Bookshop of Death

I was in a huge bookstore that I've explored in several dreams. It has several floors and many sections, and places to sit down and read. The shelves are black and the carpets are red. In previous dreams I've been looking for people in the bookshop, but in this dream I'm looking for a book about sex. I can't remember why I want to find the book except that I know it has pictures in it and I want to see them (I think this might be a younger me in the dream).

While I'm looking for this book I realize that there is somebody following me, and I remember that I am involved in a mystery of some kind. A man was killed and I was supposed to find out why, or how it happened. I was with a group of young people who were investigating the mystery, when a man had driven up to a gas station nearby with a young boy in his car. I knew that there was something wrong about the man, but I didn't act on my intuition straight away, maybe because I was afraid of accusing someone in the wrong. Then I remembered one of the "rules" of intuition, or at least one of the rules of dreams, and I realized that if I had this feeling, it was because I had seen ahead in the plot and knew that something was going to happen. I chased down the road after the car, but it was pulling out of sight. I felt terrible - I knew that the man in the car was going to rape and then kill the young boy. All this had happened a short while before I entered the bookshop.

I left the bookshop wondering what was going to happen next. I felt that the plot was rushing to a conclusion but I didn't know what was coming next. I stood beside two men who were talking about a historical novel based on real events, in which a man was killed by a group of English soldiers. He had been shot over a hundred times, but he kept running. Suddenly I could see it happening as if I was a movie camera following the man's face. He was wearing a red uniform with black boots, and a silver wig which was almost falling off his head. He was guilty of a terrible crime, and he was being chased on foot along a road in open countryside by soldiers on horses. They would shoot him, and reload, and shoot again, and with every shot he staggered or fell, and then get up again. His blood covered the grass and the gravel for hundreds of yards. The soldiers were fascinated and appalled. The man was dying, and he must have known that, but he refused to give up. Finally he could only walk slowly, his eyes far back in his head, and a soldier got off his horse and walked up behind the man. He put the muzzle of his rifle against the man's back and fired, and the man fell forwards and everything went black. I woke up.

Back To School

I was in school, preparing to do my final year exams again, but this time I was only going to be doing English and Irish. My mother  was annoying me, trying to help me and tell me what to do in my English paper, and I was worried that I was going to do badly. I was thinking, "How embarrassing, I have a masters in literature and I'm not going to get an A in the Leaving Certificate exams in English..." I'd had an insight earlier in the dream into why I never got the highest marks in my university studies - I'd been reading Liadain's essays, and I realized that she was objective about her sources in a way I never was. If she thinks a commentator or writer is full of shit, she says this in her essay, whereas I never did this - if someone said something I agreed with, I would use this in my essay, and if someone said something I disagreed with, I would ignore them.

I left the class room to go to the toilet, and found myself wandering through the basement of a strange building, lit by dim lightbulbs. The walls were pale and kind of slick, like sweaty old school basement paint. I entered a large room like a firing range, where a man and a woman were testing an experimental laser cannon. The woman shot a human-shaped dummy in the chest with a handgun, and the man used the laser cannon on his dummy. The laser burned a huge hole in the dummy's chest. The man went on to explain that even though the laser was powerful, the handgun was a far more efficient weapon in terms of "destruction per pound" and simplicity of design. I thought "I want a handgun!" and then left the room.

I found my way out of the basement and back to the classroom, where a substitute teacher was supervising my classmates as they talked and wandered around the aisles. I saw my old friends B and F but I felt no connection to them at all, and no urge to talk to them. One of the other guys in the class told me to sit down next to him and his friends, and I did, thinking that this was all very strange, but glad to see them all again. It was as if the teachers and the lessons were all irrelevant, and always had been, and we'd all been there just to interact with each other. I'd missed them.

The Place Of Dead Roads

There are two cowboys in the desert. The older man is teaching the younger one to shoot, goading and slapping him, making him fire wildly into the sky, making him fire along the line of his bare arm so that the powder flash burns his skin and the bullet passes through his hand. Finally the younger man is driven past his natural deference, and turns around with a murderous, surrendered calm and levels the pistol at him.

The older man kneels and bows his head, mumbling "good boy, good boy..." He doesn't know if he's going to die or not, but he sees the iron will and the despair in the boy's eyes, the acceptance of manhood. He wasn't teaching him how to shoot, he was teaching him how to be a man, and the lesson is over.

The boy realizes what's happened, and lowers the gun. The old man asks him how he found his answer, and the boy shows his the wounded stump of his hand, where the old man had made him shoot. The boy says "This is my answer - what use is it?", brandishing his bloody hand angrily. The older man says "It's your answer, it's no use to anyone else, but it's worth everything to you."

They look up into the sky and the boy sees the madness of measurement, dividing the sky into fixed disks to be turned and manipulated, as if in the measurement of astronomical distance and stellar properties the measurers might escape the confines of the universe and its laws of mortality and fixity like Kim in The Place of Dead Roads, shooting a hole in the sky and watching it all come crashing down. The boy knows now that the bullet isn't important, just the will that would drive it and the understanding that would hold it back.