Who he was, or where he’d come from were quite unknown to the residents of the seaside village, that resembled so many thousands such villages in Old Europe. He’d either sailed there from warmer climes across the ocean, on a great clipper – or arrived in all splendor from Paris, where the Sun King was disporting himself. Whichever it was, the old house down the alley near the sea-front had acquired a new tenant.
He wasn’t quite young, but wasn’t old either. He was an outsider, that Corel – and he gave the locals a juicy topic for gossip, in place of their worn-out old haggling. Then later they’d go off home, hanging a knitted nightcap on their noddles, and go off to bed to see rare dreams as commonplace and dull as their lives were. Corel never had time to get bored – he threw himself energetically into giving his new home a new look. To the envy of his neighbors, the house looked amazing – as though every imaginable color had blended into a dazzling rainbow on its street wall. The crowd of gawkers who gathered outside each morning grew greater with each passing day. What a peculiar house – where on earth had he got the idea from? “I saw it like that in my dreams”, Corel replied.
“Dreams?”, the respectable residents demanded. Because everyone knew that the scenes they saw in their own dreams were all as grey and dreary as the fog which settles in after dusk. But the misfit gazed in disbelief at the skeptical smirks of the crowd around him.
“There was one time I had a dream – a dream about a house which would make me happy. I looked for that house for a long time – before I realized that I would have to create the house of my dreams myself. I’d paint it in bright colors – and so I’d make my own dream come true. Haven’t you ever had dreams in color?”, he asked the crowd.
But they just shrugged their shoulders at him.
From then on, Corel became absorbed in thought, and took up his paints without his previous glee. Until, that is, the day that he invited next-door’s kids over – the ones who’d always been hanging around outside the astonishing house. He laid the table with treats… a huge bunch of bright-coloured candies – have any one you like! “They’re real magic candies!” he continued. “Before eating one at night before bedtime, you have to make a wish.” They might have been magical or not – but will kids ever say no to sweets? The candies were eaten up with glee, and then at night came the dreams, dazzling, full of life, sweetness and wonder. It was no surprise, then, that the next day the next-door kids were already waiting for the misfit by his house.
“I had such wonderful dreams! Everything came true, that I’d wished for before bedtime!” came a chorus of children, each keen to outdo the other. “Corel, can you give us more of your magic sweets? Oh, please!?”
“Y’know, children.. they’re not really magical”, replied Corel. “I just mixed a part of my own soul into them. It was you who made the wishes which came true in your dreams. The candies just sweetened the dreams a bit – enough that you, just like me, wanted to make them happen.”
And this was just the beginning of the story. When they heard of the amazing sweeties that made people have dreams in color, even grown-ups started to come. Corel’s fame grew, and visitors from all over Europe came to the little village – where his colorful house, now called Hotel Corel, was the village’s pride and joy, welcoming all and sundry. Once they tried the magic candies, and made their wish, they’d stay their overnight – an astonishing night, lit by a moon that shone as brightly as a sugar candy. When they woke up back to their normal lives, the guests were still carrying a little of the sweet magic night of their dream. And ever since, people have been dreaming delicious full-color dreams, that they want to make come true.