I sit on the edge of my seat, studying the man in front of me as I see him doing the impossible. But I know for a fact that in spite of the hovering man, and in spite of the minute, colorful sparkles that emanate from my fingers, making him hover, it is surely all just a big dream.
Let me explain.
As do most of my stories, why should this one start any different? It was a day like any other. December had come and gone, and half a month had withered away in cold. Mid-january had brought with it a confusing climate. Everyone was confounded with whether they needed a jacket or not. Wearing one would prove to be too hot but it’s absence would make them all shiver. Wintery winds were, at least for now, all but extinguished.
It was a day like any other, as I said before. Except for one tiny detail. I had suddenly started to do magic.
Crazy, I know. My normal routine was disturbed by my new found abilities. All I had to do was wake up, get ready, go to work in a cab that I would probably have to share with 8 other people, reach the office premises, work for 9 more hours and then come back home. But as I realised the magical skills within me, I took a long detour from my usual path.
It began something like this: I woke up with a small tingling sensation in my right arm’s fingers. At first, I thought it was just the excessive self-gratification* (just kidding!), but it turned out that tiny yellow and electric blue sparks were jetting out of them. It was a vaguely funny feeling. I almost KNEW what had to be done.
I slowly glanced at my roommate’s bed. It was empty. I knew for a fact that he had left early. I double checked the house nevertheless. It was empty. And so, I raised my right arm, pointed it at the ugly mirror on the wall opposite to my bed, and whispered “Crack, you piece of sh-!”… the mirror broke up into several pieces.
The floor below it was littered with jagged pieces of silvered glass. I marveled at the scene. Had that really happened? Had I really made that happen? Was it real?
I chuckled. Somewhere at the back of my mind, I knew it was a dream. And so I decided to humour my subconscience.
My smile turned upside down. Damn it. I would have to clear up the broken mirror now. But wait, I thought to myself. I could just clear up the pieces of broken mirror with magic!
The brilliant idea laid the foundation of my first big magic spell. I raised my right arm, pointed it at the floor and said “Clear up!”
As if on command, the pieces of mirror picked themselves up the floor and marched across the room to the dustbin in the next room. It was fascinating to see it unfold in front of my eyes. My subconscience was being really creative this morning.
I got dressed lightning fast, and jumped down the stairs. I reached the cab stand so fast, panting and out of breath. You see, magic does not increase one’s intelligence, or else I would’ve simply used magic again to go to office. But me, being silly old me, decided to not only run to the cab stand, but sit in one.
The cab system where I live is such that 9 or 10 people are squeezed into one small car as they are ferried to a common destination. I was one of them. Discomfort and fear mingled in my brains like a tonic. The discomfort was from me being squeezed by Mr Old Fat Man. The fear was from the silly realization that if I had magic, someone else did too. And what if an evil person had magic? Worse, what if they tried to kill me? And what if that made me wake up?
AND WHAT IF I DIDN’T WAKE UP AT ALL?
Stop being silly, it’s only a dream, I consoled myself. A plethora of fantasy TV shows and countless rereadings of Harry Potter had made me paranoid. I swallowed my fear as the cab began rushing through the traffic at top speed.
As the fear subsided, the discomfort did not. It only seemed to grow. And Mr Old Fat guy was being particularly hard to sit next to. So, I did the only thing I could.
No, not politely tell him to adjust in his seat. I gots magic now, bitch. I discreetly pointed my right arm at him and whispered “Comfort me!”
In all fairness, the words were nonsensical. But the magic didn’t need a sensible string of words. At my behest, the cab expanded from a small car into a large bus. I knew for a fact that from the outside the car looked the same. But the inside was a different matter.
Moreover, the other passengers seemed to not notice the new improvement I had made to the car. How strange. I was digging this dream.
The car sped on. As we reached a quarter of the way, the worse thing happened. The car broke down. I groaned in unison with the others. The driver looked apologetic. He tried to calm us down as some shouts erupted from the back seats, and rushed to fix the problem.
I would like to point out once more how stupid I am. The moment the car broke down, I should’ve used my magic to start it back up. But even in my dream, I was being utterly slow and brainless. It took me several moments, and the driver several failed attempts at starting the car, to jump start me into using magic.
I silently pointed at the steering wheel and whispered, together with the mini Rihanna that was dancing in my head in the morning, “Work work work work work!”
The car began to work. The engine began to hum melodiously. There were even some claps. The driver hopped back in and launched the car into a speeding frenzy. It weaved around the traffic smartly.
Did I say smartly? I meant rashly. And in so doing, the car collided with an oncoming truck.
It was a split second thing. I could see the scene unfold against my eyes. Panic rushed through my head faster than my mind could comprehend. The car swerved to its side, it’s door flying open (thank you old fat man for not locking the doors correctly!) and the driver and the passenger at the old fat man’s side flying off.
There was panic and confusion everywhere. People were screaming. I was groaning. My dream was slipping out of my control. It was turning for the worst. And I needed to stop.
The driver was clearly dead. His rash driving had cost him his life. I could do nothing more than gawk at his mangled body spread across the truck’s bottom. The passenger however was still flying across the road, apparently fast asleep.
I looked around at others. They were still craning their necks around slowly, at an agonisingly slow pace. Why were they so slow? And then it hit me – they weren’t slow… I was fast!
The magic, whatever it was, was making me see moments at lightspeed. I could see that the driver’s life was out of my hands but the passenger’s wasn’t. I immediately pointed my right arm at the flying man and said “Save him!”
Sparks flew out of my fingers enthusiastically. If others could see, they would think a light show was going in broad daylight. The sparks hit the man as he hovered inches from the ground. He was neither injured nor harmed. He was simply FLYING in the air like a balloon. He was still unconscious.
And then time sped up. Everyone was not staring at the deceased driver, or the hovering passenger. They were staring at me. And my still sparkling right arm.
Awestruck, they watched as I desperately tried to end this nightmare. They were staring at me out of fear and mystery. They were fascinated by me.
Wake up, wake up, wake up, I repeated under my breath. I pointed my arm at myself and said the same. Nothing happened. As one of the onlookers approached me slowly, I backed away into the wreckage of the car. The other passengers had either crawled out or were helping others. But their eyes were on me.
I mused at the situation. This dream was becoming weirder and weirder as time passed on. But it was definitely seeming like a memorable one. The onlooker was nearly at my side now. She had a queer look to her. Her eyes were wide, her arms broad and open. And I smiled to myself. Any moment now, I was going to wake up. And I would have to take the actual cab to actual work without anything remotely eventful happening.
And as I contemplated whether to write a blog post on this dream, and if I would remember it when I woke up, the onlooker leaned in. She grabbed one of my arms, smiled with her crooked, red stained teeth and pinched me.
A horrible, fleeting realization struck me harder than a kinky husband consensually** spanking his submissive wife. And before I knew it, I was confronting a horrible truth:
The dream full of magic… was not a dream. Fuck.
*I don’t know why I put this silly joke in, a crass attempt at humour I guess.
**Added the consensually to avoid controversy.
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