VisDare – A prologue of sorts

My story began like how the other stories began: with a dream; a singular dream that repeated itself night after night after night. Everything in it remained the same—from the tiniest of details to the words that were said. Nothing changed. But, like all dreams, I understood none of what was happening…well, until the dream seeped into reality, of course.

The dream always took place inside a small dining room. A brass chandelier that seemed to hang from nothing but air brightly lighted the place.  The walls were adorned with paintings of old men and women in fancy, old-fashioned clothing. On the far side of the room was a glass door that led to a balcony where the sun seemed to always shine.  In the heart of the room stood a circular table covered with a scarlet tablecloth. Seated around the table were the Elders. I didn’t know how I knew what to call them. I just did. Dreams work like that.

They were the rulers of creation. There was the elder of the green who spoke the language of all that grows from the earth. There was the elder of the beasts who roamed the heavens. Standing on top of the table, in the form of a sheep, was the elder of all creatures who walked on four legs. They were all there; scattered in my dreams. Their faces constantly shifted. I knew only those who belonged in their dominion would be able to see their true face.

In my dreams, I was rooted in my place by fear. Fear that the elders would notice me and eat me. I didn’t know why I thought they’d do that. I just did. But there was this one elder, the elder of the beasts called men, who seemed to know I was there but settled on not informing the others. I watched him and he watched me. In my dreams, this elder always had a forlorn look in his face.

The elder of men opened his lips to utter something but he spoke with the language of the beginning and to me they sounded like the beating of my heart, the sound of blood coursing through my veins, the sound of your last breath. Standing behind him was a young man whose face I couldn’t make out. I decided to hazard a step but each time I do I’d always wake up.