"The White Room"
A couple of nights ago I had a very disturbing dream (in a way that dreams usually don't bother me).
There was a long elaborate "backstory" which had nothing to do with the core of it, as is normal in my dreams.
The core was as follows.
I was in what I think was student accomodation where I lived, with a man who was visiting me. I don't remember anything about him. There were a few other visitors too. Also in the apartment/room was my cat (my RL cat who died a number of years ago, who I had a very strong connection with).
I flicked on a desk lamp which was on my bedside table, and it created a strange 3D visual disturbance, like an optical illusion. I said it reminded me of something from The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits (in reality, I never watched either) and the visiting man said it wasn't an optical illusion - it was the way into the White Room.
I asked what this was, and he said I just had to look. I looked around my place, and started seeing some strange things - it's hard to describe, but it was like "this world" was overlaid on the White Room which was all around everywhere, and absolutely terrifying. For want of a better word, it was like some kind of "hell" dimension of pain and suffering. It was all around, it was *here*, but unless you look at the world the right way, you couldn't see it.
The fear I felt was absolutely palpable, but the man I discussed this with did not seem bothered. I suggested that if someone I cared about ended up there I'd go in and kick the White Room's ass without fear, and the man asked something like "Is that so?"
At that point, a "portal" of some kind opened behind where my cat was sleeping. I couldn't see through it - it was almost like a blur. Something, some kind of invisible force, reached out from the portal and grabbed her by the back, waking her up. She started screaming in absolute pain and terror, the kind of scream that is terrifying and sickening to even hear. I jumped towards her, my sword appeared in my hand, but my movements were somehow slowed (like the typical nightmare thing of trying to move through treacle).
As I tried to get to her I became aware that I was not afraid at all, that my *only* concern was doing whatever I had to do to stop the White Room getting hold of her. Her claws were dragging into the ground as she screamed, leaving claw marks as she was pulled back, but suddenly the Room let her go, the portal was closed, and she was safe.
For some reason I believed that the reason why it was unable to get her was because in that moment I was not afraid of it.
I think the visiting man said something about me doing well or other. Then, more of the portals opened but instead of pulling things through, a lot of cats (I want to say 18 or 20) were released into my room. Each one of them was shaking, terrified, tail between legs, but absolutely silent. If you can picture in a cop show when a character has been kidnapped by a rapist/murderer and is tied up etc, and the cops rescue her, and she is jerking around and shaking and terrified - that's the body language that was coming from these cats. Completely and utterly traumatised and terrified.
I think I suggested to the visiting man that these cats were the only cats held in the White Room, and they had been released because I am such a cat lover and was not afraid. I also think I said something about being a shadow and wondered why they weren't afraid of me - he said they had just got out of the White Room and as such would not want brightness or light any time soon.
Responding to my suggestion that these were the only cats held there, though, I began to look around me. The other humans in my room seemed fine, but when I looked energetically, or crossed my eyes, or did whatever it was I did to see the White Room - they appeared in various states of terror and torture - flayed, mutilated, in one case mummified but still alive and screaming in agony. They weren't aware of it but in this White Room plane they were being tortured to insanity.
The man then asked that I look outside - I did this and saw many, many more people and cats held in the White Room - being skinned or flayed was a common action, flesh melted, bones and muscles protruding through what was left of the skin; essentially people who had been destroyed and tortured to the extent that there was nothing left but agony and terror. It was horrifying.
When I looked outside like this, I could see them in the room itself - it was literally a place lit up so brightly that all that could be seen was white everywhere. No walls, floors, ceiling, sky, horizon. Just endless white, and pain, and torture.
The visiting man said something to the effect of the White Room stripped away everything that was illusion and left only the horrifying reality behind.
Now a couple of things strike me as interesting. First of all there are some themes that I think are influenced by I Am Legend - a pet taken inside somewhere terrifying that I had to somehow rescue (though it is different in that in Will Smith's situation I am very much aware I would be utterly terrified, not like in this dream - when my fear stopped as soon as I had to rescue my cat). The idea of bodies being physically ripped apart, and also of people standing silently in shivering, jerking groups, hiding from the light, is also a common image.
But that said - I'm not so sure this was entirely movie influenced. What is very striking to me as a shadow is that this place of unspeakable horror and terror and pain was composed of light. Survivors from the Room on the other hand were comforted by darkness and shadows, and found me (even though in human form) to be safe and reassuring.
Though I firmly believe that there are no moral implications attached to either light or darkness, physical beings with eyes by their very nature tend to find safety and light and danger in darkness. Though I can debate the theory of light as danger I think this is the first time I have ever "seen" (even if only in a dream) an example.
Certainly a lot for me to think about.
Ubi Dubium, Ibi Libertas
Quote:"I have suffered from being misunderstood, but I would have suffered a hell of a lot more if I had been understood."