This was from a dream I had back in the first part of October. The beginning details are fuzzy. This whole dream reminds me of The Spirit or maybe Sin City in that the setting is mostly grey and overcast so there is very little color except for certain things that stand out in very stark colorful contrast. I mention it because it’s the only time I ever remember dreaming like that.
I’m in a small two engine propeller plane flying at night in not the best of weather. There’s no light in the plane except the glow from the instrument panel, but we are mostly above the clouds so there is moonlight. An older lady aboard sits across from me, the only other passenger. From the skin on her hands I would say she is in her mid 40s. I can’t see her face because she’s wearing a veiled hat. I can see through the veil she is wearing heavy bright red lipstick. She has a very old-fashioned full length dress made from a black material with tiny white flowers all over it. I speak to her a couple of times but she doesn’t answer and doesn’t look at me. She just sits with her knees tight together, purse in her lap, with her hands folded down over the top of it side by side. I look at her purse but notice her fingers instead. She has no rings, but there is a mark where a wedding ring used to be.
We are flying over the countryside in Germany. I have no money and no credentials, little more than the clothes I’m wearing which look pretty much like rags, dull colored workers’ clothes. I wonder if that’s why the lady won’t talk to me. I’m supposed to be on some kind of mission to pick up and transport a clay statue of some extreme importance, but that’s where all the details get fuzzy. I vaguely remember a man giving me a bunch of instructions before I got on the plane, and a phone call from an old lady I never saw, but I know what she looks like and she reminds me of M (Judi Dench) in the James Bond movies. The pilot drops the plane down into a field in the middle of nowhere and instructs me in German to get off. I don’t speak German well, but I understand him. He points across a field and says some other stuff in German that gets drowned in the sound of the engines and then he turns the plane about and I watch as he taxis off with his one remaining passenger.
Grass in the field is short and dry, but it’s dark and cloudy out so I see only a dull yellowish tint. I head across it and through some woods in the direction the pilot pointed and eventually I come through to a train station hiding under a thin layer of fog. It’s completely vacant and there is no one around. I walk inside the station and my heels are echoing on hollow wooden floors. There is a closed door with a window at one end of the indoor waiting area. I walk over and tip-toe to look in the window and from nowhere a man in a long brown coat opens the door with one hand, pushes me through with the other and quickly closes it behind us. I’m expecting him so I’m not afraid, but I don’t understand how he got behind me when my own feet made so much noise. It’s a small supply room and we sit on a bench next to some cans of solvent or something and some rags. One of the cans has a bright red label. There is a cabinet at the end of the bench with an open door and a bunch more cans of different cleaners and stuff inside.
The man is kind of good looking, late twenties, with thick, curly hair that looks reddish brown in the dim light, and a solid face with pronounced bushy eyebrows. He tells me that just before the train arrives a man will come to the door wearing a grey hat. I am to tell him I have “the package” and show him a backpack. He will step out and make a short phone call and when he returns for the package, I am to shoot him twice in the head and then board the train where I will be met at my destination by another man. I don’t understand. I don’t have a gun and I don’t have any credentials or a ticket to board the train. He flashes a passport at me. I know it’s my picture on it but I almost never see my own face in dreams and I can’t see it now. The name on the passport is fake and I don’t have time to read before he closes it again and tucks it into my shirt pocket. Then he reaches into his coat and pulls out a revolver that looks more like a hand-held cannon. It has a bright red handle and a long shiny barrel and weighs about 10 kilos. It takes both my hands to hold it and I look at my contact incredulously. He says to keep it hidden until my target gets here. I open the cylinder and make a disgusted look as there are only two bullets. They are curiously bright red like the handle of the gun. I spin the cylinder so the loaded chambers are just to the left of the barrel and close it again. I tuck the gun under some of the rags and get up to make sure it can’t be seen from the doorway.
I turn back to my contact. “I wasn’t told I had to shoot anyone,” I said. “He has a wife and children.” Tears well up in my eyes. “Besides, people will hear the gunshots and I’ll be captured and probably executed on the spot. How will I ever get to Dresden with the statue?” My contact, suddenly not as good looking as he was a minute ago, slaps my shoulder. He pulls out some German currency and a ticket for the train. He puts it in my hand and then squeezes my hand so hard it hurts. He glares into my eyes and his eyes become bright reddish brown. “I know you’ll do the right thing.” He smiles and pats me gently on the back of my hand and his eyes go back to grey.
The money is from a very influential man who is financing our operation. The bills are bright and orange and the ticket is golden like in Polar Express. I know that once I’ve accepted the money, there will be more, but I will also be as good as dead if I don’t do my job to satisfaction. My contact just disappears. I never see him leave. I am just alone with the money and my unwanted task. I don’t wait around for the man in the grey hat. I pick up the giant gun again and a backpack sitting next to the bench that I think has the clay statue in it, and I walk back out of the station.
It’s even foggier out than before and I look up and down the tracks squinting. It’s so still and quiet, and then suddenly there is a tall man rushing toward me from the fog. At first I think it is my contact again, but it’s not and I get scared. “Hey! Hey!” I yell at him, but he keeps coming and I pull up the gun and aim it into his chest, about the best I can do with one hand holding the pack, but just as I’m going to pull the trigger, he sidesteps right past me and hurries off as if he never saw or heard me at all.
My heart is pounding. I turn and follow the direction he is walking, past more benches in front of the station and onto a pathway that leads up over a small grassy hill to a building in the distance. Smoke and steam are coming up from pipes in the roof of the building. There is a bright golden glow in the fog from the lights coming through the windows. I walk up the trail, and I start passing a few people now. Everybody is dressed in grey and they all appear from nowhere and then disappear again quickly into the fog. I ask them as they pass, “Englisch? Sprechen sie Englisch?” but they ignore me. Finally, a boy maybe eight or nine years old stops when I grab his arm. His green eyes stand out brightly in all the grey. “Ja, ja,” he says. “Ich spreche…” but he doesn’t say anything else. “Where am I?” I ask him. He just points at the building and gives me a weird look and runs off into the fog.
I get up to the building and it is a small diner. I can distinctly smell sausage and cinnamon. I’m hungry and I have some money now so I hide the gun away inside the pack and I go inside. All the tables are full and there is no place to sit. I walk up to the counter and start to sit there next to a girl who is speaking English to the man next to her. I smile at her when I recognize the English, “Oh hello.” She looks up at me.
She is very small with a face that looks a little bit Oriental. I give her the fake name from the passport, but I don’t remember it now. The man leans over and whispers something in her ear. I look over at him and notice there is a grey hat sitting on the counter in front of him. “American?” she asks me, and I notice now she also has some kind of an accent that definitely isn’t German. “I’m Danielle Oh,” she says. She reaches out a hand, but quickly shoots it down and snatches the pack and pulls it up to look inside. I’m frozen by the grey hat wondering if the man is my target. She rifles through the pack but puts it down again without taking anything and turns to the man. “She has the ceramic… and a piece… ” she says, “The statue’s not there.”
Now I’m confused because I thought I did have the statue and unfortunately, that’s where I woke up.
© 2010 Anne Schilde