The Dream Catcher
by Sangeetha Rathore
He was a recluse. A person who thrived on limited resources, his work was to see dreams. He used to dream a lot and his dreams came true. He was the official dream catcher of a sleepy town where the population was less than 50000. People in need used to come to him and recount their problems to him. He was then asked to dream about a solution for the problems. He was their hope. It was a unique gift he was endowed with, which he discovered when he predicted the death of his wife and only son.
In a day he had at least one visitor and all he charged was a day’s food supply. He had no energy to cook and the day he received more than one visitor he would be paid in pounds. That was kept for a rainy day.
One night a boy all of 19 came home looking uneasy and ruffled. The old man enquired about his condition. In reply to his grilling he said, he is sick of his anger and is scared he might just kill someone in a fit of rage. He was just back after getting into a bad brawl with one of his old enemies and threatened to kill him if he didn’t stop troubling his girl. A fearful look enveloped the old man’s face, but he only reassured the guy that nothing of the sort would happen. The boy had his own doubts. He asked the old man to ponder about his situation and dream the solution. He promised he would visit him the next day and bring him his favourite variety of fish.
The boy left and the old man got to work. The morning dawned and beads of perspiration were rolling down his hair. He was nervous as hell. He did not know what to do. In some time the boy would come
seeking his answers. He just had no clue. He decided to first take a shower and then think about the resolution to this. He had never lied in his work, as he thought it would be playing with the sentiments of the people who trusted him and he was scared to narrate the dream.
The boy came an hour after noon, with sumptuous meal by his side only hopeful for a better way ahead. He banged the door louder now, after repeated rings on the bell. He had no endurance now and called out for the man to open the door. He was furious and banged open the door. He hit his head on the side rack after tripping on the body that was lying near the door. The wrist was cut, but the man lay down in peace. The boy was shocked. He didn't know what to do. The man who had promised him a solution was dead now, but why? Just when he was about to call the neighbourhood about the occurrence, He noticed the old man’s left hand in which a paper was tightly clutched. He tried hard to remove the paper and once he did, he wasted no time in opening it.
The paper was a note left to the boy. It read “Boy, you were right. You had a murder written in your destiny, and the person you would be murdering was me!! I cannot die such a fatal death. You killed me and cut me into pieces. You had this monstrous look on your face when you scattered me on barren land for the scavengers to feast on me. You are right, you’re an ogre. I am killing myself because I can’t see myself being killed by a hot headed and an obnoxious person like you. I choose to die the way I want. You need help boy.
Everyone’s dreams were shattered!! ***