So begins Michael's recollection of the time when his best friend Julian, a young man from a respectable English family, was tormented by a recurring nightmare. Michael with the assistance of Julian's girlfriend Roberta and her friend Nicola, attempt to discover the hidden meaning behind Julian's lurid dreams.
They attempt to unlock the secret by visiting the places in the visions, slowly revealing a frightening but fascinating history. As the present merges with a dark and stormy past, it becomes clear that the dreams are a message. Julian's friends are drawn deeper into the mystery, but will they eventually understand the message and why, and by whom, was it sent?
|Product dimensions:||5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.47(d)|
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"I started to scream. In my dream I mean. I felt that I knew who the man on the fire was. He was linked to me somehow. I could see the man writhing in the flames, but he made no sound. I was the one screaming!"
Julian had reached the end of the room and then spun around abruptly.
"This is important Michael, in my dream I knew this person. It is just that I cannot remember who he was now! I was asking the people to stop, to free the man. I was crying and then I ran forward to the fire and the ugly man reached into the fire and pulled out a burning brand and struck me here."
Julian lifted his hand to the side of his head.
"I probably lost consciousness because I can't remember anything else."
I waited for more.
Julian just shrugged, "Then I woke up." He sat down heavily in the chair.
"For Christ's sake Julian! You dragged me over here to tell me that!" It had never been like Julian to make a mountain out of a molehill. I had expected much worse. I was more than a little annoyed as I had cancelled a dinner engagement with a particularly attractive lady to see Julian that night.
"So what! It was an ordinary nightmare, nothing special. I've had even more horrible dreams, believe me. Just forget it! Bloody hell!"
Julian did not react at first, and then he stood up and came towards me.
"Wait, Michael! Look! Let me show you something."
Julian bowed his head and pulled apart the black shiny hair on the side of his head. Through the parted hair, I could glimpse his scalp and could make out a dark patch, a birthmark. It was the size of a child's palm and was pinkish-brown in colour.
"He hit me right here, Michael! Exactly here! I felt the unbearable heat on the side of myhead; I could even smell my skin and hair burning!"
I looked down again at Julian's birthmark. In a strange way, it did look a bit like a burn mark. This was silly I told myself. Julian was surely pulling my leg?
I straightened up and told Julian in no uncertain terms that I felt he was over reacting;
"So, what? You discover this birthmark when you are 23 years old and suddenly you wonder how it got there. It starts to bother you and you start to brood over it. Your subconscious mind takes over and you have some stupid dream!"
I was rather harsh, partly because I felt making light of his fears would help dismiss them, and partly because (and this was probably the real reason), I was still more than a little annoyed with this childish and unusual outburst. For Julian, it was totally out of character. I did not really know how to react, so I finished cruelly with:
"Forget about it! Just be thankful it's not on your face."
Julian looked at me strangely; I don't think he had been listening to a word I said.
"Why should it be on my face? He didn't strike me in the face, did he?"
I was dumbstruck, and not for the first time suspected Julian was somehow taking me for a fool. Was he really serious? I countered:
"Who? What are you talking about, for God's sake!" my voice seemed to raise several octaves. Julian answered calmly; seemingly oblivious to the discomfort I was in and with a deadly serious undertone in his voice like a preacher verbally underlining the important part of his sermon for a slow and backward congregation he told me:
"Michael, the problem is, I did not find this birthmark until after my nightmares. I know it sounds crazy, but I couldn't stop myself checking my head after my dream. If I had found nothing I would have laughed it off. I probably would never have told you, but I did find it! It does look a bit like a burn mark, does it not?"