who are you again?" she replied.

Mimi poked the edge of her hat, then tilted it back down. "Mimi is fine, but I'm really just passing through here."

Violet dropped the book back in the box, and then held up the headband and broach. She returned both and stared at the black ribbon still left in her hands. With a little hesitation, and a quick smile, she also let it fall.

"What's that story about?" Jake asked. He dumped his objects into the black box as well, but his eyes lingered on the small white marble. He saw Mimi staring back and let go of it.

"It's a story about boundaries that can always be broken with a bit of imagination," Mimi answered. She turned and walked out. Violet and Jake followed. "It's a story about other stories. People who disappear but are not truly forgotten. A glimpse at what could happen, if."

"It sounds nice," Violet said.

"I'm not one for books, but whatever, I like the idea of escape."

"We all do," Mimi answered. She glanced down and then squatted. Picking up a piece of paper, she unfolded it and stared at it with a grin. "A list of names?"

"Oh, its mine," Violet answered.

"Do you want it?" Mimi asked. Violet shook her head. "Well then," Mimi smiled. She put the paper into the box and shut its flaps. "I have a friend who will probably look after this box. Jake, Violet, it's been a pleasure meeting both of you."

"Oh, sure thing, umm, Miss Mimi," Jake said.

"Yes, it was nice meeting you too," Violet said. They both watched her go down the stairs. Neither said a word, but casually waited, having nothing better to do. After Mimi pushed open the front door with a foot, she walked down to the sidewalk. Taking carefree steps, she looked up the street and lowered her hat over her eyes. With the black box in one arm and the broom in the other, she hummed softly. She continued down the street with a faint smile lingered on her face.

It's me again! Unless this is your first story, or you reached this page by accident. But that's not what's important! It seems of all my stories this is the most popular, so I just feel really excited that I can finally leave a few words to my readers! If you hated this story, or disliked it, or thought it could have been better, then I'm sorry for all the trouble you went through to get to this spot. Leave me suggestions, I'll see what I can do. However, for the rest of you, I'm so glad you enjoyed the story (and hopefully) made it to the end!

In order of appearance:

Bluebutterflydays: I'm glad you read this one versus any of the other stories I had, I really enjoyed your work and when you get the time, I hope you can finish this and let me know what you think. And thanks for all those back to back reviews!

Still2twisted: I love your reviews, they're always so long and drawn out, and helpful. Again, I hope you find the time to finish this story too!

Keba Si Rota: What happened to your story! It's been a while since I've heard from you on FP, I hope things are going well for you. Thanks again for being a reader.

fire0ice: I know you've read a bunch of my stuff, so I don't think there's anything I can really say but thanks lol.

All You Wanted: Same to you buddy! Thanks for sticking with me! It means a lot.

Renissence: Ur name is hard to spell. I hope you get to read this sometime so I can say thanks!

Kyri Caliptis: Thanks for the first review, and any subsequent ones. I saw what you meant about the Christian angle, and I did try it out a little more, but it was hard since the story didn't have any meaningful messages geared toward it, I don't think. But I think any real-ish story is going to have a moral figure. For me, it was Tim.

Sir Exal: Hah! You caught on earlier man! When I did the story, I knew exactly how it was going to end, hence the name of the title and the explanation by Mimi. I hope you get to read this because you really should pat yourself on the back. Oh, and thanks for being a reader.

Russ-Xavier: Thanks for the comments, it's nice to hear someone compliment the chaps and stories. And I hope the later chaps didn't feel scrunched, I'll admit there might be a bit of a break in continuity, but writing is hard like that. Only the best of writers can keep a reader's interest from chap 1 to end. I don't think I'm quite there yet.

lilachearts: Umm, thanks for your critique too I was trying to throw angst in the story but it sorta went out of my control. It's funny how writing can do that.

puppymobile: Heeey! Thanks for being a reader, and I hope you get to this point sometime too. I liked your story and still do. Pani Poni Dash! Watch it sometime!

Lipstick,flamingos,rockroll: I hope I didn't butcher your name. And thanks for the comment. Hehe, you're a fantastic reader, and its nice to see you pop in and say hello.

Snip2r: Yes. When I started this story, the first thing I thought of was random H-games (which I may or may not have played, shhh) and anime that originated from H-games or a variation of it. So, Kanon, Shuffle!, WindA Breath of Heart, Narcissu (kinetic novel) were some of the inspirations. More importantly, for those who want to know or don't care, this story should have the feel of a crying game. Comedy to hook the readers, then tragedy to elicit sympathetic responses, and finally a psuedo happy ending for closure. All that aside, thanks for your reviews Snip2r, especially that last one, I was elated.

Noc: Haha! I got a kick out of what you had told me lol. Very erratic, but I adored every word of it. Thanks for the reviews and I hope the story isn't a disapointment! I'll look forward to your final words if you leave one! And yes...I do miss Ivan too. I think he and Sophia were my favorite characters. (!) Wait! I'm not allowed to play favorites!

anti-climax: Thanks for picking up this story, I hope you get to this point and let me know what you think of it! And the beeeest? You flatter me!

Forgottenbuthere: I'm surprised you read so much without leaving a little hello, but since you did leave a review, that's why you're here! Thanks for the confidence!

Papi Prolix: Ahhh, last but not least. I really appreciate your responses, they're very critical and you don't hold back. For that, I've gone back and tried changing things based on your opinion. Some may have suceeded, some may not have. But I want you to know, I haven't thrown away anything you said. Though you'll have to bear with me on some of the suggestions, I'll have to go back and really work on them. And of course, thanks for being a reader.

And for all you peeps that didn't leave me a name and number, thanks for also being a reader! I can't specifically point you out, but when you get to this, I just want to give me thanks again.

Well, another story is done, and I think I'll miss this one alot. I had a blast writing it and I had just as much fun reading what you guys and gals left behind for me. At the moment, the stories I have in the works are Stardust Paradise IV and V, the prequel to the GAT Club, and The Lady Mar. Its the start of a new school year so you'll be I'll have plent of time lazying around and doing nothing. Look forward to them if you will! I think my writing gets better and better with each new story completed. I might even post the early chaps to the Prequel to the Gat Club (soon as I find a name) because its my favorite story.