Long ago, in the ancient and classical societies, divination by visions and dreams was already happening. In those times the oneiromancers were hailed as prophets and oracles, who prudently used their shreds of dreams of future and past events to ensure their own survival and prosperity. Together they formed a fragile and widespread network of dreamers, spread over the whole world but barely aware of its own existence.
The chatter of the dreamline, never resolving to anything better than fragments of events and dreams mixed up in the yoghurt of human experience, left many if not most of the dreamliners in ignorance or denial of their gifts. This status quo continued for thousands of years, memories and legends passing up and down the line like fanciful harbingers of what would be Jung's notion of the collective unconscious. If even one person could have interpreted something truly meaningfully then futuristic wizardry could have advanced the world beyond all measure, but of course it was too early and people didn't understand.
With respect to our narrative, silly as it may be, there are three telling points about the history of the dreamline: Never did people appear in others dreams directly, never had two dreamers lived in such close proximity as Helen Ostrander and Stanley Simonson, and finally never had there been so many missing links in the time sequence as there were now.
In the shared dream, Helen and Stanley stood on the raft beached on the darkened island in the middle of the sunny blue ocean and watched as the shadowy figure emerged from the shack, waved, and started to pick its way down to the beach. The domino pagoda lay forgotten at their feet, its message ignored. The pebbles on its top rearranged into a warning but they paid no attention.
The figure shambled as all apparently good shadowy things must, and puffed a little as she touched down on the beach. She pulled herself together, looked around and then down at what she was wearing. “Decent this time, thank goodness. No more tweeds. Hi there, folks. Still in decent sleep mode, eh?” Their rapt expressions attested to their abstraction. “You sleepers are so dull. I had almost missed you dummies. Welcome to the prison.”
Helen and Stanley couldn't wake up. Trapped.
To be continued...