In the dream I’m standing on the beach. The water is glassy calm, reflecting a golden sky. It is late afternoon, I think. In my dream. Yes, late afternoon sounds about right.
I am omniscient, in my dream. I am nowhere and I am everywhere. I see a boy on the beach and know that the boy is actually me. I’m seeing the boy through the eyes of a gull as it circles in flight with fish on its mind, my mind. The boy picks up a flat stone and skips it skilfully across the calm water. I am the stone, and the water it disturbs, as well. There’s anger in his arm, I can feel it. A sense of pride washes over me and over him at the sight of the skipping stone.
Curiosity flies me in closer. I see his face clearly now, through my seagull eyes. He’s been crying, the boy. His jacket’s ripped and his upper lip is caked with blood that’s dried. His shoulders are hunched forward in defeat. He’s been running. Not just today, but for a very long time. Longer than any 10 year old should have to run.
Once more I circle in, dive down, then back up again. The boy raises his eyes, noticing me for the first time. I want to tell him things will get better. How one day he’ll escape this world that owns him. Nothing is forever. One day, decades from now, he’ll be back to this very spot to take a photo of this scene. He will be happy on that day and he won’t remember this one.
The boy turns his back on the water and the sun and the gulls, me included. He walks up the bank and heads back towards the park.
I watch him walk away then turn myself and fly straight towards the setting sun. It’s warmth on my face feels good. It helps me forget.
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