Dream: A Turn of Events

I’ve noticed a trend here. All my dreams start with me waking up from sleeping!

~~~

“Corporal! Corporal! What do we do?” Fuck, I was supposed to be sleeping. Why is this private pulling on my sleeve? And where is the sergeant?

“Corporal! We’re under attack!” Okay, I’m awake now. I sit up fully in my chair and glance at the clock. Another two hours before my shift begins.

“Where is the Sergeant?” I’m trying to get my bearings, trying to shake off the fog of sleep and remember what I should do. I leave the chair and get my helmet. “Well, where is he? That bastard better not be shagging another punk bitch!”

“He’s gone, Corporal.” I stop in mid-donning.

“Gone… how?” Pull chin strap, snap the lock closed.

“He left for garrison hours ago, said he had an urgent matter that couldn’t wait until later.” I feel a familiar tingling on my ear as the private explained. The private wasn’t willfully lying, but he wasn’t telling the truth, either.

“So he’s not in the picture, understood. How are we under attack and what has been done so far?” I wished we had weapons, but budget cuts meant not enough for everyone. Our non-combat unit had not proven itself worthy of weapons, not even mock ones.

“A sniper and grenades. Two vehicles have already been disabled. One soldier is fatally wounded, and two others are removed from combat.” I reach the entrance of the large tent. Being careful not to disturb the hanging flaps, I peer through the narrow slit looking for any obvious signs.

Such odd wording the private used. As if this was all a game. Oh, wait. It is. A training exercise with paintball guns. I am even more annoyed by the sergeant’s absence. I thought I would get to see him with a dirty uniform for once. Of course he would leave before things get messy.

A distant “pap”, a nearby “PAK!”, and a man starts screaming, “I’m hit, I’m hit! Oh God, that fucking hurts!” Another distant “pap”, another nearby “PAK!”, and the man changes his words. “God dammit, you motherfucker, did you have to hit me in the head, you son of a bitch! I ain’t shutting up for shit, you cocksucker!”

Inside the tent, the private that woke me is biting on his sleeve to keep from laughing. I allow myself to smile, but refrain from snickering audibly. The “wounded” man is complying to the training rules, by remaining in place where he had been shot. But he is not “dying” in whimpering agony, but continues to loudly curse the sniper nearby.

“Corporal.” The private has recovered from his giggling fit. “Corporal, are you going to use your Juju?” Because of some mistimed applications of magic, I have a reputation of being “The Lucky One” or “The Albatross” depending on whether my finagling worked to the speaker’s advantage. Officially, I just have an obstinate lucky streak. Behind closed doors, they talk openly about my supposed abilities. I wish I had one tenth of the abilities ascribed to me.

“Yes, Private. I’m going to use my ‘Juju’, as you call it.” The Private sucks in his breath in a moment of fear. “You can tell me what the latest rumors are some other time.” I pull away from the slit, and concentrate on the recent graduate of the Murloc School of Dramatic Dying. I sense he is facing a particular direction with his diatribes. Turning my attention towards his target, I sense someone in a tree branch just beyond the compound. I feel the chill of the CO2 cartridge and the warmth of his irritation towards the still derisive, now zombified, continually berating soldier.

Now that I have him in my Sight, I should probably do something about him right away. I feel him lifting his paintball gun. He is aiming at the “fatally wounded” soldier. He is about to squeeze the trigger. Then he stops. He has realized he is being goaded into revealing his position by shooting at the “dead” man again. I feel him getting out of the tree. He is going to use the sound of the hurled expletives to cover him changing position. Yes, he’s running to another high position. Carefully climbing onto a supply tent, the fabric should have collapsed underneath him. Unless it was already strengthened for this to happen. He’s actually on the top of several containers stacked within the tent, stacked high enough to touch the tent fabric. He readies his paintball gun. He has a clean view of most of my compound, including the flaps I was waiting behind.

I release my Sight, and creep away from the flaps, pulling the private with me. “Bastard moved position. And we’ve been compromised.” I turn my attention to the private. “Will you betray us, Private?”

He swallows nervously. “Corporal, the rumors are you can hear if a man lies. Is that true?” I just smile at him. “No, Corporal. I will not betray my unit.” I hear the nervousness shaking his voice, his fear of the situation and of my wrath. And I hear he speaks the truth.

“Very well then. In two minutes, I want you to start yelling at me. Just cut loose and start berating me. Pretend I’m trying to argue back and cut me off. Loudly.” He looks at me, dumbly.

“And what are you going to do?”

“Deploy my Juju, of course.” I get the only weapon I am allowed to have, a large stick, and make for the back of my tent. The sniper’s new position gives him a clear view of the front of my tent, where the official doorway is. The back of the tent is tied down to prevent anyone from sneaking under the rear of the cloth. I push my Sight beyond the tarp, and feel no one beyond. I take the risk and start gently prying up the stakes. “When I pull up the stakes, the tent is going to shudder. Go ahead and start yelling at me now. Start with something like ‘you coward bitch’ or something else like that, and throw something at the front flaps to make them blow out. He can’t see inside, so you’ll be safe.”

He steps into the center of the tent. “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU SAYING! YOU DUMB BITCH! NO! PUT THAT DOWN!” He takes the dictionary off the table and screams as he chucks it out the door. “YOU CRAZY BITCH THERE IS A SNIPER OUT THERE!” He looks at me in askance, grinning, as I pull the stake free in time with the dictionary hitting the flap. Almost immediately, the book is painted by the sniper. “SEE!” He adds a twinge of panic to his voice, then bites his tongue to keep from laughing. “GODDAMMIT WOMAN!” He shakes a support pole as I roll out from under the back of the tent. I hear him quietly say, “Good luck, God speed.” before he begins his deconstruction of my ability to lead.

His initial report was a sniper AND a grenadier. I take a quick glance around with my Sight. Most of my unit is hiding in tents, waiting to be plucked off one by one by an invasive team. We have no paintball guns to defend ourselves with. Budget cuts in training. I sense the “dead” man in the center of the compound, the sniper on the supply tent, and no one else outside but me. I heft my stick, and make my way behind tents, stepping quietly and quickly until I’m behind the supply tent.

He doesn’t see me, he’s too busy teasing a few people in the latrine tent. I see his dirt marks on the tent where he had scrambled for footing. I surmise how he is going to get down. I pick off a pinch of dirt, and back away from the rear a bit, staying close to the tent for cover.

Rubbing the dirt from his footsteps between my fingers, I cause a sympathetic reaction. He gets antsy, itchy. He is suddenly concerned about being spotted. He feels he needs to change position, and change quickly. I hear him start to scramble backwards off the tent. Reaching for footholds so he can get down quickly. Just before he reaches the ground, I rush forward and grab him.

He is surprised to be assaulted. He twists in my hands and sees who has grabbed him. He leers at me. “Fucking bitch. You’re gonna get hurt for real this time.” My knee in his crotch cuts off any further words he had planned. My stick cracks him across his head, and he falls down unconscious. I swiftly strip him of his paintball gun and assorted gear. A quick look at the loot reveals a cellphone, on silent.

Three new texts. “BRUJA IN MAIN TENT. AVOID.” “LADDER IN LATRINE. LAST STALL.” “AMMO IN HUMVEE GAS FIRE POINT.” That. Bastard. We were setup by the Sergeant. Avoid the bruja, eh? As I’m holding the cell phone, another text arrives. “BRUJA ON MOVE. ABORT.” I tuck the cellphone in a pocket, and continue checking the bags. Paintball grenades. I tie up the sniper, making sure a rope was passed along a sensitive point of the male anatomy.

Now armed, I make a quick sweep of the compound exterior. Checking visually and with Sight, I determine that was the only enemy combatant. I grab my “visitor”, and drag him to the center of the compound. Yelling “All Clear!” as I did so. The first person I encounter was the “Loudly Dying” Man. For some reason, he’s still in the middle of the compound.

“Private? Are you okay?” He turns towards me. The welt from the paintball contact makes it look like he is sprouting a horn above his eye.

“Does it fucking look like I’m okay?” I sense unusual hostility towards me.

“No. It doesn’t. Does that mean I shouldn’t let you guard the sniper?” He cheers up for a moment.

“Yes, you should let me guard him. I mean, he’s tied up, so helpless.”

“You were supposed to point where I was, and help him.” A helluva leap of conclusion there. The marked man looks up sharply at me, and chews on his tongue, and his answer, for a few moments.

“Yea. Yea, I was. People don’t like you. Like me. Fucking witch. But he wasn’t supposed to tag me! That wasn’t the plan!” He alternates his attention between me and the bound man.

Suddenly, the sound of vehicle engines. Before we can react, several Humvees roll into the compound, manned by armed men. These men aren’t equipped with paintball guns. They have real rifles, with real ammunition, and the attitude of real soldiers that do as they are told. From one of the Humvees emerges my Sergeant and my Captain.

“Fucking bitch, you ruined the simulation with your juju shit!” Sarge is not happy. Captain appears amused. I hand the Captain the cellphone with the most recent text still on the screen. He reads it aloud to the Sergeant’s dismay. “Bruja on move. Abort?” He addresses the Sergeant. “Now then, Sergeant, how would the sniper know about whoever is codenamed “Bruja”? Unless the enemy has an agent already within the compound, but that would not be abiding by the simulation rules, now, is it?”

I look at the private that woke me. I see worry in his eyes. “Private.” My calm voice snaps his attention. “What is your unit?” He stammers and stutters for a few moments.

“I didn’t lie to you.” He finally said. “I did not betray my unit. I was just following orders.”

The Captain looks him over. “He is not one of mine.” Looking at the Sergeant, the Captain asked the Private, “Son, are you in my unit?”

“No, Sir.”

I turn fully to face the private. Feeling very stupid for not asking the right questions. I don’t see the Sergeant looming over me. I don’t feel him swinging until it was too late. He strikes me in the head, and I fall to my knees. I don’t remember what happened next, except there was blood, and broken bones, and screams. But not all from me.

A few days later, I am startled as the Lieutenant enters the cell. He looks at his clipboard, then back at me. “I don’t know what you did, Private, but the military can’t seem to get rid of you fast enough. You probably have some legal recourse coming, but it will be a few weeks until you can even begin.” I smile at the LT, despite the bruising on my face.

“If I tell you, you’ll be in the same trouble that I’m in. Let’s just say, I said ‘No’, and enforced it.”

“Then, you’re not fighting this?”

“I am fighting. I said ‘No’.” He looks at me in askance. I return the stare.

“Very well then, you’ll be discharged from custody, and from the military, this afternoon. Whatever Gods you serve, may They look over you.” He makes notations on the papers on his clipboard, then leaves my cell.

I ache, all over. But I ache with the smug satisfaction that my injuries were the least incurred.

Just as the man said, that afternoon, I was discharged from the military. In a last laugh at my expense, my request to be returned to the recruiting station I was signed up at was denied. I was driven to the main gate of the base, told to leave the vehicle, and left on my own with just enough money in my wallet for a bus trip home.

Of course, the bus station was quite a walk away.

After a few hours, I arrive at the bus stop. I check the posted schedule, and find the bus only stops here twice a day. Once in the morning, once in the evening. I have arrived at the stop an hour before the evening stop. A few minutes later, I am joined by another recently freed man. He looks at the fading bruises on my face, then at me as a whole. “Bastards. I heard about you. If they can’t break you by peer pressure, they try by force.” He looks up at me. “I guess they failed.” I only nod in response.

He tries a few more time to start conversation, but I don’t feel like engaging. Soon he quits trying and we both settle into quiet solitude.

Fifteen minutes before the scheduled arrival of the bus, we hear footsteps. A young man, with a duffel over his shoulder, is walking up the road. He stops at the bench, and asks if he may join us sitting down. The bench is small, so I stand up so the walker can sit in comfort.

My “companion” begins asking him many questions. Is he headed to the base? Going to join the military? Where is he from? The nearest town is 40 miles away, did his car break down?

“I’m going to the abbey.” Abbey? What abbey? The older man twists his face in scorn.

“You’re going to those tree-huggers?”

“They are not environmental hipsters, Sir. I have no car, I sold it in town.”

I look around, wondering if my friend’s abbey is the one he speaks of. After being bounced from military base to military base, I had lost track of the civilian world. “What abbey?” I address the younger man, but the older man answers in return.

“Some ‘reclaimed religion’ took over an abandoned Catholic abbey ground nearby. They run a casino on the grounds as a source of income. Casinos and religion! Nothing good comes of the fuckery.” He spits on the ground in a show of distaste.

The young man never faces him. He continues to look squarely at me. “I have an invitation. I hope to study there for a few years. Make something of myself.” The other man starts deriding him as the younger hands me his invitation. I look over the handwritten paper. I recognize the handwriting.

“The abbey bishop, would his name be Elbrand?” The young man’s face lights up in recognition.

“Yes! That’s him!” The older man now shows his disgust to the both of us.

“No bus goes there! And the road is four miles further south of us! And then you still have another fifteen along the road! You have more walking to do, boy!”

The younger man stands up and stretches. “So, about fifteen more miles then? Okay. Good day.” He hefts his bag and starts walking due east, directly for the abbey.

As he leaves, the bus arrives and stops for us. The older man gets on quickly. I tarry a bit. “Come on. Let the delusional fuck go on his own. It’s not like magic is real, right?”

The question irks me, and I step away from the bus. I tell the bus driver to continue without me and call the young man back to the stop. The driver closes the door but doesn’t pull away. The young man returns just as I begin to strip.

The young man turns bright red in embarrassment. The older man stands within the door and eyes me greedily. I continue removing all my clothing, gathering them up into a ball.

“Here, stuff this in your bag and don’t blink.”, I tell the young man. I close my eyes, and shudder violently. My form changes in the blink of an eye. Instead of a naked woman, a barebacked mare now stands. I wink at the bus driver, who suddenly decides that driving off in a big hurry would be the prudent thing to do. I catch a glimpse of the older man’s face, frozen in shock and fright.

I turn my large horse head to the younger man, and nudge him gently on the shoulder. The nudge shakes him from his astonishment and he stuffs my clothes into his duffel. Mounting me with ease, he holds on to me tightly as I begin in a fast trot, then settle into a faster distance endurance speed.

It is almost sunset when we reach the abbey. I stop a ways off and neigh softly. He takes the cue and drops from my back. Immediately he opens his duffel to retrieve my clothes as I shudder back into my human form. I get dressed quickly, and together, we walk the last quarter mile to the abbey.

Because of his invitation, he is quickly escorted to the interior of the abbey. To my surprise, he weathered my transformations well, and was not dissuaded of his intention to join the druid order here. But because no one knew who I was, not even the young man’s protestations granted me immediate audience to my friend. Instead, the bishop would be made aware of my presence on the grounds. Would I be so kind as to relax within the casino while the bishop is notified?

Wandering around the casino floor, I found very few slot machines. None of them were the themed machines prevalent in American casinos now. These were basic in appearance, simple in rules. Not many people were manning them. Instead, most of the casino action is at the tables. Card games were the most favored gambling style here. Every table had a full set of players, and there were other players waiting for their chance to sit down.

On occasion, a player would get agitated and start antagonizing others. To my amusement, I noted the casino enforcers were actually monks of the order! I had to bite my tongue and not laugh out loud when a large man would step forward to a rowdy player and say, “Peace, friend. Peace, or I’ll knock your ass out. Either way, there will be peace.”

I noted the casino was laid out in a manner that broke all the rules. The carpet was simple, not garish. The number and size of neon signs was kept to a bare minimum. The cocktail attendants were not scantily dressed. The background music was supplied by a live piano player, that played simple tunes, usually by request. The layout of the tables was not confusing. All exits were easily viewable, there was no attempt to tempt the casino gambler into trying his luck just one more time before leaving.

And yet, the casino tables were overflowing in players.

I heard a woman scowling about “profit sharing”. I look over my shoulder, and I see the casino owner. I recognize her as soon as she recognizes me. “Keri, you see this?” She waves at the waiting players. “This is horrible!”

“Horrible? Nicky, you have players waiting three deep to play! How is this horrible?”

“YOUR FRIEND! The bishop has capped how many tables I can have here. Says too many tables will encourage careless gambling! People are going to throw their money away regardless of how many tables there are. The more tables there are, the more money I’ll take, the more profit he will share with me.” I see her chewing on the memory of financial reports and projected income.

“Are you making a profit, Nicky?” Again, my ear is tingling at what is unspoken.

“Yea, I’m making a profit. But not a big enough profit! I had a casino analyst look at the floor here. He said I should have twice as many tables and slot machines lining the walls. The decor is too plain, too simple, he said. If another casino opens within forty miles of here, I’ll lose my exclusivity.” She grinds her teeth in frustration.

“But, you’re making a healthy profit, right? At the end of the fiscal year, you have extra money, right?” Nicky looks at me as if seeing me for the first time.

“Keri, you’re naive as fuck, you know that. The only healthy profit is MAXIMUM profit. It’s bad enough I agreed to a 50/50 split with the Bishop. The only way for me to make maximum profit is to tweak every little thing I can. When I signed the profit sharing contract, I thought after a little cash flow went his way, he would see things my way and let me run a real casino. Not this “proof of concept” for ten years running! But no!” She pounds her fist in her hand in frustration. “I thought since he’s a pagan, he would have no problem with moral standards!”

I turn my face away and chuckle into my shoulder. Nicky has always been morally challenged. I wondered how Elbrand managed to keep her in check.

“Excuse me, Ms. Nox?” I turn to the questioner. A robed monk bows in greeting. “The Bishop is upset we did not bring you to his office at once. Would you assist me with correcting this mistake?” Upset, eh? What prank is he planning now? As I walk away from Nicky, she yells behind me, “Talk some sense into him! Let him know what profit he’s missing out on!”

My meeting with Bishop Elbrand was friendly and personal. [Because “Bishop Elbrand” looked and behaved so much like a Waking world friend, I will not detail the conversation I entertained. (But none of That happened! So stop it!)]

The order was for men only, but some rooms in the interior of the abbey were set aside for visitors of any gender. While such a room was being prepared for me to stay the night, I went back down to the casino floor to watch the crowd of people. I saw some players did leave without ever gambling a dime because of the crush of those waiting for the tables. But for the most part, people were just as entertained being observers as they were being players. To my surprise, many of them took turns at the tables, allowing everyone to have fun in turn.

“So, did you talk some sense into him?” Nicky was once again at my elbow.

“Of course not. He’s steadfast in limiting the amount of tables.”

“But my analyst! And the reports!” She squealed in frustration.

“He said your analyst needs to go back to Vegas. And your reports are not measuring the impact on the communities. He said your contract does allow you to open other casinos elsewhere.”

“He knows damn well, I can’t afford the fees that comes with gambling properties in the county. If it wasn’t for his gaggle of altar boys being a recognized religion, I wouldn’t be able to set up here!” She stamped her feet in frustration. She stares at me for a moment, then stomps away to sulk.

I chuckle as I walk around the casino floor. Soon another monk approaches me. “Excuse me, you are Bishop Elbrand’s close friend?”

My ear heard large amounts of nervousness. “Yes, I am. Is there something wrong?”

“No, Miss. I have…” He takes a deep breath. “I have an issue that needs to be brought to the Bishop’s attention.”

I lead him to the edge of the room, where he doesn’t need to yell to be heard. “There are several ways to bring issues to the Bishop’s attention. That don’t involve sneaking around the chain of command. Why are you approaching me with this?”

More fear crept around his voice. “Because those that understand the situation, are afraid of the implications. And those that don’t understand, belittle me for it.”

I have a soft spot for the underdog. A horrid weakness. “Okay, I’m listening.”

“I have to show you.” He’s biting his lips in fear. But I sense no ill will from him.

“Show me.”

He leads me to a nearby hallway. It connects the casino floor to the rest of the abbey. Halfway down the long hallway, there is an alcove. He stops before the alcove. “Take a look, what do you see?”

I look in the alcove. “That’s a statue of Baphomet.” I look at him, an eyebrow raised in askance. “Um, last I checked, Bishop Elbrand is a Druid. And Druids don’t have stock in Baphomet.” His face relaxes with a sigh of relief.

“You see it. Good.” He sees the look on my face and quickly starts explaining. “Not everyone can see this statue. Others look here, and just see an empty alcove. Those that can see it, refuse to admit it.”

“Can Bishop Elbrand see it?” I turn my attention back to the statue of Baphomet. It glistens in the reddening light. It almost looks alive.

“I don’t know. And no one will let me get close enough to him to ask.” I note his nervousness has returned. “And there’s something else.”

I don’t turn away from the statue. “What something else?”

“It moves.”

I stare at the statue intently. “Does it move for everyone that can see it?” “No. It moves for me and one other that I know.”

“Are you afraid of it?” “I was at first. But now I’m not. But the bishop must still be told!”

Did it just move? I can’t be sure. “You go ahead and tend to your duties. I’ll tell Bishop Elbrand of this myself.” He bows, thanks me, and leaves.

Alone, I stand before the alcove, studying the Baphomet statue. I find the curl on its horns to be insanely cute and I reach out to touch it.

It moves its head, dodging my fingers with ease.

I pull my hands away from the two foot tall statue. “Well then, I won’t touch.”, I whisper to it. It waves a greeting in response.

“You’re only showing yourself to those with an open mind to see.” It nods.

“And moving only to those with an open mind to accept.” It nods.

“The bishop already knows about you, and saw you move.” It nods.

“The bishop is letting you stay to test the monks.” It nods.

“My friend is a sneaky bastard.” It nods vigorously.

I knew then, there was nothing inherently evil about the statue. The question was how the monks would respond once they saw it.

“Well then, why show yourself to me? I’m not a monk here. I’ll be leaving in the morning.”

Baphomet jumped off its two foot tall pedestal it was sitting on. With ease, it pushed the pedestal slightly to the side. I heard a muffled click, and a hidden door opened in the alcove, revealing a hidden room beyond. Baphomet made a great sweeping gesture, formally inviting me inside the room.

Before I could respond, I heard a noise from the abbey’s end of the hallway. Two monks was walking down the interconnecting hallway. The first monk, I realized, could not see me, Baphomet, nor the open door. The second monk, however, was able to see Baphomet. He jumped and dropped the empty bags he was holding. He gave a shriek of fright and scrambled backwards. The first monk looked around for the source of the second man’s fright and saw nothing.

“Alric, I told you not to drink that wine. Nothing good could come of molded anything! I tried to tell you, now get yourself together!” The second man whimpered in fear for a few more seconds, then gathered his dropped bags and raced past the alcove.

I chuckled at him, and winced at the thought of drinking any liquid with mold in it. I turned my attention back to “Baphomet”, who only shrugged in response.

The entrance was shorter than I was tall. I entered not quite stooping and not quite crawling. The door closed behind me and my eyes adjusted to the darkness very quickly. As I stepped forward, I noted the carpet in the hallway was gone, my shoes were stepping on something hard and solid. A few more steps forward and the floor suddenly glowed with intense blue light.

I looked at my feet, and saw I was walking on marble with lapis lazuli inlay. The inlay was in the design of the seal framework. Once I recognized the pattern, I became completely lucid, realizing the entire sequence of events from the military base onward was actually one long convoluted dream.

Now knowing, I strode to the center of the seal, and knelt down over the pentagon and the dot within the pentagon. I felt a universe of choices open up for me, but instead of action, I chose inaction. “I will meditate here, and allow what needs to unfold, to do so.” And so the meditation began.

After three Times had passed, I looked up, and saw a series of numbers glow like scribed gold before me.

“666/66” pulsed with golden light three times then faded. A youth’s voice tickled my ear. “Don’t forget.”

Then the blue glow emanating from the lapis lazuli inlay faded, enveloping me in darkness.

Behind me, I heard the click of a door, and the quiet creak of the door’s hinges. I turned to see the alcove’s door had been reopened. I left the darkened seal and entered the hallway. As soon as the door closed behind me, I was overcome with fatigue, forgetting being lucid, and collapsed on the hallway floor.

“Oh, you’re awake, I hope I didn’t bother you.” I awaken in the guest room in the abbey. Bishop Elbrand was in the receiving room. “I saw you on the couch, and thought you were awake, but you weren’t, so I was about to leave.” I look around, note it is about 10 in the morning of the next day.

“Eh, I was taking a nap. Listen, while I have you alone. Have you looked at the alcove in the hallway?”

“You saw Little Baphis too?” “You call it, what?”

“That’s not really Baphomet, you know. Why it takes that form, I’m not sure. I thought you had encountered it. My men found you collapsed on the floor by the alcove. Interacting with it can be draining.” I feel like I’m forgetting something, something important, but I can’t remember what it was.

“Hey, I have a favor to ask.” I tilt my head in askance.

“My niece is here, but I’m going to be busy all morning. Would you go with her for a few hours?”

“Yea, sure.”

He and I chitchat a little while more, then he takes me to his niece, Bethany, and her little Maltese dog.

“Keri is going to walk with you, so you won’t be bored with nutty monks.” Bethany gives a great “Yay!” in celebration.

Bethany and I walk around the Abbey’s enclosed grounds. She has a camera and enjoys taking many pictures of her Maltese, “Ego” and different scenes in the Abbey. To keep me busy, Bishop Elbrand has asked me to take tests of any unusual water puddles or sources I come across. I’m given a portable test kit to experiment with.

Bethany is lots of fun to be with. We talk silly girl talk and chase butterflies with her dog. I ask her about the dog’s name, “Ego”.

“Because he forgets what size he is, and instead thinks he is the size of his ego.” Fair enough, I think.

We hear a big splash, and Ego starts whining in dismay. We rush over to him, to find he has fallen into a large puddle. It looks like someone had dug a trench and forgot to fill it in when done. Ego paddles to me. He does not like this water. I reach in and pull out the small dog. While Bethany pours her affection over him, and checks for anything unusual, I use the test kit on the water.

The digital readout of the meter is in code. “666/66 120”. I test it several times, and each time I get the same code. “666/66 120”. Suddenly remembering where I saw the code from, I regain my lucidity.

“Bethany, would you be able to get back to your uncle, okay?” She picks up Ego and cradles him in her arms. “Oh, definitely. I know every inch of this place.”

“Okay, good, because I have to go now.” She waves goodbye and I will myself to wake up.

~~~

It is now 10:45pm, and I have only been able to write up the dream. Yes, I know 666 is one of Crowley’s favorite numbers. ~whistles innocently~ Remnants of something I read recently, no doubt. Except I’ve read so many books, blogs, and excerpts, I can’t even begin to trace a launch point for the wild good chase, much less, what I’m chasing!

The only clue I have, is a figment of mental math that has stuck with me.

666/66 = (6/6) * (111/11)

Make of it, what you may.

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