Dreams – No, seriously, Hell is in the mall

Two or three years after the dream about the little girl opening the gates of hell, I dreamt another mall/hell dream.

A few friends and I are walking in the same mall as last time, and we notice people our age slipping into service exits. After witnessing several more people doing this, we investigate. The service exit we enter leads down into a large, shadowy cavern below the mall. There is graffiti on the walls and all kinds of, what my mind apparently designates as, underground shops (shops with party gear, tattoo parlours, nite clubs and a sprinkling of shops selling items that would appeal to alternative culturally inclined individuals).

There is an air of mystery and the forbidden. The further we walk into the seemingly endless darkness, the darker and more dangerous the themes become. Here and there we start seeing strangely changed people. Some have angular features and elongated limbs. I see a few that appear to have no white in their eyes. Soon, I feel uncomfortable but also fascinated by this place. Eventually we leave.

We return another night to explore this dangerously attractive underground party. Again we head deeper into the cavern. We explore further than we did before. Besides the people with the strange features, we also see creatures that look less human and more like demons.  At first, we glance nervously at these creatures, but slowly we start feeling more dangerous ourselves. There is an intoxicating euphoria in the air and I realise that I care less and less about things that would have scared me before…and that I actually like the danger.

Rather like that feeling of guilt you may have after eating a family member’s carefully stashed birthday chocolate, the nagging feeling that I’m falling prey to evil’s seductive lure pops into my head. Just the kind of insidious and practically irresistible kind of lure that can convince good people to let go of their good values. And there goes my irrepressible sense of responsibility. I realise that I will carry an eternal sense of guilt if I stay here and succumb. And with that, I  also suddenly realise that I have inadvertently entered one of the upper levels of hell because of my incessant need to prove that I’m not an innocent goody two shoes. (Fail, yes? lol)

At this point I wake up.

Dreams – Hell is in the mall

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.