The compact car screeched as it drifted into a loud drift. The sky burned orange and the highway collapsed in front of the car. The rear door opened and a small blonde boy peeked from behind it.
"Dammit Quince! Get your ass out of the fucking way!" a tall, thin girl with tangerine hair said as she kicked him in the back. Quince fell out of the car and onto the highway. The orange haired girl stepped from behind him. "Looks like you've got us cornered, Jenna Spiacente."
"It's about time you stopped lurking around the city and just joined us," Jenna laughed. "You're just like us. Stop being such a lurkfish."
"You can't tell me what to do," the orange haired girl replied.
Jenna smirked and snapped her fingers. The car flipped over from an explosion that originated from beneath. Quince ran after the car as fast as he could before it hit the ground. Because of his stature, he couldn't make it to the car before it rolled away a considerable distance. A girl climbed out of the wreckage. Her right eye decorated her purple dyed hair with blood seeping from it.
"Look at the boy run. How cute," Jenna said as she snapped her fingers again. The orange haired girl tackled Jenna, but not before the explosion appeared behind Quince, throwing him forward.
Quince crawled to the girl as his clothes burned off of his person. "Yume. Yume, are you okay?" Quince asked as he held the girl.
"I'm okay Quince. Look out, Quince!" Yume shouted as loudly as she could. Her left eye opened widely.
"Dammit, Quince! Stop being such a bitch and pay attention to what's going on around you!" the orange hair girl yelled to the boy.
Quince turned his head to counter, but found that Jenna stood over him. "We don't need you around here being useless." Jenna snapped her fingers. The only things in Quince's vision were flashes of fire and the orange haired girl running after him. He could hear the girls screaming his name, but the world was moving far to quickly for him to react. Quince felt his temperature rising before dropping. It was as if he's been dropped into a pool of water. Looking through the water into the black void above him, he noticed a light and swam to it.
"Wah!" a young blonde boy squealed as he sat up in his bed. His alarm filled the air. Downstairs, he could hear his mother shouting his name incessantly. He grabbed a nearby inhaler after knocking his alarm clock to the ground and took a large breath. "I hate dreams like that one."
"Quince, it is now your turn to explain a theory you have," the balding man in a suit stated.
The classroom turned to face Quince as he lowered his novel. "No thank you," Quince stated as he continued to read his novel.
"This is a theoretical science class. Our entire mission is to try to prove various scientific ideas that we have. And I know that you have ideas." The balding teacher snatched the novel from Quince. "To the front of the class, now."
Quince walked to the front of the class and began racking his brain for a single idea. "Dreams," he said. "My theory is dreams."
"Get on with it," a student asked. The teacher nodded and motioned for Quince to continue.
"I have a theory about dreams," Quince continued.
"Quince." a tall boy in the back of the class called. "We get that part. What is the theory?"
"Hunter, quiet," the teacher said. "Continue, Quince."
"Well, everyone knows that dreaming shows the unconscious mind in action. Even though the body is at rest, the brain is in motion. But, what if the dream world is another plane? It has been accepted that we only use part of the brain in everyday life and are not able to access the other part. However, maybe we focus on so many things in daily life that we forget how to use the full part of our brain. Then, when we sleep, we access the full power of our brains. Through that power, we are able to create entire worlds. Those who are exceptionally adept are able to enter the world they've found or created and experience it like normal life. And what if we could-" Quince was cut off as his excitement rose.
"Dude, this is stupid. It doesn't even make sense," a student stated. The rest of the class erupted in laughter and began to tease Quince.
"QUIET!" a girl yelled from a single side of the classroom. "Just because you don't like his theory does not mean that you can make fun of him. How rude. This is Theoretical science class meaning that everything here is a theory and deserves to be researched as such."
"Thank you, Hattori," Quince said nervously.
"Even so, Quince," Hattori began. "It has been proven that dreams are no more than the brain at work during sleep. Not another world. Maybe you should work on another theory."
"Oh, well, okay,: Quince said as he regained his seat.
"Hey, man. It's only a class. It's not that big of a deal. When the bell rings, no one will even care," the boy sitting next to Quince said.
"Thanks, Hunter," Quince smiled. "You're a bro." The bumped their knuckles into each other before Quince picked up his novel.
"I can't believe that not even a single person would listen to me!" Quince had been complaining to the girl Hattori who was placed adjacent to him. She was far too busy eating her food to listen to Quince's rants. "Hattori, are you even listening to me?"
Hattori swallowed and spoke bluntly. "Keep your nose in the book. You're drawing attention to me."
"Yeah, right. It's because you don't like my nose and would rather it be hidden behind a large book," Quince whined. "You shouldn't be so mean just because it's sharp and mousy."
"That's not it. It's just that when you speak, it's usually something stupid," Hattori replied. "Look, Quince. You're bringing up something that is only thought to exist in the realm of fantasy and, well, dreams. Your theory goes against proven science. Of course no one wants to listen to you and will laugh off your discovery. Unless you can prove your theory to be fact, no on is going to believe you."
"Fine then. I'll prove-"
"Keep your nose in the book," Hattori stated while pushing Quince's nose toward the book that lie open on the table. "I don't want any part of this idiocy."
"You're really mean, you know that? That's why no one wants to talk to you," Quince teased.
"You're annoying. Reason enough for no one to want to be around you," Hattori scoffed.
Quince leaned against Hattori's shoulder. "That's why we sit with each other. Because everyone needs someone."
Hattori grunted and pushed Quince away. "What have I told you about mushy things and cuddling. I hate both of those things equally, so stop doing them." She held up her her left hand. If you want, we can hold hands, but that's it. And only my left hand. The right is for people I actually like." The rest of the lunch period was spent in silence between them.
When the final bell for the school day rang, Quince bolted from the classroom. He waved his arms like a maniac in order to get the bus driver's attention. After his theoretical science class, he was determined to find evidence to back up his theory. After arriving, it wasn't long before Quince has a large stack of books sitting on the cafe table in the bookstore. That's when the chill rolled down his spine. He could feel someone watching over him. He looked around before placing his nose back into his book.
"Quince!" a girl said loudly. Quince lowered his book to see a girl with dyed purple hair. Her hair covered half of her face, but Quince could still see the eye patch covering her right eye. "I can't believe I finally found you!" she shouted ash she wrapped her arms around the blond boy, throwing him to the ground.
After struggling away, Quince began to breathe normally again. "Who are you? And how do you know who I am?"
"It's me. Yume. And how would I not recognize you. You're the only blonde boy with green eyes that I know," Yume explained. "I knew sister was right when she said that you survived. I'm so happy you saved me." She kissed his cheek softly.
"Wait a second," Quince said as he wiped the kiss off his cheek. "I've never met you before."
"Yes you have. Not in this world, but you did in the dream world."
Memories flashed like lightning through Quince's mind. The girl with the bleeding eye, the explosions and his death: it was all real.
"But, I'm still alive. That can't be real." Quince began to sweat.
"Well, it wasn't real in the same sense of the word that you mean, but it was real. It was vivid dreaming. You managed to enter the realm of dreams and live there for a while. I thought you died when Jenna caused that explosion, but here you are in the bookstore reading." Yume stood up and spun around. "I'm so happy you're still alive here. That means you're still alive there, too."
"What about the girl with the orange hair?" Quince asked.
Yume frowned. "She was killed not long after you woke up." Her eyes begin to well with tears.
"Excuse me," a man in a suit said to them. "You guys are making the other customers feel uncomfortable. I'm going to have to ask you to leave.
"Okay," she replied. "Quince. Quince? Where'd you go?"
"Okay, there is no way that what she said is true. This is just coincidental. Or maybe she's a stalker."Quince began to hyperventilate from pacing so much. He grabbed his inhaler and took a deep breath. "Wait, why am I so unwilling to believe this? This is like the theory that I tried to tell the class today. If this is true, then it can be an amazing discovery, but how can I prove it. No way. I'm just being hopeful. There is no way that a person can enter a dream. Let alone, die and then return to this world while another dies and disappears." Quince looked at his bed. He swallowed. "I guess it's time for bed."