Note from the Author: I wrote this piece as a little parable to put into my Magnum Opus at some juncture, I suppose nothing stops me from uploading it here in the event that I never get around to it. Honestly, I’m not exactly sure of the message I was trying to convey, but I’ve a deep love for those dream sequences you see in film and TV like ‘Vikings’ on the History Channel. Those overly metaphorical asides during which you can read all sorts (true and false) into what is shown on screen. I wanted to convey something like that, I think, the various animals were supposed to be placeholders for characters within the story and so on. One day I imagine I’ll rediscover its purpose but for the meantime; bon appetit.
One night a dream came upon me.
In it, I rode for many days and nights, across a sea of grass and rock and corn whilst eagles wheeled and screeched overhead. When finally I stopped, it was before a great stone archway, at the foot of a great mountain. From betwixt the twin pillars shone a light I could not look into. I knelt before its majesty and trembled, though I knew not why.
A raven alighted beside me, its feathers black as night and its eyes shining with inner knowledge.
‘Why do you not enter?’ asked the raven.
‘I cannot, I should not,’ I replied, ‘I know not what lies beyond.’
‘If you never look,’ said the raven, ‘how are you to know?’
I felt something curl around my ankles, soft at first as it wound up my legs to my waist. It was a serpent, whose slitted eyes glimmered softly in the moonlight.
‘No,’ said the snake which wrapped itself around me slowly, ‘stay your feet. You know this land, the comfort of the grass and the promise of the corn. What more would you wish for than this?’
I still could not bear to look but found it harder to rise the longer I stayed. The more I knelt, the more of me the serpent wrapped in its coils.
‘You have known the grass and the corn for many years,’ said the raven, ‘you have drunk from these streams and hunted these animals for many years-‘
‘And shall for many more,’ said the snake.
‘But,’ continued the Raven, ‘if you allow fear and complacency to hold you back, then you shall never reach the wonders beyond your station. If you keep to what you know, what then have you to aspire to in the time to come?’
With effort, I could move my legs and shrugged off the hissing snake. I looked into the dazzling light beyond the arch and saw my fortunes laid before me.
Finally, I dragged myself towards the gateway and upon its threshold I would not look back. The unknown called to me, and I took no heed of the hissing of the snake: that sibilant sound which might have stayed my ambition. I took one step, and then another, and as I passed through the light, it all became clear to me. Beyond the archway there was gold and silver and bounty-a-plenty. There was liquor and women and earthly pleasures besides. But I could not eat, for there was no corn. I could not lie beside the stream and listen to its babbling. There was no grass to cushion my head, and no animals for hunting. In my ambition I lost much of what had once been mine, and learned that sometimes that serpent whispers the better path.