Monday, January 30, 2017

I Dream of Death

I died into a bed of a small cabin. When I wake I already know what has happened to me. The cell is reminiscent of changing rooms in swimming pool facilities; the walls are bare with pale colours. I can come up with no expression for their warm hues. I'm not familiar with the capacity of this place − it seems I haven't been dead for a while. I look down to my body and there is no corporal confusion or any other post-traumatic effects that bodies are supposed to endure after a physiological change. This leads me to believe that the laws of nature my reasoning got to instinctively know are now gone.

I get up and go to the door, but my reflection in its mirroring surface stops me. Is this how I looked like before I died? I don't recognise myself, and yet I remember my former life so clearly. Shrugging, I open the door. The corridor outside reveals what seem to be cabins like the one I died into. Their entrances are reflective on the front, too. There is someone waiting for me outside and I notice the same face that looked back at me from the mirror. I stare at myself silently, knowing inexplicably that I am here to guide myself, according to the principles that shape this place into order. So I turn back to the entrance in order to look at myself again, to shake off the feeling of irrationality. I look a bit chubby and ageing.

"You are about to go back," I say to myself, "and you will continue where you left off."

I understand this not literally, but from the viewpoint of reincarnation. Then, opaque buttons appear on the mirror, allowing me to change any parameter of how I look and what my surroundings are.

"Of course, you are not obliged to follow recommendations. This machine allows you to set the finest details of your future life script." I turn to face myself. "It will calculate the consequences and sacrifices to any set of variables."

I open the door to be alone and focus on the design, but the other me stops me just before I am to shut the door. "Don't worry. You cannot make mistakes, only delays... And, take your time. You have eternity."

I shut the door, realising that this is not what I believed in at all in the life I just died from and, just as this thought splatters across the canvas of my convictions, everything around me darkens and I can only see the stars.

"Hey!" I shout, but there is no answer. I look around to see that I am in free space, immobile. I feel no force affecting me. I try to mimic swimming, yet even if I do move, there is no way I can tell. I start to panic and shout, I kick and scream for what seems to be decades before I remember that where I am now, there mustn't be time. So I despair, letting the sorrow roll tears down my cheeks and only when they freeze up do I notice how numbingly cold it is around me. I curl into a ball and shiver, feeling like the centre of nothingness, alone and with a growing sense of fear that − this − is it, now and ever.

Then I hear a sound. I straighten out and shriek in surprise as my feet touch a cold, glassy surface. I look down and I still see the infinity of astral lights. Around me, though, I can sense barely visible corners of a room and in this room with me is a small box so black that it serves as a contrast to the darkness of the universe. On the box is a hole even shadowier. I hear the sound again, like troubled breathing, coming from inside.

"Who is there?" I ask.

A pale, torn voice replies: "Death of deaths." Then, a crusty, white hand appears in the opening and, pointing towards me, shakily pulls out the rest of the dry and crumbling spectre that is commanding it. "Now is the time for the halt."

The dread that was ever strong in my being just a breath ago is now gone, and a stunning serenity takes over me.

"I can grant you the wish to end this all once and for all." The apparition says. "Hear my proposals."

I feel almost wonderful, even if I can understand that according to how my mind reasoned while I was alive, this ghost would be beyond eerie to confront like this.

"I can strip you of your immortality. I can make you one with the void. Accept my offer and you shall neither suffer nor enjoy anymore."

There is a trick to this, I suddenly think as I begin to make sense of the situation. Why did this entity appear before me, why does it offer such irrevocable pacts? All I manage to reply, however, is: "I relish existence far more than to give it up for the lack of pain."

The demon is still for a moment, its sunken features stop shaking, its hollow skull ceases breathing, and suddenly: "Then give me all your flesh, and you can stay immortal and bodiless, relieved from carnal oblivion."

"Then I would be like you, serving only one purpose, without any chances to be refined."

As I give my denial, the calmness that kept my fright hindered breaks as a dam after an aeon of neglect, flooding me with alertness to how dangerous my conversational partner might really be.

"Then hear me, defiant of transcendent death! Accept my final offer or experience all you have gathered up until here backwards of its progression! May your death be your birth, and may your birth be your death!"

I shudder at such a prospect, yet the punishment appears even worse. I fear going back to what I had already endured, deconstructing all my practicality in the process; but then I remember: "No! I shall not accept any of your offers. You are nothing to me since I am and you are not!"

The cold ghost howls deafeningly and approaches to swallow me whole, its mouth darker than the hole the thing crawled out from, and I scream in desperation as I get sucked in by a force that shreds me into long, agonising strings of hellish infinity.

Then I explode. I am all the possibilities that were and will be, there is the nothingness that can be bent to my will, to create perpetual ranges of complexities. So I create a past for myself to look back into, but I see that it has fallen apart, there is nothing there anymore. Now, I can understand that it is only I, it was just one arching phenomenon all along, and for existence to remain preserved the notion of myself must disintegrate. Thus, I melt into the possibilities that be and create sound to have music, which will resonate the echoes of all strivings.

Just the moment before I disappear to all that I was and will be, I hear myself for one last time: " will continue where you left off."

I wake up.

ghost nebula death space reincarnation eternal life infinity

This writing is a part of the Dream Distillery series of posts.


  1. That was very vivid! So is this a real dream of your, or based on a dream and refined to this writting?

    1. Hello there and thank You for the feedback. ;)

      This piece is based on three of my actual dreams in which the motif was me having a post-mortem experience. You might recognise the first two distinguished dreams, while the last one is touched only briefly at the very end (at the 'exploding part').

      All three were a bit different when originally experienced. The first, karmic segment is a bit shortened and stylised but follows what basically happened. In the second part with the ghost, I exchanged the order of the questions and had to come up with a third one because in my dream, the apparition woke me up as the third option, kinda. :) The last bit changed the most, as I only kept its meaning (self-dissolution) without the 'plot', which included some otherworldly court and the end of the Universe.

      With the Dream Distillery, I want to explore my dreams and practice my storytelling and writing skills. So I kind of let their realities live again. I like to believe that I make them more than just some intrinsic experience from the past I could easily dismiss. What might be even more important – I gain control over the realities of these visions. :D

  2. Wow! Your actions were very wise and brave when you encountered the 'Demon'.
    I enjoyed your post a lot, it is like a proper exciting short story. Thank you! :)