Death dreams of flying. He is impossibly
standing on a ridge at the top of a mountain.
He looks below and sees a sheer drop. The
surface of the rock is flat, impossibly
flat, and the scale is somehow wrong. But this
is a dream, and dreams are the only things
Death has. There is an end to this sheer drop
but Death cannot see it for a layer
of mist; it does not have substance enough
to be a cloud. In his dream, Death thinks that
jumping off his mountain ridge – where the scale
is wrong, and the mountain face too flat, and
the cloud is not yet a cloud – jumping,
he feels, would be a solution. But
he dismisses this idea. There
is no way down from this mountain ridge.
Death sees that there is no way up.
Death’s dream takes him elsewhere. He is in a
forest now and is too cold. Death walks
and the leaves change colour. Death likes the
changing of the colours but he does not
appreciate their beauty, he simply
knows that whenever he arrives in a
forest, the trees greet him with a change of
colour. Death does only three things: waiting
to arrive and arriving and dreaming.
Death has dreams and dreams and dreams. Death is
always dreaming. Death and his endless dreams.
Death is about to dream of flying again.
He is not on the impossible mountain
ridge any longer; he is in a
back garden, standing in a child’s plastic
aeroplane. He flaps his arms and this time
he actually flies. He has no need of
the child’s plastic plane, and as he ascends,
he waves goodbye to his wife and his child,
for Death dreams of many things which he cannot
have. He flies above clouds, well-formed cloud-shaped
clouds, not ethereal, amorphous mist.
Amorphous, ethereal mist is one
thing, but these clouds are satisfying clouds;
proper clouds; white fluffy clouds. The white
fluffy clouds change colour as Death flies past
them, like leaves changing colours, but these
are different colours; vast swirls of metallic
pink and indigo and the colours in between.
Animals recline on some of the clouds.
Death comes within striking distance of a
leopard with impossibly sharp, menacing
teeth, but Death does not fear the impossible
leopard. In Death’s dream, a red biplane
manoeuvres a loop, and Death starts to soar,
and completes his own impossible
manoeuvres. He would feel freedom, but Death
is already free. Forever released;
forever on the way to arriving;
forever arriving; and always in a dream.
Death admires the beauty in the ugliness
of the motorway which cuts across the
countryside, although he does not feel this.
The trees change colour, the clouds change colour,
and the landscape changes from green to grey.
Death dreams of a yellow room. Outside there
is sunshine and the sound of summer and
the sound of traffic and the illusion of
life. But Death retreats from the yellow room
and the sunshine and the sounds of summer
and traffic. He chooses to be elsewhere;
to be in a place of isolation
and darkness and the possibility
of menace. Death is comfortable in this
place, this place of absence. Death questions his
choice to be here. He starts to run through
the darkness, a light in his hand. The light
does not illuminate for there is nothing
for it to reflect off, except the ghosts
which Death does not fear; the ghosts which scare others.
Death dreams of being younger. He is surprised
at how different he looks, how much bigger
he has become in the intervening
aeons. It must be the burden of all
the souls of all the things from all places
and from all times: the stars, the planets, the
gas clouds, the comets, the meteors, the dreams.
Death dreams of the impossible wave which
is impossibly large; its surface
metallic-looking hexagons, the light
refracting off them in the many colours
invisible to the eye, like the colours
of the clouds he once flew above. The wave
recedes and as it does it evaporates
to reveal a vast canyon. He looks down
into its impossible depths, as
impossible as the mountain or
the leopard’s sharp teeth. He finds himself in
the ancient underground place with its
impossibly high sides. He looks up these sides,
these walls, and reads the story of their
geological timescale. He pulls the
string on the wall and everything collapses.
The dream is the birthplace of all of Death’s thoughts.
He thinks of how strange it is, and yet how
simple, that people inherit their parents’
shadows, stretching back and back and further back.