I was orphaned at a young age, and taken in by a wealthy family in Georgia. The patriarch of the family, Hamilton, always treated me well, but never adopted me as his own son. His money was all old money, family money, and the family politics kept him from ever treating me like a real son. It never bothered me, because he educated me well and taught me to take care of myself so I would never need to rely on any kind of inheritance.
Hamilton's only daughter was getting married, and the wedding was lavish beyond imagining. It was an orgy of food, drinking and dancing that lasted three days. All the big families came in from across the state to celebrate at the mansion . I was working with the kitchen crew to keep the party flooded with booze.
On my rounds refilling the champagne, I could not find Hamilton anywhere. He had been brooding since the party started, so I figured he must be outside. I bundled up in my warmest coat, and stepped out into the cold night to explore the plantation grounds. As I passed by the family mausoleum, I noticed my friend Angela sitting on the old stone ruins. She was dressed in a light summer dress, but the cold wind did not touch it, or move a strand of her unbound hair. I was happy for some company in the cold night, even if it was the company of a ghost. She glided over to meet me, and we talked about the upcoming wedding.
She spoke more honestly than I was used to, sharing family secrets I was not supposed to know. She told me about the cruel history behind the family's money. Money that came from the early days of the slave trade. The money was cursed. As the family's wealth grew, so would its misery. Death and tragedy seemed to plague the family's history, and it would continue until the last generation was destroyed. She called this the prophecy of the moon.
As she finished her story, I heard screams and shouting from the main house. I hurried back, but was too late. The place was no longer a celebration. Somehow, things had turned violent. Two of the most powerful families had started to fight, and the wedding had become a battleground. I heard people yelling about rape and murder as I ran from room to room looking for Hamilton. What I found were the remains of the bride and groom. Hamilton's daughter was on the bed with her dress torn to pieces, and her throat slit. Her future husband was crumpled in a corner with a pistol in his hand, and a knife in his chest.
This was too much for Hamilton. It destroyed what little spirit he had left in him. He spent the following weeks in a drunken stupor. He would not take any visitors, and would barely eat. My fiance and I moved into the house to care for him, but it took a month for him to finally speak with us. He told us he had to get rid of his cursed money. He had a plan to give my fiancee a job that would pay her everything he owned within the first two years. Get the money out of the family. My fiancee refused, saying she could not replace his dead daughter.
That evening, I found him on a hill overlooking the family mausoleum. The spirits looked restless. There were more out than normal, and they were milling around the tombs as if looking for something. As I sat down, they started walking up the hill to meet me. Hamilton opened a box with two curved blue daggers, and handed one to me. As the ghosts approached, Hamilton's dagger began to glow with a soft blue light. Each shade had a dagger, and they came in pairs to touch daggers with Hamilton as if giving a toast. When the finished with him, they surrounded me. They looked at my dull lifeless dagger with sadness. I did not belong. Each shade approached me and touched the point of their knife to my cheek, right below my left eye.
A heavy bass beat started to pound out a rhythm, and the night was suddenly filled with pure white light. The ghosts became solid, and started to dance and celebrate. Hamilton and I were carried along with the music and dance, and soon the hilltop became a beautiful party.
As we danced, the party became more crowded, until I was in a sea of people. Eventually I noticed that I was in a separate room with half a dozen dancing ghosts. It was not that the crowd was getting bigger, it was the room that was getting tighter. I started feeling claustrophobic. The music changed to an evil sounding heavy metal riff, and the white light started to fade to a murky green.
I recognized the feeling of a nightmare approaching, and struggled to fight it. I looked up to see a ceiling covered in sharp spikes, and the room started to slowly rotate. The ghosts around me were now demons, and as the room turned, they started sliding down he walls to be impaled on the spikes. I knew it was a nightmare, so I fought to escape it. I floated off the ground, spread my arms and legs, and started to spin in place sideways, end over end like a cartwheel.
I became very disoriented, and suddenly found myself alone in the guest room of my own house. I was still floating in the air, rotating slowly. I turned myself one more time, and paused upside down to take a look under the futon. I was disappointed that there was nothing under it except for a crumpled dark blue jacket.
I shot out the window, splintering the closed wood blinds, and shattering the glass. I found myself over the open ocean at night. I could see the lights of a city skyline, so I flew towards it. As I approached the coast, I searched for buildings I recognized. I saw the Chrysler Building, and figured I must be in New York. I was now close enough to be flying amongst the skyscrapers. I saw the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, and thought it funny that they were still standing in my dream. Each tower had the graphic outline of a key on the upper right corner.
I wanted to land and find some interesting dream characters to talk to. I decided San Francisco would be a more familiar city to experience at street level, so I started looking for buildings in the San Francisco skyline. I was searching for the Transamerica Building. Instead, I found a strange futuristic stepped pyramid built entirely of glass. I was surprised, and figured I must be in the future. I landed, and was convinced this was the future. The sidewalk looked metallic, and there were broad canals carved between the buildings instead of streets. There were no cars in sight.
I saw an old man crossing a bridge over the nearest canal. I waited for him to approach me. He was carrying a yellow phone book, and reading it like a newspaper. I stopped him as he passed, and asked casually, "Excuse me, you do know that this is a dream, right?" He looked up from his phone book, startled and annoyed and said something along the lines of, "Well, its about time." I asked him another question. "Do you recognize me?" This really made him stop. He looked me in the eyes in a creepy way, smiled and said, "Of course I recognize you. Do you recognize me?" I then recognized him as my future self. Me as an old man. I looked down at my body to see that I was old also. I was wearing the same clothes as him. "You must not have been paying attention to the dream I gave you " he continued. He lifted up his phone book, pointed to the headline and said, "First manned space flight to the moon in 1969. It took 15 years less than their first, unmanned flight. So you figured out a shortcut? Do you think this matters in the long run?"
He then pointed to the bridge he had just crossed. A young man was walking towards us, carrying a white rose and a stack of greeting cards. I thought must be here to meet me. I remembered him as a character from the story in the beginning of the dream. I think he was the character I was playing. As he came near, I started to speak, and was startled as he walked right by me. He handed the rose and the cards to a young woman. I felt sad that I can never be reunited with the characters from the beginning of the dream. They can not recognize me now that I am lucid. I will never see the end of the dream.