Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Dream Harvest
By David Castlewitz

Bobbi Bix arranged his strawberry wig so its curls decorated his narrow shoulders, shrugged into his favorite blue cape, and skipped onstage to the usual applause. Bumbles flying close to the hive’s ceiling drummed the air with their translucent wings. Worms and woolies slapped their tails against the benches, clapping with as much enthusiasm as the centipedes and ants and crickets filling the auditorium.

The emcee stood on the rear-most of his many legs, his hands high above his multi-faceted eyes, his antennae twitching in a gesture for quiet. Bobbi Bix stepped forward. A pixie among the insects, he was widely known as the greatest dream harvester ever to grace the world.

Tonight he’d top all expectations.

The fireflies dimmed their glow. The balcony dwellers leaned forward and the grandstand’s supporting struts groaned. Gnats and worms and woolies squirmed across the open floor fronting the stage. Bobbi Bix smiled into their impatient gaze. These creatures loved viewing the dreams he gleaned from sleeping humans. They loved the spectacle of the cannot-ever-be that harvesters like Bix culled for their delight.

Early in his career he’d been told, “You can’t bring us nightmares.” He took that as a challenge. And tonight he’d prove that he could.

His masterpiece filled the silk screen hanging on the wall. The audience cheered. Applauded.

And then gasped. Collectively.

The emcee bounded onstage, using six pairs of his many legs to gain speed and traction. “You can’t bring us nightmares,” he shouted. “You can’t! You can’t!”

“But I can. And I did!” Bobbi Bix retorted. “I can do anything I want and no one can say otherwise.”

“You can, but you shouldn’t. You should not.”

Bobbi Bix looked at his greatest harvest flickering on the screen. He’d gathered it from a thrashing, shuddering boy while braving the thunder and chaos inside the sleeper’s ear.

“Should not?” he asked. Gnats and ants howled; worms wailed; fireflies and wasps fought to flee in a whirling knot through the narrow single door.

“Should not. Should not,” the emcee moaned, while his and Bobbi Bix’s world dissolved. On screen, the nightmare played on, the many creatures of the boy’s dream dancing in a theatre inside a hollow tree, proving to Bix’s stunned and weeping audience that their existence was as unreal as what the child imagined in his sleep.

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Computer programmer by day, dreamer by night...


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