I dreamt of dragons over the weekend and I am shaken by the content. Two previous dream types were referenced; one a classic, a child living in a Baobab tree (see Dragons), the other more recent. You’ll see as you read. I am left wondering who the puppet and who master.
There was a knock at the door below. A knock is not strange by itself, but the gentleness of the rap; almost ladylike in its strike. For just a moment, the boy thought of his mother. Possibly she had found him and was here to take him home. For only a moment though did he pause, the boy had learned never to trust and a knock in the night, no matter how appealing its chime, necessitated caution.
So, with lance in one hand and shield in the other, the boy walked carefully downstairs to his front door.
“Hello? Who’s there?”
No response. Looking through the peephole only revealed barren landscape. Carefully, the boy cracked the door but at the moment of opening a burst of energy blew it off its hinges. First, a scaly hand grasped the end of his lance and tugged. Before the boy could let go, a tale shot through the opening like a serpent striking a mouse and coiled around his waist. The boy could not counter and was flung out into the sand, both lance and shield knocked aside.
In the middle of his chest, a very large dragon muzzle pinned him. With every breath exhaled, the boy felt a blast of fiery heat from the dragon’s nostrils. The dragon parried the boy’s feint by pushing harder into his chest. The boy gasped for breath and the dragon pulled back shaking its head ever so slightly as if to say “No.” This stilled the boy. What else was there to do but await his fate? Sharp teeth and sticky gums appeared as a grin spread across the dragon’s lips. With a grunt, the beast grabbed the boy, flung him onto its back and was airborne leaving no chance of escape. That is, unless the boy coveted certain death by leaping off. They were already hundreds of feet in the air.
Dragons are very fast.
Holding on, the boy watched as the dragon flew towards the distant mountains where its cave lay. The boy’s thoughts were of defeat. The dragons had finally gotten the better of him and now he would become their dinner. But as they approached the lairs of his numerous enemies, it become clear that was not their intended destination. Flapping vigorously, the dragon cleared the peaks by mere inches.
The boy looked back and in the distance saw his home in the Baobab tree, light from its open door spilling out onto the front yard. Looking ahead he saw rolling hills as far as his eyes could see. He looked back again, but this time, there were followers; nine dragons pursuing in tight formation. The boy’s mount never acknowledged the chase. Actually, now that the boy had time to look, this was the dragon that had earlier attempted communications or at least some form of writing.
“What are you doing!?” he screamed at the beast.
The dragon ignored the boy and kept flying over hill after hill. Looking down the boy saw they were covered in grass ruffled by a breeze. On each hill stood a small boy, about his size standing at the summit silent, still and staring off into the distance. He tried calling to them but none noticed.
He gave up. This night’s adventure had become a complete mystery. The boy had never been beyond the mountains, had never seen the hills and had no idea other boys existed in this realm. He was not alone. But on closer scrutiny, the boy noticed something, something very important. The child atop each hill looked just like him. It was as if he had been copied multiple times and thrown about the hills like planting seed. For the first time fear gripped the boy.
Watching from above, one of the pursuing dragons dove full speed at one the children. The boy cringed at the violence about to occur. But, mystery, not carnage happened. The dragon swept down but did not devour the child. It flew straight into the child’s body, disappearing in a ball of flame that when dissipated, left only the little boy still standing on his grassy hill. The dragon became part of the child.
A perplexity of reality, dragons eat boys not disappear inside them.
Then, another dragon flew into another child. Again and again it happened until only he and his mount were left in the air. The implication drew a shiver down his spine. Was he, too, to be host to this beast who had kidnapped him?
They flew on for what seemed like days. Finally the hills ended at the edge of a green sea. The dragon dropped gently from the sky landing at the foot of a man. The boy looked into the man’s face and saw his eyes were deep black and sightless. The dragon knelt so that its shoulder touched the ground. Carefully, not sure what was happening, the boy climbed off the dragon’s back. He looked at the man whose eyes remained a void first and then back at the dragon. The dragon’s eyes were filled with many emotions but nothing the boy perceived as malice.
With a thrust of its snout, the dragon pushed the boy towards the sightless man. Confused, the boy watched as the dragon inhaled deeply. Then he understood.
But it was too late. The dragon exhaled a line a flame that engulfed both boy and man. Then flapping its wings, the dragon took to the air, gulping both boy and man as it lifted off. Neither had been burned and both sat comfortably in the dragon’s stomach. The boy could sense their direction from inside. He felt every hill pass underneath again. This time, the trip back to the mountains lasted less than a minute. The dragon opened its mouth allowing the boy to see the approaching jagged rock face. The man never moved, just laid against the wall of the dragon’s belly. The boy watched as the mountains grew closer. He kept thinking the dragon would pull up but the beast kept a true course straight at the mountains harsh wall. When it became clear there would be no deviation from death, the boy pounded on the reptile’s teeth, tongue and cheeks, anything that might get attention. But as before, to no avail. Resigned to their fate, the boy sat and watched as the mountains ahead loomed larger and larger until he could see the small seams of individual rocks.
The dragon hit nose first, exploding in a great fireball leaving nothing behind. First there was intense heat and pain and then all went dark. Nothing for an eternity before light appeared once more. The boy stood next to the man who now had eyes blue and full of sight. Across from them stood an Indian typing something into his phone, face lit by its screen in the night air. The man next to him spoke.
“Ray, what are you doing?”
The Indian man looked up.
“Yeah. Finding out if I have to scalp you or not?”
“Oh,” was the man’s only reply.
Here the dream ended and my eerie questioning begins. Of course I’m the man and Oliver the boy but who is the dragon? Ray gave me permission to post this. His response, “Hell, I like being the bad guy.” But I am not sure who the bad guy of this dream really is. The memory of it sits in my gut like bad Mexican food eaten the night before. It growls in my subconscious without the substance of reason.