I collect shattered dreams. However, on that day I didn’t. I propped myself up and felt the linen of the bed sheets on my fingers. My room was unchanging, a white coat that followed every line and crevice. There wasn’t a single light in my room, but it was unbelievably bright. I traced my eyes over a line that ran with the connecting walls. I wondered if one day that line would shift into a blue. I wondered if I would even notice.
“I’ll never get tired seeing you wake up like that,” Lottie said as she flew her way over to my table. Lottie is a part of my existence. She’s a child with light brown hair that wrapped around her body. I dragged her humanity away, turning her into a divine. That was the day I found her shattered dream.
“How is it like to sleep?” I asked. I honestly wondered what it was like to sleep. Sometimes I wished I could be human. Even if only for a moment. Lottie flew over to my side of the bed as I begun to slip out.
“You’re not missing out on much,” Lottie began as she shrugged, “Some people might even say it’s a waste to sleep.”
“And yet you still sleep?” Lottie shrugged. She planted herself in my bed sheets. The thump resounded in the air. A moan followed as she stretched. Her body rolled to face the ceiling.
“For humans it’s not really a choice. If you don’t sleep you’ll die of exhaustion. Your body needs to rest.” I edged over to the ledge of the bed. I watched as Lottie closed her eyes. I stood and traced my hands over the cold of the glass jars on my desk. A single clink from my fingers made my marbles glitter in white.
“And besides,” she continued, “Waking up from a good night of sleep feels amazing.” She smiled with a breath, “Not that you would know.” Another clink and they glittered even brighter.
“Not that I would know any kind of pleasure.” I moved my hand over to the teddy bear propped up at the back of the desk. Its fur danced on the soles of my finger.
“Right. All you ever do on your day off is doze off. I wouldn’t be surprised.” Lottie flew to my desk, and sat beside the smaller jar. She held it in her hands, bringing it towards her face.
“Though we have been going out more often.” She smiled to my side.
“Every once in a while I feel like I need to pay homage to being human.” I smiled. She let down my jar, and opened its lid. Although Lottie was only a part of my existence, she still had her own brand of divinity. She was an expert at gathering information. She placed her hand into the opening, and grabbed a shattered dream. As it left the jar, it became a silver earring. My memory ran a mountain trying to remember the human who gave me that dream. I fell a few thousand feet. Lottie closed her eyes. The earring glimmered in her fingers, and her hair began to rise.
“How was it?” I asked as Lottie lowered the dream back into the jar.
“Incredibly human.” She closed the lid.
“Have you ever given me a reason as to why you brought me over to this world?” Before I could think she placed one hand over her hips and pointed at me, “And I expect a real answer.” I couldn’t help but to laugh.
“Every answer I give is a real answer. I can’t help myself.” Lottie retracted her hand and flew on my shoulder. Her hair fluttered in my face for a moment. She was weightless.
“You’ve been afflicted with so many humans, that I can’t tell when you’re speaking with me, or at me.” Her words stung the air around us. Her grip stiffened on my shoulder. I walked back to my bed, and propped down onto the ledge. I reached my hand over towards Lottie, but never made her skin.
“Do you hate me for that?” Lottie left my shoulders, and flew in front of me, her hands outstretched. I raised my hands, and let her rest her cheeks onto my palms. I didn’t know why I did or said the things I did. When I was first born and made to collect shattered dreams, I did so empty.
“I don’t think I can ever come to hate you anymore.” Her breathing came to a lull. She let go of my hand, and stood floating with her arms behind her back.
“If I came to hate you, I’d be denying myself a chance to be human.” Lottie’s voice simmered into a breeze in the room.
“Yet you’re a divine.” She let out a breath and nodded. I wanted to reach out to her and hold her in my arms. But my body didn’t respond.
“That’s exactly why I can be a human,” she smiled. Everything about us was fake. And yet I found great comfort in knowing that.
“Staying in here would only be depressing,” I started, “If we’re going to talk, it might be better to do it out there, than in here.”
“Do you have a suggestion? It’s not like we can control where we go out anyway.” I smiled without realizing.
“We can’t. But you can.” She smiled. We made our way to my door. Lottie placed one hand over its frame, and closed her eyes. Her body emanated a white aftershave. I held my hand on the knob, ready on her command. I watched her body tense, her pulse growing. As the white glow around her came to blind me, she opened her eyes, and I opened the door.
“I’d expect nothing less from you,” I said in jest. Lottie was panting as the cold air around us stung our bodies. Our hair danced with the wind. As I took a step, a ring resounded on the roof we stood. The door behind us closed in a bellow. The sky was clouded, and an orange paint was rolling its way over towards us. I walked to the ledge of the roof and looked at the empty streets and darkened windows. The air that rolled up our building was quiet.
“Makes you want to be human,” Lottie said as she sat on the ledge. She began kicking her feet, bouncing them off of the concrete. Her hair flayed itself on the grey beneath her.
“Wouldn’t be much human if we were just talking.” I sat beside her. A window’s glow came within view. I watched as the curtains opened. A young woman with short dark hair peered her face against the glass. She opened her window, and took in a breath of the air around her.
“You are a divine who talks. It’s only natural.” I wondered that myself. A car came rushing by on the streets. It stopped for no lights.
“What a gift I am to the World of the Living.” Lottie raised her eyes with a snicker.
“Even so you might be the most dangerous divine yet.” A tree whistled in the distance. It’s cries would alert the woman at the window. Lottie pointed towards the corner store. A lady in white came to sweep the fallen leafs.
“Were you following her?” I smiled.
“Not at all.” The orange blood of the sun washed over us in an instant. Lottie braced her eyes with her hand. The woman at the window watched through the peeks of her roof. I listened to my pulse.
“You’re like a poison,” Lottie said as she lowered her hands. Her face was sandblasted in yellow.
“Would I be a bitter poison, or a sweet poison?” She laughed.
“And you’d be a sweet poison?” She shook her head.
“I’d be the appetizer. If ever a human meet me first, they’d think I’d be a harmless fairy. But even harmless fairies can leave the stench of a divine on a human.” The woman at the window left for a moment. She came out soon after with a steaming cup. She took a sip as she watched the clouds.
“However, as a divine, you only leave a subtle hint. If it was me, they’d be doused in a world they’d never come to understand.” Lottie swayed to her sides.
“That’s why you never have any human friends,” Lottie added with a small smile. She shifted her eyes to the woman I followed.
“That and your door has a mind of its own. You think that’s coffee?” I squinted and saw the black liquid flowing in her cup. She took another sip. Beside her, another window opened. The lights were kept off. A man barely shaven walked out, his hair reaching for the skies. He waved at the woman. They laughed.
“Watching them like this makes me feel–”
“Human.” She nodded. The air began to swirl around us, enrapturing our bodies. It flung Lottie’s hair behind her. I reached my hand over in an attempt to wipe her bangs away. My hand barely connected as she stood on the ledge and began to walk in a light trill.
“If I could be human again, would you come to collect my shattered dream?” Her balance faltered for a second. I laughed at her feigned urgency. My eyes now followed a man on the streets who found a small coin. He let it glimmer in the low light of the morning.
“Would you want to be human?” She turned and began to step over toward me.
“If I could be human, I’d frolic in the sun. I’d wake up without a single worry. I’d play with all the energy I have. I wouldn’t be able to fly, but I’ll try.” She laughed as she skipped a step, and landed on the ledge in front of me. The man walked beyond my view. Lottie spun on the spot, allowing her hair to brush my face. I leaned back and smiled. Her hair smelt of sticks.
“If I could be human, I’d eat. I’d sleep, I’d drink water. I’d never worry about having all of this information in my head. I’d learn, slowly.” Her voice began to simmer. It strained me to hear. The wind muffled her words.
“If I could be human, I might live a better life. I might have a family. I might have a place to call home.” She stopped at the end of the roof. Her foot saddled off of the ledge. She jumped, then appeared shortly after as she floated towards me. She held her hand out to me as her hair blew into her back, wrapping around her. The glow behind her was parted by her body. Her face was in darkness. I stretched my hand out and let her cheek rest on my palm.
“But this is my home now,” she said under her breath.
“Wherever you are, wherever you choose to go, I’ll be there. Whatever you do, whatever you choose to do, I’ll be there. And if you die I’ll die.” Her pulse lightened. I counted each beat. A swirl of wind would wrap around my arm. A single beat. Her hair would flutter. Two beats. A window would light up. Three beats. Before I could get to four, she let go of my hand.
“I’m a divine,” I said, “I can’t die. I won’t die. The same goes for you.” Her eyes lowered, following something I couldn’t see.
“I know. But if you wanted I could die. You could disperse me into the air. All you have to do is think.” She smiled, looked up and tucked her arms behind her hair. She was swaying slightly.
“But unfortunately I’m a divine who talks. That’s all I can ever do,” I said with a smile.
“And collect shattered dreams.” The wind broke as a flock of birds rushed on by. They sung in the atmosphere. The streets began to fill. Before I could watch them, Lottie rushed onto my body. Her head listened to my chest.
“No matter what you say, you have the beat of a human,” her voice carried to my ears in strides. It sung within my mind.
“What does it sound like?”
“A dream.” Her warmth exuded my body. Her pulse came again. A car stopped at the lights. Four beats. A man in a suit ran for a bus. Five beats. The woman at the window closed her curtains. Six beats.
“We’ve derailed from our original topic.” She looked up at me, her face faceless. I reached my hand over, and held it on her head. I rubbed slowly, her hair melding with my skin.
“And I’m sure you’ll say that’s just like being human.” I smiled for her. She nestled herself away from my hand. Though I couldn’t help but pet her anyway. Eventually she gave in. A bird perched itself on the ledge. Seven beats. A horn in the distance. Eight beats. The break of wind from an airplane. Nine beats.
“I’m not sure I can remember why I brought you over when I did. Maybe I didn’t have a reason. But if I told you that, you’d be mad.” I let out a breath and lowered my voice. Ten beats.
“I’m glad you’re here. I’m glad I brought you to this world. I enjoy your company. I’d be lonely without you now.” She didn’t say a word. Our warmth melded into the air. We stayed like that for as long as we could. And so on that day we came to know each other a little better.