Dreamscape

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Dreamscape

Post by Blackrock on Sun Jun 26, 2011 2:43 pm

This is something I've been working on on and off during the past two or so months. It is a story unlike any other I've written in the past. It's a mix of various styles, ideas and motifs, I've picked up from books, songs, movies and even video games. I'd like to say it's a journey of the mind, a trip into the darker recesses of the human consciousness. So far, I've only got the beginning in place, but I have plans to tie it up with a plot of sorts.

I intend to explore various themes and settings, but it's definitely aimed at a mature audience, seeing as I'll describe sexual content as well. However, before I get ahead of myself, I need to know if makes for an interesting (if weird) read. It is definitely something which I don't see every day on forums such as this. I urge anyone who takes the time to go through it, to please post their thoughts. (heck, I'll even bold this part so it draws attention)

Anyhow, I look forward to seeing if this is met with any interest or if it should remain buried and forgotten.


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I walk on a never-ending marble stair, the polished rock reflects my perfect features as I walk. To my right, a river of wine flows down, its deep crimson hues paint the white, spotless stairs the colour of blood. To my left, a river of blood flows down, its deep crimson hues paint the white, spotless stairs the colour of wine. The cold seeps into my body as my naked feet take step after step. There is a sense of panic upon me and I yearn to look back, to look upon the one chasing me. But I cannot.

I feel a million gazes fall upon me, from all directions and angles, apart from the front. But there are no people around me. To the front there is emptiness, a void and that is my place.

The sense of panic and uneasiness increases. My feet grow heavy and my heart pounds from within my chest. My throat is parched and I begin to struggle for air. My nostrils refuse to breathe in, my lungs cry out for oxygen; but there is none. I stumble and I fall. My teeth crack and break as I hit the hard stairs, the taste of blood is on my tongue.

A small trickle of my blood flows from my mouth, onto the stairs. And it paints them in the colour of failure.

With a scream I wake up and gasp for air. I take a few quick, wheezy breaths to steady myself. My head is throbbing, a dull, overwhelming pain, like the beating of a massive drum.

Thump.

Thump.

Thump.

Thump.

Thump.

I open and close my eyes a couple of times, trying to get my bearings. I’m in my bed and I’m sweating, my T-shirt is drenched, my pillow is wet. Darkness is around me, but I refuse to turn on the light, it will make the pain even worse. With my right hand, I begin searching for the bottle of water, while with the left I grab the pills from their familiar location. How many should I take? And what’s the time?

I squint at the clock opposite of me, but it’s too dark to see. I look at the window and its still night outside, it can’t be early morning yet. Too little time has passed since I last took one of these, I consider, as I play with the blister-pack in my hand. The pain won’t go away, I can’t sleep without these. One didn’t do the trick last time, so I’ll take two...no, three. That should do it.

I swallow them and drink thirstily from the bottle. The cold water flows down my throat and it feels amazing, I drink until I can. I can already feel the pain receding, sleep creeping into my mind again. The thirst is almost quenched...almost, just one more drop and I’ll be full. But the water stops flowing. It’s over and I don’t have the strength the go and get more, the dizziness that will overcome me as soon as I get out of bed frightens me. I throw the empty bottle to the side, put the pills in their place and close my eyes. I lie on my stomach and tuck my hand under the pillow.

Like a gentle, soft breeze the coolness washes over me. I feel the pain growing weaker, fainter...my thoughts stray and become bizarre. I begin to lose my sense of time and space; soon I no longer feel anything.

I sleep.


Glimpses


My body sleeps but my mind is wide awake. I find myself in a dark, empty space. I look around, but there is nothing. Not even me.

I take a step with my non-existent foot and find myself moving. As if by itself, my second foot moves as well. I look around once more.

Nothing.

But there is a faint feeling, something is tugging me forward. Urging me to move. I do so and start advancing through the darkness. I walk for an eternity and for a split second. All at once and very slowly at the same time I begin to see images, obscured by something...as if by a fog. Swirling mists of all shapes and colours surround me. Red, black, yellow, blue, green, silver, gold, white, grey, brown and a million others. I can name a few, the others I’ve never seen before.

I continue walking, the feeling inside me growing. I am both everything and nothing; an empty husk and an omnipotent bearer of all. The duality between all and nothing, the void and the light which is human nature is so evident in me. It is both terrifying and exhilarating, both a blessing and a torment. But the yearning for...something continues, urging me on and on.

I look to my left and see faces, some familiar, others twisted and otherworldly – some smiling warmly, others revealing rolls of filed teeth. I reach out and try to touch them, but a feeling deep inside me forbids me from doing so. I pull back my hand at once. To the right, I see cities and villages and worlds and oceans and stars and mountains. I want to go there and experience them, but the same feeling forbids me once more. It is dangerous, I know.

Suddenly the scenery changes. I am no longer a traveller on an empty path, no longer a stranger who peeks into the window of other realities. Now I am in darkness again, but in even rows on both sides I see doors. Just doors, with no frames; doors sticking out from the blackness surrounding me. As far as the eye can see this corridor stretches, it stretches into infinity and back again. I try to look back but find myself unable to. As soon as I turn my head, I find myself looking forward again. Or is there simply no difference?

I begin walking. The doors are different. Some are normal, made of wood or steel. Others are more intricate in shape, bearing strange markings and symbols. And some reek of oldness and send a cold shiver running down my spine. And my soul.
I walk for a long time or perhaps only for a moment. I can’t say. The tugging is still there, but not as strong as it was in the mists. As if some small measure of freedom was granted to me. I feel like I can make my own choice in this moment. I look at the doors, but none of them interest me. So I keep walking on.

I stop before a door made of piety and sin. Its dual nature is not plain to see. On the outside it seems to be wrought from silver and gold. But when I open it, the inside is revealed to be rotten wood, crawling with bugs. I am not daunted by this and I step into the room the door is guarding.

I find myself in a temple made of gold. I begin moving through the hallowed halls and stop before the most sacred of altars. Before it, a priest of the highest rank prays to a silent god.

His words speak of holiness and humbleness, but his obese body and richly adorned robes are a testament to his decadence and sin. I am unmoved by this and continue walking.

Outside a crowd of millions roars. They have eyes, but they are blind. They have ears, but they are deaf. They have thoughts, but they are not their own. They have hearts, but they are empty. Their shouts of love for their God ring hollow, for it is a poisoned love, one not discovered but taught from a young age.

Amongst them only one controls his thoughts; only he can see; only he can hear and only he can feel. His mind is twisted, his eyes are evil, his ears are made for hearing praise and his heart is poisoned. And he shouts the loudest. And he is holy.

Suddenly, I find myself before the rotting door of false gold again.

I take a step back, away from the door and look around. Nothing has changed. To my right and to my left, they stretch on endlessly into the darkness. Doors. The strange tugging returns, urging me...somewhere.

I walk for a long time, until I stop before another door. This one is made of iron, rough and ugly. I open it and step in.

A coward preaches bravery to his troops. Standing high and mighty atop his steed, he addresses those below him. Their frenzied faces are twisted by poverty, illness and hate. The coward uses their anger and directs it to his foes. He promises his men riches and a better tomorrow, he promises them land and food, health and joy. But there is none. The fields are barren and burnt, the houses are in ruins and health and joy have retreated from this bleak world.

A priest clad in crimson steps forward and calls for his God. On an altar made of iron and stone they sacrifice their oldest warrior to appease Him. The priest drinks from his blood and then offers it to the coward, who takes a sip. The omens are good, the priest tells them. The battle will be won. And so they march, they march to their deaths.

I blink once and feel the passing of time upon me, as if a strong gust of wind threatens to blow my very soul away. When I open them again, I find myself in the same place, but a different time.

I look around and see a field of carrion around me. The dark, twisted cries of vultures fill my ears. I look around again and realise that I am at a feast. A feast of death.

The coward’s host is broken, the dead litter the ground. The slain are many, too many for me to count or comprehend; everywhere I look I see another pile of swords, shields, spears...bodies. And yet I am unmoved and untouched by this, I am only a spectator and I do not belong here. I begin walking, kicking away the stray body-part that gets in my way.

The crimson-clad priest lies slain on his own altar. His body ripped open, his intestines tucked into his mouth. I stop and give this sight a moment longer. His teeth have bit into his own organs, either by force or by free will. He must have been alive when the enemy made him eat himself. To my surprise, I feel no disgust at this realisation. I merely walk away. The stench of death and decay fill my nostrils. I continue my journey.

Farther away, I come upon the corpse of the coward. Three arrows have pierced his back; he died as he lived – in fear. A lone raven stands next to him and looks up, its hungry eyes beg a favour of me. I don’t understand, but my body does. I stoop slightly and turn the corpse on its back. The raven croaks happily and jumps on the corpse’s face. It begins to devour the eyes greedily. I watch on as it satisfies its urge.

“A coward’s eyes are the sweetest” it tells me “they see the bravery of others and witness their own fear.”

It croaks again and disappears and so do I.

I find myself stood before the ugly iron door. I sigh once and continue on my way. The journey is familiar - it is neither long nor short, neither tiring nor invigorating, it simply is.

A door catches my attention and I stop. It is unlike the others I have seen. And yet it is the same. It is not a door, but only a window.

It slides to one side as I approach, the mechanism propelling it rumbling just beyond the scope of hearing. I enter.

I find myself upon a ship, one that sails amidst the stars, not the seas. The walls are bright and clean, sanitised, as are the people. Before me stands a tall man, his hands folded behind the small of his back and his eyes peering into the darkness outside. He is dressed in black and silver, as are his crew.

The captain watches for a long time, showing only his back to me and the rest of the crew. In the end, I take a few steps and align myself next to him, on his left. His face is neither young, nor old. Neither meek, nor stern. Like his clothes, it is simple, yet sufficient.

On his right, the adjutant approaches and whispers in his ear. The captain nods, but doesn’t turn away. For the first time since I came here, I follow his gaze and look out of the viewport. It is dark and bright. Stars and suns and galaxies stand before us. And a black, empty, cold, vacuum. It is both nothing and everything, life and death, hope and despair. I look to the faces of the crew and see what they see.

Dark, emptiness, silence, nothingness, death. A void.

I turn my eyes to the captain and see what he sees.

Light, fullness, humming, everything, life. Hope.

I try to see with my own eyes, but I am unable to. I can only gaze through my own window.

I am before the door again. I sigh once more and resume walking.

The door-windows continue to follow my every step. I wonder if I am walking down the corridor, or if the corridor is merely walking besides me. I stop before another door. This one is a sheet of metal, nothing more and nothing less. It lacks any knob or handle, so I reach out and touch it with my hand. It sucks me in.

I find myself aboard a ship again, both familiar and different from the last one. It is empty, forgotten. And yet I am here.

I take a few steps and find a chair before me, it is comfortable and I suddenly realise my body is weary. So I seat. I lean back into it and come to understand that my own will and body shape it, assuming the best form for me. Suddenly it spins around and I find myself facing a viewport again, not unlike the last I saw. But it is closed, inactive.

Then my finger idly taps a button on the chair handle and the viewport comes to life.

I gasp for air as I slowly understand what it is that I see. A sun.

A dying sun.

My eyes are burned from the searing light and yet I look on and try to take in the image of the bloated sphere before me. I witness what no human will ever see. I witness the death of a star, the death of a system, the death of everything for some and the disappearance of a tiny dot for others. And even as the blinding light engulfs everything my spirit still lurks in the grey thoughts that have become my constant companions in this journey.

My senses are overcome, but I feel no pain, no agony. At one point I shake my head and walk away, returning to the corridor.

I consider briefly if I should go left or right, try to look for one of the doors that I visited. But then I realise it makes no difference. So I simply start walking again, not to the left or the right, not forward or backwards. I simply walk. For there is no direction, no purpose, just the small tugging which I had forgotten but I now remember.

On and on I walk, but I do not feel the passing of time. Everything is still, but when my eyes linger on one point for a longer moment, it begins to swirl. Both perpetual movement and endless rest. I am no longer surprised by this.

I arrive before another door, made of simple iron and wood. It is unassuming, but I feel as if the tugging urges me inside. I step in.

I am in a forest glade and the sun gently shines through the leafy canopy above me. The air is full of various scents and sounds, but one is different. One doesn’t belong here and I am compelled to seek its source. I walk briefly and yet, the sun nears the horizon as I arrive at my goal, colouring everything in a deep, red hue.

By a stream, two men fight. Heavy plate covers them from head to toe and I am unable to distinguish their features. One bears a lush green tunic, the other – bright red. They wield their heavy, two-handed swords in a similar style, exchanging blow after blow. I watch on, but lose interest quickly. The slight tugging that I once felt is no more, as if coming here was enough to satisfy the urge.

And yet, my eyes are drawn to the stream. I feel thirst. Weak at first, but in mere moments it overcomes my entire self. I am thirst and I must be satiated.

I pass by the knights, but they pay no heed to me. None of the ones I saw do. And I now realise it is because I am merely a visitor, a spectator peeking from the door that is actually a window. I kneel as I reach the stream and begin drinking.

I do not know how long it lasts. Like everything around me, it is trapped in a timelessness only I can fully comprehend. And yet I cannot. For there is nothing absolute here.

I drink and drink, but there is no respite. Instead of relief I become even thirstier, my throat is parched and my entire body screams for water. Suddenly a metallic taste fills my mouth and I look up in horror as the water in my hands turns crimson.

The one with the green tunic stands triumphant over the other’s body. I stare, unable to look away and, all at once, something else touches my hands. They are still in the water and I look down and let out a scream.

His head.

The one with the red tunic, his head is no longer covered by his featureless helmet. It is a face, like mine. It is dead, twisted. But...the eyes...

They live and they stare at me.

Again I am unable to avert my gaze or throw the head away; my eyes are locked to his. They are green, deep green like the tunic of the man who slew him. Ironic. That is all I can think.

I lose myself in those eyes. And the panic and terror in me increases...as does the thirst. I scream and cry and weep, but no relief comes.

And then the green pools twist and turn and the feeling of tugging returns. But like every other sensation coursing through my being, it increases tenfold. And it becomes a hole in my very soul, searching, yearning, craving. Everything starts pulsating and an overpowering agony slowly begins to overwhelm me.

And then the green eyes show me a terrible image, a vision. A door...so terrifying that that no words in the human tongue can describe it. The blind fear gripping my heart becomes even greater and in this moment I only wish to end my life and know rest.

I scream as loud as I can, threatening to rip my vocal cords apart...



....and then I wake up.

I am drenched in sweat, my head is thumping again and I am parched. I open my eyes, look around and see the familiar room around me. I let out a sigh of relief. It’s over, only a dream...a nightmare.

I turn my head and look at the nearby clock – 05:27. I know sleep won’t find me anymore, I am too frightened to even close my eyes and try. The horrible vision still lurks in my mind. I push myself from the bed and begin my day.

But the glimpses I saw haunt me. For that is what they were – glimpses of what has been, is and will be. Of this world and others....glimpses....
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Re: Dreamscape

Post by Gadreille on Sun Jun 26, 2011 3:18 pm

Thumbs Up Continue! Often I've tried to connect random thoughts and inspirations into one piece, and it never flows this cohesively. I look forward to seeing how you tie it all together.

My favorite line:
Outside a crowd of millions roars. They have eyes, but they are blind. They have ears, but they are deaf. They have thoughts, but they are not their own. They have hearts, but they are empty. Their shouts of love for their God ring hollow, for it is a poisoned love, one not discovered but taught from a young age.

Amongst them only one controls his thoughts; only he can see; only he can hear and only he can feel. His mind is twisted, his eyes are evil, his ears are made for hearing praise and his heart is poisoned. And he shouts the loudest. And he is holy.
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Re: Dreamscape

Post by Blackrock on Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:01 pm

Thanks Ryona, I'm glad you like it Smile

I'll work on this when I have the time, nice to know at least one person other than me appreciates it! Razz
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Re: Dreamscape

Post by Guest on Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:48 pm

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Jeff

Post by fire111127 on Thu Jun 30, 2011 10:42 am

I really like your story because the unnamed feeling you describe as “a dull, overwhelming pain, like the beating of a massive drum” touches every single one of us in life. I think if you tied all the doors or windows to a single emotion in life it might give you a better plot to tie your theme into and give you more room for the descriptive aspects you were going for.

Quote "Amongst them only one controls his thoughts; only he can see; only he can hear and only he can feel. His mind is twisted, his eyes are evil, his ears are made for hearing praise and his heart is poisoned. And he shouts the loudest. And he is holy. "

I could be wrong but I am guessing you are trying to pull away from god in it but in paragraph I really thought to myself of Satan being the person who is holy and thought it would metaphor the deceit the devil gives us. No matter what that story was right up my alley and I enjoyed the significances to having a knight of pride and a faint hearted coward of a soldier who didn’t care for the well-being of his people. Keep it up I really enjoyed it.
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