We are here in what appears to be a box car, although I can't be sure. The others just tell me it is a box car. There is a kitchen and two levels in this box car. There are no bathrooms however. We have to go to the forest to do that. I'm really not sure how all of us manage to live in this boxcar. Come to think about it, I'm not even sure how many of us there are. I can't even wager a guess. Sure I see many people come and go from the upper level, but I've not been up there myself. I believe that is where the elders live, although I am told there are no elders, that we are all the same.
I can't remember anymore why we have come here. Surely this is a sign of madness, as we arrived only a few days ago. I ask the others. Many have seem to have forgotten, and the ones who haven't only say, "it was time to come." I simply don't understand, but I'm told that I do not need to understand.
I often talk with Ben and Bob. They seem to be my only friends. However, they themselves seem to have many other friends. Maybe they are friends with the elders, oh sorry, the upstairs people. Bob, or was it Ben, I've never bothered to figure it out, is a very large man. Okay, he's fat. And Ben, or maybe Bob, is a very slender man. We talk for many hours... actually we've only talked once, but those many hours have lasted until now.
"It's time to go, it's no longer safe here," cries one of the others. It seems very odd, for she is just sitting there. She has not left the box car, nor has she even moved from that old chair ever since we arrived here. Yet now she hallers like this, and she only does it once. I would question her, but nobody else does. We all just get up and leave. We start walking away from the box car. Since nobody else is looking back, I dare not look myself.
Well, I can't manage not to look back. I just can't handle not knowing what is going to happen to the boxcar. Odd, it's still there. It's in perfect shape, totally unmolested. I keep looking back while we walk straight from it, nothing wrong with it. I don't understand why we left, or at least why we left so quickly.
Three of us, Tom, Joe, and I head up into the woods on our own. We are getting awefully bored with this travel. I'm not sure what we are doing in the forest though, as it only seems to be hindering our voyage. So we decide to head back to the group.
What? They all have dune buggies, jeeps and cars, and are heading away from us. Directly away from us. "If we head that direction, we can head them off and get on with them," Joe points in a direction perpendicular to the travel path. I haven't understood anything yet, so I oblige and run in that direction.
Within minutes I find myself running beside a buggy. They don't slow down, but I manage to jump in and we continue on our way. It's really odd, I don't remember catching up to the cars It shouldn't have been possible, yet we did.
Okay, I'm in a van now. I must have switched vehicles sometime ago. Maybe somebody knocked me out and put me into this van. I'm not even sure where this van came from, but I definitely know where it's going. It's headed straight for the store on the corner. It's a vacant sausage store; actually, the whole town seems empty. Sure enough, we crash right into the store. The doors get stuck against the building, but with a little bit of effort we crawl through the driver's side window. We all walk over to another car on the street and hop in. The keys are there waiting for us, and Max starts the engine. We take off again following the group.
"Didn't that seem at all strange?" I ask the others in the car. They all give me a quick glance but say nothing.
Damn, I'm tired. I'm going to sleep.
I awake inside... surprise, the same car, or at least it seems to be the same car. All the others have maintained the same composure as before. We are no longer near any forest, or any town. We are out in the middle of nowhere; it's a grassy plain. We are fast approaching a large house in the distance. I look all around, but for endless kilometers I see only grassland. No hills, no rivers, not a single living creature other than ourselves. Hmm, we're at the house. That was quick, maybe time is slowing down for me, or would that be speeding up?
I no longer question anything that is happening. I simply follow the others. We all exit the car, and all the others leave their cars, trucks, and vans. She, the same 'she' from the chair in the boxcar, pulls out a key and inserts it into the lock on the front door. She turns the key and opens the door, then closes the door, locks it, and throws away the key. I shake my head quickly. Did I miss something? Ah! We're all in the house. It's a fairly large house, enough to comfortably house all of us; however many that is. The stocks of food are plentiful.
I have the opportunity to talk to Ben and Bob again, who I swear have switched figures since we last spoke. They say they know what is going on, and that in due time I'll figure it out for myself. I am now off to my bedroom; I didn't get a chance to eat, or did I? I'm not sure I should question it. The stairs to my room seem to go on forever. I start ascending them one by one. I reach the second floor, and normally enough it looks like the first. There is a mirror on the wall. I look in the mirror and see a great ocean behind me. I turn about and look out the window. Sure enough, there is a very large ocean where once there was only grassland. We appear to be at the bottom of a hill, yet still a fair distance from this ocean.
I hear, and see, something down the hallway. I go to investigate. It's nothing. Possibly just a few ghosts haunting the place. That's all right, I'm ready to accept this by now. So tired, but now it's morning again. I might as well head down the stairs to eat. Maybe I'll get there by Christmas, if we even have that anymore.
I reach the bottom of the stairs. There are two gentlemen I do not know and Bob and Ben are also there. There is only silence. They are all looking at each other. I step in between them, but they do not change their gaze. Bob and Ben look many years older than when we last spoke, and again their figures have reversed; I'm positive now. Then Bob and Ben open the front door and leave. The door is left open and I watch as they walk off into the distance. Still I can't see or hear anything else outside, not a single bird or bug. Yet it seems as though there should be plenty of life in such a luxurious green field.
Hey, there's breakfast on the table. I go and eat a very wonderful breakfast. There are eggs, so delicately fried in butter yet cooked all the way through, just the way I like them. I eat about ten eggs. Now I notice myself eating the bacon and toast; about fifteen slices of bacon and five pieces of toast, or is that pieces of bacon and slices of toast. It doesn't matter, because this orange juice sure tastes good. I notice I'm eating all by myself. The kitchen is perfectly clean and there is nobody around. I have a wonderful view of the ocean again. It's so nice out there, maybe I should leave. Ah! Suddenly people are all around, looking at me... Okay okay, I won't think about leaving anymore. And as suddenly as they arrived, they disappear.
Maybe this is some sort of cruel joke. "Ha, ha, very funny, I get it, you can stop kidding around now."
Back up those stairs to my bedroom. Maybe I can finally get some sleep. I pass her again, the one with the key, on the stairwell. She is a very beautiful woman, not really a woman, for she is about my age. We stare at each other for days, and I know that because I can see the sun go down a couple times. Mind you I never see it go up. She smiles. I am still very confused. She kisses me and continues down the stairs. On the second floor I look in the mirror again. Nothing has changed, and this now frightens me; for everything seems to always be changing in this world.
Finally I make it to my bedroom. I actually go inside this time. I've been up long enough. I need to sleep now. I lie down in bed, and there she is, lying beside me. I just lie there staring at the ceiling. Finally I look out through the doorway that I left open. I see her there; she looks many years older now. I look beside me, and she's beside me, but a younger her, maybe her daughter. I wish I knew how old I was now. The one beside me runs her fingers through my hair. Slowly I fall asleep.
I awake in the same bed. She is no longer beside me; it's now a single small bed. Off in the corner of the room, she stands over a crib. I walk to the crib. Inside I see her again, a baby version of her. I just shrug my shoulders, and the one standing smiles and says, "don't worry."
I don't know, but I feel this need to leave this place soon. I walk downstairs, and I pass Joe on the stairs. He keeps walking up. I turn to see where he goes. He is staring into the mirror, he looks terribly confused, even moreso than I.
I make it to the bottom of the stairs, and as before, there are two men standing there. Max is also there. He is just staring back at these men. "I'll give you fifty dollars to leave," one of them tells Max. Max seems to accept as he goes to the door and reaches for the knob. The knob disappears; the two men start laughing. Max starts pounding and kicking on the door. The door disappears and a wooden wall is all that remains.
Max leaves; it seems he has given up. He comes back with a small torch, one of those welding kinds. He starts to burn a hole through the wall. Then the wall turns to steel. "Enough!" Max yells and walks over to one of the windows. He slams his hands into the window, shattering it somehow without injuring himself in any way. He jumps out the window and starts running off into the distance. This all seems to be familiar to Bob and Ben. Those two men are still laughing hysterically.
Maybe it's time I leave. There they are all looking at me again. All except her; for she never seems to be a part of these group stares. I don't want to give in this time. I'm leaving, and that's it, it's final! Then more of them start appearing; damn there are a lot of them when needs be. "But, what about Max?" They just keep staring at me. Oh, all right, I won't leave.
I walk to the kitchen table and begin enjoying yet another magnificent breakfast. This time there are wondrous fruit waffles with cream. They are delicious. I can't stop eating them, savouring every bite. I plunge my fork into another waffle and slowly lift the fruit and cream-topped piece to my mouth, followed by a sip of fresh tomato juice, all while overlooking the beautiful sea.
I guess it's time to go back to bed now. I've only done this routine once before but now it seems this is the way it is supposed to be done. I'm curious now as to who the people are who frequent the upper levels of this house. I don't stop at the mirror on the second floor this time. I keep walking up the stairs to the third floor. Another mirror resides in a niche on the third-floor landing. I look in the mirror and see myself. I've aged only a year, as that seems about the time that I've spent here. I mustn't stop!
I keep going up the stairs. On about the seventh flight of stairs there she is again. The younger she, but not the child. She stares at me, but only for a few seconds, then we kiss. This time it lasts for weeks. I close my eyes as we embrace.
When I awake, I am in my bed on the second floor. There is nobody with me. I look around the room. Nope, nothing here. Has she left me this time? I get up, deciding to leave this bedroom. I walk down the flight of stairs expecting to see the two men again. Of course they are there, but now there is nobody else. They appear to be staring at me.
There is a knock on the window. It's Max; he's about thirty years older, but it's definitely Max. He motions for me to come over to the window. I walk over to the window. Maybe he wants to take me with him. I can finally leave this place! Here they are again. I think it's all of them this time. I have a breadth space of about two meters. But they're all looking at me; no, staring directly at me.
Max pounds on the windows. I slide open the window-I never recall there being sliding windows of any kind. "Come on now," Max tells me, "you must leave before it's too late." I look back, and only the two of them are there now. They are laughing at me. So I hop out the window. I don't land on a grassy ground; I stumble onto asphalt. Max is no longer there, and I turn about and the house is nowhere to be seen.
I start walking up a narrow cobblestone path. The ocean is no longer there. The path meanders vaguely upward between two rows of ancient grey buildings. There is a large group of people walking in front of me... no, not walking, but marching. Marching in formation. I'm so happy to finally see real people in this world.
I walk to the front of the group. Hey, it's Ben and Bob!
"Ben, Bob, it's me!" They stare back at me as if they don't know who I am. I plead with them to recognise me. They tell me to go away. The rest of the group does not say a word. They all march off into the distance. I begin to cry and then I fall to the ground. I have fallen on grassy ground. I sit up and see the house down at the bottom of the hill.
In a crying scream I shout, "No!". Max appears before me and says, "That's right, now turn and run." He is no older than when I last saw him. I take his advice and turn and run. I run for a very long time. I eventually pass out due to exhaustion.
I awake on the dock of some large pool area. There are many people around. They are all very joyous and having a great time. Somebody hands me a pair of flippers. I put them on and jump into the water.
"Are they comfortable?" Some guy who looks like Joe is in the water beside me. "I guess so..." I respond timidly. I'm not sure if this could possibly be Joe or not.
"I'm just asking because Tom liked to have a piece of glass in them."
"What!" I quickly pull them off, and sure enough there is a large piece of glass in them. I look at my foot, but it's not bleeding, but it feels like it has been severely cut. I look back at Joe, but he isn't there anymore. I look around this pool-like area. It seems to have shrunk in size. There is a divider on my side. I can't see what is on the other side of it. Across to the other side of the pool the water seems to be circling down some sort of drain.
I swim over to the drain. The force is very strong and I find myself being sucked towards the drain. Then suddenly I'm repelled. I try to swim to the drain, but I find I am being pushed away. I get swirled around some, enough to notice that at the edge of the pool there is a space in the divider.
I swim towards the space. There is a slope leading out of the pool. I start up the slope, then there is a platform, followed by a small pool. Inside that smaller pool are hundreds of snakes. I don't know anymore. I begin to walk towards the snakes, but once more I feel some kind of force pushing me away. Then some guy grabs me and throws me back into the pool.
I look back at where the snakes were. It's directly above the drain. My mother is standing there. All the water in the pool begins to drain. My mother jumps. "No!", I try to scream to her, but it's too late. She disappears into the swirling water.
The water is completely drained and the pool is dry. There is nobody here at all. I walk over to some steps leading out of the pool. Out of the pool. I am actually in the back yard of some lot with a large house. It's not the "house", but it is somebody's house. There is a small picture taped to the wall.
I pick up the picture. I begin the cry loudly. I grow very sad, and continue crying. She's on the picture. She's smiling, and in the bottom right corner there's a single 'X', for a kiss... -----------------------
This actually comes directly (okay, about 70-80%) from a dream I had on the morning of 19950621. I remember it vividly enough to write these words. I'm not sure what they mean, and I've altered them a little to make it more intriguing. I'm actually not willing to, from fear, to allow myself to accept that they mean anything. They seem very disturbing...