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What is a dream and what is reality? - Dhruv Wali

The date of October 13, 1924, could never be forgotten, as one of the most bizarre incidents took place on that dreaded day or rather… night. It was an ominous night. The sky was pitch black. Moonlight adorned the streets through the canopy of the clouds, making the night beautifully terrifying. Not to mention the figures that could be seen lurking in the shadows in the cold, dark streets of London shrouded in black smoke. For Jack Douglas, it was just another late-night walk from work at the surgery, but little did he know his life was about to be tossed into a fiery pit of confusion. He decided to try out a different alley this time round and chanced upon a bar, which, despite it being around midnight, was still open. “A pub… open at this time..? Pretty Unusual… what does it matter, must be my luck!” thought Jack as he stepped into the odd and quirky building in the middle of nowhere. The pub, with its gleaming interior and the drinks, was the best place that Jack could have imagined to be at the time. However, his perspective was about to change drastically. Jack, a little preoccupied with admiring the ambience, did not notice a tall, old figure, which was now just behind him. “Welcome, sir!” said the figure in a monotone voice. “Ahh!” Jack was frightened to death! “No need to panic, sir, I am the owner of this humble establishment. I go by the name of Morris, William Morris. I just came over to see if you wanted to order a drink”. “Oh! I am sorry Mr.Morris. It is just that one can never predict what can happen in these streets.”. Mr.Morris let out a strange laugh. “A bit too paranoid, don’t you think! So can I get you something, young sir?”. “Yeah. A beer would be nice,” remarked Jack. “Right Away!” A couple of hours had passed. Jack was now slightly drunk and could only ramble on how difficult the life of a surgeon had become and how tired he was. Suddenly, the light started to flicker. Jack, however, was not sober enough to even notice this. Although he was not in his best senses, he could still feel a strange presence that had been watching him for quite some time. “Mr.Morris, is that you over there? Come on here, old lad, and sit with me. I am sure you must have finished whatever you were doing by now! It feels oddly lonely here.” exclaimed Jack jollily. However, the only reply he got was an eerie silence. The only sound that broke the silence was the ticking of the old, rusty clock moving closer and closer to three. “My oh my, look at the time! Farewell then Mr.Morris, it was nice meeting you. I guess I will drop by here more on the regular now, to keep you company, naturally. Is that all right Mr.Morris?”. Still no response. ” I believe the old dog has slept. Hardly surprising considering his ancient looks. Whatever, I’ll be back, nevertheless.” But just as he was getting up, the temperature dropped. As a horrifyingly raspy voice bellowed, “Take a seat!” a shiver coursed through Jack’s spine. His mind raced with countless questions—why, who, what—but one instinct prevailed above all: escape! Jack sprang from his seat and rushed into the streets, hoping to evade whoever or whatever was waiting for him at the pub. Nonetheless, one can only run so far for so long. Those dark, smelly and foggy alleys of London were treacherous. One could easily find themselves trapped in endless darkness, made minutely better by the faint moonlight. “How far can you run… how deep can you hide?” screeched the voice. Drunkenness added to his plight. He grew weary and subsequently fell. He was numb. Unable to move anything but his eyes, Jack prayed. To the Lord, to anyone out there who could save him. A final Hail Mary.” Praying is futile, boy… It is time “Black smoke amassed and covered him from head to toe. The only thing that Jack could comprehend was the demonic presence of pure evil. “This must be a dream, right? What is all this? I think I have had too many drinks. These are just hallucinations…,” thought Jack. Suddenly, a figure appeared out of nowhere, “You are mistaken. I am not a figment of your imagination, boy. I am here for you.” As the figure came closer and closer, so did the horror. The figure was a mere collection of flesh and bones. But the eyes. They were terrifying. They were lifeless. “Dreams are not always imagination… Dreams are a portal into the future or the past, but I assure you, what is now, is not a dream”, spoke the lifeless figure with a raspy voice. “Dreams are the reality, and reality is full of dreams. But what is the truth Jack, is anything as it seems?”, spoke the figure with a terrible grin.

With an eerie tone, the raspy voice taunted, “Would you like to witness the true nature of a dream…? Allow me to unveil it for you!” Instantly, his grin transformed into a sadistic smile, and darkness engulfed everything.
In the midst of an obscure alleyway, Jack stood, uncertain and apprehensive. The voice persisted, emanating from an unseen source, “Go ahead…” Jack pondered the significance of the voice’s claim that this was a dream. Familiarity tinged the air, an unsettling sensation of recognition. Conflicted, he questioned his surroundings, “Where am I? Do I dare venture forward?” Yet, his internal deliberation was futile, for destiny had already charted its course.
“The voice, is it gone?”, thought Jack now that he had not heard it for some time. He started walking straight. Just straight, no turns here and there. Soon he found himself someplace he was surprisingly familiar with, the Old Chapel. It was just a block away from the hospital. He continued on the road for another 500 meters when something happened. He tripped over a bundle and fell with a loud thud. “Ow… What kind of irresponsible person keeps their stuff in the middle of the road?” But this was not an ordinary bundle, and as he got up, he was in for a fright. The bundle, was a Woman, with an expression of pure horror spread across her face. It was a sight too gruesome to witness. All the organs had been removed, much like a surgery gone wrong. Jack also came upon another vital piece of information that the woman was not just any random woman. It was Christine Cornwall, his superior at the surgery! He was shell shocked. The bell rung, its sound growing on the streets… Jack instantly recognized the sound. “The Whitechapel bell… Oh no…!” Just as he was about to turn, he came face to face with the figure who had brought him here… The only difference this time was his eyes. They glowed dark red with a seemingly endless hunger. “Enjoying the dream…? Let me refresh some things for you…” These lines took Jack on a horrifying trip in his mind. “Whitechapel…Christine…Scalpel…Have I been here before? On this exact scene? “The only answer that came about was a burst of sinister laughter.

“Sir… Sir…?”

“Huh… what…?”

“Wake up sir… the sun is up!”

“Mr.Morris…?”

“Yes, indeed. Shall I make a cup of coffee now that you are awake?”

“But… How am I still here?”

“Why, it is quite simple… you never left!”

“How can that be…the whole night…here?” mumbled Jack under his breath.

“Also, I have the most peculiar news just this morning.”

“What?”, exclaimed Jack, almost out of desperation.

“There has been a murder, sir… on Chapel Road…Some poor lady who worked at the hospital not far from here. People say that the body was ripped apart, with the organs missing! Jack’s face grew pale. He mustered up just enough courage to utter two words. “The…Yard…?””Oh, the Yard is on the case. It is giving them a hard time too. The only conclusion they have come to is that the murderer was either gifted in carving or had a medical background, a surgeon to be precise.”

“Oh I forgot… the local people have also given our murderer a name, how very gracious of them… Jack the Ripper!”

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