A bright light, one single bright light, yet in every conceivable direction of three-dimensional space. That’s all Yamagata could see. He didn’t know how he got there, or how to get out. There seemed to be a physical floor to stand on, yet it wasn’t any more visible than anything else. He couldn’t even see himself, it was hard to be certain if he was even moving his head when everything looked like the same. There was nothing he could do except wait. There were no sounds to be heard, not even his own voice. No matter how hard he tried to speak, nothing happened. Suddenly, and abruptly, he heard someone say,
“G...Goodmorning? Who are you?” He timidly answers.
“I am you” The voice replies.
Yamagata’s alarm began to ring, suddenly he was lying in his bed, like nothing happened, but how? He couldn't understand how he could possibly have ended up back there, who would have brought him home, how did they get in the door? He had so many unanswered questions. All he could remember was going to the market for groceries. He checked his phone before getting out of bed, it was Saturday, the clock said “8:07 AM”. At first he didn’t notice anything strange, but then he realized. Yesterday was Saturday, wasn’t it? Saturday was the day he left for the market in the early morning. Out of a belief that time is linear and that the whole day must have been a dream, he went about his morning, again.
From his shower, to combing his hair, it all felt like he’d done this before. He continued to shake it off as a strange dream that he couldn’t seem to remember. He walked out into the kitchen and flipped on the light. As he pulled out the kettle for his morning tea, he got another strong sense of having done this already! This time he couldn’t shake it, it wasn’t like another morning, something was off. He set the kettle down, in disbelief that any of this was real. He knew this had to be a dream too, or that this was the dream and he hadn’t woken up from the market incident. Whatever the case, he wanted out! He went back to his room, sat on his futon, and began pondering everything he could remember about the market. He thought about his walk through the streets, the street lamps, the dogs. Everything started going blurry as far as the market entrance, The last thing he remembered was stepping into that market.
“Well, off to the market I suppose, I still need those groceries anyway.” He said to himself quietly.
Yamagata gathered his things and left the house, He walked the same route he remembered going through last time. He walked past a dog on the way, then another identical dog, and then 3 more identical dogs. Things were getting uncomfortably similar to last time, thankfully he was fully awake this time around. Though, he still couldn’t be certain whether he dreamed everything he remembered, or if this was in-fact the dream. Alas, he arrived at the market. Just as he expected, everything seemed normal, which was quite the relief. He began searching for the items on his list, hoping to put recent events behind him for a while. One item after another, things started to feel perfectly real.
He found every single item on his list, and grabbed some lunch too! He ventured out of the market with the intention of enjoying a nice lunch at home, in peace.
At this point, Yamagata believed for certain that he must have dreamed that whole Saturday morning he felt so sure was real. He chuckled over the mind-games he must be playing with himself. Even still, he desperately wanted to remember more, he knew there was something more to that dream. The scent of the friend rice balls and cutlet he purchased invaded his mind and distracted him from his worries
“Ah, time to eat.” He said to himself.
Yamagata took a seat on the cold floor, with a delightfully organized meal sitting right in front of him. He was as hungry as can be, yet couldn't seem to pick up the tray. All he could do was think about that dream. Whether it was or wasn’t a dream, and what happened? Gripping his chopsticks firmly, he grabbed one fried rice ball and tossed it into his mouth with great frustration.
“There must be more!” He thought.
Out of nowhere, he remembered the tall man. The tall man that he encountered at the market. It was vivid, his face, and his hands. Yamagata remembered everything about the tall man he saw. The only thing he could do was find that man , hoping for some answers. Though, the man might not even exist, it was a dream after all. At least that’s what he thought. Time was passing quickly, it was far too late to go searching now. The plan was set for tomorrow, as early as he could go. For now, the evening was to consist of video games.
By sunset, Yamagata was exhausted, and could only think of his futon. Though he slightly feared sleeping, as his past few dreams have been worse than nightmares. Hoping for a normal dream, or no dream at all, he went to sleep. In a matter of minutes, he was already engulfed in a dream world. This time, a vast open field surrounded him. There were various types of flowers blooming all around him, as if time were five times faster. Yet again, he was fully aware of his dream, he had full control. At first, every direction he looked was an open field. As he thought about it further, taking note of the strange feeling that came with being aware in your dream. He remembered everything, everything he was told he'd forget. The coffee shop and the figure that stood before him. The voice that spoke to him from the bright light, he remembered every detail. Yet he was still standing in the open field. It was all so confusing he could barely take it, there was so much he couldn't understand.
Yamagata dropped to his knees. He didnt know who he intended to speak to, or why. He yelled out toward the open field as loud as he could, knowing there had to be someone there. All he wanted was some peace in his life, and maybe a few answers to explain this. As he sat there, looking down at the ground before him, a set of large black boots stood right infront of him. Shocked, Yamagata lifted his head up and saw the same large figure from the coffee shop incident. It had to be the same guy, no doubt.
"Stand up, Yamagata Yoichi."
Yamagata hesitated to stand, and when he tried, he felt too weak. What was this odd sense of exhaustion he couldn't seem to shake all the sudden? The large figure, still shadowy even in the sunshine, reached out a hand to Yamagata. Though uncertain what kind of situation he was in, Yamagata accepted the figure's help. Once back on his feet, Yamagata tried to say something, but was immediately interrupted.
"Tell me how you reached this place, Yoichi."
"I... I just went to sleep, like normal."
"Yoichi! It is true, this is Dreamscape, yet it is quite peculiar for a lowly human like you to break from the daze this land inhibits on you. Every time a human 'dreams', they are actually projecting their own conciousness here, to Dreamscape. We here, well... the people like me here, have come to understand this nature quite well. We have designated specific areas for you humans to reside while in your trance. So, tell me, how is it that your here talking to me? Not once in Dreamscape history has a human spoken a single word to us, let alone escaped their dream trance long enough to see us."
"This has to be a dream, this can't be real, it can't be."
"Oh, it's both a dream and real. You see, this realm is still quite foreign to us, it's not our homeland. We as a people originated in a dimension very similiar to your own. The dimension, however, was slowly falling apart, even this we do not understand. We knew about multiple dimensions of reality, yet we were very far from feasable transport between them. There was no hope for us, until one of our best professors in the dimensional field found a way to do exactly what you have done here today. It wasn't easy, but we found a way to preserve our bodies in a permanent cryogenic state whilst transporting our consciousness to Dreamscape permanently."
"So your dreaming, like me?"
"Yes, and no, I am not dreaming exactly like you. My mind is permanently detached from my orignal body, the cryogenic process wasn't really needed for any practical purpose."
"So you can't die? You just live here in this place forever?"
"Well it's not as bad as it might seem, we don't get locked in a trance like most. Your the first human to reach this part of Dreamscape. As far as we understood, your minds were not strong enough for a full conscious transfer. Every time your mind would project to Dreamscape, it couldn't handle it I suppose. You'd all just get stuck in a trance living out imaginary situations, we actually have an entertainment program where we watch human's dreams."
"That's a little weird, wait, I have questions!"
"Oh! Yes, please ask anything you'd like."
"Are you the man from the coffee shop dream?"
"I... I am, though you weren't supposed to remember that, I suppose being back in Dreamscape activated the memory."
"Why did you try to make me forget?"
"Well, I was observing your dream for entertainment after work, it was rather boring I might add. When you suddenly broke away from your trance, I thought it must have somehow been my doing. Science here says your brains can't handle Dreamscape and I thought if I let you remain here out of your trance, you might die."
"Oh, wait, I might die?!"
"Well you've been here for about an erro already and your not dead yet. Somehow, your fine here. Although im fairly certain if you spend too much time here, your original body will no longer be available to you."
"Oh uh... I think that would be around one thousand hours in human time, im not certain."
"That has to be wrong..."
"Forgive me, I don't understand your time very well, how long does it feel like it has been?"
"Maybe two hours..."
"Ah, well... er..."
"This is still quite strange to me, and if I bring you into town... I don't know how people will react."
"Town? Theres a town here?"
"Yes, infact we have an entire kingdom of our own. Moreover, im bad at human time, however. If one erro is about two of your hours, then we have been settled here for...almost five million of your hours."
"I... That's a long time, uh... wait... what's your name?"
"My name is Saynar. I don't have any special titles."
"Special titles, what do you mean?"
"Well, I just work in an office building filing documents and historical records all day. I don't have any career title to follow my name."
"You make it sound like something to be ashamed of, it's very common not to have some sort of official career title. Though you can always give yourself one based on a hobby you enjoy."
"That's not a bad idea, wow, I could be... Saynar, the Triniball Specialist."
"Uh, I'll show you that some other time. Don't you need to leave Dreamscape before your body dies?"
"My...My body... I don't know how to just wake up all the sudden, and what if I want to come back? Do I Just go to sleep again? I have so many questions..."
Yamagata's mind flooding with memories from the last incident. He remembers the bright light, and the voice claiming to be him.
"Saynar! I can't lose my body! How do I wake up?"
"I don't know..."