All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

The Edge of Dreams by Tom Sheehan

Buzz Turner, all 12 years of him, reader galore, all the thick and curly red hair in place, saw the moon slip sideways into his eyes just opened for the change, dragging him instantly from a deep sleep into clear observation. He loved the transfer in the heavens, as well as the sudden change in himself, a keen awareness coming his way, all the way. It was all magic, and he loved it, a boy’s swift change in himself, a piece of the skies at hand, and mystery afoot the way mystery makes itself known, on its own time, in its own style, dream-like.

The slow-moving shadow in the corner of his right eye did not go unseen, the way it slithered on its quick feet. Figures of the night, creatures of the night, did not go unseen across his vision. All things green went dark blue, all things pink in nature changed to sad red, a squashed red, and all things grey became black, a black as thick as stove tops before they have a chance to flame into heat not nearly itself, like a masquerade has been thriven on a stage, assumes an otherness with no explanation on its side, like compulsion has been for the while ordained. Change had been ordered, deemed, found to be true, be else.

Dots and cues become other selves, dits become dats, time shifts all elements, like a sobriety has been ordered in place. But only Buzz Turner is aware of the changes, the shifts in being, the change-overs, reality coming with edges.

Wherever sleep has been affected, that sleep manages to become heir of those things grey as they change at the very core. Much of the globe goes grey, then black, then leaps into being as real monsters in the flesh, just the way dreams can handle such turnovers, handle maneuvers.

Hence, his 182.6 pounds becomes about 82.78 kilograms in British scales, at an instant. Some fact of this conversion eluding him at first, not the comparison, but the method itself. Why the insistence? Was there an imperial call to attention to arms, for and from the crown? He supposed he could guess for a whole night and not get a lucid response.

Knighthood, for example, still evident at times, carries its own ghosts and odd spirits, by the dozens even if only one is encountered in darkness, as if it cannot or does not travel alone, dependent on silent hordes or screaming devils loose at all ends of the Earth, crawling out of the history they have created, the books loaded with all kinds of testimonies to what they have scared to death, left for the ashmen, if I may be permitted to advance those ideas.

Dreams of those times and those heroes haunted him all the time, the way they came to visit in the nights of deepest dark, hoofbeats sounding their way across his hearing as if in the immediate area, on a local street, just around a corner dimmed by darkness, playing hide and seek with him, sharing themselves anew, coming back for a visit, him ready at all hours to invite them to stay as long as they wanted to, his historical guests in reality, as he might have owned up to it in explanation.

“Dreams,” he’d argue, “have their own place in time, and in any way you look at them. They resound so often in daylight hours that acceptance comes like any other creature or visitor. Dreams have their own reality, no matter how they come and go; have their own spaces even in broad daylight if your eyes are shut. You can’t beat them away, can’t beat them off, only open your eyes and choose another target for observation; it’s up to you.”

So, don’t fight them, allow them their own places, remember them after the quick passage, for they will return, again and again. Too, they pass this quickly.

Tom Sheehan

Image: Cartwright, Mark. “The Armour of an English Medieval Knight.” World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 13 Jun 2018. Web. 13 Jan 2022.

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike.

5 thoughts on “The Edge of Dreams by Tom Sheehan”

  1. Tom–
    The thin edge where dreams and consciousness blend has rarely been described as well. After all these years you continue to remain fresh and alive.

    The wonderful header makes me think of a C3P0 look alike contest. But maybe that’s just me


  2. Very clever and insightful writing. I too like the jolt from dream to reality and thought the use of weight (in US and UK measures) was an excellent touch. Masterful stuff.


  3. Hi Tom,
    The best compliment I can give after close to two hundred acceptances is this is up to your usual brilliant standard!
    All the very best my fine friend.


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