Thursday, March 24, 2011

Night Terrors

Last night I had the most terrifying dream. Terrifying, not so much because it involved inconceivable cosmic horror or anything, but because it felt so real, so stark, so possible.

In the dream, I was driving my car up a dusty old dirt road that wound up a bare hill, save for some splotches of greenery and the occasional cluster of trees. The sky was dark and grey above, and the birdsong mournful. There was a contemplative silence that hung like doom over the entire hill. The trail led to an old church, its lawn weed-strewn and the the earthquake baroque architecture of it nearly obscured by vegetation. The church looked like it was at least 400 years old; it was enclosed by an iron gate, and there were leering stone eagles that perched atop the posts. I parked my car by the old church; the door was opened, and I stepped in. It was dark inside, the kind of darkness one associated with a coming storm. The altar was obscured by the gloom, but I could tell there was a huge crucifix on the retablo. There was a light that came from northern end of the church; I discovered its source to be door that opened up to a patch of land, an extension of the cemetery. I went there and looked at the names of the people buried; I found many Basque names, and here and there some headstones contained no names but only the carven faces of the cadavers buried underneath. There was a roaring sound, like waves smashing onto a cliff, and I discovered that the hill somehow jutted over the sea, black and foaming and turbulent.

Suddenly, I saw a figure to my left. It was a man, naked and tall, his back turned to me. He stood maybe fifty feet away from me, and I somehow knew that, despite his age and gravity, he was no more older than I was. I felt compelled to approach the unmoving stranger. Hesitantly, I approached; strangers in dreams are always bad omens, I thought. My footsteps were becoming increasingly louder, crunching twigs and dried leaves under my feet, but still the boy made no movement. Finally, I was just a foot behind the stranger, when I heard a voice. "You've been here before", he said, "In fact, you've never left. You were always here." Then suddenly, the stranger turned around; and as I beheld his countenance for the first time, a chill crept up my spine as I discovered that there was no countenance; the man's face was as blank as a fresh slate of tombstone, as silent, as deadly, and as brooding as the stone witnesses around me. Then it began to rain violently; the storm winds whipped up the rain into a frenzy, hitting my face with such power. But the naked stranger remained as immobile as ever; and somehow, I understood that he was crying, despite his lack of a face. He pointed some distance behind him, and motioned for me to follow him.

We came to the edge of the cliff, a point which somehow sloped upward and then ended abruptly. Directly below were some ships that seemed to have been magically transported there from vast gulfs of time and space. They looked as if they were Viking longboats, but instead of a dragon prow they had lion heads, and the ships were painted black and their sails were red. He then pointed to a pile of rocks I had noticed before. "Dig", he said. And somehow that voice became feminine and melancholy. I quickly distended the pile of rocks with surprising ease; I dug through the layer of soil freshly laid, and after some time, I discovered a coffin. I smashed the coffin with a hammer the stranger gave me; and as the wood splintered and eventually gave way, I saw what looked like a mannequin lying in it. A terribly hyperreal mannequin-- which, while plastic, had been given glass eyes, hair, and all manner of varying imperfections to make it seem as human as possible. The eyes of the mannequin were open in a sort of dumb expectation. I heard the stranger speak once again. "I told you; you have always been here. And I have never left, too."

I felt my blood boiling for some unknown reason. I screamed at the naked stranger, struggling to get out of the pit as quickly as possible. In rage, I dove at him with the hammer, with which I sought to bash his brains in. But no sooner had I thrown myself at him did I trip and fumble, as if I were felled by some invisible wire and now gotten myself entangled in it. Then I discovered the source: the wires were very real, and attached to the naked man, as if he were a gigantic marionette-- and that, indeed, he was. I turned him over, and discovered that he still had no face. The wind and the rain were howling then, and in no time, the pit began to fill with water. I felt like crying; and then I woke up.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thought I would comment and say neat theme, did you make it for yourself? It's really awesome!