Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Shadows of Quick-Moving Animals

By sleeping less, I’ve been dreaming more. Don’t look for the logic in that. I haven’t.

I had a particularly notable dream last night that has prompted me to record it here. Not only did it seem to have benefited from a competent art director but the plot — which made markedly more sense than most of my dreams — actually involved a narrative frame.

The dream began with two people discussing what was a clearly story they knew well. The action quickly shifted to the characters being discussed in the story itself, though regrettably without starwipes or shimmery, blurry transitions I enjoy. The story described people who lived near the ocean. At the edge of the horizon was an island about which little was known, save that people standing on the coast could see shadowy shapes dancing there all day. Eventually, one of the people living near the coast decided to investigate the strange island for himself. Upon arriving there — presumably by boat, thought the dream glossed over this part — the man was greeted by one of the figures. Standing eight feet tall and being shaped basically like a human with rabbit ears, the creature explained that the island was inhabited by “the shadows of quick-moving animals” — foxes, mice, birds and apparently rabbits — because the animals who once owned them moved too quickly for the shadows to keep up. (How they ended up on the island and why they ended walking upright and growing so tall were, again, not explained.) The man asked to see the rest of the shadows, and the rabbit-shadow led him there. The shadows, however, were furious with the rabbit-shadow for letting an outsider in and demanded that both the man and the rabbit be punished. Because the shadows’ only joy in life was dancing around a large bonfire — hence why the people on the mainland could see the creatures’ bodies magnified by the firelight — the pair were ordered to travel to the dangerous, far side of the island from which the wind blew. Their task: to stop the wind from imperiling the bonfire that gave them so much joy. The man and the rabbit-shadow left and tried in vain to stop the wind. After a long time, they gave up and returned to the campfire to ask forgiveness. When they got there, they found that the bonfire had been extinguished and the rest of the shadows had crushed into black, glass-like fragments on the ground. The rabbit-shadow explained that a slow-moving bear-shadow must have killed them.

1 comment:

  1. I love this. It's like a children's story, albeit a macabre one.

    I almost want to illustrate this.