06 November 2014

A Story Holy and Haunting (Nonfiction)

Last night was my first dream within a dream. At least the first on record. I’ve been wanting to have one for a few years now. (Inception was released July 2010.)

* * *

I witnessed the most fantastic and wonderful story.

The sort of tale that transforms the onlooker—any onlooker.

This story, I knew, if written down, would have the power to change a reader into the sort of hero he was reading about. This story—this treasure—played out before my eyes. The story of stories. With mighty heroes and merciless villainy, with landscapes broad as the clouds of heaven and deep as the chasms of hell.

A story holy and haunting, savage and sacred.

But my guide, with burning wings, told me I could not take the story with me in my return to wakefulness. And when he said it, I was stricken not with grief, but with panic, gripping to the story, this treasure, as tightly as I could.

I suddenly woke.

And found the book was no longer in my hands.

But I had a memory of the book, particularly its cover, a worn leather with frayed edges, and a specific symbol imprinted into the center. This image of the book, still gripped by my mind, was the story’s container, like a chest full of gold, the thing which, if turned open, would reveal the wonder and magic that I had left behind.

I grabbed a pen and scribbled as quickly as I could, as the image of the cover decayed from mind, me desperately trying to recreate the magic before it vanished. And as I did, a thought struck me, one I knew to be true: If I could create an accurate likeness of the book, one I could heft in my hands, then I could open that mockery and find at least the echoes of the wonder I had seen in my dream. I would have the power to open it and read. So I drew more furiously, penning the details as they floated away.

I could only conjecture about the forgotten story’s magnificence. I no longer recalled the glory of the thing I now wanted—the thing I longed for. But I wanted it badly, that lost knowledge, whatever it was—wanted it more than anything.

And that, my friend, was when I woke up again.

And I could no longer remember even the symbol etched into that mystical leather cover.

* * *

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— J