I had this dream last night. AC and I were standing just outside of a doorway that led into a grand internal courtyard. Let me describe it further by saying: imagine an enormous Elizabethan style mansion, almost a small castle or a keep and tall with at least 3 stories. The mansion was so sprawling that it had vast internal courtyards contained within the building. Open to the sky, but flanked on all sides by the high stone walls of the mansion. AC and I were stood on the edge of this internal courtyard, next to a door we had just stepped out of. I didn’t see this, in the dream sense of “seeing”, but I sensed it. Evidently the storyline was already well underway, when my brain decided to start recording it to the forward memory that I now relay. I sensed the back-story within the dream, much as I sense now the atmosphere of what had transpired just previous to my sudden jaunt into dream consciousness (dig?). It was night and a dark one at that. We had been exploring the grand old building. It wasn’t a ruin, it was very much in use as if it were lived in by some rich family or up- kept by some historical committee or better yet as if we were back in time…in the mansions prime…suffice to say the place was alive with it’s own presence…and that works nicely leading into this next insight, which is that AC and I were pursuing a ghost or ghosts. We knew something or some things supernatural were active in this enormous building. The hair on our arms and necks stood on end. Something very old and powerful was there. We were scared, but elated. Driven by a desire to confront and maybe understand… a desire that overcame the feelings of fear…that malingering unnameable terror that welled up within us as we moved through the sprawling dimly lit mansion. Apparently we had been in somewhat of a chase. Who was chasing who I cannot say (I wasn’t there (winks aside) but action was afoot. In that moment we enter the dream AC and I were taking a breather…a moment or two…we were discussing what had been transpiring, there was a sense of brevity between us…wry smiles and quiet chuckling. We were being humorous, but our skin was bespeckled by goose bumps and the radiant atmosphere had us rubbing our hands together, shifting feet to-and-fro and shivering… although not from any cold. We had found something…a spirit or a ghost and its very existence filled the dreamscape to the point of overflowing. Elements of its energy seemed to spill into the real world. It’s corny to say, but it was as if we knew we were in a dream, but more still…it was as if we were in its dream. In unison we both looked up at one of the narrow windows high up on the wall that overlooked the courtyard. The window was open. It had only just opened and a dark slip of curtain fluttered out from within. No one could be seen in the window but we knew it was the Presence. Maybe out of fear, I don’t know why, I started to crack the wise. I heard myself say something loudly like “yeah yeah very dramatic, very spooky…just what we expected” AC joined in. We were stirring it up…giving that supernatural force a rev up...letting it know that the Diggers weren’t afraid. Something spoke up, spoke back to us. It was something unnatural. In our heads or out loud…maybe both at once… It said “Third floor NOW!” We charged back inside, off to confront this thing. Round a corner and down a wide ornately laid out corridor we ran. The atmosphere was charged with preternatural energy. I noticed a large tapestry hanging on the wall. The tapestry bowed outwards as if someone or something was crudely hiding behind it…I could see the floor beneath the tapestry and there were no feet to be seen. AC yelped as he’d seen the same thing I had. I was terrified but I pushed behind the tapestry. In that split second I let out a terrible noise like a low mournful howl, immediately followed by another a second later. It sounded a mix of exhilaration, suspense, tension and fear. It was not a pleasant sound, and I know this because it woke me up in bed. In that last millisecond within the dream I found there was nothing supernatural behind the tapestry, only an ill placed game hunters mounting. But the noise of my howl was a collision of dream and reality. It was almost as if the mansion had kicked me out of the dreamscape. AC and I had been charging into the unknown…headed for some stairs up to the third floor, summoned, challenged by some unspeakable unknown force. The shrill terror of it all…the terror was a power surge that overloaded the dreamscape…shorted out the link and left me sitting up in my bed. It was about 1am…pretty early for an intense dream in my experience. I thought of how AC had got on…did he charge onwards to the third floor? Did I disappear in front of him? Whose dream was that anyway? In the dark of my room the heavy shroud of the dream still hung heavy, refused to let go to reality…I determined to go back in. I was still groggy. I lay back down and tried to re-enter the mansion. I still felt the force of the Presence…palpable as if it really had spilled out into the room with me. There was something major and unresolved still moving me, pumping through my adrenalised heart like a possession. I lay down and before I blacked out again there was a fleeting moment of reflection, like my own third person narrator saying…this doesn’t look right…is not the same place…or is it? Then the darkness and the forgetting.
*Special love goes out to: M.L Darling, Petri Ivalo Sinda and the Mad Plumber of Fabulist Savannah, where this piece first appeared in 2008.
Listening to: Pnau