I’ve been experimenting with a few different writing styles over the last couple of months – a direct result of the MA course I’m on. Normally, I don’t truck with writing down dreams, but this one forced me out of bed and down the stairs to write it. As is natural and usual with dreams, this has altered from the original – almost illegible (on which I blame the cat) – first draft, and almost doesn’t resemble the dream at all. As the Dreamer says: don’t waste your words by not using them. Here goes:
The Dreamer of Dreams and Writer of Stories invited us to his home. One must tread carefully in the home of the Dreamer, for nothing is as it seems, and all is at risk.
With wide eyes of admiration, we travelled to London – though he does not live there – and were met with graciousness at the door. Welcomed indoors and given a tour of the dwelling – the flat house maisonette mansion penthouse shifted as fast as thought, first dark and dodgy, next light and airy open concept – we had to be open to the concept that even the flat of the man who Dreamed Dream would shift and twist as he chose. One thing remained constant: the entire dwelling was designed by a lunatic. One bed stretched across the stairwell, unprotected from the drop; one rollover, and it would be all over. Even the bathroom was doubled: two green baths set in violent purple tiles. Or was it the other way round?
Though the Dreamer had extended the invitation, he was unable to entertain on the appointed night. A forgotten engagement that could not be delayed or dreamed away, and we were left to our own devices. Settling upon the most inviting of the rooms available, I slept, though not soundly in this flat of ever-changing rooms, shunting me backs and forths to rooms not offered not picked not real, with glass and steel balconies of hot-house oranges and grass grown in glass boxes on tables.
The next day, the Dreamer resurfaced, white and wan though friendly enough. He invited exploration of his kingdom, letting me lead where I would wander, following behind, enjoying the reactions to the rooms he wrought with but a thought. I travelled through the house-mansion-penthouse with awareness dawning like a winter morning that proportions and location had shifted again. Huge rooms with prototype of white wolf puppets soon to come to life in yet another story amused us as we played, self-consciously, trying not to break anything.
The Dreamer followed, taking pictures, talking and laughing, taking his turn to lead us through rooms still knitting together by his devising. Until we reached the rooftop terrace – different from the glass-and-steel of before, more a New York rooftop. There, the Phoenix played, leaping back and forth and inviting the boy to join it. They danced, the rippling gold through red furred feathers illuminating their play, lighting my son’s laughter. I could not reconcile the existence of the creature, until I remembered who stood beside me, humming and smiling.
The tell-tale blue flash in his eyes gave away the Dreamer of Dream. Warnings from others – dreamed warnings planted from years days months ago – resurfaced, screaming the true motivation of the Phoenix and its summoning Dreamer. No benevolence here – the predator hunted my son, bewitching him to the edge where he would give himself willing as sacrifice and the Phoenix could feed.
And shit out inspiration for the Dreamer to pin down and call his own and sell and lure more sacrifices…
I ran to save my son, flinging myself between him and the Phoenix. A growl, a surge of wings and awakening followed.
Final words from the Dreamer of Dream: Do not waste your words by not using them. Write with any spare minute you have.
Tears dry on my face at words never spoken by this man I have never met who has never read my words. And I remember the last true nightmare I had was in the dreaming of Dream.
I write to pin the Dreamer of Dream and imprison his Phoenix, to save my son. To write my own words. To summon my own Phoenix.