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All these dream chases take a toll on me. Even though they end before the actual attack, they are nevertheless full of struggle. Invariably, I am always snatched back to reality with a violent flight and the struggle to glimpse the City.

No matter how drenched in fear and running for my life, I still notice certain patterns. The patterns are always in my mind. Patterns hold the key to my salvation. There’s always an appearance by “Old Yelper”. That’s the name I’ve given to the dog with the broken back. There’s always the going down. A descent. A driving of me, the prey, into a lower place. No matter how hard I try to lead the chase to higher ground, the futility frustrates me. There’s always the symbol of the half-closed eye. I don’t know what it means, but it is always there – only during the chases. There’s the appearance of the clock with the same time on its face. And the sound of the insects chittering in their infernal language of madness.

If I could but piece these things together. Weave them into a coherent fabric from which to crack the code. I could begin to erect my path to the City on the Hill and present myself to the Ochre King.

***

Last night in Nod I was taken to the castle of Count Orlok. His vampires closed in on me but I knew this wasn’t the chase. There was no going down. No insects or other signs. It was more of an invitation. There was fog and an old forest clinging to craggy mountains. An occluded sky and the ancient castle looking as if it had always been a part of the mountain.

I found myself seated at a large table. Orlok entered and sat opposite me with his long, bird-like fingers laced together in front of him. He told me he just wanted to help me understand the nature of things. At first I found this to be just a ruse, but it did plant a seed that made me aware of more things back on the other side of Nod.

Count Orlok

I’ve now begun to look at Dr. Redding in a new way. A more sinister and suspicious way. I’m beginning to see that Nod and the Waking World are not really so different. The Waking World is more complicated and yet in many ways less dramatic. The Waking World has its archetypal rulers of its realms too. And I believe that Dr. Redding is one of them. His minions are the staff. They don’t chase me – at least not physically. But they are still preying upon me.

The one thing that I am thankful for is that Dr. Redding doesn’t know about this dream journal. I’ve been reluctant to talk to anyone about Nod until I figured more of the patterns out. Now I see that it would be my undoing to tell them about Nod. I must now take great care to hide the journal lest it be discovered by them. And Redding must be undone. Count Orlok said that if he makes it to the Land of Nod, Dr. Redding will be too powerful. There is concern by the Nodders and I now see that I could use this knowledge to make a deal with Her!

***

I had a regular dream and found it quite funny. Even though it would be considered a nightmare to most, it was still funny. I was at Amelia’s funeral again and I was dreading the viewing. The line was long and people were wracked with grief. Many were crying. Some were wailing. Others were just forlorn and silent. But it was taking so long and I just kept dreading seeing her. The anxiety was suffocating and the tension was building. I finally was able to get close enough to see her. Amelia looked so peaceful. So pale and pretty. Then she opened her eyes and sat up. The people ahead of me in line opened the bottom part of the casket and helped her out. She looked at me then and took my hand. She smiled and gestured to the casket. She was leading me to get in. I resisted but the mourners crowded round and pushed me towards the coffin. They were chanting some morbid nursery rhyme about “lying in a grave” and then I woke up.

I sat there in the dark and thought back to the dream. There was no patterns, no archetypes, no power structure, and then it hit me. No fear. I wasn’t scared at all. It was just a flat effect. I began to chuckle thinking about Amelia in the dream. That turned into a real laugh. A loud, belly laugh. And I fell asleep humming the nursery rhyme and giggling.

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