In the summer of 2012 it seemed that everyone except me was having recurring dreams.
I didn’t dream at all: I hadn’t done since I was 12, when I’d fallen out of a tree and fractured my skull. I’d had emergency surgery and after a few initial dizzy spells, the doctors thought I’d recovered fully. I realised quite soon though that I’d lost the ability to dream.
Of course, my family and all my friends knew that I didn’t dream; (I’d often told them I didn’t, though I’m not sure if they ever believed me,) so when everyone else started having dreams, I was the person they all wanted to talk to.
Everyone wanted to talk about how great their dreams were, how much their dreams meant to them, but nobody wanted to listen to anyone else’s dream experiences: only their dreams mattered. I was the ideal sounding board. I was there to listen, and whoever told me about their dreams knew that I’d listen with no chance of me subjecting them to tales of my own.
My friends described their dreams to me. They weren’t just good dreams: they were incredible dreams, beautiful dreams. Nothing spectacular seemed to happen in them, but after a while, I discovered that they all had one thing in common: every dreamer experienced immense pleasure because they spent time with a very special person: someone who to them was more important than anyone else they knew or had ever known. Every person who dreamed was totally and completely devoted to their dream companion: they were a combination of a lover, a parent, a mentor and a devoted friend. The more religious of my friends saw their companions as all this, but also as angels, as saviours, almost as gods. People would spend their waking hours looking forward to their dreams; they even started to go to sleep earlier and to stay in bed later whenever they could, just so they could experience their dreams sooner and enjoy them for longer.
My best friend’s wife spoke to me of how wonderful her own dream companion was, how she’d be prepared to do anything for him, about how devoted she was to him and how much she loved him. I wasn’t surprised: her husband had already said pretty much the same about the lady who inhabited his dreams. I asked her if she minded her husband feeling like that about another woman, even an imaginary one. She assured me that she didn’t care, and that she didn’t even want to know about her husband’s dream. It didn’t matter to her, only her own dream was important.
Everyone had the same opinion. I seemed to be the only person who wasn’t walking around in a half-trance with a love sick smile on my face. Everybody else went on with their lives pretty much as normal, but I could tell that they were just biding their time during the day, until the time they could go to sleep, to be with the person that they really wanted to be with.
So when the first ‘event’ of 2012 happened, I was the only one who was surprised that it did. It would appear that every other member of the human race (or so it seemed to me at the time) had been prepared for what happened at noon on August 12th 2012.
It was a Sunday, and I was taking advantage of the warm weather by walking in the park. These past months, there had been hardly anyone around on Sunday mornings, (most people took advantage of the weekend to sleep until the afternoon, and to spend more time with their dream companions,) but today there were a lot of people in the park, all either sitting alone on the grass or wandering around by themselves. Even though I should have been used to it by now, it was odd not to see groups of people, or even couples spending time together.
I was just beginning to wonder why everyone was out of their homes this early when, on the stroke of noon, everyone sitting on the grass stood up, everyone walking stopped in their tracks, and everyone, every man, woman and child I could see, started to smile more than I’d ever seen people smile before as though every one of them was looking at something wonderful.
“George,” a voice behind me called my name.
I turned to see a lady standing there. To say she was beautiful doesn’t do her justice: she was the most gorgeous woman I’d ever seen. She reminded me of a girlfriend I’d once had in my teens, and in a way she also resembled a girl I’d worked with and admired from afar a couple of years ago. She smiled, and it was the smile my mother used to have: the smile she used to make things better when I was upset. This woman’s eyes shone with love and with desire, and I knew that those feelings were intended for me and me alone.
Had she not spoken again, she would have won me over; I would have decided there and then to do anything she asked of me; but she did speak, and what she said shook me out of my trance.
“We have shared our dreams for a long time now, my love,” she said. “I know how much you have longed for this day to come, now that you can behold me here with your waking eyes.”
“But I haven’t dreamed of....” I started to explain, but my protests were cut short.
“In thirty days time my love, we will at last meet in person,” she interrupted, “and from that day onward, we will spend our lives together.”
I realised that she couldn’t hear me. She was as oblivious to anything I was saying now as I had been to the dreams she seemed to think I’d been experiencing.
“I will not arrive alone though,” she continued, “All of my people will be with me, each one of them coming to be with their chosen member of your race, each of us choosing to spend our future here with you. I trust you will welcome all of my people with the same joy and the same spirit with which you welcome me. It will please me if you do.”
Then she was gone. I looked around at the other people in the park. Some had tears in their eyes, though they were quite obviously tears of joy. Everyone seemed to be as happy as they possibly could be. Then for the first time in months, they turned to each other; they nodded and smiled at each other.
So it was that our world was invaded, for invasion was the only way to describe it. Not invasion by force though, nor by guile and cunning. The alien population that arrived on Earth during the second ‘event’ on the 11th September were welcomed here by almost the entire population, with almost every member of it eager to welcome their own personal companion. We gave our world over to them with no resistance and no objection.
Now they walk amongst us and they rule us. Physically, they’re identical to us, or at least to the most attractive of us; only by their manner and their attitude are they distinguishable from humans, and then only by the few of us who are unaffected by their glamour.
They treat humans with contempt; they consider us animals, using us for whatever purposes they require, and every human does as they are bidden, just to make their own companion happy.
It means nothing to the companions to let millions of our people die if it benefits them. They enslave the very people who worship and adore them and still, nobody objects because the humans serve them through misguided loyalty and with unconditional love.
In the entire world, there are only a few hundred of us who were not taken in: a handful of us that are unaffected. We wait, we bide our time and we plan. One day we will find a way to release our people from their subjugation, and then when the time is right, we will oppose these alien invaders and drive them from our world forever.