The Dust on the Doors and Lintels

Given my rather un-linear perceptions of time, I suppose it isn’t surprising that my ‘first’ memories are from when I was 2…and when I was 8.

One was watching my aunt die. Or, more accurately, the aftermath of it. I swear there’s a photograph of it, that I’ve held it in my hands. But the photograph is moving.

I was 2 years old.

The second memory is the clearest. No snapshots. It happened at school. There was an archeological dig on the corner of the playing field, leading into the towering hill behind the school. Some of us kids got to go into it. The last thing I saw was several black cats around the entrance.

Inside, thick drifts of dust covered the floor. Bone-white. My tongue was silky with it. Suffocating.

I think I was seven or eight.

One of these is a dream. But I remember the taste, the touch, the smell.

I didn’t get lost in those tunnels, but I couldn’t muster the energy to escape. I couldn’t think. Black cats followed me, and the dust eddied around my ankles.

I’ve had dreams of dying, of all manner of horrible things. My family has a history of dreams that sometimes usurp living memories. Those aren’t always pleasant.

No dream ever scared me half so much as the tunnels.

I realized, last year, that I never left those tunnels. When I woke up from that dream, I could still taste the dust. That dream has haunted me ever since.

Last year, I found myself in those tunnels again. The same dust, drifts of it on the doors and stairs. Oh yes, that’s right. I was in a different part of the tunnels. I wasn’t a child any more, and I wasn’t afraid.

I had a sword. A name. A purpose. I followed a river out, and met an old, blind man by an old tree under the full moon. The moon wasn’t in the sky, but reflected on the water.

I don’t remember what he told me.

But I remember the taste of bone-dust in my mouth.

It’s a taste that you’ll find in nearly every one of my stories.

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One Response to “The Dust on the Doors and Lintels”

  1. Very interesting dreams, and a VERY good resolution. Well done.

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