In was in these very hills soon after I came to this place that I had a vivid dream.
After climbing steep hill, I was led through a large courtyard painted white, up some stairs and through tall, heavy wooden doors into what seemed like another world.
Inside, tall thin arches covered with long drapes in rich fabric wafted slightly in the breeze. The hall – for that’s what is was – had drapes hanging everywhere, so that the precise size of the room could not be discerned. One could not see the walls themselves.
There was a large rectangular table at one end with people seated around: Arabs, Africans, men, women, all in grand attire. In the centre, a heavy round table, covered with a cloth. In the corners of the room were large brocade cushions piled high. People were dressed in long robes, and cloth headdresses studded with jewels and reclining, comfortably talking, and drinking out of jewel encrusted goblets.
As I entered, wearing a plain purple robe and leather sandals, but no other adornment, an imposing woman stood up.
She had the most magnificent robe of all. Deep purple, with swirls of bright blue, and gold brocade on a matching outer cloak. It complemented her dark brown complexion perfectly, and set off her bright eyes with a power I had seldom seen in a woman.
As she rose, so too did everyone else. She approach me slowly , with the dignity befitting her office.
She said, “So, you have come”.
I stood tall, bolt upright and held her gaze, “Yes, I have”.
She took her time and circled around me, at about two metres distant, inspecting me, it seems. The hall was quiet, but not unsympathetic.
I stood motionless and looked straight ahead. When she had come full circle she faced me once again. Raising her chin ever so slightly, as those of authority do, she said in a deep, resonant voice, “Welcome!”
With that she handed me the gold goblet in her hand. I raised it in a toast to her, with my head bowed for a moment, and then drank my first sip. I felt as if I had come home.
(This was the first dream I had, very soon after emigrating to Portugal.)
©2019 Allison Wright
[366 words. I cheated again: total time 12 minutes + 2 minutes for editing.]
4 thoughts on “Dream remembered”
It seems strange to comment on one’s own post, but since it is a communal blog, I will.
It seems to me that this is not such a great piece of writing, chiefly because the quality of the descriptions suffered because of the short space of time in which they were written. On the upside, I think it could provide the initial material for a short story.
Two other exercises I could try would be to reduce these 366 words to 200, or focus on developing a fuller description of the magnificent female leader. The précis exercise would take much longer than five minutes, whereas describing the woman, or some aspect of her is an ideal five-minute exercise. What do others think?
I thought there was too much in it, as it often happens in a dream. You wake up with all kinds of contradicting feelings and it’s nearly impossible to put them in order. When I read your post I was a bit disappointed because I was curious about the woman i.e. the female leader. Would be highly appreciated if you could find the time to tell more about her.
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I would have to embellish what is already here, and make up details. That’s what our imagination – and fiction – is for, isn’t it? I’ll come back to it sometime soon, I think.
I just put the brief reference to Apartheid in as a kind of reminder to expand the description if I ever make this into a longer piece, or incorporate it into some other story. This is merely the practice ground! 🙂