The young woman sits at her computer, her fingers hovering over the keyboard and a strand of brown hair tucked inside of her mouth. She was assigned the task to write eleven things she loved about deviantART, a site she had been a part of for four years and that was celebrating its 11th Birthday that year. As she bit her lip and stared at the blank screen her last rush of inspiration trickled away and she sighed deeply. Standing up she tucked in her chair, turned off the computer and started pacing, believing maybe it would help get the gears into motion. After a few minutes of doing this nothing had delivered itself in a light bulb form above her head and she decided it was better to get a night's rest.
Usually when it came to sleep she would lay awake for hours thinking and she saw this as a great opportunity to make the list, but what she didn't expect was to fall asleep so quickly. As sleep took ahold of her, strange dreams tangled and snarled in her mind, planting their roots deep within and growing with vibrant colours. Very much like a movie screen she watched herself walk down a long narrow path that was bordered with gnarled trees. She walked the path for what seemed like ages till it came to an end, the path went nowhere as a huge cliff stood menacingly in front of her. Sighing she looked both ways before deciding to go through the less menacing side of the forest. As she scrambled through the thick trees with knotted branches that clawed at her like hands she regretted her choice. Cursing she sat down on a stump and rested her chin in her palms, it would have been easier to just turn back down the path! It's too hard to navigate this world, she thought as she sat on the stump and pouted, unlike others. She continued to think until she determined it was best to turn around and find the path where she had came from. When she stood up she realized she was no longer in the forest but standing by a cascading waterfall, well almost a waterfall. Instead of water pouring down it looked to be liquid chocolate, it reminded her very much of Willy Wonka and she stepped forward entranced by its beauty and possible deliciousness.
As she moved closer she realized there were people swimming and playing in the chocolate! Shy with strangers as she always was she stood as she watched until one person called out to her. Excited to be a part of the group she ran over and jumped into the chocolate. It wasn't hot like she thought it would be but smooth and cold, its aroma pleasing and instantly she felt the same happiness that shone brightly on everyone's faces. She swam and played until she was tired; floating on her back she felt herself starting to move down with the river. The people shouted their goodbyes and she closed her eyes, a smile on her face. It was wonderful being apart of the group and feeling the sense of belonging.
When you sleep within a dream strange things happen, such as dreams within dreams, everything becomes even more entangled and spirals into greater nonsense.
She woke up in her dream to discover she was nowhere. No walls, no landscape, everything white and plain. She supposed it would have gave her an eerie feeling in real life, but she felt that bubble of unreality floating up and knew it was just another dream. Knowing it was pointless to walk in any direction she sat down and noticed a black felt pen down at her feet. Picking it up she wondered what she could do with it, the whiteness that surrounded her was a canvas she could use, but she was never a drawer. On the floor she drew a stick man to pass the time and to her surprise he pulled himself off the floor and walked away on his flimsy legs. As she watched him go she saw that there were many other people surrounding her now in the white canvas world. Each person held their own felt marker and was drawing on the ground, as they finished each creation it would get up and march away with the others. She watched in amazement with each drawing the artist skill increased and walked away looking better than before. It was as if she was watching a chain of art evolution and she felt inspired. Looking back down at the ground she started to write poetry, with each one done it would float up and dance away. She discovered as more and more floated away that they were becoming better, smiling she looked back up at the people who were entranced by their work. It was great to see everyone's improvement over time. Standing she shook the pins and needles out of her legs and feet before carrying on, deciding it would be best to follow the art and see where they would take her. As she followed behind a particular beautiful piece that she felt she had seen somewhere she tripped and fell through it, erasing it into a puff of black smoke. Groaning she got to her knees and looked around, the art was gone now and she was all alone in a stone room. It looked like an ancient castles room filled with wooden treasure boxes and she felt a smile creep on her lips. It wouldn't hurt to look she thought as she stood and walked over to the nearest one. When she opened it she found herself staring down at a peculiar yet beautiful picture, she took it out and held it gentle; afraid she would break this piece of treasure. It seemed to be a young Alice with different animals, all of them were albino. She inhaled deeply as she continued to scrutinize the picture, it became more beautiful the longer she gazed. Finally she put in back in the treasure chest and moved on to another, in this one she found a surreal piece that captivated her, the name of it burned on her tongue. Liquid Nitrogen. Once again she stared at it for a long time before putting it back and moved on. The next piece she held was a beautiful comic strip that made her cry. Hours seemed to blur by and finally she opened the last treasure chest and as the lid fell back, words streamed up and a voice read the poem as the words faded away. She listened and when it was done she cried while she smiled. Everything she had listened, watched and looked at was treasure and she couldn't have been happier. She closed her eyes and awoke from the dream within the dream.
When her eyes flickered open someone's face was staring down at her and the girl seemed familiar to her. Her eyes widened in surprise when she realized who it was and she stood up from the spongy moss ground. Humon gave a small, shy smile and turned away to go sit on a picnic table where many other familiar faces were talking. Hesitant she sat down with them and listened to their conversations in bits and snatches, her heart fluttering madly and her mind racing. She was sitting with people she admired very deeply and couldn't believe it! It must be a dream and with a twinge of pain she realized it was, but as she relaxed to the rise of fall of theirs voice she smiled. Even if it was a dream it was great to meet people she always wanted to and for once she didn't feel like a stalker rummaging to find out who these people were. Here they were, finally some place she could see their true faces and not ID's. The group talked for hours, she laughed with them and talked with them and felt happy with her new friends.
After hours had passed the picnic disbanded and people left, departing together in little groups until it was just her. Yawning, she stood up and started walking, the moss soft under her bare feet and the darkness of the evening welcoming. She was sleeping yet she was tired and she found this odd as she walked on further. Out of the shadows a large arch melted into view and she gasped, it was beautiful, gold vines and flowers twisted themselves around them and she could see through it a hazy brightness and blurred colours. Curious, she stepped through the arch and found herself staring at a different world. Dragons and their eggs nestled far away in the corner of the world, but she could still seem them. Unicorns roamed, pranced and nibbled on grass while two were fighting, fierce black female and strong white male locking horns, and eyes blazing with their own magical power. She stared in awe at all the different images; fairies flittered back and forth while a centaur ran back into a forest of tall flowers. Overwhelmed with the beauty she sat on the different world's floor, it was greener than the grass on the other side of the fence and she inhaled the scent of it. So fresh smelling she believed it really couldn't be a dream. She watched on, different feelings rising and bursting in her body from love to bitter sadness. This was an entirely different world that she wanted to get lost in forever. A beautiful creature walked up to her and her nuzzled hand, smiling she extended her hand and stroked the deer-like animals back. The antlers looked like a pair of birch trees and his coat was like snow. Even sleepier than before she wrapped her arms around the deer and buried her face into his fur. The deer licked her cheek and she fell asleep on the luscious grass still clinging onto the animal. It was lovely being lost in a beautiful world.
When she awoke she knew she was once again dreaming within a dream. Standing up she stretched the kinks and creaks out of her bones before looking at where she was now. A simple room furnished with a writer's desk, a spindle chair and sheets of paper stacked neatly with a black fountain pen laying on the desk's dark surface. Across the desk was a large and open window that viewed the night's starry sky and beside the desk stood a small end table with a tall glass of water. Aware of her thirstiness she went over and drained it quickly, she regretted it quickly as her mind was clouded by a thick blanket of emotion. In pain of the overpowering feelings she sat down and rested her head on the wooden desk. As tears seeped into the wood and her mouth turned into a smile, she laughed and felt anger course through her body. Desperate to rid herself of these emotions she picked up the pen and started writing furiously, the blank papers were soon filled and used up before she felt well again. Looking down at the words splayed on the paper she was slightly surprised that she managed to write that much, but now she had to decide what to do with them. Looking out the window she saw buildings with their windows open and people sitting there in front of them. Some were scribbling furiously, obviously in the mad trance she was captived by and others were throwing their work out the window. She watched, intrigued at their actions and saw that once the papers were thrown they drifted up until they became one of many stars. She stared down at her own work and decided she would do the same, picking up the first piece she threw it out and watched in amazement as it became a star. Smilingly to herself she went on until no paper remained on her desk then she sighed and gazed at the night sky filled with art. Moments later a bright shining star was falling towards her and she made a wish before it disappeared, but it didn't burn out. Instead it raced faster and flew threw the window, landing on the desk with such grace that she couldn't believe. Looking down at the star she saw it was a piece of artwork that had fallen, picking it up she gazed at it and smiled. It was bitter and hurt her heart, but it was beautiful. Simple and beautiful. Tears like beads, blue birds and words that said "just love just love". She sat down as more falling stars landed on her desk and as she looked through them she saw different ways of people expressing themselves. She wondered if someone had got hers.
When she was done and no more stars had fallen, she got up and left the small room and entered into a long red hallway. Looking up and down she saw that there were no doors and turning back to the room she came from she saw it had vanished. Letting out a sigh she turned to the left and started walking down that way, the hallway was completely red and plain. It sent a shiver down her back and she wanted to start running, but like many dreams that turned to nightmares she knew running was a bad idea. So, she walked like she normally did, the red walls and floor creeping up on her nerves and sinking into her bones. It was quiet and quiet unsettled her, especially this type where nothing could be heard. No hum of lights, or scurries of animals in the wall, just quiet. Her pace had quickened and that's when the quiet broke, a foreign sound entered her ears and her heart beat increased. It was the sound of footsteps that were coming from behind her and she pumped her legs faster, still not a run but fast enough for whatever was following her to pick up speed. Whatever calm she had left broke and the gate swung open, letting panic wash over her like cool water. She picked up her speed and ran down the hall, the footsteps behind her whipped at her mind to go faster and she ran harder. A burning pain started coursing through her body and to her horror she saw that the hallway was coming to a finish, a black wall marked its end. She didn't want to turn around and face what was chasing her and so, she pumped her legs even harder and ran into the single, black wall.
Like she expected it felt like she hit a wall, but instead of being stopped by its force, it disappeared and she fell forward into black nothingness, her arms spinning pin wheels. She was falling very much like Alice in Wonderland had, down a frightening tunnel where time had seemed to slow down. A bright light was glowing down below her and she wondered if it would hurt when she dropped to the ground, closing her eyes she braced herself. When she passed through the opening she fell upon hundreds of silk sheets and blankets that engulfed her as she dropped into them. They smelt fresh and sweet like an apricot. Relieved she tried to stand, but the soft sheets held no ground and she sank deeper into them. She closed her eyes and inhaled the scent, enveloped in the sheets and blankets were comforting and she finally felt safe.
Somewhere something was calling to her and she wondered who it was, curious she forced herself out of the dream within her dream and looked around. Nobody was there and she wondered if she would really have to wake up from these magnificent dreams, but out of the corner of her eye she saw something. Out of the shadows of the forest stepped a large silver fox who strutted over to her and sat down by her feet while looking up at her with large grey eyes. He smiled up at her with white human teeth and she smiled back. "Recreate this place to your image." He told her and she nodded. This place was a simple land, nothing extravagant like she had visited. It felt like it could use a dab of creativity and she was up for the challenged. She didn't bother worrying that she couldn't draw instead she looked up each thing and changed it with her mind; it melted and molded to reflect what she wanted. Smiling she continued to change the land. The forest turned to tall white trees which glowed with bright orbs and the grass grew blue, soft and feathery like down. A river of green, rushing water formed, completed with a large marble fountain of the silver fox. When she was done the place was transformed into something beautiful and unique, the fox smiled up at her. "Good work." He told her as she walked away, "It's great being creative." As he disappeared between the glowing trees she let out and laugh, it was great being creative and being around something so unique! Laughing she walked away admiring her work and as she walked she passed people changing parts of the plain world she didn't reach into something else. The silver fox was going from person to person and curious she called out for his name. He turned back and gave her a wink, "its Fella. Remember it." He said and ran off to the next person who had the creativity to change this world. She walked on and didn't grow tired of the new path she was walking on. With each step something new sprouted and bloomed, catching her interest and when it died she found another flower to look at. Slowly, as she went on she found that she was growing sleepy, it wasn't because of the new path but because she believed her mind had been churning too much for the dreams. Maybe it's time to wake up she thought as she looked at a new flower that was growing. She stared at it as it grew, becoming like angel wings that looked like they could embrace her. Drowsy, she nestled into the large petals and quickly woke up in reality.
Rubbing the sleep from her eyes she got up from bed, not fully restored from her nights dreaming, but as she stretched she realized what had happened. Excited she ran and grabbed a paper and pen, no time to turn on her computer. Her hand ran across the page, listing off the eleven things she loved about dA. After the tenth one she paused and thought, she hadn't dreamt up an answer, but she was sure she could think of one. Chewing the end of her pen she thought of what the people on dA meant to her besides the site itself. All different ethnics, ages and artistic people were all mixed together like a family. She smiled at that thought and wrote it down, picking up her sheet she studied her eleven things.
1) DeviantART is easy to navigate, unlike the horrible gnarled forest.
2) All different types of people belong here and I feel like I belong.
3) It's amazing to watch the evolution of art and improvement of artists.
4) If you search you will find beautiful treasures created by the people.
5) You can watch others, get to know them and be nowhere near them at the same time.
6) Its big, beautiful and a wonderful place to get lost in so easily.
7) You are free from chains of norm to express yourself.
8) Other places frighten me but here I feel very safe.
9) It is a place where creativity is planted, watered and grows into something striking.
10) I never tire of it for there is always something new growing to captivate me.
11) Its a community, a place to gather, a large, mixed and talented family who I love.