Every culture has a devil of its own. Whether it is inscribed within a formal pantheon of gods or merely some inescapable nasty neighbors next door. My own have been sneaky little bastards, creeping up on me for decades since their appearance in childhood to show themselves finally last night in a dream. This is not to say that I have never seen or experienced their incarnations before in decades past. There have been several odd circumstances both nocturnally and by the light of day where they showed up unannounced. This time was different however, let me explain.
For some reason that only my subconscious could explain, I was lounging about somewhere sunny in a big frame country house that had one story room extensions facing the street. I recall tables with various items for rummage and sale including an old pump shotgun that was priced shockingly low. Instead of immediately purchasing it on the spot, I lazed back in an old rocking chair slowly taking in the beautiful Summer’s morning. I happen to look out side the window onto the street and noticed a fellow not too much older than myself holding a barrel and a stock as walked away down the sidewalk. Still I was to lost in the easiness of the morning to concern myself with the meaning of that sight. When I rose to my feet, I noticed that my intended purchased had been whittled down to just the breach sans barrel and stock. This created a sense of turmoil and irritation that I had been too complacent in enjoying the day to notice that my intended prize had been sullied. I immediately began a closer investigation of the premises to discover what other treasures might be had before they were snapped up by other keen eyed buyers.
The main room of the house was dark and congested with tables of all manner of items carefully laid out and tagged for view. My family both dead and living were bundled about a fissure in the floor across from an old glowing wood stove. Though I recall maintaining the silence that prevailed over the situation, I made it clear to my father that I would look around to see if anything suited me. So I quickly took in anything looking remotely interesting. Had I had the presence of a type of clear consciousness that spanned both waking and dreaming, I might have remembered some incidents experienced in life that had to do with a love of older antiques. They seemed to always suggest the mysterious existences that their long dead owners had when employing these artifacts in use. I wandered about the house somewhat intoxicated by dressers and livestock yoke, oil lamps and ornate mirrors. The more I meandered through the aisles between the islands of items, the more it seems I entered another world.
I finally realized at some point that I was now in the attic and that I had ascended the stairs towards the front as I had so many times in the past in many haunted old house dreams. Not to digress, but of the significant dreams on the edge of immediate recollection was a set of same that had me wandering about a particular old house searching for two elusive old people that had remained ever mysterious for decades on end. So there I was hypnotically drifting towards the back of the room meandering past dusty furniture laden aisles making incremental progress barely lit in the flickering light of occasional gas and oil lamps. As I approached the center of the room under the peak of the room some rather strange gaunt looking people with grayish skin stretched out their skeletal hands and took me gently by the arms and wrists, spiriting me along down a dark corridor towards the back. Where the quality of the light emanating from under heavy steel double doors to my left seemed to resemble that of a furnace flame. The pace of the footsteps of my guides and the urgency of their grip around my biceps suggesting a certain level of anxiousness to drag me quickly directly to a spot before this closed entrance which at that point, offered the only functional source of illumination for the space from the seam running below. With a lack of unheralded drama, the doors roared open with the sound of metal tearing metal revealing a bedroom wrought in black marble both furniture, ceiling, flooring and walls. And central within was a wildly cavorting dark skinned demon resembling a grotesque hippopotamus that bucked about like a bronco in some inexplicable form of satanic bliss. The flames soaring from a fireplace on the far wall behind this fiend.
Though I felt drunk and slightly overcome with the shock of the moment I didn’t amenable to providing a soul food dinner at that point to serve this noxious beast. I recall being deposited upon an old iron bed where a snowy white goat like Azazel did a frenzied series of energetic backflips over me landing within a languid group of his brethren while I attempted to regain my senses. Though I couldn’t be aware of it a party of Christians were rousing a rescue party in the house below collecting crosses and other paraphernalia to assault the forces of evil who were gathering round the room. My rescuers broke in and the demons scattered, His Majesty, the pig bolting into the midst of the fire resulting in a predigeous explosion momentarily blinding everyone. As the smoky brimstone slowly cleared the entire geometry of the room was transformed to bare brick that was buttressed at the end of by a steel framed glass paneled sunroom in the shape of a hexagram with a diamond point. Within its entire confine was leveraged a massive granite sarcophagus its tilted mass containing a rapidly decomposing human form that transformed from bone to ash as a final skeletal shape melted away almost instantaneously before all eyes. A group of us stood before this curious empty vessel incredulous at the fact of its presence as an older member of the party spoke up. “I recall seeing this sunroom when I was a child”, the sunlight now blazing in to the fractured space its former secret disclosed to the bright blue sky and the horizon filled with buildings in the vista behind.
So having accommodated this sort of bizarre adventure with barely a scratch upon soul or conscience, as I knew even at the worst of it, I was not fit material for submitting to the charms of the underworld, I did not go sunning for the apron strings of the nearest deacon or priest. Whatever it was that summoned me to play was after all part of a larger picture that though I could never hope to imagine its meaning, I certainly took pleasure from its pranks acknowledging that these powers could put on as fine a show as Hollywood.