Willie opened his eyes slowly, with a smile on his face that only meant one thing. He had dreamt his 10th dream.
He struggled to remember the details of the dream.
Silver fields of fragile snow, the moonlight on its alley advancing to cast ghosts of white, and the wisps of frost chanted a chorus to which the stars shone and shimmered. It was a beautiful dream. And it saddened Willie that very soon he will forget it. He got to his feet, held the dream catcher that hung above his bed and closed his eyes.
A kaleidoscope of colors danced on his bedroom walls, and as the snow filled dream was cast in the net he held in his hands, and all memory of it left Willie. He opened his eyes to see The Seeker standing in the shadow of a corner. Willie’s eyes widened with joy, but as The Seeker stepped in the moonlight that filtered through the thin curtains of his window, the smile left Willie’s face.
“You are growing old, Dream Seeker.”
Willie seemed concerned, for when he had met The Seeker a year ago, he had been very young, of his own age. But every time he would visit, he seemed to grow much older.
“I am not. I am as eternal as dreams are to sleep. I have lived since the moment The First Man had closed his eyes, and shall live until the eyes of all men are closed to their final sleep.”
Willie was unconvinced. But he forced a smile as he handed The Seeker his dream catcher.
“Here are your 10 dreams. It has taken me a lot of time to gather them all. I have not had many dreams lately.”
A sad smile lay heavy on The Seeker’s face. He took the Catcher in a wrinkled hand, shaking from his old age.
“Here is your golden coin, Willie.”
Willie’s eyes shone as The Seeker handed him the price for his dreams. He would finally buy his little sister Yara that dress she’d wanted.
“Thank you Seeker.” He said excitedly as he hid the coin in a rolled sock and put it in his drawer.
The Dream Seeker’s face was full of gloom as he stood watching Willie with eyes weary of age that needed their share of endless sleep.
“Willie,” he started hesitantly.
Willie was too busy fumbling in his drawer and making sure no one would find his golden coin.
“Willie.” The Seeker said with same sad voice. “I must tell you.”
Willie was done as he turned to The Seeker with eyes that would not listen.
“I must tell you…” He paused for a little while. “It is my duty to tell you, that tonight will be the end of my visits. I cannot come anymore.”
Willie’s eyes finally began to listen. They widened as The Seeker looked at him, concerned.
“Yes you will. I will gather 10 more dreams, and you will visit, like you always do. It will take me some time, like I said I have not been dreaming a lot lately, maybe because I have not been sleeping well. But I surely will gather them. You will come again, won’t you? When I give you the next 10 dreams?”
The Seeker sighed, as he fixed his eyes upon Willie’s.
“Willie. Tonight you had your last dream. From this day forward, you shall dream no more.”
Willie was horror struck. How could he ever stop dreaming? Without dreams he would not be able to get any golden coins. Without dreams he will no longer be able to give his little sister any money, or buy her gifts that made her smile.
“Yes I will. I will sleep better, I promise. I will make sure of that. Please don’t make me stop dreaming. Please.” Tears swelled in his eyes as he fumbled for words.
“Willie. Little Willie. I only gather dreams. I buy them only to sell them to others. I do not control them. But it is my duty to tell you whenever your dreaming comes to its end.”
“But why? Seeker, I need my dreams. I do. How—“ Willie was sobbing and crying. “How can I live without dreams?”
“From the first time we met, I told you that even though I would pay you with gold, but you would be the one to pay the highest price.”
Willie by then was crying.
“I must go, Willie.”
“No, please don’t. I will buy dreams from you. Here is your coin. I want my dreams back.”
“I am sorry Willie, but I told you once. When you sell, you may no longer buy.”
Willie’s tears came flooding to the floor when the kaleidoscope lit his room, and The Dream Seeker was gone taking with him the catcher which Willie had filled for the past year.
He sat on his bed, crying and sobbing. From that day on, he would sleep dreamless. He thought about how many forgotten dreams he’d had. And although he could not remember them, he remembered one thing: The only reason he would wake in the morning was to sleep again, and dream again.
A light knock on his door startled Willie and he tried to wipe the tears with his bed sheets. Yara, his little sister came in, and looked at him.
“Why are you sad Willie.” She was almost at the verge of tears herself at the sight of her brother crying.
“It is nothing my love. I will not trouble your little heart. Go to sleep, and may you have plenty of dreams.” He smiled through his tears and kissed his beloved sister’s cheek.
“I just woke up. I was having a beautiful dream.” She wrinkled her nose trying to remember. “I was flying waaaay high, and dancing on clouds. And I saw the birds and talked to them.”
“You are a lucky little girl.” He kissed her again gently, as tears came back. “Unlike me, I’m afraid from tonight I shall have no more dreams.”
“That’s silly, everyone dreams.”
“Not me. You will not believe if I told you.”
“Tell me what, Willie?”
“I have sold my dreams for golden coins.”
His sister’s eyes widened and shone bright.
“You mean to The Dream Seeker?
Willie’s tears stopped and he looked at his sweet sister. How could she know about the Seeker? He was horrified to know his sister was selling her dreams too.
“You know The Dream Seeker?”
“Of course I do.” She jumped off her bed and went out the room, only to come back a moment later, holding her little dream catcher.
“He comes to me every month.” As she handed him the catcher Willie wanted to yell at her. Stop her from selling her dreams. He had paid a high price and will not let his sister do it too.
“Yara, no. Destroy it. You do not know what you are doing. You will regret ever selling your dreams. I won’t let you.”
Yara laughed innocently and looked at her brother.
“I don’t sell my dreams silly. I use the money you give me to buy new ones.”
Willie was speechless.
“Here,” Yara handed him the catcher, with a smile on her face. “I have a few dreams left. You can use them”
Yara then jumped off Willie’s bed, smiling and ran off to her room.
Willie was in shock. He hugged his sister’s catcher, smiled at himself and closed his eyes surrendering to sleep.
He dreamt a dream that night. One that his sister had bought. It was beautiful dream: Silver fields of fragile snow, with the moonlight on its alley advancing to cast ghosts of white. Wisps of the earth chanting a chorus to which the stars shone and shimmered.