The Dreamer (1952 -)
The main protagonist
The Rose (1953 – 1974)
The Dreamer’s passed away wife
The Illusionist (1897 -)
The creator and keeper of the Lullaby
The Lily (1965 -)
The Dreamer’s good friend; in love with him
The Dreamer’s Requiem (Prologue)
The year is 1989 and it’s a day like many others. Time has started to set the sun while The Dreamer is on a train ride home with a busy mind, confused about how he feels about his day. He’s met someone close to him and feels that they had a pretty good time, like they usually always do. It was nice… But something keeps holding him back from truly enjoying those memories from just a few hours back. As soon as it was over, it was all back to normal.
Once home, The Dreamer experiences a déjà vu. Maybe it’s the feeling of that author on TV who seems to be speaking to him. Or maybe it’s just the feeling of coming back home from whatever routine has contributed to make the hours pass. There seems to be a message left for him from a missed phone call. He knows it’s her, she must have arrived home before he did. She sounds like she always does, so optimistic and hopeful about life. A feeling that feels somewhat familiar to him, yet far gone by now.
It’s getting late as The Dreamer tries to get rid of the confusion about the rendezvous with The Lily earlier that day. He can tell that she cares a big deal about him. But he is so unable to open up and truly feel connected to anybody else, that the name he usually whispers before going to bed is the one of another…
It’s a new day or just yet another one. Another day of displaying isolation towards other people. An entire night has passed, and yet he finds himself still immersed in the thoughts from yesterday.
There are elements in his current life that should manage to cheer him up. Yet he is unable to cling on to those happy occasional moments and furthermore, unable to feel peace. He can’t deny that spending time with The Lily is better than his usual status quo. She is after all the sweetest person he currently knows. He knows that she’s hoping for something stronger between them than just friendship, even thou she’s never told him how she feels. Being aware of her love is however a problem for The Dreamer. Due to his inability to let people in and open up his heart, he can’t determine whether or not he feels something more for her in return. He feels guilty for maybe giving her false expectations, although he still enjoys spending time with her and does care a big deal about her as well.
But somehow, the relation he shares with The Lily is for him maybe more of a way to simulate a past relationship. A past life and the desire of reuniting with The Rose that passed away 15 years prior to these current events. This passed away soul, the big love of his life that he misses is what keeps The Dreamer empty. The same state he was in before meeting her.
When Shadows Call
The Dreamer wakes up sweaty from a nightmare, which unfortunately has been a common occurrence for years. But this one felt heavier than before. Without hesitation, he runs out on this early misty morning. The memories and the scene passed before him as he stops by a bridge. Once there, he considers ending it all as he stands on the edge of the bridge while closing his eyes. It’s an internal battle between reason and wishful thinking. A part of him wants to believe that he may be able to reunite with The Rose in an afterlife by jumping. At the same time however, his instincts try to save him by making him experience great fear for the only darkness that is darker than the present.
Then suddenly, The Dreamer hears the lost soul of The Rose calling for him. He can hear her voice and feels a strong connection to it. The voice calls for him, for a reunion between them, creating in him the belief that The Rose is still somewhere within the realms of reality. He gets desperate in attempting to find a way to reach her, thou fear keeps him from attempting that visit to an eventual afterlife. Instead, he tries to find hope in the idea of one day meeting her again, once the last season of life calls for his name. He begs to God for her to still exist somewhere in some form. That there’s a place out there where they can reunite and where their love and minds can remain immortal.
Scent of a Rose
Memories inhabit The Dreamer as we jump back to 1971 where a young Dreamer already struggled with some fundamental issues. Ever since he was a child he’s felt alone. He battles feelings of loneliness due to the difficulty of finding people that he believes truly understands him. He was never able to bond with other people the way others did. He never found himself in the position of those couples he’d see, joking and laughing while strolling down the roads, sharing their lives. He was never able to have a relaxed connection with another human like they seemed to. He felt envy but hopelessness regarding finding a solution to change his life.
One day however, his life did change while staring into a painting that really hooked him in an art gallery. From nowhere, this young woman commented on the painting, sharing his view and love for it. Despite her appearing like the opposite of The Dreamer, being very energetic and social, the two shared a bond. And just like that, out of nowhere, The Dreamer felt an instant connection. It was a feeling so new and exciting, beyond what he had imagined that feeling to be like. On top of it all, the feeling was mutual. This gave The Dreamer the courage to open up for this woman, The Rose.
As some years went by, The Dreamer had become a changed man. For once in his life, he had found love and peace within himself. The Rose was his savior and his fuel to live. They were both devoted to live for each other, for them as one, ’til their final days would bring them apart.
The memories of these events however carry with them great pain. It is painful for The Dreamer to relive this memories in detail, because even though he manages to calm down while immersed in the memories of their time together, he will always end up being reminded of the day she was gone forever.
Oct. 5, 1974: Past Remorse
We go back in time, 15 years to be exact, to the memories he’s been trying to force away into repress. The year is 1974 and The Dreamer has been with The Rose for a little more than 3½ years. On this day, The Dreamer and The Rose had a fight at home, no more or less than the kind of fight that can occur in any relationship. Not having the time there and then to sort things out, she had left home to go to work in a very emotional state of mind due to the fight they had. Sadly, on her way to work, she was involved in a traffic accident.
The Dreamer receives a phone call about his wife being at the hospital. The Dreamer drops the phone, drives to the hospital and witnesses her passing by the hospital bed on this autumn day. Before passing away, she never regained consciousness and so The Dreamer never had the opportunity to say goodbye. The Dreamer is in chock, breaks down and later experiences extreme anger, blaming himself for what happened to her. He considers himself guilty for having put her in an incautious state of mind before leaving home and thinks that if it wasn’t for him, she would have been more cautious.
He drives home in rage, screams in emotional pain as he isolates himself in their home that had now become his fortress of solitude. He would spend his upcoming years not being able to forgive himself and not being able to find the same connection that he had with The Rose. As far as he in concerned, she was the only one to ever truly understand him.
We go back to the story’s ‘present time’ in 1989. The Dreamer is having yet another rough emotional night, which has become a reoccurring event for him ever since the passing of The Rose. To ease the pain and get in a better mood he enters a bar to drink while trying to reconnect with that voice of The Rose again, whispering out loud while trying to speak to her.
Hearing The Dreamer’s mourning, an old man approaches him and gets to know about The Dreamers situation. This man, The Illusionist, patiently listens to The Dreamer’s story and offers him a solution. He hands him over a music box, supposed to be a key to enter a world where she could be found. The Illusionist says that the box contains a melody that he created, simply named “The Lullaby”. He tells The Dreamer that by listening to this song, it will make him transcend to another dimension where she can be found. It is a world where everything is created based on the listeners dreams and inner desires.
The Illusionist, being very old, offers to not only lend the box but to give it away to The Dreamer. In return, he asks The Dreamer the favor of keeping up his work, although he doesn’t fully understand what The Illusionist means. The Dreamer, skeptic yet desperate, makes up his mind and accepts the gift.
The rain starts to pour down as The Dreamer is taking a cab back home. Once home, he lays down on his bed with the box next to him. He opens the box and closes his eyes…
While lying on the bed he hears the very first notes of ‘The Lullaby’. His surroundings slowly start to fade as he listens to the music putting him to sleep. His heart starts to beat slower and he gets more relaxed than he’s ever been. The music continues to carry him further into what has to be the land that The Illusionist had talked to him about.
Light starts hitting The Dreamer’s eyelids as he slowly wakes up surrounded by greenery. He wakes up and finds himself lying on a large green field, surrounded by beauty and warmth. He stands up and enjoys the colorful view, unlike anything he’s ever seen.
After walking around in this peaceful place, he sees a woman standing by the field. She seems to be waiting for him. Getting closer, he recognizes her. It is actually her… It’s The Rose. He runs up to her and finally they reunite. The Dreamer is overwhelmed as not only can he see her, but he can touch her, feel her scent and communicate with her. It all feels so very real, to the point where he can’t believe it’s just a dream. Everything seems to be wonderful in this world, just like The Dreamer wanted and just like The Illusionist promised. They walk into a house on the field, catching up on with memories from the past. The conversation slowly turns into a kiss. As they slowly lie down, they get to make love to each other again after 15 years. And it’s just as beautiful as The Dreamer remembers it… And it still all feels real like everything he’s ever known.
An Ancient Tale
It’s time to travel back in time once again, even further this time around, to the year 1922.
At the Egyptian National Library in Cairo, we see a young Illusionist who inspired by ‘The Great Book of Music’ written by Al-Farabi (872-950) is fascinated with the power of music. Even more so, he’s interested in using music in therapy or as a method of spiritual healing. He writes a melody and builds a music box, hoping to create something that would ease his pain. His creation was ‘The Lullaby’ and upon listening to his finished work for the first time, he experiences his first trip into his dream world, much like The Dreamer would do in the future. In his dream world, he reunites with his son who died at the age of 4. In seeing his son once again, his is overwhelmed with joy as he holds his son in his arms. Satisfied with the result of The Lullaby, The Illusionist gets back into the real world with a new purpose. In realizing what he’s been able to create, he becomes eager to help other people to heal with his invention.
One day, while rushing through the busy streets of Cairo, The Illusionist is involved in a mix up accident where he bumps into two strangers. He accidentally drops the music box that turned up in the hands of two scientists named William and Thomas. They call for the man who’s box they picked up, but The Illusionist had already disappeared among the busy crowd.
Once in their lab, they discover the powers of The Lullaby and do quite a few experiments together. William travels into the dream world, while Thomas observes the experience from the outside. Thomas founds it fascinating how the person in trance would move and speak in the real word, the same way he’d do in the dream world. However, through the many experiments they do, William and Thomas encounter some worrying results. They discover the difficulty of snapping out of the dream if you happen to be desperate after something that you’d encounter in it. William gets stuck in the dream and only manages to get out of it due to Thomas outside who is aware of what’s going on. Thomas eventually manages to make William snap out and wake up after having stopped breathing for a longer time. They both decide that The Lullaby is too dangerous to keep experimenting with. So they agree to get rid of it.
However, leaving the music box unguarded at one point allowed The Illusionist, who had found them, to retrieve his invention. He had heard their plan to break it, yet not of the dangers that had occurred. He walks away, still feeling that his destiny is to keep helping people out with their problems. Being unaware of the effects the dream world can have, The Illusionist spends his years traveling the world and helping people to find peace by giving them a trip to the dream world before disappearing from the lives in search of the next person.
When it comes to the people that The Illusionist had tried to help prior to The Dreamer, The Illusionist always played them the melody and left as soon as they fell into the dream world. For him, getting them there was his only duty. It was satisfaction enough for him to have had “helped them get there”, so he didn’t need to wait for them to wake up and receive gratitude. This is why he’s remained unaware of the effects The Lullaby can have throughout all these years. The Illusionist never stayed in the dream world forgetting about reality.
Finally in 1989, as we’ve already heard in ‘Invitation’. The Illusionist gives the music box to The Dreamer, making The Dreamer became the last person he tries to help. Hoping that maybe, The Dreamer would later pass The Lullaby on to people in need the same way he did.
When Liberty Calls
We now go back to present time again, into the dream world and back to The Dreamer’s perspective. The Dreamer begins to question whether he should ever go back to the real world again. Everything in this alter dimension is perfect for him and so he cannot see a reason for him to go back. Out here he can be reunited with The Rose, where they can both be immortal forever. Or at least, so it seems…
The feeling of being free is too tempting and The Dreamer considers staying in the dream world forever. Without too much hesitation, the decision is made.
So now The Dreamer has just made his decision to not go back to his ordinary world. This choice leads to a disconnection from the ordinary world, which brings his soul to separate from his body, leaving the physical body “lifeless”. The Dreamer suddenly collapses on the floor. The Lily, who’s with him in the real world, calls 911 to get help while The Dreamers body falls into a coma-like state.
Meanwhile, consequences are emerging in the alter dimension as well. All the grass and nature suddenly starts to die, the light turns darker and The Dreamer feels weaker. While all this occurs, The Rose is also starting to fade away, making The Dreamer unable to touch her or communicate with her.
What we learn here is that the dream world that The Lullaby creates is dependent on reality. When a person is in the dream world, his real physical self does the same or similar actions as in the dream world. So what The Dreamer doesn’t know is that while spending time with The Rose in the dream world, he was actually doing the same thing with The Lily in the real physical world. The Lullaby works in such a way, that it is the connection to reality that in turn creates the illusion of the dream seeming real. You talk, touch and move in reality as The Lullaby translates all those actions and senses, filtering them through your inner desires and creating the illusion.
Since The Dreamer abandoned his connection to reality, he can no longer feel the The Lily’s touch. Hence The Rose transforming to a kind of “ghost”. Because this is what created the illusion of realism when touching The Rose in the dream world.
The Dreamer realizes that things are still changing for the worse. Nothing is quite as beautiful as it was before. He notices that he cannot touch The Rose anymore, but he doesn’t yet understand the reason why. This makes him panic, bringing him to desperate attempts in saving her from fading away, with no results. She’s drowning in the mist, becoming one with it.
He’s starting to get the picture of what happened and feels remorse about disconnecting from reality. Everything he wants to do now is to wake up from this nightmare, this illusion created by The Corrupted Lullaby. During the panic, he screams out for The Lily. He realizes that he needs to get back to reality somehow, escaping this nightmare he’s living and eventually save his life.
The Dreamer’s Escape
In the beginning of the song we can hear The Illusionist whispering a line about learning from your dreams. That is what The Lullaby has to offer. But it’s important to be careful not to get stuck in there, ’cause it can be addicting like any other drug.
In this chapter, The Dreamer is trying to wake up from the dream. He imagines himself being in the same position he left when he entered the world and heard The Lullaby for the first time. What he doesn’t know is that meanwhile The Lily and doctors are trying to do everything to wake him up from his condition. The Dreamer runs in search of a glimpse of light, while panicking and not knowing where to go. On the outside his body is getting weaker, bringing The Dreamer closer to death.
Eventually, The Dreamer sees a white light, the tunnel leading to an afterlife. While running towards it, The Rose makes an appearance in the light. She tells him about The Lullaby experience being nothing but an illusion of how he wanted things to be. The Dreamer understands that The Rose in the dream was never really her. She also tells him to stop, to not enter the light that she’s in. He would be drowning more deeply into the dream, while dying in the ordinary world and meeting complete darkness, being trapped forever. She tells The Dreamer that it is not his fault that she passed away and that he has to stop feeling remorse about it. He must keep living his life, looking towards the future, not being afraid to fall in love again.
Basically in this scene, The Rose is a representation of realizations that The Dreamer has had deep down inside for a long time, when trying to live a normal life again. But he never really managed to accept these lessons as truth. At last, he hears The Rose and The Lily saying “Wake up”, making The Dreamer break free from the dream.
Leaves of Fall
After The Dreamer’s realization of what was going on and he managing to wake up, he finally breaks free of The Lullaby’s curse. He gains consciousness in a hospital bed with The Lily sitting next to him. He realizes however that he is unable to move. He can hear what’s going on in the room and a dialogue that is taking place about his condition. Yet he cannot move a muscle, nor can he open his eyes.
He learns the biggest lesson of his life, to not live life in regret, to always try to look forward and to always keep on going. Because otherwise, we’ll all go through our own version of The Corrupted Lullaby.
The Dreamer’s decisions made him learn an important lesson. Yet, it is too late for him to heal from the state he’s in. He eventually opens up his eyes right before his final breath. The Lily, being next to him, notices and stares right back at him. With his last strength, he tells The Lily that he doesn’t have much time left. He tells her to move on and to not allow her memory of him to keep her from living her life. The way she has spent a long time already, hoping to finally win The Dreamer’s heart. Through this, he may rescue her from eventually ending up in his same position as he did, once he is gone out of her life. The Dreamer then passes away on an autumn day, just like The Rose did fifteen years ago.
At the end of the song, as a hidden track, we hear The Lily having a conversation with her future son while putting him to bed. This event is taking place 8 years after The Dreamer passed away, where The Lily’s son is around 7 years old. He asks his mom about his father and if it’s true that his father is in heaven. The Lily, caught by surprise, replies that she doesn’t know. The Lily’s son then asks whether or not he will meet daddy in heaven; to which The Lily replies that there may be other ways to meet him.
This final scene of the story reveals that Lily’s son is also the son of The Dreamer. He impregnated The Lily during the scene that takes place in ‘Elysium’ where he makes love to The Rose in the dream world but to The Lily in reality. After The Dreamer’s passing, The Lily apparently also found The Lullaby in his home. Instinctively, she had listened to it, founding out about its secrets and powers. While The Lily had experienced her own dream world, she had quickly figured many things out. She understood that what The Dreamer went through must have had to do with the powers of this melody. In realizing this and making the connection to what happened to him, she learns to never get addicted to the dream world.
During the upcoming years, she realized that The Lullaby can be used safely, if one has the right mindset when entering and preferably, with supervision. Because of her son’s big dream of meeting her father, The Lily has been keeping the box ’til one day, maybe allowing him a safe trip into the other world.
And thus, the story of The Corrupted Lullaby goes on…