Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Of specters, music and midnight blue

Last night was a night for another of my house dreams. This time I was driving along through the country on a sunny day. I passed a house (but not the house) with dozens of cats and kittens in the yard and thought to myself: "I want a kitten. I think I'll take one."

So, I slowly cruised by the fence at the edge of the yard, then proceeded to hang out there looking squirrelly. When the cats saw me, they all came running. The kittens, especially, were scaling the fence, eagerly hanging from it. It was then that I spotted the blue siamese kitten (a breed common only to dreams). It took me only a second to determine that he was the one for me. Alas, the owner of the house came out, probably wondering who was so clumsily staking out his place, so I drove on, thinking "I'll come back and steal that little blue one later."

Soon I found myself on a narrow road that wound through golden wheat fields, ending at a large, dilapidated Victorian. As I eased down the dirt road, I saw that one of the doors was open, so I parked and got out of the car (which was, by the way, my beloved real life blue Matrix). Even from outside, it was clear that the room it led to stood in stark contrast to the shabby outside of the house. It was well appointed - bright, clean, fresh wallpaper, lovely antique furniture.

A woman came out, calling to me to come inside. They had been waiting for me, she said. At first I thought she was some kind of real estate agent, but she turned out to be what is probably best described as a guide. She, of course, did not tell me this. In the way of dreams, I just knew.

As she showed me the room, I spotted a piano in the corner and rushed over, wanting to play it. As I got closer, however, it started playing a Clementi piece. I held back, wondering if it was an old player piano, watching the keys move up and down of their own accord.

The guide laughed and said, "Oh, don't worry about that. That's just the ghost, go ahead." The music stopped, so I moved forward to play myself. As I went to put my hands to the keys, I suddenly felt my arms paralysed at my sides, as though being held by invisible bonds. Call me skittish about being held captive by ghosts, but occurred to me that perhaps it would be best to leave. As if sensing my thoughts, the guide said (completely without malice and not at all creepily), "Don't leave yet. She likes you."

It was at that point that I decided it would perhaps be best to flee. While fleeing usually involves running (in the case of anything as gothic as a a Victorian and a ghost, usually in a billowing white nightgown, preferably at night, while armed with a candle), my flight involved walking out into the sun, arm in arm with the guide.

When we got outside, I noticed that there was a pond on the grounds. As I looked out over it, I saw a woman who reminded me very much of Clytie Jessop's Miss Jessel in The Innocents, but wearing a white gown, wading out into the water. For some reason, she carried a parasol as she did this. After a moment, she was gone. I looked down at the ground to see not only the shadows of the guide and myself, but also that of a third, invisible member of our party.

Realizing that the ghost had followed me outside, I decided (despite the continued protests of the guide) that it really was time to go. So, I got in the car (presumably to do some kitten stealing), and drove off, watching the guide and ghost shadow waving at me in my rearview mirror. I had not gotten too far, when it occurred to me that perhaps I had been too hasty in abandoning the house. I wondered if I shouldn't go back. Part of me really wanted to, but part of me was also a little afraid to.

Alas, I will never know what happened, because it was at that point that the real life Toby, impatient with the time it was taking me to wake up, stuck his wet nose in my face and began howling for his morning song (don't ask, it's a thing we have...)

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