Part Two: Waking Into A Dream
Read My Grandfather’s House part 1 first.
I awoke to myself again, swaying and grasping gratefully at the handle of a door. It gave way under my weight and I near fell into the room within. The house’s energies had drained me and I collapsed, sweating coldly and trembling, gratefully into the chair set separately and centrally in the room. On seating myself I noted its perfect position amidst the scrawlings of arcane and improbably alluring geometries that spiralled outwards from its legs. Instantly I knew that I had erred, perhaps fatally. I felt appallingly passive, my mind leeched by the revolting appendages that lined the room circuitously, wending their labyrinthine passages through our reality and into the next. The tears they wrought in the walls led out to the room adjacent but between these hollow parcels of human comfort.
The gash across my palm that I had thought healed reopened and wept vitally down my hand and through the open cuff of my shirt, staining it with my essence before spilling down my trembling fingertips. The sight transfixed me, its drip drip drip hypnotic in its regularity. Idly I wondered how long I could maintain its metronomic sapping and how I would look at the centre of a pool of myself – inverted and converted into a glimmering sheet of crimson.
The steady mesmeric trickle stole my mind and it was not until my jacket grew grossly wet and dark against my ribs that I realised to my horror that it was not only the wounds of an occult origin that split freshly in the terrible womblight that sank and stole horribly through the fabric of my grandfather’s house. Attracted no doubt by the curious and horrifying objects of ancient power which he had collected for their ageless evil and concentrated in this ill-chosen room for slumber, or for sitting, as I had foolishly done.
The visions that pierced the brutally shredded brick and plaster (overlaid with eldritch paper detailing the swirled patterns of a madman) violated the shivering veil of sanity we habitually draw across the fearful nightmares that lurk breathingly beyond that damask rustling. That haze, normally only dissipated by the force of insurgent dreams too keen to fortify themselves with the fresh cerebral matter of our minds was here surrendered with insulting weakness and torn from the railings of my thought and being. I was naked to them, as the blood ran down and stained the beds of my nails.
As my strength ebbed and the awful light waxed ever stronger through the edges and corners of the room I grew aware of a lightness in my mind, detaching itself from the blackened pool which lay dying inside me, its dark vacuum fed by the expulsion of my lifeblood. It was as if I drifted above myself, I felt my skin roll past like an ectoplasmic illusion and as I became free of my flesh that womblight embraced me, rushing hot and sour through the dimensions of the room. Achingly bright it ran greasily about the encased limbs – they extended through the glass, the alcohol-soaked lumps attaining their true state, flexing and flagellate. The room felt to me alive and throbbed with unusual vigour, as I imagine my heart would feel were I trapped within it. Each pulse was the beat of my heart expelling another drop of blood into the crimson tide which playfully chased the graven maze upon the floor.
I was dying. I knew that, and yet it felt ripe with potential. The ceiling surged towards me, heavy with lines of force that erupted, extending in ridges like bone towards me. A moisture ran from the infernal edges of the room along the ceiling and flowed up and down the twisted pyramid that reached out for me. At its tip hung a bell shaped lump that swelled as I breathed my insubstantial soul breath upon it. The light said to me “Choose”. I understood the vibrations which were not sound nor voice, but like the rattle of glass in a distant pane. The bell shaped itself, growing translucent and icy. The liquid that ran up the pyramid dripped down into the glassy fruit which twitched and hummed as it filled up. The light urged me to drink. I looked back at my body, grey-skinned at the heart of a sea of red. I reached up and took the strange glass object in my surreal fingers, and drank.
I drank the pellucid tears of a dead god. They burned, raw and bitter in my mind’s throat, pulling me downward as they raced into my being. I fell from the ceiling, through the greying flesh of my corpus and landed behind my own eyes. The womblight dimmed and the ceiling and the room’s marvellous shapes rushed backwards away from me. With a hiss I felt the floor uncoil beneath me, and the blood I had lost reversed its languid exit, sucking back into the gash in my hand and the wounds in my side and face. So vigorous was the rush that I was pulled to my feet and stood upright, tingling as the blood re-entered my body. I swayed on my feet, and then fell, overwhelmed at the sound of my heart beating once more.