That night, I found myself standing in the middle of a sunlit street in my pajamas, a warm wind blowing all around me. There was no sound. None at all. I was walking forward, feeling the gravel and asphalt beneath my bare feet, noticing the stillness in the scene around me. I looked down, and noticed that my feet were...blurry. I knew they were there, I knew I had no shoes on, I could feel it...but for some reason, I couldn't see them clearly. I kicked a rock, and as it flew foraward, bouncing just once on the street in front of me, I saw it slowly float upwards until it was out of sight. This wasn't real. None of it. I did a quick reality check by looking at everything around me, and it looked real enough, but certain details were off. The Mackey's house next door was painted blue instead of white. And the tree across the street looked monsterously huge in comparison to the real life version. This was a dream. I was HERE! I was doing it!
As soon as I realized that I was becoming aware, the colors around me began to warp and fade away. There was a pounding in my chest, as the excitement of what was happening took over. Everything began to blur and lose detail, which scared and frustrated me. NO! I was losing it! Don't wake up! Don't wake up! Not now! I could practically feel the pillow under my face as I slept on my stomach, and my limbs began to move as this reality melted right in front of me. Think....what did Chucky say? Spinning. Try spinning. I concentrated as hard as I could, and my dream body began to turn itself in circles. My arms raised, I moved around and around, expecting to get dizzy, but I didn't. As I focused more on what I was doing, I felt myself spinning faster. Unnaturally fast. And soon, my feet weren't even moving. It was as if I was floating above the ground and spinning all on my own.
As I maintained my movement, the fuzziness of detail and the world around me began to rebuild itself. Regaining clarity and solidifying everything around me. Until finally I could stop spinning and remain in the dream world without effort. I steadied myself...listening to see if I could hear anything. I can't describe it. I was completely awake inside my own dream. Aware of everything. It was, quite possibly, the most exhilirating feeling in the world. I was almost scared to move for fear that I might lose it again. It was like being able to actually see inside your own mind, the concious and subconcious colliding with a gentle bump that seemed too surreal to comprehend. Certain things around me were floating, or hanging in mid air for no reason whatsoever. And the wind wasn't consistent. It would blow for a second or two, and then stop as though it never happened, and then blow again for another few seconds. The sounds, what little there were, seemed muffled. As though my ears were plugged up with air. And everything that was in motion seemed to move with this weird jagged animation, like looking at the pictures of a slow moving flip book. Even when I put my hand in front of my face, the movement was a bit jerky. Wow.....this was sooooo cool!
I slowly turned around to look at my house, which seemed normal enough, but the grass was pink. And there was a swingset right outside the front door. Literally on the sidewalk. And it was the same swingset that I had when I was 4 years old. I remember that. It was locked away in the garage now, rusted and half broken from years of my friends and I wearing it out, but this swingset was shiny and brand new. God, that's so out of place. I noticed the numbers on the side of the house because they wouldn't stay still. In fact, they weren't really numbers at all. Just these constantly morphing shapes and criss crossed lines that couldn't seem to hold a stable appearance in my sight. I took a few steps forward, and just marveled at everything around me. Was I really doing this? Was my mind really creating every last detail of this world all on its own? I wondered what I would find if I walked around and explored the place a bit more. I wondered what I would see if I went into my house, or should I say my 'dream' house. Whoah...what if I could get Jesse McCartney in here with me?
"Hey Donnie..." The second I thought it, he rode by on a bike. I SWEAR to you...it happened! My eyes widened, wanting to chase him, wanting to see if I could get him to come back! But as my feet left the ground, I found myself hovering above the street surface. Just....floating there. And my sudden need to go after the blond celebrity left me. I thought about being back down on the ground, and my dream body lowered itself again. No way! No fucking way! I imagined myself flying a bit higher this time, and sure enough, my feet left the ground, and I began rising up higher. And higher. Five feet off the ground. Ten feet. Fifteen feet. It was the oddest feeling in the world, and as I reached twenty feet, I got a little bit scared. I was grinning the whole time, but it was a frightening experience to suddenly be so...'free' all of the sudden. I had to think hard to slow my elevation, and it didn't work right away, but soon I was stalled at about 30 feet above the ground. I was expecting to see the whole neighborhood from there, but everything was covered in a dense fog outside of that one particular area. As though all of existence faded away once it went beyond the few everyday details of my block. With a smile, I tried to move around in the air, but couldn't. I was stuck. I tried swimming, I tried diving, I tried the whole Superman thing, but I could only go up and down. Not that it wasn't exciting enough as it was. And then, I felt myself drop down instantly to crash through the cement of the sidewalk!
It scared the living shit out of me at first, but when I got up and saw the cracks I had made, all I could do was laugh. Sweet! This is the most awesome thing EVER! I concentrated on the cracks in the sidewalk, and with just a thought, I stretched them out in all directions, like a mini earthquake. I saw the front lawn split open, and the trees shake, and the houses were rattled. And then, with a wave of my hand, it stopped. And disappeared entirely. Seeing as this was my very first experience with such godlike powers, I suddenly felt the urge to do what ANY teenage boy would do in this situation....
...Cause an insane amount of senseless destruction!
I don't know how long I spent doing it, not that time really existed in this place anyway, but I must have completely wrecked and rebuilt that block a dozen times over! I called tornadoes to rip the houses apart, I called lightning bolts to burn the trees down, I even went around smashing shit with my bare hands just for the fun of it. I don't think I ever had so much fun in my entire life. And that's when something really strange happened.
I turned to my own house, and with a few gestures of my hands, I began to rip it apart, piece by piece. I saw the foundation collapse, and the windows break, and the roof cave in...I was really having a ball. But for some reason, as the rest of the house was being reduced to rubble, my room remained in tact. It was like...I couldn't touch it. The door was closed, as the room hovered in the air where the second floor used to be. And it baffled me for a moment. I tried to send a shock wave towards it to blow it to smithereens, but it was hardly affected. It was the one part of the dream that defied my complete control. And then, I felt a wetness in my hands. I looked down, and I was wearing a bloody baseball glove, with the stained baseball in the other hand. Surprised, and a bit sickened by it, I pulled it off and threw both objects to the ground. Stepping back to wipe my hands off on my shirt. And as I looked down, they melted into the lawn in front of my eyes, and the sound of music invaded the air around me. I looked back up to my floating bedroom, unable to see anything but that closed door and outer wall...and heard the same song playing softly...from an old record player inside.
"Somewhere, someday....we'll be close together, wait and see. Oh, by the way.....this time the dream's on me....
And then I heard the thumping sound begin. Thump....thump....thump. That hard baseball hitting the wall from the inside, again and again, like a rock. Slowing down with every bounce. The sound of sniffles could be heard much more clearly this time. Someone was definitely crying on the other side of that door. I was soon smothered with the alien feeling that I was being...'observed' by something else. And as I looked down at the end of the street, right where that obscuring grey fog reached its edge...I saw a dark silhouette standing there. Watching me. I squinted my eyes a bit, and stood there looking at the dark shape as it stared right back at me. It looked like a boy my age, but I couldn't quite tell. The fog was too thick. But I did notice it tossing a baseball back and forth between its gloved hand and open hand. It didn't say anything, it didn't even move. So...with a bit of confusion and a slightly creeped out feeling in the back of my mind...I spoke to it. "....Hello?"
Suddenly, the thumping sound stopped in my room. The shadow looked directly at me in silence for an extended moment. And then, even though the figure was all the way at the end of the street, its boyish voice sounded like it was coming from right over my shoulder. And in a calm and friendly manner, the shadow replied, "Hello."
In a FLASH, I woke up. The voice was so real, so clear so incredibly close, that it scared me out of my sleep. I was sweating a little bit, and had to feel my clothes and sheets to make sure that I was really awake. That everything around me was real. I was breathing hard, my mind reeling from what had just happened, and I was so harshly affected by it that I could hardly shake myself free of the dream. It was so vivid, so extremely real. I laid there in bed for a few minutes, just reliving it all with a smile, and nearly forgot to reach for my notebook to write it all down.
I rolled over excitedly, and started jotting down notes rapidly, hoping to capture every last second of recall before it left me. But somehow, I doubt I'd ever forget something like this. Ever! Oh man...Chucky is gonna flip out when he hears this!
I had gotten myself all dolled up and ready for school, anxious and trembling as I waited for my friends to arrive. This was WAY bigger than a Jesse McCartney skin flick! This was full blown lucidity in the dream state! I remembered everything! Every detail, every sound, every action! I could hardly write it down fast enough, my mind racing past my penmanship at the speed of light. I was too amazing to keep from smiling wide until my face almost split. When I finally heard Baxter's daily insult shouted up to my window, I was nearly ready to burst.
"What? Wait...slow down, Donnie. You're not making any sense." Jeff told me as I rambled on about how easy it was, and how incredible it made me feel.
"I'm telling you, Jeff! It WORKED! It was, like, complete control, complete recall...everything just came together all at once! I was literally walking around and looking at stuff...in my own dream!"
"Looking at stuff? You mean you didn't blow anything up?" Baxter asked me.
"Oh yeah! Mass destruction! I wrecked the entire block, dude! It was like being God!"
"Thatta boy!" He said, as we walked out of the house and to the car. This time, he opened the door for me and Jeff, and waited for us to get in, holding onto the door.
Jeff rolled his eyes at him. "Now what are you doing?"
"Since you don't know how to sit down in a car and close the door without slamming it shut, I figured I'd help you."
"You know, you really need to stop jacking off over this damn car! It's just a hunk of metal for crying out loud!"
"You see? It's talk like that, right there. You don't respect the ride, dude. That's why you don't care about what you do to it."
"I'll tell you what I'll 'do to it'...today at lunch, when you're not looking, I'm gonna go out to the school parking lot and kick the fucking windows in! How's that?" Jeff shouted, almost laughing.
"I know you love me, kid." Baxter said. And he closed the door lightly behind him, smiling himself as he walked around to the driver's side. April sat in the back with me, and even though I felt like they weren't buying my story at all, I just had to keep talking about it. My whole life just felt so different all of the sudden. Enhanced. Like my spirit was just given a healthy dose of adrenaline and I just couldn't sit still anymore.
"April...I'm telling you, I've never experienced anything like it before in my life. I could actually FLY! And make earthquakes and tornadoes! And blow up houses! Chucky is totally gonna freak when I tell him about it."
"Hehehe, I believe you, Donnie. Geez, I don't think I've ever seen you this happy before. You're starting to make me think you were bored with my company before last night happened." She grinned.
"Oh man, it's just...it's hard to even put it into words. I can't wait to do it again." I told her. Then leaned forward towards Jeff, "Dude, you've gotta start practicing again. Once you get it, it is SO awesome!"
"I think I've had my fair share of 'dreamy' surprises, thank you." He said.
"Afraid of what you might find in there, Jeff?" Baxter smirked.
"Aren't you supposed to be concentrating on driving your precious chariot?" He asked, and saw Baxter's smile get wider. "DON'T say it!"
"What? I didn't say anything!" Baxter giggled to himself for a moment, and then added, "I'm just saying that if I was secretly lusting after my own grandmother, then I'd probably turn gay too. That's all." And when he couldn't hold it in anymore, he burst out laughing as Jeff began repeatedly hitting him in the shoulder with his fist. Not that it stopped us from laughing in the back seat.
After driving a few blocks, April noticed me spacing out with a grin, and decided to take a picture of me. The flash snapped me out of it, and she smiled after being given the opportunity to capture the moment. "Don't you go getting goofy on me." She said.
"Sorry. I'm just...I'm amazed. I hope I can do it again tonight."
"What happened to the free dreaming, Donnie? You're supposed to free dream, remember?"
"I know, I know. But I can't, not now. This is a major accomplishment here. I just wanna play around with it for a few days and see what happens."
"Donnie...I've read the books and Chucky's notes too, you know? Weird things happen to people who don't let their subconcious express itself without interference once in a while." She warned me.
"Don't worry so much. I'm not gonna get 'addicted' or anything, I'm just trying out a few things. Then it's right back to rules and regulations, I promise." I said. "There was one thing that was kinda weird, though."
"Weird, like how?"
"Well....you remember that recurring dream I've been having? Well...for some reason, it kinda happened again, but it was different this time."
"Well, I can see that. You've proably had it weighing heavily on your mind for weeks now."
"I know, and that makes a lot of sense, but...." I thought back to what happened, and remembered how strange it was. "...This was different. I had this complete control over everything else around me...except for that one piece of the dream. It's like, it wasn't even a part of me. It was separate, like it didn't belong there."
That got Jeff's attention and he turned around. "You mean, like you didn't create it?"
"Exactly. It was totally random. And there was this...boy in it. I couldn't make out what he looked like, or who he was, but....he didn't feel like he belonged there either."
April wrinkled her brow for a moment, and said, "You really should lay off of the dream work for a while, Donnie. I'm serious, ok? If you end up turning 'freak show' on us, I'm not coming to visit you at the asylum."
I grinned and gave her hug. Promising that I'd take a break this weekend. Well...maybe I'll take a break this weekend. We'll see what happens.
"Hey, don't forget, we're going Halloween shopping when we get out today. So meet me here in the parking lot, deal?" Baxter said as he parked the car. "DON'T 'lean' on it...just meet me here." He said to Jeff specifically. Jeff stuck his tongue out in response and we all walked inside.
Mr. Lipton couldn't humiliate me for being late today, as I was actually walking into the classroom when the bell rang. But considering the fact that he pretty much hated me, he took his shots anyway. "Once again, your writing lacks detail, and you fail to make your point. Too bad, Donald. You really have so much potential." He said, as he handed back papers.
"Why are you picking on me, huh?" I sighed. "I came on time today, and you're still giving me a hard time."
Mr. Lipton bent down and replied, "My class requires for you to be more than 'present', Mr. James. It requires you to be productive." He told me, and picked up my paper to show me the grade of 'C+' that he had written in big red marker up at the top of it. "This...is not productive. This is the work of someone trying to 'skate' his way through my English class. And I guarantee you, there are no free rides here. Or anywhere else in life for that matter." He put the paper back down on my desk, and went back to passing them out to everyone else. You have no idea how much I fucking hate that man.
Between second and third period, I went to see Chucky in the chem lab, and he was just as thrilled as I thought he would be. But he tried not to smile regardless, attempting to take a more professional approach to it all. I think I could see him slightly trembling from the joy of it all. "This is truly the next step, Donnie. You're making a huge breakthrough right now. You've got to keep going. Ugh! I wish I could do it. I've gotta find out what I'm doing wrong."
"You're gonna love it, Chucky. I swear, I didn't want it to ever end." I said. "I literally destroyed everything! It was SO much fun!"
"Well, I don't know if destruction is such a good thing, but it's nice to know that it works." I gave him a look to let him know that I wasn't going to allow him to sap my enjoyment out of his 'project'. "Fine, whatever. Have your fun. But you know, how a person reacts in an environment without physical or social consequences says a lot about their sanity. And your first instinct was to start blowing shit up. What's that say about you?" He said while lightly waving his finger.
"It says 'goodbye, Chucky'." I smiled and started to leave the chem lab before the rest of his class flooded the room, but he stopped me.
"Hey! Did the spinning thing, work?"
"Like a charm, Chucky. Thanks."
"I knew it would work." He said to himself, and I saw a little smile break on his face. But when he realized that I had seen it, he got rid of the expression entirely. "Good. Well...keep it up and let me know what you find." He nodded, and I couldn't help but grin.
We met up in the parking lot as planned after school, and Baxter drove us out to this costume shop in the city. They had tons of really cool stuff there, most of it out of our price range. But there was always something sweet and affordable for us to pick up, and if we got to check out the horror props and expensive effects on top of it, how could we not have fun?
The first thing Baxter did was strap on a fake pair of rubber breasts and begin walking around the store with them on as though there was nothing wrong with this picture. April watched from a distance, shaking her head, as he took a private moment to scratch himself. Jeff looked at me with a grin and we both snickered to ourselves. Some guys are SO painfully hetero. The store was pretty crowded, but a lot of the merchandise had either been bought out or reserved in advance. So some of the shelves were empty, and some of the bins were beginning to look a bit shabby as a million greedy hands had swept through the place with their Halloween loot bags. We walked around in circles trying to figure things out, seeing what would look good. April already knew that she wanted to be a princess this year though. She had her heart set on it. The only issue she had was piecing together a convincing outfit from what was left in the store. But I think she liked what she had accumulated so far. Jeff and were searching around, but picking out a costume was always such a 'task' for us. You always have these amazing images in your mind of finding the perfect costume, but never go looking for it until the very last minute. Then it's all a hustle to choose what looks cool out of what they have left. I consider it my yearly ritual for Halloween, to be honest.
"I still think we should have gone as Charlie's Angels." Jeff giggled. "You, me, and Bax? We would have been awesome."
"I told you, I'm not dressing up like a chick for Halloween." Baxter said to us, and we all looked him over.
"You are aware of the fact that you're wearing a pair of rubber titties, right?" Jeff asked him.
"I'm not wearing these because I'm interested in being a chick for Halloween. I'm wearing them so I can feel myself up while I shop." He said with a straight face. "It relaxes me."
"You can be such a pig, Baxter." April said, finding a tiara for her costume in the bargain bin.
"What? I'm not a pig. A pig would ask to squeeze your tits while I shop, April." He smiled. "I'd be happy to trade if you wanna...."
"Ugh!" Naturally, April wasn't offended. In fact, being around three guys all the time, gay or straight, she was pretty desensitized to our testosterone driven comments. Still, she made sure to walk to another part of the aisle before encouraging anything dirtier to come out of Baxter's mouth.
"Maybe I could go as a pimp?" I said, picking up a wide, purple, pimp's hat with a leopard print band on it.
April took the hat from me and put it back in the bin. "You are NOT going as a pimp, Donnie."
"Because I'm going as a princess, and you're my date for this party. So if you go as a pimp, that automatically makes me your whore."
"Princess Whore, to be exact." Jeff said.
"It's NOT happening! Pick something else!" She demanded, and Jeff and I set out to find something 'gory' to entertain us for a while.
We must have walked around for five minutes when Jeff excitedly tapped me on the shoulder to get my attention. "DUDE! Check it out!"
"Over THERE!" He whispered loudly, and lowered his head really quick so as not to be caught staring. And that's when I caught sight of him, standing over by the fake plastic tommy guns and gangster hats. The same sweet boy from the school hallways. Austin. Looking angelic in front of a wall of demonic props. My breath got caught in my throat, and I almost felt like hiding when I saw him. "Doesn't he go to school with us?"
"Um...yeah. His name is Austin." I said quietly, trying to take a few long glances at him from around the corner without getting caught. It was then that I noticed Jeff giving me a shocked look.
"You KNOW him???"
"Know him? No...not really. I just...I've seen him around you know?" I said.
"I'll just BET you have. He's fucking hard to miss!"
Austin looked up for a second in our direction, and Jeff and I nearly squealed at the thought of being spotted. We turned to the side and put our heads down so he wouldn't see us. But as the seconds of fear passed, I realized that I kinda wanted him to see me. Maybe even come over and say hello or something. It gave me a jittery feeling in my chest, but I forced myself to look up again, and saw him examining the wall of costumes. My dear God, he was beautiful. His thick blond curls looked so soft and sweet, almost like a bowl of wet noodles. And even from the side, his shining baby blue eyes were mesmerizing beyond compare. I was already begining to lose myself in the thoughts of what it would be like to kiss those cherry red lips of his when Jeff lightly slapped me on the arm.
"Go TALK to him!" He whispered.
"WHAT???" I whispered back. "WHY???"
"Because, he's too damn HOT for 'me' to talk to! And if 'one' of us doesn't go over there soon, I'm gonna scream my head off until security pushes me out into the street." Jeff was literally melting right in front of my eyes, but I was hardly a 'warrior' when it came to talking to cute guys. I was just as much of a virgin as he was. Well...almost, but Dale doesn't count. Not that having a slim and sexy straight boy dry humping me on a few occassions wasn't extremely satisfying for a 15 year old boy scout. "GO! C'mon! Talk to him!"
"What the hell am I supposed to say?" I asked in a near panic.
"I don't know! Ask him if he wants a blowjob and wing it from there!" Jeff said, and I giggled a bit, covering my mouth with my hand as he tried to hold it in.
"Omigod...ok...I'm totally gonna do this."
Jeff's eyes popped wide open. "You're gonna ask him if he wants a blowjob???"
"NO!!!" I snickered. "Well...not yet, anyway. But I'm gonna go talk to him though." I think I surprised him.
"Dude...fucking go for it!" He said, and watched as I walked my way over to that part of the store. I pretended to look around at the costumes near him, hoping that he would think bumping into him was an accident. But the closer I got to him, the harder my heart pounded. The more my stomach fluttered. The faster my mouth dried out. But I attempted to steady myself anyway.
Finally, I was standing right next to him. I was actually absorbing his shining light. I was close enough to reach out and touch him. I could smell the leather sleeves of his jacket. God, was I shaking! But my biggest fear was that I'd suddenly burst out into a shy fit of giggles and run away before I got a chance to say anything. I had to be cool about this. I wandered around the same area for a bit, taking little peeks here and there when I could, and just...tried to keep from sighing outloud. Does he have any idea how utterly gorgeous he is? Just looking at the smoothness of the skin on his cheek made me want to dive over the closest rack and smother him with kisses. No...no, that's not right. He looks too delicate for something like that. It's more like...a soft and fragile slow kiss on those delicious lips of his. Where I would be able to feel his breath on my cheek, and could run my fingers through those big warm sunshine curls of his until I was too weak in the knees to stand anymore. Yeah...it's like that.
"Cough! Do it! Cough!" Jeff grunted from behind the wall, pushing me along. I shot him a mean look to shut him up before he gave me away. Then, continued my slow approach of the scalding hot body before me.
My wandering put me right in front of him, and he was still kinda looking away from me and not saying anything. So I kinda cleared my throat, and when his eyes met mine, I mumbled, "Hi...." He nodded silently, that ready smile crossing his lips in the most polite manner, and as soon as we squeezed passed each other, he went back to looking at masks. I waited for a moment so that my 'courage meter' could build back up to full potency. And then I took a deep breath and asked, "Say, don't you go to my school?"
He looked at me again, and he said, "Oh yeah. I think so. I've seen you in the halls before. Usually after second period, right?" Omigod...he remembers! Ahhhh!
"Yeah. That's me. Cool." I smiled, trying not to blush. I waited a second, trying to find a way to keep talking, even with the oxygen rushing out of me twice as fast as it took for me to catch my breath. "I'm Donnie, by the way."
"I'm Austin. How's it going?"
"Ok, I guess...just....shopping for, you know....stuff." I said. DON'T giggle! You'll look stupid if you just start giggling for no reason. Hold it in. "You?"
"Yeah, me too. I was looking for something cool to wear to this party thing next weekend. I'm not sure what to get though." Wow...even his voice was cute. I knew it would be cute. I was smiling dreamily to myself as I stared him in the eye, and had to straighten up before he thought I was some kinda psycho. Looking back at Jeff, who was watching close and biting his nails nervously as I interacted with the gorgeous boy, I took a step back so Austin didn't think I was rubbing up on him or anything. Sighhh....this is not how I expected this to go. But I'm here now, so I might as well find a graceful way to survive this.
"So...you're going to Cory's party too, huh?"
"Yeah, how did you know?"
"I'm pretty sure everybody is gonna be there." I said bashfully. "He's been talking about it for two weeks now."
"Well, this is the first big party I've been to since I've been here. So, I need to find a decent costume. First impressions and all that."
"I'm sure whatever you get will be awesome." No no no!!! What the hell did I say THAT for? Stop TALKING!!!
"I wish it was that easy. I was kinda thinking about going as a vampire. That would be cool." He said. "Have you seen anything kinda cheap over here for vampires?" Don't stop talking NOW!!! Start talking again!!!
"Um...yeah....I think I saw some stuff over...over there." I said softly.
"Can you show me?" Omigod, yes!
"Sure...........I guess." I was barely above a whisper, so nervous that tears nearly welled up in my eyes. But somehow the intense pull of his beauty gave me strength. "It's this way..." I started walking, and had to shut my eyes for a second as I felt him following me to another part of the store. It was the only way to contain the rush that I felt from having him interact with me. How I kept from floating away, I'll never know. I can only hope that I get this feeling to die down by the time I get to the vampire stuff. We walked passed Jeff, who almost smirked as we walked past, and just as he was getting ready to say something, the back of my hand lashed out and hit him in the stomach. Cutting him off before he took the opportunity to embarass me by saying...well...anything. And he grinned to himself as he watched me move forward, my legs trembling the entire way. Please don't let me screw this up.