I have had some very strange dreams, but last night’s was as strange as it gets and deeply unsettling.
I was a student in some kind of school of wizardry and magic, only it looked like a modern university, and I was staying in a small dorm room that was painted some color of dark tan. I had apparently discovered an enchanted rum that, if you took a swig of it before bedtime, would allow you to go wherever you wanted to in your sleep. So, taking a swig, I slept, and (of course) decided to go to Libya. Where else, right?
Once there, I started to wander around. I was in a city I did not know the name of, and things were unsettled. For some reason, once I got there, I decided to needed to go someplace and wait for a phone call. From whom and about what I do not know. At some point, I am waiting beside a bank of phone booths in a public place when I’m spotted by the militia — which is manned by nothing but in 11-year-old boys in gray-green jump suits wearing too-large helmets. They decide that my waiting by the telephone is suspicious and they call somebody. An expensive Mercedes with darkly tinted windows soon arrives, and they hand me over to a woman who looks like Hillary Clinton but who has short curly hair and speaks with a British accent. She is alone, commands me to come with her, and I do.
Soon, we are at a five-star hotel, which is more like a maze as we walk. She does all the talking, while I am wondering why I am not attempting to escape. The only things I remember her saying are, “you need to tell the nurse if you have any health problems,” and congratulating me on being able to navigate a particularly challenging passage. (It felt a bit like portions of Quake II, even as it looked like a five-star hotel.) Finally, we are in a first-floor loading dock where we are met by some people — men in shiny Italian suits (Arabs and Brits) and one Arab man who looks like a cross between Toichiro Mifune (from “The Seven Samurai”) and Omar Sharif. He holds a long staff in one hand, and it turns out he’s a senior sorcerer and torturer.
It is at this point in the dream I wake up to find myself in my dorm room surrounded by fellow students. They ask me if the rum works. I tell them no, it was only a dream, but then a package arrives — a half-drunk bottle of wine with the message “We’ll see you tomorrow” written with a grease pencil on the label. For whatever reason (dream logic), this convinces me that I really was in Libya. I scream.
Suddenly, I am back in the loading dock, chained to the wall. The woman is still talking. In fact, she does all the talking. She tells me the torture the sorcerer has planned for me is unique — he has made a drawing of me and posted it on the internet, along with various weapons. People will be able to use those weapons to hurt me as much they like when they use them on the drawing. (Enchanted Flash!) No one will be able to rape, decapitate, or kill me. But they will be able to inflict a great deal of pain. There doesn’t seem to be any purpose to any of this — no one has asked why I was there, or how I got there, there were no requests for information.
Finally, at this point, I really wake up. I’ve had much more terrifying dreams, but this one was very, very strange and deeply unsettling. I never really went back to sleep after this.