I had a dream, which was not all a dream.
Yesterday morning ushered in a new era in dream fascination for me. In the darkness of pre-dawn this morning, I awoke with fading visages of a certain actor-come-timelord from an earlier dream. As I clung to these pleasant thoughts, I rose up the ten inches I must strain to gauge illuminated digits on my clock. Realizing I still had over an hour until wakefulness became necessary, I settled back onto my pillow, facing the ‘no serious thoughts’ side of the bed* and drifted back into slumberland.
I dreamt of a rich court in high season, as an observer not a participant, though I felt that I myself was of noble descent. It was a bizarre Inception sort of moment, feeling like I watched a dream within my dream (when my dream itself felt like reality). The occurrences in this lush scene of aristocracy were of great import, emotion and measure, though I could not recall later the specifics.
The palaces of crowned kings--the huts,
The habitations of all things which dwell,
Were burnt for beacons
I ‘awoke’ in this dream to an elaborate funeral procession, capped off by the reigning monarch’s son acting as pallbearer-of-sorts. After the seemingly traditional pyre on the beach, the son raced down the dunes to the water with a torch, heaving it into the water to the applause of the crowd.
My relationship to this young monarch was unclear in absolute specifics yet obvious in emotional attachment – from both sides. After the wake we retired into a library or drawing room or some such large, secluded, grand room like the royals have (or I dream they have). We conversed, I consoled, and he confronted me about his father’s past and life. Apparently in this dream his connection to his father, though his only son and heir, was distant to the point of never really knowing the man. Information had only been disclosed to me since his father’s death, which I had not passed on to the son as of yet, out of want to spare him greater stress during the time of mourning. Especially since the father was a decidedly ignoble ruler, and man. Rather than understand, or even respect, my position (and our relationship), the son went on a tear – a torrent of emotion.
The brows of men by the despairing light
Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits
The flashes fell upon them;
This is where the dream took on a decidedly Merlin-esque quality as it then became apparent that magic was a very real force in this realm. As the son’s emotions stormed, books came flying off shelves, papers flew about the room, furniture overturned, all with mere gestures from him. He then turned to me, eyes full of despair and pain – not even rage – as he uttered a spell. This spell somehow bound my lifeforce to his father’s spirit so the son could will the father into existence long enough to confront the man.
All earth was but one thought--and that was death
I shit you not readers, I felt this ‘spell’ as I have never felt any dream in my life. I half-woke to feeling as though my essence and half my internal organs were being ripped from my body. Within seconds I was awake, though barely conscious as the pain still reverberated through me. I was actually crying.
And yet… I felt tied to this dream. To the extent that I willed myself back to sleep to find some reconciliation to this physical and mental horror.
The father emerged, detailing his reprehensible exploits to the son and begging not only for forgiveness but for his son to remedy the mistakes made by his father’s rule. He then went on to chide his son for using the magic he did to conjure the father because of the damage it was wreaking on me. When the son finally turned to look at me again, his look immediately released the spell and he began to cry. Rushing to my side, he yelled for the court magician. Once arrived, the son continuously begged the magician to heal me, to save me. The magician explained that the spell used was too powerful to allow anything to heal me at the present. He then also chided the young ruler on the perils of using magic out of anger and pain and the damage it could cause. He warned that because of this damage not only might I never fully recover my former self, but I may never forgive him for exacting such pain on me – his best friend and his betrothed. The last bit that I recall as actual dream was the young man crying, apologizing in the most animated language for his betrayal and professing his true affection for me. The magician then sent him out of the room so I could be tended to, and at that point I was awake yet still continuing the story in my head.
I have never, ever experienced such a physical, visceral reaction to a dream... and damn was it terrifying and exhilarating. What can I say? I'm a dream masochist.
*Yes, recently I have needed to designate that when facing a certain direction while in bed, no serious life thoughts are allowed. This has become slightly successful and led to marginally better sleep patterns. Sometimes. Ish.