One night, the dream wasn’t being called to by anyone. It was alone as it sat on the edge of its cloud and swung its legs idly backwards and forwards into the night sky.
And then, it happened.
The dream wasn’t sure how. One moment it was on its cloud, the next moment, something shifted – a breeze, a breath – and then the dream was falling, falling, falling down towards the night ocean below.
It landed without a splash.
It lay there for a moment, bobbing in the calm water as it found its breath.
The world was all ocean down here. Waves and ceaseless movement and wet and salt tangs and cool air and a symphony of sounds stretching all the way back up to the night sky. So very different to the clouds of wide winds and whisper-soft silences.
The dream stood up.
The ocean surface was uneven and wobbling. The dream found a precarious balance and began walking. Careful steps across the silken, dancing surface.
It walked for a long time. It walked with the tide, across the waves, under star and blue and star and blue skies, often in silence, and sometimes humming to the seaweed, the fish and merfolk and water sprites that it met.
With every step the dream took, it left behind dream-footprints to slowly surrender beneath the waves. With every step, the dream changed. It coloured itself differently. With the way light pauses in water, with ocean songs, and with the endlessness of night. It learnt to slip and spin. It learnt how to run fast and strong, with fury and with gentleness.
One day, waves carried the dream on to a wide shore with coarse and smooth sand, with living shells and empty, broken and discarded ones, and living and lost seaweed. The dream sat down at the very edge of the ocean, and felt the unusual sensation of having solid sand swirling and slipping and washing under its feet. It had been used to only ocean for so long now.
The dream lay down in the tiny waves of lagoon water, stared up at the blue sky and billowing clouds and sun, and it rested and waited.
And that was where you found it.
Backstory: This story was based on a tweeted microfic. It’s the reasons I still persist with Twitter. Sometimes tiny ideas lead to bigger ones. I shared this expanded version first in my newsletter, Ree-Writes #2: Oceans of Ideas.
The image is a blend of two paintings by Rambha Dobson that I have in my possession which I adore and which I’m using with permission. I lightly photoshopped the two blended paintings to add that extra little frisson of magic I wanted to convey in my story.
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