The veil of “reality”

This story – not the details, but the struggle between the arrogant claims of mundane “reality” and those of quite another level of truth – was familiar to me and may be familiar to you also.

See if it touches you as it touches me.

The beast snarled. She smelled its rank breath. It seemed very real. Very un-dream-like. She felt panic seize her. This was terrifying. Come: she knew she was dreaming; she could at least awaken. But she couldn’t. It seemed so hard and real. The beast bore down upon her. Would she awaken at the last minute? Or was this something other than a dream?

Drums beat rhythmically, warlike and orderly.

“Unhand that girl.” The voice was feminine but stern and bold. Her shoulder was released and she turned back toward the window. A party of girl-soldiers was marching up the unkempt garden path toward them. Rifles were leveled, drums were beating and the lieutenant in charge was brunette and very handsome.

“Back away from her,” she commanded. “We have you in our sights.”

Two brutal steps shook the chinaware (or some level of it) as the thing moved backward. Then it leapt upward and was gone. Through the ceiling, perhaps?

“Are you well, honored madam? I hope you were not too frightened.” The lieutenant saluted, touching her right hand to her left shoulder. Then she bowed.

Selena bowed in return, bending forward over the warm, crackled window-ledge, holding its heat again with her soft, white, invalid’s hands..

“I am well enough, fair soldier. It is only a dream, after all.”

“Do you think so, ma’am?” asked the Lieutenant.

“I am fairly certain,” said Selena with a smile.

“Fairly certain?” The soldierly stiffness seemed to be giving way to an impish quality. “You need to be more assured than that to dismiss a dream, you know. Here, let me help you. These fine warrior-maids are certainly made from the stuff of dreams, or illusion at any rate. She gestured and her troop shimmered like reflections in a pool and faded into the bright sunlight.”

“And you, honored officer?”

“There, you address me so correctly, honored madam.”

“In this dream it seems obvious how to address you, noble defender. And are you not forged also of the stuff of dreams?”

“My shape and habit most certainly is.” The lieutenant shimmered like her troop. The hungry sunlight of mundane reality ate her form, yet there was something left. A much smaller figure, like a little girl with small wings and huge, huge, anime eyes.”

“I hope I do not disappoint you. I am sure the noble brunette was more to your taste. But here I am, for what I am, as real and respectable as anything else. Or as real, at any rate.”

Selena sighed. “You know I should like to believe that, but I know I am dreaming you; dreaming or half-imagining.”

“If you are half-imagining, what is the other half, honored madam?”

“I try cleverly to beguile myself with your arguments.”

“You, madam, are a solipsist.”

“Sadly, no. I believe in the world outside that window: in trees and grass; in governments and money; in motor cars and jobs and careers and men and marriage and worldly cynicism and a whole teeming world that has no place for the likes of me. But I no longer believe in imaginary friends and imaginary worlds and bold lady soldiers in coats of red, and anime-eyed pixie-kin such as – forgive me honored little friend – such as you.”

“Grown up, have you? Taken the King’s Shilling and turned State’s evidence against your own kind? Is that what you think you’ve done?”

“I have ceased to deceive myself, even though I argue so hard to maintain my sweet illusions out of your pretty mouth.”

“Grown up,” said the pixie girl with all the subtle-world of contempt in her voice. “Well, you left it too late. Six months ago you might have gotten away with it.”

“And now, honored little friend?” asked Selena, smiling sadly at her own attempts to resist the inevitable.”

“You’ll see.” Said the pixie with a certain knowing smugness in her voice.

Find the full episode in the second post of this thread

Published in: on June 7, 2007 at 9:33 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Oh goodness. Lovely piece of writing! I always have been bullied for “refusing to grow up”. But I cannot hate them. They are deceived, maid and all.
    I’ve always considered that the Sight is a precious gift that comes hand in hand with purity of heart and innocence. Each person I’ve met who has kept the Sight into adult years not only has a childlike personality to them, but also simply does not age! I myself am 29 and people still think I am in my early/mid teen years, no joke.

    Much love!

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