hey guys, this is a little teaser trailer for the book I’m currently writing. Yes, it’s rough. Yes, it’s weird. Get over it. I’m having a ball writing it, so what else matters?
But I’ve remembered – If you do not understand what dreams are, I am sorry. Perhaps I should explain them a little more. I have just realized that this history might find itself in the hands of outlanders.
Any dream ever dreamt flew straight to the golden Bank, because dreams are attracted to gold. They were caught and stored in paper files inlaid with gold leaf to keep the dream inside. Each person in Calorath had a vault in the bank, and each vault had but one key belonging to the dreamer. People made trips to take out their dreams and look at them. Some sighed, and asked the clerk to put it back. Some slept with it under their pillows for safekeeping. Some hid their dreams, or left them to collect dust.
And some rare few took them home and decided to follow them.
My hand flew to the little golden key, dangling from a chain. I felt the number. 44921. Along side it was Ma’s, number 44923. I wondered if Da’s was 44922. I would have loved to see his dreams, but I did not have his key.
It took me a while to follow the little road until it merged with a greater one. I followed this across the valley and through Calorath’s capitol, Tasca, which was a nice enough city full of assorted apartments, shops, and other such things.
Calorath was a country still following the old way of things, and we liked it that way. We stubbornly stuck with horses and wells when everyone else decided to build mechanical carts and water pumps. That was the Calor way.
One could see this in Tasca, which perfectly embodied our merging of new systems and old customs. Buildings cast shadows over the road and stretched at least six stories high. Neighbors high above me called greetings to fellows across the street; babies rode on the backs of nurses on the way to the market; men stumbled glassy-eyed from pub doorways; scholars clutched scrolls close to their chests as they stepped carefully over puddles; monks walked in packs of four and six on their way to the temple, singing low, beautiful music; and I was not the only traveler wearily finding their way through the city. It was a perfect town.
The road ended at the bank, which glowed white and gold. It was a huge domed building, as if a god had decided to take the sun down from the sky and plant it in the middle of our town. There were marble archways leading up to the solid gold steps. I followed them through the wide-open golden door into a huge hall – the kind of room that, if I had been younger, I would have called, ‘echo!’ and listened for my voice bounce off the gilded walls.
There was a line of about fifteen people at the far end of the room, waiting for their turn with the wizened vault clerk manning the huge golden desk labeled WITHDRAWLS. I took a place in line and looked around.
To my left and right were doors, one labeled VIEWING ROOMS and the other OFFICES in a very bold type. There was also a big golden machine with one little slot in it labeled DESTROYER: For Shredding Nightmares. Some people traveled for weeks just to rid one nightmare from their head. In front of me was the desk and the clerk. I observed how the withdrawal system worked: the person in line would hand him a key and a copper for his trouble; he would open a golden door behind him and emerge minutes later carrying a stack of dreams. This was a long process if you multiply it by fifteen, however, and it was an hour before I was finally seen.
The clerk smiled genially as I slid the coin across the gold desk. “And just what can I do for you, girl?”
“Please sir, could you check my Ma’s vault? Bring all her dreams out. I need to find a special one.”
“Don’t we all. But first I need proof you are her daughter before I can let you see her dreams.”
I showed him my own key and Ma’s, gave him my name, and he looked it up in a humongous book. Running his finger down the line of registrations, he mumbled “yes, yes, yes. I see. You are who you say you are.” He took the key I offered him, Ma’s key. An eternity passed, then –
The clerk came back with nothing but the key, which he handed back to me with a pitying smile. “I’m sorry, little girl, but there’s nothing in there.”
“What? But Ma said it would be here. You don’t understand. See, I must find this dream – “
“Sorry; there’s nothing.” He thought for a second. “Would you like to see your vault? Sometimes there are mix-ups with families’ vaults.”
“I suppose.” I gave him my key.
He came back five minutes later with a large stack of files. “Aren’t we quite the impressive dreamer.” I could tell he was amazed by the amount of dreams I had.
“Is it odd for me to dream so much?”
“Not odd, just…very uncommon.” He peered at me again. “What was your name?”
“Gwynivere. My vault’s 44921.” I watched as he made a little note by my name. “What’s that for?”
“We like to know who our most impressive dreamers are, just in case.” He pushed the files forward, distracting me from asking, ‘just in case of what?’ “Why don’t you go take a seat over there, little missy, and look through them.”
I thanked him and sat on a chair on the side of the hall. The first file was the most common dream I had. I smiled as I recalled it. A very foolish one, but interesting nonetheless. There were a few others like it, and then a nightmare. I shuddered and threw it into the destroyer, and I heard a ghastly sound of ripping paper being reduced to confetti along with the faintest sound of that thing. I went along like this for quite some time, but could not find any dream I was not acquainted with. However, I did have a lovely time recalling all those dreams I had had. Some felt like premonitions or visions, whereas some were purely fantastical. I reached the end of the stack and gave it back to him, along with my key. “Please put them back. I don’t understand, though. She told me it would be here!”
He looked at me differently this time, almost sadly. “If they aren’t there, I don’t know what happened. Dreams never disappear, you know. They always live on somewhere.” He paused and shook his head. “I’m awfully sorry, but there isn’t anything I can do.”
“Thank you anyways.”
“Good-bye. Next!” he shouted to the little lady behind me. He took her key and locked my dreams back up in the vault somewhere in the darkness behind him.
Copyright Joanna Rutter 2008 (c)