Quantum Dream Machine

Quantum Dream Machine

Quantum Dream Machine – Preface & Chapter 1

The world , we must assume, has been fashioned in accordance with the wishes of the people who live in it. Thats not to say that people are happy, but in the absence of protest it must be the case they are not unhappy enough to change the world into something else.

It is the world of things that keeps us happy and occupied.The world of things makes purpose for us. Structures out time. Presents a now of compelling reasons to action. Roads must be travelled, buildings entered, work completed, deals done. improvements must be made, progress attained. crops harvested, trees felled, fires lit, production lines manned. After all things do not make themselves.

See the gleaming towers of cities, faced with glass forged from sand that once played beach to the sea. Speed along endless highways paved with mountains that once drew our eyes to an imagined distant land. Bustle through metropolitan centres, shuffle in and out of mass transportation systems. planes trains, buses cars , subways, disgorging undigested occupants like avian parents. Bringing fresh fuel to an always hungry nests of things.

Surely this is what we wish for, surely our world is made real from our most wondrous imaginings, surely this is our glory , our insides outside, our dreams made real.

Now , Such is our genius and mastery over the material world, That one day we will reach out beyond our small nurturing earth, taking things to other worlds. Great things, borne in ships or on rays or beams, shot from great devices raised into space, we will explore. First our galaxy , then ultimately the rest of the universe.

This is our future – to re make the fabric of universe into things as we propagate our way and form of life. This is our chosen path our goal and our meaning. Perhaps even beyond our choosing , perhaps it is our very nature. perhaps we manifest the will of the universe in ourselves as we imagine ourselves spreading out , pervading and re shaping the universe from its formless plasma and simply interacting rocks and gases. Into something else, something useful , desirable, wanted.

Without us trees would remain trees and no one would have chairs or tables,. Without us mud would remain mud and not bricks to wrap us in our houses. Rocks would never reveal their potential as coal, iron, gold, aluminium. The air would be breathed in and out without having supplied oxygen to our machines.

Without us things would only exist in the imagination of the imaginer. Without us only unguided nature would fabricate reality, build a set for the dramas of life to unfold against. We have become the hand of god. We shape the world, create its objects and move across the deep. Our minds bring about the new, the future, the divine. Our hands craft the earth wind fire and water.
As with all gods , what we want must be for the best. God must be right, god doesn’t make mistakes. God is good!

Chapter 1 – In the beginning

Kelly screwed his eyes up and squinted through the glass case in front of him. Sunlight invaded through gaps in various parasols shading the vendors and their wares in the market. A warm wind jostled drapes, cloth and bunting, moving the light so it danced across the cabinet . He hovered his hand over the glass top to create a shadow and see more clearly the object of his eye.
Smart phone. A mobile or cell as americans would say , he knew which model it was from a boy on the school bus who had one.
“I bet you wish you had a penknife “ the boy had said, while he showed it off. opening a blade out and describing its function with enthusiasm.

“its awesome , its got a screwdriver, a file for fixing things, a bottle opener and scissors and a toothpick for parties”

The boy was about Kellys age 9 or 10 but not in his class. Like the other children on the bus Kelly attended a school for the children of western families, working and living on Bahrien , a small island in the persian gulf . Part of the Saudi sphere of influence ,home to the us 7th fleet and the british naval base of Jufair.

He was transported from living quarters to school each day by bus. The bus, like the boy was American and the driver a local man. The unnamed boy was sitting across from Kelly , now surrounded by impressed onlookers, he wielded the knife and enjoyed the attention of the other kids.
They could all have been related, young, white , skinny , tanned, all the ages of grade school. Their hair bleached blonde by Persian Gulf sunshine and plenty of outdoor play. Only their shirts, shoes and haircuts made them appear individual.
“The blades really sharp go on touch it!” said the grinning holder of the pocket knife.
Kelly had reached out to gently stroke the blade , but the bus banged into a pothole causing him to jolt forward cutting the pad of his index finger.
“Hahah i told you it was sharp …look he’s bleeding”
The boy pointed at Kelly while holding up the knife. Some of the other kids crowded round to see the cut others ooed at the power of the blade. It was true what the taunting American boy said. The blade was really sharp and he did wish he had one. One exactly like the knife he was looking at now in the case of a Manama market stall .
“Dad can I have a knife?” said Kelly turning to look at his parents.
His dad was talking to the stall holder, buying lighter fuel or gas. he was holding up the bottom of his lighter and they were pointing back and forth at possible purchases.
“Dad can I have a knife?” Louder this time and directed towards his dad. No answer.
“Mum can I have knife?” Kelly swivelled to address his mother . On the stall next to him a man was thrusting handbags at her and shouting prices. She was shaking her head. To save time Kelly now shouted hopefully as loud as the people around him.
“Mum Dad can i have knife?”
Before either could answer the stall holder noticing interest in his knives began yammering encouragement –
“Oh I have a good knife for a boy like yours, good price for too. Let me show you what great knife it is for boy”
“Certainly not “ said his mother frowning and rushing over from a handbag stall to the dismay of its owner wielding a clutch of bags in each hand.
“come away from there Kelly, your far too young to have knife , definitely not!”
Kelly thought about appealing to his Dad but the thought disappeared when he saw his dads hand thumbing at him to move along. In the next moment His mother grabbed him by the hand and he was pulled through the market like a reluctant dog.
Images of the knives in the display case replayed inside Kellys head. There were lots of multi bladed knives, any of which he would have been happy to own. The one that caught his eye however was not the most fully featured or multi bladed. It was a red one, a blade, a file, scissors and a screwdriver at one end. Awesome thought Kelly, awesome.

Shortly after reaching home, Kelly was fed and tucked into bed. He and his family lived in a gated compound , on the east of the island . Part of a large Naval base and its sprawling accommodation compounds. The part they lived in was called the married quarters for obvious reasons. Rows of neat bungalows surrounded a square of dirt that was part play area , part drill square, part desert.
All through his meal and bath and changing into pyjamas, he could think of nothing but the knife. The knife on the bus had sparked a fantasy about knives, but in his mind it seemed the only pen knife in the world, was the knife that boy had. That was until he visited the market . It never occurred to Kelly there were shops full of knives, boxes of them , so many knives. so many shapes , types colours. Their were sheath knives , daggers, machetes, flick knives, lock knives.
This amazing panoply might have overwhelmed him , igniting a wild dreams of being the shop owner and putting all the knives in his pockets , in his school bag, hanging on his belt. till he would surely be the most interesting boy on the bus, but. The knife Kelly wanted was special, it was meant for him. His knife was just what he needed for adventures. Adventures where he would explore uninhabited islands, be shipwrecked and have to live off the land, survive a plane crash and need to salvage parts of the plane to survive – Yes there was only one knife for Kelly.

His mother read little from a book of stories and kissed him good night, but before she left and turned out the light he said.
“Mum..do dreams come true?”
“if you really want them too” She replied casually
“what if they don’t?” said Kelly heading of disappointment from his own imagination.
“well my love “ purred his mother sensing something vexing him.
“all dreams come true somewhere” with that she turned off the light and parted with.
“Sweet dreams”
Kelly could never remember his dreams for long. As soon as he opened his eyes they were gone, the world drowned them or lit the shadows they were formed from obliterating them in a sea of photons.

He swore to himself he would dream a dream of such detail and earnest desire that it would become real, a dream whgere the object of his longing became part of the non dream world , where he could have it, hold it , own it, possess it.

Quantum Dream Machine

Chapter 2 – To dream or not to dream

  1. 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.