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|A study of a location and a character in a story that I am planning on writing. If I ever get round to it... This piece is in quite a strange style, but it just seemed to happen so I went on with the flow...|
Updated 20/07/05, taking into account Samuel V. R. Joseph's helpful comments.
Come with me. Let me show you the way to Dreamer’s cottage.
First, you must go to sleep. Yes, that’s right, you must be asleep, for Dreamer’s cottage can only be found in Dreamer’s dream. Dreamer’s dream, which he wove himself - it’s a beautiful place. Don’t you want to see it? I thought so. Then stop complaining and trust me! All right then. Go to sleep. But first, you must take this. It’s one of the wooden charms from my bracelet. No, it’s all right, you can take it – I want you to see this. Hold it in your hand when you sleep – it must be touching your skin for you to enter. Enter where? Dreamer’s dream, of course! You can only get there by invitation, and that’s what these charms are - invitations. Are you ready? Lie back, relax. Now sleep.
Good! We’re here! I can tell you’re a bit disorientated, but never mind – everyone is, in dreams. Not me? No, I suppose not. But then, I’ve been here many, many times, to visit Dreamer. I come almost every night.
Let me help you up. There we go. Steady now, don’t fall into the lake! You see the lake? It’s beautiful, isn’t it? All those coloured lights, bobbing and drifting below the surface… You know, I’m not actually sure what they are – you’ll have to ask Dreamer. It is his dream, after all.
But look up, look up from the lake and look at the hillside. It’s covered in plants, all sorts of large, thick plants of luscious and glorious colours. They’re gorgeous – you agree with me, don’t you? No, I suppose you can’t see all the colours, but it’s always twilight here, with the last colours of the sunset just fading away over the hilltop. Why? Ask Dreamer – I told you, it’s his dream. But it makes it all the more beautiful, don’t you think? You can see the fireflies, hovering amongst the trees, and the stars are so bright, they’re like shards of diamond in the blue-black sky.
Now follow me, round the edge of the lake. It’s soft earth under our feet, soft and silky. I like to take my shoes off here, and wriggle my toes deep into the soil. Mmmmm… So nice… Anyway, let’s get on; Dreamer wants to meet you. How do I know? He told me, silly! Now come on, stop being stupid.
The path is just along here… It leads up the hillside from the edge of the lake, winding in and out of the plants and trees. Ah, here we are. Come along. The path is fairly narrow, so you’ll have to stick close to me. Up we go. Oops! Yes, sorry, forgot to warn you about all the plants and trees hanging down over us. If you duck and weave a bit you’ll be fine. Just do what I do. The leaves are huge, aren’t they? And so glossy… Feel this one, it’s so smooth and shiny; if it was light you could probably see your face in it. But the trunk – it’s like a palm tree, all bristly and whiskery. No, it’s not any type of tree you’d know – Dreamer made it up. As I keep telling you, it’s his dream. He can do whatever he likes here.
Oh, watch out! There’s a little stream running across the path here. Be careful not to step in it; it’s so clean and crystal clear, it would be a pity if it were disturbed. See there, where it came from, higher up the hill a little? A tiny waterfall, gurgling over the rocks, running into that silken pool. The water reflects the stars from this angle, and all the colours of the rainbow seem to shimmer in it…
It’s not much further now. I’m sorry if you’re getting tired – it’s really quite steep. But here we go; you see, the plants are getting denser, that’s how I know we’re almost there. Just push them aside as you go past, and crouch a little, so as not to damage any. They’re all so wonderful I would feel awfully guilty if I were to break a stem or even a leaf.
And as I move this final leaf out of the way… Ta da! What do you think? Isn’t it lovely? Dreamer’s cottage. There’re some smooth stepping stones leading up to it, in amongst the soft grass. Come along them. I make it a game – you can’t touch the grass! Dreamer put some more in for me when he saw me doing this, so that I can hop around on them. Don’t raise your eyebrow at me! I find it fun… Oh, fine, I’ll stop then.
What d’you mean, the cottage looks lop-sided? Well, that’s how Dreamer wanted it. I think it makes it look magical, with one end of the thatched roof drooping down like that. And the tiny round window peeping out the other side! You think it looks odd? Well, keep your opinions to yourself when you meet Dreamer – you might upset him if you tell him that. After all, he worked long and hard to weave this cottage; it took a long, long time.
What are what? Oh, you mean those, on the front lawn? There are some in amongst the trees too, if you just look round there… And more round the back. They’re Dreamer’s wooden carvings, or sculptures if you like. Quite strange to look at. He carves anything – animals, plants, made-up things, people… He carved me once… They look almost real, don’t they? That one’s quite scary, like a totem pole of frowning faces. He doesn’t actually need them any more, but I think he likes to remind himself how much effort this cottage took to make. You can go and touch them if you like, but you might get a little dream out of them. Yes, a dream. How about that one, there, with the ropes leading between each one? Yes, that’s what I said, a dream. Stop asking questions – just go and look!
Told you. When you touched it, did you feel a tingling? Then you got a dream, right? A snippet anyway. What did you get? Fine, don’t tell me then. Shall we go inside? What? You’re nervous? Don’t be – Dreamer is the nicest person you’ll ever meet. Stop being so silly! Come on!
It’s quite dark in here. You can light another lamp if you want, I’m sure Dreamer won’t mind. The matches are in that drawer, and the lamp’s there, hanging by the door. On your right. On your right, I said! Honestly… Now turn around… Hah! I knew you’d be surprised. Sure you can touch it – it’s just a table. It is amazing though. He carves the pictures into it when he’s bored, or eating dinner, or… whenever, really. I’ve watched him do it, many times. Sometimes he uses a pin, to get the tiniest details just right… Here, I’ll show you. If you look round the edge, you can see a story – his story. Of how he came to be in our world and how he met me and how he… we… made the cottage. And in the middle he just carves anything he likes. Here, look, a little shoal of fish swimming around, and here, a ladder leading up through the clouds, and a man placing the stars in the sky.
But where is Dreamer? He should be here somewhere… Dreamer? Dreamer! I’ll go and get him – he’s probably in the next room. Wait here a minute…
Here he is.
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