Feeling incredibly queasy today. Stayed at home and slept all the daylight away. Ended up dreaming about a journey to hell. Here’s how the dream goes:
So I found this perfect place to live: cheap rent, good services, a mattress that serves a perfect balance of firmness and bounce, ample sunlight, spacious room, good location. I immediately fell in love with the room and confirmed my moving there in the nearest time possible.
Too good to be true? Of course. “Avoid the TGTBT men before you’re in too deep to burn,” a wise hunky friend of mine said. Because there will always a be catch in things that are too good to be true. Either they’re a psychopath, a narcissist, a weirdo, emotionally unavailable, a playa…. Just wait until that catch unearths and don’t be too convenient.
There was a catch in that beautiful place, too. It was strange that other tenants there tend to leave their room unlocked when they’re not around. Being the snoop that I am, I crept around trying to see what’s what.
The tenants were interestingly familiar — not even six degrees of separation. One was a participant in a debating tournament I attended who hadn’t been too successful but now has found much success in a multinational car company. One apparently was a distant relative whose framed pictures I recognized as a face I’ve seen in family gatherings. Some rooms were empty, waiting for tenants to fill them in (which was weird, considering the good quality of the place and its strategic location).
The final two rooms were the most interesting. One, drenched in brown and red, had religious elements like crosses, silver goblets, rosary beads…a crossover between Abrahamic and Pagan symbolism. The last room I saw was more or less similar, with crosses and weird religious symbols/items, except all inscribed in white over a background of predominant black. There was a strange name, “SIEGFRIED”, written in sharp cursive at the left-bottom corner of each wall. Somehow that felt ominous to me.
So afterwards, I went to the mall, as gleeful as Robin Scherbatsky. Thick, menacingly gray clouds were rolling in, although it was only 3PM on a summer day, the day was almost as dark as after dusk. The mall’s entryway, a long terrace leading to the main entrance, was eerily a rough cheap carpet of deep crimson today, like dried blood. And suddenly they became uneven, not in waves but in columns of flat surfaces. In order to make it across, one has to jump from one high flat surface to another, avoiding the lower surfaces. Because suddenly, critters appear. Shimmering brown scorpions like sculpted from low-quality amber, furry-legged starfish as yellow as Crayola, super-flat-and-wide snakes flailing vociferously like guitar straps in a lively Metallica solo. I kicked those critters away in horror as I made my way through, jumping from one crimson platform onto another. Slowly I realized they were chasing me. I yelped and survived with some other people, but one most memorable was a bronze-skinned centaur with brown devilish horns.
He said his name was Megido and the city has transformed into hell’s gateway for that afternoon. The mall’s entrance, at the center of the long, crimson, critter-jeweled terrace, is now an entrance towards a high security mystical bank where gold coins are produced, paper money printed, and everything else financial regulated. The bank is built downwards into the center of the earth, not skywards. At its deepest subterranean levels, though, a maximum security prison operates, locking in the most dangerous villains. Megido’s brother Siegfried, a psycho hell-bent on creating new order, an anti-matter to this worls if quantum physicists may, had just received a smuggling of his powerful sword and escaped his cell. Before Siegfried managed to flee the building, he must be stopped.
So, Megido led I and other survivors to enter the bank. We have no other options anyway. The weather did not necessarily allow us to take a leisurely stroll around town, while the critters definitely made us unable to escape. The bank’s main lobby is a huge grotto with water dripping, moss enamels, uncut-gems emitting eerie artificial light. Trolls and goblins comprise the bank’s main workers. Strangely, the manager stepped out of the dark wearing a jilbab down to her knees and a long navy blue skirt with an elegant sheen. Her looks reminded me of the Indonesian celebrity Eksanti. She hesitated to cooperate, initially, but with his spear — a long, sleek, hexagonal six-feet column of lilac-hued crystal, engraved with an eye on its bottom end — Megido grabbed a troll and threw him into a coffin strangely positioned on an altar, with its casket lid afloat as if ready to chow. The coffin immediately snapped closed and after a brief glow, exploded, leaving a not wide but deep seven-meter crater leading into the subterranean levels below.
The trolls, previously laughing, immediately stopped working and had serious look on their ugly faces full of tusks. Holy Eksanti the manager, let’s just call her that for the purpose of easy storytelling, agreed to take us to the lower levels. Defying her seemingly unathletic looks, she began sprinting with grace and jumped into the crater, followed soon after by us. It was a claustrophobic journey. The tunnels, walled by yellowish white, warted rough marbles, like the skin of a bitter gourd, were less wide than both arms could be extended. It was not dark though, strangely. Holy Eksanti continued to leap into another tunnel when one ended, pacing quickly down steep flights of stairs, making sharp turns in this downward maze without ever seeming to pause, with remarkable agility.
At the end of the long run downwards, we ended up in another big cavernous space. This is where gold money is produced, with trolls and goblins pouring liquid gold into coin molds immaculately without any of those valuable hot goo dripping out; and where paper money is being printed, strangely the same way as the gold money: by liquid paper being poured into a mold and then pressed flat. In another part of the grotto, goblins and trolls were having sex parties with female zombies and succubi inside sewage water. Holy Eksanti coolly explained that it was a work-life-balance program, an amusement park for those workers as they are not allowed to step out of the premises.
Megido blew another part of the floor, creating a hole on a particular part of the cavern floor, then made us levitate. Slowly we descended through the hole into an onslaught.
Prison cells. Prison cells everywhere. Grime-floored, titanium-caged, cold-stone-walled prison cells. Many of the prisoners, however, have escaped and now fighting with warden goblins and trolls. There was this special cell in the middle of the level, more spacious than any other cells. It must have been designed for a centaur. It was wide open, though. Yet there is no centaurs in sight. Megido explained that Siegfried looks like a black horse with all its limb flesh peeled off and showing off its shiny, weathered, calcium-packed strong bones. His face was long like a deformed candelabra with a snout of an anteater. His eyes are like elongated almonds with white pupil over black eyeballs — one will see the sneakiest malice upon seeing those eyes. His mane is white but unruly, like a corrupt Gandalf. And he has the ability to shapeshift into whatever
The onslaught around us continued and we had to begin defending ourselves from giant monsters: huge black jello boulders made of tar that would engulf, poison, and suffocate us immediately upon contact; skeletal warriors with cursed armor swinging their arms, each one permanently bearing rusted swords, with glee; assassins covered in ragged black cloaks; and other assortments of terror. Amid all this, we started looking for anything out of place. There was this older chap, obese and weak-looking, donning a worn-out version of what used to be a Wall Street power suit. We thought he was Siegfried in disguise…but turned out to be just a super corrupt politician.
Where was Siegfried?
How did he escape? Who delivered his sword to him? From the corner of my eye I looked again at the main cell in the middle of the level. Amid the ongoing onslaught and the poor lighting I might be mistaken but I thought I saw a shadow of a giant dark deformed horse strolling casually out of that cell and disappearing behind further darkness.