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Pisces' Dream: The City of Bronze

April 27, 2007 [Nightmares Flaw]

You dream that you are walking in an unfamiliar city where all the buildings are made of corroded green bronze. No matter how long you wander or observe the streets you cannot seem to remember any landmark, and you half swear that the streets are shifting and rearranging themselves to confuse you.

You smell cinnamon wafting somewhere down the way and a clamor of people. Following the sound and smell you come to a great gathering of people who are standing and shouting around a great pyre of cinnamon trees. You see Magdala, Nika and Cosmin lying atop it - alive but motionless - as if under some sort of spell.

Preceding over whatever ritual is going on is Raina... you think. It looks like Raina - only she is young now and dressed and appointed like some sort of ancient queen. She carries a shepherd's crook. Syka stands by her side.

She turns to Syka and pronounces judgement in her frail dottering voice - which seems to have remained unchanged.

"You laughed.... You laughed and so you shall wander to judgement day. Do you deny it?"

Syka shakes her head and the crowd hisses and shouts out an eruption of catcalls and jeering.

Syka bows her head.. "I'd never laugh at another's burden."

Raina looks at her for a moment and then snaps her fingers - a man with a bird mask over his face walks over, strips her and puts a white robe around her shoulders. He then cuts off a lock of her hair and hands her a torch. Raina speaks.

"Then take penance and rise."

Syka bows her head and moves over to the pyre where your family lies. She smiles as she drops the torch. All at once the pyre becomes a mess of smoke screaming and charred flesh as they wake from their trance and wail and scream, pleading not to die.

Calmly and without hesitation she walks onto the pyre herself and gazes at you from out of the flames which lick at her body. She throws the white garment from her body and there is a crackle of strange smoke and light as she disappears.

You realize instantly and in horror the moment that she vanishes - that you have somehow appeared in her place and now stand naked, burning and blind in the center of your family's pyre. You shriek and fall to the ground and the crowd cheers. The burnt and withered hands of your family pull you down almost tenderly into the heart of the flames as they strive to embrace you one last time.

Through the smoke the one thing you can see is Syka's face. She is smiling as she stands almost indistinguishable from the rest of the crowd.

You wake up.

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