Mission Dreams by Ney Yepez

Mission Dreams by Ney Yepez


By Ney Yépez Cortés/Translation by Tom Larsen

Beware of dreams, which are the sirens of the soul.
They sing; they call us; we follow them.
And never return.

-Gustave Flaubert

The sea looked like an enormous raging animal that stirred and swirled with titanic convulsions. The black waters formed high mountains and deep valleys, contsntly changing, unpredictable, with flecks of foam that shone with a pale and deadly light. From the sinister entrails of the night, the howls of wind blew the chaotic rain in all directions.

The brittle frigate named Karenah swayed helplessly, dwarfed by the power of the storm. Its hull creaked every time the waves beat, ceaselessly, without pity. The steel cables that connected it to the coast-guard ship towing it had burst, some fifteen meters from the pilings of the embankment, defeated by the force of the typhoon. The handful of men that formed the crew had been tied to the railing so as not to be swept away by the rivers of water sliding down the deck.

The sailors made a superhuman effort to try to maintain the tension in the rigging of the mast. Aft, two men were assisting the captain in his struggle to keep the rudder bar headed toward the harbor. When the wave ripped the wires that connected them to the tow-boat, they knew that under those conditions, if they were fifteen or five hundred meters from port didn’t make any difference. They were at the mercy of nature, and only their stoic hope compelled them to fight to the end.

Suddenly, in the cool light of the coast guard’s reflectors, they saw a particularly large wave, which bumped the frigate on the port side, and pitched it to starboard, allowing the sea to rise above its waterline. Thus, turned on its side, it was finally pulled from its course and dragged sideways to the embankment. It was the beginning of the end.

At the top of that mountain of water, the Karenah stood suspended for a few seconds and then descended at a steady speed down the liquid slope to a sudden stop against the rocks that in long irregular lines projected from the beach, a hundred meters to right of the port. The keel shattered and the impact left three large gaps in the hull through which the icy water burst into the cabins.About a dozen people, adults and children, came up through the bow hatch, terrified, and joined the six crewmen, struggling not to slip on the slanted deck.

Everyone was trembling with fear and cold. In the glow of the lightning, they could see the people from the harbor running down the beach to the rocks where they had run aground, to try to assist them.

On the sea side as well, the reflectors of the coast-guard ship advanced cautiously in their direction, at the risk of suffering the same fate as the frigate. The passengers shouted terrified pleas and the sailors looked at each other in despair. They knew that by land or by sea help would take too long to arrive.

The ship was sinking rapidly and with the sea so agitated probably no one could swim to the beach, despite being only about seven meters away.

In the midst of the thunder, they heard the sound sound of an engine approaching from some part of the open sea. The crew of the crippled boat stopped their cries and paid attention to that sound, with an incipient hope in their hearts.  A few seconds later, the lightning showed a large zodiac boat appearing from behind a wave, with outboard engine and manned by two men.  With quick and expert turns they approached miraculously to the edge of the wounded ship and practically climbed with the boat to the heights of the waves and partially submerged with it in the depths. The two men, muffled in yellow raincoats, must have been very young judging by their agility of movement.

They jumped out of the zodiac, which now lay strangely still despite the waves, and with precise orders and calm attitude made most of passengers lie on the rubber floor of their boat. Like a flash of lightening, dodging the rocky breakers, they took them to the beach.

Several midshipmen from the port and local fishermen received the downfallen castaways, and immediately the rescue boat returned to the increasingly submerged frigate. Shortly before the waters engulfed the boat, they rescued the stragglers, who soon joined the first group on the beach.

When the confusion passed, they sought the mysterious heroes who avoided what would surely have been a tragedy. There was no trace of the two men or their zodiac. None of the fishermen had seen them before, and the port authorities didn’t know where they had come from. One of the rescued women raised a prayer of thanks to the strangers.

“I think they were two angels sent by Providence to save us,” she told the reporters who arrived later.

Furious lightning crackled, and for a few seconds the beach lit up with white light. The thunder that followed brought Francis out of his sleep.  In the safe darkness of his room, the young man sat up in bed as if propelled by a spring. Soaked in sweat he looked at the alarm clock on the pedestal on the left side of his bed, and in the red numbers that glowed in the gloom, read 05:53.   It was more than an hour before the bus passed in front of his house to take him to school

He jumped out of bed and took a shower.  It was strange the sensation of the water running over his body.  He vividly remembered the scenes of his dream, with that ship sinking into the storm   He was one of the men who had saved those people from certain death.   The identity of his rescue partner aboard the Zodiac boat was unknown to him.  His face was clear, a young man a few years older than he, perhaps twenty-three, with pleasant features.  Francis was sure that he had never seen him before. Anyway, that didn’t matter anymore.  It was just a dream and everyone knows that in dreams, absurd things happen, without logic.

He left the bathroom, dressed, greeted his parents and joined his two brothers at the dining room table for breakfast. That day was like all the rest. From the house to the school, and from school to the house, homework in the afternoon and see his girlfriend at night, but only until eight.

The next day was the same, but breakfast on the third day was extraordinary. He took his place at the table, trying to hide from his younger sister the last piece of toast with orange marmalade. His father, as usual, drank coffee while he stared absently at the morning news on the small television set on the sideboard. Near the end of the program, in the short section on international news, the TV news anchor said something that left Francis paralyzed.

“And on a curious note, several passengers were saved from drowning in the early hours of Wednesday morning on the coast of Panama, near the port of Colon. The Ecuadorians were migrants who were aboard the Karenah frigate, which capsized when it crashed into reefs, carried by a typhoon that affected several ports on the Pacific coast. The migrants, including women and children, as well as numerous witnesses, claimed that they were miraculously saved by two anonymous men aboard a zodiac boat that moved them to dry land in the middle of the storm and then disappeared from the scene of the tragedy immediately, leaving no trace. The identity of the rescuers is unknown, although the witnesses say that they are very young and that they do not belong to the body of midshipmen, nor are fishermen from that area. One rescued woman was sure that they were her guardian angels.”

Francis could not have been more astonished by what he had just heard on television.  The images of his dream, already forgotten, returned to his mind. The name of the frigate, the storm, the rescue, its disappearance … everything agreed exactly. Was it a coincidence? The boy didn’t know what to think.

He faked a headache that day and did not go to school.  He wanted to stay home to meditate upon the whole thing. He locked himself in his bedroom and lay on his back on his bed, sometimes feeling fascination, sometimes fear. As much as he turned the facts in his head, he could not find a satisfactory explanation.  Maybe he would have to consult with a psychologist, or better with a parapsychologist. And, what if the parish priest was better?   Should he discuss what happened with his girlfriend or his parents? What if they thought him crazy? Maybe he was crazy; he just didn’t know.

Lost in these thoughts, he fell into a deep sleep around midmorning, more from boredom than fatigue.  He dreamed that he was lying wide awake on his bed. Then someone came through the door into his room. It was the boy with whom he had supposedly made that rescue in Panama. The newcomer smiled openly.

“Hi, Francis. How nice to see you again, and to be able to count on your help.”

“Who are you and what are you doing here?”

“My name is Martín and I live in Punta del Este, Uruguay. I, like you, am a daydreamer.”

“What did you say?”

“A daydreamer.”

“And, what is that?” Francis teased.

“We are not many in this world, ” Martin replied with the typical accent of the Eastern Republican people. “The art of daydreaming has been used for centuries by magicians and sorcerers in different latitudes to interfere in the physical world as well as in the spiritual world.”

“But, I’m no witch or anything like that,” Francis responded.

“Some had to study this discipline for many years and after long training began to control their dreams. Another group, to which you and I belong, develop the power of dreams spontaneously.”

Francis, in his dream, talked with Martin with absolute naturalness, as if they had been friends for years. Maybe that was exactly what happened. Everything Martin said, he accepted without resistance, as if his mind no longer controlled his conscience.

“Well, if we admit that this business of … what did you say it’s called? Insolation?

“Daydreaming,” Martín corrected earnestly.

“Well, that’s a real phenomenon. How do I know that all this, including you, is not just a creation of my imagination?”

“I knew you would ask something like that. Well, the best way to verify if something that we dream becomes real, is, when during the dream you take an action that later you can verify in the real world. That was the case of the boat we rescued the other night. Did you read about it in a newspaper, or maybe saw it on television?”

“But in verifying reality you need tools to work with,” Francis said. “In Panama we were aboard a zodiac boat. Where did it come from?”

“Well, that is one of the advantages of daydreaming, because in the dream world you can have everything you want just by wanting it.

“Seriously!? So if I want to be with a girl from Playboy magazine …”

“You’d have the best sex of your life,” Martin said with a mischievous smile, “but before you dream of Miss February, I’ll tell you that this power is not for that. Dreamers have a mission to fulfill.”

“I knew there was something twisted behind all this. And what will that mission be?”

“Each dreamer has a different one. In our case it’s to help people who are suffering some tragedy in remote places.”

“Yeah? And who determines what we should or should not do in our dreams?

“Well, I’m not sure, but I get the impression the mission comes from up there,” said the young Uruguayan, pointing his index finger at the ceiling. “As nothing happens by chance, it seems to me that there is a universal order, a superior design that makes things happen in one way and not another.”

Francis didn’t have a very clear idea about God, but what Martin said sounded logical.

“And why do we have it and other people don’t?” he asked.

“The fact is that other people do, too, only that they can’t remember when they are awake. You yourself had already participated in several missions before the shipwreck of the Karenah, only the last one was different, because the press covered the story and you remembered it.”

“I suppose this is a power that is kept to oneself, so that it is not used badly.”

“But when people remember, as happened to you, there is no risk of them using this power for evil. Top of FormI believe that someone up there….” Martin pointed again to the ceiling. Wanted you to remember your missions in a conscious state, the same as for me and for others. I suppose a certain type of people, very sensitive and responsible, become conscious dreamers. You and I are that kind of people.”

“Do you believe that?” Francis asked with a shy smile of satisfaction at the possibility of being different from the common people.

“I can’t think of another explanation. Of course, it could also be some kind of test, just designed for people who are not sensitive or responsible,” said Martin maliciously, precisely so as not to overfeed the ego of his young friend. “Well, now that you know the truth, I’ll tell you that the night after tomorrow we will have the mission to help some mountaineers trapped by an avalanche in Switzerland.”

After a pause, Francis responded, “Okay, but it’s going to be hard to live knowing everything you’ve told me, don’t you think?”

“It’s not so bad. Also, dreamers who have a little more experience will always be there to help you.”

“Promise? Francis asked earnestly.

Martin didn’t have time to answer because some insistent knocks on the bedroom door awoke Francis from his reverie. He got up sulkily, unlocked the door and opened it. It was Mom, who had returned from work to lunch and, worried about her son’s fictitious illness, went to see him as soon as she entered the house.

“Loving but untimely,” the young man thought wryly. After assuring her that the headache had already passed, he announced that he would take a short walk in the neighborhood before eating, as he was somewhat drowsy

He went out into the street trying to convince himself that all that talk with Martin was nothing more than a figment of his imagination. It was strange enough to frighten him. Besides, his logical side told him that it was impossible, because dreams are only dreams and reality is something else. “Dreams and good intentions are not going to save anyone nor are they going to fix the world,” he thought cynically. Sometimes he was too cynical to be so young. It was an evil of his generation

Reassured, he crossed the street without noticing that a vehicle was coming at a high speed in his direction. The driver spoke distractedly on his cell phone, so he didn’t even notice the boy walking a few meters in front of his car.
Along that street there were many shops and many passers-by, so that no one noticed his careless steps.

Just two seconds before the car reached him, Francis felt someone grab him by the collar of his T-shirt and pull him back so hard that he fell backward on the sidewalk. Frightened, the boy could see the car moving away down the street. The driver was still talking on the phone without noticing what happened. Francis looked around to see his savior. At his side stood a pretty girl not more than twenty years old and who smiled kindly

“You’re okay?” She asked in an angel’s voice with a pronounced Andalusian accent.

“Yes … I think … this … thanks for your help.”

“It was nothing. Come on, dude, get up, you’re in the middle of the sidewalk.”

She held out her hand to him. Francis, a little embarrassed, stood up and brushed an imaginary speck of dust from his pants, trying to stall while he thought of what to say to the charming Spanish girl. She didn’t give him time; without saying anything else, and still smiling, she turned and started walking up the street A few curious people who had gathered at the accident site, seeing that the boy was unharmed, also continued on their way.

Francis, greatly impressed by the beauty of the girl, was not going to let her go just like that. He called her in the smoothest voice he could muster. She turned.

“Wait. Excuse me, I think I owe you one, so I’d like to invite you for some ice cream, or a movie,” he said shyly, displaying the most seductive smile he’d ever tried in the mirror.

“Thank you,” the girl said, “but I don’t live around here.”

“Then, what are you doing here?”

“Well, I think you were lucky that I’m dreaming of you right now. By the way, Martin said he promises you.”

The girl waved good-bye and disappeared among the people walking along the sidewalk.

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