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She’s having another nightmare, tossing and turning in her sleep. Sweat is beading on her forehead, she cries out with a weak “No!” Declan shakes its head with sadness. *This one never seems to have pleasant dreams.* It places its hand on her forehead and dives into this dream to end it if necessary.
Declan falls onto the floor with a thud, it’s tile and dirty by the look and feel of it. Declan grimaces, *High school*. The lockers in this hallway are maroon just like one of the schools’ two colors: maroon and white. Declan looks around; The Dreamer seems to have put every detail in place. From the dim fluorescent lights to gum wrappers on the floor.
Then Declan sees her, The Dreamer is so incredibly small, and the people around her are gigantic. Then they start to change form, most of them growing horns and spurting fur that is mismatched. They’ve turned into monsters now, monsters that she must face herself.
Declan steps back and watches, ready to intervene. The monsters are taunting her, laughing at The Dreamer, basically bullying her.
“Say it, just say it. It’s not that hard, come on. Watch and learn.” A slur of foul words streams from the mouth of this first beast. “Say it! Say it you little worthless loser!” The beast slaps her across the face, leaving a red mark where its hand(?) had been. She looks up defiant, and stands up as tall as her tiny body will allow her too and looks the monster straight in the eyes. “No.” With a scream this monster has vaporized into the air. Declan notices that the dreamer isn’t as short as she used to be anymore; she’s gained some height.
The next monster has come into place, and smells of smoke. The monster sputters and coughs, a trail of smoke rings follow into the air. “It’s not so bad”, this monster has a wheezy voice, “Come and try; just one won’t hurt you –“ “Never.” With a puff of smoke, this beast has also been vanquished. The Dreamer is now a bit taller and has a gleam of confidence in her eyes. She never knew that such small words had such great power.
Declan loosens its grip on a sword as it watches her defeat monster after monster, and comes to a realization. These aren’t just any monsters; these are temptations that she faces. From cursing, smoking, drinking, and lying to disrespecting her parents and much more. She’s not perfect though, and falls down occasionally, but always defeats the monster in the end. She seems so happy and proud, full of confidence. They are all gone! The Dreamer has defeated them all!
But…then someone else appears. *This doesn’t look like a monster but still best to be cautious all the same. It’s hard to distinguish friend from foe at times.* As the creature draws closer to her; Declan gets a good look at this mysterious being and gasps. * It’s a beautiful creature, but…something seems a bit off. I can’t put my finger on it…* Then Declan sees, the presence of this creature has made The Dreamer shaky and lose the gleam of confidence in her eye.
*Another beast, but what could it represent?* Declan is dying to help, but this is a battle of her own that The Dreamer must go through. *She’s strong enough, I know she is…. She has to be!*
“You’ll never be good enough. You do know that don’t you?” This monster has a voice that is hoarse and grotesque despite a beautiful exterior. *Don’t judge a book by its cover I guess. Wait... whose face is that? This beast doesn’t, oh. I see.* This beast has a face that shifts to everyone in the media calls beautiful, successful, important. The heroes and yet at the same time enemies of all girls; both young and old. They strive to be like them and destroy themselves in the process. *I never thought The Dreamer would struggle with this of all things, but she is human. Prone to the same weaknesses as everyone else no matter how much she denies it.* “You’re not pretty enough, not smart enough, and not talented enough. You can’t do anything right. Last in everything to everyone.” The Dreamer nods, dejected, and has shrunk back down again, a rejected look on her face.
*You little twit…Just wait until I get my hands on you…. Wait. Who are they? I just hope that they’re not more monsters. Although in this nightmare, it’s more than likely.*
But these “monsters” do something different than the other ones have done. They stand beside her and they look human enough. One of the ones that stands next to her takes her hand to hold and whispers something in her ear that Declan can’t hear, but must have been positive. A twinkle appears in The Dreamer’s eyes and she smiles broadly. She steps up to face the beautiful monster, and what Declan now recognizes as The Dreamers friends and family stands behind her.
“You’re wrong.” The monster blinks and takes a step forward, ready to taunt but The Dreamer interrupts before the monster can start. “I may not, and in fact I know I’m not the most pretty, talented, smartest person on the face of the earth. But-” She looks behind herself into the faces of everyone she loves and smiles, “But they don’t seem to mind. In fact, they seem to think that I’m pretty cool and don’t want me to change.” The Dreamer’s smile broadens, “Now go away and leave me alone. You do know that, don’t you?” *Sassy, nice touch.*
The whole time that The Dreamer had been speaking, the beast of lack of self- confidence and lack of self- worth had been disintegrating. Beams of light from behind had been destroying it piece by piece. By the end of The Dreamer telling this beast to leave her alone, it was gone. The final monster had been defeated!
*Good job, looks like I wasn’t needed here after all.* Declan put its sword back, as The Dreamer’s friends and family gathered around her. The dream shifts with her happiness, instead of a dirty high school, the dream was now taking place in an endless meadow with picnic tables and sunshine. The Dreamer was full of joy, and it radiated around her.
Declan exited the nightmare turned into a dream and looked down at the sleeping face. *She’s smiling.*
*Sweet dreams Samantha.*