Tuesday, 11 August 2009

The Descent

Hello, again. I am glad that my last post inspired some discussion. That's what it is all about, isn't it?

I have always been fascinated by dreams and the dreamy side of fantasies. I wrote this piece when thinking about those things. Those of you who have been with me for a while will recognise a little from earlier posts. But this is me, and my fantasies tend to return to the same themes.

It was a worried night, a night when the clouds chased each others across a dark sky, when the moon peeked through, now and then, as the veil was lifted. It was a night of winds and cold air. It was a night when it was hard to sleep, the kind of night that brings up nightmares and horrid thoughts.

She was lying in her bed, turning from one side to the other, slipping in and out of sleep. When she finally opened her eyes, the room was flooded with moonlight and she had thrown off the duvet, despite the cold air.

She stared at her room but she couldn't recognise it. It looked strange and twisted in the cold white light. She systematically looked at each and every detail of it, the chair, the mirror, the cupboard, to make sure it was her room.

She found every detail of her room to be as she expected and was somewhat calmer, thinking that the sense of unreal dream was just a trick of the night and the moon.

She wasn't scared, more curious, when she saw that she had been mistaken. There was one thing that wasn't as usual. She knew she had never seen the door in the wall, opposite the window before. She stared at it and realised that it would open up on the stairwell, some distance above the stairs. A silly door.

She left the bed and walked on bare feet to it. Her mind was absolutely clear and awake but yet she knew she had to be in the middle of a dream. She felt the chilly air against her skin, the thin nightgown being poor protection against the cold. Curiosity drove away discomfort.

She was surprised when she felt the door against her fingers as she touched it. It was real. She knew she had to open it.

There was nothing strange about the door, except that it shouldn't exist. She opened it with ease, there wasn't even a sound as it swung open.

She expected to see the stairs below and the landing to her left. She wasn't prepared to see what was before her. There was a stair but it started by the door and led downwards inside a tunnel. The walls were stone and this fact unsettled her more than the existence of the door and the stairs.

She stepped through the doorway. She had to, it was a dream and in dreams you have to explore what lays ahead. At least in this dream

The steps were made of stone and the walls were made of stone and a few steps down she felt as if she was inside an old castle or a dungeon, rather than her house. She would have expected the stairs in a castle to twist and turn and go round and round but this one was straight.

She continued down the steps, one by one, cold against her feet. She walked further down into darkness and soon she felt lost in the dark. She had to touch the cold stone and feel her way with her feet.

She walked cautiously and slowly, still she almost banged her head against the door ahead. She felt it with her hands and thought it a very different door from the one in her room. This one seemed heavy and old, like something in a medieval castle.

The door opened silently as she pushed it. Behind it she was met with light. She looked into a room lit by a great fireplace and a multitude of candles. She saw high backed chairs in front of the fire and a bearskin on the floor. A heavy table and a chest to the side.

'Welcome my dear.'

She hadn't seen the person in the chair. Now he seemed to appear from nowhere, standing in front of her, smiling.

'Welcome,' he continued, 'do you know where you are?'

'No,' she whispered, overcome with the suddenness of his appearance.

He was dressed in black trousers, a long black jacket, elegant but simple. He wore black boots. He seemed to be tall and slim, black haired and pale faced. His lips were red and his chin was narrow. He was smiling and he looked pleased with seeing her, although she felt no warmth in him.

'You should know,' he said, 'you created it.'

'Did I?'

'Yes, this is your imagination. This is your creation.'

'I can't remember it.'

'Don't you? I am sure you do.'

She blushed. She knew this place. She felt caught out. She gasped and looked down to make sure she was still wearing her nightgown. Images flashed through her mind. When she had been in this room before she had been naked.

'It seems so real.'

'It is real, my dear, you are in your imagination now and everything around you is as real as you are.'


'Do you know why you are here?'


'You are ready for the tour.'

'What tour?'

'The tour of your mind.'

'I am not sure...'

'There is a lot to see, many places to visit.'

'I don't think I want to.'

'This for example,' the man said and made a gesture with his hand.

The room was suddenly full of smoke. She felt fear in her heart and turned around to look for the door. The smoke turned to impenetrable fog and she felt, somehow, that the room wasn't there around her any more.

She tried to penetrate the white mist and thought that she could see the outline of the naked branches of a dead tree. She heard a thunderous noise and knew that she was on the run. Her heart was full of fear as she knew that she would perish and die should the hunters get her. She couldn't remember who they were, just that they must not catch her.

She began to run. She stumbled on the uneven ground. She didn't fall but knew she couldn't keep on running. She was exhausted already and she could hardly see the ground.

Then she saw him. In front of her loomed a shadow. She felt his presence more than saw it. Her eyes tried to penetrate the fog and could only discern his silhouette. He was on a horse, a gigantic horse and the man himself seemed to tower over her head.

Somehow she knew that her only hope rested with this dark stranger, this demon on his terrible horse.

As she stood there he approached her and came out of the mist. He was black and terrifying, his horse a monster.

He scooper her up and sat her in front of him in the saddle and took off. She held her breath as they rode on at a breathtaking speed. The misty landscape around them seemed to rush by and she wondered how the rider could know where to go.

She heard how the hunters were left behind but knew that they must not stop running. The black demon was her rescuer but he had to let his horse keep on running.

It was in that moment of complete dependence, when she knew she was at his mercy, her strange and terrifying rescuer told her to take her clothes off. It was in the exact moment when hope had been lit in her heart, when the terror had ceased to be the only element in her thoughts. It was then he had ordered her to strip.

It was awkward for her, shifting her body, still holding on to him, scared of falling, trying to move her flimsy nightgown down her shoulders, over her hips and down her legs.

It seemed to float in the air for a while and then it was gone. She was still wearing some kind of breech cloth, tied round her hips with a leather thong. She undid the knot at her hip and shifted her body to let this last garment disappear in the night.

She was clinging on to the black demon, now nude and exposed. She felt vulnerable and helpless but the colour of the dream had changed, from black and grey to include red.

Then the mist and the horse and the man seemed to begin to evaporate. She felt a sudden dizziness and then she was back in the room with the black clad pale man.

'I can't show you more,' he said, 'the image disappears. I know you wonder what the black demon will do to you, but you have no images of that.'

'I remember this fantasy,' she said, 'I felt so vulnerable.'

'But that's not all.'


'You felt excited too.'

'That's true,' she blushed and looked down to make sure she was, indeed, still dressed in the nightgown.

'I have to leave,' she said, 'can I go back up the stairs?'

'Yes, you can, thank you for visiting.'


'You will come back.'

'Will I?'

'Yes, you will.'

She hurried up the stairs and was back in her room. She got into bed and pulled the duvet over her. She lay staring, trying to fall asleep, but the memory of the strange room and the strange man, her guide, was too vivid, too frightening.

She seemed to be staring into nothingness for an eternity but as it often happens she dosed off.

The moment she dosed off she awoke again but this time in a changed room. Sun was shining and the room was back to normal. She looked at the wall and saw no door. She was back.


Paul said...

Janice, a well written dream-scape gives the author great scope.
You handle this very well, thoroughly enjoyable, thank you.
Your reply to my last comment, very astute, doesn't surprise me.
Love and warm hugs,

Ollie said...

An interesting ploy, having your heroine travel through her own imagination - all the more interesting having been written by one with an imagination such as yours.

The possibilities for her to visit with trepidation other sections of her imagination are great, a whole land to explore, and we, the familiars, have an inkling of what we might expect therein.

Alan said...


Reminds to these lines of Edgar Alan Poe:

"That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream"

Its thrilling to witness the blurring of dream and waking state. Imagination and reality. (Think of Matrix). The intensity of feeling, dreaming, sensing , touching and imagining.

I see a new level of imagination emerging in you, Janice. Well done! Enjoyed it very much,


Manorlord said...

A properly dreamlike mood. We tend to "compartmentalize" our minds (or try to) -- opening the cupboards or the hidden doors can yield insights, delights or terrors -- most likely all three. How would your heroine respond in a lucid dream? Would she want to take control of her fantasies?


Wystan E

Lea said...

Hello dear Janice - I'm glad you had a good break, and thanks very much for your email too :)

I'm happy to ready you here again too - I love this one (my own stories, since I was a little girl, I constantly had mysterious doors appearing in walls, also) ...

But more - I adore the way your story here develops - reading it, your writing captures the dream-like quality of your character so realistically, if that's not a contradiction - it really does! Actually it really touched something deep - naked in her own creation - I like this immensely, and where it may be going ...

Janice said...

Dear Paul, I think I love dreamstories the most, really, kinky or not. Thank you.

Dear Ollie, you know me, by now. I am very selfish and love to write about my own imagination...smiles.

Dear Alan, reminds me of the story of the philosopher who dreamt of a butterfly and wondered if he, possibly, was a butterfly dreaming about being a philosopher.

Dear Wystan E, I do think she is in control. I really believe she is.

Dear Lea, you put your finger on something interesting. The realism that is in imagination. We want and need the details that make it more realistic but at the same time we are more than happy to disregard that which disturbs the sense of it. That is a brilliant thing, in my opinion.



Mina said...

Dear Janice, well written, the dream of her mind. Dreams are fluid like that, they weave easily into each other and then the next thing that happens just does or just appears and it is not strange at the time. You captured this well.

The mind is so fluid as well, thoughts fly on from each other with barely a break and somehow it seems natural that one minute you are thinking about dinner and next what it would be like to take a magic carpet ride...or is that just me.


Mina said...

Dear Janice, I forgot to mention how much I like the picture at the beginning of this piece. Especially, the crouched barbarian.


Janice said...

Dear Mina, yes, it is just you, the rest of us have consistent, logical and rational minds...giggles.

One idea with this was to write just about the fantasy, not the story as such but just about the fantasy and let it fade when it isn't clear any more.