The Dream Merchant by Joel R. Hunt

The dream merchant couldn’t complain; business had never been better. Everyone knew he supplied only the richest and sweetest of dreams.

What fewer customers realised was that stocks had been running low for months. He had started using his own dreams to keep up with demand.

As he refilled the empty storeroom, his daughter ran in with a smile.

“I want to help,” said the girl, holding out a glowing sphere. The bright dream of a child.

The merchant cupped his daughter’s hands and closed them.

“No,” he said, “I only sold my dreams so that you could keep yours.”