When I was somewhere between fifteen and seventeen, I had a lot of dreams about responsibility. This one was admittedly after playing Diablo I for probably every weekend for two months.
I’m walking around in Menlyn Park (before it was rebuilt) with my mother when I notice a strangely blank hallway. Its walls are grey and there are no shop windows. I walk around the corner to peer down the hall when I see a small girl sitting next to an unfinished section of the hallway. There is a construction sign to ward off curious shoppers and the hallway terminates in construction site with exposed bricks, wires and scaffolding.
I walk over to the girl to ask her where her parents are when I notice what she’s doing. She’s scratching occult runes into the powdery cement of the unpainted wall. My blood runs cold and I pick her up. After some frantic searching, I find her mother and feel relief flooding me.
Just wanting to check that all is well, I return to the spot where I found her. And there she is. As if I hadn’t taken her away just moments before. She scratches the last mark into the wall and I feel my stomach dropping away. She smiles a creepy little-girl smile at me and looks horrifically satisfied with what she has done.
In that moment I know that she has opened the gates of Hell and I am the only one who knows. With that comes a sudden all-encompassing fear of God. A phrase I had never quite understood before. But, in that moment, I know that God has put the blame squarely on my shoulders and it is I that will have to venture into the depths of Hell to close the gate. Flames lick up the uneven, cavern-like walls beyond the Gate. I feel very small and weak. But I know that I am far more afraid of the wrath of God than anything I will find down there. I venture in.
That is all I remember…except for vaguely Diablo-esque fighting as I attempt to somehow gain control of the dream and it becomes me clicking away on a mouse, closing the gates of Hell by removing my consciousness from my body and doing it through a computer screen. I don’t actually successfully close those gates before I wake up.