Writing prompt: Humanity has mostly overcome their need for sleep…
Humanity has mostly overcome their need for sleep. You are the lord of dreams, and you are very lonely.
Who would’ve thought I’d be obsolete? I once enjoyed a giant piece of each human’s life, weaving intricate dreams each night. But now, it’s been a hundred years since last I wove dreams for someone. For humans, that’s like a couple of generations. For me, it has been one hundred years of solitude.
It feels as if I have been walking through a dark alleyway with doors into humans’ dreams on each side. I have been knocking every door for over a century, but not a single one has opened up. The doors stand solid like a wall refusing me, Dream Lord, a passage.
I take the glittering sand out of my bag and caress the grains in my fingers. What magic I can weave with these! A sprinkle of my sand and a sky full of mosaic can come to life, shining and glinting, mesmerizing me.
I do not blame the humans. I blame myself. In my craving for stronger pleasure, I have brought this situation over myself. Humans are unaware of my actions and they will always be. The waves of times washed away any of my records as they sloshed away human lives each generation. They don’t recognize my place as bacteria don’t recognize the place of humans. But just like if bacteria stopped working one day, humans would die, humans have taken away my power by straitjacketing the one thing I can do best: craft dreams. I once emanated power like a mighty star, but now I feel like this grain of sand.
It began when humans figured out that to achieve whatever dreams they had, they needed more time. I should have seen that coming. I was the one painting the dreams on the canvas of their sleeping minds. They began to consume coffee and other drugs to sleep fewer hours. Each minute counted for them. I did not think much of it and countered with intensifying my dreams. I managed for a while but then they figured out how to bypass sleep and still get function properly. One day I was soaring high with pleasure, and the next day I was crashing down as if humans shot my wings. The crash was so brutal I haven’t been able to move from my place, so to speak.
My hands quake like the millions of junkies I wove pleasure rides and nightmares for. I don’t despair that I am weak. I despair because I know what power feels like. Power over billions. Now I have to make to with just base animal dreams. It’s either eating something or being eaten by something for animals. They don’t understand any more. I began with a few thousand humans, progressively complicating my shows and nudging them along. I soon found that humans were getting smarter and my horizons of explorations rolled away to the stars. The century after their internet creation was the best. Oh! I never thought then that I was hammering the final nail in my own coffin. A coffin in which I’ll stay alive for eternity.
I accept it now. I should not have been so greedy. I should have pondered over the consequences of my actions. I glide away from the human alleyway and land in the animal kingdom. I see a crow’s open door, take some sand out of my bag and walk inside.
It may take a million years now, but I won’t make the same mistake again. Ha! A million years of slow work. But do I have any other option?
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