"Such Stuff As Dreams Are Made Of"

by Grant Carrington & Thomas F. Monteleone

    "Such Stuff as Dreams Are Made Of" was published in THE HORROR SHOW (Spring 1988), edited by David B. Silva. $3.95

    The inspiration for "Such Stuff As Dreams Are Made Of was a dream Lenny Wolfe had which told me about when we were at NYU. Lenny's story: He was a teacher at a high school where there was a wellknown black athlete. The athlete was not one of his students but of course he knew who the athlete was and the athlete probably knew who Lenny was, since Lenny was a teacher. One night Lenny dreamt that he was walking down the main street of the town and the athlete was walking toward him. As they passed each other, the athlete collapsed. Lenny woke up; it was 5:00. When he got to school, he learned that the athlete had died of a heart attack at 5:00 that morning.

It was not a particularly exciting dream; it was noteworthy only because Darwin had remembered it:

    It started simply enough.
    One night Darwin Hamilton dreamed that he was walking down Brookdale Avenue in Pikesville, the town where he taught high school biology. Elms and maples cast leafy shadows across the strett, and as Darwin continued along this dream-street, he noticed a tall, muscular, black boy approaching him. The boy was solidly built; his rippling muscles emphasized by the sleeveless tank-top which he wore. Darwin recognized him as Kenny Fynster, the star running back of the Pikesville Indians. Kenny was in none of Darwin's classes and probably never would be; Darwin recognized him only because of his athletic fame. The football player recognized Darwin too, since it was a fairly small school; the boy nodded at Darwin just before he woke up.
    It was not a particularly exciting dream; it was noteworthy only because Darwin had remembered it.
    That morning, when he entered the faculty lounge, he considered telling the dream to Becky Satterfield. Becky was an angular, not unattractive, thirty-ish language teacher, whom he dated occasionally; she always seemed to have interesting dreams. Last week, when everyone else was talking about Mr. Wheatley--the school security guard who had died in his sleep--Becky was bubbling to tell everyone about her latest dream. Darwin recalled that it had been something about taking a subway in Kansas City and ending up in San Diego. He decided that he would say nothing about his own drab dream.
    He saw Kenny Fynster several times during the day, walking down the green-tiled corridors, nearly a head taller than most of his classmates. As usual, there was communication between them; they did not even nod to each other.

    Darwin dreamed again that night. This time, as they passed each other on the shadowy street, Kenny reached out and grabbed Darwin's shoulder, stopping him. Darwin felt an electric shock pass through him as he turned to stare into the young black boy's eyes. Kenny's face, however, seemed friendly, and there was the hint of a smile upon his lips.
    Then Darwin woke up. This time the dream was fixed more clearly in his memory and Darwin was suprised to note that it had been in black-and-white. Although he was not positive, it seemed that he usually dreamed in color--not glorious Technicolor but commonplace, everyday color.

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