The man sitting in the taxi was an author down on his luck. He hadn't sold a book in ages. His wife had divorced him years ago; he had no family. He couldn't hold a steady job; he had no money. His life was spiraling out of control; he had no hope.
He wished for his world to end. He wanted a way to escape the pain and the loneliness. There wasn't a day that passed where he didn't wish it had been he who had died in the fateful car crash thirty years ago that had claimed his sister's life. She was the dreamer, not he. She had an imagination like no other, and she had to personality just as bright. She could always find the silver lining in everything she did. She was so young and innocent, only ten-years-old.
A tear slid down the author's face as he thought of her.
"Where to mister?" the cab driver asked.
The author shrugged, "Doesn't matter, just drive."
The cab-driver wasn't one to generally take aimless requests, but seeing a man as broken as the author was, he just sighed, "Will do. Just tell me when to stop."
The author just sat, staring blankly out the window of the dirty taxi. Crowded city streets melted into country lanes, and country lanes eventually led to cobblestone roads as seconds passed to minutes, and minutes to hours.
They were driving through a small town now. The author's childhood home. He watched in a black and white haze as he saw himself as a child without a care in the world, running and playing with his friends. He had lost touch with almost all of them since his sister's death. He had isolated himself from the rest of the world in his sorrows.
They drove on. It wasn't until they passed a small patch of forest did he ask the taxi-man to stop. He paid the driver, and in a trance, began walking to the forest. These were the woods where he and his sister would spend their childhood days together.
Though the trail was seriously overgrown, he still knew the pathway like the back of his hand. He passed by a now empty river bed where the water used to sparkle underneath the summer sun as he would splash and swim the days away. This was the place he used to love. Life had been so simple then, with no sorrow, no loneliness; just his sister and his best friends at his side.
He continued walking, unable to stay any longer. The trees stared down at him in hollow sadness. Even they had been happier in the past. He passed a fallen tree, the dying branches grabbed at his ankles causing him to fall to his knees.
He let out a sob as he thought of his job, his wife, his life, his sister. It was all too much. He sobbed and sobbed until he couldn't cry any longer. Then he began to pray. He had lost all belief in any god years ago, but he wanted someone, anyone to hear his prayers, to comfort him. To give him strength.
He felt a tap on his shoulder and felt small hands drying the tears from his face, "Get up silly." his sister giggled. He looked up at her, standing before him as if not a year had passed since he had last seen her alive.
"My life is over." the author whispered, "I have nowhere else to go."
"So why don't we go somewhere only we know?" she held out her hand for him to take. The moment his touched hers, he found himself a kid again.
She grinned, "Come on." and she led him through the forest. They didn't stop until they reached a large rock pile. Their secret fort.
They had had innumerable adventures there, all of his sister's creation.
"What are we doing here?" the author asked.
"I think you're in need of an adventure." his sister smiled. Then she ran towards the fort shouting and laughing, "Hurry! The pirates are gonna get you!"
He let out the his first actual laugh in years as he chased after her and the two played the afternoon away. They were sailors, explorers, astronauts, prince and princess. By evening they had reenacted almost all of their childhood adventures. As the sun began to dip below the trees, the siblings, breathless and happy sat underneath a sycamore, and the author found himself, for the first time in thirty years, at peace.
"I have to leave now you know." she whispered.
"Please don't leave." the author begged.
She smiled and kissed his cheek changing him back into an adult, "You don't need me."
The author felt a tear sliding down his aged cheek. "I miss you."
She pulled out his writing journal and placed it in his lap. "Now you know where to find me. There are stories in you yet." she gave him one final hug and dried the last tears from his eyes. "Time to wake up."
The author awoke and found himself in his empty apartment. It had all been a dream. He sat up and rubbed his eyes before pulling away the curtains from his window. The sun illuminated his face and he smiled, pulled out his journal and began writing the start of a brand new story, "It all began, somewhere only we knew."