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Optometrist

An Optometrist Dream

I tumbled through the clouds, heart racing, the moon shrinking further and further away, the ground getting closer and closer, until–

         I stopped. In mid-air, hovering just above the clouds.

         Was I… flying?

         I took an experimental dive, scraping the clouds with my hand, feeling the cotton-candy texture stick to my hand. I laughed, licking the sugar off my fingers, shooting upwards at the speed of sou—

         Oh, this is a dream, isn’t it?

         Yeah, this is definitely a dream.

         I sighed, still hovering, waiting for this realisation to kick me out of my dreamscape and put me back in my bed. After a few moments… it didn’t happen.

         I was still flying.

         My brain raced with the possibilities – a dream I could control! A dream where I was in charge of what happened to me, what moments from my past I could relive!

I concentrated, harder than I ever have before, trying to bring up something joyous.

When I opened my eyes, I was waiting for an eye test at my local Brighton optometrist.

‘Dammit,’ I huffed.

‘What’s the matter?’ the optometrist asked, positioning the strap for my chin. I dutifully placed my head on it, with a sigh.

‘This just isn’t where I expected to end up tonight, that’s all.’

‘Oh?’ he laughed. ‘And what were your plans today Timmy?’

Timmy? Nobody had called me Timmy since I was a—

Uh-oh.

I looked at the man across from me more closely, and my palms went cold: he was a paediatric optometrist.

And I was a little kid again.

‘Noooooo!’ I screwed up my fists and swung my feet in the air, not even bothering to fight my irresistible urge to tantrum.

‘Timmy!’ my mother chastised me from a chair against the wall. ‘Behave yourself!’

‘I wanna wake up now!’ I whined, tears forming at the corners of my eyes.

‘If you’re good, I’ll give you a lollipop,’ the optometrist soothed. ‘Does that sound like it’d be good?’