Wednesday, March 07, 2007 

Dream Catchers

After kicking on the frame for more than ten-fifteen minutes, the door creaked open. The torch light focused as a beam piercing the darkness accumulated on the intricate geometries of the hanging cobwebs.

Is this what he was expecting?
Is this what he had sweated for so long?
Is it really worth it?

The questions were clouding him, as he stepped in for further exploration. The inside of the room was much-much bigger than he had speculated from earlier. And there were similar looking containers, rather cubical boxes of different dimensions - all piled up. While some of these containers were arranged in perfect geometry, others lay in random order. Even if that arrangement signified anything meaningful, he was entirely clueless about where to begin.

All he needed was to pick up the correct container, open it with the key he was given, check out the contents and return with the information. The challenge to this simple task was identifying the container among countless similar ones. The task was made even complex by the fact that the key to the container, that he held in his hand, if inserted into incorrect keyhole might mess up the entire contents of that box.

The consequence to that event has never been known but has been estimated to be a dangerous one. He was told that specifically when being handed the key. And he had to get out in time, or else he would require help to get out which was neither guaranteed nor reliable.

He was looking at the endless stack of cuboids, thinking of where to begin in this huge cubic trap, when he just happen to tapp gently on the box he was staring at. May be this reaction on his part was something quite involuntary or may be it was something out the wilderness of instincts. But the rationale was unimportant as the next moment there was a shrill high pitched deafning scream that came out of the box. The combined effect of the surroundings and shrillness of the pitch send a cold shiver across his spine as he stumbled on the neighbouring stack.

The lid of the box where his foot hit, cracked for a spilt second before closing again before oozing out a tiny whisp of vapour that hit his nose. The smell that came out was definitely not of any flower but one of the costiliest musk he had sampled at some airport duty free shop. What was the name starting with R, he was thinking, when he understood the sequence of the stacking. There were storage of sound, smell, vision and may be who knows touch...all he needed to do was to identify the correct set of boxes. So effectively the key he had, even if inserted into one of them will open all the four of them simultaneously. The only choice he had to make which of the senses to go for -- sound or smell.

He decided to go for the sound as he franatically tapped on the boxes from the stack which he identified as the sound storage. After going through conversations in whispers to shouts, nastiest curses to the wonderful music....he heard the female voice he was looking for. He inserted the flat key into the slot and waited breathlessly for the next sequence. As the light from the four opening boxes on four sides glowed on his face, you could see the sense of achievement on his face. Intently opening his senses to the contents of the four boxes, he saw what he was looking for just a few seconds before his timer device reminded him to run for the closing doors.

"You know what I like about you -- not only you get it done everytime but the element of drama you bring in your assignment ", his smiling client said while they exchanged whatever they had in their possesion.He passed on the information the client was looking for and the client gave him proof of the debit transaction to his credit account. The Dreamcatcher said dryly "Peeking into other's brains is not so fanciful as I thought. If it was not for the big money that you offer I would not have done it. For your information I am still working on the best of the visualisations -- the haunted house scene definitely suits the creepiness of my first job. Let me know next time you need me".

And in some other room in the hotel, someone very famous slept peacefully not knowing that the net result of the transaction that was going on one of his treasured private memory would no longer be so private. The irony was that the sophistacated memory probing was discovered by government scientists for criminal investigation. But pretty soon the rouge dream-catchers who found out a way to obtain this technology becane the favourites of all the paparazzis. After all there was no shortage of readers who will pay any amount to subscribe to news sources that let them have a peek at their favourite star's closted life.

The reporter shook hands with the dream-catcher and said "Surely, next time I want you to find out who was the lucky bastard in her high school that our heart-throb actress was sleeping with when she lost her virginity. The fees will be double the usual".