(This is the second of a two-part story detailing a rather odd dream I had two nights ago. If you have not yet read part I, which precedes this post, dip below this entry and read the background of where part II picks up!)
Staring back at me were the two escapees whose faces were printed on the other side of the door. My mind kept repeating those words printed in bold under their pictures: DANGEROUS. DO NOT TRY TO APPREHEND. CONTACT AUTHORITIES IMMEDIATELY.
I tried to remain calm, even offering them a nervous smile. They returned with their own devilish grins, and I quickly turned my head to look down the hallway to call for help.
Still empty. Still sterile.
I turned back to the escapees and invited them inside (thoughts of the Dead’s “Dire Wolf” come to mind here), but they refused. What followed was a tense, nervous showdown of stares, until I finally broke free and made a mad dash down the empty hallway, screaming for help. I banged on doors locked shut, strained a wide-eyed glare through windows with drawn curtains, just looking for some movement, some activity.
Suddenly a door opened, and two individuals, a very strong-looking man and an older woman, appeared in white. He grabbed me, neutralized me, as she spoke calmly to me.
I realized then that I was considered a patient at this hospital, this mental institution. I started screaming that they had it all wrong. I told them about the tunnels, the waters and the flood. I told them about the two escapees and that they were just on the other side of the door, and all we needed to do was go get them and then everybody would be safe.
The strong man and patient woman placated me by walking me to the door, where, of course, there was no escapees, there was no water, there was nothing that I had described. They looked at me satisfactorily, as if they knew all along what they would (not) find, and the strong man proceeded to “guide” me to the room just outside the door through which I first entered.
He strapped me to the bed as she smiled, and both told me it was all going to be okay. Once I was strapped in, she pulled out a long needle, did a quick squirt to make sure there were no clogs, and walked toward me, grinning.
“This will make everything all better,” she said.
I screamed, and immediately I awake, bolting upright in my bed, sweating. Before I realize where I am or what is happening, I say, “I have to get out of this room NOW.”
I look around nervously, first left, then right. My wife is tending to our 3-year-old in his bedroom as he wakes. The girls are still asleep in their own bedroom. Slowly I begin to realize that the whole event has been a bad dream, but the unsettled feeling remains that something great has happened in this world, while I slept, and I am nervous to get out of bed and proceed through my morning routine like nothing has ever happened. I am aware of something important, I am absolutely sure of it, and I feel like, if I don’t use this information and take it seriously, I will be in dire danger.
I get out of bed and walk cautiously out of my room, down the hallway, and to the lower floor. I search each room, check each door; nothing is out of the ordinary.
Still, I know that something is different.
I try to shake it off. Fix myself a cup of coffee. Sit down at our stone dining room table. Open my daybook to the next blank page to begin my morning pages.
That’s when I see the entry. My words. Scribbled desperately, repeatedly across the page in black ink:
DANGEROUS. DO NOT TRY TO APPREHEND. DO NOT CONTACT AUTHORITIES. IMMEDIATELY.
I close my daybook. Shut my eyes. Shudder at the discovery.
Upstairs, my 3-year-old jumps off his bed, lands squarely on his Bob the Builder mat, and begins his hop, skip, jump along the hallway, down the stairs, to the dining room.
“Good morning, daddy,” he says.
I clutch my daybook, smile and look at my son. “Good morning, B!”
My wife follows him down the stairs. “Coffee?” she asks.
“Of course,” I respond. Normalcy fights my revelation to begin the day as it always does. Yet I know that something happened last night. Something came out of my dreams and found its way into my daybook.
My muse is back.
Am I scared? Not anymore. There’s such a shift from teaching to writing that, at times, the transition is like two fronts meeting each other, colliding into one colossal storm. The other day, my older daughter, now 12, was asking me why some storms are more intense than others. I told her that when a front passes through, it’s like a bully has come into town. If it goes uncontested, it does its typical bully-type damage and then goes on its way. However, if there’s another bully in town to contest the bully-visitor, then there’s going to be a monumental clash, with hail, high winds, downed trees.
That clash happened for me the other night. The two fronts met–teaching and writing, and writing is the new bully in town.
I’ll clean this up and make it into its own story and see what I can do with it. I welcome back my muse, and this time, I hope it stays in town for good.