She woke up with a sigh. Another night, spent dreamless. If she didn't have a dream for two more days, she would have to be banished from the court, left on the shore of the blue body, the source of many of her nightmares. It was just a big container of water, but it was humongous and scary. Very few could survive that blue body. She has been lucky once, but didn’t want to take a chance again.
As she got up and got ready, she thought about when something as mundane as dreaming had become so important. She remembered that fateful day when the blue body had been angered by someone and decided to eat up her village, which was on the border of the empire. When the water had swallowed her and taken her deeper, she had somehow opened her eyes and stared right into the eyes of a dolphin. When she next opened her eyes she had been in the court, in a white room with some other fortunate survivors. She didn’t remember anything that had happened while she was unconscious but since then, every time she had a dream, it ended up coming true.
The first time she dreamt after that was 2 year later, when she turned 12. It included a plant with an orange cloth wrapped around its stem. A few days later a fire began in the forest and ravished a huge part of it. As she grew older, the dreams became more frequent and clearer. She was an orphan living in the town with other orphans with an greedy old lady and her lazy husband. As soon as they found out she could dream about the future, she had been stopped from going out of the house. They were not sure if her dream powers were a curse or a boon, so they tried to hide it from everyone.
Six months before her eighteenth birthday, somehow the king found out about her powers and took her away to live at the castle. She was now supposed to predict the future for the king. She was about to turn 18 in two days now, and still hadn’t had a single dream since. The king had warned her that if after 6 months she still didn’t have any dreams, he would banish her for lying. As she waited for one of the king’s ministers to come and ask her for the update, she considered lying and making up something. The consequences of being found out would be dire but the odds of being found out would be less if she came up with a smart answer. She finally decided to wait one more day before making up a dream.
The next morning she woke up with a gasp. She rushed to the table in the corner of the room and started scribbling words on a parchment - a man wearing a purple robe and having a long white beard - a crowd of faceless people - the king attending a ball and the queen drinking from a gold cup - blue body taking up the whole world - a yellow bird flying round and round in the sky as it rained - the prince’s famous sword penetrating a symbol of the sun while a girl in white stands over it - the girl having long brown hair, a long scar behind her elbow and a rose clip in her hair - just like her!
Author: Anousha Ambar