Dreams of an Angel
Brya lay on her back and stared into the darkness above her small bunk.†The lights had been out since midnight, and the ensuing darkness cloaked the huge room and made it seem smaller, more private.† Brya always liked that quiet time after normal people fell asleep, there was less noise and it made her feel like she was in an empty place instead of one filled with people like the level eight housing center.† Why do I feel this way? she wondered glumly.† Itís not like Iíve ever known anything different, Iíve always lived in a housing center.† Not even the rich are getting much more space than I do.†The most they get is a center on one of the upper levels with a room all to themselves.† Still...maybe I do have a problem like Rachel said.† Iím the only one in this center who wants anything different...Brya sighed and closed her eyes on the darkness.† It was time for sleep.
Brya opened her eyes, and gasped in shock.† Where was she?† The darkness of the level eight center had been replaced with, with what?† She looked around.† The place around her was empty!†No, not empty, there were trees and water and grass and animals, but very few people.† "This has to be a dream.† There is just no other explanation.† I guess this proves it.† Rachel was right, Iím crazy."
"No, not crazy, just unsuited for your world," a soft voice said.†Brya turned and found herself facing a young man dressed in jeans and a white cable-knit sweater.† "Unless I read you completely wrong, which I doubt.† Actually, I donít think anybody should live in a place like that.† How do they stand it?"
"Well, there isnít anything else!† People are everywhere, even the rich people donít have any real space.† There just isnít enough anymore, and the colonies arenít going up fast enough for everybody to go.† Iíve applied ten times, but Iíve always been turned down.†I donít have any skills that could be of any use to a new colony, and I donít have any money either.† What can I do?"
The young man looked shocked.† "They say you donít have any skills of use in a new place?† Heyla, they are stupid!† You can create things, worlds!† Who wouldnít want that around?† Or is that not accepted in your culture?"
"Imagination is not rated highly on the scale of necessity.† People with imagination are people who cause trouble, who want things to be different.†Iíve answered your questions, now answer mine.† Who are you?†What are you?† And where is this place?"
"My name is Xander.† Um...Iím, I guess you could call me a guardian.†Iíve been watching you for a long time, ever since you first started writing.†I felt the difference in you right from the start.† As for this place, well itís a different world from yours; a different dimension actually.†I felt that you deserved to be offered a chance to come here.† Your world lacks a...privacy that this one has."
"Why would you want me here?† And arenít I already here?" Brya felt confused.
Xander flushed.† "You arenít really here.† This is a dream and, I, well it was the only way I could talk to you.† As for wanting you here, arenít unhappy homes meant to be left?† You certainly arenít happy, no privacy, no time alone, and certainly no way to leave.†At least, no way until now.† I, we, want a person with your talents here.† Please say youíll come."
"I donít even know how to get here from where I am!† Tell me how and Iíll think about it."
"You have to find a gate or a passage between the worlds.† My world touches yours in many places, but most of those canít be reached my mortal means, unfortunately.† When you find a gate, just say my name and Iíll come to it to guide you through.† Iíll wait as long as it takes, Brya, I promise you.† Come soon," Xander placed a gentle hand on her head. "We need you here.† Now it is time for you to wake.† Remember the promise!"
Brya opened her eyes to the light of the level eight housing center.†People were moving and making noise, but she didnít mind as much.†She had a way out, a way to a better place.†Unhappy homes are meant to be left.† Iíll find that gate and then Iíll be with you, Xander Angel. Smiling, Brya went off to work.