Lexine Lark was known to all as The Sparrow: Dream Detective, and when a dreamer had problems in the waking world, he or she need only to wish her arrival, and The Sparrow would flutter into their bedroom with her book of bedtime stories to read to her client to help them fall asleep — or she would sing them a lullaby before entering their dreams with them to crack the case wide open.
Dreams were puzzles to help dreamers solve their waking world mysteries, and when dreams were left unsolved, their waking world would become confusing. When she was not solving the mysteries of the dream world, she lived in a tree in Eden with all the other eccentric and kind-hearted alchemists that made paradise home.
She was sitting on a chair next to the bed of her client who was pouty and sulky. He was a young man whose bedroom was filled with instruments of all sorts.
“Thank goodness you came when you did, Sparrow,” said the man as he held on to his pillow tightly, “My career as a musician is going nowhere fast, and I have no idea what to do about that — or my weird dreams.”
“How are your dreams strange to you?” asked Lexine. “They always go in the opposite direction of who I am!” he groused as he folded his arms and furrowed his brow.
“Just as I dream I am singing on stage with a cheering crowd, I end up being in some weird debate with someone who always finds fault with everything I think! And then other times, I start to dream I am walking on the red carpet to a fancy party, I end up holding a sign and in the middle of a protest! I think I watch the news too much!”
“Oh no,” said The Sparrow, “What you have is an acute case of a Rebel Dream.”
“A Rebel Dream? What is that?”
“It happens when your dreams rebel against you…”
“Great,” grumbled the man as he made a sour expression, “It is bad enough my parents objected to my wishes, now even my dreams work against me! You came in the nick of time.”
“We will get to the bottom of it,” she said kindly as she opened her book of fables, “Now, you have the choice of two bedtime stories: The ostrich who hid the world inside its head…” “The ostrich who hid the world inside his head?” spluttered the man.
“Or you can hear the story about the bottle that changed the message placed inside it…”
The man groaned. “I hate messages of any kind. Who has time to write them or even listen to them? I never answer the messages I get when I am awake — I certainly don’t want to listen to a fake message in a story.” He pursed his lips. “You sing lullabies?”
“Can you sing me something? Music is my life.”
“Certainly,” the Dream Detective replied as her melodious voice soon put her client into a deep slumber and she fluttered into his dreams to solve the case.
“Phooey,” said the man when he saw The Sparrow in his dreams, “There is only that ostrich and bottle here.”
Just then a familiar voice shouted, “Yoo hoo, Lexy!” as The Sparrow looked up and smiled. It was none other than her very good friend Phoenix Rose, known to all in the dream world as a one-woman army who battled writer’s block and artist dry spells to inspire the creative into finding inspiration to make beautiful stories, art, and music once more.
“Phoenix! What are you doing here?” asked Lexine as she greeted her friendly warmly. “It’s this silly musician,” Phoenix said as she pointed at him, “Here I am unblocking every block around, and he still hasn’t been inspired!”
“Hmm,” replied the Dream Detective, “That’s the clue I needed to crack the case wide open.”
Phoenix giggled, “At least it wasn’t a waste — I inspired you.”
“You did, and I thank you.” “Why don’t we go out on a river cruise in Eden tomorrow? The cruise on the Hiddekel is opening a brand-new boutique called Your Ship’s Come In.”
“How exciting!” chirped the Sparrow, “That part of paradise always has the most gorgeous fashions and their food is divine. I would love to join you.”
“Great! See you tomorrow!”
After Phoenix left, Lexy saw her client arguing with an ostrich holding a message in its beak.
“Don’t make me read the message!” shouted the man, but the ostrich poked him in the nose, dropping the note in front of the trembling man who picked it up and read it.
“Wait, this is a note from my own heart asking how could I sing when there is suffering in the world…and a-ha!” he shouted as The Sparrow smiled.
When the man awoke, he breathlessly replied, “That’s why I was having troubles! My music wasn’t about all the things the meant so much to me! It’s not always about singing love songs! There are problems and my songs can be about making a better world! No wonder I was floundering, but how did you know?”
“The bedtime story you reject tells me your problem, while the story you heard tells me how to solve it, but in your case, you rejected both stories, but opted to hear a lullaby because music brings you peace, yet you were still troubled because you avoided hearing both my fables.”
“Of course! I had a bad case of ostrich syndrome and was too afraid of hearing about any messages — but now that I do, I cannot wait to write new songs.”
“I am happy to hear it. Good night, and pleasant dreams!” Lexy flew out the window and the man happily went back to sleep hoping to find just the right words to bring the chords of change to the world.