Each and every one of us has a power. A gift. A talent trapped in the abyss of the soul, just waiting to unfold. The majority of us don’t succeed in finding these powers. We don’t look for them because we don’t even know we have them. If these powers within us were discovered, the world would change. One chilly November day, a man discovered one of these gifts. He unlocked the gift of dreams. The dreamer can go anywhere—into distant lands and galaxies, beyond the limits of space and time itself.
It had been three months since seventy-year-old Martin McAllen lost his wife, Rachel. And since her death his heart had remained torn in two. His grief lingered like a fog over the silent graveyard of what was left of his life.
Martin was on his computer, half-heartedly searching for any help. He explored dozens of websites, programs, and even audios. Nothing worked. Martin rubbed his tired, sad eyes with his hands, and sighed. He gave up trying to search, and turned off his computer. He felt tears well in his green eyes. He brushed his fingers through his snow-white hair. He began to cry as he felt the now familiar hopelessness take over.
He sat up from his couch, and gazed around his small house: two blue armchairs where they used to sit, an empty table he had made for her decades ago, and out a large window that showed her dying flower garden. The chill of autumn had begun to put all the plants in the garden into a deep sleep.
He could feel her absence everywhere. He felt like with Rachel’s death, he was the ghost left behind, alone in a house that once belonged to two lovers. Martin could still smell traces of her vanilla perfume. And when he turned to the armchairs, he hoped she would still be there, smiling at him. But he knew she was gone, and there was nothing he could do about it. He ached as he thought of her now, buried in the soil of Mother Earth.
There was a sudden knock on the door, piercing the silence. Martin walked out of the living room towards the front door, and gripped the brass knob. He opened it, and there stood a young black boy, no older than twelve, with a white T-shirt and fine blue jeans. The boy’s head was shiny and bald.
“May I help you?” Martin asked.
“I am here to help you,” said the boy, his dark brown eyes staring at Martin.
“Who are you?” Martin asked.
“My name does not matter,” the young man replied.
Martin sighed. “Young man, if you’re trying to pull a practical joke on me, I would like it if you would just leave.”
Martin began to close the door, but the boy caught his attention when he said: “Martin, I want to help you.”
He stared at the boy and was surprised to hear himself reply. “No one can help me.”
The boy’s eyes gleamed in the autumn sun. The boy insisted. “May I come in?”
Martin hesitated. Every bit of common sense told him to shut the door, but his soul told him to trust this strange boy. “Very well,” Martin obliged. He opened the door and the boy walked in. He stared around Martin’s house, his dark eyes rolling over the furniture like waves on the beach.
Martin shut the door as the boy took a seat in Rachel’s empty chair. “Sit,” he said as he gestured to the open seat. Martin sighed. He walked over to his chair, and sat down, clasping his hands together. He looked at the boy, whose deep dark eyes were burning into his own. Martin almost felt as if the boy could see into his very soul. “So…how can you help me?” Martin asked.
“Each person has a gift, a purpose,” the boy began. “We all have the ability to do great things. To unlock hidden potentials we never knew we had.” Martin parted his lips to speak, but the boy cut him off. “People today fail to find these powers. No one even stops to feel the air in their lungs, nor do they stop to see the world around them. Many have forgotten what it is to be truly alive. I am here to tell you, that you have the gift of Dreams, locked up tight in your soul.”
Martin began to feel uneasy but he tried his best not to let it show. “You came to my house, just to tell me a fairy tale?”
The boy shook his head. “No, it’s all true,” the boy replied. “I have the gift of Sight. I can look anywhere, anytime. I can also look into people’s souls. That’s how I found you.”
Martin rubbed his eyes. “Tell me,” he started. “How are you going to help me?”
The boy shifted his weight in the armchair. “I am going to help you overcome your pain,” he said.
Martin thought about kicking the boy out of his house. But again, something told him to trust this boy. “Fine,” he said flatly. “Proceed.”
Then boy said softly: “I know that you lost your wife.”
Tears started to well in Martin’s eyes; he nodded.
“When someone dies, they never leave us. They still remain in our lives in a way most don’t understand. Death is an illusion; a trick on the mind and soul.”
He leaned closer to Martin. “Your wife isn’t quite dead, Martin.”
Suddenly, Martin felt a strange tingling feeling spread from his aching heart to the tips of his fingers.
Then the boy sat up. He touched Martin in the center of the forehead with his four fingers, then he started towards the door. He turned back to Martin again. “Before you go to sleep, Martin, think of your wife. Think long and hard. You will see her again. Then you will know what to do. ”
Stunned, Martin only nodded, then the boy disappeared out the door.
That night, Martin lay alone in the bed that he once shared with his wife, staring at the ceiling. The stars shone bright in the sky, and out the window, the moon was a crescent. He thought long and hard about his wife, as the boy had instructed. He remembered when he took Rachel to the lake for a week, how they swam from dawn till dusk. He thought of their life until he finally dozed off.
Martin found himself in a golden field, the grass dancing in the wind. It was warm; everything seemed to glow in the rays of the sun. He remembered what the boy had said. He knew this must be a dream. But the air was so sweet, he could almost taste it.
“Hello?” he called, his voice echoing in the vast meadow. “Is anyone here?”
Suddenly, he heard a gentle women’s voice, like honey being poured from a pot. “Hello Martin.”
Martin turned around; it was Rachel. He began to sob like a little child when he saw his wife’s face again. She wore a beautiful white dress, like the one she wore on their wedding day. Her gray hair was in a ponytail, which danced in wind.
The two lovers embraced tightly. Martin’s felt the weight of his grief washing away, like dust in the river. Joy inundated him like a waterfall pouring into a crystal pond. Suddenly he understood that love can never die, that his sorrow had clouded his vision from seeing the truth that love is everlasting. Love is bigger than him, bigger than Rachel. It cannot be broken, stolen, or defeated by time, death, and decay. Love was never something he had that was taken from him. Love was always something that had him, had her, and had them still.
Rachel smiled wide. “When you wake, do not be afraid of your sorrow. It is a part of our footprint in time. You will walk for us until our steps join together once again. Go now. We are all leaves of the same tree. You are still green and thriving. I have withered away. I did my part. You need to continue yours until your time is done. The tree remains. Soon enough, we will be together again.”
Martin awoke. For the first time in months, he no longer felt alone. Same empty bed, same empty chairs, same lifeless garden, but he knew somehow, the whole world had changed.
Campbell Jenkins is a fourteen-year-old die hard fantasy fan, major bookworm, and aspiring writer.For many years, members of his family have told him he is a born story-teller. He started off with a little comic book (which is not published) called The Adventures of Gus and Emit. As he matured, he began to fall in love with countless books, such as The Lord of the Rings and The Earthsea Cycle, and soon enough was inspired to write his own book. Ever since then, he’s been writing down hundreds of story ideas that come to mind, and hopes that one day he can publish one.