Tommy lay back on his bed, his arms folded across his chest

on

“Tommy! Wake up!”

“What?” he grumbled. He opened his eyes to see a pretty girl. She had
long, blond hair. She was wearing a white sleeveless top with the outline of
a heart on it.

“I said, Tommy, your bed is shaking.”

“It’s my head,” he groused. “It must be, right?”

“No… the bed is shaking because I’ve done something.”

Tommy stared at her, his arms folded across his chest.

“I’ve sent you home, right?” she asked, her face falling.

“You just said that.” He rolled out of bed, not really caring. “I’ve
been trying to find you in the dreams.”

“That’s because I’m pretty, Tommy. You have to get real close to see me.
You can’t just see my face.”

Tommy looked at her for a second, then returned to the foot of the bed.

“You should get out of here, Tommy. There are people in the world you don’t
know.”

“So where am I?” he asked.

“Right here.”

“You’re just a ghost,” Tommy pointed out.

“I didn’t say I wasn’t a ghost.”

“You just said you weren’t in the living world.”

She smiled, obviously proud of herself.

“That’s what I meant, Tommy,” she explained. “I’m not there right now,
but when I’m in other worlds, I have to be there to help the people. People
like you.”

Tommy rubbed his eyes, but didn’t open them up.

“I don’t really wish to leave just yet, Tommy.”

“I’ll go with you then,” he said, pointing to her bedroom. He was tired of
playing along for the first time ever. Plus, he was curious. He didn’t know
what to believe anymore. He was sure she was a figment of his imagination,
but she’d saved his life. No one in the world could have saved him without
it. He didn’t know if he was being unreasonable, or if he should believe in
her.

“Fine.” She left quickly, his bedroom door swinging shut behind her.
Tommy lay back on his bed and stared at the ceiling. She wasn’t a figment of
his imagination.

He was pretty sure she wasn’t a figment of his imagination.

Tommy had always wanted to travel to other worlds, but his mother had made him
wait until he was seventeen. He’d been hoping she’d finally let him go out to
the world alone, the moment he was old enough. Then, he’d gotten really close
to going anyways. He’d learned to take the dreams more seriously, and had
become a fan of dreams.

His mother had been furious that he hadn’t traveled sooner, but she didn’t
really believe that he could travel without a conscious mind. She’d tried making
him get a job, she’d tried making him get a girlfriend, she’d even tried a
date; but each time he’d argued about the idea of getting laid, she’d
reinforced her opinion that he didn’t have the emotional life required to
travel and learn about other worlds.

Tommy knew he wanted to have a dream, but he was still pretty sure he was nuts.
Yet, he felt something happening all the time. It was subtle, but it was there,
always present. He believed he was experiencing something new, and
experimenting with the mind was the only way he could be sure of it.

The dreams were just that, dreams. They never had any truth to them. He was
just putting the concept into words to prove he was different from everyone else.
Sometimes he believed that he was experiencing emotions that had nothing to
do with reality, but his mind wasn’t really there right now. He was always
dreaming, whether he was conscious or asleep. He had to go after his dreams.

Just then, his bed began to shake. It was the same feeling he described. He
started screaming.

~

Tommy woke up screaming, the sheets soaked in sweat. He stumbled into his
bedroom in a haze. His mother had told him that it had been an emotional
nightmare that she’d had to pull him out of. He hadn’t been able to get it out
of his head without sleep.

He remembered it as though it were a dream that he had been fighting in the
daytime. His mother must have done something to him, because a few days later
he got a phone call.

Tommy’s father, Jack, was taking a trip to another world. A guy named
Dewey Decimal was running the place. He was in charge of a whole planet…
which was weird, since no one in the universe knew he was there.

“Tommy, I’m going to need you to come for a while, so I’d like to give you
some traveling money.”

Tommy didn’t know what his father was talking about. He was pretty sure it
had nothing to do with the dreams, and everything to do with the new guy’s
girlfriend trying to sell him out.

“Why would I want to go to another world, Dad?”

“It’ll be good for you to see the real world, don’t you think? You’ll
understand what we do.”

Tommy knew he had to take his dad at his word, ’cause he wasn’t a complete
idiot. He went anyway. His father had a good job, and he was helping to look
for his mother. It was a little weird, but not as weird as going to another
world.

Tommy hadn’t really met her till that point, but he had felt her there. He
understood how her dream was important, and how he needed to follow it. He also
knew that just before he went to bed, he was supposed to go see the girl.

Tommy got to the city at first light, and had to walk a half mile down to his
car. He was so exhausted when he finally collapsed into the passenger seat of
his car.

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