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Dreamed 1982/3/14 by Chris Wayan

A prophetess lives by the riverbank. Her name is Cassandra.

I visit her, pretending I'm seeking her professional advice. But what I really want is her. I love Cassandra. She likes me, but she's wary, burned. A whole series of guys didn't take her seriously, and she's slow to trust anyone now.

So I ask her to find a future with both of us together in it.

She peers into her Palantir, her crystal ball, looking for us... But she gets nothing! Unusual for her. She can't find herself helping me, or being with me. I slump a little, disappointed, then notice she looks sad, too. She likes me; she wants it to happen! I have my answer.

One grim possibility: I HAVE no future. Death? But she's seen plenty of those in the stone--a Palantir's not shy about death. She's never seen a blank like this before! Is her power being blocked, censored? Who, why?

She lets me look myself. At first, I see a milky void... but then... faint lines, almost missable, white on white... a drawing that slowly draws itself. Is it ME? I'm confused, can't assemble the image, it twists my brain.

Not death--something else. Something so weird my brain can't construct the image. Cassandra peers into the otter's crystal ball, just as we realize we've tripped the security system.

She decides to lead me to her friend the Otter. He's a shaman--he may have advice.

Down the riverbank to the water's edge. We stoop low to enter the Otter's window, and into his chamber. Cassandra puts her crystal ball on the Otter's table...

Suddenly I feel dizzy and paralyzed. I blink blearily at her. She's frozen too, arms on the table. Both of us! Not illness or panic, then--it's some kind of force field. We've triggered a security system Otter must have installed, some high-tech device from the Ancient Days.

And Otter's not here to shut it off. We may have to wait a long time.

Maybe I can call him, through the stone. I pour all my effort into reaching for the Palantir on the table... slowly my arm swings out... exhausting...

...and I wake thinking "No wonder my progress has been so slow lately! It's not resistance or something wrong--just Otter's alarm!"


Because despite the myth of Cassandra, some alarms are false.

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