Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Reflections on Nightmares

Reflections of a Deranged Cultist is a work of fiction, and in absolutely no way autobiographical. I promise.

Claire has been really tired this week - I think she’s still recovering from whatever it was that made her lose her voice - and I’ve been playing catch-up at work while trying to follow up on the information I received from the Thing In The Well. So, basically, we haven’t been able to spend a lot of time together until yesterday.

It took a little extra work, but we managed to arrange things so we both had the same day off. We slept in, then drove up to Schlitterbahn and spent most of the day there. When we left we were wrinkly from being in the water, and a little red from being in the sun. Sunscreen washes off way too fast. We stopped at The Clay Pit for dinner, then went home and... well, that isn’t any of your business, is it?

And last night, we dreamed.

The landscape was the same; if anything, it was even more vivid than before. Everything was rendered in hexagonal columns of varying widths; looking more closely, I saw that there was a fundamental width, and that what looked like thicker columns were - like the shelves and hills and valleys - composed of groups of columns standing together. The mists that formed the life of this place were immediately visible, but I don’t know whether that was because I knew to look for them, or if my senses were somehow becoming more attuned to this place.

Another bit of mist drifted towards me, and I knew immediately - with the certain knowledge of a dream - that it was Claire.

Also, I knew which way we had to go. So I propelled myself down the valley, staying low this time. Other bits of mist reached out for us, and I rose to avoid them. Claire - or the bit of mist that I thought was her - followed suit. We advanced steadily, while I glanced around for that horrible black storm, or whatever it was, that had stained us before. I had no idea just how much danger we were in; but if the dream could stain us, it could probably kill us as well.

The valley opened onto a great plain - or, as I looked at it, maybe it was more of a crater. It formed a sort of bowl, rendered in the gradual descent of hexagonal columns, with a number of valleys radiating out from it. At the center was... I’m going to call it a palace, since that best describes my impression... with high towers and curving walls and a peculiar arrangement of something-like-minarets.

I’m not sure I can adequately describe just how wrong its presence seemed. Part of that was, quite simply, dream-emotion. Another part was simple juxtaposition. I shudder to guess what sort of power imposed those sweeping curves onto this hexagonal world - if it was a world; I was beginning to think that it was more of a mathematical abstraction than an actual place.

We were drifting towards the palace when the dream sort of... came apart... and I realized that the alarm was going off. For just a moment, I was furious - I mean, we were really close to actually learning something about that place. A moment later I was relieved. I mean, we were moving towards an unknown structure in a place that we know is dangerous. It's not impossible that the alarm clock saved our lives.

Now, I'm mostly puzzled. What the hell is going on with this dream?

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