Disturbing Dreams

As the case progressed, each Investigator was increasingly afflicted with strange noises and bad dreams. They all tried to explain these things away. Harley Warren, in particular, kept saying things like "It's the ventilation system." In an attempt to encourage them to confront the supernatural forces at work, the Keeper emailed them the following dream descriptions....

Special Agent Jillian Crowe has a dream.

You're sitting in the middle of the desert, with nothing visible but sand and scrub in every direction. You hear a strange noise. It is not the wind. It is not a distant train. It is not a jet flying low overhead. It is hard to tell whether it is coming from outside of you, or from inside your own head. Suddenly it is very clear what the sound is. It is the hissing of a gigantic snake.

The snake has slithered up from behind you. It is huge: a hundred feet long and as thick around as a fat man's waist. It is black, with red eyes. You are paralyzed. The snake crawls around you and forms a giant circle, with you at the center. The snake hisses. Suddenly the snake melts and becomes liquid blood. The circle around you is now bleeding. The hissing noise has changed to a low rumble, and the ground begins to quake.

Suddenly a line of blood sprouts from the circle directly in front of you and rushes toward the horizon. Another line of blood, a shorter one, crosses it about fifty feet in front of you. It is the symbol, drawing itself in blood right before your eyes. The quaking grows stronger. You are still paralyzed. A vastly gigantic circle of blood is drawing itself, starting from somewhere behind your back and racing on either side of you toward the horizon, where it will meet the long straight line that is still drawing itself away from you.

The quaking is very strong now, and the rumble is a roar. Suddenly something erupts from the ground in front of you, lifting huge clods of earth into the air as it rips up into the sky. Snakes, hundreds and thousands of them, begin pouring out of the ground all around you. All kinds and shapes. The thing erupting out of the ground is at last visible, as the clods of dirt fall away.

It is a man-like creature, 20 feet tall. He is naked. His skin is hairless and black as ink. He has the hooves and legs of a goat, the torso and arms of a man. His head has no face, no ears, no eyes, no mouth or nose. And still you can hear him screaming.

The circle of blood around you begins to grow smaller. Blood is now oozing up out of the ground, bubbling up as though from a spring. The bloody circle rushes to engulf you. You feel the ground beneath you giving way, becoming soft. As the bloody circle finally reaches you, the ground beneath you liquefies, and you feel yourself start to fall. As the blood rushes over your head, drowning you, you wake up.

----------------------

Anderson Mills has a dream.

It is 1931. You are listening to your phonograph.

[music]
Listen to me, are you listening?
Listen to me, are you listening?
I’ve just found out something new:
Something of import to you.
Something you won’t think is true-
Listen to me, will you?
[music]
Once there lived an old man in a log hut
And it seems that someone said he died.
-Kicked the bucket
-Kicked the bucket
I found out it’s just an idle rumor.
Someone pulled a bloomer.
Fact is someone lied.
Now Mose ain’t dead
-No no!
That’s what I said
-No, no!
Mose ain't dead
-No, no!
Mose may be out but he sure ain't dead.
Mose ain’t dead
-No no!
I said I said
-No, no!
Mose ain't dead
-No, no!
Mose may be out but he sure ain't dead.
[music]
'Course the old man laid there without moving.
That's no reason for the things they said.
-Kicked the bucket
-Kicked the bucket
Old Man Mose is heading for the city
And I sure do pity
Them that says he's dead
Now Mose ain’t dead
-No no!
Mose ain't dead
-No, no!
Mose ain't dead
-No, no!
Mose may be out but he sure ain't dead.
Mose ain’t dead
-No no!
That's what I said
-No, no!
Mose ain't dead
-No, no!
Mose may be out but he sure ain't dead.
[music]
Listen to me, are you listening?
Listen to me, are you listening?
Folks ain't dead until they die,
With my eye I saw that guy.
That's the reason why I cry
That Old
Man
Mose
Ain't
Dead.

The record reaches its end, and catches on the last groove. It makes a scratching, hissing sound. As you reach out to lift the needle, the earth begins to shake. You grab your chair as the furniture around you jumps and wobbles about. The phonograph player falls off the edge of the table and crashes to the floor. The wax cylinder is broken. But the scratching, hissing sound remains constant.

The quaking continues and grows in strength. As the room begins to crumble around you, cracks open in the floors and the walls. Snakes begin to emerge from the cracks, and they writhe about you. The walls of the room fall away, revealing the sky overhead. It is gray-green and menacing. You feel yourself rising. The floor falls away, and you see you are sitting in the palm of a giant hand. The hand is going up into the sky. The skin of the hand is black as ink, and glowing green in the center of the palm is the symbol you have now seen in many places. The hand is the hand of a gigantic black creature, hundreds of feet tall, with the torso of a man and the legs and hooves of a goat. He has no face. It is the creature you saw in Solstice Canyon. He is holding you high in the air. In the distance, you see a great city, shrouded in mist. It is Los Angeles. Far below you, an immense circle of blood forms itself around the feet of the black creature who holds you. Suddenly a line of blood sprouts from the circle directly in front of you and rushes toward the horizon, toward the distant city. Another line of blood, a shorter one, crosses it about fifty feet in front of you and down below. It is the symbol, drawing itself in blood right before your eyes. A vastly gigantic circle of blood is drawing itself, starting from behind you and racing on either side of you toward the horizon, where it will meet the long straight line that is still drawing itself away from you.

As you see the elements of the symbol of blood converge toward the city and approach completion, the fingers of the giant hand which holds you begin to close. The glowing green symbol in the palm grows in brightness, and as you feel yourself being crushed by the hand, you are blinded by it.

As the hand closes completely, crushing you, you wake up.

-------------------

Harley Warren III, Ph.D., has a dream.

You are in your laboratory. On the slab in front of you is a fresh corpse. It is an overweight, middle aged white man. It is George Wilshire. His chest is hacked to pieces, as though someone had tried to cut his heart out with a grapefruit spoon. You reach into the wound to feel what is inside. As your fingers touch a small, hard object, you hear a noise behind you. You turn to face the darkness. Your laboratory is huge and cold.

When you turn back to the slab, there is a mummified corpse. Scrawny and covered in dirt. You attempt to perform an examination. You lift a scalpel and bring it down but the blade is dull. Every scalpel you try is dull. They will not cut into the dry, leathery flesh. Every instrument you take from the tray is broken. They are bent and useless. Your rubber gloves tangle in the handles and you drop instrument after instrument onto the floor, with a stainless steel clatter and jangle as they bounce away into the dark corners of the room, beyond the glare of the examination lights. As you catch the fleeting glimpse of the bright medical halogen bulbs reflect off the surface of a disappearing clamp, you realize that there are people in the darkness, watching you.

Again you hear a strange noise. It is not the ventilation system. It is not the refrigeration unit in the adjacent lab. It is not coming from the people in the darkness. It is laughter. It is the corpse. He is laughing at you. You stare into his face. You recognize him. It is your grandfather, Harley Warren. He opens his eyes. They are empty. He laughs.

You grab the bright medical examination light above the table and turn it into the dark corners of the room. There you see the people. They are all mummies. They all stare at you with unseeing eyes. The broken and useless medical instruments at their feet begin to writhe. They are snakes, coming to life. Shiny silver snakes that grow in size and darken to become large black menacing serpents. They hiss.

A man steps out from among the mummies. He has the hooves and legs of a goat, and hairless skin as black as ink. His head has no facial features at all. It is the man you saw in Solstice Canyon. He holds up his hand to you. The symbol from the desert, from the papyrus, appears glowing green in his palm. Its brightness increases with the hissing of the snakes until you are blinded.

When you can see again, you see a huge bank of morgue drawers, stretching away to either side and as high above you as you can see. You open one. Inside is the body of Ellen Emerson, the screwdriver embedded in her ear. You open another. Inside is the body of Carlo Dalla, his face bruised from the blows of a wrench. You open another. Inside is the body of Bob Guptill, blood streaming from his self-inflicted gunshot wound. You open another. Inside is the body of Roxy Ross, her slashed throat still oozing. You open another. Inside is the body of Marjorie Flanders. Her empty eyes are heavily lined in the fashion of the ancient Egyptians. You open another. Inside is the body of Ed Ames, his police uniform soaked with blood. You open another. Inside is the body of your girlfriend, her face a twisted mask of terror. You open another. Inside is the body of your girlfriend's young son, blue and bloated from drowning. You open another. Inside is the body of Anderson Mills, the omnipresent symbol carved into his forehead. You open another. Inside is the body of Jillian Crowe. She is hacked into horrible pieces, the symbol carved into her flesh. You open another. As you recognize the face in the drawer, you wake up.

The telephone is ringing. You are disoriented, but you answer. There is nothing on the line but static and a strange whistling, whispering noise. You hang up.

It is difficult to get back to sleep.

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