I’ve been dreaming the same dream, twice. Which, mind you, is not likely a Randolph Carter-Dreamworld thing, but just the astounding unoriginality of my usually quickly forgotten dreaming.
The first time it was this:
Some eastern land, a fertile valley, a track, a road, in a land plagued by holy men. A young man goes along the track, a foolish young man because he is the real thing — a buddha or a zen saint or something else, I don’t know; the real holy thing when the others just think they are — and passing by he sees a stack of papers by the roadside, vague papers so very obviously important and unique that it is a deliberate act of chaos as he gleefully scatters them and goes on without stopping; and I feel dread for consequences though he doesn’t.
Which is as much as I remember of it, or remembered in the second dream when I was fairly certain I had dreamed that rougher sketch of it the night before.
Probably between the dream of watching Game of Thrones season 2 and the dream of being thwarted by the camera button of my phone. (“Mr. Sony-Ericsson I like your phone but the camera button, I have unpleasant dreams of being thwarted by the camera button. It is not entirely successful.”)
(Usually I forget everything I dream as soon as I wake up; sometimes when I dream I’m fairly sure I’m returning to a dream I’ve seen before. Which feels better than a rerun should. When I was a child, I had a nightmare that recurred for a “long time” and “fairly often” — that’s as accurate as a child can remember. The thing is, it was about some scare-chord creeping doom, about wandering in a maze and hoping one would not come face-to-face with the doom; and it drives me up the wall I can’t remember anything more of it.)
(Then again, likely as not it would be banana pastries all the way down! or something else not, in retrospect, very scary at all.)
The second time the dream began a minute before the first scene, and went on for a second beyond it.
It was a downhill stretch of the same road, going down over the lip of the valley. The same true vague holy man in a land plagued by vague holy men was there. This time I had narration, or maybe the whispers of others on the same road.
Holy men come and go (the narration by the common-knowledge They says) but there is one god-man more powerful than many even as the world has less gods in it; even as the world moves on (as in Stephen King) there is one claimant with powers greater, and graces lesser, than any of those before: not our young man a-travelling but a figure spoken of with whispers, and recruited for in a land which apparently is Japan, not this place.
He this giant is spoken of, in North Korean or Aum-Shinrikyo-an terms, as one with followers who are saints and guerillas, ten thousand armed men who have given their former lives away, and ten thousand women who are the same and were actual former photography models also, you wouldn’t believe how good those women look and they still follow this Red King when they could be photography models in Vogue or something they’re that good.
(Look — I’m just telling what I dreamed.)
And then our young man, later, getting off the track — a railroad track, a valley station? A village, in what feels more and more like a China of long ago — here he has his one shocking moment: scattering that pile of papers — documents, with photographs and forms and more, unique and important for those for whom this holy man with twice ten thousand followers is important; left there on the street-side, almost a shrine, or something that an agent has momentarily put down; some arrangement that feels right being there on the street-side, for who would even think of disturbing that thick pile of papers — but our holy fool doesn’t care: a sweep of his arm and they are scattered, and somehow it is clear this cannot be undone.
And as he leaps over some obstacle towards the green roadside, a nicely melodramatic narrator comes in to explain why he is the true and really important holy man: “As he leaps, a single atom turns sideways: one atom, and that is enough to doom all the world!”
— and that too ties into something, some quantum apocalypse or the other, but whether it is another dream or something my sleeping brain painted as a backdrop or a nice endpoint, I can’t say. I woke up soon after.
Honestly, usually I forget all that I dream. Better that, and this, than the dreams of a Lovecraft:
I leaped up at once & raced madly out of that car & away across endless leagues of plateau till exhaustion waked me — doing this not because the conductor had dropped on all fours, but because the face of the motorman was a mere white cone tapering to one blood-red tentacle.