||[May. 31st, 2004|09:12 pm]
|||||The Airplane, drying clothes in the background||]|
Complicated. Dreams this week have impacted me profoundly.
Dreamed of driving down a small, rainy country road as twilight falls, looking for a house I was supposed to inherit. Stayed overnight in a farmhouse at a bend in the road with relatives I didn’t know I had; wonderful kind people. They tell me about the house; it’s terribly haunted – everyone who has ever inherited it and lived there has gone mad. They try to convince me not to go, but I do…
I fight my way through the rain-sodden tangle of rank winter underbrush to the half-unhinged front door, to find a light dimly burning inside. When I enter the house, I find an uncle there (that I also didn’t know I had), who is, in fact, mad as a hatter. He is living in dark and smoke-stained, candle-lit, half-ruined squalor, moldering in his isolation and terror. The house is full of ghosts, angry spirits, evil presences. It is a nonlinear place, filled with odd angles, many, many levels (going deep down into the earth, where the floor is seldom level), dark shadows – hidden places, like delving into the quagmire of a horribly mangled psyche. Standing water, dead ends, doors that lead nowhere, nothing that works, no heart to the place, no structure that makes any sense. I gently begin taking care of my uncle, and basically start organizing the house, laying the ghosts to rest by unraveling their secrets, resolving unfinished business.
Many years later, I am making a final walk-through of the house, and it is spotless: clean, white, organized, level, repaired, silent, empty. It is grand – lofty, spacious, airy, elegant, yet Spartan. The light is subdued but pervasive, as though filtered through frosted skylights. It has nothing of me in it – no decoration, no mementoes. No color, everything white. There are no ghosts. There is a computer set up in one room, filled with the records of the stories I unearthed, documenting the work I have now completed. All of the hidden things, all of the secrets. I then contact my relatives in the farmhouse down the road; the kids have grown, and have recently married. I am going to bequeath the house to them and move on, to the next adventure; I have work to do that calls me. I invite them over for a lavish dinner, at the end of which I let them know that the house is theirs.
Next dream fragment: treasure hunting. A mission of terrible danger, reclaiming cursed emeralds from a sunken plane. A long-lost story thread only recently recovered – my dream parents had begun the initial story thread, but the curse brought them tragedy, prevented them from bringing the matter to an end. Somehow, this story is tied into the house now devoid of ghosts – a last story to resolve: my father’s. The curse is terrible. I know the emeralds aren’t really a treasure, but an obligation, unfinished business I promised my father I would conclude.
At the entrance, at the first airlock, I put my gear on, watching my dive partner slip into the gloom of the cold, green water, steeling myself for what is to come, feeling the crescendo of impending doom rising within me. I am diving with a group of treasure-hunters, some of whom I do not trust, fearing they will try something to be able to keep the emeralds for themselves. I swim after, and the water hits me with a bone-aching cold.
We find the cockpit of the plane, where the pilot was; although it is deep underwater, with barely any sunlight filtering down through the green murk, it is plainly obvious that there is no sign of anything having gone wrong. The plane just went down. When no one else is looking, I find the emeralds at the pilot’s feet. He is skeletal, the shreds of his clothing and flesh floating around him in a cloud. The bag at his feet, containing the emeralds, radiates an aura of terrible fear and darkness, which only I can sense. I collect the bag.
Somehow, I am now in the house, looking through an old mirror at my father’s ghost. I can speak with him as though he is still there, and have been able to do this for a long time; however, I know he died long ago. I can also speak with my mother, although never at the same time; somehow, the curse tore them apart, so that although they loved each other profoundly, they were never able to be together again. My mother, I know somehow, is still living, even though I can only see her through the mirror.
My father begins to tell me the whole story, in the dry voice of the past.
The emeralds are hollow. They are filled with something, some substance which should never have been brought into this world. They must return through the mirror.
Later, I am above ground in a park; Mary is there. It is a beautiful spring day, filled with fair-weather cumulus clouds, a bright breeze, balloons and kites, sundresses and sun-hats. The clothing is vintage – 1920s, I think. I am in a different timeline, although I am still myself; I have moved through time via the mirror, somehow.
There are many people there I know, all of whom are attempting to get me to do something with them; I have, however, made plans already. I am something of a reckless adventurer, a persona; everyone seems to want to set me up with some stable, solid friend of theirs, but I’m always off on the next adventure. (This, of course, is a front; I am still engaged in the terribly dangerous, deadly earnest and secret work of the curse.) I tell Mary that I have a date to go barnstorming, which I do; however, the point of the barnstorming is to hunt down the last few remaining emeralds, hidden from the main cache. I have told no one of this, except the pilot of the plane, who is somehow involved in the story – my partner. The emeralds unaccounted for are causing some dreadful evil; they’re pulling me inexorably to find them and acquit them, with the rest.
My mother had hidden them from my father, for reasons I don’t understand, but which she has lamented ever since. Those emeralds caused my father’s death.
When I find them, they have been filled with mercury – a trap for treasure hunters, or perhaps an attempt to destroy them, as my mother was not able to do – and this has somehow made them warm, like a ticking bomb. My adventure partner, the pilot (who I know I am falling for, although I say nothing), tells me that when the emeralds contact seawater they’ll explode with tremendous force, destroying utterly the wreck site where the main cache of emeralds was. And so we begin the laborious, detailed, delicate process of decontamination; while I am dealing with the curse, my partner is defusing the bomb. Finally, in dealing with these last emeralds, laying my parents’ story to rest, my mother reaches through the mirror to help me, and thereby escapes her prison in the mirror – is able to join my father. This is the final reckoning, the final settling of accounts, which completes the story of the house of ghosts. The mirror shatters, and I see my parents together.
My partner and I, relieved of the tremendous burden of the curse at last, realize that after adventuring together all these years, we are in love, and are finally at liberty to do something about it. Now that the unfinished business is complete, our ghost-hunting over, we decide that we might as well settle down and live happily ever after.