James awoke with a shudder. He lay there reflecting on his dream. What if the fog came in and never left? In his vision he walked across a mist-shrouded campus, waiting for the sun to rise, to burn away the murkiness of the world. But in his mindscape, the mist never vanished. In the dream he walked from one building to another. He never questioned why he was doing that or what he was supposed to do when he got to his destination. Closing his eyes he slid once again into that corridor of phantoms . . .
For a while, as he walked, he met no one, just the smothering closeness of the fog.
Gradually certain locations, because of their familiarity, gave him reference points.
Often, when he did see someone it turned out to be only an illusion.
It was hard to maintain his direction as he could only see for a hundred yards or so.
He walked past the theatre which was shrouded in black, as if for a funeral or was it perhaps a chrysalis, waiting for the emergence of something new.
When he did meet someone they walked by each other in silence, embarrassed, perhaps by the intimacy of the fog.
After passing each other quietly, they each went their separate ways.
He came to a junction of paths and wondered if it made any difference which one he took.
In time he began to wonder about the nature of reality; how did one know what was real and what was illusion?.
As years went by, people could only remember the colorful scenes of nature, flowers in a valley, mountain peaks with snow blowing from peaks, fields of wheat stretching to the horizon. Individuals wept as they sat watching yesterday's world through photographs or in movies. The wonders of a starlit sky might only be seen on tv screens, broadcast in from space by satellite -- the beauty of a sunset was only a memory -- white clouds against a blue sky became things of dreams. Then, one day, looking out the window, he remembered that it was not a dream anymore . .
It was in the eleventh year of the "great-fog" that James -- walking down a misty street toward home -- began to awaken and found that the dream of a dream and the awakening was only a dream within a dream.
He got up, dressed, and went out into the sunshine. By mid-morning he had forgotten all about "the dream."
- END -
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