A question I have been asked a lot about The Human Zoo is what inspired it? Well, it was like most aspirations, a dream. Except, in this case, it was a literal dream.
An interesting fact about me, I'm a vivid dreamer, basically lucid. My dreams are mini versions of different realities; at least they feel this way. I can smell, touch, see the time, to name a few; I've even died in my dreams.
This particular experience, though, was gut-wrenching. The dream itself was short.
It started with the two main characters from my book, Jax and Priya. Priya is a human considered an animal, living in the zoo for those of you who don't know. Jax is the son of the zoo owner.
Anyways, in the dream, Jax is down in Priya's enclosure (imagine an actual zoo, specifically the tiger exhibit). Usually, a viewer looks down into the pit because tigers can jump high, and the height is a safety measure for both parties. Though, this dream's point of view was down in the pit with Jax and Priya looking up. Jax had returned to the zoo because his attempts to convince his world that she was human failed. So, he went back to the zoo, entered her enclosure, and gave a moving speech to the viewers above. He confessed his love for Priya, he called her a human, and then he explained why things needed to change because if they didn't, then the people of Eugenic's would be no better than their ancestors. But halfway through, a Guardian, which is similar to a guard or a police officer, shot him. Jax was shot straight through the head. It took one second and one bullet to end his entire life.
Priya runs to Jax, sinks to her knees, and starts mewling. She places his head on her lap and begins to stroke his hair. Jax's blood starts to pool out of him, and it encases the two of them. Like a protective barrier of false protection. Priya continues to weep and scream in utter hatred and confusion. She looks up at the viewers and says, "Is this what you want to be? A butcher of humanity? How dare you look down on me when the pedestal you reside on keeps crushing those beneath it. You did this to him."
As she continues to lie there and yell at the viewers, I can no longer hear her words, but I can feel her pain. It's as if we are two beings in separate realms connecting through one moment.
When I awoke, my eyes were wet with tears. My stomach felt so twisted in knots that I felt nausea. For the rest of the day, I could hear the ricochet of that shot. My soul was drained of any positivity. All I could think about was how the beautiful summer day in my dream maliciously mocked Priya's grief.
After some time had passed, I started writing The Human Zoo. This scene is not in the book because it is for me only. Yes, I'm sharing it here on virtual paper, but that dream experience is mine alone.
I've never minded how intense my dreams are, nor the aftermath effects. They pass like most feelings, with time. This dream is the foundation for my book, so if anything, I'm grateful to it.
Anyways, I don't have a solid one-liner to wrap up this post. I feel the content says what it needs to. If you find dreams fascinating, though, and you'd like me to share more of my dreams, let me know in the comment box below, by liking this post or sending me a message.