Vivid dreams are far from rare for me, but last night’s deserves preserving.
I was in a maze. This is a theme, lately, with the maze being constructed of different materials with different inhabitants from night to night.
Last night it was steel. Stainless steel, polished so I was shadowed by my own blurry reflection as I tried to find my way through. The panels reached high above my head and wind whistled above, shoving feathers of clouds into streaks across a sky the color of a fading bruise.
I started out trying to follow the golden rule of mazes. Keep turning in the same direction whenever possible. I did fine for a while, and though I had no clue where I was in the grand scheme of the maze I felt I was making progress; either towards the exit or the center.
Then things started to go sideways. I was turned around one of the steel panels and was greeted with a twisting column of fire. It burned hot, pale blue at the center and shimmering. The heat beat against my face and arms, alarmingly hot and the metal behind it glowed a lurid red. The column stretched up as high as the maze before fading into yellow licks of flames.
Abruptly it went out, only the fading darkness on the wall and the scorch on the granite underfoot marking its presence. The heat disipated and I continued on, being certain not to linger too long.
The occurence repeated at odd intervals, with the fire taking different shapes and varying intensities of inferno. Then I started to hear voices. Not whispers but out and out conversations, and they always seemed just on the otherside of the panel I was walking along. I struggled to follow one pair as they engaged in a low but passionate quarrel.
I was quickly led astray of my intention to make consistant turns.
The further I walked the more blackened rock I happened across, the more eery fires appeared. Soon it seemed every step I took was over a dark, cracked slab of rock, every foot of steel I passed was darkened with the distinct blueing of tempered steel. My anxiety built when the fires began to block passages and flaring up behind me, giving me no option but a predetermined path.
Then I woke.