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Which is the real world....?

Sometimes, as the sages taught us, it is the very darkest of nights that bring the most illuminating truths. So it was when Piotr found himself suddenly on a cliff-top in the middle of a dream one night; well that is how it seemed. Let me try to explain.

Piotr had gone to bed, as usual, that evening at around 11 pm. He had switched off the light in his small living room, wandered to the kitchen to draw a glass of water and then locked the front door before he climbed the stairs. His little cat Temka followed behind him.

Finally, in bed Piotr lay there looking up at the ceiling in the dark little room, Temka curled up on the bed at his feet.

A nearly full moon shone a dim grey light through the window and cast strange shadows on the walls. Piotr looked around. He noticed that one of the shadows looked like a small rabbit and then another like a bird, and if he squinted then, he could make the bird appear to be chasing the rabbit. He imagined these shadows coming to life, it wasn't difficult to imagine such things in the dark of night.

He remembered when he was very small, his Grandfather telling him tales of demons and imps, of fairies and goblins and how at night as a small child he would sometimes dream of such creatures, waking himself with a start and peering from beneath his bedcovers to check that he was alone in the room. He always was. But he never felt afraid of these creatures, he believed they lived in another world, a different dimension. Surely in all of G-d's universe, there must be many other worlds, Piotr thought, where millions of different creatures resided, each of them living their own lives in their own reality. Maybe they even existed alongside one another, in the same place but somehow in another time. Piotr didn't see any reason for them to appear suddenly in his world any more than for him to suddenly appear in theirs.

Perhaps, thought Piotr, that such things as ghosts were merely an echo of another of these worlds that exist beside our own.

And so this night, as Piotr drifted into sleep, he was untroubled by thoughts and he let the world wash over him.

Suddenly he was woken by what felt like cold breath on his face. He sat up startled. It was difficult to see in the darkness and now there was no moon.

Temka was no longer there at his feet. He carefully got up from his bed. As his feet touched the ground, he realised he was standing on grass. The cold breath he had felt on his face was now a breeze. He was outside in the open air.

As his eyes adjusted to the dark, he could make out a few stars in the black sky. He could hear the sound of waves, crashing waves a long way down below where he stood. Now he could make out a sheer drop to his left. He was on a cliff-top. Piotr had had dreams like this before, and they were called lucid dreams where the dreamer suddenly becomes aware of themselves within the dream and so can consciously influence the outcome. He decided to get calmly back into his bed but as he turned to do so, he realised that his bed was no longer there. This scared him. What to do now..? A track became visible at his feet. In the palest of starlight, he could see tiny figures dancing across the path into the distance. He felt drawn to follow. Every time he approached the figures they skipped further and further away. He found himself running faster and faster and faster until suddenly he felt the ground give way under his feet.

Had he fallen off the edge of the cliff? Why no, as he fell he had felt himself rise again, carried along on what to Piotr seemed like a wave of sheer joy.

He had in fact fallen off the edge of his world and into the next.

How do I know all of this you may ask? Because I am Piotr and I write to you from a distant world where dreams can become real and reality can be but a dream.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © Copyright 2020 Jason Endfield.
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