There is a moment when you’re sleeping that your mind starts running into overdrive; it is the moment between dreaming and waking. Your brain is internally shifting switches around as it prepares for the long journey ahead.
Finally, your body stops twitching, your muscles become paralyzed. You have entered the world of dreams. Normally I look forward to dreams–they are a wonderful escape from the mundane.
Recently however, I have dreamt the same thing, which is odd for me. Never have I had the same dream twice, but this dream seems to feel the need to endure.
It has now been the fifth night since this dream started and I am beginning to worry.
It begins in the woods outside my home at night. I am not walking through the woods, but I’m floating above the ground on my back. My view is the sky through several layers of tree branches. The sky is not inky black with stars like normal–it is blood red; eerie, and surreal.
I tilt my head backwards, and I can see a large bonfire that I am drifting towards quickly.
There is a man there, dressed in a tartan robe wearing a metal mask. The mask is crudely hewn, but it resembles a clown with sad eyes and a wide smile. It’s unsettling.
He snaps his fingers and I fall to the ground gently.
Picking myself up, I stare at him as he throws his arms out wide as if to welcome me.
“It all comes with the cold water.” he says in a low drone.
I am confused, but I cannot speak, my mouth is hinged shut.
Reaching into his robe, he pulls out a stone jar, and from the jar he produces a red powder, tossing it into the fire.
The fire grows double in height, becoming an eye-watering blaze.
“One droops before one dies.” he says quietly.
He then walks into the fire, but does not scream. In fact, he seems to take pleasure from it.
As the robe begins to burn and the metal mask begins to melt on his face, he says one last thing:
“I will show you the two worlds.”
The flame engulfs him and then dies out, leaving only smoking embers behind.
The world then tilts and I fall backwards. The dream always ends this way, and I always wake up.
Tonight the scene shifted.
Tonight, the scene dipped to black and now I see myself in my bed, as if I’m looking down from the ceiling.
It is raining out, the rain beating upon the roof louder than it has ever been.
Suddenly, I see myself gasp, my eyes growing wide as I awaken, my mouth agape in a silent scream.
The windows around me shatter, water rushing in from all sides of the bed; the water is too much, it is flooding everywhere–
I wake up in a clammy sweat. I am no longer dreaming. I pinch myself to be sure.
The room is quiet, and calm. I am relieved, until I look towards my feet.
At the base of the bed, neatly folded, there is a tartan robe, and on top, a metal mask.
Without thinking, as if I am not in control of my body, I put the metal mask on and don the robe. The door in front of me opens on its own.
A voice–somehow it’s mine, almost guttural, comes from the mask, my mouth forming words from an unknown origin.
“I”m sending you away.”
My feet shuffle forward, and I go into the darkness, plunging into the unknown.
But I am not afraid. This has all happened before, after all. We ride slow, but we ride sure.