I remember waiting in a line with hundreds of other people. There were banners on either side of me, velvet red with silver metal polls every few feet, like what you’d find outside of an old-fashioned movie theatre. It sort of fit, because it was in front of my local mall’s movie theatre, but it went straight through the indoor parking lot. This was definitely a dream.
As the line progressed slowly toward the theatre, eventually turning the corner and passing some lit up movie posters that I only cared about enough to glance at, I came into a hall I didn’t recognize. This was not any part of the mall that I remembered anymore. Standing there, it reminded me of waiting in the queues at Disney Land from the time I visited when I was six: you’d enter a room decorated to the extreme, and then you’d turn the corner and see a blank, dismal hall to the next finely decorated section. The hall I was in was painted a dull blue, and was lit with hanging fluorescent lamps, very basic in contrast to where I had just been.
At that point, I had made a friend: a young short-haired girl with light blue eyes and slightly pale skin. I don’t remember her name. She was the only other young person there so it seemed natural that we could become friends. In retrospect, she looked exactly like someone I had met in real life, not one of my friends, but an acquaintance that I had something or two in common with, but never ended up talking to.
Maybe because of this subconscious resemblance, we really ended up hitting it off. I found that her personality was just like another one of my good friends, and by the time we rounded the next corner, we had gotten awfully comfortable with each other, and quite fond of our shared sense of humor. Needless to say, I was having a lot more fun than I had expected, waiting in line.
As we rounded the next corner, my friend and I came upon the entrance to a long elevator. The elevator was old and beautiful, like a Victorian birdcage, engraved with that fine curly detailing that seemed to dance around the edges of the structure, making everything from that era a fantastic work of art. By the time we had gotten to the entrance, it became quite crowded. I remember watching as people were being ushered into the lift in the same sort of excited curiosity as I felt. It was obvious that no one had ever seen any technology so old yet so well kept.
By the time I had gotten to the elevator entrance, I had pushed my interest, in all of it’s electricity, to the back of my mind in favor of the matter at hand, which was still laughing and talking with my friend. The elevator I had gotten onto was extraordinarily crowded (I wonder now how a mechanism so old could have supported the collective weight of us all!), way too much so for my newfound partner to board with me. She playfully stuck her arm out toward me as if to say, “Don’t leave me!” turning the faces of the people in our closer proximity to expressions of gentle amusement.
At that moment, the entire mood of the dream changed. The doors of the elevator had shut. Tightly. On her arm. She screamed and twisted but couldn’t pull it free. I could see the horrified expression on her face through the cracked elevator doors, a look of half dread and half disbelief. Then the elevator began to rise. I caught a pleading glance from the woman next to me, as if to say, “DO something! Anything!” I knew I could have, but I didn’t. I did nothing but stand there, frozen in horror as I watched her hand slowly sliding toward the floor, twisting unnaturally as it hit. I could hear her cries half drowned by the rattled screams of the other people around me, and the vague tumbling sound of her body being dragged up the elevator shaft. I could still see her crippled hand. There was no blood… There was no blood.
The thing that finally etched this nightmare into my mind forever, though, was the waking thought I had in its aftermath. I woke up with an idea, as if my subconscious left it there for me to process just after opening my eyes. My mind holding nothing else at all, I found myself suffocating in the phrase:
“If a spirit really wanted to communicate to someone how it died, it would do so through dreams.”