The Dream Catcher

(unreliable narrator)

Amar Beganovic, Writer

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He woke up in a cold sweat yet again. He sat up and breathed heavily. The pale moonlight shone upon his face through his open shutters. He looked out of the window to attempt to gain any sort of sense of the word ‘calm,’ but all that he could think about were the monstrous images that tormented him in his sleep. The street was empty and the air was still, so this gave him little relief. He had picked up his phone from the bedside table and unlocked it. He then began to sift through the texts his best friend had sent him. This hadn’t taken long though, because she had been away for quite some time now. He didn’t know where, but she wasn’t answering her phone from wherever it was. That was beside the point, however. He soon found the number of the man she had told him to call incase the nightmares had become overbearing. They had, so he called.

* * *

I wiped the sweat from my brow and lifted up my goggles to rest on my forehead. I had been in my basement, or as I liked to call it, my laboratory, making yet another advanced dreamcatcher. I then stood straight up. I had been bent over for a few hours now, and spoke out to myself.

“Being in the nightmare hunting business really is exhausting,” I said, “I suppose it does make sense for them to get more advanced as time goes on, but man…” I stood there and waited for a possible response but realized that I am alone.

“It doesn’t matter. Either way, I’m done,” I said as I picked up the titanium circled that flashed all sorts of colors. It had high density copper strands woven in an intricate pattern with feathers that hung off of it. It was a new-age dreamcatcher I had developed long ago. It was hard work to make them over and over again, as just one took up so much of my time. People just love the product, however, so I had to keep producing them. I couldn’t just let the public down. Whenever I sold a dreamcatcher, I never received a complaint! Of course, there are those who have criticized my work, but they’ve never tried it, so they wouldn’t know.

Just then, the phone rang. I slipped off my lab coat and threw it over my leather chair and then walked over to the phone to pick it up. “Hello?” I answered.

* * *

I knocked on the door of the classic suburban household and waited patiently. The perfectly pink shingles and the well-maintained garden in front reminded me of something from my youth. I dare say the word ‘home’ comes to mind. I was starting to get hot now with my fedora pulled low down over my face and the collar of my coat pulled up against my face. It was uncomfortable, but it was necessary. Many people did not like my specific line of work. They could never understand, so it was a heavy burden indeed.

The door opened abruptly and a jittery man with bags under his eyes looked at me with great relief.

“You must be the dream guy, right?” asked the tired man, “My name is Ben Rogers. Please, come in. Do you want anything? It’s cold in here. What was that?” He droned on as he spoke in abrupt staccato, essentially cutting himself off repeatedly as we walked into his house. When we entered his house, he locked the door behind us.

“Sir, please calm down. I know these nightmares of yours may be troubling, but I have more than the means to help you. Why, you’ll sleep even better than before.” I said as I patted my lead briefcase. I looked at the TV in the corner of the living room and my eyes widened. I even backed away slightly.

The tired man walked up to me and raised an eyebrow. “Um, sir? Is something the matter?” he questioned, “I forgot to pay my television bill through my weary state, so I haven’t been caught up with the recent news.” He said.

My shoulders lowered and I breathed out a sigh of relief. I walked up to the TV and slid the tip of my index finger against the top of it. Then, I rubbed the tip of my index finger against the tip of my thumb. I laughed out slightly as I turned to face the tired man. “Oh, my mistake. I thought there was dust on the TV. I guess that’s just the color of it then…” I said as I continued to stare at the TV for a while. The color of it was brown. I spun on my heels and walked into the hallway. I stood there as I watched the end of it. I did not stare at the wall. I was deep in thought. Gravity seemed to intensify.

The tired man walked over to and past me. Any thought of concern had faded from his mind as his hopes soared for any sort of relief. I followed after him and looked at the photos on the wall as I passed by them. All of the photos looked happy. They looked vibrant. I had no family photos in my house. As I entered his room I instructed him to lay down and he obediently agreed. I set my briefcase down on the left corner of the bed by his feet. I then opened it and peered down at my creation. It glowed and was slightly warm. I put on yellow gloves with a kind of symbol on them as I handled it with caution. I hung the device above his bed with a special adhesive.

“And you’re sure I’ll be able to sleep soundly now? Without a single nightmare?” questioned the tired man.

“Of course. I am the most wanted dream catcher in the world after all. Now hush, and fall into your peaceful deep sleep. The nightmares, or anything for that matter, cannot hurt you now. You will find yourself among the stars through the pure intensity your sleep shall bring about” i said before I smiled. I took off my gloves and put them away. I took my briefcase and left.

* * *

I had walked into my lab and had turned on the TV, but only for background noise, as I found it difficult to focus on more than one thing. I found it silly to try. As I began to make my next dreamcatcher, the TV played as a man spoke, but I didn’t listen.

“Hello. This is Todd Rogers with breaking news.” He hesitated slightly before he continued. Another body has been found in relation to the spring of mysterious deaths as of late. As they all involve one mysterious device that are all made up of the same components, police all over the world are deeming this the work of a mass serial killer dubbed the dream catcher. It appears he is almost always let in without struggle and that the dreamcatchers he places above his victims’ heads exclude a dangerous amount of radioactive waves that completely destroy the brain. Death is brought about within a few hours. Even handling this device can be harmful to exposed skin. Please…” the anchorman paused and began to tear up, “He took my son. This monster killed my son last night…the police found his dead body and our family photos all broken. If anyone has any information pertaining to a man behaving suspiciously in a lab coat and holding a briefcase, please inform any local police station. This man must be brought in,” the newsman continued to talk.

I smiled softly to myself and sat down in my leather chair. I then leaned back and sighed a breath of relief. “I haven’t gotten a call back from that young man with the happy family. I suppose that’s yet another customer satisfied,” I said. I stretched out and leaned back over the desk. I began to work on yet another dreamcatcher.