Dreamed 1997/7/13 by Chris Wayan
I live on a farm in peaceful Moomin Valley, near the mouth of a little winding river, where it enters the Gulf of Finland. One day, a traveling torturer comes by and sets up his little tent in the yard. I don't want his services, don't need any secrets pried out of anyone. But I have no say in it--if he finds no clients who want someone tortured, it's his traditional right to pick one of his hosts. I feel doomed already--I know what's coming.
Yes. Out of all the farm, he chooses me.
I threaten him with a leaking bike-pump, my only weapon, snarl "You don't want to know what this'll do to you!"
He ignores my empty threat and just waits. Hours pass, night falls. I try to stay awake but I'm so tired. I fall asleep at last.
And in my sleep, he comes to me. He must have given me a sleeping drug or anaesthetic, for as he carries me out to his tent and shackles me, I don't wake--not even at dawn, when he starts the vivisection.
When I do wake in the morning, I find myself staked out inside his tent, staring at my own flayed skin and guts arranged in an intricate display like a huge, bloody flower around me. I dreamily know that image is a quote from some book where a torturer's victim actually makes that comparison before dying. I'm numb enough to think about things like that--I feel no pain at all. I don't even notice how odd that is, for a so-called torturer's victim. I'm not tortured. Just dying.
It's weirdly pretty--all the colors, all the shapes--if I forget what they are and where they're from. Who they're from.
What is he really, a meat artist?
I've been dissected, I'm doomed, and I know it.
NOTES IN THE MORNING
LATER THAT DAY
Due to the dream's warning, I treat myself gently all day. I avoid people, avoid stress, feeling as shy as one of Tove Jansson's little trolls. But it's too late--no use! I get very ill, for several days.
In hypnotherapy, deep in trance, I ask my soul about this dream, and a dragon answers; a dragon who guards my past lives.
She says "Thisss wasssn't purely symbolic, but a memory too. Once, long ago, I died like thisss."
"What, you mean in a past life? That really happened once? To me?"
"Not every detail wasss like thiss, of courssse... but... yessssssss."
Oh. Ow! Oh.
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