Can you remember what you dreamed last night?
Very few people can recall their dreams, a few minutes after they wake. We all dream but (usually) we do not know what we have dreamed. Very soon after waking up, our dreams disappear as quickly as the morning dew – or do they? Perhaps a dream thief may have stolen your dreams.
Mr. Snude was a dream thief. Some people like to relax by drinking alcohol or by smoking tobacco. Mr. Snude enjoyed inhaling the dreams of others. He was particularly partial to the dreams of the young. Children’s dreams are extraordinary. Many adults might dream of completing their annual tax forms on time or buying a new pair of chequered socks. On the other hand, children dream of flying out to the stars in chicken-shaped spaceships or racing down the high street on a brightly coloured fire engine, wearing shiny brass helmets, to the shouts of cheering crowds.
Mr Snude, stole the dreams of youngsters, bottled them up into glass containers and then locked them away in a secure cupboard. But how did he manage it? After all, surely you’d know if someone tried to steal your dreams?
Mr. Snude was a Victorian photographer and he found a way of modifying the posing stands from his studio so that they were able to scan the brains of his clients, as they froze still for their portraits.
You may be unfamiliar with the constraints that Victorian photographers faced in taking pictures. If you want to photograph a scene today, you need only remove your mobile phone from your pocket and make a couple of clicks in the right direction. However, in Victorian times, photography was not as advanced as it is now. The chemicals used on the old photographic plates were so insensitive to light that they had to be exposed to an image for several minutes. This meant that anyone who had to pose for a portrait was forced to stand absolutely still for two or three minutes, so that their image could be taken without blurring. To enable this, a posing stand was used to clamp around their head: it would stop unwanted movement. This is how Mr. Snude managed to trick his way into stealing the dreams of his clients. He’d take two brain scans of his victim, one at night and one the following morning, using a modified posing stand. Then, using a simple subtraction process, he could determine the exact nature of the dream. If he had the dream then the victim could not: the dream had been stolen. Without their dreams, his victims’ lives would become dull and mundane. Their loss of dreams would lead to a corresponding loss of ambition. His victims could only aspire to being geography teachers or barrister clerks.
On the pretence of helping local orphans, Mr. Snude managed to acquire a fresh supply of young imaginative minds. He would donate funds to a local orphanage and then misuse the trust placed in him. His plans were finely executed and all went well until the orphanage took in one young boy called Fingers. Fingers accidentally discovered the deceit of Mr. Snude and decided to teach him a lesson that he would never forget.
Find out more about this incredible story by reading Fingers and the Dream Thief. The fantastical story will delight children and the accompanying illustrations are sure to engage the most inquisitive and imaginative young minds.