This post marks the start of what aspires to be a long series of scribblings from archives of long ago. The junk in the trunk. The (metaphorically) dusty old (digital) volumes. The things I’ve written for various purposes throughout the years that deserve at least a peek at the light of day.
Next week, I’ll have an explanation of a specific series of these coming up. For now, however, I’ll leave you with this: the beginnings of a “story” about a recurring character in some of my dreams. The story, written long ago, aimed to be a rather simplified version of a single dream I had while camping several years ago– a culmination moment of sorts, in which I finally confronted this character. He still comes around sometimes (probably more often than I realize/remember). Occasionally, it’s while I’m lucid, and I derail his plans and drag him into shenanigans. Minds are quite funny, aren’t they?
Anywho, here’s the few paragraphs I managed to scribble down for “Connected,” a story about finally facing this character.
I had been drawn to this house. For some odd reason, it had been looming in my mind, pulling me nearer toward an elusive task that I didn’t understand. It was all so strange, just like everything that had been happening lately.
For two weeks, he had been following me, appearing at random intervals, then disappearing into a crowd almost as quickly. I didn’t know yet exactly who ‘he’ was; I’d caught him spying on me in two different forms. As strange as it sounded, I knew that both of them were him: the teenage boy about my age who always appeared timid and shy, and the large, bodyguard-type man with a silent air of confidence. I’d seen both of them multiple times throughout the last few weeks, but they’d always disappear before I could try to talk to them. What did he want from me? And why could I automatically sense his presence?
I pulled back the branches of the tree in front of me and stared up at the large mansion. It was completely white, with the exception of a few strips of faded red trim. The trees grew in a perfect circle fifty yards away from it in all directions. This simple demonstration sent a shiver down my spine. It seemed as though even the forest wanted to avoid it. Part of me wanted to turn around and run, as fast as my legs would allow, back to the city. But the other part, the part that had brought me here to begin with, drove me forward. Without even making the conscious decision to do so, I found myself walking slowly toward the mansion.
Every step that brought me nearer to the house was taken more quickly, more eagerly than the last. The further I progressed into the ring of open space, the more eerie it seemed to me. It wasn’t long before I found myself running, then sprinting toward the door, afraid of both what lay behind and what lay ahead. Reaching the extravagant front porch was a relief of sorts. It set my mind on the task ahead, pushing away all second thoughts. Something inside was waiting for me, calling me closer, and I had to find out what it was.
My fingers brushed the cold, golden metal of the doorknob, and I gripped it tightly, my resolve suddenly firm. I turned the doorknob slowly, trying not to make a sound, and pushed the door open.
When I stepped through the doorway, I heard my footsteps reverberate off the tile floor. It felt as though the house was deserted, like nothing was here except me and my goal. I stared around myself at the multitude of rooms, wondering which direction to go next. My goal had brought me this far, but it would give me no further instruction. Marveling at the sheer size of the place I now had to search, I took an unconscious step forward.
Suddenly, I could feel him, sense his presence in the enormous house. The soft crash of breaking China echoed strangely though the stillness from a door that stood ajar about halfway down the hall. It was followed immediately by a whispered swear word that seemed to carry directly to me. The voice, quiet as it was, sounded so familiar, like it came from a friend I’d known for hundreds of years. And yet, the logical side of me, the side struggling so hard to make itself heard through the madness, knew that I’d never heard the voice before in my life.
Almost instinctively, I ran toward the door, anticipation building up inside me with every step. I finally had him cornered; there was nowhere he could run, no crowds he could disappear into . . . . Maybe now I could find some answers.
I skidded to a stop in front of the doorway, slipping a bit on the slick tile and grabbing the door frame to maintain my balance. My heart accelerated to unbelievable speeds as my eyes scanned the room hungrily, searching for him, searching for the truth . . . .
After three thorough swipes across the room, the confusion finally caught up to me, forcing my eyes to stop.
He was not there.
It took me a moment to realize why this confused me so much. He clearly was not in the room, and yet I could still feel him there, that strange awareness of him more overwhelming than ever. Equal amounts of panic and frustration swelled up inside me at the thought of him eluding me yet again. I resumed my search desperately, refusing to believe that he really had gone. As my eyes fell for the fourth time on a small white teddy bear lying out of place in the middle of the floor.