78: House of Dreams (drabble) [written Wednesday 23 December 2015]
At first I didn’t want to come here. It was just a rickety house which, if people were to live in it, would need serious renovation. But those were my initial thoughts before I was forced to cross the threshold into the unusual house.
Immediately, I was engulfed in an atmosphere so mystic and eerie that I was ready to take my leave and never come back, until I saw the chandelier hanging precariously from the ceiling. There was a note peeking out from the set of ornate lights, and I could see the words, “Welcome to the house of dreams”.
There was a long hallway I did not expect to see stretch out in front of me. Down the hallway were numerous closed doors and whispers I could barely hear. On my left was a closed, ebony door and on my right, an archway leading into another room. What I was most interested in, however, were the grand stairs leading upwards to the second floor. They seemed new, polished, somewhat even used. As if in a trance, I led myself up the stairs, my hand trailing behind on the cool wooden banister. Wisps of light and white smoke curled their fingers beside my face and body. When I reached the second floor, the smoke dissipated. There were three rooms in front of me, the doors shining with lamination. Through the middle door I went, hoping to be surprised. The dark room was only dimly illuminated by what I assumed to be a small television screen. In front of the screen was a worn velvet chair, in which I sat. The screen somehow enlarged itself, and then it occurred to me that, given different circumstances and location, I could easily be sitting in a cinema watching a movie. A scene came on, one I did not recognise, or in a different life, remember seeing. It was very brief, however, and the scene quickly switched to another, and then another. Quickly, I realised that they were my dreams from childhood. I had had many dreams then, most of which I had forgotten. I enjoyed the moving scenes, so flighty and jumpy. I did not have very many nightmares when I was a child.
At some point the scenes make slower transitions. The scenes become short stories. My dreams when I was, had just become a teenager. Violent, brutish, miserable. The only stroke of happiness was in the people I saw surrounding the dream me. My hand scrabbled for a remote to turn the screen off, but there was no remote. I did not wish to see these nightmares, did not want to relive my embarrassing past.
Make it stop. Make it stop. Get me out of here.
Still, my eyes were trained on the screen. Was I truly so depressed and worried then as I am now? These melancholy dreams and fierce nightmares frightened me. I stopped watching, ran out of the room, down the stairs, and finally out of the house.
And with that, the first book of memories is complete, and ready to be hidden away so that my future self may stumble upon it one day and be able to reminisce and remember the memories of a version of the self long gone.