Mummy’s Boy, by DF Lewis

I scribble a few notes about my dream. I was squatting on a hillside, having climbed through steep woodland, at the bottom of which I had left my son in the park. He was playing on the roundabout, in the care of some-one whom I could recall neither in the dream nor now during the note-scribbling. I watched the gliders taking off and landing on a raised airstrip across the valley. Each soared into the sky like an angel in splints, crested the thermals, dropped the winch-line and circled over the model town below.

My notes fail to cover the precise nature of the town and are very sketchy concerning the duration in dream time – hut, in writing the notes, new visions come, ideas for future dreams and undercurrents of old forgotten dreams which will otherwise never see the light of day.

The sky gradually filled with gliders, sunlight sparkling on their wings like loose stars on a clear night. I was strangely unhorrified to see two gliders collide and cartwheel down.

That was when I woke – or so the notes tell me. I am concerned about my son whom I apparently abandoned ill-attended in the park. My own real life children are now too old for such worries.

I look across at my wife who knits in front of the gas fire. But it is not my wife at all. I study my notes for clarification – for comfort – for some clue as to whether I am now embroiled in a new dream-without the prior warning of falling asleep. The woman masquerading as my wife seems to knit her own brain as it coils from the spindle of her revolving ear. The white glistening wormthread is clotted with headblood. The finished product of the extrusion flows over her lap and becomes the yellow grid of the gas fire,the blue flames of which flare ever upward along the wormthread. She smiles and says: `Time for bed’. I cannot remember the exact words, nor do the notes help, since they are merely marks on the paper in a language too sculptural for translation.

A paper aeroplane skims past my nose, obviously constructed and launched by the creature with the brain-knitting. She stares imbecilically with one smile on two quivering lips. The dart glided into the next dream, where he still squatted on the familiar hillside, and plummeted with a crumple to his feet. He picked it up and read the message: ‘Your son has a broken back – unless you hurry down.’

Some gliders still hung in the sky, hovering like silver dragons, so close he could actually see the dream aviators, smiling, waving – at him.

The distant airstrip bore the glistening groundling craft and, men as small as insects, careered hither and thither, busy rewinding the various winches into the shape of a childhood cat’s-cradle game. An arc of a new moon rose early above the activity.

He felt compelled to hurry down to the park – he had ignored the message on the origami dart for at least an hour of dream time.

But he woke before he could start down the wooded slope – which he was suddenly desperate to descend, since he dreaded that whom he most loved in the real world was in dire danger. The child who was the man.

The utter frustration of pulling out of a dream too early was like not pulling out of a dive early enough.

The sky was below; the ground above. He soared speedily towards a small child whose weight was being tested on a see-saw by a strange woman wearing what appeared, at this distance, to be a red felt hat. Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin.