Dyevlev Ulnashe's Dreamporium
by Ken McGrath
You know you're approaching the Dreamporium the moment you taste purple. There it is, wedged into a curve of Ballinger Lane, the exterior tastefully decorated with flowers. Purveyors of the finest imaginings the carved sign proclaims. The door glides open easily and a stone toad on the counter announces your presence with a loud belch once you step over the threshold.
"One minute," a voice like butterfly-wings calls from the back of the shop. "Feel free to look around."
So you do. You keep your arms in close, hands bunched beneath your chin for fear of knocking something over. The shelves are loosely packed with clear jars where intricate light patterns coil when you lean in. Everywhere you turn another catches your eye by starting up an enticing dance.
You can't help but think of Mama Patelina back home, kissing her prayer beads while pointing out the withered, autumnal, half-people who'd gathered like rags around the old fountain.
"Never sell your dreams, child," she'd warned repeatedly. "See how nothing they are? Empty, like an old vase."