A conversation with a philosophy professor about a repeating dream beginning prompts a revelation.
For the past three months, my dreams began with waking up in my own room with a man in a white suit with pink accents on the end of my bed. He would encourage me to go through my bedroom door where I would be in some alternative reality for the rest of the dream. Regardless of what happened, I woke up refreshed. Still, with the way the dreams always started the same, it began to bother me.
I considered taking a psychological or a dream interruption class, but while doing some research I stumbled upon an online philosophy class taught by a fellow journalist, Hank Williams. In the sample lesson, he spoke with such wisdom and insight one would gain from interviewing numerous people. I was hooked.
Eventually after several classes, I got to have a one-on-one videoconference session with my professor. I started out by asking him course related questions, but the conversation drifted over to the subject of dreams and I solicited him for his thoughts on mine. He asked me questions I never considered and he seemed particularly interested in the man and the door I would go though.
“Do you recall seeing this man in your life before you started to have these dreams with him?” Hank asked.
“I don’t believe so,” I replied.
“Is this man always alone or is someone with him? A woman perhaps?”
“No, it’s just him.”
“Have you ever tried to touch this man to make sure he was there?”
“No, I never thought to do that.”
“This door you would go through, are you sure it was your door? Did the weight and movement of the door feel different from your real door?”
“I didn’t really notice anything…”
Our conversation ended with him saying he would like to discuss the subject further tomorrow. He was curious if our chat would alter my dream. I didn’t think it would, but I said I would be glad to talk to him again tomorrow.
Upon waking up in the dream, my philosophy professor sat at the end of my bed. He wore a dark brown suit under a light brown overcoat, being a stark difference between the man in the white suit who would normally sit there.
“Strange, isn’t it?” Hank commented.
I took a moment to startup my brain to process some words. “Hank?”
“Please, call me Quis.” He walked over to my door. “This isn’t really a dream and neither were those dreams you had.”
With those words, everything suddenly felt so real. It was like a fog had been lifted from my brain. My face got red with awkwardness, but Quis wasn’t paying any attention to me as he turned the door knob. On the other side was a sunny forest. He closed the door like a person who had gotten what they needed out of a fridge.
“When did you get this door replaced?” Quis asked, like he knew it was new.
“About a few months ago, actually,” I said, shocked.
“Then the dreams started, didn’t they?”
My jaw dropped. “Yes, they did.”
“Do you remember what the person looked like who installed it?”
“I do. I only remember her because she wore a red dress, which I thought was unusual, but I hate fashion criticisms myself.”
“Black hair, right?”
“That would be Raven.” Quis gripped the door knob and yanked it out from the door. “That should put an end to their work. If you do run into my siblings, send them my regards.”
He tossed the broken pieces on the floor and left my apartment. I knew I wasn’t dreaming because I didn’t fall back asleep.
The final weekly short story for the year was inspired by the writing prompt: “You wake up from one of those dreams again. It starts in your own bed, in your real room, only outside the door is an alternate reality every time. The man you see in every dream was your Philosophy teacher this time. Who is he? ‘Strange, isn’t it?’ He says from the end of your bed.”
I thought this prompt would be a fun way to feature Quis again as I only wrote one story, Interview Spoilers, about the end-timer. I got to show a different side of him as previously he was portrayed as just a journalist, but like all the other end-timers, he does take on other roles.
I hope you all have been enjoying the weekly stories this year! For the most part, I did keep up with my goal of releasing a new story every week with the exception being around A Killer Among the Spaceship Game Show, which took me two weeks to write part one and another week to finish it with part two.
I’ll talk more about my plans for 2021 later, but fun fact: The total word count of all my short stories this year (at the time I’m writing this) was 47,518 words. I do plan to revisit all of my stories, send them to an editor, and publish them as a book.
If you’re on Reddit, I have a forum for my fictional universe so join the community today!
Thank you for reading!