The Dreamer

The Dreamer:


by John Andreula


Is this real?

Dreams have a peculiar means of getting dreamers to ask that very question.

The simple answer is yes.

Although dreams do not have mass, they are indeed experiences, and experiences are tangible.

Dreams can also become memories, and memories are real as well.

Dreams are as real as anything else in the world.

Gigi was right, of course. The traveler was at the exact coordinates the woman had said he would be at. Glitch found the clearing deep in that forest with relative ease. All he had to do was be there and wait.

The traveler nearly spotted Glitch too. Luckily Gigi had warned him about the kid, and his propensity to not be seen by other people. Thanks to her tutelage, his increasing comfort in his ability gave him the confidence to use his skill to hide himself from the young man’s paranoid eyes.

The tall, slender man stood sat not sixty yards from the campfire, and the young traveler. Internally, a great battle ensued between his boredom and thirst. Still, he stood there and stayed silent, just as his mentor had told him to.

It had to be just before sunrise, Gigi had expressed. As usual, he didn’t know why it had to be a certain way or at a certain time, but he had seen more than enough to trust her implicitly.

As he watched from between the trees at a distance, Glitch didn’t see anything impressive about the boy. For some reason Gigi thought this kid was special. He didn’t exhibit any powers though, and that was unusual for her. All Glitch saw was the traveler brood, and grumble at the sunrise.

The campfire was days ago. He would be contacted again soon for his next assignment if he didn’t return to Refuge on his own volition. Right now he would drink. He wasn’t quite sure when he would get around to going back.

Things used to be different. Gigi used to be so passionate about helping people like Glitch learn about themselves and their powers. It didn’t seem like that anymore, not since they found the writer. Everything’s been a mission since then, and that wasn’t what Glitch had signed on for.

Glitch shifted his weight on the cracked vinyl seat of the bar stool. He had spent the last few hours feeling like he needed a drink. He was happier now, having one in his hand. Glitch took another sip of his clear Ron Junio tequila.

The dark brown wood of the bar was sticky. It was grimy where the flat top of the bar met the curved, downward-sloping accents. It probably hadn’t been cleaned in years, but they were serving, so this was Glitch’s kind of place.

The volumes on the TVs above the bar were turned up high. They blared over the boisterous, drunken locals. Having the televisions turned up so much only caused the other patrons to raise their voices even more. Human psychology was certainly funny like that. It surprised Glitch how little of it bartenders understood, considering their ability to milk sizable tips from the many suckers that bought drinks off them each evening.

Until recently, Glitch had just seen his ability as a neat parlor trick. Sometimes it even allowed him to grift a few bucks, or an occasional meal, but now his power was growing into something far greater. The asp had crushed his preconception of what he thought he was capable of. The fire snake was on a whole other level. Gigi seemed right about his potential as well.

Glitch took another pull from his tequila.

The man called Glitch used to be a regular Joe. In fact, his parents had named him the most generic name he had ever heard, Joseph Johnson. He hadn’t used that name since he was discovered by his comrades.

With the very few exceptional moments, Glitch saw himself as he was, a loser. He felt if anyone looked up normal, plain, or undesirable in the dictionary, there would be his picture right next to the definition.

Every now and again Glitch snuck a glance over at the group of belligerent girls further down the bar. They wore very revealing clothing, and he didn’t mind the show. They didn’t pay him any mind though.

Twice now Glitch made eye contact with the barkeep when his drinks got low. This time he ordered his third drink, before losing himself again in the thoughts of the previous evening and his stake-out of the drifter.

The fire snake was all his own doing. He was felt proud of himself for producing such an intricate projection. He now knew that he was capable of accomplishing feats previously only imagined in science fiction.

It was too bad he couldn’t do more than visually bring the fire snake to life. As was expected and inevitable, Glitch’s disappointment in himself pushed out the short-lived celebratory emotions. It was just too easy to slip back into his comfortable state of melancholy.

His job was done for now. Glitch would have to return to Refuge soon. Gigi would want to brief him on the state of the powered peoples’ world, before sending him out on his next super-human mission. He had little interest in orders and plans at the moment though.

For now his drink would suffice. He downed a generous gulp. Keeping the glass up by his mouth, he looked at the last bit of liquid at the bottom of the glass. Then he set it on the sticky bar in front of him.

The bartender wore a dark blue T-shirt that was a size too small for his muscular frame. The shirt featured the image of some ridiculous superhero wearing a cape, and posing with his fists on his hips. Above the picture it read “Who else is EFFECTED?” Slurred curse words and fake laughter came from the group of girls down the bar. Glitch sucked his teeth in contempt.

He kept thinking about the campfire, and of the traveler. Glitch picked up his glass and downed the last few drops. It was time to put on another show.

The soccer match on the television closest to Glitch had just ended. The customary post-match commercials began.

The mega-corporation VIM Inc.’s red, white, and blue logo took over the screen. The logo and music was followed by a clip of billionaire inventor, Seth Stanton, VIM’s controller, holding onto some elaborate tech. He was supposedly teaching some hand-selected under-served youths. They were all smiling. Stanton’s smile seemed curiously hollow somehow.

Glitch didn’t know what any of the devices in the commercial did. He wasn’t even interested in the advert. Yet, something about the billionaire’s presence on the screen kept his attention glued to the monitor.

Glitch stared blankly as the screen. Then Stanton looked directly into the camera, as if back at him behind the bar.

The controller stood there silently for a moment longer. He tapped the side of his head twice, above his ear, before bringing his index finger up to his lips and made the ubiquitous gesture of don’t tell anyone. The feed returned to the post-game pundits’ commentary.

What the fuck? Glitch thought to himself. He must have gotten himself drunker than he realized. That third drink was obviously affecting him.

Glitch made eye-contact with the bartender a final time that evening, and asked “Can I get the check?”

The young man tapped some keys on his POS screen before a white receipt printed noisily appeared from its slot. The man placed the check on a small shiny black tray with one of a credit card company’s logo on it. He slid it across the bar to Glitch with a nod.

Maybe it’s all for the better, Glitch thought to himself. After all, he used to be plain old Joseph Johnson. He was a fucking nobody. He used to pump gas, sell lottery tickets, and clean graffiti and shit off of gas station bathroom walls. He hadn’t used that name in a long time, and now, as Glitch, he wrote his own checks, so-to-speak.

Glitch squeezed his eyes shut tightly. Then he reopened them and stared ahead.

A shrill scream filled the establishment’s dingy interior. The shriek was followed by the sound of a dropped beer bottle braking as it hit the floor. Both came from the drunk girls he had been watching before.

The lushes jumped back from the bar, revealing what had scared them so abruptly. An abnormally large rat ambled on top of the bar. It twitched its whiskers and ate from a spilled bowl of stale bar snacks.

The bartender stood dumbfounded for a moment before jumping into action. He snatched up his small broom from behind the bar, in the corner, and began swatting it at the large rodent on the bar, yelling Shoo! repeatedly.

The rat hissed at him and bared its teeth. The bartender jumped back. The rat then did the same towards the scattering drunk girls.

Glitch squeezed his eyes closed once more, and again reopened them. A fifty dollar bill appeared on the top to the black tray in front of him. Glitch stood up, grabbed his dirty brown coat off the stool next to him, and walked out of the bar.

The heavy black door slammed shut behind him. There were white graffiti tags on the building’s front windows. The place was a dump. He was surely going to miss it.

Glitch headed down the quiet street on foot. The bar’s door flung open behind him. He pressed on, bracing himself for the familiar yell of the confused, yet equally stiffed bartender. No yelling followed. He ignored the hurried footsteps behind him.

“That was a cute trick you pulled in there,” spoke a man’s raspy voice as he tried to keep up with Glitch’s long strides. Glitch just kept on walking.

“Seriously, that’s was cool. You’re going to have to show me how you did that sometime. I’d even pay for your drinks to see that trick again.” The man’s voice trailed off, it was replaced by a cold chuckling. Glitch ignored the man and continued down the road.

The man stopped his attempt to keep up. “Joseph Johnson, I’m talking to you. Damn! Don’t be rude.”

Hearing his old, unused name gave him pause. Glitch ceased walking. He finally turned to face the man.

The man was very short, about half of Glitch’s height. He had tattoos of flames all over his face and hands.

“My name used to be James. Now they call me Swelter.”


Imagery is part of an ongoing fiction epic called The Dreamer.

It picks up where last week’s arc, Vision, left off. You can read it here!

And if you haven’t read the whole story, it starts here.

Look out for more of The Dreamer coming very soon!

John Andreula is a writer and dreamer residing in the foothills of Colorado.

More of his works of can be found at:

Moving On Upwards & Failing Upwards

Reach him for commission work or media requests at:


The Dreamer

The Dreamer:


by John Andreula

Edited by Kodid Laraque-Two Elk


Dreams come and go.

Yet sometimes, dreams linger long after the dreamer awakens.

Some people think dreams send messages the conscious mind will not otherwise see.

Others believe the dream itself is the message, in its entirety.

The message communicated through these types of dreams is considered prophetic.

It’s vision most people cannot see.

A subtle breeze swept across the makeshift campsite. The embers of the dying fire flickered and popped.

Ty peered through his drowsy eyelids. The light from the modest campfire had begun to fizzle and fade. Night was about to give way to the oncoming day.

A few times throughout the night Ty considered letting the fire die and giving in to his ever-escalating exhaustion. But he didn’t want to sleep.

Each time, the drifter instead threw another log or two onto the fire.

Ty was many things, but he was not unrealistic. He would succumb and fall asleep for a couple hours tomorrow night or the next, but not tonight. He would sleep eventually, but sleep meant dreams.

Ty’s dreams weren’t pleasant. A brother shot in the face, silently judging him, a murder committed a lifetime ago, and many other miscellaneous losses of innocence from throughout his life all turned up eventually; whenever the young traveler decided to let the impulsive need to recharge through unconscious rest win over.

The young vagrant stirred while he lay on his side. As always, this night had been a long one. Yet, this past evening was incredibly peaceful. It seemed different from many of the others on the road. It was near time to get up and move on.

The moment Ty arrived at his decision to break camp an ethereal wind passed through the meadow, hiding deep within this rural forest. A charred log crackled, reinvigorating the moribund fire. The gust was just strong enough to stoke the flames back to life. The blaze rose far too high, considering just the one blackened log was all that fueled it.

Ty’s consciousness snapped back into his body. He rose lazily into a sitting position.

The orange-red flame coiled and twisted in the air. Ty wondered whether he was actually awake, or if he was just having a rare dream that didn’t involve the details from the worst memories of his life.

The fire seemed to stretch and fold over upon itself. Lengths of it fell and settled on the ground below. Each section layered on top of the one before, forming a stack. The longest strands of flame lay on the bottom, each above shorter than the last, until a pyramid formed inside the ashen fire-pit.

The tip of the newly constructed pyramid of blaze rose from its coiled base below. It rounded into an oblong shape and stretched upward. The lengthy inferno began to sway somewhat. Then it folded over into a point and unmistakably faced Ty, who sat cross-legged in the dirt and weeds.

The swaying tip of the flame formed into a serpent’s head. The snake had midnight black eyes. Only the reflection of the flame body below showed.

The flame-beast pivoted its ophidian head slightly as if it were stretching its neck. The snake yawned, revealing four fangs the same black as its eyes. A yellow-orange bifurcated tongue rose from the gaping depth that was the back of its throat.

It closed its mouth as if the fire animal had been corporeal the entire time. The tongue exited and reentered the mouth as if in some unheard rhythm. The tip of the flame-snake’s tail rose from behind itself. A moment later it appeared to Ty to be a rattle, the next second the form blurred in the inferno.

The snake stared into Ty’s cold brown eyes, and Ty stared back, unflinching and unafraid.


The young man shifted in his seat. He was uneasy around snakes. It was obvious to him that this snake was either a figment of his imagination, or an odd dream.

The flame-snake emitted a low, but deep, echoing hiss. As if it were momentarily a normal fire, the flames of its body shook as the next breeze rolled through it.

Then, as if inhaling while forming its words, the snake spoke to Ty. “You…” It struggled, as though it were learning to use its serpent mouth to make human sounds.

“Sssshe will need you…” the snake hissed on. “You mussst go to her…Find her…You will need her asssss well…”

The snake’s voice echoed off into the distant edge of the woods. Ty processed what he was seeing, and what he had just heard. He continued to stare unblinking, and non-emotive. The flames flickered. For a moment it was more fire than snake.

After a few seconds passed Ty finally replied to the fire snake, “Is this real?..Are you…real?”

“I am,” the echo-hiss acknowledged.

“Am I dreaming?”

“You are…” it went on, “Thisss isss a true dream, and at once-ssss, no dream.”

The snake hesitated. It’s head glanced some point in the distance. Ty continued listening, and watching.

“Heed thessse words, traveler…The girl needsss you…You mussst ssssave her…Sssshe issss in danger…Only sssshe can ssssave you…Only sssshe can ssssave ussss.”

The flame snake looked off in the distance again, and then, instantaneously, the charred log burst apart. The blaze petered off into sparks and smoke.


The flame snake was no more. The remains of the fire spread into a final choking gasp of oxygen. Only dim orange embers remained in the pale of the breaking daylight.

“I don’t understand.” Ty spoke impatiently into the gray-white smoke that remained. The snake had been there just a moment before.

Ty stood up and peered off through the trees. The sun’s fingernail edge was rising in the east. “Leave me be, dreams.” Ty spoke into the sunrise. “Go bother someone else.”

Vision is part of an ongoing fiction epic called The Dreamer.

If you haven’t read it from the whole story from the beginning, check it out here.

Look out for more of The Dreamer coming very soon!


John Andreula is a writer and dreamer residing in the foothills of Colorado.

More of his works of can be found at:

Moving On Upwards & Failing Upwards

Reach him for commission work or media requests at:

Classic Rock Wednesday

#CLRW keeping with the Hot Summer Hits idea there was no way getting around this song in my mind. From the master of the 80’s soundtrack Kenny Loggins who dominated just about every popular film of the day. If you were to give the 80’s decade a sound it would have to be Kenny writing the chorus.

It only seems fitting for today’s choice for Classic Rock Wednesday that we take a trip to Bushwood and one of the all time classic films Caddyshack. Love it or hate it the comic legends in this film can never be out done and same goes for the opening song “I’m Alright” that accompanied it in 1980. I’m the Listener and it’s time to Tee Up, grab your driver, put on your best shades, and do your best gopher here is your Classic Rock Wednesday.

#ClassicRockWednesday #1980 #Caddyshack #KennyLoggins #ImAllRight #TheListener #5280Geek