Song of Storms

Cropped header image by Nik Cyclist under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.

This morning, I woke up feeling very ill. There didn’t seem to be much else to do but wait for recovery, and so I slept.

In my first dream, I was on holiday in the summertime, staying in a bedroom on the top floor of someone’s two-storey house on the borders of a town at the countryside. The grey sky cast a layer of shadow over the house, and the rain fell lightly outside. I briefly looked out the window, and saw a small park on the ground level, a road outside the house leading both left or right, and rolling hills occasionally interrupted by lines of trees all the way to the horizon.

I was preoccupied with the room itself; I had been here before, in my childhood. It seemed more like I’d grown up here than visited – there were photos of me with people I didn’t recognise framed in the room, and scattered across the floor were items I got a familiar feeling from, ones I remembered from my childhood. I remembered everything from my childhood, and eventually came onto the subject of other dreams. I realised that I was in a dream, thus ending the dream.

In the second dream, I was at someone else’s house around Christmastime. Fairy lights hung up around the walls, and so as the light from outside started to fade as evening drew closer, their living room lit up warm orange, and though we weren’t eating, I sat around the dining table to the side of the room with a group of people, talking about various light issues and occasionally sipping my drink. Mid-conversation, I started to realise something was amiss. I didn’t talk to any of these people, nor would any of them invite me to a Christmas gathering. I realised what this was, and desperately tried to prevent myself realising I was in a dream, but to no avail. I woke up, and though I couldn’t move my arms, I could feel them on my pillow in the waking world.

The third dream was the longest. I was back in my room in the countryside house, having long since sorted out my childhood possessions. Not yet lunchtime, I stared listlessly out the window, getting accustomed to my surroundings. I sat down inside one of the window alcoves, looking down to see a jogger in the park run by and the house’s owner and a local farmer standing on the green, having an unknown conversation. I wondered what they thought of a city dweller like me…

Fast forward to the next scene; I was with a friend from my hometown, heading towards the town’s centre. It looked a lot like central London and had crowds comparable to central London, despite being a countryside town. I saw a banner in one of the busy back streets for a new place to make friends in; it was a central hub for people to hang out in, relax, take part in all kinds of free to join activities and, well…make friends. I remember seeing a post about it online, and felt compelled to go. Though I don’t remember, the banner noted a condition needing to be fulfilled to be admitted entry that seemed vague.

Another fast forward later, and we entered the hub, and the ground floor was only the reception, though there were tables on the sides of the room that were already full with groups of people relaxing and talking to each other. Music played throughout the place from the sound system, and there were 3 receptionists standing at their desks on the right of the room. The stairs were just before the reception booths, and my friend headed up the stairs quickly. I powerwalked after him, reminding him that we still had to ask about the vague condition on the banner. In retrospect, I don’t know why I didn’t ask the receptionists on the ground floor, though there was an information desk at the far end of the first floor. I asked the woman there about it, and she said we need not worry, and that it wasn’t actually a condition that was enforced, just a suggestion as to its target audience. She talked about something the place was organising in a few days, and handed me a flyer; it was a trip to some other place. It looked interesting, and so I made a note to myself to try to go. I thanked her and went to sit down with my friend to discuss food. We found a table at the corner of the room, next to two floor-to-ceiling windows. I wasn’t sure why it wasn’t taken in such a busy place, especially with such a nice view, even as the afternoon started to age. My friend suggested we eat at the inn he was staying at in the town I was also staying in (he mentioned its name as the “Red Roof Inn”, though such a hotel chain does not exist in the UK.)

We made the slow walk back to town – it took us roughly an hour to get there. We ended up at an unused bus stop about 200 metres away from the house I was staying in, a little further down the road. It was starting to get dark, but for reasons unknown to us, the place was electric; there was a steady of stream of people walking past us either way, and there was a buzz of conversation in the atmosphere. In the distance, I could hear a rock band playing music I could barely make out, and I looked to see the top of their small stage in the background on one of the flat parts of the rolling hills I’d seen from my window. Bright pink lights flashed from behind the trees to the right of the stage, though they were closer to us than the stage, and a ferris wheel lit up rainbow turned in the distance, on the other side of the stage. I never saw or truly heard the band playing, but…I somehow knew what they looked like and who they were. We talked for ages at the bus stop as the pink lights continued flashing in the sky and the music continued. He mentioned the Red Roof Inn again, though neither of us made a move to go and eat, instead simply talking about how we wished we could eat. We took photos of the surroundings with our phones; he focused on the stage in the distance, and I focused on the pink lights as the sky grew darker still. I looked to my right to see an urban-looking park on a much lower elevation, surrounded on three sides by a U-shaped building of flats. It was full of parents watching over their children playing in the park, and there was some more music in the area, as well as neon lights on the items in the playground.

It started to rain, and it came down fast and heavy. We stood under the bus stop, but nobody left or ran to shelter. The children continued playing in the park, and a stream of people walked past us to and from the events, even if they walked a little bit faster. We continued taking photos of the place, and the band in the distanced played even more fiercely now, in defiance of the bad weather. The pink lights flashed even more brilliantly now, and the ferris wheel cut its circular shape in the dark grey sky. The both of us continued taking photos of the new scene until the pink lights stopped and eventually, the rain stopped too, revealing a clear night sky. My friend took a panoramic photo of the place after the rain ended, and his left hand took hold of my phone in my idling right hand as he rotated through around 90 degrees for his photo. I let go of the phone under the impression he wanted it for something, and he took it before handing it back to me, laughing. I laughed too, and he said that he didn’t need my phone, he was just holding it because it was in his path as he rotated for the wide-angle photo.

We talked again about food; neither of us had actually eaten all day, and the Red Roof Inn came up again in conversation. He was set on eating there, but not so much on actually going there, though we both knew that if we went there to eat, it would be the end of the day…maybe that was why we didn’t eat. He received a text on his phone, and he reacted with disappointment when he saw it; he told me that somebody needed him, and that we both had to head home on that night.

I opened my mouth to say that it was a shame we had to go home already, and that the day had been exactly the kind of summer adventure you’d see on TV.

I never got to say it; I woke up.

 

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