by R.T. Allenson
The dreams are becoming more real, more vivid. I can not longer tell if I am awake in a dream, or I am dreaming awake – living my life in a figment of my mind’s creation.
Each dream and waking nightmare, I get closer and closer to the orange horizon. The sand is blistering hot, and the sun above me is a hellfire-spun globe that addles my dreaming mind. There is no shade, no respite from the searing heat, only the distant call of my destination remains.
Someone is calling out to me, from beyond the veil of sleep and time. Someone utters my name under a nameless sky, and though the words easily spell out in my mind, I tremble at how unfamiliar it is to my ears.
My mind wavers and is shot through the dark once more, and I find myself lying in bed in a cold sweat. These waking nightmares began when I was still studying in university. Thesis papers and exams made my health extremely volatile, and I suffered from severe headaches and vertigo. Two years ago, these dreams vanished along with the migraines, but they’ve since returned in a greater force
The distant call sings to me this night. Pnakotus, it calls to me, in a voice that’s older than the bones of the Earth. I cannot sleep; I refuse to, but the visions starts playing again. The voice calls to me, remembers my name, and calls me a part of them as they are a part of me.
One body, two minds, two souls, the voice speaks. I remember the sands of the great southern land where the ancient library city of Pnakotus lay buried. I remember walking its pathless space under an ancient night, when the great reptile lords were still small and had not yet been bequeathed with their crown.
I remember carrying a book bigger than my entire body, and though the hand that wrote it was not my own, I distinctly remember the feel of parchment and ancient charcoal. The silent conversations I had with beings not of this world warned me of an impending doom in the far-flung future, and the history of my kind – their kind.
What great a race they were, and my fear is mixed with joy knowing that at one point, I was among them; no, one of them. For under their guidance and subtle whispers, I knew true enlightenment. For how long shall I remain here on this dreary plane? When can I meet my ancient teachers again under that night sky millions of years ago?
The voice calls out to me again: Pnakotus, it says, and I tremble in its familiarity. It is neither a chant nor a prayer, but an affirmation of my experiences. The words form in my mind, and I am thrown into the deep void of space where the past, present, and future are all one and the same. I sail the stars until I meet an alien star’s gaze, and my masters below me on a planet doomed for destruction.
One of them has died, and they need a replacement. My mind is molded into one of them, and it is only now that I realize that the alien voice that had called me once so many years ago was my own. What had not made sense to me is now clearer than starlight, and as we travel through time and space one more time, I see my body long dead from exhaustion but ultimately content knowing that my mind and soul is now where it belongs.