intro written by grasshopper:
as he woke up, his head still buried in the soft pillow, he noticed something strange in the palm of his hand. he opened his eyes to see what it was.
continued by the nadj:
and oh what joy, it was a memory berry. these berries are very rare and only get produced by the strongest dreams. their purpose is to capture a dream and bring them into the waking world. he carefully placed the berry on his night stand to make sure it doesn’t get crushed as it can only keep a dream while it’s still intact.
He felt excited and grateful as he sauntered into the kitchen to heat water for his morning coffee on the old gas stove. Curious as he was he wanted to take a closer look at the berry and went upstairs to grab his microscope but to his surprise he found a dark green, medium sized frog sitting in it’s place. The frog seemed to quietly contemplate the situation and after a short while, he must have noticed the stunned expression on Felix’ face, inquired in his soft voice: “Are you looking for your microscope?”
The nadj says:
Felix didn’t believe what he just heard. Did the frog really talk to him? Why did he know that he was looking for his microscope? And then it dawned on him. He realized what had happened. In his sleep-drunken state on the way downstairs to the kitchen he must have picked up the berry and popped it in his mouth. And now he was back in his dream at the exact same place where he left off when he woke up just a few minutes ago but this time he is in for real. There is no way of waking up from a self induces dream until it has run its course. Paralyzed by this realization he stared at the nightstand where the frog looked back at him slowly nodding with a mischievous smile on his face.
“Trooder,” the frog quaked “come closer, Trooder!” The words of the frog echoed in his ears. It has been thousands of dreams ago that he was called Trooder. He almost forgot about it. His source of happiness, the lost island. He carefully stepped closer to the frog and whispered: “How do you know?” The frog didn’t answer. “Who are you?” The frog opened its mouth - not to speak, but to show him something. There was a shiny, glowing pearl on its tongue.
The mentioning of his old name stirred up hidden memories that he thought to be safely stored away in his subconscious and with that he could feel like an old part of himself slowly started to unravel. Mesmerized by the pearl his mind started to drift away into those memories. Suddenly his phone rang and catapulted him back into the reality around him. At the same time somebody knocked on the door. “Don’t open the door!” urged the frog before he jumped off the night stand and disappeared under the bed.
Tempted by the words of the frog, he carefully tiptoed to the door and tried to find out who knocked by tightly pressing his ear to it. KNOCK, KNOCK - “ouch!” - that wasn’t a good idea. He stepped back and paused for a second, thinking of who could be knocking and why the frog didn’t want him to open the door. Afraid, but self-confident, he grabbed the handle, turned it and pulled the door open. He was flooded by light, so intense and colorful that it hurt and felt good at the same time. The frog croaked from under the bed: “No! I told you not to open! Nooooo!” After that, it fell silent and from one second to the other, the light was gone. Not only the light that was coming from outside the door, but all light. He was left in complete darkness.
Charlene was wearing a black dress and a white furry coat for no other reason than that she felt like wearing it this morning. The coat started to get a little too warm as the day was approaching noon in the outskirts of Sydney. She had gotten up early and was almost done watering the orchids on her orchid farm when she discovered a frog sitting on one of the flowers. Before she even had time to wonder how the frog got in the greenhouse the frog started talking to her: “Charlene, I need your help” the frog sounded urgent. Charlene decided that she would question the reality of a talking frog later and just go with it for now. “My help?” “Yes; a friend of mine locked himself up and I need to get him out again but I need your help. I can’t do it alone.” There was something serious and sincere in the frog’s voice that grabbed her attention and at the same time, she found slightly amused. “Oh, I see. And how can I help?”
The nadj says:
The frog opened his mouth and showed her the pearl that was still sitting on his tongue. She reached for it and as she held it between the thumb and index finger of her right hand, the frog asked her to rub it three times. Curious as she was, Charlene obeyed. On the first rub, she felt a slight bump, the second rub sent an electric shock through her entire body. She wanted to drop the pearl, but she no longer had control of her own body. Her fingers held on tightly and involuntarily rubbed it a third time. It felt as if a train had just hit her and she fell backwards into a hole through a tunnel where she dropped and dropped and dropped for what seemed like hours until she passed out.
“Help!” it felt like the earthquake that shook her out of bed 3 years ago. Charlene quickly opened her eyes and was ready to jump out of bed. But she was not in bed and opening the eyes didn’t help either. She didn’t see anything but blackness. “Heeeelp!” the voice sounded familiar. “I can’t see anything! Is anybody there?” Charlene suddenly recognized the voice. She took breath and asked: “Trooder? Is that you?” She felt that moment of surprise, followed by relief. “Charlene? Yes, it’s me! Where are we? I’m so glad you’re back! What happened to the island?” “Trooder,” Charlene replied “it is you! The island? Hm - that’s a long story!” She thought back at the time she knew what happiness was. “Oh Trooder,” she sighed.
“Charlie!” Trooder’s voice sounded within arms reach as if their desire for closeness had drawn their bodies together in physical space. She stretched out her hand and touched his skin; at the same time she felt his hand on her shoulder pulling her towards him and she could feel his heart pounding as their lips touched gently at first and then firmer in a kiss that they both dared not hope to ever feel again. Completely forgetting the darkness around her Charlene opened her eyes remembering how much she enjoyed watching him while they kissed. And so at first she thought the soft glow to be an illusion that appeared to be just in the back of her eye, one of those colored shapes that you seem to see when you press your thumbs against your eyelids. She blinked expecting it to go away or change shape but the shape became clearer and clearer. “Trooder!” she shouted. “Trooder I can see your lips!” Trooder looked down and now both saw the shimmer of light that was emerging from their lips. And their hands were also visible, radiating a warm, soft glow where their hands had touched. “Trooder I can see you”. She reached for his cheek and left five shining fingerprints on his skin. He took both her shoulders in his hands and ran his fingers across her face and everywhere they touched their bodies lit up and become visible.
The nadj says:
They spent the next 15 minutes passionately kissing, trying to touch every inch of each other’s bodies and the passion and touch turned into sparkles and fireworks and light until they found each other in bright daylight back on the island. Back at the source of their happiness.
Trooder wiped a small tear off Charlene’s cheek and said: “Thank you. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for never giving up hope. Thank you for keeping the connection alive. I was selfish when I left you here 3 years ago. I was young and foolish and I didn’t know then that you are the best thing that ever happened to me. Ever since I left, I’ve been searching for you in my dreams. I came back to the island 8 times but it was empty and looked different and I didn’t think I’d ever find you again. There is so much I want to tell you and….”
Trooder felt something pulling on his leg. It was his dog Sammy. Leash in mouth pulled on his pajama pants begging him to go out for a walk. “Sammy, not again! Why did you have to wake me up? I was so close, I finally found her and was about to bring her back to reality!” He reached in his mouth and pulled a dream berry from the back of his tongue. “Now I have to start all over again, get back into that horrible dream and hope to find her again - I’ll never get anything done. I can’t go on like that!” He carefully placed the berry on his nightstand where he always put it after an unsuccessful attempt to bring Charlene back, and attached the leash to Sammy’s collar.
Excited to go out for a walk, Sammy jumped up on Felix, licking his face and pushing him back on his bed. Felix tried to push him off but the dog was stronger. Sammy licked his face several times before he turned his head over to the right and casually chewed up the dream berry that Felix had so carefully placed on his nightstand in anticipation to swallow again after returning from the walk.
Felix screamed: “Nooooo, what did you do. Why did you destroy my only hope to…” but as he threw himself onto the dog he couldn’t believe his eyes. Sammy’s body turned into that of a slender woman. “Charlene? Is that you?”. Charlene took her right index finger and pushed it over his lips. “Shhhhhh…. Yes, my love I have been here all along. You have been so absorbed looking for something bigger than you that you lost track of reality. You were no longer able to see the smaller joys in live. The things that really matter, here and now. I tried to make you aware of the importance of being present in the moment through the eyes of a dog with unconditional love. The beauty of a backrub and the warmth that comes from pressing my body against yours. But all you could think about was your idealized vision of me. The unachievable. You had to lose what you cared about most before you realized it’s importance. I think now you understand that having something real is bigger than striving for something intangible. I am here for you and I do believe in us. Here and now.” She kissed his forehead, looked deeply in his eyes and said: “Let’s do it right this time.”