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The Dream Factory

Author: Sreejata Ghosh, Educator

The very thought of it gave me goosebumps. ‘Really! The Dream Factory.’ Well, there was no doubt about it as the golden letters on the scarlet card read clearly, ‘Lucky winner. Lilly.P.Ray. Ticket for a day’s tour to the Dream Factory.’

I waited for ‘The Day’ with bated breath and could not sleep in anticipation. Finally the day of my dreams arrived and I found myself standing at the colossal gate of the Dream Factory. A tall and slender tour guide beamed at me. At the entrance he handed me a cup filled with many coloured globules like jelly beans. It read ‘Food for your Thoughts.’

As I entered, I noticed the gigantic warehouse was divided into two halves. “Left-The Good Dreams, Right-The Bad Dreams,” said the guide. I saw fairies, angels, elves and nymphs huddled at the left entrance and giants, monsters, ghouls and ghosts at the right. Further I saw big and small air bubbles. They were called ‘Shapers’ as they would turn into anything we would think of for long. Dreams were being processed in huge boilers and the green potion was being poured into small tubes. These tubes were handed to the various agents who would appear in our dreams. The fairies, angels and nymphs delivered the good dreams and the ghosts and ghouls were in charge of the bad ones. Now I knew why I would see them in my dreams. They always came to deliver the kind of dream I had.

As I moved further ahead to the next section of the warehouse, the guide mentioned, “Now you will see how the best and worst dreams are processed in our warehouse, so hold your breath. First we go to the worst dream section. It is in the dungeon below. We go through the round staircase at your right. Stay strong . This might give you jitters.” 

I turned right and saw the round staircase. As I slowly climbed down I found myself in a dark, fowl-smelling, dank and cold chamber with a huge boiler and a dark grey sticky potion swirling within it. This was how ‘nightmare’ was being processed. The blood sucking vampires standing near it gave a bone-chilling, disdainful look which made my heart sink somewhere to the bottom. Adjacent to this murky chamber there was another room barely lit. I could hardly make out the figures sitting and floating in the room but clearly they were all in excruciating pain as I could hear shrill cries, deep sobs, cursing and writhing on the damp floor. I was shaken, I was petrified. It gave me such a lowly feeling it seemed as if someone had sucked out the life from me. The guide broke my stupor and said these vapour like translucent figures were actually the worst elements of life that tortured humans from time to time. One by one they were to be churned in the boiler to produce the potion of nightmare. I felt giddy and quickly escaped out of the chamber.

Coming upstairs I inhaled fresh air to recollect my senses. The guide seemed to have sensed my state of mind and to make things lighter he proposed to visit the best dream section. To my pleasant surprise I was greeted with the sweetest fragrance as we started moving down the alleyway. It seemed as if I was not walking anymore but just floating in an air bubble. The fragrance came from the prettiest flowers that adorned the alley. The guide mentioned the best dreams were processed in clouds. The last room facing the alley’s end read- Cloud 9. This was our destination.

As the door opened, I found myself literally floating in the blue sky within my spacious air bubble. Patches of clouds were scattered in the sky. I noticed little fairies sitting on each of these clouds and playing the harp. I was in the most beautiful garden of clouds I had ever imagined in my wildest dreams. I said to myself, “This isn’t real for sure!” I couldn’t believe my eyes. Was I dreaming or was this actually happening? 

As I moved further I found some fairies hovering around a silver cauldron kept on a huge fluffy cloud. They looked up and smiled kindly at me. They were busily flying here and there fluttering their little transparent wings adding flower petals, sweet aromatic juices into the golden liquid simmering inside and chiming sweet melodious tunes all along. On other clouds nearby, I saw happy, smiling children playfully running around, little birds chirping enchanting notes sitting on branches. I started wondering if only life could have been a journey through the garden of good dreams. The guide broke my reverie and said, “The sweet smiles of these children, the birds’ cooing and all other beautiful things of the world are added to the golden liquid. It is the best dream potion.” The ambience gave me so much of peace and contentment it seemed as if my heart would rapture in a rhapsody of emotions.

As I made my way back to the main exit of the Dream Factory, the guide handed a little note to me with the same beaming face I had seen earlier that day. I quickly crossed the road and unfolded the small yellow parchment that read, ‘The more we think good, the more we generate good dreams and the more we think bad, well you know what it is!’. I had a spell binding experience and had figured out one thing clearly. From now on I was only going to think good. Who would want the ghouls and the monsters to come to deliver your potion, right?

As I turned around I found the guide still smiling at me standing from the doorway of the factory. I shouted out, “Sorry there. I forgot to ask your name. What’s your name please?” He beamed again generously and replied, “Well little friend, people call me SLEEP.”