I think this one was Friday night: Everything was very similar to the movie Ghostbusters, except we were trapping real demons – none of these kind-of-spooky slimer ghosts: scary tear-your-soul-up denizens of the dark. Anyway, the part I remember about it was right around when the guy from the EPA or whatever was going to shut down our containment device. I tried to explain that if he did so, things would get really bad, but, as in the movie, he half didn’t believe me and half didn’t care. The thing that struck me was that I really didn’t try too hard to stop him. I told him that if he shut it down, things would start to suck real bad, real fast – and then just let him do it. And you know what? Things started to suck real bad, real fast, and I pretty much didn’t care.
I’ve never had a zombie dream before. In this one, it was after dark and I was at some sort of gathering outside of a small chapel in an old, faintly gothic, faintly turn-of-the-century (the one before last) graveyard. A handful of men appeared in post-apocalyptic survivalist garb (lots of worn leather straps and buckles; nothing really matched; fingerless leather gloves, etc.) and began to warn us about what was going to happen. They started passing out these gloves that had short half-moon blades on the fingers (about two or three joints worth) and instructed us that our only solution was to quickly draw the blades along the sides of our necks (while pressing hard), so that we severed all the right arteries. Killing ourselves, you see, was really the only way to avoid the horror that was about to befall us (presumably at midnight).
I don’t recall any actual conversation; I generally just kind of know what’s going on in my dreams. That’s why I say “presumably” – these descriptions end up being mostly assumptions on my part as to how to explain what happened in b&w Georgia 10pt.
So the gist of all this is that the dead were about to rise and kill us all. I gleaned that this was something that happens on a fairly regular basis (every century, millennium, or something) and was a general culling of humanity. The men who arrived to warn us and provide us with their solution left pretty quickly, and my assumption is that they were some of the ones that survived the last culling.
The rest of what happened action-wise isn’t all that interesting to me, but I’ll relate it anyhow:
I decided that, while I’m generally a pro-suicide kind of guy, this attitude does not extend to taking my own life (surprisingly (or not), I’m like that in real life as well as my dreams ;-); so I decided to run, which seemed, at the time, the only reasonable option. The kicker was that wherever I ran, I encountered another graveyard. I ran to the river by the woods and found that I was surrounded by tombstones. Somewhere between my leaving the original cemetery and this, the appointed hour arrived and the dead did, in fact, start to rise. I got chased here and there in the meantime, climbing trees and trying unsuccessfully to find places where I wouldn’t be caught.
So there I was, at the end of my rope, water to one side, woods to another, and tombstones all around me. I watched a lady rise from the ground and start to gracefully walk from her grave. The risen dead were not dessicated corpses clawing their way free from the earth, by the way; they were more like solid apparitions pivoting from a supine to an upright state and then walking (again, relatively gracefully). The lady was all white, as one would expect from a ghost, with a white full-length empress-cut nightgown on. As she walked (I don’t think towards me), she bent a knee to reach down and touch a small three dimensional dog-shaped marker, which thereupon turned white and also came alive. Both the lady and the little dog had oversized mouths and long, sharp teeth. The dog was half-circling me and making to attack and I looked at the lady and asked her if she would not have her dog attack me, but rather that she do me in in a fairly painless fashion, to which she agreed and promptly (gracefully) tore into the left side of my neck. It was, as she promised, painless, and I woke up. Not startled or frightened or anything. Rather, I went back to sleep in an attempt to re-enter the dream and learn more.
I don’t remember my re-entry – even with the fantasy-type dreams, they’re never the same once I’ve left them. I guess that’s because I know I’m in a dream and the actual fantasy (now in the literal sense) part has ceased to exist.
Anyway, the thing that I found interesting about the dream had more to do with the men who came to warn us. They weren’t in any way hero figures; they weren’t special, other than the fact that they survived the last culling. Oh, they had certain skills and, one might say, powers, but these were really just the practical result of having made it through the last time. They were not righteous or altruistic; they were not trying to save us from dying, only from dying in an unpleasant fashion with fear in our hearts.
For my own purposes, I would like to extrapolate on the character of these men and why they didn’t try to save us; but I suppose that is just the tendency of one who reads a lot to want to put everything into recognizable patterns and stereotypes. No, these men were not heroesque in any sense of the word. They did not naturally possess specific unique talents that allowed them to survive the last culling. I might extrapolate that they were “blessed” (please note the disdain evidenced by my use of quotes) with lives long enough to last the time between cullings. However, I will not conjecture further, but let everything stand as I have explained.
My feel from the dream was that these cullings were part of the natural order of things – that humanity waxes and doesn’t wane without this culling. Or rather, to make the metaphor more solid and smooth, that these cullings are the waning of humanity. In the same way that we must take action to reproduce and multiply, so too must there be action to bring us to a more manageable or natural number. But this is, as I said, conjecture and probably only good for the purposes of what you’re reading right now. In fact, please ignore all but the first sentence of this paragraph.