The Dream House Fish

“I can’t shake off this dream about a flying fish,” I said to my friend, swirling the scarlet liquid in my glass on a balmy July evening. In this dream, a flying fish seemed to revisit me night after night. For truth be told, this dream was a grape-induced fabrication told from the top of my head and yet, its allure was so vivid that I could not help but describe it in detail.

The dream took place in a house that was as small as a dollhouse, but with the interior walls removed, revealing every room and its contents. I roamed the house in search of something that I couldn’t quite grasp but felt an intense urge to find. The way I remember this dream, I was an eye that enveloped the vision of the dollhouse and it felt as though I was both inside and outside. As I wandered through the ground floor, I noticed a door that appeared only suitable for the entrance of a dwarf. I crouched down and opened the door, to find a room filled with people, stacked on top of each other like books on a shelf. This room was a portrait of my own thoughts that sometimes, I ought to elbow my way through its massive crowd. I walked inside the room gracefully, as though I were the host, and checked if any glass needs a refill. Though I was aware of my own presence in the room, the people seemed strangely insensible to it, as if I were but a shadow or an invisible cloak. But I saw everything around me in a new light laying bare and fragile. I encountered people with grotesque joy who seemed like bad Habits, happy and sad at once. Happy to be wallowing in sadness. It existed in this room an eroticism to the scene that was both charming and painful. In the corner of the room, and underneath a dust-covered curtain, I saw a man flat on the floor who was playing a rusty saxophone. His purple lips blew into the instrument, and his eyes narrowed in concentration. The saxophone magically spun and hovered dust-light in the mid-air. And the same magic threw me out and slammed the door behind me.

I went up the spiral staircase that connected all the rooms in the house, as if it were a hair curled up to the ceiling. On the second floor, I saw a woman with a limp, making her way to a room at the end of the hallway. I hid behind a vase and watched as she disappeared into the room, leaving the door ajar. I entered the room to find the woman sitting opposite the door, facing a window. I sat in front of her on the floor, and as I gazed upon her, I was spellbound by her beauty. Her golden hair floated in the air as if time had slowed, and her skin was so bright and translucent that I could see the blood coursing through her veins. Her eyes had a sunflower field around the pupils. As I was mesmerized by her beauty, the room started to spin and she grew older and skinnier, her beauty faded and her body was becoming disfigured and disjointed. I spun with her and watched her life as it passed through my eyes. I shook my head and she was gone.

I left the room and continued my search, checking all the rooms in the house, some with locked doors, some empty, and some leading to an abyss. The more I searched, the more I became aware of the impossibility of leaving the house, which seemed to have taken root within me. The frenzy of fear and anger that I felt only seemed to deepen as time passed. I stood up and I was certain a world exists outside of this house, and in that world, the night is rolling into daybreak, and time is doing its work. While I am here in a liminal space, waiting and searching for something in this house that may not exist, it may or may not lead me to fulfill that desire.

In the attic, I found the final room in the house, and when I opened the door, I discovered a secret garden, a miniature heaven enclosed within the walls. It was a space where I could escape from the turmoil of my thoughts and emotions. So, I sat under the willow tree that grew tall, reaching up to the ceiling, and I wondered if I had shrunk to fit into the parameter of the dollhouse that was a state of mind. If my mind had turned inside out like a dirty t-shirt, I was enclosed within that circle of thoughts. I look across the shallow water in the fountain when I turned pale and then red. My body became cold and then hot. “I found it!” I yelled. A belief grew in me that the fish has been all I ever wanted. I clutched the fish in my palm and began to run.

The fish slipped off of my hand and tap-danced on the floor. I wept and held the fish tighter though its sharp scale cut my flesh like a razor blade. I ran in pain until I figured my body is slowly departing. My body parts started to shut down one after the other, in the same fashion electricity goes off from one house to the other in a neighborhood.


I awoke, in the darkness of my room. Horror poured like wax all over my body. I wanted to get up but I could not feel the weight of my body on the bed. The dream may have been fleeting, but I was unable to move and step outside of its impression. I was left wondering if the dream held any clues to the truth that lay beyond the walls of the house when I saw a flying thing moving at the speed of light above my head. It was the fish that stopped for a second and broke into mocking laughter. Then it flew away, just like that, without a drop of pity for my bodiless existence.

I told a friend in July about this strange recurring dream that I never had and yet lived thoroughly. I don’t know how I weaved together the plot, but the dream was a delicious fabricated truth.