Amelia Jane Perkins Smith

Amelia Jane Perkins Smith

I had another strange dream. First, I should tell you that when I get into a dream that scares me, I seem to be lucid enough normally to be able to get out of it…sometimes I can just stop the dream and wake up, sometimes I can just start in on a new dream, but normally what I can do is just change my relationship to the story, meaning, the storyline changes from first person to third person. This means it’s still a scary dream, but I’m just in the audience, instead of a player. This dream is as strange as it is, I think, because of this ability I seem to have developed.

Okay, here’s the scene: we have a very ordinary woman. In the beginning this woman is me, but I’m not clear where I stopped being the woman. Very early on, because from the very beginning I was clear that this was going to be scary.

Our very ordinary woman lives a very ordinary life, except for one thing. She has these experiences, or delusions, or dreams, of being abducted. (This is probably what freaked me out and made me insist on being in the audience on this one. These abduction memories were terrible.) She’s not really sure what to make of them. She goes back and forth on whether they’re real. In the dream/experience, she is taken from her bedroom by a strong, bulky person who’s face she doesn’t quite see. Or she doesn’t remember. And she’s taken to this strange, dark, red-lit, cramped space, with a strange white glow near the ceiling. And horrible things happen there. Rape, torture, I’m not sure. But she’s terrified, emotionally scarred by it. She’s had therapy, she’s been to abductees groups, she’s read books on the subject. She’s written poetry and create works of art based on her experience. She is something of a local celebrity for these, but no one really knows about the abductions/delusions themselves. She uses the imagery as a basis for art, and they are powerful to everyone who sees them. She had hoped that by creating them she would rid herself of the need to dream, to hallucinate, whatever. But it doesn’t stop.

And this is all background information, in the strange way that dreams just let you know things. On the day in question, we see our protagonist in her stunningly average day. She wakes up in her second floor apartment, makes her breakfast, reads a book. She watches some tv. Makes lunch (a cheese sandwich.) She goes shopping, stops to talk with some neighbours on the street. As I watch this, as the audience, I feel more and more fascinated by her and her ordinariness. As I watch her, I realize that I know everything about her. I know her name, her favourite colour, her parents names, their jobs, her credit card number, her high school grades, everything. And all this knowledge is so compelling that I’m lured out of the audience. I see her walking across a field. (It’s actually the playground of my elementary school.) I smile at her, walk up to her, and say, “Hello, Amelia Jane Perkins Smith. You’re 5’8, your favourite colour is blue, you got a B+ is grade 10 English…” and so on. She’s startled, but flattered. For some reason, she doesn’t find this creepy. We talk. I tell her that I feel as though I know her. I must be a fan, I’ve done my homework. She’s pleased. She’s not a nationally acclaimed artist, just a local name. She wants to know all about me. So I tell her. We talk and talk and talk. We have coffee and talk. We flirt. We’re really enjoying ourselves, it’s amazing knowing someone that well, and never having known them. We keep talking, walking down the street. I tell her that I live just near here, we should head over to my place, perhaps I’ve offered to make dinner. She smiles, she’s thrilled, she’s never felt such a connection with someone. I walk up the steps to my brownstone building, walk in the front door. There is a large, maple bannister and staircase. We realize that live in the same building! How could we not have noticed? She lives on the second floor, there’s brown-carpeted landing in front of her door, with the sun shining on it, we can see it from the front door. (Her apartment, in this dream, is always filled with sunshine.) I lead her under the staircase, she didn’t know there was a door here. This is where I live. I open the door, and she walks in.

It’s dark, with a single red lamp, wood panelling, with one small window against the ceiling, with a white sheer. It’s very cramped, dank, smelly. And suddenly she realizes. This is the place in her abduction dreams. I close the door behind me. The reason I know so much about her isn’t miraculous at all. I’ve been stalking her for years. I’m her abductor.

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