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?
But I'm apathetic now, waiting to die. Though most of my organs are still alive and pulsing, veins carefully left connected, too much has been exposed too long, even if he did relent.
I've been dissected, I'm doomed, and I know it.
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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