Dream Asylum

I don't pretend to understand them.


I was traveling through eight levels of an adventure game much like Alice in Wonderland. The levels were sequential in that you could only travel up, from 1 to 2 and 2 to 3, but each level was a different universe, and things you did in the first universe greatly affected your environment in subsequent universes. The object was to cause some big event to happen in the final universe.

I had managed to become a knight in the service of the king and queen, and I was escaping from a nasty troop of villains. I found a shortcut to take me from level 2 to level 6. It was a dirty ceramic toilet on a wooden platform in the corner of a shadowy jungle-gym like structure of planks and thick pipes, built suspended over a jumbled mess of cement trenches filled with ocean water and sewage. I got to the toilet just ahead of the nasty shadowy people. Lifted up the lid and the seat, and jumped feet-first towards the hole in the bottom of the bowl, spinning rapidly clockwise, like I had to twist myself up to fit down the pipe.

I felt my shoes being sucked into the opening, and my body painlessley corkscrewed into a long cynlinder. I shut my eyes and everything faded but the spinning sensation. I saw blackness, and then for an untraceably small instant, the black tore open like an iris and I felt an odd, flat, absolute zero sensation. It was as though my brain had rebooted. The iris of black closed in again, still spinning, and eventually it faded out and I found myself standing in a carpeted living room in a house.

The house was on fire, and the king and queen were trapped. I wanted to save the queen-- couldn't care less about the king apparently. I grabbed her by the hand and pulled her down a hallway and through a thick restaurant-style door with a glass porthole. We were in a spacious commercial bathroom, made of white ceramic tile and chrome pipes. A row of sinks ran along one wall, and where a mirror should be above them was a large glass window, looking in on a gas-station mini-mart.

I led the queen over to a short partitioning wall made of gleaming white tile, and she sat down on it, facing me. I grabbed the sides of her head and leaned in close, staring at her, trying to make my point absolutely clear. "I have to know right now. Are you still afraid of me?" I asked. Without blinking, the queen replied. "No, I never really was afraid of you." The queen was Hamsa.

"Good." I said. This directness was going to have to be developed much more, for we were going to have to rely on it in the future, when it came time to execute the risky but vital plans we were forming. We talked in whispers to each other for a while, discussing schedules and plot points. She kept leaning forward and our lips got closer and closer, but we never kissed. Eventually she left through the thick porthole door to attend some function and I lingered behind to think some more. Then I woke up.