I’ve been convalescing from a bit of sickness this week, so I’ve been catching up on my reading and thinking of new ways to horrify and browbeat ya’ll on my return. In lieu of more alchemical ranting right away, I thought I’d share a dream. I notice Tim gets a lot of mileage out of this, but personally I don’t have a lot of dreams I find significant. But since Tim is talking about dreams and monsters, I thought I’d recall a dream about monsters. I’ve been wanting to talk about it for a few years now.
The city is empty. I know that others are alive but I haven’t seen one in a long time. It’s night time and everything has a thin dusting of snow over it. It’s so painfully silent. There are no lights.
The beasts have taken everyone. Just taken them. I have no real fear they will come for me right now, but I know they will, and soon. I feel it’s important to be as quiet as possible.
I know what they look like, because I’ve watched them take people in front of me. There is no fighting them. It cannot be done. You simply die horribly. Taken and torn apart for no reason. One at a time, two, a hundred, a million. The whole world. Gone. I’m one of the last.
I think I’m looking for somewhere to sleep. I know they’ll find me in the morning, but I’m too cold to stay outside. There is this strange peaceful futility in all of this. It’s all useless, but the body wants to sleep. The body wants to live. I think I want to sleep peacefully one more time, because I know the end will be terrible. I think that I also want to be able to fight, even if it is useless, I want to be able to fight them. I am too tired to fight right now.
I round a corner and there she is. I feel bad now that I don’t remember what she looked like. White. Brown hair, maybe. My age. Nothing else has stayed with me.
She is surprised, as I am. Neither of us expected to see another human being again. I see her tracks in the snow. Alone.
She is kneeling over a bag full of supplies. Food. Some clothes. A blanket. She’s looking for somewhere to sleep too. We’re both afraid to break anything. Too much noise. Mustn’t make too much noise. So we go together to check more doors.
We find a place. Bare walls, bare floors. No bodies. No bodies anywhere. It’s like we’re squatting. We find a warm place to sit, with some blankets.
We talk. Not really about ourselves. It seems not to matter much. Just things. We’re both so scared and so tired. We’re both thinking about what happens in the morning when they find us. It’s not that far away. Too tired, too scared to sleep. So we talk.
I realize that I love her. I don’t want her to suffer that way. I could not bear to see her die like that. I think I’m the one who suggests another way out.
One of us, I don’t remember who, mentions the alcohol and the pills. Maybe we had them, maybe we found them in the house. In any case, we have them.
It’s so confusing and painful . She doesn’t want to die alone. She wants to know I will go with her. I love her. I will step into the dark with her if she will have me. There is no one else. We are alone. Together.
Time passes. I’m pleading with her. Please. There isn’t much time. They’ll be here soon. We’re crying. There’s no time to say anything. There’s no time to say what she means to me. Please. Please let’s just do it. Let’s go. No more pain. No more fear. No more watching the ones you love die. Cheat them of this one thing. They’ve taken everything else from us.
And we do. We take the pills. We drink. We hold each other and begin to sleep. There is no more fear. Please. Please sleep now. No more fear. No more pain. She closes her eyes, and she is sleeping now. I am so close behind her I can barely move. It’s almost over.
And then it happens. Something changes in me. I crawl to my knees. She has fallen away from me. I make myself vomit. I make the alcohol and the pills come out again. I feel some strength come back to me.
I’ve betrayed her. I know I have. It’s something I’ll bear. She won’t know any more pain. She will not suffer the way I am about to. The way I am suffering now. Wracked by guilt and loss, and soon to die horribly anyway.
I cannot surrender. I will not. I will not pass quietly. Even if it rend me from everything I love in the world I will not surrender to them. Even to die in shame and grief I will not surrender my life to them. I have abandoned her, to fight them instead. I feel I have made the choice that is true to myself. The right choice. But at the same time I know I should have gone with her. That I have done something horrible and irrevocable. It feels I have broken something inside myself.
and the sun is rising. And she is sleeping. And I am waiting still.
I woke from this dream to the most profound sorrow I can remember. And that sorrow has stayed with me ever since.