Sitting on the floor with his knees to his chest, his arms wrapped tightly around them, he rocked back and forth.

“Don’t freak out. Don’t freak out. Don’t freak out!” He tried to prepare himself. “Shit!” There it was.

Once again, his mind had flipped into a psychedelic storm of hallucinations. Flourishes of color began to spiral around him. Vivid neon hues of melodramatic flowers, patterns, and clouds seemed to be dancing around in time with a song that could not be heard loud enough. The song was overwhelming but always refused to quench the desire of the ears.

Somehow, it was always different in the exact same way. At some point, the rhythm would become more intense, the colors speed up, and with all the power of a tempest a final chord was struck, freezing the colors for a moment or two, as if to hold it. This was a constant, however the rhythm would be different from time to time or the refrain might transpire in different shades.

It was a nauseating cyclone that weakened him, but brought a sense of euphoria that could overcome any anxiety of reality. Now, the final chord was hit and as everything came to a halt he stopped rocking. Clenching every muscle in his body, he braced himself for the plummet.

His stomach began to make its way up towards his throat. The long strands of hair on his head shot upwards as the wind screamed past his ears. With a thud, his backside was introduced to the ground of a world filled with colors and themes similar to those that had whirled around him moments before.

Cautiously, he released his limbs from their tensed positions and stretched out. Looking around, he realized he had not been to this particular area before. The sky above him morphed into an array of shapes and colors, as if looking into a kaleidoscope. A breeze, colored in sunlight, drifted past his nose. He allowed his eyes to trail after it, but they shifted over to an orchard of trees that, instead of swaying in the breeze, shot off colored sparks.

They darted over to another oddity. Squirrels with appendages, similar to the wings found on birds, walked up a labyrinth of stairs to their treetop dwellings. The trees they resided in were not those that sparked. These trees were adorned with acorns that seemed to chant a commanding tempo. Could acorns possibly be controlling the squirrels after being oppressed by the creatures for so many years?

Placing his hands on the ground by his knees, he shifted his weight, and pushed himself up so that he was finally on his feet. Even though only a few feet higher, he was just becoming aware of a distinct aroma that must’ve been entwined in the sunlight breeze. Inhaling deeply through his nose, he could taste a hint of citrus and strawberry infused into a base of warm vanilla essence. He could’ve gotten high off of it. His eyes wandered to the place in the sky from which he fell. A [swirling vortex of painted cloud hovered directly above him. In his mind he could only dream of how such a thing could come to be.

Out of nowhere, two hands appeared from the center of the vortex and they reached out in his direction. He began to run as fast as he could but felt as if he was going nowhere; it seemed as if he was being summoned by the whirlpool of cloud above him. He was just beginning to make progress in his fleeing of the two monstrosities and glanced back to see how far he had gotten. They were about halfway between the ever changing stained glass sky and the ground, always within the vortex, which could apparently move through the sky like a rain cloud following you on a bad day. The hands grasped the air in front of them as they moved, it looked like someone swatting at a gnat that no one else could tell was there.

This backwards glance cost the boy a great deal. If he had kept looking ahead of himself, he would have noticed the lake in front of him instead of stepping right into it, full stride. It was not a lake. It was a sort of bog, one that he found extremely difficult to remove himself from. Yes, he was waist deep in a pit of heavy, molasses like, substance that at first glance, would be mistaken as a placid, blue lake. He made a valiant attempt to escape the wicked quagmire, but only sunk deeper.

The hands were right above him now; there shadow was cold and dark, a complete 180° from what he had felt only seconds earlier. He shut his eyes, for he did not want to watch as his unknown foretelling of fate loomed closer and closer. They grasped him by the shoulders and pulled him up. He could feel himself going through the vortex but he only felt a terrible feeling on the inside. There were no colors to be seen, even if he had opened his eyes. Some sort of insignificant factor allowed him to distinguish that he was now out of the vortex completely. Nervously, he opened one eye at a time, being so cautious he looked like a child peering to see what was going on but pretending to be asleep, for it was way past bedtime.

He heard his name. “John. John. Johnny!” Someone shouted. “Wake up! You’re alright!”

Opening his eyes all the way now, he realized it was his brother. What was going on?

“You must’ve been having a dream and slept walked out of your room. That’s the third time this month!”

“Really? I felt like I was falling though. Usually when that happens, I’m downstairs.”

“Well, you were downstairs and you woke me up with a loud thump when you got there. When I came down to get you, you wouldn’t wake up so I pulled you back upstairs.” His brother gave a chuckle, hinting that it should’ve been obvious.

“Whatever”, Johnny shook his head. “All I know is that I was having a really good dream and was sleeping just fine until you decided to shout in my ear. Thanks a lot!” Johnny scoffed and started to trudge back to his bedroom.

And in that matter-of-factly way older siblings tend to speak in when they feel so wise, his brother said, “Not everyone is lucky enough to dream, Johnny…”

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