The waterpark doesn't really ever close, a fact which you take advantage of often. It's dark outside, and barely brighter inside. Bright yet distant neon reflects on the rippling waters below and street lamps line smooth brick paths. None of them are on but that's never been an issue before. Eventually you make it to the stairs which lead up to the slide. The park was always empty around this time, so the only noises to hear were those of your feet on wet cement, gentle hums of distant generators, and the movement of still water.

Reaching the top of the slide, you push the button which activates the flow of water. You're quite familiar with this process; you wait for the red light to turn green. When it does you send yourself down the enclosed slide and breath deeply in the smell of chlorine. The slide was never quite that fast but that's not what you come here for. Music begins to reach your ears as you go further and further down the slide. You welcome the gentle melody as the end of the dark slide approaches.

With a splash you are emptied out into the lazy river. The current runs quite strong and you move at a moderate pace through the tunnel which surrounds the river. You've come to expect the scenery which surrounds you, palm trees line the walls and the deep purple ceiling is sprinkled with tiny sparkling lights and projections of a multitude of colors. The place looked as if it took inspiration from the night sky, but had only heard descriptions of it from people's nostalgia stricken memory.

As the tunnel continues the scenery morphs around you to an almost pitch black room and you stay floating in darkness for a while. Taking in just the sounds of water and ambient music, and lingering scent               
                                               of chlorine.
Eventually, a glowing trail of light appears beside you changing colors as it dances up and down and all around the sides of the tunnel, guiding you along the twists and turns of the river. Eventually this light envelopes you completely, leaving not a single space of wall untouched as the colors swirl and spiral around you.

It feels so freeing to be here, you know there's no need to worry about what comes next because the river will take you there. It always does and always will. In this place you feel as if your muscles can finally relax. Years of flinching at the movement of hands, tensing at the mention of possible change, and feelings of being helpless melt away here. The only requirement here is to sit still and let the water carry you.

You've been here for some time now, but no longer than usual.  The tunnel approaches the clock tower which sits right in the middle of the river, with two arches on either side of it. As you float closer along the clock tower emits three soft, slow chimes. You wish you could stay here forever, and you're more than welcome to. As you pass underneath the arch-

I wake up in a cold sweat to my smoke detector blaring an alarm. I smell no smoke, and hear all the others in my house begin to go off as well. I make my rounds disabling them, and make a mental note to replace the batteries in the morning. I don't remember whatever I was dreaming about, but I am very aware that I wish I could go back to dreaming about it. All that remained of my dream is a faint feeling of longing, or homesickness. Though if I am being honest the specifics of the emotion I was left with are difficult to describe. I slip back into bed, the only thing to do now was to sleep and hope I could make it back to wherever it was I was ripped from.


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