This is a dream I had. No embellishments; written just as I remember it. I call this dream Madman.
I’m in the library — the only library — in the small town where I grew up. The library smells like all libraries do: comfortably musty. The library has two floors, the second of which is a sort of loft which runs around the perimeter of the library. There is a single staircase planted in the middle of the first floor, which runs up to the loft. The stairs and all the trimmings in the library are made from some kind of varnished hardwood, which has the colour of those cube-shaped, individually-wrapped-in-clear-plastic, soft caramels.
I don’t know what I’m doing in the library, but I’m scared; terrified. Then I see him. His clothing is murky, the colour of sludge. He’s wearing a mask. It’s white and has plain features. I don’t get a good look at it, because suddenly I’m running. I’m sprinting up the staircase. I can feel him right behind me.
The library morphs. It has now been redesigned by M.C. Escher: all caramel staircases and no gravity. I keep running, sometimes evading my pursuer, but never losing him. I try hiding under a staircase and I try jumping from staircase to staircase. I can feel the butterflies in my stomach as I jump from one height to another. At some point during this chase the dream becomes lucid, and I’m thinking,
“Wow, this is scary, but exciting.”
I wonder should I stop the dream now, as I’m sure it will end in my death, but no, I decide to let it go on, so that I can see what happens next.
Another morph. The stairs of Escher’s library have become the stairs of my childhood home. I’m running downstairs from the second floor, my feet slapping the hardwood furiously. As I reach the first floor hallway and turn towards the kitchen I hear him come down hard off the last stairs. He’s so close. I run over the red and white linoleum tiles into the kitchen. I make the U-turn around the refrigerator nook and head for the back porch. I jump the 4 steps down into the porch and,
“Shit, he got me.”
I’m not scared anymore. My lucid mind has taken over. Now, I’m just curious to see how far I can take this dream. The Madman turns me around and he pulls out a knife. The knife is headed for my stomach.
“Alright, that’s enough.”
I wake up, and wonder what it would feel like to be stabbed.