Because it is Valentine’s Day, I’ve decided to write about a dream I once had that involves marriage. It’s not necessarily a romantic story, but it’s close enough.
The dream starts, and I am a the daughter of a poor farmer. I was around seventeen years old. My (dream) mother and I were setting aside our normal chores to visit a large shrine. The shrine was dedicated to several gods, each of them had their own specific talent (love, crops, wealth, etc.) It was very much like the Roman or Greek gods, only many of them were animal-like. Some had boar tusks, others had fins or wings; plenty of animal features. We went to pray to the god of the crops like we did every year. (For some reason, I don’t remember what this deity looked like, I just know it was male.)
When we got to the (very Roman-like) temple, my mother froze in fear. There was another god that was now featured in the temple; the god of the underworld. It stood near the door, it was a human-like male that sported large ram horns. My mother pushed me as far away from the statue as she could. I knew that this underworld god existed, but I had never seen any depictions of it before.
As we prayed and left food offerings at the feet of the the god of crops and begged for a successful harvest, I kept stealing glances at the avoided statue. I was not afraid of it; I was incredibly curious. At some point my mother had her eyes closed in prayer and I took the opportunity to sneak away to look at the god of the underworld. I approached it and bowed my head in respect (it was the god that watched over the dead, afterall.)
I had the sudden urge to touch it, and despite knowing I should not, I did. Just as my fingers brushed against the stone surface of the figure, the statue moved with impossible speed and gripped my wrist. I screamed. I heard my mother cry out from across the shrine and I was pulled into darkness.
I was sinking into a black/purple darkness, sparks of color would drift in and out of focus (like when you shut your eyes tightly.) As I fell, I saw images of why I was being dragged into the underworld. They showed snippets of my dream parents begging to the god of crops for a good harvest. But that year, the god of crops refused to aid their fields. Knowing that they would starve the following winter if there were no crops, they went to the aid of the god of the underworld — who was known for also granting wishes that other gods would not — for a price. They went to the statue in the middle of a decaying shrine and prayed. The statue melted away and the god stood in front of them. He said he would aid in their crops that year, and any time the god of crops refused, if they promised him the hand of their oldest daughter when she came of age. Reluctantly, they agreed.
I realized that I was the collection of a promise, and that my parents had tried to avoid the god of the underworld at every turn in hopes of sparing me from the deal. My curiosity caused my capture.
I gently floated down onto a dark stone floor. The entire area was made of the same stone texture, but it was chiseled into the most beautiful, ornate palace. Though it lacked color, it was awe-inspiring.
“Enjoy your new home, my wife,” a whisper echoed through the castle-like area. I could not see the god of the underworld, but I felt like I was being watched. I could have been afraid, I could have been angry or upset, but I was none of these things. With a deep breath, I walked forward with the desire to explore the entire underworld.
Dream Score: 6/10 – Some Roman/Greek mythology mixed with a a bit of the story of Persephone, and a dash of Beauty and the Beast. I desperately wish I remembered the rest of the dream, but I didn’t write it down.