- To Dream or not to dream
When Kelly woke next morning and saw a red penknife in front of him though – he felt certain this dream had come true. There it was, the knife! The red one! The one with the right blades for adventures. He reached out to grab it , his hand extending out from him towards it. Going on reaching, fingers wriggling in anticipation. Stretching , but not quite there. Kelly blinked. The knife moved! As if pulled by an invisible string or sliding on an unseen slope. The knife was moving away from him. A cruel trick ? his eyes widened and scanned for culprits or string – there were none.
The knife moved away from him, as if pushed by his reaching. His hand never grew closer to grasping it, fingers never touched its glossy plastic or shiny chrome.Then the knife was gone
Confused and a little startled Kelly dressed and bumbled through his breakfast and boarded the bus to School. it was a quiet journey with no particular excitement. no one had a knife or a lizard in their bag to stir interest. . Kelly looked out the window, his mind was now fully occupied with a singular question – have i woken up yet?
If the disappearing knife was me dreaming then i haven’t woken up and this is a dream, he reasoned. On the other hand If it was real, then this is real and i have woken up and the knife appeared and disappear as if by magic, he mused and picked at a fingernail as if some affirmation might leap from under it . Kelly was unsettled by both of the imagined worlds and perhaps more by a 3rd one beginning to coalesce.
I might me mad, maybe I’m just seeing things. Like dreaming…while your awake.
his mind began to struggle with all the possibilities and he decided that he had dreamed the knife, he was now on the bus, awake and had simply not noticed waking up, so the dream seemed real. Yes that was it, everything was as it should be and I just missed a little bit of something somewhere .
Feeling pleased with himself at his now certain grasp of reality, he sat back and let the journey to school drift in the window. Through the dusty morning traffic, onto the causeway connecting the main island to a smaller one , finally pulling up in front of his school. The familiar stucco facade , barred windows and multiple flags of many nations dangling from bunting across the portico.
The school had
Within a few minutes all the students were divided into their classes seated at their desks, their teachers low monotone voice droning the register. Kelly answered when his name was called and resumed a comfortable seating position and an even more comfortable repeat showing of his dream about the knife. A lesson began, Mr Samuel Granger busied himself writing instructions on the board. The clock ticked away the first few minutes of the day. Kelly dreamt on weaving tales oaf daring and exitimenet for his entertainment.
There had been an accident on the road as they were travelling to school. A man trapped in a burning car cried for help . Step forward Kelly, selecting a sharp blade from his knife, he cut him free and saved him from certain death. Kelly was a hero , people carried him aloft , shouted his name “Kelly Kelly Kelly “ he felt the pride as if it were real, his chest filled with it. He yearned to own such a knife more than anything. He felt it was his destiny to posses it, to be famous for having put it to such magnificent use. At that moment he had never desired anything as much as he now desired that knife. Other heroic adventures began half forming in his head. The clock ticked a new minute, the hand clicked into place , it was 9.23am on Monday the 21 March 2022.
Just then the knife of Kellys dreams appeared on the desk before him. It appeared so suddenly Kelly rocked back a little in his chair. There It was in front of him. Shiny red plastic, gleaming chrome metal, precision engineered blades nestling expertly in the smooth casing. A small square of grey at one end, evidence of the toothpick.Scissors massed out of one side, fine grooves for your nails to prize open the blades just showing on protruding edges. His eyes assessed it for trickery , mirage or strings before he allowed his hand to reach out for it. Slowly he slid his out toward it, expecting at any moment a vanishing act. He touched it , it was real he grabbed it , held it possessed it . He had it ! For a brief moment boundless joy blossomed in his heart.
“Kelly what have you got there?”
The teachers voice rang out shattering his singular attention. Kelly was speechless – he could not answer because he did not really know what he had. Did he have anything? in a part of his head he was pleased that his teacher could see the knife , this confirmed at least that the knife was indeed real.
Mr granger loomed over Kelly. A humourless balding lanky ex US Marine artillery sergeant. Although dressed in civilian clothes he’d done everything he could to look like he wasn’t. His beige trousers and shirt were an exact match, his grey tie tucked in under the 3rd button. Black shoes, polished to a mirror finish, white socks fresh everyday. 3 pens sprouted form his chest pocket. one red, one blue, one black.
The Americans and British fast tracked ex servicemen into teaching.
If you had been an NCO all you had to do was take a years course of teacher training and file your CV with education services. Easy money, easy life. Apart from the children of course.children were not like recruits they couldn’t be properly disciplined, didn’t obey orders, or else they were unpredictable, uncontrollable and even rude about his name.
“Well come on , what have you got there?”
Granger put out his hand.his desk was full of confiscated items, yo-yos, sweets, toy cars and other contraband.
“A knife eh?”
exclaimed his teacher , picking it up like evidence from a murder scene, gently between two fingers by its edges.
“And Where did you get this arsenal of manicuring tools?”
To granger the knife was a childs plaything. He didn’t think it represented a risk to anyone. When he’d been young he and his siblings had guns, hunting knives and bear traps to play with. This little souvenir was harmless enough but it was against the rules.
“It was just there on the desk”
said Kelly surprising himself with the accuracy of his statement.
“Oh I see”
Said granger looking over his glasses in mock acceptance of Kellys words.
“Its not your knife, you don’t know how it got there ,,,, “
his sarcasm was bourne of having heard all kinds of untruth from children keen to avoid consequences.
“Well Ill be keeping this till the end of term Mr Baine”
Use of Kellys last name was intended to convey the seriousness of the matter.
“And you will be staying in at first break. Knives are not allowed in school. is that clear?”
“Yes Sir Mr granger” Kelly agreed
The rest of the day and night were difficult for Kelly. He’d endured the rest of the school day. he’d returned home and distracted himself with one thing and another. He’d gone to bed but he didn’t dream. In truth Kelly was now more than a little nervous about dreaming. The appearance of the Knife at school couldn’t have been a dream . Everybody saw it. The knife itself now hostage in grangers desk till the end of term. How did it get here. Was Kelly a magician? He’d read enough fairy stories and magical fiction to fuel a thousand possibilities in his imagination. It was all to much for him and he drifted uneasily off to sleep.
The next morning dawned as usual, breakfast came and went, the bus journey began and ended. The school bell rang. Registration ended. Lessons commenced.
Tuesdays always began with reading. Each pupil took turns to read a passage from a book .Currently that book was Moby dick and at 9.21am It was Kellys turn to read. He held the book tightly in both hands, it was not that he lacked confidence in his reading or pronunciation. It was that Granger had a habit of standing behind the reader breathing heavily and following each word form the book you held. the most common crime therefore committed by pupils was a wobbly book.
“keep the book still” shouted Granger on cue
Kelly doubled his efforts to grip the book and read properly.
It was therefore Mr granger who witnessed the appearance of two more penknives on Kellys desk. Blinking into existence between the words “thus” and “spoke” they manifested their existence irrefutably, at least to the eye, at precisely 9.23am.
“Wha ?” spluttered granger.
Kelly turned to look at the shocked face of his teacher. Kelly face held a bemused innocent look that was as real as it could be.
“eh?” was all he could utter. Upon seeing grangers glassy stare fixed beyond him, he turned back to behold his desk.
“Is this some kind of joke?
Kelly saw the knives, 2 of them. Identical in every way to yesterdays knife. Side by side like a brace of pheasant, twins, a pair of dice, twiddle dum and trweedle dee. There was no doubt they were the same , no doubt there were two of them , and they had appeared as if by magic.