This week’s story has the power of dreams. We all know how terrifying it can be to wake up from a nightmare. Or how euphoric it is to wake up laughing. The residue of dream still on our eyelids. But what happens when we can no longer dream (a dream deferred)? “The Dog” by Gabriel Fernandez briefly explores just such an occurrence in the language of REM — symbolism, metaphor and surrealism. And it ends as if we, the reader, were waking from just such an experience.
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The Dog by Gabriel Fernandez
He was haunted by the dream. The same dream he was having every night for the last three months. He would dream about the dog. Either the dog would be searching for him, or he'd be looking for the dog. But they would never really find one another. If they did happen to encounter each other, the dog would wag his tail, and run away. With a smile. And he'd wake up. The same dream, the same thing, every night. He'd go to work and daydream about the dog. He'd see a reflection of the dog on his computer monitor. The dog would smile. He'd reflect for hours about the dream he had the previous night. One night he dreamt of the dog, and they were both being chased by zombies. In another dream, the dog had puppies. Sometimes the dreams were short, other times it seemed they lasted the whole night. But why? Who was the dog?
One night he didn't dream of the dog. Or the next night. Nor the following night. He was perplexed. He would take naps to try and dream of the dog. Nothing. He traveled to animal shelters to perhaps find one like him (or her). Nothing. He became a nightwalker, looking for any hellhound on his trail. Nothing. Then one night, he couldn't fall asleep. No matter how he tried. Sleepless. Night after night, hour after hour. He stopped talking to people. He didn't go to work. He renounced eating. He would fast he thought. Till the dog came back. He would make him come back. Through sheer might. Through utter will. He tried.