My head throbs as I blink the world into focus. I glance at the clock, not hearing its persistent beep, ignoring the angry red numbers that tell me I should have been up hours ago. Sighing, I roll over in a foggy daze, roll over back into a gray wasteland–bare except for the deformed, jagged rocks scattered across the barren emptiness. I stumble stupidly along, babbling mindlessly of memories long dead. Memories of sunshine and life… And I continue on languidly, stopping and gazing bleary-eyed at whatever strikes my fancy: a stone, a cloud, the slate gray sands being carried on the winds of eternity.
I wander aimlessly on for a time, until I ascend the rise of the next hill and see a flower… a sweet blossom, growing here all alone in this rain and wind and sunless existence. I stand bewildered, dazed, and numbed with confusion, my mind no longer able to fully process the concepts of beauty and delicate daintiness. I stagger toward this bold trumpet of color, fall on my knees, and sit before it, drinking in the bright hue of each petal. I realize I have tears streaming down my face in gratitude. For the first time in what feels like forever, I can speak, I can yell, sing, cheer, dance! There is hope! There is hope, there IS hope…
And I look up and see something I’d never seen before in all my melancholy eternity past–a door, a metal door that brings to mind vague recollections of an elevator. I push against it and it slides smoothly from my hand, revealing a new world. One with water that doesn’t fall from the sky in icy gray drops, but rather rolls to and fro before a golden shoreline in a waltz of crystal blue and white. I turn to the flower, alone in the grayness behind me, and decide the sun is where it should belong. I rush to pull the tender stem from the dry, cracked earth. In doing so, fibers tear away in jagged strips, leaving a mangled, shredded stem where once there was strength and solidarity. No matter, I’ll replant it in that new place of sunshine and fragrant warmth.
But then the blossom begins to droop and the petals begin to fade. The feather-softness suddenly gives way to a cracked, brittle mass of stinking rot. In a frenzy, I try to run and not to gag as I pleadingly look to the door, which is now silently sliding closed. I run faster, but it seals shut and disappears before my eyes, vanishing with no smoke or even a trace in the sand of where it formerly stood. And I now hold in my hands the putrid remains of a dream.