Monday, April 4, 2016

The Night-Mare

Around this time I had another bad dream. It is simplistic to say like this, yet that's all there is to it. It was a horrific vision, one which aggregated recent events and introduced a new interpretation or variation to them. I question whether it means anything, of course, except that it did signify my insecurity.

In this dream, I was riding Chestnut much as I'd done in days just before. This dream exulted in the horse-riding experience, engaging all my senses in this activity. I thrilled to feel Chestnut's powerful muscles tensing and shuddering beneath me, to lean forward and feel the wind strike me in a mild barrage, making me feel all the more powerful for it. As we rode over the fields, by crystal ponds in wooded groves, I inhaled the pollen of trees and flowers and the sweet aroma of grasses; when we pounded up the damp beach, I smelled the tang of kelp and fish and salt water (so it seemed to me). None of this was overwhelming or offensive in the least: rather, it underscored the teeming life all about us, various forms of plant and animal life, all thriving and working together for the greater good. It was a magnificent sensation.

And then it happened that we rode to an unfamiliar coast; until this point we had returned to landmarks and terrain features I'd explored in recent days. The sky did not darken, as one might expect in a portentous dream, but all the smells did drop away and there was a certain chill to the air. Chestnut did not halt, however, out of caution or fright, but made a beeline for the ocean. It took all of my strength to command the horse to a stop.

The land has fallen away and nothing remains.
For before us, the land had dropped fully away. It was as though God from His Heaven had reached down with a massy shovel and simply dug the largest section of Reality away. The ocean flowed to a point, then cut off and disappeared; far below, the sea bed ceased neatly and abruptly, and no sand spilled into the emptiness, no water rushed to fill it. There was only the void, an absolute nothingness that stretched on for some distance.

Not forever, however. I could see perhaps a mile away, a labyrinth of blackened caverns waiting for me to explore. They hung, suspended, like a wasp's nest from a tenuous strand of turf, away off in the distance. There was a tunnel, distinct against the milky blue void, and then flashes of light caught my eye as lava flowed and pooled. All of this, some coherent network of emptiness that should have been defined by rocky barriers, yet it was a vacancy that hovered in the void.

We stood there on the bank, before the void. Through the haze of my terror I realized that Chestnut was trembling with great tension, his muscles quivering: the mad beast was only barely restrained from pitching headlong into the great and yawning emptiness! I knew that I should throw myself from the animal and crawl desperately to safety, putting as much space between myself and the end of the world as possible, yet I was unable to move. I knew that at any moment the beast would break from my control and hurl us both, as one unit, into the abyss, and I was powerless to abandon him, and my sway over him was weakening by the second...

The bed ensures the author will return here upon death.
I jerked abruptly and woke up screaming in my bed. Every muscle in me spasmed simultaneously, so ere I was fully awake I had flung myself nearly a foot above my mattress. I crashed to my own soft bed, panting as though I'd held my breath for several minutes, all of my clothes quite drenched in my own perspiration. My eyes rolled around, desperate to confirm the smooth sandstone walls in my little chamber beneath the earth.

For security's sake I'd carved out a little bedroom for myself, just below the main floor of the desert temple. At the time it looked like I should have stayed at that location for a protracted period, so I determined to effect some creature comforts like a sleeping chamber. It was spartan at the time, but it was my hope to decorate it however humbly in such decorations as this realm could provide.

To assuage my nerves, I undertook to build a bridge to cross a chasm just to the south of my temple residence. There is no shortage of cobblestone to be melted into solid bricks, and these now reach through the empty air to the next mountain range. I feel Chestnut and Charlie should appreciate this much better than plunging down one grassy slope, struggling through the torrent of water streaming through the valley, then charging up another steep and rocky incline. But this is merely a distraction from my horrible dream, in more ways than one: to facilitate the accrual of more resources than I need, that I may be the more ready to respond, should the solution to exiting this irrational realm present itself.

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