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I don't remember my dreams often. Most of the time they just lapse into the subconscious and wither away, like the fragile constructs of a slumbering mind they are. It is irrelevant whether they are the greatest of pleasures, or the the most sinister of horrors, they all share the same fate.
But there are exceptions. Like tonight, when I experienced both.
The First Dream
I remember bits and pieces. An underground installation, a bunker, perhaps. Concrete walls covered with white paint, with sharp angles everywhere, lit by tolerable white lights. Corridors extending into complete darkness. I would feel fear, normally, but here, I did not. I explored. I looked. And the place was empty.
Walking through the endless maze of a place I never seen before, I came upon a door, a sealed, bunker door. Struggling with it, I found myself helped by another, now lost to waking. Beyond these sealed doors were another. And beyond them...
A room, looking over a slumbering city, lit only by the ever watchful electrical fires of lamp posts and neon lights. It was cramped, filled with bookshelves stacked from top to bottom with cassettes, old style cassettes with labels. Under the window was a desk, made from treated wood pulp, like furniture in socialist Poland of the 1980s. It covered in notebooks, thick, hard cover notebooks, also labeled. The few spots not occupied by books were filled by plants in crumbling clay pots.
I knew this was a haven. A haven for conspiracies, an archive where the secrets lay. The tapes, the books, they hid the answers I sought. These dusty relics of a bygone age were keys to solving the mysteries with the contents of their black magnetic tapes, the words printed and noted on their yellowing pages. I took one, to feast upon the Truth within.
And when I saw the words... I woke up.
The Second Dream
When I ventured into the realm of Morpheus again, it welcomed me not with joy, but with hate. A hate made all the more terrifying by its impersonal nature.
I found myself in an aquatic realm. I love water, I love swimming, I love the feeling of freedom and weightlessness beneath its surface.
But not here.
Everything was wrong. I was beneath the waves, yet could breathe. Instead of the natural, blue hue, the liquid surrounding me had a sickly, green color, lit by a sun from above. But that wasn't the worst part. The most horrible element was my conviction that below me was an abyss. No ocean floor on which to land, no end to the drop, just an eternity of sinking deeper and deeper into the darkening, diseased waters.
And as if sinking deeper and deeper into a bottomless pit was not bad enough, I was surrounded by the dead. They were all around me, silently sinking into oblivion: caravels, hulks, destroyers, aircraft carriers, galleons... I saw the rot in the wood, the collapsed masts, the gaping wounds in their hulls, torn open by terrifying attackers. I saw colonies of corals growing on them... or rather, that used to grow. Like everything else in this abysmal place, they were dead, blackened by decay.
I stood at the stern of one such caravel. I desperately raced down, the rotten wood cracking under my feet, breaking apart, as I ran to the bow and leaped for the sinking carrier. The water slowed me down, but I persevered. I hit the launch deck, trying to run, climb, crawl upwards, struggling to reach the surface, to leave this terrifying domain of the dead.
But I failed. And I followed them, all the way down...