So, I had this dream last night. One of those dreams where the point-of-view changed in weird ways.
The action of the dream spanned a very short amount of time, but what happened is this:
I woke up in a house. At least, I think the character I was had been sleeping and woken up. Because we heard something. People outside, shouting. And…I say “we” but only because of what happened later in the dream. Because really it felt like I was a cohesive entity…but it wasn’t so.
We sat up in the bed, and the room was…very old fashioned looking. I hesitate to say it was the Victorian era, but the bed was a four-poster with dusty green hangings, and the windows were almost completely covered by long heavy curtains. It was daytime outside, based on the little crack of light coming through the curtains, but it was fairly dim in the room. The wallpaper was dark too…reddish with some ghastly old-timey pattern. Leaves or curlicues. Maybe both.
So…like I said, we’d sat up in the bed, and listened to the shouting outside. And then we heard more muffled shouting downstairs. And realized these people were looking for us. And it was imperative that they not get ahold of us. (I could say “capture”, because that seems more correct…but the attitude of the character I was did not see it as capturing…just as a “taking away” from where we should be to an unknown destination that would probably be very bad and for very bad reasons.)
I think what we did next is try to get up. But we could not.
I don’t think we were paralyzed, but something was definitely wrong with our legs, and while my dream-self didn’t register much pain…our legs were useless, and we knew we were injured and should be resting. I think at that point we realized our attire was for daytime wear, and had a bit of confusion about how we had been injured, and how long, and why were we still wearing our daytime clothes and who had put us in that room, since we clearly had not walked up the stairs ourself…
But. The shouting.
We could hear people walking around the house, and doors banging open. And…we could not get away. We knew that. And we couldn’t defend ourself. So. That was when the desk caught our attention. Namely, the flickering oil lamp on the desk.
The sounds of the people looking for us moved away, and we were glad the house was very big, and hoped it would take them a while to make it upstairs…because we had decided to try and catch the house on fire, and that it would be better that we die than that they take us away.
And we started throwing pillows at the desk. And man…even in the dream world, it is SO FRUSTRATING when you are throwing something as unwieldy as a pillow, and you keep missing your target. One pillow had a hole in it and rained goose feathers when we threw it across the room…an oddly specific detail, given how my dreams usually are.
We almost ran out of pillows, but then one hit the lamp and knocked it off the desk to the side we could not see…but we did see the line of oil run across the wooden floor, and the fire chasing after it. And the little floating puffs of soot as the goose feathers floated in the heat and caught fire.
It was agonizing, how long it took (not long at all, really, but when someone is going to catch you…) for the flames to start looking serious. And they began to creep toward the door, and up the side of the desk, and towards the carpet that our bed sat on.
And it was at that point, when we began to contemplate what death by fire might be like, that I separated from my character. I became that little floating disembodied entity that I have been in other dreams, and I floated towards the blazing desk and the door, and hovered there. And I turned, and saw the character whose consciousness I had been sharing–I did not possess him like I had possessed other characters…his actions were all his own–and he looked so confused. As if he had not known I were there, but felt or sensed it when I floated away. And he kept trying to see me, but could not…
At that point, the fire had begun to creep up the door, and the already dark room was darker with smoke.
Out in the hall, we could hear the heavy footfalls of the people who were looking for him–they weren’t looking for me–and heard them noticing the smoke in the hall, and debating about whether they should open the door to that room if it was on fire, and concluding that if it was on fire, it could only be because he was in that room…
I don’t know if they got him or not. But he’d started trying very hard to muffle his coughing, and still kept looking around as if he would see me if he only tried hard enough.
I felt bad for him.
And that’s when I woke up.