By in Writing

Short Story: John's dream tells him that the past just can never be changed, no matter what happens in the future

When John was in his twenties, he used to practice karate.

John pursued this sport, and self-defence method for around fifteen years, before something else came along, and then he found that he no longer had the time, or motivation to keep doing this now.

For one thing, he was now married, for another he was getting older, and perhaps the third reason, and the most telling one, was that he had now found that when you reach the level of a black belt, the motivation to continue past that high-enough level waned.

The karate school had wanted him to learn how to use weapons, but John had little interest in these, and given that you had to master one such weapon, such as the sword, nunchaku, or cane, put him off. John was only interested in practical self-defence learning, although the use of a walking stick as a self-defence weapon, was of some interest to him, as he envisaged that this skill might at least come in handy when he was old enough to have to use such a helping mobility apparatus as that.

Fast forward now, and thirty years speed past in John's life. He is now 70 years of age.

One night, John found himself dreaming that he went back to a karate class in a studio. John was dressed in his brown corduroy jacket and not in his karate uniform, but even so, he found himself out on the floor there assisting the head instructor, in his taking of a children's class. The head instructor in John's dream was his past head instructor, in his old School of Karate.

It was his old teacher Dell Leleverete then, who was taking a kid's class of around 6 or 7 young kids. Dell must have been even older than John now , if he was really still alive that is. John knew that he was at least twenty years his senior, at the time when John was actively participating in his Karate training.

Just a few years ago, John had looked up Dell's name on the internet.

Dell had also been a bodyguard for a British Prime minister at one stage , and had even had a few minor roles in some action movies, featuring Chuck Norris. John discovered that Dell had actually died at the relatively young age of only 58, in Brisbane where he had gone in his later years to try to establish another branch of his school there. Dell had had a massive unexpected heart-attack while he was driving his car to a class on Saturday afternoon up there in one of the suburbs of that large metropolitan city.

Dell's style of karate , was named, “Sama Lama Fu”.

Dell had named it this because it was a mix of both Kung Fu and Karate. Dell had studied both forms of Self Defence, as well as, being skilled in his own style, which, he, being French, was Savate. Including the Japanese word "sama ”, indicated that this style was a respectful style , and that it was not big enough not to take in the best from other styles too.

John, in his dream, was standing around sort of helping Dell, as Dell seemed to know John as the former black belt instructor that he used to be, and Dell valued John's helping him too it seemed, respecting John too, for his position, and accomplishments too.

John was a black belt back then, but in his dream John was as he is right now, around 70 years old, having not actually practised karate for a long time.

Then John left the floor, and he went into the change rooms, and he was thinking if he would change into his uniform, or not, but he had a small bag with his phone and lots of cash in it, around $800 from his latest sales efforts, which he didn't want to leave in the room, thinking to himself that someone might pinch it.

That very morning, which was a Saturday morning, John has sold around ten of his handmade , and carved wooden chess boards and sets.

John was doing this as a hobby now. He would sell the board and the pieces, together with a small wooden holding box, for the rather cheap amount of $80, at his local Saturday crafts market, which were usually held once a month, on the first Saturday of the month. Now, it was early afternoon, and it appeared that John had gone to this karate class at the back of the large hall, in a side room after he had finished selling all of his products in the market.

Then Dell came into the room, and John went up to him, and John asked him about the state of his health. John told Dell to get his health checked out. John knew, even in this dream, that Dell was going to die in the future at the age of 58, from a heart attack in Brisbane.

This time, where John was now in this dream, seemed to be in the past.

The dream location was in Ringwood, as before, in John's old hometown , and Dell looked to be only in his middle forties here in John's dream. John told Dell that he would go to Brisbane , and that Sempai Dan Hall would take over in Melbourne then eventually, also Sempai Dan would become the head instructor there, after Dell's death.

John told Dell that he would have a heart attack and die in Brisbane at the young age of only 58. But by now, Dell was not listening to John, as another man had come in, and Dell was now engaged in talking to him.

Dell didn't take what John was saying at all seriously. John had somehow knew that he was in a dream of his, and he had wanted to warn Dell about his future, so that he might have a chance to do something about it now.

Even if you tell someone the future about them then, the future can't be changed, as they will not listen, and so Dell really did die of a heart attack in 2010 at only 58, years of age.

John's dream showed him then that nothing can change the past, not even something happening in the future. The past has happened, and it is set in its own concrete, as such.

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MegL wrote on November 17, 2017, 7:23 AM

That would be an interesting dream for anyone. NOW! What was this dream trying to tell John? OK, it told him he couldn't change the past but what is it trying to tell him about his OWN past that he cannot change but may be trying to? He has learned that the past is set in concrete, so maybe he is trying to change something that has already happened and cannot be changed. OR, he cannot change someone else's past (Dell) because Dell would not listen. Is John's future self trying to tell him something that he could do NOW to improve his own future? Maybe even going back to doing the fitness exercises he used to do for martial arts could save him from (say) a fall or help him escape an attacker or improve his fitness enough to avoid his own heart attacK?

inner-outerness wrote on November 18, 2017, 10:14 PM

Thanks, I agree with your ideas about that dream.

In its way, a dream is always trying to show us ways for us to improve or to grow better into a better future, and this dream also points John in that direction, showing him that even he, or anybody else at all, cannot ever change the past, but that he, and anyone else, can change how it is affecting him, or them, right now, if he, or they becomes aware of these effects right now.