The Marvel of Dream Time
Autumn. In isolated woods blanketed with yellow and red leaves. The clues led us up a path made of damp soil. Along the edges we noticed gold stones reflecting the last light of the evening sun.
Without warning Iva proceeded forward and disappeared. I found her standing in front of a timber cabin. Beneath the door an illumination came.
“He’s in there,” she said.
“And he knows we’re here,” I replied. “Use the back entrance.”
The front door burst open and something dark slipped out. He was behind me before I had a chance to react. He dragged me across several feet of open space. I loosened the grip on my feet and ran. Iva was already running ahead of me when she dropped the book.
Smoke began to rise from its pages. Flammable, just as Iva had thought. I stuffed it into my pocket and headed away from the sun. As soon as we cleared the woods we entered a green field where he could not follow.
Iva pulled the book from under the mattress. The cover read: Malleus Maleficarum.
Malleus Maleficarum by Heinrich Kramer
My head rested on her lap while she read aloud. I ran my hand over the red sheets. Thoughts of temptation awaited my command, but I resisted. She played with my hair and pulled me close. Thoughts became manifestations when I felt her mouth over mine.
We woke up on a speeding train. It was travelling over the green field we’d previously seen. Iva sat up and rubbed her head.
“Where are we?” she asked.
“I think we’ve been drugged,” I said. “And it looks like we’re heading into California.”
I looked ahead and discovered our train was heading directly into another. Only a few minutes before impact. I tried to open the window of the passenger car, but it was sealed. I smashed it until there was enough room for a clean jump. As I stuck my head out I was amazed by the beauty of the landscape.
“We need to jump now!” screamed Iva.
“Not yet,” I said. “I’m going to see if I can reroute the train.”
My efforts proved worthwhile. Upon impact the train veered sharply to the left, came off the tracks and froze in place. We climbed out safely and stood bewildered at the sight of such a monstrosity suspended in mid-air.
Inside the scorching heat of a boiler room, we watched the shadow descend from the steps.
“Not human,” whispered Iva.
“Neither are you,” said the shadow.
Something thick began to coat my throat. The shadow lifted his arm and aimed the pistol. The first shot hit Iva in the shoulder. The last one in the chest. I used the embers from a fire to incinerate his feet. The reaction was swift. His animal cry was unforgettable. I hooked Iva over my shoulder and escaped as the room went up in flames.
Photo Credit: Mila Zinkova
Outside,we realized we’d turned into something savage. We locked hands and glided across the orchard. We passed children, small animals, and the elderly. The children were the only ones who seemed to notice us.
When she looked at me I remembered other dream segments, a love letter I’d written to her, and our deaths as we gravitated over azure skies.