The Sparrow: Dream Detective
“…And my company’s profits have been in slow decline over the last year and I cannot figure out why. I heard you were one of the best detectives in the world and I want to hire you to find out whether someone is sabotaging my shoe repair empire and if they are, to stop it.”
The detective looked deep in thought, making the man rephrase his last sentence.
“Well, Sparrow, do you think you can take my case?” asked the burly man with the animated unibrow as he looked intensely at the tall, voluptuous doe-eyed blonde sitting in a chair beside his bed as he straightened his lucky pajama top. It was his lucky one because he was not sure if he would be free of his woes without it.
“In your dreams, yes,” Lexine Lark said with the chipper air of a confident heroine. “I can look into your case, but you must promise not to try to kiss me while I have a look about in your dreams or I will be forced to slap you awake from the inside of your head and that is even less pleasant than it sounds.”
The man frowned sadly. “But you do look like such a beautiful dream girl.”
“Woman,” she corrected politely. “I am not as young as I look. I merely gave my birthdays away to a greedy little boy over two hundred years ago who thought more birthdays meant more presents and I have not aged a day since. Now, do you need me to read you a bedtime story or will you fall asleep on your own?”
“What sort of bedtime stories do you have?”
“I can read you one about a benevolent and dainty tyrannosaurus rex who is best friends with a tough and brave beetle or a story about a Queen of Hearts who became God because the magician who kept that card close to his chest wished it so.”
“But won’t those stories give me strange dreams?”
“The stranger the dream, the better I can help solve your mystery.”
“Read me the one about the dinosaur lest I get a lusty dream from the other story and then get slapped from the inside of my head whilst trying to give you a kiss.”
“A wise choice, sir.” The Sparrow obliged and soon after, her client fell fast asleep. At the moment he began to dream, the Sparrow fluttered into his mind and began to walk inside the very essence of his soul, which was mostly intact save for one small piece he had sold in exchange for a television set that would make his obnoxious elder brother green with envy.
This was her first telling clue since it meant her client was not all there to begin with.
The Sparrow then entered the dream where her client was in his childhood home that, in fact, had been merged with his current home, taking the most traumatic parts of both. The living room looked harsh for it was the place where he had been bullied in front of a mirror and it was bigger and colder than either place had been in the waking world.
The man’s childhood fears had come out to torment him tonight to give strength to the fears he had harbored as a lonely adult. This was a house with no love for him and even the empty sofa made his loveless status known.
Yet it was the man’s wailing that was the loudest of all the belligerent cacophony: he was holding a shoe as he was pleading to a beautiful, but conceited woman standing angrily before him.
“Gunda!” said the Sparrow’s client to the cold woman in the long black gown. “Gunda, I would fix a thousand broken shoes in a dungeon just to spend a night with you!”
But Gunda snorted haughtily. “You are so repulsive, that my toes and heels quiver with disgust! You couldn’t even repair my favorite pair of shoes!” The man then crumpled to the floor and began to cry into the broken black stiletto shoe he was clutching.
“Ah!” said the Sparrow as she approached the woman who suddenly looked afraid. “I can see by your vibrant and detailed features that you have been living in his head for about a year! Around the same time my client’s company started to stumble!”
“Get away from me!” yelled Gunda. “I heard about you! You’re the Sparrow! You can make trouble for figments!”
“I am the Sparrow, but it is only the naughty figments that have something to fear. Now, why are you vexing this desperate man?”
Gunda vanished without a trace and the Sparrow looked around the room for some clue, but could find none.
“The trail cannot be this cold if this were a case of true love! My client’s self-deception may be a clue, but it makes my job so difficult!”
“Maybe I can help!” a cheery female voice said. The Sparrow turned around and saw a statuesque Spanish beauty she knew well who was known to those in their realm as the Heart Collector. The Heart Collector smiled and waved to her friend. “Yoo hoo! Lexy! Fancy meeting you here!”
“Madreselva! What a pleasant surprise! What are you doing here?”
“I am processing a return.”
“You only deal with pieces of hearts that people give to another. You either give them to an intended recipient or return them to the sender.”
“That’s right. Last night I had a backlog of deliveries and tonight I have a backlog of returns.”
“Oh, dear. May I see that package, please?”
“Of course. You always ask very nicely.”
“Thank you.” The Sparrow took the tiny package from the Heart Collector and opened it to reveal a single dancing grain of light. It was a piece of her client’s heart that he had given to Gunda. There was also a note from Gunda so ill-mannered and crass regarding what her client could do with that piece of his heart that the Sparrow blushed as she placed both the note and the grain back in the box and returned it to her good friend.
“Is that a clue?” asked the Heart Collector.
“Yes, a very vital one. I know Gunda’s ego grew stronger with the idea of being seen as desirable, but she was not the one who encouraged my client to pursue her, meaning someone else caused my client’s distractions and planted the idea that he loved this despicable woman in his head.”
“I wrote my dissertation on such cases when I was studying to be a Heart Collector. It is very, very sad, and very, very silly all at the same time. So many people are very promiscuous when it comes to giving pieces of their hearts to the undeserving. They think they have infinite love to give, not realizing that the rest of the heart becomes so distressed for that one missing piece that the whole heart goes to pieces!”
“I have seen it too many times in too many nightmares. Pity, if you weren’t so busy, I would invite you on this adventure.”
“I would love to join you, but tonight are the vehement returns so I must deliver these horrid and nasty rejections as quickly and gently as I can. Next week I will invite you over to my house and we will have a lovely lunch on my terrace.”
“Oh, Maddie, how thoughtful! The view of Eden from there is just breath-taking! I will accept your gracious invitation and let you get back to work.”
The Heart Collector then gave the package to the weeping man who was so distressed that he did not see her or the Sparrow. The Detective then took another look around the house and began to separate the client’s current residence from his boyhood home and examined each piece very carefully until she came to the mirror.
“I see this mirror distorts the truth!” she said excitedly. “And I think I know who made this mirror and why!”
She returned to her weeping client and whispered in his ear. He stopped crying, perked up and nodded. She took a pen and a form which he eagerly signed before leaving the house to find something more pleasant to dream about.
The Sparrow then returned to the mirror and shook it until a tiny seed fell out of it and then suddenly turned into an angry man who seemed shocked that he was discovered so quickly.
“Ah, there is the culprit! A wicked seed of my client’s obnoxious elder brother! You have been sabotaging his company!”
“How dare you interfere with my plans? I want to be the favorite brother! I have rights! I wanted to be an only child and my parents had him!”
“You should have gotten over your jealousy by now – you are a sixty year old man with grandchildren of your own.”
“My parents were fools! I am the cute one! They should have put all their resources with my dreams! I could have been a famous opera singer if they had more money to give me the proper schooling!”
“But your brother proved to be the successful one and now you must destroy his self-confidence to prove he was not worthy of any attention.”
“I own his mind! You’ll see! I am a weed and a weed is nearly impossible to destroy! Every move he ever makes is controlled by me!”
The Sparrow took out the signed paper from her pocket and handed it over to the surly brother. “But he has signed this form, giving me permission to get rid of you.”
The man snatched the paper and read it. “What? You cannot do this to me!”
“Yes, I can and will. It is against the rules to invade another person’s dreams for the express purpose of causing them psychic harm.”
“It cannot be!”
“That paper is an eviction notice. Your brother finally realizes you are not worth the trouble you are causing him. He told me he would rather dream of dinosaurs who are friendly to bugs than be plagued by your naughtiness. Now that I have found your root, you will have to go back to the rest of you and sulk.”
“But his bumbling caused the floundering of his own company!”
“But you pushed him into believing he is in love with a woman he does not even like, but since you also manipulated him into selling a piece of his soul for a television set, he is blind to this fact. Since you made the trouble, you have to leave so that he has a clear mind and heart to clean up this mess.”
The brother cursed before disappearing with a loud bang, causing the Sparrow’s client to awaken from his dream, gasping for air. “Is it over? My troubles, I mean.”
“Yes, you are free of your delusions of unrequited love and now have that piece of your heart that my friend the Heart Collector returned to you. Next time, be careful where you throw pieces of your heart and do not fantasize about Gunda anymore because I will help a client only once.”
“But how did you know about Gunda when I kept my feelings about her hidden from even myself?”
“Because you avoided the story of the Queen of Hearts because you were afraid of love, opting for a story you thought was just about friendship, when it was also a love story. The bedtime story you avoid is the one that is the key to unlocking the mystery, but the one you choose helps your heart heal.”
“So I will be able to save my company?”
“Yes, but only if you give your fancy television to your older brother and then find yourself before finding love once more. A real love, this time, not the fake kind because fake love is really hate in a clever disguise.”
“Do you think a burly man with a unibrow can find true love, gentle Sparrow?”
“He already found the fake kind. If he looks in the opposite direction, he will find a lady who finds his ways heart-warming.”
“But giving away my television set to my rotten brother? Will that cure my ills?”
“Yes, don’t try to make him jealous and you will be able to save your shoe repair empire and your love life. Now I must be going. I have to visit a client in Antwerp who is frozen in fear because he suspects his girlfriend and his best friend are having a torrid affair as they laugh behind his back and I must find out if it is all in his head. Good night and pleasant dreams.”
The Sparrow got up from the chair, opened the window and leaped out before the man could say goodbye. He was saddened that he could not thank her, but now knew his dreams would be sweeter and his soul would feel whole again once more. He rested his head on the pillow, hoping to meet that lovely dinosaur he had chatted with in his dreams for she was such a nice and gracious tyrannosaurus who knew many good jokes that made him laugh. Before he fell back asleep he truly wondered if all dinosaurs were so kind back in the day or was she the only one who saw something that all the others like her missed all those years ago.
The Benevolent and Dainty Tyrannosaurus Rex and her Best Friend the Tough and Brave Beetle
There once was a vast garden of paradise and inside the paradise lived its ruler, a very dainty dinosaur named Ansuz the Adventurer.
Ansuz was no ordinary Tyrannosaurus Rex for she had battled even larger dinosaurs than she and won with her strength and agility.
She won them all fair and square and she won them alone. It did not matter if its size was larger, its numbers were greater, or its strength surpassed her own, somehow, she would see the job through for her job was to rid the world of its evil so that the seeds of goodness could flourish unimpeded.
But there came a day where she looked up in the sky and saw a star dancing about and though she knew nothing about it, she was moved by its gentle light and decided to become a friend and protector to all the good things in the world.
So she found a tiny and lonely tree where a single scrawny flower struggled to grow and made the tree her home.
One day, as Ansuz sat pondering about all the good and right things in the world, a tiny beetle fluttered to her nose and began to chortle, remarking that her nostril was so big, he could make a home inside of it.
The remark stunned the tree and the flower, who thought the mighty dinosaur would eat the beetle or crush it with her breath.
But the dinosaur giggled girlishly, making the beetle blush. The flower and tree thought the beetle was brave to face the gravest of danger with laughter, but the dinosaur thought the beetle cute and charming and asked him to tell her more silly musings he had gleaned on his many travels.
The beetle had nearly fainted for no one had ever asked him about his musings on anything, let alone a dinosaur as mighty as Ansuz.
So the beetle told the dinosaur stories, but since she had never lived life as a beetle, Ansuz was at first confused, but was polite enough to decide she would do her best to see the world as a beetle, and the beetle, who realized the dinosaur was too large to understand him, was determined to retell his fables in such a way even a mighty and dainty dinosaur could follow his beetle logic.
At this first sign of friendship, the flower became inspired and told the tree its many fables of wisdom, causing both the tree and the flower to grow stronger, all while a beetle and a dinosaur forged a powerful friendship as the dinosaur learned to listen and understand the ways of the beetle and the beetle learned to become an equal to a mighty dinosaur.
The Queen of Hearts who Became God Because the Magician Who Kept that Card Close to His Chest Wished It So
There once was a magician who performed card tricks with an ordinary deck of cards. He was no better nor worse than any other magician who did so, but he had a single magic trick he loved the most – a mundane trick called Find the Lady.
He would take the Queen of Hearts, throw her to the bottom of his deck, but at the end of the trick, she would appear at the top of the deck for she was always an ambitious card, and then when the show was over, he would put the deck back into his breast pocket, always taking care that the Queen of Hearts was the card closest to his chest.
One day, the magician became bored of the tricks and the stage, and angrily threw all of his cards at the audience, save for one card.
The Queen of Hearts.
He loved this card above the rest for while all his friends and family had left him, she was the only one who stayed by him no matter if the crowd cheered or jeered at him.
He kept the card and gave it a kiss, wishing she were a person rather than a card for whenever he looked at her face, she seemed as if she looked at him with kindness and understanding, unlike any of the other cards he dealt with over the years.
The magician retired from performing, becoming lonely and broken, but he always kept his favorite card close to his chest, even placing her under his pillow when he went to bed at night.
As time went on, he began to feel helpless for she was his one constant companion, yet he felt he had failed her for he wanted her to be the real star of his show, yet his shows were failures and he never managed to do the one thing he wished in his heart he could do for her.
If he could only bring her to life, perhaps she would be free from being a mere card in a deck.
Worse, he knew she was the quiet and understanding sort who only wished for him to be happy.
She may have been only a silly little card, but she was one who was all heart.
Then one late summer day he felt it was his time to go, but before he did, he made one final wish – that his favourite card, who never left his side, be given a worthy gift, even if it meant she reached a higher plane than he.
When he reached Heaven, he was shocked to see the Queen of Hearts waiting with a smile and bowed roaring, “Ta da!”
Because of his wish, she became God for even God could not refuse such a benevolent wish.
And Her first act as God was to give the magician a kiss and a hug and then gave him the gift of a mighty stage where he would finally learn all the tricks of a true magician and when it was his time to start a new act, he would take the world by storm and by calm.
Only this time, his favourite card would be more than just a card he kept close to his chest – but a loving companion who brought magic with a single, loving look as She made a new world of wonder for every good and gentle magician to play.