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Mr. Sandman

Mister Sandman, bring me a dream. 

Make it the loudest that I've ever screamed.

Mr. Sandman by Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri


Nick is twelve and he wants Mr. Sandman to bring him a dream where people love him and where parents aren’t having affairs, absorbed in selfishness. Instead he finds the Sandman having sex with his mother in her roadster. Mom had a liaison with Santa last Christmas (whipped cream was involved), and Daddy is still getting it on with the Easter Bunny’s daughter (she sprays chocolate syrup over his manhood), but this is a new low.

“I have dreams too, motherfucker,” Mr. Sandman says. “I spend all my time giving, so I’m taking your mother. And I’ve just taken her.”

Mr. Sandman laughs at his joke; crude, raw, ugly.

Nick’s mother tells him that Mr. Sandman needs love, that they were high school sweethearts. She talks of her dreams, the fact that Mr. Sandman understands her need for space, for a different life. A life without domesticity, as she puts it. Mr. Sandman nods menacingly at Nick. A life without demands, people reducing her to a status, a wife, even a mother.

In other words, a life without Nick. But Nick wants a mother, has always hoped she might truly love him. He’s tried to be good, he explains. His mother just smiles, the words evaporating. She says it’s more than that, that she can’t be a mother just now. She spouts platitudes Nick has heard on TV.

Nick begs and Mr. Sandman tells him to shut the fuck up. Stop being an emotional cripple, he says with his normally tender lips curled into a snarl.

The Sandman also wanted to be a writer, his mother says, to express emotions. Sadly, his father insisted that he stay on in the family business: Sandman, Incorporated. The mother says the Sandman’s father was like Nick’s own father: oppressive. Now they are fleeing to San Francisco, to find communion on the beaches, and hills, and in their stories. Mr. Sandman will never surrender.

It seems everyone’s dreams are being fulfilled, except Nick’s. No one has asked him what he wants. On top of that, his mother is leaving with the Sandman. Nick is tired of being denied. He wants a dream and he will not let Mr. Sandman deny him. He’s been denied too long, tried to be patient, but no more.

Nick chases after his mother and Mr. Sandman, only to be waterboarded by sand. He tumbles into bed, tries to awaken, but the Sandman keeps waterboarding him. Nick screams, until he falls into a deep, dreamless sleep. It seems that everyone’s dreams are being fulfilled except his. He lives without love, goes to orphanages, and people laugh when he tells them of his need for dreams. Nick becomes a thief, stealing people’s dreams. Even those dreams find their owners. In the end, he hires a hitman to find the Sandman, but he knows that even in death the Sandman will deny him. He’ll take what he can, though.


Mir-Yashar is a graduate of Colorado State University's MFA program in fiction. His short-stories have been published in various journals including Monkeybicycle and Paper Darts.