TITLE: THE DREAM WALL
Julius Root, a boy of fifteen, lived with his rickety old grandmother in a small town, Bristol.
He had never seen his parents. His grandmother told him that fourteen years ago when he was hardly a year old, his parents died in a plane crash when they were flying to Hawaii.
Unlike other kids, Julius never missed his parents; his grandmother had never actually let him miss them. She was a friend, mentor, father, mother and everything a person needs in his life to him. Moreover he never knew them very well to miss them!
An intelligent and inquisitive boy, he used to go to St. Bernards High School in Bristol and was quite often an easy target of big bullies of the school.
And to his horror, these bullies often haunted him in his dreams.
Dreams, strange as they are, quite often defy the day light rules; Julius would beat his bullies black and blue in his dreams and woke up with a smile on his face. This night, he punched Hummer in his face- just one punch - and he lay scattered on the floor- in body and spirit. Strangely, there was no sign of Hummer in school the next day.
No friends, no company and no parents! Life for Julius wasn't easy and interesting. Somehow, he was dragging his cheerless existence hoping to find a source of joy, a bigger purpose of his being some day.
It was on one of such fateful nights that
Julius had a strange dream. He saw himself entering a castle like house in the most weird way and there he was met by a strange but pretty woman and a handsome monster sized man. Quite a bizarre dream it was!
Except the faint contour of the beautiful face of the woman, he remembered nothing when he got up the next morning. He shook his head and checked the clock.
"Seven o' clock!", he shrieked.
Phew! He was getting late for his school and Miss Mercy was indeed merciless for the late-comers.
"What is the point of intersection of two diameters in a circle called? '' I repeat.
It was Daze who nudged Julius hard and he saw Miss Blueberry giving him strange looks, if not frowning.
"Where are you lost, my little pea."
"No Miss, I have a headache so....."
"O my sunshine! you could have told me in the beginning of the class. Don't bother about the circles. We will deal with them later.", unable to resist her affection for an almost orphan boy, she spilled concern all over.
"Daze, take him to the Sick Bay and tell Ms. Meddy to take good care of him. And tell her,I said this. After all, he is the genius of my class."
Daze couldn't have asked for more. She hated her Math classes - especially Geometry. Circles, triangles and squares were her ardent enemies; she had lost many battles against them, to say the least.
The last words of Miss Blueberry were ringing like temple bells in Julius' ears for who else loved and praised him like her. He too liked Miss Blueberry the most.
Daze was chattering throughout the way but Julius was hardly listening. He was still thinking of that pretty woman and monster sized hulk.
The face of the woman didn't leave his mind all day long. He tried to distract himself by trying to participating in Daze's nonstop talk. But Daze, a chatterbox as everyone called her, doesn't believe that in a normal conversation, two people are required. Silly girl! ...can go on and on and on.....
It was a chilly Sunday morning, when Julius was going to market on his bike. His grandmother had asked him to buy some groceries. The trees were white, the road had a thick 3 inch layer of snow.
Slowly making his way through snow, as he turned a sharp bend in the road, his heart sank. Standing in front of him was Cudgeon, the biggest bully in the school, flanked by his cronies! The vicious smiles on their faces conveyed their intentions loud and clear.
Julius wasted no second. He turned his bike in a flash, settled on the seat and started paddling, faster, faster and faster. Within minutes, he found himself riding the wind. Suddenly, his bike came to a halt, paddling didn't move it an inch. Julius saw his bike had got stuck in a small pot in the snow.
Now, what to do!
There was no time to think or see his scratched knee or elbow. With all the energy that he could muster at the moment, he started running.
Hardly had he run a mile when he looked back. To his relief, he was no longer being followed by the bullies. Breathless, he was running, head turned backward.
BANG! Struck his head against a wall!
In an attempt to look back, he didn't see in front of him. Terrible pain seemed to surge through his head.
But soon he realized, he felt the pain was not in his head! it was in his mind!
What was it? What was he feeling?
His mind refused to believe what it saw and felt. He had passed THROUGH the wall!
"Am I dreaming or hallucinating?" He thought to himself.
The mental illusion?!
Soon he realized he was on the other side of the wall - in a place that looked like a sort of market. He collected himself on his knees and found himself standing near a fancy shop. It read 'Barley's' outside.
As he went past, he found that most of the shops - all brightly coloured - had put on beautiful displays, superheroes stuff like capes, masks, costumes of all sizes.
What was this place? Was it another town or country?
His jaw almost dropped when he saw a smallish, average looking man dressed in a long black cape, taking a flight and landing smoothly like an avian on the seventh floor of a building.
Was he in a fantasy land?
He was shaken out of his stupor when he noticed he was attracting a crowd around him. He wasn't a magnet!
Strange looking people were eyeing upon him. All were wearing masks, capes and strange headwears. He was so plainly dressed, hence an outsider!
Ignoring the alien looks and whispers, he wriggled his way through them. Absorbing everything around with his bright blue eyes, he accidently tumbled over a stone.
Broooom! So he tripped over it.
Bruised and scratched, as he tried to gather himself on his knees, a sleek beautiful hand came into view. It was offering help. Considering it impolite to refuse it, he accepted the hand.
On raising his eyes he found himself staring directly into the blue eyes- just like his!
It was a very charming face with a sweet smile, eyes- twinkling blue and cheeks -rosy red.
The face reminded him of somebody. Miss Blueberry? No, not her. Who else? He couldn't recall right now but he had seen her somewhere.
Presently, he noticed the woman did not have her feet on ground. Literally! A wave of shiver ran down his spine.
She was flying!
Once he was on his feet and was convinced that the woman meant no harm, he thanked her and asked, "Ma'am, may I know where I am? I have lost my way. I am an outsider."
To this the woman replied," You are in the SUPER ALLEY- the place where all superheroes, all with at least one superpower, reside. Outsiders can not enter this place. So, you can't be one."
"What is your name, my dear boy and why can't I see any visible super power in you?", she continued to speak in her most affectionate voice. "Ah! It must be a power of teleportation, mind reading or something, I'm sure", she added.
Julius told her his name and narrated to her the whole incident.
"I'm lost and don't know where I am. Please help me get back home, my granny must be waiting for me."
With every word said by Julius, Lyra Wood felt a strange likeness for this boy, growing every second.
Utterly confused, she muttered to herself, " The people without super powers cannot come cross the wall......."
"Hold my hand.", lost in her thought, she almost ordered.
She took out an instrument from her costume pocket- more like a cellular phone- and pressed a button and within ten seconds she was standing beside a huge man- handsome though.
"Asriel Wood, my husband". That's how she introduced him to Julius.
A handsome hulk. Going by his hefty physique, one could easily tell that his super power must be strength. He must be so powerful that he could easily lift a mountain with a single hand.
After his wife told him about everything, he thought for a second and then broke his silence, "Julius, has something strange ever happened near you- in any way?"
Julius thought and thought hard. Suddenly a streak of light flashed his mind. He had always wondered how his dreams often came true.
Everything that was happening now had once been his dream too. How once he had dreamt of a car crash and the very next day he had seen a car crash on 148th street.
How all the bullies that he beat in his dreams would absent themselves from school the next day and later how they showed up - broken and bruised!
The Woods were frozen to hear this. "A Dreamer", said both in chorus.
It was beyond Julius' comprehension.
What was it all leading to?
'Dreamer' was one of the rarest found superpowers and was often passed down in families!
The only dreamer known for the last two centuries was Asriel's grandfather, but he was long dead.
What could have this meant? A billion questions were revolving in their heads while Julius looked at them blankly, unsure of what to say or do.
It was only when Julius gave a slight cough that they remembered of his presence. Suddenly Julius was attacked by a flurry of questions. Unsure which one to answer first he continued to stare at them.
Asriel took the opportunity of asking the question first and reiterated, "Julius,where do you live, who are your parents and what do they do?" Julius told them everything about his grandmother, his parents and how they had died.
Lyra then asked him if he could take them to his grandmother, they wanted to meet her.
Out of the brick wall, followed by Lyra and Asriel, Julius showed them the way to his home.
The grandmother was shocked beyond words to see Julius with two strangers. However, she showed them to the living room and asked them to be comfortable.
Asriel, without any cover up, curtly said,
"We think you must be knowing why we are here and even if you don't I would like you to tell us about Julius's real parents."
Grandmother's face suddenly fell and fear writ large over her face could not escape the guests' eyes. There is some foul play, said their hearts, more convinced than before.
She noticed even her loving Julius' eyes were questioning her.
Grandmother took a long breath and started, "When Julius was a year old, my son had broken into his real parents' house. He considered them to be his father's murderers and wanted to kill Julius as revenge."
She continued, "When I came to know about it, I couldn't bear the killing of a young child so I decided to take Julius and run away. After that numerous times I thought of contacting them but could never ignore the calls of a heart filled with love for Julius for I had grown so very fond of Julius by then."
Her sobs intensified to loud cries now.
Petrified and dazed, Lyra then turned to Julius. Now, she knew for sure why she liked this strange boy when she saw him first in the marketplace.
Considered to be dead since long, this blue eyed boy was her own son!
Asriel and Lyra hugged him tightly and caressed him madly.
Julius couldn't be happier. His parents- both super powered- were in front of him. He felt like he discovered himself today, he was made to meet himself today. What a feeling it was- to know yourself in complete light!
And about Grandmother, he gave her a warm hug. After all, she was the one who kept him alive!
Tears fell like waterfall from all eyes.
Julius now lives with his parents who have filled his life with so much love that he couldn't have ever imagined. Occasionally, he visits his grandmother also.
His parents help him polish his powers of dreaming so that he may prep into future more closely and clearly.
And Most Importantly, he attends one of the best superheroes schools in the continent 'THE MARLIN'S SUPERHERO ACADEMY' with other super powered kids.