You are sleeping and you dream. Describe your dream
I am dreaming of myself as I should be, trying to cope with surreal events in places I barely recognize as cities and neighborhoods I once lived in. The landscape is constantly shifting, and the other people in my dream -some of them family, some of them friends, and others just strangers- come and go in a random fashion.
You wake up in a house. The house can be anywhere within the world. Describe the house and where it is located in the world.
The house is my parents' home in Maryland, a simple white two-story Cape Cod with a driveway and a carport. It has wood floors and many bookshelves loaded with all manner of fiction, science, history and art books. The walls are adorned with icons, crucifixes, pictures of my parents and our relatives, and a print of Rembrandt's The Man In The Golden Helmet.
When you wake up, what time is it?
Six in the morning. The sun has just risen.
You get up and go into the kitchen. What kind of kitchen is in this house?
It's small and crowded, dominated by a kitchen table much too large for the space available.
You are going out for a walk. As you go to the door, you notice the trees around the house. How many are there and how are they placed in relation to the house?
There are a few trees in the yard - a magnolia in the front to the north of the sidewalk, a black cherry to the south, and a pair of scraggly crabapples out by the curb, planted by the town. In the back, an enormous oak stands at the back of the lot; there is a small apple tree growing nearly parallel to the ground for no apparent reason and a pair of pear trees. The cypress trees near the basement steps have been removed, as has the willow along the south side of the back yard.
You are following a winding path of stones and sand, past rocks and dry reeds that rattle and hum in the breeze. You crest a rise and start down. Looking around you see, beside the path, a bowl which you pick up and carry with you. Describe the bowl.
The bowl is a simple white bowl with two blue stripes parallel to the rim.
The path moves on past ruins, there are false turnings everywhere, but you move straight on. Beside the path you see a key which you pick up and carry with you. What is the key like?
The key is an old black iron key, heavy and awkward to carry despite its small size. I have lost or misplaced the key many times (sometimes deliberately) but it has always turned up when I needed it. The key has opened a lot of doors for me, even the modern doors that didn't seem to have keyholes.
The path moves out of a forest into the open. It grows hot. You find yourself at a body of water. What kind of body of water is it and what do you do when you come up to it?
This blue feature is a wide river, with a slow current, treacherous deeps and waist-deep shallows. Upstream, there is a roaring, raging waterfall; downstream, a fetid swamp. I wade across the river, sometimes swimming in the deep parts or just floating in them, staring up at the clear blue sky and the scudding cumulus clouds that pass overhead.
You move on along the path and, after some time you come to a wall. What is the wall made of? What you do when you come to it?
The wall is enormous, built of black basalt stones taller than a man and rearing far into the sky. It extends seamlessly from one horizon to the other, but here and there are doors and gates that seem to allow passage through the wall. From time to time others move through the doors and gates, singly and in crowds. I walk along the wall, looking for a suitable door or correct gateway. I don't know how to define "suitable" or "correct", but I have the gut feeling that I'll know the right passage when I see it. Perhaps the key will once again guide me.
What lies beyond the wall?
I can't see through the doors and gates; there is only blackness beyond the wall. I can hear a party going on though some of the doors, but at other portals there is screaming and unmistakable agony.