“Great. Well, I got to be going. I have to check in with some of the other places he hung out at,” Lana says.
Once she’s gone, Miriam focuses on me. I must look like I got ants in my pants, from how I’m dying to tell her about my dream. Our dream.
“Oy, such tsuris, Nu, Lamont? So tell me already what it is that has you acting like a dab of schmaltz on a hot frying pan?” Miriam asks.
“I was there.”
“There? There where?”
“I saw Jon disappear.”
“She didn’t mention seeing anyone else.”
“I wasn’t actually there,” I try to explain, “but I saw it all.”
“Stop with the riddles and speak straight.”
”I had a fever-induced dream. Maybe, it was exactly at the time Lana was describing. In my dream, I saw everything. Only it wasn’t as she described it. I had forgotten that part of the dream, which is odd. I don’t usually forget to jot down any really unusual dreams in my journal. Hmmm? Anyway, I saw it all. It was as if I were her.”
“Nu? How was your dream different than how she told it?”
“She got it all jumbled up. Jon didn’t walk away from her, he just faded away.”
“You’re talking nonsense again.”
“This is exactly why she doesn’t recall it clearly. She is trying to cope with an event outside of the ordinary. You see first, there were these strange storm clouds gathering overhead. Then there was this foreboding funnel of light coming down from the sky. Jon walked up to it and he was sort of trapped like a bug in amber. Lana tried to go to him. He was only a few feet away but she couldn’t move. All around us there was a feeling of malevolence. Jon was taken up in this purple pulsating cone of energy.
Then poof, instant normality. Jon, the clouds, the purple funnel, all gone. Way too weird to believe! This is presumably why Lana can’t describe clearly what happened.”
“Oh but, you Mr. Hot Shot, can.”
“Yeah. Maybe, my mind has already been warped by all the science fiction and fantasy stuff I’ve read. I’m already attuned to weird stuff.”
“So, in your dream you saw Jon being taken up in this funnel of light.”
“Yeah, and what goes up must come down. The question is where? And possibly, when? He theoretically could be anywhere.”
“If what you’re saying is true, you only have this dream of yours as proof of your version of the story. Whatever the case, this is a dream of significance. Of what, I’m not sure. But, it is clear as steamed glass. It means something, mark my words, the least of which is that you must help her.”
“Is there someone else in this store that I’m talking to? You had the dream. You have been chosen. You must now do what you can to right this ill.”
“Chosen? Hey, I remember now, another part of my dream. Somebody told me I was chosen to help Lana and Jon. I was chosen for greatness. But, how?”
“Am I you? No, so, I cannot say what you can do. You must decide. Just remember to come back and tell me all about it.”
“Hmmm? Miriam, I recall you having a few books by Charles Fort. Have you sold them yet?”
“Fort? No, I don’t think so.”
“Good. I recall that he mentions vanishing people. Maybe he has a theory. Somebody must.”
“Good. You search in books, but later. As for now, since you said that you had not remembered her dream, what dream was it that brought you in such a state to Miriam?”
As I tell her my dream about the temple and the flaming-door-that-does-not burn, her eyes widens and she smiles.
“This is good. Very good,” Miriam mutters, “You remember that I told you about that saint named Denny and the guiding of dreams?”
“Of course. You had me read Hervey de Saint-Deny’s old book, Dreams, and How to Guide Them. Saint-Deny wrote of how he had the experience of being aware that he was dreaming, while he was dreaming. He wrote that anyone could acquire this skill. You told me I should learn to apply his techniques. To deal with my nightmares. If I could do it, maybe I could guide my dreams away from and out of the nightmarish situation. I tried and tried for a long time to become an awake dreamer. Then I found and read other books on this type of dreaming. They called it Lucid Dreaming. After reading them, I was able to become a lucid dreamer.”
“This door in your dream is more than an ordinary door.”
“That’s obvious. Ordinary doors burn.”
“Stop with the Mr. Smart Mouth. The door is perhaps the gateway finally appearing to you.”
“What are you talking about?”
“There are dreaming beyond the lucid. To get to them you need to come upon the doorway. It will lead down deep. I can’t tell you much more. But, I can offer some advice, take that path.”
“It will change your life,” Miriam wistfully replies. “If you think you’re dealing with that which is weird now, beyond that door is a wyrdness you have not yet conceived. I also believe that the way to help Lana is to be found beyond that door.”
“My, aren’t we being eloquent and mysterious? No further hints or advice? Just open and go forth?”
“That’s all I will, say. To say more may misdirect you.”
“Okay. Hmmm? I think I hear the call of unruffled sheets of paper. Books are calling me. Since that’s all you’re going to tell me about my dream, I shall investigate the world according to Fort.”
KEYWORDS: H P LOVECRAFT, LOVECRAFT, DREAMLAND, DARK FANTASY, FANTASY NOVEL