Search for Self — A Dream

Running. Running as fast as 12-year-old legs can run. Through this vast house — up wide staircases, down shadowed halls. Searching. Endlessly searching — floor after floor, room after room. The house creaks and groans with age. My footsteps echoing. My dress whispering. Can’t find her. Anywhere. Must find her.

Reaching the uppermost floor. Pausing, breathless. High above the stairwell, the ceiling flies away, peaks and leans one plane against another. Set in the farthest, narrowest wall — a doorless threshold. Running again. Passing door after door. Stepping beneath that lintel, crossing that open space. Entering a small room cluttered and stuffed with dusty antiques — dark waxed wood, turned legs, clawed feet; silk and gilt and brocade. And, to the immediate left, a mirrored drapery. A shimmering, subtle screen concealing another doorway. Beyond this shifting veil, I see her, my twin, trapped in that other space. Captive. I see them both obscured, edges furred. He, chastising, berating. She/me, weeping.

Leaning, now, against the drape. Pressing right shoulder to its surprising solidity. Bracing left hand over firm folds of gauzy reflection. Forcing my right hand through, slipping it between too-solid fabric. On a molecular level, it parts, allows my arm to pass. Groping. Reaching. Cheek pressing to cool veil of not-fabric. Fingers settling upon her shoulder, clutching, pulling. Tugging her through the barrier, into this glorified closet room. Pulling her to me.

Staring at her, seeing myself. Echoing grins. Hurriedly pushing random pieces of furniture against the not-curtain. Fleeing. Leaving that austere, dark-clad man to curse and rail.

Leaping together. My twin and I descending the stairwell’s open, central throat. Feet lightly touching walls, banisters, rails, newel posts. No need of steps. Gravity does not rule us.


“Pulling Her Through” — C.Birde, 4/16

5 thoughts on “Search for Self — A Dream

  1. you have created a vivid experience for your reader. the dark, dusty house seems almost suffocating. the evil secret of that house is oppressive until the welcome escape at the end. your ability to quickly create such an intense experience speaks well for your control of language.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. And then you two find a boy riding down the corridor on his big wheel. You both say something slightly creepy in monotone unison. Meanwhile, Jack Nicholson is downstairs working on a typewriter and one drink away from grabbing an axe. 😛

    I’ve had many a dream about being on the move in a shadowy, antique house/mansion. I recall a dream I had as a kid of a shadowy man trapping me in one room while family laughed and ignored me in the next. The shadow lifted my shirt and blew smoke into my belly button, leaving me feeling ill and dizzy. …But, I have never run into a mirror image/seen myself in a dream.


    • It’s interesting, isn’t it? When we look at “art”, our perception of and personal interpretation of the piece we study says a great deal about our own world view. That’s when, I suppose, the “art” — whether crafted of word or image or sound or object — really becomes its own Self. For me personally, not being a fan of the horror genre, the images you suggest have no resonance. I see, instead, strong elements of Lewis Carroll’s Alice. 🙂


      • DOES it say a great deal about our world view, or is the perception of the one observing the initial perceive-er (why perceiver is not a word, I don’t know) merely a whimsical interpretation of the perception given?

        Thank goodness you’re not a horror fan. 🙂 But, in case you didn’t know, that was my version of a scene from “The Shining” with Jack Nicholson. It’s one of the few scary films I’ve managed to endure in adulthood. As a kid, a commercial for the film was enough to send me quaking to my room…where I then had to find something to occupy myself that wouldn’t add to the nightmare. My first scary movie experience was “Phantasm.” I was about 6? and traumatized by the old man stalking this kid through the film. I drew images from the film in school just to process what I saw.

        Yea, I saw the Alice in “Underland” elements, too. I guess I just thought everyone–including myself–has beaten that story dynamic to a pulp.


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