With a glass full of chill vodka in one hand and a doraemon pen in the other, Wren stares at the ever so puzzling math problems lying in front of her.
I do be regretting my college choices.
She scribbles some anime figures on the surface of her desk, fills in a few random numbers in the blanks on the paper, texts her friends and after awhile, throws her hands into the air as if surrendering to the questions.
“Why don’t you solve your own problems, eh?” And with that, she pushes her chair, the legs producing an annoying screech on the floor, though remaining unaffected by it and stalks to the window with the refreshing vodka in her hand.
Twinkling stars expand in the dimness of the sky, bats flapping and dipping their wings in the luminescence of the silver halo hanging in the lonely airspace. Wren gulps down the spicy, briny water in a go, the spiciness of it running down her throat in and cooling in her stomach.
“Gonna drink away my problems from now on.” She lazily mutters to herself, sets down the glass on the dressing table and plops on her bed.
Gazing at the brown ceiling of her room and listening to her favourite pop music never fails to bring her sleep, the workload lurking behind her back like a dreaded eight-legged freak disappears just as soon as she plugs the earphones into her ears, cutting out the outside world. No, no, you’re wrong, she doesn’t want to let anyone think she’s depressed. She's not. Her mother, if talked about, doesn't want to do much with her; always distant even though they live under the same roof, eat the same food and above all, share the same blood. And the pressure from her college―let’s not talk about it! She worries too much and overthinks to a great depth.
This time, I'm dreamin’ about Thor, she thinks to herself and drifts off to a comfortable sleep.
Wren’s eyes flutter open, the sudden discontinuity of sleep exasperating her and vexing her to the point where she jerks up, ready to bark at that one darn soul who disrupted her sweet sleep. However, she closes her mouth like a fish as she takes in her surroundings; she’s dreaming, she’s aware of the atmosphere around her. She stands in a dark tunnel, light bulbs lining overhead and running off into distance and fading away in the tenebrosity. She gets up, scanning the tunnel, pupils dilating and adjusting to the murkiness, eyebrows furrowing in anxiety.
Turning a corner into a lane, Wren walks with slow, hesitant steps, contemplating how she could be lucid dreaming all of a sudden. Well, she had studied about dreams in her psychology class and was rather intrigued by it. She’s perturbed but ecstatic at the same time.
As she’s striding further into the tunnel, she stops when something wet drops on her shoulder. She lifts her hand to her shoulder and touches the substance, sticky and cold. Wren snaps her head towards the roof, eyes squinting to make out the figure attached to the roof. A pair of shiny beads stares back at her and in an instant, plunge on her chest, causing her to shriek and collapse to the ground.
Panic takes over Wren as a spider-like creature as big as a Labrador attacks her with its poisonous, hairy claws. Wren does her best to dodge the attacks, the creature’s drool drenching her torso. The monster manages to rip her sleeves, but fails to dig its claws into the skin.
Wren kicks the creature and it goes flying and drops with a squeal.
“What in the world?!” She exclaims in incredulity as she gets up, dusts off the dirt from her hips and grabs onto a pipe from a nearby metal crap.
The creature gets up and crawls towards Wren with its claws darted at her, followed by three of its cronies, their loud screeches resonating in the thick silence. Wren braces herself, prepared for the strike. Like an advancing army, the creatures charge at her and with the enemy’s effective blows, they scream and soar through the air before dropping dead to the ground.
“Tch, suckers!” Wren sighs, and then almost chokes on her own saliva as the surroundings around her change in front of own eyes. A veil of fog takes over and dissipates with a new view.
She stands in a lavender room, a tiny bed to one side, a study table in front of a window and toys scattered on the carpet—a child’s room. A little girl enters the room and arranges her toys in glee, ignoring or not aware of the presence when two older figures walk in, probably her parents and present her a huge stuffed teddy bear. The girl breaks down into tears and hugs her parents. Wren watches them and finds herself grinning from ear to ear, mentally replacing the girl and thinking of the people as her parents.
All of a sudden, her vision blackens and her head becomes heavy as if made out of a boulder, which due to the pull of gravity, results in disturbing her equilibrium and causes her to fall to the ground.
Wren jolts up, all sweaty and out of breath, her heart pounding and banging in her chest, threatening to break free from the rib cage. Everything is normal around her, her vodka glass staring back at her in silence.
The hassling kraas of the crows outside her window pulls her out of trance. She glances at her alarm clock which reads 9:30 a.m. and Saturday below it. She was lucid dreaming and fighting some wackadoodles and saw someone else’s dream? None of it sounds legit, but it bothers Wren so she jumps out of her bed and dashes downstairs.
“You have to listen to me. For once atleast, dang it!” Wren protests and clears her throat when her voice raises, her mother shooting her a questioning look.
“Ma, I was literally kicking some huge spiders’ butts!” She states and stops, wondering if she should have framed it better, to a more believable fact and not something a kid with a heightened imagination would blabber about.
Wren’s mother gives off a no-nonsense cackle and sets her bowl of pancake batter down on the table.
“You’re almost a big two and oh, right? I hope you’re aware of it, Wrennie. So, stop acting like a kid going insane over a normal dream.”
“I’m well aware of it, Ma,” Wren says and walks around the table to her mother. “And stop calling me by that name.”
Slamming the door hard behind her, Wren walks off with no place in mind. She scrolls through the contacts on her cellphone and calls her friend, Zaina.
“Ahem! I know this is…weird, but you gotta help me.” Wren says to Zaina sitting in front of her, sipping her dearest café milkshake.
“I wish I could help you and I do want to. But, this dream and some freaks you’re talking about is out of my hand,” Zaina says and gets up, slinging her purse around her shoulder. “Hate to break it to you, but you’re being delusional. Stop it.” And with that said, Zaina leaves her ‘delusional’ friend alone.
Not ready to let her friend think of her as a dipstick, Wren runs after Zaina, almost bumping her head on the glass window.
“Wait, please hear me out. Don’t be like my mother,” she shouts after her friend who doesn’t pay heed to her. “I swear the dream was real. O-one of them even scratched–“
What a bummer!
Zaina was done listening to the madcap stories of her friend.
Wren stands in front of the café, staring ahead of her and thinking how bizarre her dream actually is, that no one believes her.
“Oi, redhead!” A voice calls out, concerning Wren because she is certain she has red hair and no one visible outside the café has that colour.
She follows the source of the voice and finds a group of five guys hoarding around a ramshackle car in a garage, which she hadn’t taken note of when she reached the café.
A tall guy appears from behind the car and strides toward her, his tousled hair of a beautiful dark brown hue and a band of tattoo encircling his lower arm.
“Um..hi,” he says in an awkward tone as Wren stands fixed to her spot, guessing what he could be possibly wanting to talk about. “I kinda overheard you talking about a dream and…scratch.”
I’m confusion, Wren thinks to herself. So what if you heard me?
“Damn, I don’t know how to do this!” The guy looks back over his shoulder, hoping for a rescue.
“When’re you going to learn to speak properly, mate?” Another guy says and comes to stand next to his friend.
“Hello, this is Levi and I’m Ace and we heard you talk about a real dream?” He shrugs and crosses his arms over his chest. “And apparently, it is of importance to us, so we might like to have a talk and clarify some things with you.”
“Miss, you have to believe us. We know your lucid dreams aren’t just something normal,” a boy, with a forehead scar steps in beside the other two. “I had, just about, kicked a bucket. You see this? Crazy dude had fun knocking us over.”
The boy gestures to his forehead, a thin, yet visible scar marring his skin.
Realization dawns on Wren when the evidence eases everything.
All of them head towards the garage where Levi introduces Wren to the other boys in his group and begins his explanation for what Wren has her mind circulating around ever since the fight.
“What?! You mean I have a special ability? Like Spiderman?” Wren squeals at the over-enthusiastic boys’ outbursts.
“But why me? Why not that old lady sitting over there?” She points at the lady sitting on a bench outside the café.
“Dunno! All we can say is that more of us are becoming the holders of this ability. Reason is unknown.” Yuka says.
“Then, what about those creatures appearing and me becoming visible to other’s dreams?”
“Ah, that! If you’re still not aware of your ability, let me tell you, you fight people’s nightmares and it’s like a game; when the game is a victory, you see your client’s dream and you wake up, all fine and when it’s a defeat, you, like Markus, kick the bucket, although the pain is not like experiencing real pain and you’re dead in the dream.” Levi says and goes out of breath, huffing and tapping on his chest.
Pieces of the puzzle start to stick together for Wren. She had been successful in getting rid of the creatures as a result of which, she was able to witness her client’s dream.
“I know you have lots of questions, but let’s stop here and call it a day.” Levi says and with that, all of them go on their separate ways.
Wren reaches home to no sight of her mother, possibly in a kitty party with her friends. You see, she does care about her mother; yet, her mother wants to stay ignorant to the person who wishes to stay by her side like any other happy family.
Spending the entire day in the living room, watching her favourite shows and replaying the conversation they had earlier in her mind like a broken tape recorder, the sun heads low, letting the moon take its place and Wren goes to sleep, transfixed by what more could happen in her dream, which is if she ever has one.
Eerie noises invade Wren’s hush as she awakes, howls and screeches growing louder and louder and then, coming to a halt as if forcefully been put to sleep. Thick and murky trees surrounding her make it impossible for her to make out the presences advancing toward her, dense mist blocks her vision and the deadness of the night, chills her to the bones.
A terrified gasp escapes her mouth as three sinister, wolf-like beings step out from the woods, eyes glittering in the dark with black smoke rising from their heads as if sculpted out of smoke itself, extended razor sharp claws and prominent ribs jutting out of their bodies.
Wren’s senses are almost knocked out when someone pulls her behind a rock. Levi.
“You seeing this?” He utters in amusement, although his shivering, blood splattered body contradicts his expressions. He rests his long axe against the rock and turns back to Wren. ”They are horrendous, but I can’t wait to send the rest of ‘em home.”
Wren stares at him with eyes bulged out, her brain frozen, lips quivering and her hands trembling. “Am I really dreaming?”
“Did you notice the tattoo on my arm?” Levi asks to which Wren nods her head multiple times, like a lunatic. “It’s different now, look.”
“You know, people don’t always have nightmares, but when they do, we are there to get rid of them,” he says and gazes at Wren. “And multiple people can fight one nightmare, so I’m here with you.” Levi’s wink causes Wren to avert her direction, heat rising up her cheeks.
They bury themselves further into the dark as the monsters lurch past them, beaming eyes scrutinizing the masked woods and claws clashing against each other.
Within seconds, howls increase and too close to Wren.
I didn’t even do anything. I don’t want to die doing nothing.
A giant snarls behind Wren causing Levi and her to yell and stagger back. Wren’s ankle twists as Levi slashes at the monster with his weapon. He rushes toward her and grabs onto Wren’s legs as the monster circles its claws around her waist, lifting her mid air and….
a/n: Am I cruel for kicking Wren's bucket? Welp, the story has two endings, it's upto your imagination. So, either prince charming saves Wren or prince wackadoodle devours her;)
If you were thrilled by even a 0.00123%, you've made my day!!! I've always loved the idea of lucid dreams, so if you've had any episodes of it, I'm all ears👂
And...'kick the bucket' is now my favourite word💅