Aphotic Dream

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It’s been a little while since I’ve posted, because I simply haven’t had the mindset to undertake writing in any formats of late. After the disappointment of last week, I’m still in a recovery phase, but the worst has past and thanks to some very supportive, very inspiring friends, I think I’m about back on my feet and ready to mount the creative horse once again. As soon as I get back to it, I’m sure my disposition towards the craft will revert to its regular pace, and I can at least write something, even if it is doomed to deletion. Isn’t that what every writer does anyway?

The reason I have chosen now to fill the void of empty blog pages, is not to work through writing issues again. Ultimately, that’s not what this space is for; I realise that most people, if any, don’t return here to see me have a tantrum about aspects of my work, and I do like to be entertaining. I came to this space to unfold the Stygian stories of last night’s rather vivid dream. Despite the murky creative undertones of my mind, I have been feeling positive lately, so I think my subconscious is forcing me to analyze the darker feelings of unworthiness my lack of writings have helped to supervise.

In a temple buried beneath the surface of a cliff-face, someone is screaming to be found. Unable to listen I answer their cries for help, but the passages are lined with grime and the rumbles of horrible things that I can’t see. Only a few candles light the way between the shadows and the stillness, and I slowly edge my way through crumbling hallways, and past windows that look out onto stone. Finally, I reach a large hole at the centre of the building, which if any of my hypothetical audience have played, reminded me of the impossible staircase reminiscent, nightmare prison in Silent Hill 2. The ambiance was a little more oriental, but the dynamic was the same – either I jump or I never know. When I dared jump, I heard someone start to laugh, and the click of a lever being pulled down. I landed in a swell of running water, in a room completely sealed by brick walls, and I was suddenly aware of how much danger I was in when the ceiling started to close over the aforementioned hole from which I had fallen.

Water is rising and the world is closing off, and that to my mind is hellish enough, but once the fluid has reached a certain point, I notice things crawling on the expanding surface of the ceiling; creatures suckered to the underbelly with octopi tentacles, and human bodies, but with featureless faces. I’m drawing closer to them as the cavern fills with water, but they don’t actually strike until they too are submerged. The chase ensues. I desperately swim for the narrowing gap, and they swarm like angry wasps around my being, lashing at me with their gelatin appendages, and despite having no mouths, screeching at me. Fortunately, I make it to the opening in just enough time to haul myself onto the ceiling, and the pool of water is shut off.

Now I am on the floor of a large, once well decorated space. There are lines of dusty jewels covering the walls and domed ceiling, and one shackled door on every wall. The doors open in unison, and at last people, real people, begin to filter into the space, and they’re people I know both from my real world and my fictional work. Most notably, they are all wearing the robes of a Buddhist monk; every single individual in maroon and saffron, gathering around a table at the centre of the room. They haven’t noticed me dripping wet at the corner of the space, but I lock onto two faces in particular; Andreas and Aliza. Despite having never met, as far as I am aware, outside of my dream-scape, they are walking together, heads low and hands linked. Steadily, I make my way over.

The truth of the room is quite disturbing. The human mind is capable of forming such grotesque concepts in dreams, and yet displays them to us like they’re as everyday as making toast. This aspect is what most terrified me about the nightmare; it seems that all my friends and family, and even characters I had made up, the people I loved and always wished to protect, had donned sacred religious robes and joined together in this Lovecraft inspired place to commit a suicide ritual. Andreas, whose wonder and fascination for the world often deeply moves me, was the person who explained this, and at first I refused to believe him. Next to him, Aliza, someone of great heart and fortitude, continued by informing me that the world was void of growth anyway, and so what was the point. Her statement is what leads me to believe the terrible visions are linked to my own lack of growth and creativity.

The table fell away to reveal another hole, smaller this time, and more orderly in shape and definition; it lead to nothing though; it was just a hollow pit in which I instinctively knew nothing could form, or develop, or create, or feel. Andreas told me I should join them, but I couldn’t. For the past week I have listened friends emboldening me with statements about not giving-up, and yet here I was, in a deathly, decaying temple, watching as they prepared to throw themselves into nothing. And they they did, one by one, jump down into the pit. Worse was that I didn’t cry out, or try to stop them because I didn’t want them to be hurt; I maintained my grip on Andreas and begged him not to leave me alone in this desperate situation, in a horrible, deceptive cavern form which I couldn’t see an exit. Selfishness kept me fighting for his life, not love or friendship.

Torture doesn’t describe it. It stirred the foundations of my sanity, and when I awoke, I couldn’t move. I wanted to cry, but I didn’t. Instead I looked over the faces I had seen in the crowd; my sweet Anna, my warm house-mates, characters inspired by the same mind as had given me this nightmare, old friends, and people I had only just begun to understand, and I felt guilty for not wanting to save them for any other reason than to keep myself safe. Then I looked a little deeper. All those faces, Andreas and Aliza most of all, have gone from low mindsets about the future to the attainment of very high aspirations. Many are seeking to become teachers and reaching out to formulate businesses; others I know are singers at prestigious events, my sister has recently been given a promotion, and my characters have always  fought hard in their endeavors; and yet I’ve been feeling lately like the journey to achieve my desires has barely left the ground. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I perhaps feel alone in my pursuit, while my loved ones continue forward. I’m not of course, and they have stood by me without fault, but dreams do drag up the parts of us we lock away even from ourselves.

I suppose I have been shown the alternative to their hard-work. If they had jumped off into the limbo in which I feel I now stand then they wouldn’t be anywhere either. Also, most of them are still working, much like myself, towards their goals. Despite its gray aesthetic, this nightmare is starting to have real, hopeful implications about what I should do next. I told Andreas, dream Andreas that is, that I couldn’t jump in with him. True I’m shambling around in dark corners, but I’m not a part of that void, I do possess the ability to create, and therefore I will keep trying.

Happy ending.

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