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Rated: E · Short Story · Psychology · #2190937
A dream of a dream journey to battle a nightmare.
It is the night of a new moon as I walk down the middle of what appears to be a neighborhood road, houses on both sides of me. The neighborhood seems out of place. At each end of this road is nothing but desolate land with stunted mesquite trees, scrub brush, and clumps of dead grass scattered here and there for as far as the eye can see. A neighborhood in the middle of nowhere is not the only anomaly in this scene, however. The immaculately kept, verdant green lawns and gardens surrounding each house are in direct contrast with the upkeep of the structures themselves. The houses look sad and neglected with paint peeling from the wood siding, roofs sagging, and an eerie darkness inside each house. If not for the lawns, I would believe that this neighborhood had been abandoned, a ghost town of sorts.
I continue my walk until I am about midway down the road. I have come to a house with a light on inside. Until this moment, it was as if the wind had been holding its breath, and now, a warm breeze stirs my hair and clothing. Without knowing how I know, I realize I am to go inside. This house, of all houses in this strange neighborhood, is familiar to me. It is as if the house belongs to me - or I to it. This is the house in my dreams; the one that is always given to me, or that I already own. I wonder if this too is a dream. It is so surreal that I could easily believe it to be one, maybe it is. I approach the house by way of the sidewalk, the scent of jasmine mingled with lavender and rosemary assaults my senses.
I reach the porch and climb the steps, unconsciously pulling out a ring of keys and sorting through them until I am satisfied with one. I put it in the keyhole and turn the lock. It works and the house opens itself to me. Entering, I notice the house is at once both familiar and strange; I know this place yet I do not. This house holds the memories of all my ancestors and my own past as well. There are photographs of those who came before me on the walls, quilts and keepsakes and treasures from the countless lives of those strong women whose traits I blessedly inherited, and trinkets full of my own cherished memories. It is a safe haven from the evils of the world outside the protected perimeters of its existence. These things, I also know without knowing how I know.
After spending in indeterminable amount of time inside, I feel the need to continue my journey. There is something I must do before I can return to this island of peace in the middle of the chaos of the world. I reverently lock up and return to the darkened road. It is only then that I notice the shifting shadowy beings a little behind and to the right of me. They appear as stealthy black stains on the tar and asphalt road; keeping their distance, never gaining ground nor falling behind. I have read of these, studied them, in fact. If I were any one else, I would fear them. These shadows do not rate my fear though – that is reserved for something more ancient, more evil. My guide can easily deal with shadows on the road behind me. I am on my way to see the Keeper of the Gates.
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