The Last Dream Before Waking, Part II1
You are walking down a long dimly lit hallway with black-slatted doors on both sides. You don’t know exactly what the doors conceal, but you have the sense that whatever it is wouldn’t be interesting enough to bother opening them.
You’ve been here, walking, for a very long time, but you do not pause to think about it. You do not turn to see the endless hallway falling away behind you.
As you continue onward, the plush velvet of the carpet begins to grow and change…the short twisted fibers stretching skyward, turning to blades of grass. You are in a manicured garden surrounded by a tall dense hedge, purple shadows crossing winding stone paths punctuated by pools of close-clipped green encircling classical white marble statues posed atop pillars capped with scrolled ionic capitals.
A door in the sky opens and a winding wrought iron staircase descends, but you look past it, fascinated by an ant traversing the length of Venus’s forearm.
You can feel the cool Carrara beneath your feet, all six of them. You circle around and around at the elbow, seeking something but not knowing what, driven by some intractable instinct to continue forward. Occasionally you slip back down the smooth marble surface, polished to glass by the artist known as time. Undeterred, you continue your climb. Climbing up, sliding down. Climbing up, sliding down. This is how it is. This is how it always has been. This is how it always will be.
Your sheer white nightshirt trailing behind you, you follow a winding path through a dark forest, blanketed in silence, shrouded in violet shadows, unable to see the sky. There is no sound, not even that of your breathing. You don’t know where you’re going, but you are not lost. At first the walk is easy but as you progress the brush becomes thicker and you struggle to navigate, clumsily clambering over fallen trees and through tangled branches which lash your arms and claw your face.
You are searching for something you’ve forgotten in a room with heavy velvet drapes covering the walls on all sides; no door is visible. You sit down on the floor in frustration and notice an ant crawling across a saucer, circling the rim. Someone calls your name and you turn to see a distant mountain, the peak obscured by lavender smoked clouds.
You are flying across a field of wildflowers, patches of amethyst scattered across a velvet eiderdown of crisp spring green. Strange music rings in your ears, and when you look for its source you find that it is coming from a window behind black-slatted shutters.
You rise from the window seat overlooking the garden and walk through sheer white curtains onto a cracked and heaving Carrara marble balcony; twisted branches growing through gaping crevices. The wrought iron railing is rusted and decayed, the scrolled ironwork posts bent and listing. You open your hand to see your palm crawling with ants. Somewhere behind you something shatters.
You walk to an opening where the railing has fallen away completely, stepping off the edge of the mountain peak into the lavender velvet sky.