Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Trains & Shadows

Nightmares always have a way of occurring for me. I'm not entirely sure what brings them on because movies and books tend not to do it. Sometimes I think they are the spawn of my stressed and fractured mind. Sometimes I believe they are something else entirely but I'm not going to get into that because I know what's good for me. This is not the place to start my diatribes on prophecy, premonition, and precognition. Perhaps my mind is always lost somewhere beyond the grasp of human science and modern human monotheism. And I think I prefer it that way.


I was waiting at a train station. It wasn’t just any ordinary station; it seemed like it had once been ultra modern but fell into utter disrepair. The walls were dingy white and everything appeared like it had once been stainless steel. I was surrounded by people who were waiting and everybody looked like refugees, carrying what they could with them. They all seemed agitated by the fact that dusk was beginning to settle and I myself felt my own anxiety rising at this prospect. As dreams tend to do though, I suddenly was on the train. I was at my compartment but to my horror, I found that top of the compartments were clear plexi-glass windows and I could clearly see the darkening skies. Unable to still my nervousness, I shut the door and walked aimlessly from car to car till I stumbled into this luxurious car. It was very posh and antiquated as a woman sat behind an ornate oak desk, drinking brandy. She had cherry red hair and was dressed like she fell out of the 1940s albeit in absurd Technicolor. She offered me a glass of liquor and politely turned her down as I noticed that there were many different kinds of bottles of liquor lining the tables and shelves of the room. All in glass bottles of many different shapes, sizes, and colors. For all I knew, none of it could have actually been fine liquor. That was what I assumed. For the first time in this dream, I suddenly wondered where we were going and lack of a destination bothered me. My searching eyes found an older man sitting in one of the elegant chairs and he was very sober in comparison to his lady friend. He just sat somberly in his chair and so I moved up to him. I asked him when we would arrive, as if I already knew the destination. (In reality, I didn’t know but perhaps my phantom self did know.) He looked at me and stood up, gently taking me by the arm and moving us farther away from Cherry. He told me quietly that we’d never arrive at our destination. Instantly alarmed, I demanded to know why and he said it was because we did not have enough fuel to get that far. The horrible realization settled in that they had intended to make a stand here with the train once it came to a halt and die in this train when their supplies ran out because they couldn’t live in a world where the darkness meant death or worse. At that moment, the man must have realized that night had fallen and we could hear something above us on the top of the train car. I finally noticed that there were no windows in this car whatsoever and the door was actually reinforced steel which led me to wonder if that is what was also behind the opulent paneling of the car. I grabbed his arm, feeling the fear course through my body as I too stared up at the ceiling. Cherry began to utter some drunken nonsense loudly and he curtly scolded her into silence as we waited for the noise to stop. I knew I would not stay here and I closed my eyes.

When I opened them, I was in a modest little house in what seemed like the southwest because I could see sunlight out of a window above a rocky, reddish landscape. There were people around me that I recognized yet there were others I didn’t know. But the placement of the sun in the sky told me that nightfall was coming. I moved curiously through the crowded rooms and a lot of people talked about the night. It seemed everybody was scared of it for different reasons. Somebody said a monster followed them, another said they heard ghostly voices and screams. It was confusing. From the other end of the house, I heard a woman bellow that a window was still open and I instantly peeked through a curtain as the sun finally fell behind the horizon. I bolted toward the woman’s shrill voice and found a bedroom window was indeed open. (Apparently whatever the night did bring, it could not waltz into a place when all entrances were barred.) I yanked and yanked on the window to get it to close because I only had seconds. But I couldn’t get it and an apparition swirled before my eyes of a dire wolf hovering outside the window. Its eyes held a faint green glow and instead of fright, an unspeakable amount of anger welled up inside as we glared at each other. It lunged for me and I met it head on as I tried to grab its head. I miscalculated and its jaws snapped around my arm as I yelped in pain. At some point I guess the woman left the room because a coppery skinned man came running into the room and grimaced as he told me that I wasn’t strong enough yet. He literally drew the apparition wolf away from me and flung it outside of the window like it had been a puff of wind. I swiftly closed and locked the window. I gingerly looked down my arm expecting a scene of much gore to go with my pain. To my shock, the skin wasn’t even punctured and there was no real pain after all. I looked at the mysterious man after my revelation. He simply smiled and left me there alone. Feeling braver, I gazed out of the window and saw the ghostly wolf floating outside the window. I let my eyes burn deep into its own, hoping it would know that I wasn’t afraid anymore. I drew the curtain without another thought of the wolf and laid down on the bed in the room. I closed my eyes.

And the final time I opened my eyes, I was opening the door to this secluded home in the woods where there was so much green and so many trees. Inside was my family who were excited and happy to see me. Andy was with them too. All of their worry erupted into smiles and hugs. After I shut the door, I noticed the sun had began its descent but it didn’t matter. I wasn’t afraid of the dark anymore and it had been a long journey.

Now how’s that for an odd dream? Maybe it wasn’t a stereotypical nightmare but I didn’t rest an ounce last night. I generally don’t like discussing my vivid dreams because they are always on the surreal. The really bad ones I try to forget.
*Photo courtesy of D.Hanton 2008 (Me!)

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