I dreamed last night. In the dream, I and a few friends were walking down to this abandoned house. The outside was unfinished. Like they had been adding framework around it but the project had been abandoned. This house down in a valley that was this sprawl. Partially constructed, partially falling in. The house is in the no man’s land between the dreamscapes. I know it is not ‘near’ the city. I think it is upwards from the highway and leftwards from the school. Which makes it adjacent to the home and a shift spin from the mansion or hotel.

The house feels like it was just abandoned. Like at any moment, the owners and residents may come back. Which is frightening. Because the owners were members of a cult that was trying to break the walls of reality. Which was possible here at this place of meeting and nothingness. We break into the house, or I remember forcing our way in but not the actual breaking in part. We find ourselves in a series of rooms centered around a vast library. Books fill to the ceiling. Hardcover books by authors I’ve read but books they never wrote in our world. Some they never got to write due to their death. Some whole series that were conceived but never committed to page. Unspoken books. Hidden books. Books written by the heart but that never fell from their lips. Books everywhere. Books in modern dust jackets

One of my friends finds a book unlike the others. A handstiched leather bound book. A memoir of one of the people who lived here. A famous man. A black man who had never had a white friend or acquaintance. I don’t know why that was important but it was. He spoke of living here how they were living simple lives here but that occasionally one or more of the people would go mad and kill themselves or others. He accepted that as the price of living here. He said it was fine because his door locked. But he grew disillusioned with the work. The barrier was breaking but what was leaking through was not what they expected. It was ominous and evil. His term. One he didn’t use for the murders that took place here. As if those were small things by comparison with this thing that was breaking through.

The books weren’t here when he was here. But it slowly dawns on us. The books are a barrier. They are the price of seeing and the cost of dreaming. Of taking pieces of the dream and giving it to the world. Some dreams, some thoughts are sacrificed here. To keep the barrier strong. To hold back the tide with the ideas and thoughts, found here fully realized. We could read a book here, but could not take it. And when we read, we had to replace the book with one of our own. To keep the barrier intact. One of us stayed there. A keeper. A librarian. A safeguard so that any that came after would know the rules.

I did not wake so much as surface. Marked indelibly by the journey.

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