Challenge to include: A Sword, a box of old photos, and public drunkenness.

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The fairy sneaks into the house, box of photos under his arm. It is early morning, but still, the fairy waits until Steve is almost awake, in the twilight time, when dreaming is most active, and the third eye is open. The fairy takes the photos and jumps into Steve’s dream.

Steve is in battle with a dragon, parrying forward, sword in hand, when the fairy bellows an interruption.

“I’m Warren.”

Steve and the dragon pause their battle to take note of the speaker. They see Warren is human-like, a large hook nose, and round eyes. His hair is slicked back, greaser style. He has a curve in his back that hunches him inward like a lazy letter “c”. He looks like he should be holding a cigarette.

“I collect your moments of public drunkenness and stupidity.” He said as if he were reading it from a script. “All that stuff you forgot, because you were drunk, I capture in a special photo. I am here to give you all those memories back.” Warren opens the box, pulls out a photo, hands it to Steve, and chuckles under his breath.

The dreamscape castle and grounds fade away. The dragon crosses his arms, crosses his legs, leans on his tail and lets out a huff. Steve, photo in one hand, sword in the other, flushes with memory.

He remembers being in a bar, speaking to a fair maiden, “Are you French? Cause Madamn.” Cringe factor 10. Did he really say that?

He remembers she rolled her eyes, looked past him, and quickly he followed up with, “No really, uh, you are fine, I think we could have a good time. You should see my car.” His body went to lean against a wall that didn’t exist. He stumbled, she walked away. Wow, was he stupid or shitfaced or both?

Warren stands in front of Steve, his shoulders, hunched forward, begin a bob that courses through his body as he giggles madly, the photos shuffling softly inside the box. The dragon glares at the fairy and then looks to Steve. Steve looks red and sweaty.

The memory of the fair maiden dominos an embarrassment reel that plays in Steve’s head, looping, so that he sees all of his humiliations, in live action, over and over and over. Stupefied and mesmerized and twitchy, Steve is immobilized by fear. On and on it goes, and he is haunted and sickened by himself. And then, from some tiny rift inside him, a light? A glimmer? Force of will?  He remembers he’s dreaming.

Steve looks at the dragon, and winks. He drops the photo, hoists the sword with both hands, steps into it, and swoosh, takes the head off the unsuspecting and still laughing Warren.

The photos spill out of the box, and the fairy body falls in a heap. The head rolls toward the dragon who promptly gulps it down. Steve steps back, plants the tip of the sword point down, extends his arm toward the fairy body and bows to the dragon.

The dragon takes a deep breath, heats it red, and shoots a long, leisurely flame, crisping what is left of the fairy and his box of photos.