It is the year 2140. Life on Earth has changed, as we know it. The species that walk the grounds have evolved and developed new ways of communication. While select in numbers, these people connect through dreams. What causes them to meet is still be uncovered, but within dreams, they can shape the world around them. This is what they call dream sharing.

Remind is a young student, whose adventures start from the circumstances in her life around the bullying she feels in school. Her isolation leads her to some friends and ultimately, her demise.


Welcome to Remind's petpage! Her character began out of my love for Inception. Having gone through one rendition of the story, it is now complete. Feel free to read through or use one of her adoptables. Thanks for visiting!

Name: Remind
Pronunciation: Re-mined
Alias: Rem, Remi
Birthday: April 1
Age: 14 years old
Eye colour: Midnight blue
Height: 5'7"
Weight: 130 pounds
Tail length: 4 feet
Wingspan: 4.5 feet
Petpet: Meard, Anubis
Petpetpet: Draphly

I cannot thank Chia enough for allowing me the honour to adopt Remind. She will be taken great care of!

Dragon Characteristics: She isn't exactly the most ground breaking in terms of the dragons. She does however have no sunset portion to the eventide colour; she is starry and dream like all the way down her body. She is literally average in all ways: height, weight, length etc. Her white stars dim when she is her normal self, almost as if they are near the end of their star life, but when she is excited, they flicker very brightly and tend to light up anything and everything around her.

Personality: She is delicate, and extremely reserved. Rem is often slightly detached from the group as she is so absorbed with her layouts and her own problems; she tends to just lose focus. As a result, in the dream world, her layouts often have a crumbling aspect to them (depicted in Girex's customization). She has serious mood swings, probably the result of some disorder. Rem is very quiet and enjoys dreaming. Her ability to create new worlds leaves her hating the waking world and longing for more time in dreams.

Backstory: Her history is rather mysterious. It is said she was abandoned at an early age, giving rise to the emotional distress she faces. But, because of her refusal to talk about said history, it is still unknown. Her dreams do contain some bizarre memories...

Below you can see the 'inception' of Remind's character in a mind map form.





Dreaming/Sleeping
Architecture
Being alone
Being on her own
Darkness







Waking up
Cracks/shattering
Projections
Nahara (only sometimes)



Below is some artwork that was done for Remind! Drag the image to your address bar to see large images. Hover over for the name of the artist who drew it. If you're curious, I use my iPad, a stylus and an app called Procreate to do all my work.


Below are all the custom adoptables I've collected for Remind! If you're interested in creating one for her or doing a trade, shoot me a NM @ redeemyourself!




Adoptables

Baby

Blue

Brown

Disco

Eventide

Faerie

Ghost

Glowing

Gold

Green

Island

Orange

Pink

Pirate

Plushie

Purple

Rainbow

Red

Royalboy

Royalgirl

Shadow

Snow

Speckled

Split

Spotted

Water

White

Yellow





















































































Amorias (1)

Amorias (2)

Amurei

Ascwire

Calestie

Djalem
Girex

Remind

Veijou



Goodies

Listed At:


Awards:





Previous Character Challenges

Interview With Remind

What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Turn off my alarm clock and try to go back to sleep. I hate being awake. I'd rather be dreaming and avoiding my awful life.

If you could only own one thing, what would it be?
A book (and a pen). I'd love to write out all the things that bother me and all the things I dream about. I hate waking up and forgetting what I dreamt about, so I normally write them down immediately to preserve them.

What kinds of things do you like to wear and why?
Simple black clothes. My normal outfit is a black cardigan (I'm quite cold) and a black dress that's loose on my skin. I'm not really too keen on fashion. Whatever is comfortable really.

What is the happiest time you can remember?
The first dream with Rex and Nahara. It was so different than my regular nightmares or boring dreams involving the petty things in my life. It was real and a deep connection. Then every night, we all dream together.

What is the most sad time you can remember?
It's mostly a blur, but my childhood wasn't exactly fantastic. I don't really get along with my parents. But I don't want to talk about this. Next question, please.

Who do you trust the most?
Rex and Nahara. I was so alone until I met them. Since they're both older than me, I know I can talk to them about absolutely anything and they won't judge me for it. They work me through my problems, which I appreciate.

What is your favorite thing to do?
Try to work my schedule around our group dream and write about my other dreams. But the group dream definitely takes priority over anything - family, friends, school.

What do you plan on accomplishing during your life?
Finding Rex and Nahara in real life.

Any re-occurring nightmares?
Sometimes I get the typical falling one, like I'm stuck in the air. After the first group dream, I began having nightmares where I lose them, or I stop being able to find them when I dream.

Enough about the dreaming. What about real life?
I'd love to be a writer, but I just go to school and try to survive. I get bullied a lot and I don't really have any friends, so my real life is pretty bad.



Customization Ideas

The first look is Remind in the dream world, where she encounters Nahara and Girex. It is here she feels her most comfortable and attempts to forget the pain she feels in the real world. Her dreams are normally quite fantastical and much unlike the real world.

The second customization is in relation to her sad real world life, where she is bullied at school. A very bright and promising student, Remind hates her waking hours for the pain she feels each and every day.

Miscellaneous Challenges

Remind the Forgotten Dreamer
Remind's life has always been lack luster – with no friends, and no outlook to absolve her problems. Her one escape has been sleeping and dreaming up a world in which she is happier and more extroverted. As a teenage student, her life is plagued with common school problems, such as bullying and teasing. And with no one to turn to, she turns to sleep, where she can temporarily be happy. This, of course, changes when she first dream shares with Girex and Nahara, where the trio sympathize over their real life problems. Three seemingly unrelated people brought together by the miseries of the real world.

Remind's fellow sidekick is her puppy Meard. In an attempt to encourage responsibility, her parents gave the Anubis to her at age 9. Now 14, the dog is her only friend. Even then, Remind feels a distance from her dog since she cannot get the answers she seeks so very badly. Her dog listens to her problems and is normally good at causing a smile on her bad days. He is her one outlet in the real world when no one else will listen. (P3 is in the works, but nothing set in stone!)

My name is Remind and I am a lonely, heartbroken mess of a person. I have no friends, resorting to my imaginary dog for my problems. He can't even really help; he just sits there as I vent my problems. I'd rather be asleep forever than deal with the waking world in which I must endure.

I am smart though, which I suppose is to my advantage. I read quite a bit and I am curious about a lot of things in the world (like why is it that we know so much about space when we haven't even left our own galaxy?). I am quite fascinated by space, enough to the point I had stars tattooed permanently on my body. Can't say my parents were too impressed by this move, but I think it's edgy. Well, maybe that's why people don't like me… guess I can't change that now.

I don't like to do a whole lot besides read and sleep and talk to my dog. School is a drag and I don't learn nearly as much as I could. I have no friends. I have no interpersonal skills. I am good at being alone and that's what I hate. My escape is my dreams. Sometimes it's a recurring nightmare; other times its stuff out of my imagination. But the best is dream sharing – that's truly the highlight of my day.

Dream sharing is so uncommon; I had to Poogle it to really understand it. Not many people can either, so I guess I'm very lucky I'm able to. When you sleep, sometimes your unconscious is so lucid; other people can tap into it. I can't explain how that happens, it just does. I think a big part is that it's not really real, it just feels it? Does that make sense? I think the people I dream share with are truly real people, but I have no idea who they are and where they are in the world. Take Rex for example. I can't even figure out his whole name. Every time we try to ask about personal information, it seems like I get muted and I can't hear what he's saying. When Nahara tried to draw a map of where he lives, the picture was all blurry or it washed away instantly. But I know deep down they're real. And I know it's my destiny to try and find them in the waking world.



Poem

Amidst the half-formed foliage lay captured
The traitorous flame, once enkindled
By forgotten flint and discontent.
Flick'ring now on naught, for its containment,
Said flame crept amongst the twisting boughs,
Cast like sinews in a youthful host.

Yet the fire, lacking heat within,
Could not pierce the weary dendral skin!
Hence the woods were rife with witless laughter;
Its soldiers were imbued with newfound vigor!

Thus the tyrant, scorcher of the earth,
Found itself deprived of worldly worth,
For its prey had dealt unto it
Its dry, untimely quenching.
Her villain vanquished, Remind returned to waking
Where such a forest as she'd dare to dream
Lay charred entirely at her feet.

-- Surath


Links







Warning: Toxin Levels 89%



To the story


The blaring music emitting from the alarm clock forced Remind awake, despite her body's intentions of staying asleep. A slight groan escaped her mouth as she flipped off her stomach to turn off the horrible noise, its annoyance radiating through her bedroom.

The dragon forced herself to the edge of her bed, cracking her back and knuckles before wading towards her closet for her school uniform. She pulled out a fresh one her mother had washed, the smell of bleach filling her nostril with a vile stench. She hated this perfection that the school tried to force upon its students because she wasn't like her other classmates. No, Remind was quite different.

One look in her full-length mirror was enough to prove that. She was the only of her kind at her school – eventide head to toe, but without the glowing sunset. She was a serene and cool midnight blue, with shimmering white stars, twinkling in a stranger's eye. Her dark eyes looked perpetually disappointed and hurt, but that was her dismal life.

The uniform looked awkward on the starry body and made what would be an attractive young teen quite hideous to most. She slipped in her contacts, getting rid of the glasses that she had hated so much. Despite some pain, she refused to wear them. All the teasing had been far too much and she had shattered them on the school pavement one afternoon in frustrating (leaving her unable to read in school for the remainder of that day).

Remind, your breakfast is ready! her mother chimed. The teen packed her now completed work into her shoulder bag and headed down the stairs in clunky steps. The scowl on her mother's face showed her disapproval, but Remind took her bowl of cereal and the newspaper without giving it a thought.

Remind was, despite the terrible appearance, not as idiotic as she appeared. She had a goofy demeanour, but was incredibly bright. Her father had finished the daily kenken puzzles, leaving her the cryptic crossword. Today, she finished roughly sixty percent of the puzzle before her mother was shoving her out the door for school.

I forgot my lunch, Remind commented quietly.

Never mind now, you'll be late. Just buy something from the cafeteria.

The car ride was silent after that, which wasn't unusual for a school morning. Remind wasn't overly fond of her parents and their parenting style. But when the school peeked into their view, the horrible pain in her stomach returned and the dragon looked away. Despite her feelings for her family, the school would always be the worst.

A quick kiss goodbye and some lunch money from her mother was the last moment of normality before her misery at school began. She didn't even last three steps.

You look faaaantastic Remind, laughed one of the seniors. She was surprised they even knew her name, until they put the school paper in her hands. Front page, full cover photo, with a blaring headline that read "REMIND: STUDENT EXTRAORDINARE." She gasped and swallowed the tears back, rushing forward amidst their laughter. The jolt of fear sprang through her body, her face tensing in horror. How could they do this to me?! Remind thought, a flurry of panic sweeping through her bony fingers.

She ate lunch alone in the bathroom, like usual. She didn't care for people who actually wanted to use the toilets, so she took up a stall on her own. She had bought a rather gnarly looking ham and cheese sandwich, every bite causing her to gag.

When her day ended, Remind walked sullenly to her mother's car. She closed the door quietly and she eased herself into the leather seats, her legs sticking uncomfortably.

Would it kill you to smile? her mother asked, exasperated at her daughter's depression.

Probably, Remind retorted back and to stop the conversation from continuing any further, she popped her ear buds in and listened to her iPod.

Remind's father wouldn't be home until much later, so the young teen took her homework upstairs. She eased her bedroom door closed and sighed loudly, letting the blood course through her veins. She changed into her lounge clothing and began working on her algebra work that she had been assigned.

Dinner came and went. She finished her work about an hour before schedule and decided to finish a novel she had been reading. She changed into her pyjamas and crawled into bed for the highlight of the day.

Remind enjoyed sleeping more than she did being awake. Despite her curious mind and long for intellect, nothing compared to the fleeting sensation of dreams. Her dreams were a colourful array of outlandish and mystical dreams. She dreamt of a life where she wasn't suppressed and she had more self-esteem. Life was simply, for a short while, better.

Tonight she was restless, sleeping much earlier than her usual. Remind flipped side to side, tossing and turning in discomfort. She felt the sweat trickle down her forehead and accumulate on her back from the warmth of the blankets. Despite her struggles with her waking conscious, she eventually drifted off into a deep slumber.

Remind woke wearing all black - a black cardigan, black dress, and black tights. The wind pushed the long grass around in aimless circles, while the branches dangled delicately. It was cool against her somewhat hot skin and she felt refreshed as it pushed her hair away.

Turning to the stream, she felt herself scoop up some water with the cup she formed using her hands. Remind splashed her feet and hands around in the shallow landing, the sand melting under the weight of her body.

She stayed by the water for what felt like eternity, enjoying the serenity of the area and the peace of being alone.

A loud crack caught her attention, sending adrenaline through her body. Remind felt her heart race and panic set in, feeling the dream turn from peace to a nightmare. The noise cracked again and she finally calmed herself to see the source of the sound. Just ahead of her, roughly thirty yards or so was a wooden row boat. She caught glimpse of a single oar and inched her way closer, trying to desperately ignore the fear which embed her body.

Without any reservation, she climbed in and felt the boat rock abruptly at her weight. It teetered back and forth until she managed to situate herself in a position that balanced the boat. Pushing off from the shore, she paddled with the wind.

Remind continually pushed her soft black hair out of her face and eyes, with the wind tickling her hot neck. Her eyes grew wide as she took in the natural beauty of the forest she was entering. She turned to give one final glance at the silent meadow, but it was gone. Her unconscious had re-created it as thick woods and she frowned in disappointment.

She paddled for what felt like hours, mulling over school and her future. Remind was silent – enjoying her dream. She even rested her eyes and slid further into the boat, the numbing sensation of a deeper sleep engulfing her seemingly lifeless body.

BOOM! Remind jolted upright, the boat rocking terribly as she disturbed the natural flow to its rhythm. The searing fear she had felt earlier in the dream returned, but much more intense. She hid in the boat and awaited her fate of the nightmare. But the waiting became unbearable and nothing was approaching. All she could hear was the gentle lapping of the water against the boat.

Hello? What is going on… rang a deep voice, muttering in the same sort of panic Remind was experiencing. She felt like calling out to the stranger, her shy nature fleeting in the protection of the dream, before the next BOOM!

This man, with a stronger and steadier voice, seemed older. Profanities spewed his mouth as he wondered what was going on. Silence followed after his rant. Are they gone? She paused, deep in thought. Only one way to find out.

Hello? Remind called back tenderly. A snap of a forest twig diverted her attention to the shores, where a slender black dragon emerged. His green tinted hair hung softly to one side, his red his glowing in the night.

Hi there, his voice crooned, the tension in the air dissipating. Remind had been expecting some average looking guy, not a cute boy around her age. She blushed profusely, but edged the boat towards him.

My name is Remind, she croaked out, her nerves spiking at the mysterious boy. He cocked his head, as if trying to understand what she had just said, but accepted it and gave a friendly smile. Remind took the oar in her shaky hands and paddled back towards the dragon, fumbling with each stroke. As she reached the shores, his sturdy arms beached the boat and offered a hand to help the teen out.

Girex, but just call me Rex.

Nice to, er, meet you, Remind stammered. She could feel her heart racing a mile a minute and she struggled to calm her self down.

The thrashing of brush up ahead diverted some of her tension as she focused on the third dragon, this one much taller, albeit a bit fatter, and a heavenly shade of purple.

Who are you? Rex beckoned.

Nahara. And you two? He eyed the pair of teens slowly, absorbing their features.

I'm Rex, this is Remind.

Do you two know each other?

No, the two answered in unison. It was a flat, almost lifeless reply, but it was true.

Where are we? Nahara asked.

My dream, if I'm not mistaken, Remind answered quietly. The thought had been lingering in her mind for a while. Occasionally, she did dream of other people. But they didn't just explode in…

I wasn't dreaming of this at all. I wasn't even really dreaming, come to think of it, Rex pondered out loud. Nahara agreed. The three sat in silence.

… But it is just a dream, Remind started. You could just, you know, wake yourselves up at any point.

Rex shook his head. This is kinda weird and awesome, you know? Plus your dreams are better looking than mine. He stifled a laugh and sat on the wet shoreline.

I haven't been sleeping well, so if you don't mind, I'm just going to stay right here, Nahara said flatly. Remind sighed, unsure of whether the strangers were a blessing or a curse in her one sacred place.

Remind felt a tug at her dress and saw the teen gesture to sit beside him. She knelt slowly, feeling the grainy sand with her tiny hand, before sitting on her lace dress.

Since this is your dream, why don't you tell us about yourself? Nahara asked, joining the two on beach. He was wearing sharp black framed glasses and dress pants. He looked too formal for the beach, but she reckoned she must look like an idiot all in black (and in a dress too).

Remind was silent at first, thinking how to best approach the answer. Well, I'm fourteen and I'm a student. I, um, read a lot, do well in school and I like to sleep. She paused, thinking of anything else to add. That's about it.

The men stared at her, and Remind felt her face flush. Clearly they were looking for a better answer.

Where do you go to school? I'm sixteen, so I'm a student too, Rex offered.

What happened next wasn't expected by the trio. Remind spoke, she even felt the words come out her throat, but Rex and Nahara shook their heads.

Try again?

But nothing. Remind was talking, but they couldn't hear.

Spell it out in the sand? Nahara suggested. Remind took her index finger and pressed softly into the sand, trying to spell it out.

I can't even read it, it looks so muddled, Rex said, to which Nahara nodded in agreement.

That's weird, Remind commented.

Very, very peculiar, Nahara agreed. As the air got heavy with tension, Rex and Nahara took turns explaining what they did. Rex, a star athlete, was also a student in high school. Nahara, as they discovered, was quite a bit older – a bachelor and hot-shot lawyer from the city.

The conversation was plagued by the muted details. When Nahara tried to say his full name, neither Remind nor Girex could hear. Rex too, could not spell or say the name of his school. They tried all sorts of weird gimmicks, but nothing seemed to work.

Remind, oddly, was enjoying their company. She let them do most of the talking, but found herself genuinely laughing at their conversation. She hadn't felt so wholesome and included in a long while.

When the conversation seemed to die, Remind thought to try a feature out. She careful closed her eyes and shut out her dream, focusing solely on three newspapers. When she had them in the forefront of her mind, she opened her eyes to see three newspapers and pens sitting in front of her. Remind grinned, handing each of them a paper and pen and flipped to the crossword.

Any takers? she questioned. The men seemed perplexed and waited patiently, as if expecting an answer. It's my dream remember, I can think up anything.

And this is what you thought of? Nahara teased. Remind stopped, her lips curving to a frown and she sat back down. She used her dreams to escape the persecution she felt during the day, yet here she was living the one nightmare she sought to avoid.

Rex, assessing the damage Nahara did, scowled. Hey, leave her alone. She did us a nice thing. I'm not good at crosswords though. Remind smiled meekly, appreciating the gesture.

I'll show you, Rex. It's more just practice.

Time seemed to pass slowly, but soon Remind felt that tingly sensation she got before she woke up.

I'm about to wake up, she blurted out, disrupting the silence on the beach. It was--

She opened her eyes. Crap! Remind was lying in her bed, looking frantically at her clock. 1:12 AM. Double crap! She flipped quickly on to her other side, hoping to find the same dream and Rex and Nahara still waiting with their crosswords.

And as they say: all good things come to an end.




CONTINUE?


Remind lay on her back, letting the alarm reverberate through her bedroom. What had happened last night was unprecedented and she was still recounting it. It seemed too surreal, but very realistic. In a way, it was both thrilling and terrifying. Despite her mother's hollering to turn it off, she didn't move a muscle and continued staring at her ceiling. She was engulfed in deciphering what had really happened last night.

Dreams have an unusual fluidity to them – one moment you're in free fall, the next you're in outer space. The dream Remind had experienced had that same fluid movement, the meadow to the forest transition, but people normally don't make an entrance in dreams like that. Not to mention, Remind barely dreamt of anyone. And there was the inexplicable lack of detail, like when she couldn't say or spell her school.

It was times like this Remind wished her parents would let her have a laptop or a computer in her room. It'd look pretty weird for her to start searching on the family computer dream sharing.

As the teen made her way to her closet, she couldn't help laugh over the simplest realization – that, for the first time in a very long time, she was genuinely excited to go to school.

Something's different… her mother inspected her daughter carefully as she bounded through the kitchen.

Don't worry about it Mom. Just really like feeling doing the crossword. Oh god, what a terrible lie. She hung her head, trying to avoid eye contact, but to her dismay, her mother let the oddity of the situation pass. Grabbing her lunch, she bolted to the sedan. The pair chatted lightly in the short car ride to school, but the girl's mind was elsewhere.

As the school came into view, Remind felt a swell in her chest: the rush of excitement and curiosity that she hadn't felt in years. Her eyes widened, she felt wholesome. A quick kiss goodbye and Remind dashed out the car. As she scurried past the usual torments, she felt invincible. She was sure last night was more than ordinary and was sure to find out.

When the lunch bell finally rang, Remind almost burst through the door to the computer rooms. The regular crowd of geeks didn't bother to look up from their monitors, complaining loudly of the slow download times and of the latency of their actions. Remind found a computer at the end of the row with a bit more privacy and began searching.

Dreams.
She tapped her nails impatiently, skimming the information. It all seemed interesting, but was far too general for her cause.

Dreams in which people can enter.
She rolled her eyes are some of the moronic responses on the Internet and laughed at some terrible Sandman jokes.

What to do if people are entering your dreams.
Remind tensed at the horror of real life stories that were well past the dreaming stage and continued on.

Can you share a common dream?
Common dreaming.
Entering dreams.
Entering common dreams.

Remind was skimming and it was one phrase that she had caught a glimpse of on a few pages that made her try one more search.

Dream sharing.
Bingo!
Remind grinned ear to ear as she finally found her topic and searched the key words on several browsers. Her head was so close to the screen to compensate for her vision, she looked like she hadn't slept.

Dream sharing, essentially, is the act of two or more people being within the same dream. One person is the initial 'architect' and designs the layout of the dream, but the other 'visiting' member(s) can add their own changes. The more member changes that are made to the dream, the more that the 'architect' is likely to wake up and end the dream share. They are more sporadic in nature and less in controlled situations (lab testing has failed 95% of the time in trying to force a dream share). The dreams themselves can be about almost anything – love, hate, violence, pure imaginative worlds. This does not affect the intensity of the dream share. 'One notable issue in dream sharing is the lack of clarity,' the article continued. 'All participants of dream shares can only give away so much about themselves. Various details are omitted by the user's subconscious as a defensive mechanism to protect their identity. This is largely a result of the vulnerability in dreams to reveal confidential and private information. We commend the brain on working so diligently!'

I would disagree with that, Remind scowled to herself. She learned that it takes a very rare gift to be able to dream share, but the common theme has never been discovered. Less than 0.5% of the entire word population can dream share. The most surprising statistic was the length of distances dream sharing can occur: up to 1000km apart, though as such distances, the 'connection' is normally too poor for an extended dream share.

Remind wondered if that was why her dream share was cut short by so many hours. Either Rex or Nahara must live far enough away that when it gets disrupted, all is lost.

She tried scrolling for more information on continual dream sharing with the same members, but to no avail. Dream sharing is so infrequent and so rare, it is exceptionally difficult to dream share with the same people unless in immediate proximity.

The problem with Remind's sources was that is was largely user testimony, and very little science. And the problem with dream sharing is that is virtually impossible to measure scientifically and almost entirely done through self-report measures.

She looked to the clock hanging on the wall, its ticks indicating her time was almost up. Looking over her shoulder and the handful of people in the room, she printed a few of the necessary sheets, cleared the browsing history and left back for her class schedule.

There was lightness to her footsteps and a swell in her chest. Remind was one of very few with an incredible ability to dream share. She had read that many people who could dream share were very unusual people with distinct looks. Remind had her sunset defects, Rex his bright red eyes and Nahara's purple, almost frozen state skin. And all three had been dragons. And the one final question plaguing Remind as she walked down the school steps was: What else do we have in common?


The rest of the day was a blur. Remind finished her measly homework and was desperate to be asleep. It was a fruitless effort to sleep now, since neither Nahara nor Rex would be there to dream share with. The average person doesn't finish their day at 5 o clock.

The more excited Remind felt to dream share, the more she worried she wouldn't be able to fall or stay sleep. She was far too anxious and that never resulted in a sound and deep rest. The young teen turned to her boring textbooks on algebra and began pouring over linear equations and systems.

After four hours of painstakingly teaching herself advanced math, she felt her eyelids begin to droop. She rolled out of bed to change into her pyjamas and curled up into bed.

But tonight, she didn't dream of anything and she definitely didn't dream share.

With the sun breaking through her curtains in the morning, Remind knew she had failed to dream share. Despite knowing the low probability, she was discouraged. And her miserable waking life was starting to come back full fledged.

Weeks passed, and her life was shifting back to its normal course of torment and depression. Her dreams were more sporadic and choppy, like that of a poorly filmed movie. They weren't seamless or as breathtaking as they once were.

After a terrible day at school (to which she was subject to more bullying than usually and a difficult midterm), Remind came home and went to bed early, wanting nothing to do with anyone in her house. It was this night that she dream shared once again.

It was pitch black, an abyss of pure nothingness. What should have been the third day in a row without any imagery, Remind felt an odd cooling sensation. Her skin tingled, the scales expanded and contracting rapidly from the sudden change in temperature. With a loud bang, she felt herself in complete freefall, till she fumbled into the new scene.

It was hot; the air so sticky and humid, Remind felt herself sweltering in the heat. The cobblestone, which should have provided some refreshment, was uncomfortable to stand on, and Remind felt herself almost dancing to keep her feet from burning.

A low laugh caught her attention and she spun to face the culprit. Nahara stood, this time in khaki shorts and a Tommy Bahamas shirt, his purple skin sweating profusely.

My feet are hot, okay? Remind snapped.

Nahara just grinned, and closed his eyes. A pair of girly sandals appeared before her and she scooped them up.

That should help.

Thanks Nahara. Have you seen Rex? The purple dragon shook his head and motioned her to walk along side him.

The dream wasn't as beautiful as hers, but it definitely had some character. The sky was fading after what looked like a devilish fire had engulfed a now broken down castle. The trees were dying, and they were enclosed by a rather broken down oak fence. As the final smoke cleared on the horizon, fluffy white clouds began rolling through.

I learnt some more about dream sharing, Remind began.

Dream sharing? It's got a term? Nahara questioned.

The girl explained as much as she could, allowing room for Nahara to ask questions such as why them, and what they could do in the dreams.

So you searched it too? a deep voice came from castle. Rex's shadow body appeared, covered in ash from the now tame fire.

At school. I'm guessing you did too, Remind commented.

Rex nodded. Have you changed much of my dream?"

I gave her some shoes.

Good, we should have lots of time to explore. I've been reading a lot on the war of 2031, hence the inspiration for this layout.

Nahara shook his head. This doesn't look anything like that war.

And how would you know?

I'm a lawyer, I know these sorts of things.

And off the two men went, bickering on how to properly design a layout. Remind smiled at the fighting between the pair, the age difference playing a key role in sparking a heated, but friendly feud.

After convincing Rex to change some portions of the layout (for reasons unknown to Remind), Nahara began to rant about his day. Most of the legal jargon went over Remind's head, but she sensed that the lawyer was stretched to his limits.

Nahara, how much do you work?

He pondered her inquiry for a few moments. Depends, really. If I have a big case for a client, could be 90 to 120 hours a week. No case, hm, let's say 70 to 80?

Her mouth hung open. I'm only in school for 40 and I think that's a lot! Is that standard for all lawyers?

Nahara laughed. Depends on how hard you work, what area of law you're in and your cases. But, no, I don't think many lawyers work this much.

Remind me never to be a lawyer, Rex teased.

I wish someone had told me! Nahara grinned. What do you two want to do with your futures?

I hadn't really thought about it much, to be perfectly honest. I haven't found that one thing I'm completely passionate about, you know? Rex seemed confused. What about you Remind?

I've always had a fascination with space. But, I'm not sure I want to be an astronaut. Maybe I could work for NASA writing research articles or something. I do enjoy writing and reading, so I think that's a good combination.

That's very ambitious, Nahara pondered. How do you fare in school?

Remind bit her lip, chewing nervously on the bottom lip. Well, er, I have an A+ average. I'm probably within the top 5% of my school.

Silence fell between the trio. Remind looked to the teenage boy, his face scowling at her fortune. Nahara simply nodded, assessing the situation at hand. A boy, unsure of his future and with little hope for a successful one, countered by a girl whose only hindrance would be her self-confidence.

Rex, I'm so jealous of you! Remind blurted out, the embarrassment visible on her dark face. "You have everything I want!

The boy looked taken back. How do I have everything you want?

You're popular and people like you. Do you know how much I get teased? I look forward to dreaming because I have nothing else! I hate my brains! I hate my life!

Girex's face went blank, trying to understand the implications of what she was saying. Nahara bit his lip, trying to contain his laugher.

What is so funny? Remind demanded, angered by the lawyer's amusement at her situation.

You are such a teenager. I promise, both of you, things will work out.

Easy for you to say, Remind snapped.

The girl walked away from the trio, to the edge of the fence. In a fit of rage, she closed her eyes and began imaging an immense and fierce tidal wave, to metaphorically clear the situation. But when it became almost too descriptive and lifelike, it became obvious that the simple thought had become a reality in a dream.

Remind, what are you doing?! Nahara bellowed, the wave crashing through the debris ahead.

She looked to her first, clenched tightly by her sides and eased her grip. They tensed at the freedom, deep red marks indicating her nails.

I'm so sorry! Her apology was lost in the final fall of the white crest as it capsized over the three and she fell again into darkness. Her eyes fluttered open and she peeked at the clock. 3:15 AM. She groaned in both embarrassment and anger. How could I be so stupid?!

The anger she had felt in the dream was much more real and intense now and sleep wouldn't come to her. Instead, she lay in her bed, wishing to be able to apologize for the damage she had done. Dream shares were so fragile and she had thrown it away in such a quick fit of rage, it would be weeks, perhaps even months before it would happen again. Muttering profanities quietly to herself, she slipped a hand under her pillow and forced herself back into the empty abyss of a dreamless sleep.


Remind, get out of bed. Her mother was standing in the doorway of the girl's bedroom.

No, I don't feel well.

Remind felt a warm hand on her forehead with a loud sigh. You are not, now get out of bed and go to school.

No, leave me alone. The cool air in her room nicked at her exposed skin and she wailed as the blankets were taken from her. Alright, alright, I'm getting up.

When Remind walked up the front steps of school today, she was still so angry with both herself and Nahara. She barely caught the tail end of one geek related insult, before she felt the heat in her cheeks and the profanity almost spewing from her mouth. The group sat in silence and said nothing further, leaving the girl alone with her thoughts.

It was the first time she had ever said anything back to the group that she detested so much, yet she felt afraid, worried that her actions may lead to more repercussions. As she sat through a boring debate on Shakespeare's Macbeth, she felt a light tap on her shoulder.

Anne Jenkins, a fairly popular and attractive student in her class, gave her a hand written note. This should be interesting. Heard you finally told off that group of guys. Lunch today? :) The smiley face was a little too girly, but compared to eating lunch alone on a toilet, the gesture was welcoming. Remind, in her muddled and boyish handwriting scribbled back a quick 'sure' and she wondered what was next in store.

It had been so long since Remind had been in the cafeteria, she hadn't noticed they had repainted it and furnished it with new seats and tables. She spotted Anne with several other girls and felt her throat tighten up in fear. She hadn't expected it to be so overwhelming, but she had no time to panic when Anne waved her over.

Clutching her brown paper bag tightly, Remind edged her way to the chatty girls.

…Can you believe that?

What a pig!

Agreed. Hi Remind! Anne chirped as the starry dragon made her way forward. "You know Arlene, Jess and Maddy, right?" Remind nodded as she slid into the seat.

You never eat lunch in here! chimed Arlene, her red curly locks bounding as she munched on her sandwich.

I didn't think people noticed.

Of course! Those guys treat you like dirt, can't believe you put up with it, continued Jess, whose short blonde bob was freshly chopped. Remind was trying desperately not to let her mouth hang out.

Thanks, I appreciate that. I've never told them off before, Remind commented quietly.

You know, you should eat lunch with us every day. We don't bite! Anne asked, the other three nodding in agreement.

For weeks later, Remind continued to eat lunch with the girls, which escalated into hanging out infrequently after school. Soon, Remind found herself genuinely enjoying school, for more than her studies. Dream sharing rarely occurred, and never with Rex or Nahara.

Months passed, and as Christmas break rolled around, Remind no longer felt as shy and insecure as she once did. One of the seniors even asked her to the winter ball (as a joke, but still asked). The girls she thought she'd never be friends with had changed her view of the school and other people in general.

After a gruelling day, Remind came home to an empty house. It was an unusual feeling, as her mother worked from home, but a note indicated she had left to run some errands. The teen took the opportunity to take a much needed nap before heading out with Maddy for dinner.

Her dream was a meld of bright lights and colours. Remind rubbed her eyes and her vision cleared. A carnival: with loud music, the aroma of cotton candy and cheers of people enjoying the warm afternoon. The grass was destroyed as people trampled every which way in excitement. The navy dragon circled the perimeter before heading straight for the Ferris wheel.

There was no operator it seemed, just a slowly rotating wheel filled with people enjoying the sites. The lights on its axels flickering brightly, despite the shining sun and the silver frame glistened in her eyes.

Remind slowly climbed the steps to the first empty chair and slid past the gate to the seat.

Mind if I join you?

Rex was almost unrecognizable. He must have lost several pounds and muscle mass in the months that had passed since their last dream share.

What happened to you? cried Remind, waving him to the seat beside her. Is Nahara here?

Rex shook his head. He's still mad at you and not doing well. He winced as the metal seat burned his legs.

What happened? Remind's thoughts raced as she tried to imagine what had occurred in the time she had been gone.

We didn't know what happened to you, but Nahara and I have been dreaming sharing at least once a week.

Once a week!? But that doesn't usually happen!

Neither of us has been doing too well.

Remind frowned, a deep crease in her forehead as she sat there confused. But you're popular and athletic! He's a fantastic lawyer!

Just because I seem happy doesn't mean I am Remind. That was what separated the three of us: you, so clearly upset, Nahara and I kept out emotions hid.

What are you talking about?

Rex sighed, looking over the vast carnival into the horizon. He took her hand and pointed into the distance.

Isn't it beautiful? She nodded in agreement, turning her attention to him.

Why are you so upset? I had no idea.

His bright red eyes stared at her; almost menacingly as he told her quite flatly, I come from a broken home. My father can't tolerate anyone in my family and anyone who challenges his authority … well, they get punished. He gestured to his eye, holding it closed so Remind could faintly make out the bruises and dried blood. With skin so dark as his, it would have been impossible to see had he not deliberately stopped to show her.

Rex… I'm so…

What? Sorry? Don't be. There's nothing you could do or could have done.

Well, what about Nahara?

He's been working more, sleeping less. He's lonely and exhausted. But he can't quit or risk his entire career.

Remind instantly felt a pang of guilt. How terrible of a friend she had been to not only fail to help them, but to become so engrossed in her new life.

Why didn't either of you tell me?

We never had the chance. After you sent the wave after us in my dream, we never saw you in our dream shares. Nahara and I even found ways to almost force dream shares. We've met a few other people, but they're way too weird for us.

It was almost too much information to absorb for the girl. She sat in silence, appreciating what the boy had just said.

How do you force the dream shares?

There was a long pause before he answered. It seems… after some careful analysis by both Nahara and I… the worse off you are, the more likely you are to dream share. Remind stared blankly, as if suggesting for him to explain more. In essence, the more depressed you are, the more often you dream share.

It suddenly explained so much. Why after all these months dream sharing had been so infrequent, or short, and why the people changed so rapidly. As Remind became happier in the waking world, she became less and less able to access shared dreams.

What? Rex asked her, startling her from her thoughts.

Remind looked at him earnestly, the sorrow of guilt in her eyes. I've been so happy these past few months. Things changed at school. I've become decently popular, made some new friends. That's probably why I haven't been dreaming with you two. Her words hung in the air, and the pair sat in a heavy silence.

After a few minutes, Rex finally spoke. Well… I'm happy for you. Really, I am.

The Ferris wheel, as if knowing the change in the situation was coming, finished it's circle and stopped, waiting for her to get off.

Rex…

Don't. Go on, we'll manage. Nahara and I have each other now. He pulled the protective bar back over his waist and looked up to the sky, waiting for the next rotation to begin.

Remind snapped awake, dripping in her own sweat. She lay on the couch, wondering what the pair of men had been going through while she had been so happy. She pushed herself up so she was sitting cross legged, scratching slowly at her skinny arms.

The idea came so abruptly, she almost fell flat on her face as she leapt for the family computer. She went to her search engine and felt her sweaty fingers fly across the keyboard.

Nahara lawyer.
Sorry, did you mean Not a lawyer?" No you idiot! That's his first name!

US lawyer.
About 237,000,000 results." Remind groaned, dreading the thought of painstakingly searching through all the pages.

Nahara US lawyer
Nahara US lawyer dream share
Nahara long hours US lawyer
Last names of all US lawyers
Last names of all US lawyers whose first names are Nahara
US lawyer directory hotline

Every search the girl made her more and more frustrated. She tried reversing his name, putting it as his middle name, even as his nickname. Every time, she couldn't find what she was looking for. No purple dragon who was depressed.

Girex
Showing all results for Rex. Click here to search for 'Girex'". Remind clicked the button and waited for the page to load.

Your search - Girex - did not match any documents.

Rex US athlete
Rex US high school athlete
Star US high school athletes
Star US high school athletes with depression

The girl got angrier with every failed search. Too general. Too specific. No results. Too many results. Finally, she succumbed and gave up.

I hate search engines.

Remind closed the browser, fuming in her chair. She was no closer to finding Nahara and Rex in the waking world, and drifting even further away every day from being able to dream share. In a way, all her good fortunes had been a result of them – Nahara made her so angry she talked back for the first time, which led to a lunch with the girls… and the rest, is history.

The thought had crossed her mind when Rex had implied in their most recent dream share she was too happy. She drummed her fingers steadily on the computer desk. It was a risky move and if it didn't work, it would surely guarantee extreme depression.

Picking up the phone, she dialled Maddy's cell phone, waiting for her to answer.

Hi Maddy. I absolutely hate your guts. Goodbye!

The next day at school was different from the norm, but typical for a self-loathing version of Remind. She began to eat her lunches in the bathroom with her good friend the toilet. She began more actively participating in class and stopped socializing with other kids in her class.

It pained her to throw all those months of friendship and happiness away. The shock of losing it all so quickly hurt the most, but ultimately fed her depression, which she had once desperately sought to rid of. Now she welcomed it and welcomed the change in her sleep she hoped it would bring.

She was disappointed when she didn't dream at all the night after she ended her friendship with Maddy. She didn't dream any day after either. And she continued to not dream as she slowly saw her list of friends shrink to none. How could it be? This is all I wanted, I lost it and I still can't dream?

Even when the taunting came back, the dream shares never came. It wasn't until Christmas break before she finally dreamt of anything. They weren't dream shares, but she finally started having routine dreams. Every night, she felt herself enjoying what she had once cherished so much.


If she had been a child, she would have written a letter to Santa asking only for one wish: to dream share again and with her two friends. Though she had spent considerably less time with the pair, she felt a sort of connection unexplainable in comparison to everyone else.

Her parents asked time to time what happened to her friends, but Remind never gave a straight answer. It wasn't like they'd believer her, and there was the risk that she would be put in an insane asylum for her seeming delusional reason.

Instead, Remind fell back into her mundane routine – eat, crossword, sleep. But she began sleeping much more often. She would read Shakespearean plays until her eyes could read no further, or strain her knowledge as she completed cryptic crosswords for hours. She would nap after lunch and after dinner, and bedtime went from ten o clock to eight. At one point, her mother was so concerned with the amount Remind slept she took the teen to the doctor to see if she had some ailment.

Remind had also gotten no closer to finding either Rex or Nahara in the real world. In a cynical desire, she secretly wished her parents would need legal advice and stumble upon Nahara. But that never happened either.

After a particularly challenging cryptic crossword, Remind tucked her lanky body into bed for her ritual afternoon nap. With the snow lightly descending to the cold Earth, she felt cocooned in her cozy blankets. It was only a matter of time before she felt her eyelids droop and her mind be taken to her dreaming world.

Her eyes squinted in the bright white that consisted largely of snow. The oak trees that surrounded the clearing the girl stood in may have blocked the sun for the most part, but were almost sighing from the weight of the heavy powder.

Remind, who hated the cold in the real world, thoroughly enjoyed bounding around in the snow in this dream. With her knitted red mittens, she packed the ground into various shapes and sizes, tasting its purity on her hot tongue.

She pulled the dark velvet cloak she was wearing tightly over her head and sat in complete silence in the clearing. The trees swayed, though there was hardly any wind. The hood's fur tickled her scaly skin as she tested the frost in the air by exhaling repeatedly.



CONTINUE?


The loud crunch in the snow up ahead indicated she wasn't alone. Before, she would tense in apprehension, awaiting the dream to be transformed into a nightmare. But the thicket of the forest, combined with the poor visibility of the snow, made it near impossible to tell what was coming from just a few feet away.

Two footsteps, paced fairly evenly, moved together as one towards the young girl. She continued to frolic in the snow, despite the eerie feeling in the air.

Look what the cat dragged in, snarled Nahara, his scales radiating as he stepped into the clearing.

I'll have you know I sacrificed everything to be here," retorted Remind, standing to her feet to greet her somewhat icy friends.

Well, well, someone finally taught you about sacrifices. Welcome to the club kiddo.

Knock it off you two. Nahara, at least be happy we even found her. Rex looked to Remind, the pain of his continual suffering in his eyes.

Things haven't improved? Remind questioned. Rex shook his head and sighed into the frosty air.

Not one bit. What did you do anyway?

I threw away the friendships I had so I could dream share with you two.

Silence, in the forest clearing. The men nodded slowly, accepting her decision as valid, but nothing more. The wind picked up, lapping harshly against their faces. Rex gestured towards the forest and the trio continued further.

You said you found me. I didn't even hear you enter my dream, Remind started.

You, my dear, aren't as trained in the entering and exiting of dreams. We weren't our first times either but we've practiced enough now to do it quite seamlessly now, Nahara teased, jabbing lightly at her upper arm.

He's right actually. The more we dream shared together, the better we got. And we even devised ways to almost instantly dream share. You're hard to find because your dreams are so… he paused, searching for the word he wanted. Inconsistent, Rex finished.

My dreams are inconsistent?

Rex nodded. Not only do you dream infrequently, but your dreams are always different. It's hard to… visualize where you are, if you know what I mean. The blank stare on the girl's face indicated absolutely no comprehensive. Rex bit his lip, unsure of how to explain.

Think of it this way, Nahara began. Rex and I have a base setting. We alternate whose dream we share. One day, I'll go to sleep with the intention of dreaming in our base setting. Some days I will, some days I won't. Rex too, will go to sleep with the intention of dreaming in that base dream, only he'll picture me in control. Some days he won't dream in the setting, but on the days he does, we end up dream sharing. Does that make sense? Remind nodded slowly, absorbing the information. Her eye brows creased as she felt herself deep in thought.

But how can you see what I'm dreaming? How do you even know?

The men stared at each other, as if silently asking who was going to attempt to answer this question. That's a good question with no simple answer. Sometimes, I can think of Nahara so clearly, I can see what he's doing in his current dream. I can try to dream share that way, but a lot of the time, I'm just an onlooker and I can't interact with him. We can do the same with you, it's just a lot harder to focus on you because we've seen you so little.

Remind stopped and twirled in a circle, a quick rush of blood to her head. The snow that had been slowly accumulating on the velvet cloak flung off, landing softly on the forest floor. There, now you've seen me. Nahara shook his head, but Rex laughed.

It doesn't really work like that, but I appreciate the gesture.

How can I get to your, er, 'base setting'? Can you show me?

Er, well, sure I guess. We can try now. Since this is your dream, you're going to have to change the scenery to what I say. Can you do that? Nahara questioned. The girl flashed a quick smile and nodded, waiting for her next instructions.

It was a complete 180° from the current winter wonderland theme Remind had presently created. The sky was a magnificent shade of orange and fuchsia, as if the sun was caught in crossfire between sunset and the beginning of the night. The trees were no longer snowy and thick, but sporadic and frail. The ground was muddy and hard, a thick rock fence surrounding the prized wooden cabin, with it's dim candlelit light peeking from one of two glass windows in the front.

What is this place? Remind asked.

The reincarnation of my old cabin up North, Nahara answered, moving past the opening in the fence to the cabin.

I don't mean to sound rude, but do you two spend all your time here?

The pair chuckled, but shook their heads. Sure, some days we do. We'll just sit and talk or play a game or something. But a lot of the times we'll just change the scenery to whatever we're in the mood for, Rex told her, gesturing for her to move forward before him.

The trio headed inside and continued to expand the world of the base setting. Remind concentrated, blinking and focusing on remembering all the what-would-be insignificant details. The family picture on the wall apposite the front door. The empty fireplace tucked neatly in the back right corner. What Remind thought was a hideous fur rug, sprawled perfectly center on the floor. When the cabin was finally finished, it was decorated from wall to wall in kooky and folk like adornments. Nahara sighed as he eased his almost fuchsia body into an arm chair.

So now what? Remind asked, sitting with Rex on the tattered couch, its grainy material itching her neck.

Rex shrugged. Whatever we want. But we should probably sort out our fail plan first. Nahara agreed, and leaned forward in his chair.

Basically, it's a 'what to do if you can't get into the dream' plan. Since you can't get in and out of dreams as well, you can continue to think of this. It may even help to sketch it once you wake up. Think of this every time you go to sleep. And fully think of it, every detail counts. Just picture yourself standing outside, waiting to get in to the cabin. Give us some time to try and connect before you move on. Sometimes, both of us won't get in. You'll probably get at least one of us and hopefully, with some practice, it will be easy for everyone to be here. I normally go to bed at 11, Rex often 10. The best would be for you to sleep at 10 and I can come find you. If you meet Rex, stay in the cabin. If you don't meet Rex, don't worry about me. It'll be impossible for you to tell when I will be asleep or not.

Are you sure? I can just wait no matter what. I'll just dream of some crosswords or something. Nahara laughed, but shook his head.

You two probably have much more in common anyway. In a few weeks, we'll try letting you jump in instead. And might I add: a tad more gracefully too.

Remind felt relieved that not only did she find them in her dream shares again, but the tension between Nahara and her was subsiding. The men continued to show her the power of dream sharing, teaching her tricks on building layouts and resisting urges to wake from the share.

At first, Remind continued to be unsuccessful in creating the dream share base setting. Sometimes the trees were the wrong shade, or the details in the cottage weren't accurate. As time progressed through the Christmas break, however, her accuracy improved and she was able to dream share with both at least once or twice a week.

The girl's routine continued on this pattern throughout the winter season, even when school started. Every day as she grew closer to the two (especially Rex), it made her long for sleep longer. She told them of all her attempts to find them in the waking world. Despite the concurrent dream shares, details were still sealed off. The trio attempted to think of personal details, both in dream shares and on their own, in the event someone caught it. But nothing changed and nobody was closer to meeting in the waking world.

By March, Remind could enter and exit dream shares just as seamless as Rex and Nahara. Nahara, too busy with work, became less and less frequent in the dream shares, leaving Rex and Remind on their own.

He told her of his family problems, where it all began and vented to her when he had issues. She, in turn, told him of her loneliness in the real world, which fuelled her drive to dream share and to meet them.

Remind had just come home from another boring and lonely day at school when her mother was waiting in the kitchen, tapping her foot impatiently.

There you are! This came for you, who is this? her mother asked, handing her the piece of mail in question. It was a simple envelope, perfectly crisp with a fresh smell, with scribbled handwriting that barely spelt out her name and address. In the top left corner, printed neatly with a coloured logo read:

The Law Offices of Major&Major
Nahara
30 N Monroe Street
Suite 1652
Chicago, IL 60600

Knowing her mother was watching carefully, she simply explained it was a school related matter – people were being forced into contact with real professionals. She surged her legs up the stairs, feeling the sweat pool in the palm of her hands. Thoughts flashed through her mind like light speed.

Her finger rubbed the envelope, its smooth texture gliding against her skin. She ever so gracefully pulled at the fold to unveil the message, her hand shaking almost uncontrollably. She didn't know why her stomach was twisting itself deeper into knots or why she felt light-headed. She should be excited. There is only one Nahara lawyer out there that she knows. Who else would mail her? The letter, hand-written with the same messy style, was drowned in a sea of white paper. It was short, to the point and honest:

Tag. You're it.

Remind felt the corner of her lip pull to a grin, before she noticed another envelope within the original, stamp and return address already filled out. But this letter was not addressed back to Nahara. Rather, it was always filled out for Rex.

I can't believe you found us! Remind cried, pulling Nahara into a big hug.

The dragon grinned, pulling away to look down at the girl's bright face. Unlike you, I have more resources than just a few search engines. A good buddy of mine who specializes in school related legal has access to school records. So a few e-mails later and I had all your information.

Rex hadn't been able to connect with Nahara this evening, so it was just the pair of them sitting in the cabin. Nahara pulled away from the hug and crouched to begin making a fire, a warm gesture given the news.

I mailed him, but haven't heard back.

I'm sure he'll respond soon. Nahara turned back to face the girl, whose dark skin radiated with the cabin glow. His lips pursed, a sullen look on his sleep-deprived face. Remind, I won't be able to dream share much, if at all, anymore.

What!? Why! You can't leave us! We're all we have!

I know, and it's not that I don't appreciate having you two hear to listen to my grumblings, but I'll be moving across the globe to take a new job, so we won't have connection. The girl stared, wide-eyed at the rapid change in events. Is that why you mailed us?

Partly, yes, I'll admit. I wanted to make sure it was you two before I left. At least now I can mail you from my new home.

Remind crinkled her nose, a look of both disgust and sadness on her face. Doesn't make it all that better.

I know, Nahara sighed. But you have Rex. And you two don't live too far apart.

We don't? Remind asked.

Nahara chuckled. I'm surprised that you didn't bother to map his small town. You're about a thirty minute drive.

Remind sat there in silence, absorbing all the information like a sponge. Sensing the hurt, Nahara sighed and wrapped a single arm around her shoulder.

You're going to be fine, kiddo. You do very well in school and you have Rex. And you'll have me from afar. Just don't lose sight on what you cherish, okay? Remind nodded, the tears spilling from her eyes.

This dream isn't fun, she muttered, eyeing Nahara with bright eyes. He chuckled quietly and pulled her into a warm and firm hug, smoothing her hair with his strong hands.

I know it's not, but it was going to happen. Just be strong, okay? You're all Rex has. Remind faintly remembered nodding to him back, but her next thought was a conscious one.

In the span of a few months, she had felt her body jerked in every which direction. She thought of Rex, her closest friend, with his bruised eye and broken soul. They were all they had left, with Nahara out of the picture. And for the first time in a long while, she cried herself to sleep.


Her eyes felt puffy and sore from the hysterics that had occurred the previous night. Remind desperately wished to shut her eyes, be at Nahara's cabin once more and forget the waking world. But he wouldn't be there. He's likely long gone, on a flight across the world with no signs of coming back. It was a futile effort.

School dragged on, mainly due to the lack of social interaction. The girl buried herself in work, trying desperately to avoid the pain in her stomach from Nahara. She didn't blame him, but she was angry. It was frustrating to work so hard for nothing, in her mind.

Her teachers get her involved and studious, which made the unpleasantries at school seem tolerable. She knew she was bettering herself anyway by focusing on her academics for the long run.

It had been a few days, with no dream sharing, that in a deep discussion of integrals in her Calculus class that she remember what Nahara had said, almost in passing. And you two don't live too far apart. A thirty minute drive was feasible, but for a specific purpose. Remind chided herself for not being more proactive and researching Rex's area and her first spare chance during school was devoted to mapping the distance.

She hadn't heard from Rex since before the letter was mailed, so she would have to meet in a dream to discuss plans to meet in person first.

They discussed to meet at a mall, which was a reasonable excuse to visit his town. Her mother, unfortunately, would be in attendance, but she assured her frantic daughter she would sit patiently and wait. Remind, on the other hand, had a horrible feeling otherwise. It wasn't uncommon for her mother to endlessly humiliate her daughter with embarrassing stories and the like.

They had agreed to meet at the food court, so they could grab a quick lunch and sit to chat. But, Rex was late. She tapped her foot rapidly, the pulse in her veins spiking with each second. Her stomach turned, the knots tugging in every direction. The food court was busy, and unusually hot, only contributing to the uncomfortableness the girl felt.

When she almost walked away, her eyes flickered to a dark skinned dragon, whose red eyes were eyeing every direction. As she moved forward through the lunch madness to see him, her mother was chasing her down. Remind felt her chance to meet Rex slipping away.

It had happened so quick. The girls' eyes, scanning rapidly over the crowd, caught glimpse of the familiar face. She called his name, waving her arms madly in a last attempt to catch his attention. His head scanned, searching for the voice that called to him. Remind was tugged away, with only a moment of visual connection.

He looked exactly like he did in his dream shares, his charming looks and athletic build. He waved back, but was pulled from sight as Remind's mother questioned her with details. When she turned around to see him, he was already gone.

The two recounted their disappointment later that dream share. Rex, who had been caught up with an old friend, couldn't escape the conversation to meet up on time.

I feel so horrible Remind. That may have been it, Rex started.

Remind shook her head.There will be others, I think. I don't know for sure, but I bet we will. The boy, dejected, nodded sullenly and looked to the distance.Besides, we can continue practice dream sharing and that still is the highlight of my day, Remind smiled, poking his arm lightly.


The next few weeks were pure bliss. Remind freely could dream share with Rex, every night, for hours on end. They talked, held each other and supported one another. What was supposed to be so rare and intriguing became common and their norm. For without each other, they were nothing.

Remind noticed Rex's health had plateaued, his now skinny body lanky and awkward. But, they were a good fit together and bonded immensely over their circumstances.

For two weeks, it was this seemingly happy period. Every night, a detailed dream the pair experienced with each other, while their waking lives became nothing but passing time. Remind even began to care less about her academics, a shocking turn in events, to devote her time solely to sleeping.

She would nap after school and go to bed immediately after dinner. All in all, Rex and Remind could dream share for hours without interruption. They alternated with who controlled the dream and let their imaginations wander. There were talks of Nahara, who did occasionally mail them, and talks of their future.

Remind, can I see you again in person? Rex asked her one day.

She turned to him, planting another oak tree in the forest they were creating. Well, sure. But how will we get to one another?

Rex pointed to the tree, forcing it's mint green leaves to a copper as he shut his eyes. You have that competition coming up, right? For your class? I could meet you there. "

Remind tensed, the thoughts of school a fuzzy memory now. She nodded, helping him convert the leaves one by one, as they planned the meeting in more detail.

Two weeks. It felt like eternity to Remind, as she stared at calendars. Clocks ticked slowly, the hands almost stuck on each second marker. Remind felt herself staring at clocks too often, the feeling in her stomach growing restless.

She was so desperate to see Rex, to give him a hug and hold his hand. To try and shelter him from the disaster that was his life. Despite his winning sports seasons, his home life was no better.

When the day finally arrived, Remind took extra care to present herself. She wasn't wearing her normal black attire, but a black and red dress, with shimmered in the sun. It was a commemorative uniform her school had chosen for the competition to represent 'the fire to compete', or some motivational tool which Remind had ignored. She had one focus and one focus only.

She sat cross-legged in front of her mirror, dabbing the makeup at her eyes and cheeks to give her a face a healthy glow. She marched promptly on the bus and awaited the 45 minute bus ride to Rex's home town.

The decathlon was taking place at his school, which for the pair, was a stroke of good fortune. Remind competed, won handily and accepted her overzealous prize. All she could focus on was the crowd, looking for the dark skinned boy with crimson red eyes.

It was the small wave and cheeky grin that caught her attention. He was sitting, his shoulders hunched and body relaxed as he watched her intently. His head motioned towards a pair of doors that lead to behind the school, while Remind pretended to be ecstatic over her win.

The girl burst through the doors, waiting as Rex turned slowly to face her.

Well, don't you look pretty. And to think, you math folk were supposed to be geeky." He crooned.

The girl froze, the colour filling her cheeks. Rex laughed, took her hand and pulled her towards the grass.

Don't take compliments well, do you?

I don't ever get them, Remind answered, as he motioned her to sit beside him. The grass tickled her legs as the wind blew lightly, the goosebumps sprouting on her calves.

Well, I think you look great. And before you say anything, don't try and refute it. Oh, and congratulations on winning, you brainiac. He winked, as Remind fumbled a few thank yous and 'it was nothing'.

It was good to see you again, Remind finished, breaking a long pause of silence.

You're always great company Remind, thank you, Rex emphasized.

I wish I had more time, the girl blurted out, instantly covering her hand over her mouth. Rex smiled his toothy grin and held her hand, his warm skin easing the chill she felt from the wind.

Rex held her hand as he walked her back to the bus, some time later. With one final hug, they whispered of meeting for a dream share later. Remind felt a pang of disappointment as she waved by, the bus pulling away from the rock in her life.

Remind was asleep almost immediately when she curled into her bed, the exhaustion from the days' events taking a toll. Rex was filling in details, his back turned to her and she entered the cabin.

Hi, she started slowly.

Hi, he answered, not turning to face her. I want to show you something, just close your eyes and take my hand. The girl obeyed and took the boys hand, waiting until she was given a quick squeeze to let her open her eyes.

There was a flurry of birds up ahead, as they scampered the white cherry blossom tree in the distance. The ground, almost snowy white, was covered in the flowers as they danced in the wind to the ground. The smell was fresh, and intoxicating, but not overwhelming. She stood there, in silence, as she absorbed his scenery.

It's beautiful, she croaked out, her head turning to him.

He said nothing, but smiled. They walked for hours, talking quietly and enjoying both each other and the surrounding forest.

I have one more dream to show you, so close your eyes again.

Remind listened as Rex instructed her to open her eyes. Her lids fluttered, fighting to see the creation he had for her.

Her body gave way to the weakness that was growing inside her, as she sunk to the ground. It swallowed her up, breaking way to clouds. And she was falling. Falling far from the place she was meant to be.

She wanted to scream out to him, to hold him again and to open her eyes. His screams became quieter as she fell, the bottom nowhere in sight. She thought of Nahara, and his interpretation of what was happening. But it was only one thing, and they all knew what it was.

The doctors tried several methods, even bringing in Rex to try to wake her up. But sometimes, what you long the most ends up being your demise. As Rex held her hand in the waking world, the girl was in but a distant memory. She had wished for an eternity of sleep and suddenly, that reality was upon her. There were tears shed, cries of agony at the prognosis. A coma, with deep damage to the cerebral cortex, as the doctors mused. Unsure of the cause or severity of the damage, it would be weeks for accurate results.

And those weeks turned to months, the girls body growing cold and weak. Her body, dead to the world, while her mind was stuck in free fall. Rex never left her side, holding her hand and watching her with a determined fixation. To wake her up. To feel the quick squeeze of his own hand. But, it never came. As time passed, it became more and more certain that Remind was ill. And that she'd never wake up.

THE END




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