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Dreamstore Impressions


Dreamstore Impressions

By Binit Koirala

Copyright 2015 Binit Koirala

Shakespir Edition

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She picked it up and flipped it about in her hands. She inspected both sides, looking for any nuances that might become apparent on close viewing. She even gave either side a gentle slap, hoping she could feel or hear something that her eyes could not perceive. Unsatisfied, she placed the object back in its glass enclosure.

“It’s only a pillow.”

“Yes.” The salesman dimmed the lights on the exhibit. “And money is only a small piece of paper.”

“Then why do you want so many pieces of paper for this one item of fabric and fluff?”

The salesman smiled. “Because you already want to have it.”

“That’s very presumptive of you.” She was slightly irked by his directness, yet a bit intrigued by how he was handling his potential customer. “Maybe I’ll just buy one of those softer ones on that shelf over there.”

“Yes, use one of those factory-manufactured pillows and be like everybody else. I wonder why you even came here in the first place.”

She was slightly jarred by that exchange, but her curiosity went up a few notches. The man was trying to build up the exclusivity of his prize item, but he had offered no compelling selling points so far. Perhaps that was how he made people part with their money, she thought. Maybe he makes the object valuable in the buyer’s eye by placing it just beyond their reach.

“Do you make these yourself?” If she was going to part with her money, she was going to get the story first.

“I haven’t stuffed a pillow in over twenty years. But I have the finest hands doing the hard work.”

“You know, for the kind of money you’re asking, I could get something with a craftsman-embroidered work of art on it. What you are offering me is a blank.”

“Ah, but why would you want an embroidered pillow? It is not for resting you gaze upon, but for the back of your head. The best pillow is a blank one.”

“An embroidered one would look better on my bed.”

“Use an engraved headboard. Or hang a painting over it. That will have the same effect. No one has any business staring at your pillow. In fact, you should keep your pillow locked away when you’re not using it.”

What? The man was trying to sell her something on the basis of its exclusivity, yet was telling her she shouldn’t show it to anyone else. This was either an elaborate con, or he was more sold on his goods than his customers would ever be.

“Keep my pillow locked away? Why?”

“You wouldn’t want to contaminate it.”

“With what? Germs? Dirt? Fingers?”

“With other people’s dreams, of course.”

Pillows getting contaminated with other people’s dreams? Now she’d heard everything. This man, contrary to all she’d imagined so far, was just one of those “new-age nonsense” whack jobs that sold you on charms and trinkets that promised you good fortune as long as you followed their silly instructions to the letter. She should be going on her way, she realized. But she still wanted to hear his story.

“How would a pillow get contaminated by someone else looking at it?”

“Well, each person’s pillow stores their dreams. You may have ten different dreams at night, but you will remember one or two, at most. But all of them leave an imprint on your pillow.”

“That’s ridiculous.”

“Is it? Every dream is a stream of ideas that generates emotions within you. Every emotion causes you to breathe in a certain way. Every feeling you have when you are asleep makes you move very slightly, almost imperceptibly. And every movement you make is imprinted by your head onto your pillow. The next time you sleep, your head presses into the imprints of previous dreams, releasing emotions similar to the ones you had before.”

“But how would somebody else’s dreams get into my pillow without them sleeping on it?”

“Ah, yes. People do not only dream when they are asleep, you know. Everyone daydreams, especially when provoked by the sight of a comfortable bed. Those daydreams can be imprinted if someone touches another person’s pillow.”

This man had an answer for everything, even if it didn’t stand up to logical scrutiny. His customer realized she was being led down a one-way street, with answers to all her possible questions being painted on the walls in big, bold letters. She gently lifted the pillow again, looking for anything to support or refute what the salesman had said so far. Not reaching a verdict, she decided to explore his premise further.

“So wouldn’t my pillow come imprinted by the daydreams of the person who crafted it?”

“As I said before, the best pillow is a blank one. We take steps to ensure our experts do not imprint anything on the product. In fact, we discard any pillow if a craftsman has a strong emotional reaction while handling it.”

“What if I have a bad dream on my own pillow then?”

“Oh, you will occasionally have bad dreams. You just have to ensure that you have mostly good dreams for the first few nights. After that, the imprinted dreams will ensure you stay on the right track in the future.”

“And what if I turn my pillow around, or flip it over? Doesn’t that mean the imprint will cause a different emotional reaction?”

“I would recommend not doing that, at least for the first few times you sleep on it. Once you get used to the pillow, there is a bond you form with it, which is stonger than the imprint alone. As long as you are in the right frame of mind as you go to sleep, the imprints will be interpreted properly.”

She knew the salesman was in complete control of the conversation now. His answers were more detailed and he seemed more comfortable making bold claims, as though he was already sure of what her next response would be.

“Do these imprints stay forever?”

“They gradually fade with time, if they are not reinforced. If you sleep on a pillow a couple of times, then put it away, it might lose the imprint after a few weeks. But if you sleep on one for several months or years, it will always be imprinted with your dreams, even long after you’re gone.”

“What if I get the fabric changed? Or the stuffing?”

“Then you temporarily lose the imprint. But you would be able to recover it, it you sleep on it a few times and realign it to your body.

She was running out of questions now. The dead end of the street was fast approaching. But the man hadn’t yet sold her on this particular pillow. Here was the make or break question:

“What makes this pillow better than all the others?”

“Nothing is absolute. This pillow is good for you, probably not so for anyone else.”

“And why would that be?”

“Because you have been holding it in your hands as we talked. You have been trying to find something special in it, which has caused you to form an emotional bond. You have already associated everything I have been telling you with this particular pillow. Even if you didn’t —or don’t —believe a word I say, you have unconsciously imprinted them onto your mind. Whether you choose to buy it or not, this is already your pillow. Any other pillow you buy will be inadequate.”

And he was right. Even the reveal did nothing to dampen her newfound appreciation for the object in her hand. Satisfied, she paid for the goods and left the store with a feeling of completion. It was a confidence trick, she realized, but she was happy to know she’d been had.

The salesman smiled as the customer went out the door, pillow in hand. He walked to the shelf containing the pillows he has previously dismissed as being “factory-made,” randomly removed one from the lot and took it over to the now-empty glass case.


Thank you for reading this short book. If you liked it, please share it with your friends (or better yet, ask them to download it). All feedback and reviews are welcome. —Binit


About the Author:

Binit Koirala is a lazy person, except when it comes to sharing ideas of any sort. He likes mixing fiction and non-fiction, which some people think amounts to lying. He also enjoys lying down on his bed and closing his eyes, and that often reflects on his literary works.

Keep up with the author’s work on Shakespir at: http://www.Shakespir.com/profile/view/b1n1t

Dreamstore Impressions

How does one go about buying a pillow? Is it something insignificant and without consequence? Or, since you spend a large part of your life with your head rested on it, is it an object of profound importance? Does a pillow influence your dreams? Or does the converse hold true? This short story briefly hints at all those questions, while making a different point altogether.

  • ISBN: 9781311497031
  • Author: Binit Koirala
  • Published: 2015-12-05 13:50:11
  • Words: 1513
Dreamstore Impressions Dreamstore Impressions