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Friday, April 22, 2016

S IS FOR A DANCE OF QUESTIONS

“Even a soul submerged in sleep
is hard at work and helps
make something of the world.”

 - Heraclitus 

{Play the music as you read}

The shadows filmed over in bronze gauze, 

filled with hooded figures in colorful gowns floating dreamlike past us as strange music filled the darkness:


Mark shivered as one wraith stroked chill fingers along his throat.  Even Freud seemed shaken.

"W-We arrive at S, Roland.  What occurs to you at the sound of that letter?"
 
"Sleep and the dreams that dwell in it." 

Freud tore his eyes from the departing wraiths with an effort and said, 

"The reason you struggle to remember your dreams, Roland, is because the superego is at work. 

It is doing its job by protecting the conscious mind from the disturbing images and desires conjured by the unconscious."

Mark nodded, "I often slept-walked as these figures seem to be doing."

He shook himself as if a dog fresh from a bath and assumed a jovial face though neither Freud nor I were fooled.

The wraiths swirled and parted around the tables they passed, their frozen footprints breathing icy vapors up into the shadows.

" Go to bed early, get up early--this is wise. 

Some authorities say get up with one thing, some with another."

Mark pulled his eyes from the spectral walkers with a visible effort.

 "But a lark is really the best thing to get up with. 

It gives you a splendid reputation with everybody to know that you get up with the lark; 

and if you get the right kind of a lark, and work at him right, 

you can easily train him to get up at half-past nine, every time--it is no trick at all."

The last walker in shadows kissed a lone customer at a table.  The man gasped and faded bit by bit into nothing.

Mark shivered and  jabbed his glowing cigar end at me.  

"Now that boy there!  

He goes to sleep at once.  

There is a sort of indefinable something about it which is not exactly an insult, and yet is an insolence.

 I get to feeling very lonely, with no company but an undigested dinner."

I shook my head at him.  "Ghosts don't eat."

The lagging figure in black robes stopped, turned around, and laughed softly

the sound of it trailing off like icicles slowly bleeding. 

Mark husked, "In that you are wrong, son."

Now, it was my turn to shiver.

26 comments:

  1. And the atmosphere changes from banter in the previous posts to chilling... excellent surprise, Roland.

    Susan A Eames from
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

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    1. It's nice every now and then to shake up the reader's expectations, right? Thanks for enjoying the change of mood. :-)

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  2. Hi Roland - I too get myself to sleep as soon as possible - the S of dark Shadows is not something I enjoy - nor do I like feeling chilled - wonderful read though .. and I did enjoy the music of Assassin's Creed as I read ... just glad it's daylight - cheers Hilary

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    1. I hoped someone would use the music as background to my post. Yes, I was afraid those that read this at night might have trouble in their dreams! :-)

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  3. I love that even Freud was shaken. My favorite part has to be about training larks to get up later so that you can sleep in.

    Cheers - Ellen | http://thecynicalsailor.blogspot.com/2016/04/s-is-for-sailrite-nancy-drew.html

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    1. Yes, I am a fan of getting up late since I can do it so seldom! Even Freud can be scared!!

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  4. Among Tibetan Buddhist there is the...hungry ghost...

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    1. I'll have to look that one up. It sounds like that concept could be helpful in initial stages of a short story I am mulling over. :-) Thanks!

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  5. Wouldn't it be lovely to train larks to wake you up? This was a rather chilling post but I loved the larks part.

    @Kathleen01930
    Meet My Imaginary Friends
    #AtoZchallenge

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    1. We're back to banter tomorrow, Kathleen. And yes, larks or nightingales to awaken to would be lovely, wouldn't it?

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  6. I need some sleep right now! Hectic week.

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    1. Better dreams than what Freud was having! :-)

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  7. Sleep and dreams - they reflect what is bothering us at times, and while in a dream, we dwell within a different plane, one we can't find when we are awake. Our sleep can be disturbed if we are worrying about something, if the day has been stressful, etc. I get a lot of broken sleep since I have to be alert to help hubs. I didn't think ghosts 'ate' either, maybe they just inhale. . .

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    1. What if that plane were real? Our dream selves the actual reality and our conscious lives merely figments of illusion? :-)

      I pray that things go better with your husband and sleep comes easier and more peacefully!

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  8. So, even ol' Mark has things he can't laugh off easily.

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    1. Yes, the deaths of two of his daughters early in their lives plus the death of his beloved wife made his last years dark ones sadly.

      In my alternate history, THE STARS BLEED AT MIDNIGHT, I saved those daughters and evened the scales by doing in the grumpiest of his daughters. Saved his wife, too.

      Have Keyboard; Will Re-Write History! :-)

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  9. Are we getting ready for a twist as we get towards the end. (I couldn't play the music. I'm sneaking this at work, and it would be frowned on.)

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    1. Always a twist with me. Play it at home and you'll understand why the chills. :-)

      I'm flattered that you are sneaking my post in at work. I'm sneaking in this reply at work, too! :-)

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  10. Oh, Mr. Twain sounds perturbed there.....

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    1. Just a little rattled. :-) I would have been, too. Good to see you here.

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  11. The stress of our day follows us in the dark of night, and dark shadows it does produce. Vengeful and hungry too! I've many a nightmare to prove it. :)

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    1. When I was facing cancer surgery on my face, I had many a nightmare. Brrr.

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  12. I used to sleep walk and it was terrifying because once I realized I was outside and didn't know how I'd gotten there!

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    1. Mark Twain suffered from sleep walking until he was a young adult. Happy he wasn't about it! I can understand the disorientation you must have felt, Kathryn. :-(

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  13. There are a few sleep disorders in my family, and dreams. My dad-night terrors. My brother and son sleepwalking. As a child my dad and brother's sleep issues scared me. :)

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    1. Of course they scared you. Even an adult would have been rattled by both your father and brother being assaulted by their sleep. Night terrors are no laughing matter. Has medical science found any way to help your father, brother, and son? I pray so.

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