Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Extra - Longer Story - "Mr. William's Dream"

Mr. William woke before the sun had risen. His eyes were gooey and tired. He slapped his alarm until it stopped ringing. He went into the bathroom and turned on the shower. He scrubbed his back. He turned off the shower. He brushed his teeth.

He went back to his room and pulled his suit and tie from its hanger. He put it on and tied his shiny black shoes.

He pulled out of his driveway and drove to work.

He entered his dim office and sat down at his desk. His office smelled like old coffee and stale cardboard. A giant pile of papers waited for him. It was his job to make sure there were no mistakes on any of the papers, because if there were, somebody would lose money.

Mr. William did not like his job, but he pulled the first paper from the top of the pile and started to do it anyway.

At noon he ate a dry sandwich for lunch, and then continued to work until 4 o’clock when he was free to leave. He walked outside. It was raining. He got into his car and drove home.

After eating his dinner, Mr. William climbed into bed. His head was fuzzy and aching. He closed his eyes.

It wasn’t often that Mr. William had a dream, but as he drifted slowly into sleep, he found himself sitting at work again. Instead of beginning to review the papers as he should have, though, he took off into the air, flapping his arms furiously.

Giving himself an extra push off his desk as he rose, he shot over the heads of his cubicled coworkers and out the front door.

Outside, it was still raining. Mr. William tilted his body upward and flapped as hard as he could until he broke through the damp clouds and into the vast, white, sunlit field above.

“I can fly anywhere,” he thought to himself, “I can go to see all of the things I’ve always wanted to see!” He considered this for a few moments, resting on a cloud, then sprung excitedly into the air.

“I can go to see the giant ball of twine in Darwin, Minnesota!”

And off he sped.

He ducked under the clouds occasionally to check his direction, and each time looked down on the miniature people and cars below, busily running from place to place. He wondered if any of them had time to look up and see him passing overhead.

He flew for what must have been two hours. Then, through a break in the clouds ahead of him, he saw it. He had imagined he would proudly be able to land right on top of it, but now, as he flew closer, he saw that it was enclosed in a little hut surrounded by a chain-link fence.

He zoomed down and skidded to a stop on the grass outside.

He walked all of the way around it -- it was very big indeed, for a ball of twine. He discovered that one side had a clear glass window instead of a chain-link fence, and he could have his picture taken in front of it for only ten dollars. A little ticket booth stood a few yards away.

The boy running the booth grinned at Mr. William and waved a camera. Mr. William paid and went eagerly back to pose.

“If only I weren't dreaming!” he thought.

The boy's camera flashed and the sound of Mr. William’s alarm clock woke him up.

It was dreary and gray. Mr. William dragged himself out of bed, showered and went to work. The day passed even more slowly than usual. He had forgotten his lunch.

He returned home and could not bring himself to cook a complete dinner. He ate some granola bars, drank a couple of glasses of milk and watched the news on his little television.

When his eyelids began to droop, he got up and went into his bedroom to sleep.

As he climbed into bed and pulled his pillow closer, his hand ran across an flat, papery object underneath it. He pulled it out. It was an envelope with his name written on the front. He opened it slowly and pulled out its contents.

To his amazement, there, smiling up at him, was his photo from the giant ball of twine in Darwin, Minnesota, and his receipt for ten dollars.

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