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I Walk in Dreams -- A Tale of the Dream Realm
by Tamar

My heart pounding, I find myself standing before the Dreammaster. "What dream is this?" I wonder, for the terrible likes of the Dreammaster do not people the lands where I walk. A moment goes by, and then I know that this vision cannot be a true dream, for dreams are the stuff of hope and joy, not this horror. This is something I have chosen to let in, but it is NOT a dream.

And so, here I stand, while the chaos of terror surrounds me, and the Dreammaster himself is decidedly unwelcoming. I draw back, shuddering. Chaos I can understand, for all of our lives are lived in the realm of the chaotic to one degree or another. Without chaos there would be only a flat sameness lulling us slowly into oblivion. But this -- this terror, this unwelcome, this hatred -- this is incomprehensible.

Everywhere I look, vile creatures hiss and spit at me, their spite and fear a palpable, breathing thing. Giant black scorpions take aim with their deadly tails, spreading poison as they go. Warriors stare wildly, jumping at the slightest movement. Some of them appear haunted, haggard and worn, so caught up in their battles and hatred that they cannot see that it is only a reality of their own making.

They stare. They whisper dire warnings. They scream about the horrors to come, the terrible things that have been done. They moan in their sleep. Their whole life becomes a haunted obsession, as they slowly waste away, unaware that THEY hold all the power.

My heart calms, and I look at the Dreammaster with new eyes. Eyes of pity, of understanding, of pain. For I see myself as well. Who among us has not once felt the need to control, to be the puppeter, to have others cowering in fear from us and singing our praises at our command? I have. Who among us has not cried quietly inside as as a poisoned barb found its way into our heart? I have. Who among us has not jumped up wildy and screamed out in anger and terror? I have. Pain fills my heart, and with that pain comes a realization. I don't have to dream this not-dream. I don't have to live that life. And neither do the haunted warriors.

They can snap themselves awake at any moment and join a different world -- a world where dreams are positive things. A world where you can be anything you want to be; where you are responsible for yourself, your desires, your celebrations, your mistakes. A world where we all learn, and grow, and love. A world where we are welcome to stare up at the jeweled velvet of the night sky before settling down for sweet dreams.

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