User:Leasara/The Dream Dreams the Dreamer
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The Dream Dreams the Dreamer
I knew I was dreaming by the way the road I was on stretched to an infinite horizon. The sky was dark, black with a delicate violet hue where it touched the ground, and it held no stars. In fact, I couldn't identify any source of light for the perpetual twilight I found myself in. It might have been the sand, for this path ran through either a desert or a beach, that cast the strange glow into the atmosphere, but having nothing other than speculation to base the argument, I decided to be happy enough that there was light on this road, in this otherwise featureless arena. The path I was on was made from the same stuff as the sand, and could only be differentiated from the rest of the sandy expanse by it's innate hardness as opposed to the fluidity of the fine granules that surrounded it. Since I was already on the road, I began to walk.
As I walked, I became aware of an intense stillness. Either there was no air, else the air moved with me, for nothing I could do would allow me to feel it's touch. No breeze upon my cheek as I walked, nor scent in my nostrils as I inhaled. Still, I did breath easily enough, and the sound of my footfalls was transmitted to my ear through some medium, though no other sounds pervaded this ethereal space. As I concentrated on the stillness, I could feel an energy behind it. As if the world was holding it's breath for some event, anticipating it's beginning. I paused my ambling to see if I could catch a hint of the secret.
Casting my gaze about me, I sought clues to the nature of this immanent event. After searching for some moments, I found that the path had diverged into three separate routes, though I was certain the fork hadn't been there before, and I knew I hadn't moved from the time I started my search. I was standing, pondering this sudden development, when the air beside the left route began to boil. From this atmospheric disturbance, a road sign appeared bearing an image of a Greek Tragedy mask, it's face twisted in some agony. I shifted my vision to my right and found a similar sign had appeared to the right side of the right route. This had on it an image of a Greek Comedy mask, it's eyes glowing with an unseen joy or pleasure. On the center path, no sign had appeared. This gained my curiosity, so I continued my journey without changing directions. No sooner had I set foot on the center path than the energy behind the stillness felt as though it had heaved a sigh of relief and the other two paths passed from my awareness.
My options having narrowed to forward, backward, or out into the wilderness, I made my choice and proceeded. I had barely made three strides when I was presented with another choice of only two paths forming a "Y" in front of me. This time the sign on the left displayed a thought bubble, while on the right was an image of a concrete block. I thought for a moment, and for a moment more, then took the path on the left. After a step or two the road to the right had disappeared, I looked behind me, and in spite of my turning to the left, the road was as straight as it had ever been. I had come to expect some strangeness in this dream, so when I turned back to the path I had chosen, I was only mildly startled to see I was standing at a fountain in a park.
The fountain was a marvelous multitiered affair, carved in a white stone with an iridescent sheen, depicting scenes from different mythologies. From my limited studies I was able to identify visions from Egyptian, Greek, Germanic, Norse, and Celtic mythology, but there were others I couldn't identify that gave the impression of being Oriental, and Native American in origin. I wanted to sit and study this strange artifact, but the energy made it clear to me that my journey was not over. Inspecting my surroundings further, the variation of the foliage of this park made me wonder what hand had planted them. There were more trees than I could count, and no two appeared to be the same species. In fact, none of the bushes or flowers were duplicated either, but their locations and arrangement was so perfectly planned and considered that the effect was stunning. Walking around the fountain I counted six paths leaving the fountain, each with their own sign. Weather one of them was the one I had arrived on or not, I was uncertain. The first five signs were numbered: Zero, Two, Four, Six, Eight, The sixth sign had a greater than sign on it. I began to wonder at the meaning of the signs, then I began to wonder if this entity I was understanding as energy might be blocking my comprehension of the signs so far. Shortly after my thoughts turned to the energy, I had an inexplicable feeling compelling me to move on. Spurred into action, I made one more circuit around the fountain. The Zero path was paved with a ruddy brown clay, the Two path with stone, the Four path with concrete, the Six path with grass, the Eight with cobble stone, and the other with something resembling black glass. As I was barefoot, I decided the grass looked the most inviting, and made my way onto the lawn-paved road.
There was a pang of regret at leaving the fountain, knowing it would disappear behind me, but it made my companion happy, which let me relax to some degree. I stretched my arms behind me to exercise my shoulders a bit, as they had begun to ache, then plodded on down the path before me. Before I had traveled far, the path split into three again. To my left was a sign with a stylized foot emblazoned upon it. The sign ahead held a depiction of a hand, and on the right, a wing. I could find no rational reason to chose one path over another. I decided that having gone ahead once and left once, I would go right now. Growing weary of these nonsensical decisions, I resolved to end them as quickly as I could and ran down the Wing path. Arriving at the next fork, I examined the signs for a moment, scales or water, and hair or grass. I bolted down the path of hair and presently found myself at the fountain I thought I had lost.
The numbered paths had were gone, replaced with a much larger variety of walkways. Thankfully there was now a dipper on the edge of the fountain, and tasting the water, I found it sweet. Having had my fill, I looked again to the signs on the paths circling the fountain. These were all stylized versions of animals. Going around once again, it dawned on me that these were all mammals. Remembering my fondness for horses, I committed myself to that route. The next fork caught me in the middle of my second stride, and I thought my companion was beginning to share my desire for haste. This was a simple choice between the number Two or One. Two being more than one, I took a step and was at another three-way split. On the right was a horse again, and on the left, a symbol recognized by anyone who has ever used a public restroom as representing a woman. Once again, the center path had no sign, so it was the one I took. I found myself at the familiar fountain almost as soon as I had made up my mind.
I studied the signs again, each resembling an animal again. I began to trace the circle again with my steps, marking off each sign in turn. Goat, Deer, Antelope. My feet stopped themselves. This sign appeared to be the face of a doe, but with a single horn rising from the center of her forehead. I could feel the burbling joy of my companion as I walked through the gate with the sign of a unicorn. A cacophony erupted from the silence resolving itself to the euphony of a cheering crowd of unimaginable size.
I sat, starting at the angry little box. I knew it's lights and sounds held meaning, something important, I just needed time to figure it out. Time? Oh no. It was a quarter after nine, and my lecture started at ten. Dr. Jones would kill me if I was late again. I hopped out of bed and found I was still dressed. Grabbing my bag I double checked to make sure the artifact was back in it's place. It wasn't. I gave my room a quick scan and found it under the bed. Retrieving it, I wondered again how it had found it's way into my bag instead of it's replica, but once it was back in the materials room, everything would be fine. I just hoped no one had noticed it was gone. Rushing down the hall, I jumped over the first stair and glided to the landing, turned and repeated the maneuver.
"Shannon? What have I told you about gliding in the house?"
"I know, mom, but I'm late!" I rounded the corner and headed for the front door.
"Come get your toast at least. I've already made it."
Spinning around, I almost tripped over my own tail and made for the kitchen. "Thanks, mom, but I'm still moving into the dorms next semester."
"Look at your feathers! What happened? And your hooves are all scuffed! Are you alright?"
I swallowed the bite I was working on. "I'm fine, this is how I like to wear them, and no one polishes their hooves in college. I really gotta go." I touched my horn to hers, ran out the back door and leapt into the air, beating my wings to gain altitude as quick as I could.