A New Dream Was About To Begin…

I was dreaming of many things, some of which were real and some of which weren’t. No – wait – that’s not actually true, none of the things are real. None of them were real, not even to the tiniest degree. None of them real, none of them real. Not even a little bit, not even a little bit. Not even the smallest tiniest bit real. And yet, I wanted to say, and yet… So much was hanging on that ‘and yet…’ So many hopes, so many hopes.


Thinking along these lines, a great sadness overtook me. Thinking along these lines, thinking along these lines. ‘What was I at?’ I asked myself. ‘What on earth was I playing at?’ I find it impossible to come up with any reasonable excuses for myself and this fills me with dismay. Dismay and guilt. To start off with it’s mainly dismay, but then the guilt kicks in. It kicks in and overtakes everything else. Real heavy-duty guilt, mountains and mountains of it – mountain ranges of guilt stretching out into the far distance. Above me a purple, ominous sky. The sun like a giant poached egg hanging above me. Things don’t look right, I say to myself. Things don’t look right at all.


I was rubbing special rejuvenation cream into my skin, hoping thereby to undo the damage that time has inflicted on me. The pitilessly long and oppressively dark epochs that I have been compelled to endure. I had turned into a strange dry, desiccated creature – all folds of leathery skin and rubbery wattles, a creature that was half turkey and half toad. Only I couldn’t hop and I certainly couldn’t fly. I was strapped securely into the resuscitation capsule in any event, and so there was no going anywhere. I had to sit tight and wait for the rejuvenation process to complete, which could take some time.


It wasn’t really a resuscitation capsule of course – that was just in my dream. I was strapped into the dream-capsule, dreaming my head off. My body had wasted away. There had been a malfunction, I recalled painfully. There had been a cataclysmic malfunction; the dream sequence had been aborted and the emergency protocols had been activated. That’s what the flashing retinal display is telling me, anyway. I’m struggling to remember who I was, who I am. I was somebody for sure, but had that just been a dream? ‘I have an identity in the dream’, I told myself. ‘I am a person, I am somebody…’ Outside the Dome, on the very rim of a darkened horizon, I could see the sun struggling to set. There was a glitch in the system and nothing was working properly. Clouds fled across the sky and I couldn’t tell whether time was going forwards or backwards.


The malfunction had probably never happened, it occurred to me. Or rather it had happened, but only in the dream. The dream was that the dream capsule was malfunctioning and we were all struggling desperately to wake up. An alarm was sounding somewhere – impossible to tell if it was near or far off. Most of the crew were unable to wake up. They had left it too late and as a consequence they had forgotten who they were. They had forgotten everything. Or perhaps that too was only in the dream. There is no crew, there never had been a catastrophe. There is no anything, there never had been either. Soon a new dream would start up. Or – failing this – a rerun of the last one.


‘How had I wasted my life so very badly?’ I wondered. ‘Was it some kind of fatal flaw in my character?’ Whatever that means. Some people were friends whilst others had been deadly enemies, I remembered. Our enemies had launched at an all-out surprise attack and our so-called friends had run away in a panic. The Lords of Evil had appeared and they were busy summoning their followers. The situation was hopeless and so the emergency protocols had been triggered. The dream capsule was down to its very last dream and it was recycling it like crazy, trying to stave off the inevitable catastrophic breakdown. Outside the artificial environment of the Dome, reality itself was malfunctioning.


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