“And the winner for best picture is…”
The audience held its breath as the envelope was opened.
“The Book of Orlando!”
The audience burst into applause as Ian rose from his seat to claim another award for his movie. It had already won awards for Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Actor, in fact every single award that was to be won that evening.
“Wow,” Ian smiled as he arrived at the podium for yet another acceptance speech, “This is unreal.”
There was scattered laughter from the audience.
“Yet at the same time, I hope this inspires everyone out there to pursue their dreams, whatever the cost may be. Take me, for instance. Years ago, I was a nothing still living with my parents-”
“And you’re still a nothing,” interrupted his mother as she walked onto the stage.
“Mom?” Ian was incredulous. “You’re interrupting my acceptance speech.”
“Yeah, well, you’re dreaming.”
“I am not!” Ian retorted. “Look at me! You never thought I’d amount to anything but I made a movie that’s won every single award this evening!”
“Ian,” his mother repeated, “you’re dreaming. Wake up and cut the grass.”
“Pay no attention to her,” Ian faced his audience. “Thank you all for making this amazing evening possible. Thank you!”
Ian began to walk off the stage, waving as he went. Then he stopped in his tracks, not believing what he saw.
There was no applause. The audience sat quietly, staring at Ian.
“What?” Ian asked. “Did I say something?”
In unison everyone in the audience swiftly rose to their feet and screamed, “WAKE UP!”
Ian suddenly sat up in bed, fully awake. He was back to where he’d always been, a nothing still living with his parents.