I was only nineteen years old – prime of my life I’ve been told – and I had just been thrust into the world of learning labeled college. All sorts of new experiences and new ideas, books and articles, beer and women. The typical undergraduate lifestyle had consumed me and I was enjoying every minute of it. Within the stacks of our library were thousands upon thousands of dusty stagnant books, many of which would have no problem clearing a college bouncer with their last checkout dates, and I adopted the odd habit of checking these decrement books out. Partly for the thrill of the unknown, but mostly I was enthralled by the idea of soaking my mind in the text of forgotten souls, people who at one time were as full of life as I currently was and I set out to bring them back to life.
On this particular day I had just completed perhaps my best theology midterm of all time, answering questions I knew and writing in the inspired way I credit to those dark hidden stacks. I had just completed Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea the day before and despite being inspired to read it again, decided on a short anonymous book in between. I flipped on the row light and the faded colors soaked in the old friend. Typically I just follow my intuition and start looking for an interesting title in what ever column it leads me to. Today was no different than any other and I began my search, scanning the tattooed spines for anything that caught my attention, and it didn’t take long. The Demon’s Apple written by Lucille Molow.
I fell asleep on page twenty, not an uncommon occurrence in light of my sleep patterns, and it didn’t take long for the rem sleep to rev up…
I found myself on a tropical beach populated by a tourist town located at the base of a peninsula a few minutes hike from me, and from this spot up past me and continuing along the shore were cabin houses that are found on the lake shores of Minnesota. Certainly the pine trees were out of place alongside the creamy white sand of the beach, but it was a dream after all. After some wallowing in the waves that washed a pleasant feeling upon my unconscious body I found myself peering out the window of a tree house. It was located on the same slope that I had witnessed from the beach, in the yard of the same cabin that I now accepted as my own. I could see not only the ocean and one side of my house, but also the neighbors yard carpeted with a thick bed of pine needles . At the fence closest to me stood a little blonde girl. She was wearing a pink sun dress with yellow flowers and wore matching bows in her hair. I understood she wanted to play, and I accepted her request.
Her unmenacing head popped up through the trapdoor, and we continued to play, what it was we were playing I cannot remember. I was filled a childish emotion, blissful and ignorant, a great feeling. Soon she was gone and I was left walking the streets of the same city on the same peninsula looking for a good beer. I sit down and am approached by a nun wearing the full gown and hat, and she sits down opposite me at the table.
“You have been chosen.” The young sister said, her eyes staring gravely into my own. She had a sound of music feel about her, except one of the more solemn nuns in the movie who don’t sing from mountain tops.
“What do you mean?” I thought back to her, as you do in dreams.
“You’ve met a little girl today.” She said with an inquiring tone.
“Yes but what of it, we just played in my tree house.” I responded swigging my beer.
“I know that little girl and have been following her ever since she was my own child in the orphanage. Tell me, did she have on a pink dress with yellow flowers?”
“In fact she did, and matching bows.”
“She always does. Let me tell you what lurks within the body of that little girl. It is not a thing of the earth you know, rather it dwells beyond and under, in the realm of consciousness that humans only skip the top of when dreaming. Some might call it a demon, others may call it simply a bad spirit. Since the beginning of time it has lurked, an anti-angel spawned from the bosom of the universe, striving towards its own selfish domination of any and every. Now, the shell of the little girl has chosen you.” This is easily enough to raise the alertness of any mind, and I quickly deduced the situation for what it was, a nightmare. Whether or not this realization is common place among people I do not know, but for me it became so, and I had learned in my dreams to awaken myself from any situation I was not thoroughly enjoying (unfortunately this often led to premature extraction from dreams I was enjoying because I could not yet fully control the urge to wake up when I realized I was dreaming). Anyway, I awoke on the same couch I had fallen asleep on to the sound of footsteps on the porch outside. I was still extremely drowsy and had to force my legs onto the floor, and use both arms and all of my strength to drag myself to the door.
I could only see out of one eye clearly, and with this hindered aim I reach for the doorknob several times before acquiring it within my grasp. I swung open the door and a rush of familiar faces flooded through. Each enthusiastically greeting my and thanking me for throwing such a great party. It was still light outside and I could see the line of people extending to the street. Before long the door was shut and I had recovered from my rebooting period. I strolled to the kitchen to fill up my glass, admiring my own party throwing abilities as I squeezed past old friend after old friend. The horror struck me again with my first step into the kitchen.
“Hi I’m Molow,” said the most adorable blonde girl I had ever seen, especially in her pink sundress with yellow flowers. I fled, all the while straining to open my eyes. After what seemed like a lifetime of impending doom I awoke on the same couch again. I had the same drowsy feeling and thought to myself, “I need to write down this name Molow for research purpose when my laptop is charged.” Once again being unable to initially walk I just rolled off the couch and carved Molow into the floor. Being as exhausted as I was I allowed myself to fall back asleep, assuming that after being awake for long enough my dream had been reset to the beach again, and I longed for those pleasant waves to wash over my soul. I found myself inside of my cabin this time, gazing out the picture window overlooking the beach and the sea. Even for a long time in dream minutes I stood there watching the birds fly through the quartz air and diving to the rippled surface every now and then. The waves patted the fluffy white beach and I was joined by a little blonde girl standing by my side.
“Why hello,” I thought to her, “Beautiful spot. Your family is very lucky.” I had accepted her as the daughter of my parents friends, I had no reason to be alarmed because we had spent the whole weekend with our families together.
“Come play!” she cheerfully said, and I followed her outside onto the porch and eagerly onto the roof of my cabin for what was sure to be an exciting game. I stood on the peak overlooking the ocean, three floors down to a steep slope inhabited with rocks and pine needles blanketing the area that wasn’t tree trunks. Standing nest to one of these tree trunks, gravely leering at me on my pinnacle, was the nun. The horror hit me again and I looked behind me at the little girl, with a cheerful grin hanging by its corners from two burning eyes.
“Molow comes from an ancient universal word for trickery,” she told me, and I wholly believed her.
“It is only a dream,” I thought, desperately trying to wake up and recover in the safety of my physical couch in my physical world.
“If I jump will I fall?” I asked.
“You certainly would, but does it matter at all?” These words rang in my ears as the most eloquent poetry ever written. I turned to face the drop and decided that the only sure way to wake up was to jump. I had done it before in dreams, yes the impact of the ground is nerve rattling, but it is a sure bet to wrench open your eyes and send your heart racing. It’s because of experiences like these that I never believed the old wive’s tale that if you die in a dream you die in real life. I tell you no lie when I say I have died a plentiful number of times in dreams, between being stabbed in the face, getting ripped apart by a machine gun, and numerous falling instances I have become somewhat unafraid of it. Although the impact of the fatal blow is always bone splintering. Not in a painful sort of way, but more in a vibrating sort of way, like your brain is being shook so rapidly that a pressure builds up in a soda can.
I jumped, in full dread of my soda can finally bursting on this impact, but finally escaping the terror of her matching bows. I bounced off several tree limbs, and died on my impact with a rock. As usual my internal organs were squeezed to almost their limit, and for several seconds I hung in limbo not knowing if I would ever feel the comfort of breath again. To my relief I awoke, and after taking a few seconds to calm myself down I scanned my environment. This was certainly no dust-ridden couch in a scum-ridden college house, but rather the basement of a church with rows of desks all occupied by children, me included.
I got out of my chair, but my actions were not my own. I heard the nun teacher politely ask me to return to my desk and finish my theology midterm. I watched myself as I disobeyed her orders and diligently walked to the front of the room where she was standing.
“Molow, return to thou seat now or I will use thy ruler upon thee rump!”
I watched myself, matching bows and all, continue on my firm course, and slit the nun’s throat.