Just a Dream!- Sulav Ratna Bajracharya, 2nd Runner Up, Wordism Finale, 2074/75

Whilst the glistening sun gradually sinks beneath the horizon, I rest my chin on the palm of my hand, witnessing every little detail of the untouched beauty of the divine nature. Too consumed by the serene appeal of the setting sun, I find it a little too inconvenient to even wipe the foggy windowpane for a clearer and warmer visual.
Minutes later, the glaze fades to darkness and there in my velvety couch, I am reluctant to shift my eyes anywhere but the changing colors of sky. And although my mind is fully focused on the outside, I dribble down the alleyways of my own imaginations.

Down the alleys I glide, through passages I’d never been before. Elevated from the ordinary, I ascend towards the path of extraordinary.
Don’t ask me where I am or who I am; because in this moment, I want to feel alone and in an absolute ‘nowhere’.
Yes, I am here, like I have nowhere to be. I am in my own company and there’s no one I’d rather be.
Look over here, my very own unicorn! – A creature of its own spectacle, a truly handsome fellow with its spellbinding wings and a horn holding its own mystiques and enigmas.
Here in this place, reside only those who’ve excelled exceptionally in their life.
The good, the saints and the generous.
So maybe it wouldn’t be all wrong to say that I’m the sort who believes in sacrifices and altruism. All my life, I’ve guaranteed prolonging the sacred inferno of humanism. So this really might not come as a shock as to why I’ve been designated to perpetuate through bliss and delight.
Never had I ever put somebody in misery. And always did I use to keep others above me and my vanity. Gulped my saliva instead of spitting where the public walked, and disposed garbage in a bin where it ought to be.
Family and friends always came first. But always did I stand up against the acts of immorality and violation.
I practiced what I preached.
Went on campaigns for human rights, and always advocated for equality and sustainability.
Published articles on mental health.
Marched through roads for awareness on domestic violence.
Demonstrated healthy practices for hygienic living in villages.
Donated clothes and books for children weeping through cold.
I’m the kind of guy who couldn’t bear to see anyone cry, humans and animals all alike. Rescued stray animals and gave them home.
I’d always imagined a community tied with love and benevolence.
An animal lover. An environmentalist. A humanist.
I was an altogether saint, if you know what I mean.
So if you ask what good have I done to deserve this utopia with unicorns and halo over my head, you pretty much get the overall picture of it.
In this utopia, I could fly and I could swim. I could do what fairies and wizards could do. I could be what fairies and wizards ought to be.

Flying through the puffy clouds with my mystical unicorn, one day I find myself racing against the speed of light. And with the superpowers that had been granted upon me from the celestial Universe itself, I find myself winning too. For the first time, I felt as if the power in me was invading the person I was; and then the unnatural speed defying that of light itself, had already led me unto a motion of fatigued perplexity.
And in no time, I no longer have my own senses.
I don’t know where I am or who I am. I am alone and in an absolute ‘nowhere’. But this time the void is making me infuriated rather than elevated.
In a distant sight, I notice a figure which I assume is something of a grotesque-looking creature with horns and wings, emerging from the ghastly rage of lava and creating all kinds of obnoxious noises.
Very soon, I find myself within the vicinity of red-hot boiling flames, slowly blistering my skin and bruising everything in and out.
To the bewilderment of my very eyes, the fairly handsome unicorn was drowning down the lava, neighing in pain with tears jerking from the corner of each eye. I don’t know what was more painful; seeing such a miracle deforming to death or having myself on the plate of Devil for supper.
I must’ve been a sinner, to have arrived in a place as such. This was certainly what the opposite of utopia must’ve looked like.
Anguish, pain and despair.
This place is all but the opposite of where I thought I’d end up.
All my life, I acted as a narcissist. Showed off to people my wealth and power. Behind the façade of a saint, there I was hoping that someone else would take a fall, for me to advance. As I went on scrutinizing, I realized that I was no less than a dull-witted diabolical barbarian.
Remember the time, I willfully accepted bribe in the name of some social research.
Or the time I turned away on an old woman who was begging me to help her cross the road.
Remember when I laughed at an obscene joke of sexism, all because I thought it would somehow make me look cool.
And the time I wussed out to counter bullying because I was scared to let myself be victimized.
I’d fetch stories about people behind their back. I’d patronize some of them, thinking I was somehow better.
Humanist. You’ve got to be kidding, right? I’m more of a hypocrite if you ask me (or anyone who knows me).
Attention was all that I’d ever wanted. Through selfless acts, I was in fact masquerading my selfish motives.
Vanity. Greed. Corruption.
I deserve to die slow, exactly the way I believe I’m about to.
I’m a prick. A crook. A deranged devil in disguise.

As I feel myself boiling down the magma, I shut my eyelids against my sight, to take one last breath and apologize for the sins I’ve committed.
And as I’m doing so, I spiral down a void and gradually lose the weight of what seemed to be pressing the pump of my heart.
I spiral down a free fall and my heartbeats race down to touch the ground scathed to the panic of hitting the wrong surface.

With a sudden gasp, letting my heart know it had nonetheless landed, I open my eyes to morning rays of the sun on the same velvety couch I’d unknowingly slept the day before. I release a sigh of relief thinking I was saved from being cut into pieces and eaten by the gruesome Devil.
Then with a grunt, I quiver my lips to murmur “Just a dream!”
~But was it really just a dream, or was it more than that?

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