aqua fortis

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Flickr Fiction: The Meaning of Dreams

A tree whose roots reach down, down; far underground until they open into a cavern, open into branches again, and twigs, and leaves. And the branches descend into the floor of the cavern, and go farther down, but I don't know where.

And there are more of these trees. A dozen, an underground copse. A forest full.

I walk through. To my left, a wood grows downward; to my right, another. It disturbs me that I don't know how far it goes.

"You don't think it means anything, do you?" he says, and chuckles warmly, taking another measured sip of his martini.

I throw my head back and laugh. I like to think my laugh sparkles, shimmers into the hazy darkness. But I know the truth. It shatters into a million pieces and disappears.

And again, the next night. I'm walking in the wood that grows the wrong way. It descends with such lightness, yet it is so solid. Each branch is a slender trunk, each twig a rod as strong as steel. I run my fingers gently along the wood, stretching my arms out to either side.

I should probably talk about this with someone. Not with him, but a licensed professional. Someone with authority to interpret, to diagnose, to judge, to believe. What he does is assume. What he does is drink, and laugh, and look through me.

I've never walked so far before. The trees reach downward all around me. Soon I can no longer see the path. It is as though I have always been here, a part of this place, a place that stretches on forever.

Then suddenly the endless sameness is broken. It stands in a clearing—the tree. A tree that is more than a tree. Things…grow out of it, and into it. I walk closer, touch the leather of an ancient tome, the brittle gossamer of a pair of dragonfly wings. And I know that this is where I was meant to come.


This week's piece was inspired by Booktree by Flickr user Ulle.b. Check the usual suspects for more Flickr Fiction: The Gurrier, Isobel, Elimare, Chris, TadMack, Neil, and Valsha. And maybe Dermot and Mari--URLs to come one day soon.


Valsha said...

I like this. I like the contrast between the mysticism of the dream, the anxiety of the dreamer and the judgement of the man ...

elimare said...

What Valsha said. The dream section seems much more real than the cynicism of the man.

Donal said...

Nice take on the picture and I second and third Valsha and Elimare. Especially like the little aside about her laugh.

a. fortis said...

Thanks, guys! I really wanted to take this further, but was hampered by the fact that I had no idea where it was going...

TadMack said...

...and isn't that what hampers us all!

I like the description of her laugh -- that tells so much about her, she wants to shimmer, but she shatters...

This has the feel of something of something fabulous... a great beginning.