The Dream : Chapter 1
1: The Discovery
"That's strange!" Tic said, puzzled like.
"What?" Tac asked, looking over towards him.
"That!" Tic said, and pointed off towards the horizon.
"hmmm" Toe rubbed his chin as he too looked off to the horizon.
Sure enough, off on the horizon several little puffs of clouds had appeared. For most places that wouldn't draw anyone's alarm, but this was Dreamsland where the sky was always blue and there were NEVER ever a cloud in the sky (much less several little ones!) In fact, if you asked anyone in Dreamsland, they would tell you that the weather was always beautiful...always. The sky was always blue, the sun always shown down, and there was always a nice little breeze...always. But then most people wouldn't notice a small thing like little clouds on the horizon. In Dreamsland, everyone had their heads buried in their gardens. Gardens were the life- blood of Dreamsland. And everyone was judged upon how well kept their garden was, or how many beautiful flowers their garden had, or maybe what exotic plants they could grow. If you were anyone you had a garden. If not, well.... you just didn't fit in.
"Trimese Twins" (or Tic, Tac, Toe to you) was exactly like that. He didn't care about gardens or competing with everyone else. He didn't even care if he fit it. He ALWAYS knew he was different, simply because he was Trimese.
"Strange indeed" Tic muzzled to himself. "We had better go tell someone".
"Yes, people need to know", Tac added.
They started off and had to jerk Toe by the shoulder because he was still looking. Trimese of course was three different brothers attached at the shoulders, but they had learned very early on how to walk in unison. Even though all three look similar in appearances, each had a distinct personality. Tic was usually in charge (or so he thought) and made most of their decisions. He was brash most of the time and was prone to being head strong, but he had no fear. Tac (to his left) was more thoughtful and would observe things before saying anything. He was a thinker. He was usually more polite and knew how to get people to agree with him. Tac had the ability to make Tic think he was making the decisions, when (in truth) he was actually making them. And finally there was Toe (to Tac's left), the sweetest, most caring of the three. He was always a little nervous, a little insecure and would make a lot of jokes to hide that fact, although he generally had a great heart and wanted to please people and make them laugh.
Most people ignored Trimese simply because they were 'those lazy brothers who didn't grow a garden' but to others they were quite the sight, seeing the three of them all walking down the road that surrounded the central garden and separated it from all the citizens quaint little cottages.
Dreamsland was quite the sight too but in a different way. It was quite beautiful actually. There was the "Central Garden" in the very center of the little village. That was the huge beautiful garden run by the "City Elders" (or the local government). It was oval in shape and full of all kinds of beautiful flowers, plants and such. There were always birds flying to and fro above the garden and they filled the air with music just as the flowers below filled the air with sweet smelling scents.
Outside of that was "The Track". It was the walkway that went all the way around it and connected everyone together. All the citizens little cottages sat on the land outside the track surrounding it. If you wanted to visit a neighbor, you simple walked down your own sidewalk past your garden to your front gate and then to the track until you reached your destination. Some would take walks on the track in the evenings to enjoy the spring like air or the setting sun, which was always beautiful.
Of course, at one end of the oval shape track was the "Building of the City Elders", in a big building on top of a hill. It was an impressive building with tall pillars in front that held the city library, the city records, the city courthouse and the offices of the City Elders. The builders of the city felt that only on such a hill could they (the leaders) earn the respect of the fine citizens and besides, it was a great place to over see everything.
And on other end was "The Great Blue Hill". The Hill was called that because of the bluish tint grass that grew on it. [Much like the hill at the other end that held the city offices, this hill was also impressive so that the rest of the town sat sort of in a valley between the two]. And on top of it (up a long flight of steps) was the "The Great Wisdom Clock" that ran everything. It was the clock that truly ran everything. While the City Elders made up rules that were meant to keep order in Dreamsland, it was the Clock that actually produce it. It gave Dreamsland its magical quality and kept the weather constantly beautiful and everything ran smoothly because of it. It was basically a huge Father Clock with a face of a wise old man on it, and a pendulum below that constantly swung back and forth. It had always been in Dreamsland and had stood so long that people forgot where it came from or who created it or anything. Fact was it was sort of taken for granted now, and ignored. It was simply there...end of story.
Once upon a time the town had hired someone to run it, keep it running smoothly and to make sure all it's parts were in working order and that position was passed on to other people for generations. And at first that was a position of honor. But eventually people lost interest in taking care of it.
'The clock will always be there, running things' they would say. 'Why bother with it'.
So after a time it became neglected. Much like everything else, if it wasn't about gardens or gardening, then it soon lost the interest and attention of the fine citizens of Dreamsland.
"There's someone" Toe blurted, as they reached a neighbor. Of course none of his neighbors like Trimese, much less paid any attention to them. And when they did it was usually rude.
"Excuse me sir..." Tic started to say.
"Hump" the neighbor grunted as he looked up and purposely turned his back to them, never even bothering to find out what they wanted.
"Well, that certainly went well didn't it?" Toe said.
"Not!" Tic said. "Let's leave him to his garden."
They continued down the track to the next neighbor. This time as they approached, the neighbor ran inside his cottage when he saw them coming and shut the door behind him.
'Click' went the latch on his door! Again and again they met the same kind of reception from their fine neighbors. It was frustrating, to say the least. Each time they approached peoples' gates and each time they were ignored or sneered at. Halfway around the track they went and no one wanted to talk to them or give them any attention.
About that time they reached the bottom of "The Great Blue Hill". Trimese looked up at the clock. He always found it fascinating and thought about it often. He had a lot of time to think of things, since he wasn't busy gardening and had always wondered about the clock and how it worked, and who created it and why. He thought of a lot of things actually, that others would never bother with. Today he thought about the strange appearance of the clouds on the horizon and now something else was drawing his attention...
"Is it possible?" Tac said as they all stood there looking at the clock intently.
The clock looked different today. It seemed sort of tired. Of course they were at the bottom of the hill but even from this distance it did look different.
"Yeah, is it leaning just a bit?" Tic added. They all tilted their heads slightly.
"Oh my!" added Toe as he placed his hand to his mouth.
They all looked at one another for a moment and then agreed to go take a closer look. It took the three brothers some time to negotiate the many steps that led up to the Clock at the top. They had to catch their breath for a moment at the very last step and then examined the face of the Clock.
It was impressive. The Clock was almost twice the height of Trimese and made of some exotic wood that he had never seen before. It had intricate carvings on the surface of it in the front that seem to tell some sort of story. He had never noticed those from below, at the base of the steps or on the track. Maybe, he speculated, it even told the story of the history of Dreamsland itself. Who knew he wondered? Trimese studied these carvings for a while because he had never been this close to it before. In fact, as he was standing there he realized he couldn't ever remember anyone ever standing before it or looking at it. People just didn't do that in Dreamsland. Trimese stopped for a moment to watch the pendulum swing slowly back and forth. It seem to labor just a bit as it did. Then he looked up at the face of the old man in the clock above the pendulum. He couldn't help notice how sad the face of the old man sort of looked, how tired he seemed. And yes, the clock was indeed leaning forward just a bit.
"Come on lets go." "I know who to talk to" said Tac.
"The professor right?" Toe looked over at him.
"Yep, I'm glad I thought of it" said Tic, taking credit for the idea.
As Trimese finally turned away from the clock he couldn't help notice what an amazing view it was to see the entire little village laid out before him. The central garden was beautiful in the middle with its rainbow of colors and such and all the other little cottages that surrounded it with their own little gardens. Everywhere he could see the fine citizens working very hard, tolling away as each had his or her head buried in their endless efforts to produce the very best.
It was then that Trimese noticed two things that made the hairs on the back of his head stand to attention and the pit of his stomach to turn just a bit.
One...on the horizon the clouds had grown in number and had become larger and darker. And two...the breeze had suddenly stopped.