Dealing in Dreams

Notes: I lot of the stuff in this story is scientifically accurate. REM sleep, and lucid dreaming really do exist. However, this fic does not necessarily reflect my opinions on the dream state. I have lucid dreamed before. The experience had always been rewarding, but it has never in any way overridden my real life. This is merely a work of fiction. Please review!

Sometimes the subtly powerful, yet intangible, line between reality as it is generally known, and dreams, can become very thin. Not because of some strange scientific phenomena, or rift in the space time continuum. Although seemingly quite profound, the state of mind known as lucidity is much more simple than that. It can be achieved readily enough by the apt mind, and presents itself as being quite harmless. I of all people am in a position to know.

I was no more than sixteen when I discovered the world of the night. I was a happy creature in general, though plagued by the normal sources of teenage angst. My name was Carlotta then. I had dirty blonde hair, that was long and unruly, and eye's that were a pretty cerulean color that I was rather fond of. As I perceived myself at the time, I was certainly not a lovely creature. In my own eye's I was fat, with no hint of the feminine figure that should have been emerging. My arms and legs could only have been called flabby, and they were marred by stretch marks unbecoming of someone my age. I rarely looked in the mirror, and never wore a bathing suit.

My interests... my personality. They no longer matter, because they no longer exist. Still, my past physical appearance is now mute point as well, and there is no harm posed in listing my other forgotten attributes. I was, for lack of a better term, the stereotypical nerd. Oh yes, the great and mighty lover of such pointless things as sci-fi and show tunes I was! I had no concept of popular music, or the sitcoms that my peers so enjoyed. As I've said already, none of this really matters now. That part of me is gone now.

One of my simple, seemingly mundane, interests, does matter however. I was truly obsessed with the complex tapestries that the human mind could create. Yes, I have always dealt in dreams. I started small, learning the source of our nightly visions. Rapid Eye Movement, or REM sleep. I understood the sleep cycle well. It started with hypnogogic imagery, the startling visions that appear between sleep and wakefulness. That was followed by a state of complete unconsciousness, almost deathlike in it's stillness. Then... REM! Bringer of dreams, sweet or otherwise. The cycle is the same for everybody, and therefore everybody dreams. Except perhaps for me.

My interest soon progressed past the purely scientific. I started to try and find the deep and metaphysical meaning of my dreams. Ha! I was so silly then! I truly thought that each creature and thing was symbolic of something else. My study of Freudian interpitations led me to believe that every one of my dreams had a sexual subtext. Killing a pink bunny symbolized the loss of virginity, while talking to my father symbolized incest. Simple really. Simplicity can be so deceiving.

Ordinary interpitations did not interest me for long. It was blatantly obvious that not all of my dreams were erotic in their nature. Such thoughts were so far from my waking mind, it seemed impossible for my subconscious to focus on them so much! The slaughtered bunny no longer meant loss of virginity, but rather the death of innocence. My father had disappeared seemingly off the face of the earth a year before my fixation with dreams started. A conversation with him had nothing to do with incest. I dreamt about him because I missed him.

At this point I would pass blissful hours brooding over tomes about dream physiology. I never stayed up late, or went out at night, for fear that I would miss a precious dream. In my reading a came across a state known as lucid dreaming. It was, as the books said, to be consciously aware of the dream state while in it. It promised me great power over my nightly playground. I couldn't resist it.

Night is such a sweet time. Not only is the darkness every bit as beautiful as light, it is far less harsh. The gentle silver glow of the moon can never burn you, or harm you in any way. It is soft, and unimposing, yet it seems to bring the scenery into a lovely still state of half life. The sun however is a rather narcissistic entity. It is bright, commanding attention, and its rays are scalding hot. Yes, sunshine is certainly overrated.

Lucid dreaming, once I mastered it through a myriad of somewhat challenging techniques, showed me to truly comprehend the dream state, or at least gave me the belief that I comprehended it. This comprehension taught me that dreams, and what is popularly known as "reality" are as different as night and day. Dreams hold the aspect of 0the unimposing moon, and reality is the cruelly dazzling golden sun.

My first lucid dream was brief, and uncontrolled, but amazing non the less. It seemed to explode in my head as a mixture of color and thrilling movement. Red, yellow, blue, and something new and indescribable washed through my psyche, each shade distinct, and yet appearing in perfect unison. This was mixed with an immense pride in the fact that I had finally conquered the mysteries of the night. I highly recommend lucid dreaming to any one who is prepared for the implications.

That began my downhill, but still intoxicating spiral away from conventional reality. I created a dream boy-a figure with which to experience my most erotic fantasies-and lost interest in real boys. I changed my astral body to conform to my liking. By day I was still an ugly duckling, but when evening fell I could become an enchanted swan. Every aspiration I ever had was fulfilled in my dreams. I began to hate the dull waking world more and more as each night passed.

My dream figures... my friends of the night, seemed to understand my reluctance to awaken each morning. They began to tell me to do something unimaginable. They were urging me to take my own life. By now I fully realized that my dreams were not merely a creation of my mind. I was truly entering another realm of reality as I slept!

At first I resisted the advice of my dream people. It was insane. Totally and completely. How could I give up the life I had always known, only to venture into some deep uncertainty? Then they told me what to do. They ordered me to merely look at myself in the mirror, telling me that if I watched my reflection long enough I would understand the true nature of the universe.

I did as they said. At first I merely saw myself in the mirror. I gazed at my blue eyes and blonde hair. My eyes perceived my slight widow's peak with startling clarity. Then, ever so slowly, things began to shift before my eyes, which had always been so stable before. For a brief moment I say my dream body, then things began to distort further. I was terrified by what seemed to be taking form in the place of my familiar flesh. I took a knife to my wrist. It hurt. I bled. I died.

I still live. Now I am no longer a dreamer, but a dream. I am not a visionary, but a vision. Because I do not manifest physically, I am often forgotten by those who I touch. Creatures of the night are far to easily dismissed or misinterpited.

I no longer am what I was. I am a dream. I deal in dreams. I deal in darkness. And on occasion, for people like I was, I deal in death.