The ride back to the hotel with Kirby had mostly been in silence. He said little, other than telling me how this was the worst thing he had seen. I became aware that I did not have Adam’s cell number; having hoped I could text him about the animal thing.
“Kirby,” I said to him as I was getting out, “I know how I’m perceived by people, police included, and I know Adam is probably taking a chance by bringing me in. If I can’t help, I’ll be the first to say so. It happens.”
He looked at me like he was trying to read me. “The chief mentions you, once in a while,” he said. “Not casually, but he says you helped him solve a big case a long time ago. He’s a loyal guy, so I don’t think it bothers him to stick his neck out. Have a good night, Norman.”
*Lemons-a small dog-a sitting room filled with men smoking cigars and pipes-the entrance to a house*
The hotel was rife with sensations, which I did my best to ignore. Hotels were always a pain. So many people coming and going left a lot of psychic energy behind. Sleep would not come quickly, I was sure.
I showered quickly and got to bed, trying not to over analyze the day. I decided to forgo a review of my notes; usually a must, except that my sprawling comments had no real substance to them. It was a vague compilation of negative feelings and emotions that had battered me every second I was there. Not much to review. Sleep did not come quickly.
When I dream, it is a very odd experience; and odder still compared to how ordinary people relate dreaming. My dreams always feel very real, and often connect with the ambient energy of the room. I am pretty ruthless about back checking a hotel room to see if a death had happened there, and I am pretty good at sniffing out the truth when I am on site. But even avoiding that massive, psychic thrill ride is no guarantee other nasty business has been avoided. The best practice, I have found, is to take the newest hotel in the nicest area. It generally works out.
The room had an even mix of energy, leaning to the positive; so it was a win. Dreams, however, had a way of reaching out beyond the walls of a hotel. This was the other downside of a hotel: all new energy around me. At home, I was so used to the surrounding vibe that it was practically background noise. An extended stay anywhere else was an adventure. The general impressions I was getting were balanced enough; and the upside of my day was that it left me a bit numb.
The dream was like almost all my dreams, in that it was more of a psychic event than a dream. In the dream, I walked to the clearing, wandering to the middle of it. The bodies were not there and overwhelming psychic energy was absent, yet I was not alone. I looked up to see figures enter the open space from the trees. I had the sense they were men, though they were heavily obscured; as though someone had taken a pencil and thoroughly scratched over their image, leaving only a trace of a form. Their suspicion and curiosity wafted into the clearing like the smell of smoke. I was not welcome or desired, and yet they surrounded me. There was no way past them.
With more time I might have overcome my fear and disorientation enough to ask a question. Instead, they began to close in, remaining obscured in their penciled out fashion. I began to sense a bit of strain from them, and felt certain it was related to the blocking of their images. It was clear to me they were hiding themselves deliberately, but with great effort. A moment later they set upon me. I resisted as best I could, but they were strong and numerous. I was dragged to the ground and pinned there, helpless and terrified.
“You should not have come,” one of them hissed. “Stay away!”
A bladed weapon appeared, perhaps a knife or dagger, but possibly a spear or sword, and I went into shock at the sight. It pierced my leg, delivering agonizing pain and I began to scream.
I jumped from the hotel bed to a shaky stand in one violent motion. My leg ached where the blade had touched me, yet no mark could be found. I was drenched in sweat and shaking like a leaf.
“What the fuck have I gotten into?” I asked myself out loud.