I had only read a half dozen tales featuring the Sandman, but I was enthralled.
I had stopped writing the story following the prologue in 1991, and did not return to it until all of the woman troubles I was having in 1992.
I always finish what I start. Let's start.
Dream, aka Morpheus (and Oneiros, the Shaper, the Shaper of Form, Lord of the Dreaming, the Dream King, Dream-Sneak, the Cat of Dreams, Murphy, Kai'ckul and Lord L'Zoril,) rules over the world of dreams. He is one of the seven Endless: Dream, Destiny, Death, Desire, Delirium (formerly Delight, but is now two in one), and Destruction.
After being captured and held prisoner for 70 years, Dream is now back in business, rebuilding his kingdom... but there is still much he doesn't know about the power vacuum that occurred in his absence. He has been around for billions of years, but still does not know all that much about humans, as he has, in the past merely acted as King... a king unaware of what his subjects and realm requires outside of the basics.
The introductory song is Love Me Tender, of course, as sung by Elvis Presley - at least it is in my head.
LOVE IS A DREAM
by andrew joseph
"Love me tender.
Love me do.
All my dreams fulfilled..."
"She has aged well through the years, has she not, Matthew?" muses Morpheus as the long, pale fingers of his right hand stroke his hairless chin in such a mortal way. His other hand paws clumsily at his Bag of Purple Sands.
Matthew caws energetically in agreement and races to let her into the Dream World. Matthew was twice a man. The last time, he died in the Dream and now holds the exalted form of a Raven.
Alighting upon a corner of the Gateway, the material imaginary fence rolls open noiselessly.
"Show her into Fiddler's Green," commands Morpheus as his voice pierces Matthew's self. "I shall be there shortly after I sprinkle my dust throughout the realm for the surf riders of fantasy."
Matthew obeys silently. Flying above in the shape of an eagle, he guides the flame-haired beauty through a maze of forests and gardens till she stands before a great oak. A door wavers its image onto the tree.
Meridia smiles at the raven while following. She sees his true shape. As she also sees him lead her down through a plethora of hallways and doors. They stop in front of a red silk drape hung delicately in front of a doorway.
She grasps the handle on the tree/pushes the curtain aside, and enters.
On the air of thought, the handsome bird flies back towards Morpheus' antechamber. Though he has only served the Master for a few decades, he has never seen him act so "human". The Master would have him plucked if he heard these thoughts. "No," he half-reasoned. "Maybe that's not right. He is absorbed with trivialities. Better safe than sorry. I'm not sure if the Boss can read thoughts..."
In the safe confines of Fiddler's Green, a million visitors play. Sometimes with their dream friends, but always alone. Except for Meridia. Unknown to her she has been chosen by the King of Dreams to receive the full benefit of his charm.
Elsewhere and elsewhen, a grossly misshapen form dances wildly amid the biting red sands. Shiny, burning eyes watch the ritual from afar. The dancer pauses for an instant. The watcher's eyes flash in brilliance. The troglodyte howls in agony and begins the oscillation anew with frantic vigor.
A familiar-looking gate begins to waver into existence. It just as quickly blinks out.
The eyes glimmer in approval. "It has begun," it utters in a throaty whisper.
In the dream, Morpheus hides himself in a daisy chain perched atop her full, feathered hair. She is without clothes as is the norm in her dreams. She sits atop a winged hippogriff as they soar betwixt the colours of a rainbow. Never before has she felt such pleasure. Each colour exuding a taste, scent and vista far beyond the ken of mortal men.
Morpheus and Meridia plunge repeatedly through the bands of light aboard the flying creature. She shouts in pleasure. The hippogriff too, screams in intense rapture - achieving orgasm with every submersion in the variegated spectrum. Morpheus, smiling to himself, says nothing.
After awhile Meridia grows weary and restless. It is time for her to go back. Morpheus withdraws from her and watches from everywhere. Her face is aglow with sexual energy. A charm he fails to understand but notices nonetheless.
He waves his hand and sends the hippogriff back to his paisley pastures. With a deep bow to his Master, he gallops off.
She falls slowly through the air. Somersaulting past clouds and trees. Quickly the images fall away and are replaced by oil paintings and bookcases. She snaps awake as she lands softly upon her bed. A smile breaks her moist lips.
Fashioned from the limb of a diseased ash tree, the wand glows red hot.
"Concentrate wurm!" barks a voice from beyond. "Concentrate!"
The pock-marked demon groans in displeasure as a bolt of electric-blue snaps from the cloudless atmosphere and strikes him between the shoulder blades. Tiny beads of sweat collect on its mottled, lumpy forehead. Even by the Triumvirate's ghoulish standards, it's a pathetic-looking wretch.
A doorway materializes in the middle of the thickly fenced area.
Urkel shuffles forward and places a bony hand upon it. "Solid," it grunts. "Master! I've done it!"
In the cool sunshine, Meridia walks blissfully toward the market. For the last two months she has had a recurring dream of sexual delight. Her nipples poke through her blouse in affectionate remembrance. She can't remember a time when she has been so happy.
In the moody confines of Dream's "room", an arc of variegated light splits the ether. Matthew, knowing that all existing elements in the Dream are His creation, wonders what his master is doing. Fragments of music slip from the King of Dream's earphones. "Break on... ough to... other side.."
Alongside the temporal gateway, a freshly created wrought-iron fence stands. Another bolt of electric blue strikes the pathetic Urkel, sending him flying into the rusted bars of iron. As long lean fingers clasp together in contemplation a voice chuckles, "Keep up the good work, my pet." To no being in particular, it mutters, "I don't want the little darlings to become complacent. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha." Peals of laughter roll across the terrain. The inhabitants hear the thunder and shudder. It's going to be a long eternity.
Humming a melody she hasn't heard in years, she buys a basket of golden apples and walks along the beach. Have you ever wondered why people suddenly have a song haunt them for days at a time? Meridia knows why. She parts her lips and begins to sing softly. "Love me tender, Love me do. All my dreams fulfilled..." A smile breaks her lips. She always did love The King.
In his antechamber, Morpheus holds counsel with the more shadowy denizens of his worlds.
"Master, why are we no longer being used? Have we done something to put us out of your favour?" asks the nasal voice of a large shark-faced creature. Opening his feathered arms he beseeches, "What may we do to right our wrong?"
With a smile and a light laugh, Morpheus says, "I am sorry for my slight. You have done nothing wrong. You have all performed your duties admirably."
The myriad shaped creatures shuffle their taloned claws/paws/tentacles in relief.
"In fact, I have felt as though you have been over-worked these past few centuries. Don't worry. Some of the real louses still call upon you, do they not? Take out your anger on them. Leave the rest to me."
An ugly flame-scorched tenement stands tall and dreary amid the rag-tag weed-infested confines of the fence Urkel has constructed.
His Master's voice smashes through the underworld. "Congratulations."
With a twinkle of his omnipotent eyes, the jumble of newly created forms reassembles itself into an exact reproduction of Morpheus' home.
Ringed atop the fence are a solid black line of swallows... lyre-tailed swallows.
"Send them out, Urkel. Send them out and let it begin," growls Satan.
With a wave of his ashen wand, Urkel sends the messengers off through the ether. They dip and rise flying straight for the Master's abode. Then suddenly, the black mass veers crazily at an impossible angle and disappears in a flash. A strong fragrance of banana and lemon permeates the air.
"Ah. A scent reminiscent of truly good cocaine," sighs the Evil One. Long, slim fingers draw open a purple pouch hung around the waist of a beheaded thrall. He dips his fingers and pulls forth a long trailing mound of white powder and inhales deeply. He laughs hideously. "Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha."
Don't let the bed bugs bite,