Once upon a time there was a Dream Ripper.
It wasn’t a man or a woman. He had no shape, no color, no smell. People couldn’t see it; they don’t even suspect of its existence. However, he used to crumble inside their heads, using its talent to distort reality and make them forget their passions, their ambitions, their spirit… he was so talented that grabbed every bit of the everyday life and manipulated its truth so each person would feel weak, unconfident, and unable to do whatever they once wanted to do. The “thing” literally destroyed the dreams of every single victim. And what was more disgusting about this crime was that anyone realized what had happened. They just become depressed, and somewhat erratic, limited to do what any animal need to do: to survive. Their hearts were full of distress and unhappiness. People attacked by this criminal didn’t even know who they were anymore. They used to be lighter and now their heads were heavy as if just the act of “living” was a terrible responsibility to carry just because they didn’t have the courage of ending it.
Cities became even grayer. Villages were dead with anyone left in it – there wasn’t anyone to take care of the elders, no children to bring joy to the streets. People were so unhappy that even the artists only could paint, and draw and create on grayscale. Clothes were gray, black or white. Any book cover had a sad or morbid title in it. Any sculpture or painting was on something or someone dying or crying, mostly suffering.
Even animals run away or started dying with no apparent reason. Cats and dogs were found dead in the streets and there wasn’t sign of birds in the sky or in public gardens. In the farms, animals started to die because their owners had lost ambition and willingness. Businesses closed every single day because employees stopped going to work, managers of once loved brands were sick of life, a wave of discouragement was reaching every layer of any hierarchical organization. Even the Government was silent. Universities were suddenly with no students, with no investigators, rooms and labs abandoned.
Supermarkets had to throw away food because suddenly people weren’t eating anymore. Bars, discos, restaurants, any other place for entertainment or leisure had to close. Nobody wanted to enjoy life, nobody wanted to be with anyone. The social part of being human was gone.
Suicides were uncountable. Eventually people stopped to talk about it because it was spreading like the plague. Even children started to do the same, imitating what their parents and family members did. Nobody saw a reason to live anymore. The planet was a cold and unfriendly place.
The criminal just got away with it. Anyone was willing to investigate why everyone was so depressed, why everything was stopping and dying because of it.
Eventually the ripper started to feel lost. There wasn’t any dream left for him to destroy. Children’s were his favorite victim, because their minds were full of expectations and imagination. Their dreams were abundant and, once one was destroyed, another appeared right away. However, the world was now only full of adults and elders. Couples were separated by depression and there were no families wanting to have children.
Adults had no more dreams and elders just wanted to die.
Everything seemed to have ended when the Dream Ripper found a light in the middle of his darkness. A girl was still full of dreams. “Great”, thought the Dream Ripper, “I can enjoy a little longer”. He tried and tried to destroy that girl expectation, but for the first time the girl recognized him. “You can’t destroy my dream, since my dream is to kill you ”, she said in a peremptory tone, yet with a unique sweetness in her voice. The Dream Ripper stepped back, confused and chocked. However, he recomposed himself quite fast, since he didn’t want to show weakness to that little girl. “And how do you intend to do that, little girl?”, he asked, in a facetious tone.
“It is simple. Like any other human being, I want to accomplish my position in this life. I have dreams and I am not ever giving up on them. I’ll learn with my mistakes and deceptions, and I’ll suffer and cry sometimes. However, I am also enjoy every single minute on this Earth. I will be happy, and I’ll smile. I will make every single survivor of your crimes to believe in this because it is the truth. And then you’ll starve to death, because you feed on disappointment and depression since you, yourself, have no dreams at all. And that would be your own grave”
The Dream Ripper laugh at this not believing. However, the girl survived in the inhospitable place the world had become. Her light was visible and her fierce was the strength that inspired her parents to live, her neighbors become stronger, her teachers in school had the willing to teach again. Her story was spread across borders and inspired people everywhere. The Dream Ripper couldn’t reach any mind. He was desperate and weak.
So finally, with anyone left to rip off dreams, the Dream Ripper had no dreams at all. And eventually, he became nothing.
And nothing is easily forgotten.