I was on weathered dune hills, by the ocean, twilight. Rising above the dunes was a large rickety wooden structure, something like a mine railway, raised on struts and stilts over the sand. In places it was broken and fell away into splintered beams and gnarled metal.
Gangs of violent delinquents roamed the beach and sandhills. They were led by a young, aggressive ideologue, a woman. She was scrawny and vindictive but also assertive and charismatic. She was directing the mob to kill people, victims who they kicked and stomped, beat with wood, and some they threw off the tall mining railway where they lay broken on the sand. When the fall didn’t kill them, she would stand over their moaning bodies and her thugs would kick out their teeth or simply shoot them in the head. I was among those fleeing. At one point I had to lie on the sand as if dead to avoid being beaten to death.
The grey ocean lapped apathetically at the beach. I could hear voices raised in hysterical, sometimes gleeful violence and responding cries of pain and dismay. Many who were thrown from the heights did not make a sound. Heads bowed they were led to their fate, like war prisoners, by dark figures who were willingly following instructions to commit these terrible acts.
To the right of the rickety railway, terrace houses were build on the dunes fronting onto the beach. A row of two storey buildings, with rendered walls enclosing patios, balconies and tall glass windows that looked out to sea. I ran to the furthest house and scrambled up the dunes to hide where it’s wall met the sand. I lay flat along the wall where it was shadowed, and watched from my hiding place.
At this point my perspective shifted, to take in a broader picture from a height. The people had now become invisible to me, as if my vision had shifted to see a different dimension, but I knew the gangs and the woman were still there, murdering and brutalising where they could.
I became aware of colossal beings rising from the ocean and stalking out over the dunes. They were invisible, but I also had a sense of what they looked like, as one does in dreams. These monsters had four extremely long, tapering legs that ended in points. They swayed eerily on these legs as they walked with a slow, menacing gait. I knew that they were evil, ancient gods summoned by the evil acts being committed on the shore. With the strange intuition of dreams I knew these beings were primordial evil spirits represented in Indigenous myth. They had long necks, and their bodies were patched with black and white.
I saw the stirrings of their passage across the sands and knew them to be malevolent, and that their emergence was utterly ominous. Invisibly their black pointed heads were strafing as if searching for something. I felt overcome with dread.
My perspective shifted again to that of the interior of the house next to me. It belonged to a professor. In his work he had been studying the very monsters I had witnessed rising from the sea. To try and understand these invisible evil titans he had created anthropomorphised representations of them, which stood around his house like suits of armour. They were fetishised figures clad in black, often with horns, clothed in patent leather and straps, with spiky, aggressive textures. Some had gas masks or industrial goggles. Illustrations and writing were stacked in paper towers about the place.
the professor was standing in his living room, dressed in classical academic garb – a black suit with white cravat – with a posture of defeat. Around him milled his students. They had broken into his house and were incensed and disgusted by his work. They were overturning his house in a frenzied mob, breaking the fetishes and rifling through his research papers. They were fueled by the same ideological hysteria as the woman and the gangs on the beach. The professor knew that now that his students had discovered he was investigating the monsters, and most importantly trying to represent the beasts in a literal way, that he would be put to death. He stood and watched with deep sadness and resignation as his students destroyed his work and yelled disparaging remarks at him.
And then I woke up with a feeling of deep disturbance.
I walked outside to sit down in the morning sun, and Oscar was watching a video on his phone by Dr Jordan Peterson about ideologues, ‘Existentialism via Solzhenitsyn and the Gulag.’
Needless to say, this only compounded my overwhelming sense of portent and overall weirdness, and I simply had to recount my dream to him. I think he was equally disturbed.