It’s been a busy week. Work has been completely crazy; Claire and I have been working different shifts, so we’ve barely gotten to see each other. On top of that, I’ve spent all my free time trying to learn more about the nature and origins of that dream. I even went to the Elders about it, since I needed to update the report I put in the archives anyway.
Billy has been a huge help. I mention this because, hey, credit where it's due. He went back and looked through the archives also, thinking that maybe a fresh pair of eyes would see something that I’d missed. (I don’t know where he got the eyes, and I’m not asking.) He didn’t find anything, unfortunately.
Meanwhile, I’ve managed a couple of evocations, but neither of them told me anything useful. I hadn’t really expected them to, but the cost was minor and it was worth a try. The next step is to consult... let’s call it Oracle.
That’s riskier - not so much because of Oracle itself, but because in order to contact it, I need to have some things and do some things... Well, if Claire caught me, I wouldn’t be able to explain them away. Also, this is a lot more serious than the sorts of rituals I usually do. So I’m being very careful, and as a result it’s taking a lot longer than I’d like. With a little luck, I’ll be ready by the end of the week - and then it’ll just be a matter of finding the right time.
The Elders are also arranging to let me speak to the Thing In The Well. That’s worrisome in a completely different way. The Thing In The Well is old, old enough to remember things that might not be in the archives, and the Elders give it what it needs in exchange for access to its knowledge. So, it’s not likely to do anything horrible to me... at least not directly. No, the danger here is that the Thing In The Well has no discretion. It might tell me nothing; it might tell me something helpful; it might tell me something that the Elders don’t want me to know; it might tell me something that could destroy me and everything in a three block radius. All of those things, and a few more besides, have happened to people who’ve consulted it.
Which leads me to another worry: the Elders are actually willing to let me talk to the Thing In The Well. That doesn’t happen very often, especially for someone like me - I’m just not that important. So either something about that dream has them worried, or else they’re a lot more interested in Claire than they’re admitting, or both.
There is some news there, by the way. Or rather, no news, which is good news. She hasn’t contacted the church, or anyone associated with it. (So say the Watchers, and no one with any sense doubts their word.) It’s still possible that she’s some sort of deep-cover agent, but I just don’t believe it. If a dream that stains your arm doesn’t make you break cover, there’s no cover to be broken.
The other bright spot in this is that neither of us has dreamed of that place again. I’d be a lot more comforted if I thought we’d seen the last of it, but I’ll take my good news where I can find it. Hopefully by next week I’ll have something more definite to report.
And hopefully, by then, I'll have caught back up on my sleep.
The Deranged Cultist is a regular contributor to this blog. His reflections are collected here, for anyone who needs to catch up on the whole thing. His views and opinions do not represent those of Mock Ramblings, its parent, or any affiliated companies.