I had not been a good king. The people were gathering to throw me from the castle and perhaps kill me. I was doomed.
Fortunately for me, this was only a dream. Unfortunately, when I woke up from the dream, I didn’t really wake up all the way from the dream.
I had such an incredible fever that I didn’t know my dream from reality. This sort of thing is tough when you look out your window and hallucinate a massive mob of angry citizens marching through your backyard to get you. I took it upon myself to freak out.
I leaped up, spilled the Kool-Aid that Mom had left by the bed, and wrapped the large blanket around me. It was the royal robe, after all, and they may be able to chase me from the castle, but they weren’t going to get the robe!
I ran out the front door, barefoot in my pajamas. There was ice and snow on the sidewalk.
I sprinted down the street, wrapped in the royal robe, and by the time I got a couple blocks away I started to wonder where I was going.
I was king. It’s not like when I made it to the neighboring country, they suddenly weren’t going to know who I was. I couldn’t run from this!
I stopped running. I looked back. No one was following. Yet.
I breathed. After a moment, I decided I had to face the lousy job I had done as king, even though the people were probably going to guillotine me for it.
However, I still didn’t want them to get the royal robe. So I let it drop right there, on the sidewalk.
I walked back. I stood outside the castle for a long while, dreading going in. Finally I decided I’d go to a neighbor’s house to think.
I knocked on the neighbor’s door. Oddly, one of the neighbor boys was home from school, also. He answered the door and said, “What happened to you?”
Not knowing at all how to explain how I was king and had messed things up and was about to walk into my house to certain death, I just said, “Can I come in?”
And he said, “Sure.” He went back to watching TV. That’s probably a clue about how strange I was in my youth. When you knock on your neighbor’s door, barefoot and wearing your pajamas, and all that gets you is one curious question, then you know that you are a very strange person and you’re not doing a good job of covering that up.
I stood there, near the door for a while. Maybe ten minutes. I didn’t say a word. I guess I just needed a little bit more time to work up the courage to go home and face everything. I knew I couldn’t stay at the neighbor’s house forever (plus, I was in my pajamas, which was kind of embarrassing).
I told the neighbor thanks, and then left. I walked up to my front door, took a breath, and went in. I was bracing for an angry mob to attack, but when I opened the door, nothing happened. The castle (home?) was empty.
I went back to the bedroom. No one was there, waiting for me, waiting to kill me. Nobody.
I saw the spilled Kool-Aid stain on the carpet. I saw the bed, and the backyard. Last time I had looked at the backyard I had seen an angry mob in it. Now I just saw a backyard. Definitely not the kind of backyard a castle would have.
I started realizing what had happened. I had dreamed it all. And after I woke up, part of me had kept dreaming. I had hallucinated heavily without doing any kind of drug other than maybe a fever-reducer (a lot of good that did).
Suddenly I thought of the royal robe–I mean, blanket! I had left it out there on the sidewalk! It was an afghan, practically a family heirloom.
I walked out of the house again, still barefoot. Wow, it’s cold, I thought. It’s so much colder when you’re not running for your life. Fog came out of my mouth.
The blanket was still there, a couple blocks away. I picked it up, and started carrying it back.
A police car drove up from behind me. It slowed to a walking pace. Some concerned neighbor must have seen me sprinting down the street earlier and had called the police to make sure everything was okay.
Both cops inside the car took a good look at me.