I collect shattered dreams. In my room, I hold a jar where every shattered dream I find is stored. I find these dreams in the world outside my room. It is my duty to go into the world beyond my door and collect the shattered dreams of those I come across. If they are left for the world they may become forgotten. It wasn’t that I knew when shattered dreams were abandoned, but I had a duty to uphold. If I were to find these dreams, they may even end up back to their owner. It isn’t that a shattered dream is absolute, but just a complication. Though, it wasn’t that everyone took to these complications in strides.
Dreams take many forms. But they’re usually an amalgamation of those who shattered them. It is without doubt that dreams are personalized by that matter. They hide in the unseen depths that people hold within them. I can never miss one when I see a dream. It’s the gift I was made with. Once inside my jar, they turn into glittering marbles.
On odd days, I can interact with those in the world of the living. It’s not as if they can’t normally see me, but it’s that they choose not to. My presence as a divine is a gust in the wind. It’s a privilege all divines share. But if I were to interact with humans or if they so happened to give enough attention, they’d be able to talk to me. I’m glad for that flaw in our divinity. I reveled in talking to humans.
It was an arid day when the door I opened lead me to a wave of fresh air. I looked around to make sure that no one had noticed the door of the house I came through. The door to my room would guide me into the World of the Living. I trusted its instinct to bring me to where I needed to be. I noticed as my senses came to me the vacuum of sound. I’d usually expect the roar of cars to brandish the air, and the scuffling feet of crowds to send me in a disarray.
I began walking up the streets, listening as my steps filled the air. All around me were houses lined together in watch. The blooming yards of the homes sprouted towards the sky. The brown tiles of the roofs peered towards me. Few streetlights existed. Every so often, I would try to peek through the curtains that laced the homes. Though I didn’t gather much. I watched the crevices between garbage cans and at the small of the telephone poles and bus stops in search for shattered dreams. Eventually, as I came to a cross in the road, I saw a tiny girl skipping her away across the street. I wondered if the girl’s stampeding feet had felt louder due to the absence of sound.
Her bright golden hair fluttered in swirls as the sun sat on top of her. I moved past her as she hummed in happy trills. But as I did so, I saw a shine glimmer beneath her feet.
From the hem of the white summer dress she wore an object begun spinning onto the ground. It clasped its way onto the pavement beneath her. The girl was still skipping along, not a single twitch towards the noise. That was a sure sign that what I witnessed was the shattering of a dream.
It wasn’t in my jurisdiction to stop her. I was only created to collect shattered dreams. However, nothing could stop me from doing what I wanted. I had a hobby. I went over to pick up her shattered dream. It was in the shape of an airplane. The moment my fingers pressed onto its silver wings, her dream came flooding into me. Lily was a young child. She had untapped imagination and potential. I couldn’t keep my eyes off of her when I received her dream. Even before I had made it my hobby, I had always been glued to the humans I saw.
I opened the lid of the jar tied to my waist. I let the airplane slowly descend into the jar, and as it got closer to the entrance it took the shape of a marble. As the shattered dream fell, I held my jar to the sun and watched as it glittered. The clouds soon came to block me.
I ran up after Lily. She was still skipping along and humming to herself. Her hair fluttered in the short winds that came. She outstretched her arms and spun with every other step. As she got close to the edge of the sidewalk, she winded herself back, and leaped forward. Her feet shook upon impact. She laughed as she flailed in balance.
“Are you usually prancing around in the morning?” I said, waving my hand in front of her. Her golden hair was just a few moments from flying off as she stopped. Her eyes widened for a moment, but then they lowered, and she looked at me frozen.
“I saw you having so much fun that I couldn’t help but flag you. I’m summer.” I made sure I spoke with small trills and allowed my words to sit in the air. Her eyes beamed and her face grew. I smiled for her.
“That’s an amazing name!” She said as she jumped towards me. I couldn’t help but to chuckle along with her energy. Throughout all my time in the World of the Living, I always found myself attached to children. I wished I could see the world through their eyes, and be like them. That way I could always talk to humans.
“Summer!” She repeated as her eyes lit up. She began running figure eights on the spot. Her arms flailed to her side as if she was gliding. The clouds rolled over us as she was laughing into the air. The shade consumed her, and she continued to turn into another street. I followed suit, seeing her trace her hands on the overgrowth attached to the fences of the homes.
“My name is Lily!” She said as she turned. She smiled from one end of her face to the other.
“A Lily in Summer. Now that’s a nice combination. You like summer?” I asked in jest. She turned and nodded. Her fingers were delicate as she moved. Soon the fences would disperse, and she turned into another road. She didn’t look as we crossed.
“It’s my favorite season!” Her steps bounced with every word she spoke. However not a single other person was there to receive her voice.
“What’s your favorite season?” She began to race up the street, gliding along. I picked up a shattered dream in passing.
“Maybe winter.” She stopped, her mouth agape. Her eyes were wide and her hands shook. I couldn’t help but laugh.
“Winter!? That’ can’t be! Your name is Summer!” I wondered if she could turn a switch to lower her voice. It seemed that a few curtains were fluttering in response to her energy.
“The summer heat isn’t exactly my style.” I lied. My body wasn’t designed to be affected by heat or cold. I could understand when a temperature change is made, but I couldn’t understand the pain it caused. Though I honestly did like winter.
“Summer is so great though!” She opened her arms. I laughed. She jumped up, as if all her energy had burst and came crashing towards me.
“You even smell like summer!” Before I could respond, she started skipping up the sidewalk.
“I don’t know what that means but thanks.” She began shifting her weight, and stepped onto the cracks between the pavement. Before making another step, she jumped onto the crack in-front of her. Her humming buzzed in the air, following the shrill cries of cries of whistling leaves. I wondered how I would try to probe the topic of her shattered dream. Another glinted at me from the edge of a man-hole.
“Watching you be out and about makes me want to cry.” She laughed as she jumped onto another crack.
“It also makes me want to fly.” As she came to another land, she stopped and turned towards me. Her eyes simmered down, and her breathing came to a slow. She let me catch up to her. And as I walked in front of her, she held her arms out and glided slowly to follow.
“Do you know how to fly?” Her voice rung slowly in my ears. Her words were soft. We came to another intersection. Both ways led to a plethora of homes. In the air was the sweet scent of garden flowers and wood chippings. I let her pick a direction before continuing.
“I wish I did. It would be quite fun being able to fly. You’d be able to go anywhere, and see anyone. You’d be able to be close your eyes and listen to the wind. I’d like to try it one day.” I answered honestly. I never really understood why or how I talked the way I did. I’ve lost time collecting shattered dreams. I’ve lost memories. I’ve forgotten people. But I always felt close to humans. No matter what. They warmed me. If I told a divine that I’d be ousted.
“You can even sing with the birds,” Lily added as her steps grew. I saw her smile to herself. Her hair lowered as the clouds came again. Though some of the sun still peeked through. That sunlight would bounce off of the streets, shimmer in window panes, and find itself on the roof of trees. The grass danced around us as we turned another street. I noticed eyes peering at us. Lily didn’t look up from the ground.
“And if you fly, you won’t get tired of walking. You won’t get tired of skipping, or running. Or even being out in a morning like this,” I added in jest.
“Even if I can fly, I’m afraid to fly,” Lily said as she leaned down to pick up a stone.
“What’s there to be afraid of?” She churned the stone in her palms. Another shattered dream found its way behind a pole.
“I could fall. Or maybe if I forget how to fly one day, I won’t be able to.” Lily dropped the stone before continuing.
“But you’d be ecstatic. If I could fly it’d be the only thing I think of, and I’d want to be the best at it.” I rebutted. Lily smiled lightly before walking with a light lull in her steps.
“Things that fly often crash. Like planes.” Her voice stung the air. She brought her arms behind her back. The draft that came with her followed her steps.
“I hear it all the time on the news, and my sister always talks about how sad that must be. I must be really lucky then–” She started as she ran ahead of me.
“My parent’s flew and they’re just fine,” Her smile was brimming with teeth, but her eyes avoided my gaze.
The streets opened up. We were at the top of a hill now. Looking down to where the sidewalk led made me wonder about the safety of the town. However, Lily burst down the sidewalk, running down the slope without trouble. She turned halfway down her sprint and waved me over. I could hear the ringing of wind chimes blowing in the distance. I began to follow her down the slope.