A dream will always triumph over reality, once it is given the chance.

- Stanislaw Lem



It was just darkness.

I was sure I was in something best described as a "place," but it was like there was no "there" there. I'm not sure how I knew I was there, because I couldn't touch it, or see it. Then, I realized that I wasn't getting this input from any of my regular senses...and I thought maybe this was all just happening inside my head, perhaps.

But, it sure seemed real enough at the time.

Slowly, I began to see a small, faint, glowing pinprick of light...it seemed to be growing larger ever so slowly. The more my attention focused on it, the faster it appeared to grow.

"No!" someone said in my ear, startling me. It sounded like he was standing so close beside me that I should feel his breath on my ear, although I couldn't really. "Don't bring the light any closer, please! It's not time for you to leave yet...you have to stay...you have to go back..." he said desperately.

The voice seemed at once familiar, and yet strange at the same time. I felt like somehow I should know that voice, but it just wasn't coming to me. It was the voice of a boy; not a young kid--but not a deeper post-puberty voice either-one of those husky teenage voices stuck in between a boy's and a man's.

Why should I go back? I thought to myself. The light looks so peaceful and relaxing...so comforting.

"Because you can't leave him there alone, that's why," the voice replied resolutely, but much more calmly this time.

Leave who? I wondered to myself.

"Literally speaking? Your reason for being, to be honest Ian," he said, matter-of-factly.

Wait a second...how did he know my name?

"Actually, you have no idea how lucky you really are. There was a time when I would have given anything...ANYTHING...to trade places with you, but that's just not possible-it's against THE RULES," he stated, with just the tiniest little bit of contempt coming through in his voice.

"No, this is the path that you're meant to follow...not me. I'm just here to make sure you do. Very few people ever get to see this place here, um...in between, I guess you could say...but there was  no choice in your case. Sometimes there are other-you might say "negative"-forces at work, and we need to intervene and set things back on the right path."

I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about, I thought to myself .

"No, but you don't need to understand right now. You just need to go back, and everything will be fine. Look, I'm not really supposed to tell you all this, but I just HAVE to convince you to go back. Your future has already been written, and it's a good one...trust me. You truly have been blessed-maybe more than you will ever know. But, ONLY if you go back, Ian...it's terribly important that you don't lose focus on that! I have to warn you, it won't be easy for you now, but you can't give up.  There will be difficult times ahead, but just remember that those things always happen for a reason, and the reward for you is so great. You have a chance to live and experience a kind of life very few people will ever know..."

But, I just don't get it. What in the heck are you talking about? This is just some stupid dream, right? I mean, I probably won't even remember this when I wake up, anyway. Will I?

"Dreams are funny things, Ian. How can you be sure-and I mean REALLY SURE- what's real and what isn't?" he asked.

That darn light twinkled a little bit, and I noticed it again out of the corner of my eye.

"Don't worry about the light, Ian. That light will always be there from now on...it will follow you for the rest of your life, hovering just at the edge of your consciousness...waiting for you. You might even see it out of the corner of your eye from time to time, especially when you're not looking for it. But trust me, you'll know when the time comes to go to the light...you'll know in your heart."

I could feel his words acting on me like a compelling  force...relentlessly urging me along, and I could sense the light getting  fainter now. I felt myself growing resolved to this idea of his...of "going back"...although I wasn't exactly sure just what that really meant. But, it was strangely enticing...the things he had said about me...about my life...and my future life?

There must be something really important in all this. There just has to be...

"You have no idea, Ian. Trust me, I promise  you won't regret it," he said.

Author's note:

Comments and questions are welcome at Rickdog36@gay.com

I apologize for any formatting errors; it seems quite difficult as a writer to get things posted at nifty in their original and correct form. Often posts at nifty will not contain the original italics, paragraph breaks etc. that I put in. If any readers desire to see the same story posted correctly without unintended changes, go to Dabeagle.net.