Empath's personal journal, August 13.
This smurf has been helping with the maintenance of the sailing ship that calls itself the S.S. Smurf II. It is a fine ship that this smurf has yet to sail on, and yet this smurf can recall from the recollections of this smurf's fellow Smurfs the various voyages they undertook on this vessel. Even when standing on the bow of the ship where the captain's steering wheel is, this smurf can already feel the salty air and the occasional cool splash of water as it sails across the ocean, working among this smurf's fellow Smurfs to keep the wind at our backs, travelling to new and exotic places.
Three years before this smurf returned from Psychelia for good, the S.S. Smurf II was built when the evil human wizard Gargamel purposefully caused a famine of smurfberries, forcing the Smurfs to look elsewhere for the berries that were very essential for the livelihood of Smurfs. Fortunately, this smurf has lived most of my life without smurfberries, though this smurf did crave for them when they are not present in the world of Psychelia. They eventually found a deserted island that had an abundant crop of smurfberry bushes growing, but then Gargamel and a female entity known only as the Smurfberry Witch found the Smurfs as well. The Smurfberry Witch believed the Smurfs to be tresspassers onto her sacred islands until she learned of Gargamel's treachery and had him summarily punished by her guardian seagulls while also allowing the Smurfs to replenish the forest with a good supply of healthy smurfberry bushes.
Dreamy became the ship's captain, and over the past four years the S.S. Smurf II had braved through stormy weather and other types of hazards in the ocean, and yet Dreamy had always brought her and her crew safely home.
Today, this smurf is wondering where the ship's captain is, since according to this smurf's fellow Smurfs it is customary for a captain to oversee his ship when it is being drydocked for complete maintenance. Somehow this smurf suspects that Dreamy may be thinking of a voyage across a different ocean — an ocean without any water. For the sake of the S.S. Smurf II and for Dreamy's sake, this smurf must find out.
Empath stood on the top deck of the S.S. Smurf II, touching the steering wheel and imagining that he was the captain of the ship, braving the elements and calling out to his shipmates like Dreamy had done. Meanwhile, the other Smurfs were busy fixing and patching up holes beneath the vessel and in the sails, oiling up the rigging wheels, replacing frayed ropes and flags, and polishing up the rails and bells. They paid very little attention to Empath having his fantasy about being a sailing ship captain until Hefty and Handy came on board, carrying some wooden planks to replace some of the decking.
"Hey, Empath, I thought you had other things to smurf in the village than smurfing your time daysmurfing on this ship," Hefty called out.
Empath snapped himself out of his fantasy when he heard Hefty. "Actually, Hefty, there was little else going on in the village that needed this smurf's attention, so this smurf thought about overseeing the maintenance work of the S.S. Smurf II."
"I thought Dreamy was supposed to oversmurf the refitting, not you, Empath," Handy commented.
"Well, you know how Dreamy is, Handy," Hefty remarked. "He gets his mind smurfed up on some fantasy, he's going to smurf his time making it smurf true. Now that the Imaginarium is back up and smurfing, I bet Dreamy is going to smurf all that time he should be smurfing here obsmurfing his ship living out those fantasies, even if they aren't real."
Empath realized for himself that he had not seen Dreamy at any time making sure the S.S. Smurf II's refitting was going along smoothly. That was Dreamy's responsibility, and for some reason he was avoiding it. Empath knew Papa Smurf would not trust Dreamy to continue being the captain of the sailing ship if he kept avoiding his responsibilities.
"This smurf will go into the Imaginarium and find out the reason for Dreamy's chosen absence from his duty," he told Handy and Hefty. He disembarked from the S.S. Smurf II and headed back to the village.
Empath discovered that the Imaginarium was in use, its crystals fully charged when he entered the meeting room. "Show me where Dreamy is now," he stated.
The view of the Imaginarium room changed to that of a village of makeshift cottages in a rocky terrain. There he saw Smurflike beings with bright orange skin, long black hair that framed tribal-painted faces, and yellow loincloths, each of them brandishing spears. "Halt — who swoofs here?" one of them said in a voice that sounded like Hefty, as he saw Empath and aimed a spear at him. “Are you friend or foe?”
Swoofs? Empath wondered. This sounded like one of Dreamy's past adventures — when he wanted to be the first Smurf to fly through the stars.
"This smurf is a friend of Astro Smurf," Empath replied, showing friendliness without any fear. "This smurf has come from Astro's home planet to find him."
"Come — we take you to Astro Smurf," the Swoof who intercepted Empath said as he lowered the spear and directed him. Empath followed the Swoof until he saw Dreamy dressed up in what appeared to be a primitive spacesuit wearing a fishbowl for a helmet, talking to a gray-haired and gray-bearded Swoof in a red loincloth. The both of them were sitting on a primitive-looking throne while other Swoofs were busy playing various types of tribal instruments and doing some cooking in a cauldron set upon a campfire. There were even four young Swooflings that were busy playing games with each other, being watched over by what appeared to be a Swoofette who was taking care of a baby Swoof. Empath overheard what Dreamy and this elder Swoof, whom he recognized from Dreamy’s recalled memories as Grandpa Swoof, were talking about with each other.
“So that’s what your world swoofs like, Astro Smurf,” Grandpa Swoof said, his voice sounding like a caveman version of Papa Smurf. “We hardly swoof anything here but mountains and lakes, and we haven’t swoofed any other kind of creatures on our world except for us.”
“Maybe someday I can smurf you to our world and you can see for yoursmurfs how beautiful my home planet smurfs,” Dreamy suggested.
“You are able to swoof from your world to ours, Astro Smurf,” Grandpa Swoof remarked, considering Dreamy’s suggestion of travelling to another world. “I don’t swoof how we wouldn’t be able to swoof from our world to yours.”
“Believe me, Grandpa Swoof, one smurf at my world and you may never want to smurf back home.”
"Dreamy," Empath called out as he approached Grandpa Swoof’s throne, "what are you doing in here?"
Dreamy turned around and saw Empath, surprised to see him entering his fantasy just as he is, though the Grandpa Swoof character in that particular fantasy didn’t notice. "Oh, Empath, I was just visiting my friends here from another planet — they are called the Swoofs," Dreamy explained.
"This smurf knows who they are," Empath responded. "But you were supposed to be overseeing the refitting of the S.S. Smurf II, not engaging in a fantasy based on your past adventure."
"They can smurf work on that without me, Empath," Dreamy said, dismissing what Empath said. "I just want to be alone in here getting to smurf these people better. Why not smurf yourself a break and smurf the party with us?"
"Come swoof us, friend of Astro Smurf," Grandpa Swoof invited, raising his glass.
"This smurf would rather not, Grandpa Swoof," Empath said, sighing as he shook his head. He could see that this was getting both he and Dreamy nowhere. "Remove all the characters in here," he told the Imaginarium crystals. Immediately, every Swoof disappeared from the scene, leaving just Empath and Dreamy among the huts in the makeshift village.
"For an understanding Smurf, you sure know how to ruin some Smurf's fun in here," Dreamy groaned, kicking a rock around in frustration after he jumped off of Grandpa Swoof’s throne.
"This smurf apologizes for that, but this smurf does not understand why your current interest in reliving a past adventure should take precedence over your duties as a sailing ship's captain," Empath said.
"Because the whole adventure was not real!" Dreamy shouted, feeling embarrassed.
"You mean you never travelled to the stars?" Empath asked.
"No, I didn't, Empath," Dreamy answered. "Six years ago on my 150th smurfday, I made a smurfday wish to someday be able to travel the stars and smurf other worlds. Since that day, I smurfed everything possible to get me there, and nothing had worked until I got the idea of smurfing myself a spaceship. Finally, I thought, this idea of mine would work, and every Smurf would be so proud of me. The day that my ship was to launch itself into outer smurf, I smurfed my goodbyes and pedaled and pedaled and pedaled for all I was smurf, and...still nothing happened. I was so sad because I was so determined to make this thing work, and it didn't."
"From what this smurf understood, your spaceship didn't work at first," Empath corrected. "And then Handy came along and fixed the problem for you."
"That was Papa Smurf's idea all along…he wanted me to smurf the problem was all taken care of so I can smurf off into the stars," Dreamy muttered. "He gave me some smurfberry juice to drink for the occasion, I drank it, then I smurfed on board and pedaled again…and this time, I felt as if the whole ship was finally smurfing! I saw clouds smurfing outside my window…and then the next thing I knew I was smurf asleep! When I woke up, I smurfed myself on another planet where I met these people…the Swoofs! They were the smurfiest folks I have ever met, and though they wanted me to stay with them, I knew that I couldn't, so I smurfed back in my ship and smurfed home!"
"So how did you finally learn that these Swoofs weren't real?" Empath asked.
"About a few years later, Courier Smurf noticed I have been smurfing messages to the Swoofs, telling them I was hoping to smurf them again," Dreamy explained. "That nosey Smurf showed one of my letters to Papa Smurf. Sometime later Handy had resmurfed my spaceship from scratch, so I smurfed off in it, and again I found myself in the Swoof Village, and I was so happy meeting the Swoofs again. And then smurfthing happened, and the next thing I knew, I was back in the Smurf Village again, and all the Swoofs changed back into Smurfs right before my eyes!" He could feel a tear well up in his eye. "That became the worst day in my entire life! That was when I knew that I never really travelled to the stars!"
"Dreamy, this smurf empathizes with you," Empath stated. "But you must understand what your fellow Smurfs did for you. They had no desire to hurt or deceive you…they only wanted to make you happy, to make you believe that a very important fantasy of yours had come true."
"Well, now that I know, Empath, I just wish that they didn't," Dreamy snarled. "I wish I never even thought about travelling to the stars, smurfing strange new worlds and smurfing out new life and new civilizations if I can never smurf off this planet. All I can smurf now is to indulge mysmurf in the Imaginarium with this ridiculous fantasy!" In the next moment, the mountainous region of Dreamy's scenario vanished, bringing both Empath and Dreamy back to reality. "From now on, there is no more Astro Smurf. There is just Dreamy…a hopeless dreamer…who couldn't smurf the stars."
Empath watched as Dreamy left the Imaginarium, dragging his fishbowl of a helmet along with him back to his house, feeling as heartbroken as he did on that dreadful day.
Empath couldn't bear to see the once-proud Dreamy have his spirit of adventure brutally dashed on the rocks by a failed fantasy, so he went to talk to Papa Smurf about Dreamy's dilemma. Apparently, he had heard Dreamy's side of the whole story; now he wanted Papa Smurf's perspective, since he came up with the idea of making Dreamy's birthday wish coming true.
"Naturally, I had Handy tell Dreamy that he found what was wrong with his smurfship, and that he fixed the problem," Papa Smurf began. "That made Dreamy all smurfed up and ready to travel to the stars again. But before he went inside his smurfship, I offered him a drink of smurfberry juice to honor the occasion. Little did he smurf back then that I had smurfed a sleeping potion in the juice. So when he went inside his smurfship and started pedaling away, I had all my little Smurfs rock his ship and create lots of smoke to make him think that his smurfship really was flying. After a while, the potion smurfed its effect on him since the propeller started to slow down until it stopped turning altogether. When Dreamy was fully asleep, I had Hefty and Tuffy smurf him to his house while the other Smurfs started dismantling his ship."
"That was when you came up with the idea of transforming the Smurfs into these...Swoofs?" Empath asked.
"Exactly, Empath," Papa Smurf replied. "It was a simple kind of spell, really, though it was hardly used before then. I was lucky to smurf up with that one, too. I had all my little Smurfs put Dreamy and the parts of his smurfship in carts to transsmurf them to a volcanic mountain that I knew was extinct. It took us a few days to smurf there, and we had to keep Dreamy asleep by smurfing him more of that sleeping potion. When we finally reached the inside of the mountain, we reassembled his ship and smurfed Dreamy back inside. That gave us some time to transsmurf ourselves into Swoofs and then set up the area so that it looked like we were part of that area on another world."
"From what this smurf heard and sensed from Dreamy, you have succeeded in making your fantasy setting all so real that he actually wanted to stay there and live like a Swoof," Empath noted.
"We have succeeded all too well with that, Empath," Papa Smurf groused. "We didn't even plan on smurfing there more than a single night, so we had to smurf up with a few things to convince Dreamy that he'd be better off smurfing back home. First we had him smurf a spear blindfolded toward a target. We spun him around a few times to make sure he wouldn't smurf the target, but to our surprise, the spear hit the target after ricosmurfing around off the cave walls. Then we had him smurf up a pole, and it was supposed to be a greased pole, except that some Smurf forgot to grease it. Next we had him smurf across a lake and back smurfing a rock with him, hoping that would smurf an end to his visit. What I forgot was that we were inside a volcanic mountain that was extinct, so the only rocks around were pumice stone, which naturally floated on water. Finally, we ended up smurfing a bunch of ridiculous and rigorous things a Swoof has to do to live like a Swoof, and that made Dreamy decide to smurf back home in his rocket. The rest you pretty much know by now."
"Dreamy said that Courier read one of his letters that he was sending to these Swoofs, hoping to see them again someday," Empath mentioned. "What made you and the other Smurfs decide to try fulfilling Dreamy's fantasy again, Papa Smurf?"
"Courier has never been the kind of Smurf to smurf into another Smurf's mail, Empath," Papa Smurf answered. "Nevertheless, he was curious as to what to smurf with all those letters Dreamy has written, so he ended up smurfing one open and then showing me one of those letters after he read it. Some other Smurfs noticed that Dreamy was feeling downsmurfed because he hadn't heard back from the Swoofs, so all of us smurfed together and decided to make Dreamy's wish to see the Swoofs again come true. I had Hefty run Dreamy through the forest while Handy rebuilt his smurfship, so that when Dreamy smurfed back to the village, he would be all tired out again when he smurfed off in his smurfship to go back to the planet of the Swoofs. Then I had Brainy cast the spell to turn all the Smurfs into Swoofs and the entire village into the Swoof Village."
"That explains how Dreamy felt when he suddenly appeared among the Swoofs again, Papa Smurf," Empath stated. "But then something happened, and the Swoof Village transformed back into the Smurf Village right before his eyes. How did that happen?"
"You can thank Brainy for that, Empath," Papa Smurf replied with some disgust. "He didn't completely smurf the entire spell that changed us and the village, which was more complicated than the spell that simply smurfed us into Swoofs, so before any of us knew it, everything changed back to normal a bit too soon." He stroked his beard and looked at Empath with some concern. "What's been happening to Dreamy that would make him smurf of that again? I thought he would be oversmurfing the refitting of the S.S. Smurf II."
"This smurf doesn't know what brought on his interest in wanting to travel to the stars again, Papa Smurf," Empath explained. "Right now, Dreamy has been spending a great deal of time in the Imaginarium reliving that fantasy, even though he now knows that it isn't real. He feels betrayed and hopeless because of this, and now wishes that he never even thought of having that birthday wish in the first place."
Papa Smurf sighed. "All I can say, Empath, is that we did our best to try smurfing that wish to come true. Unfortunately, Dreamy has to smurf to the realization that perhaps there are some things that Smurfs are never meant to experience in this lifetime — smurfly, the ability to travel to the stars."
Before Empath could say anything more, Hefty and Handy were knocking on Papa Smurf's door, asking to speak to both him and Empath.
Papa Smurf let them in. He and Empath could see that the two of them seemed very excited about something.
"Tracker and Polaris Psyche found something out in the woods, Papa Smurf," Hefty explained. "It's something very unusual, to smurf the least!"
"We saw it smurfing out of the sky, just as we were going to smurf some more wood for the S.S. Smurf II," Handy added. "It looked almost like Dreamy's smurfship, but it was flatter and more metallic. It smurfed a fiery trail that led deep into the forest."
Papa Smurf and Empath looked at each other. "Perhaps we'd better find out what it was that came out of the sky in the way Handy described, Papa Smurf," Empath suggested.
"We will both go out there, Empath," Papa Smurf responded. "Whatever it is, we don't want any other Smurf to go and be smurfed up by it."