Chapter 1

I love dreams. Actually, the word love might not be enough to express how I feel about dreams. I am obsessed with dreams.
I can research them all day, every day; there’s always something new to learn, or a piece of research to read. And - perhaps to some not as exciting as it is to me - I can talk about them all day as well. The science behind them, the psychology behind them, or even the meaning behind them - that is, of course, if you haven’t decided yet that I’m too annoying to even discuss your dreams with.
No matter what, I’m always able to throw in an interesting fact or two about dreams. I’ve been doing it ever since I first saw some documentary on TV on how our brain works, and how we dream, when I was about eight years old. I wonder if my parents ever regretted turning the TV on that day. I kept telling them about all these facts they already knew of, since they had watched the whole thing with me. Although, I don’t know how much they actually got to see of it, since I’m pretty sure my eyes were glued to the screen the whole time, blocking their view. And once I felt like I had recited the entire documentary enough, I started looking into it on the internet. And, oh boy, a whole new world opened up to me. I read research that an eight-year-old probably should have had no interest in whatsoever, but I couldn’t get enough of it. With every new fact I learned, my parents were met with another week of dream talk.
Now, I must admit, eight-year-old me wasn’t very perceptive. I did not know when to stop, and just shut my mouth. Because, when we attended my late grandmother’s funeral, eight-year-old me figured that that was the right time to tell everyone that when people say that someone who’s passed would be dreaming for eternity, that that wasn’t correct; that that was impossible, since you need your brain to be active in order to dream. And when you’ve passed on, your brain is no longer active.
Obviously, everybody knew this. And clearly, they were not excited about me ruining something that comforted them during a tough time. Yes, eight-year-old me was incredibly bright, but not on a social level.

Dreams are great. And ever since that first documentary, I’ve wanted to spend the rest of my life learning every single thing about them that could be learned: Why do we have them? How do they work, exactly? Is my brain trying to tell me something? Is my brain okay? Why did I have that dream? That last one in particular is something I love thinking about, which is curious, considering that I care most about the science behind the dreams. Does believing that dreams have meaning make me less of a scientist? Some might think so, but I don’t. Not after what I’ve been through.
Because, although I’d like to write hundreds of pages about my dreams from the past two decades, what I believe they meant, and the overall science of dreams, that is not what this book is about. I just wish it was.
Instead, this is a book about how I, Charlie Lorette Hunter, had a dream that completely changed my life. It turned everything upside down and inside out. And it wasn’t a good dream, I’m afraid. Far from it, actually. This is the story of how my dream about getting kidnapped by a friend, became a reality.