Lucidala, a place where dreams are reality and reality is but a dream. It holds wonders, adventures, and romance. Where almost anything is possible as long as you can imagine it. At least, that’s how Amanda explained it to me the next day at work.
“But, there are rules there, King,” she continued, running a hand through her curly black hair.
“How are their rules if anything is possible?” I laughed.
It was my attempt to lighten the mood, while also easing the nervousness I had around Amanda. Her mahogany skin and amber eyes blended perfectly, making it hard to stay focused around her. She was just too pretty, but my joke fell flat, so I became serious.
“Sorry, what are the rules?”
“Okay, now that you are taking this serious, rule number one, and you need to remember these. They are important.”
“Rule number one, stay out of the Forest of Destiny. Do not even go near it. Nobody that has gone in to test the mysterious forest has come back. Nobody, King. They become catatonic out here in the real world. Here but not really here, if that makes sense. Their minds were maybe stuck in-between. Nobody knows.
“That leads to rule number two. Things that happen in Lucidala can affect you here too. Just like regular dreams. You dream about peeing, and then you run the chance of peeing in the bed.”
“That’s nasty,” I laughed.
“We were all kids once. Don’t act bougie!”
“So, if I die there, I die here? That pretty much lines up with every movie I’ve seen about dream worlds.”
“Well, this isn’t a movie, and they got it wrong. If you die, you wake up. Physical injuries don’t translate here, but mental injuries do.”
“I knew a guy that was sent into a psych ward, because he stumbled into someone’s torture dream. He lost his mind from fear. Always be careful where you go. Don’t go into other people’s dreams if you don’t know them.
“Is that what happened to me and you?”
“That was different. We were in the reoccurring dream arena. You would be amazed at how many people have the same type of dreams over and over again.”
“So, two rules?” I asked.
“Two more. If you are in someone else’s dream, you can only abide by the rules that person sets for their dream. You can’t be invulnerable if the person doesn’t allow that in their dream.”
“So, we can dream with others outside of the reoccurring dream arena?”
“Yeah,” she nodded. “Last rule, never pull anyone into your dreamworld without explicit permission first.”
“I got all four rules. I’m ready. Right?”
Amanda giggled at me, and even that was beautiful. A harmonious chorus of angel wings fluttering in the wind.
“You are ready. Whenever you want to visit Lucidala, close your eyes, whisper it in your head three times, and you will fall asleep, and be there.”
“I guess I will try tonight. Thank you for letting me know all of that.”
“No worries. Most of us had a teacher. I am only doing what’s right.”
“Well, thank you anyway.”
I secretly wished she was helping me for other reasons. Not to be nice, but because maybe she had feelings for me like I had secret feelings for her, admiring her from a distance since we began working together.
“So, can I have your permission?” She asked.
I was lost in my thoughts over our sudden friendship, and not understanding what she was asking, but as my question came out, it hit me. The girl I’ve had a crush on for years, the girl of my dreams wanted to bring me into her dreams. The girl who I thought didn’t know I existed.
“Oh… yeah, uh… sure,” I stuttered.
“Good, tonight then. Be sleep by ten.”
I laid in my bed as different emotions washed through me. I felt nervous, scared, excited, and curious all at once. I looked at my phone and it was five minutes until ten o’clock. It was time. I closed my eyes and whispered, “Lucidala” three times. A calm came over me as the comfort of sleep wrapped around me, and when I woke up, I was on a beach. A light breeze tickled my skin, and a bird cawed in the distance.
“Welcome,” Amanda’s voice sounded behind me.
“Hey,” I said, looking around. “Where are we?”
“This is my castle. Everyone has one. It is like a docking station. Your own personal space within Lucidala that connects you to your dreams. It can be whatever you want it to be. Come, let us begin.”
She held her hand out and I took it, her soft touch sending tingles down my spine. She led us to the middle of the island, where a statue of a black lion stood.
“Are you ready?” Amanda asked.
I nodded, even though I wasn’t. I had no idea what type of dream I was stepping into, but it was too late to back out now. I watched as she petted the lion gently even though it was stone, and not made of anything fragile. Golden light burst forth from its eyes, and the light washed over us. I blinked as my surroundings changed. I was in an alley, a black ninja suit had replaced my clothes, and Amanda wore the same, katana blades in each of her hands.
“This mission is either stealth, or going in loud and hot. Which do you prefer?
“What are the rules here?”
“You will have to find that out on your own,” she smirked.
I smiled back at her, as a catalog of fighters scrolled through my mind, Snake Eyes from G.I. Joe, Afro Samurai, Deathstroke from the Batman comics, and every single Jet Li movie I’ve watched. It was gonna be a fun night.
“I say we go in loud and hot,” I said.
“Then let us go meet our enemies, and test their blades. By dawn, my katana’s will be slick with blood!”
“Why are you talking funny?” I asked.
“I’m getting into character!” She hissed at me.
“Oh, okay, well… Let us go dance with death!”
“Like that line isn’t played out,” she laughed. “Now, enough of this idle talk!”
Amanda ran out of the alley, and let out a mighty war cry. I ran behind her as our enemies converged on us. It was a good night indeed.