I dreamt a lot of stays-with-you dreams when I was in high school. One that has come back to me time and time again (as a memory, I never dreamt it again), was one I had when I was 17. It was a very vivid dream.
My parents and I were part of a large site-seeing group visiting a fantastically large cave. As we were going in, I remember getting a flash birds-eye view of the mountain peak rising above a lush green forest (funny how some dreams are kind of like movies, huh?).
As we gathered close to listen to our guide, I felt an ominous presence. It was something that touched my mind from deep within the mountain. The more I concentrated on it, the more I came to realise that I was not imagining it. A dark and powerful being was watching us, waiting for some kind of opportunity.
I tried to alert my parents, but they didn’t understand what I was on about. It was then that a sudden avalanche closed off the mouth of the cave. We were stuck in there…right where this presence – that I had by now decided was a god – could do what he pleased.
My awareness shifted out of my body and I moved through the stone body of the mountain. Not too far away from the cavern where our tourist group was huddled in the dark, I saw a woman descending a long and narrow set of stairs. She wore a beautiful full skirt with a ceremonial tabard over her cheesecloth shirt. Golden bangles glinted on her wrists and ankles. Her dark hair wafting behind her in a delicate arrangement of copper jewelry and curls was mesmerising, her dramatically outlined eyes alluring.
As I watched her in fascination, I became aware that I too possessed some sort of power and with this the ability to help the group of people trapped in the cave. Sadly, I had absolutely no idea how to use it. I hadn’t been trained, I had no guidance – I had no idea what to do or how to go about it.
The priestess was still going down and down and down. The air was becoming very hot, though I could not feel it. I saw her skin go red and then start blistering. The fact that she didn’t turn around and retreat caught me by surprise. But then I saw the look of zealous ecstasy on her face. The very fact that the air was burning her was a sign of her faith being rewarded.
In increasing horror, I watched her clothes and hair charring to ash. Her skin bubbled and flaked and wafted up in the heat. I could hardly believe she was still alive.
At the very bottom of the stairs there was a bright orange and yellow pool of magma, hissing and bubbling with primal heat. The priestess’s face split and tore as she grinned and clambered over the rail. She didn’t even scream as the molten earth claimed her. (This part still sets my skin crawling today.)
As she disappeared in a gout of steam and flame, I felt the ancient evil god’s power increasing to overwhelming proportions. His malevolent glee made a cold weight settle into my body. The last thing I saw before my presence returned to my body was the magma inexorably rising up the stairwell.
I knew it was my responsibility to save the tour group. I had to get them out. I had to stop the volcano from erupting. I tried reaching for my power, but I simply didn’t understand how and no one else would be able to help me. The feeling of hopelessness was crippling.
Finally, the deadly glowing magma started creeping into the cavern. The air filled with screams of pain and fear. I had failed.