Last night I woke up around two and the storm that was passing through was making one hell of a noise. That in and of itself was pretty awesome sounding, and of course, Tyger Linn wanted to go outside and do battle with the Sky Beast, who she has always chased away in the past. I calmed her down and she went back to sleep but I didn’t.
The frogs are back and because I had my bedroom window open it sounded like half the frogs on earth were singing twenty feet from me. That was pretty awesome, also. But the wind was blowing and there was this odd fluctuation in the volume of the frogs and the thunder, because of the wind, and after a particularly loud roll of thunder, the frogs would nearly die down but then crank back up again.
I was drifting in and out of sleep so the noise kept drifting in and out of reality for me. One thing I can rest assured of is that even at their very best human beings cannot hope to match the hearing of dogs. My hearing is impaired by working around machinery when I was younger, and loud music most of my life.
The dream kept running even with the noise interruptions. I was in Fargo with a woman who lived there and we were on a date that wasn’t quite a date yet, but heading in that direction. But the time seemed to be back in the 40’s or 50’s and everything was a lot greener. It was an odd dream because nothing really weird happened except for the time shift, which didn’t seem odd at all.
The dream stopped at one point because I was pulled back into the real world by a sound. I thought it was voices at first, but then it seemed to be a dog barking, and then there was the sound of a child screaming, and a dog growling, as if in play, and I wondered if a child had gotten lost in the storm, and perhaps a dog was worrying her. But my pack slept easy. Whatever I think I hear in the darkness there is nothing there but wind and storm and frogs and thunder unless the dogs say otherwise. They sleep deep and rise not at all. I pulled Tyger Linn over to one side, to awaken her, and she offered to resistance at all, and didn’t leap to her feet. No, she’s not hearing it therefore it is not real.
But I can still hear the sound of…something. I’m in and out of the dream and even in the dream there seems to be some sort of background noise, something out of place for the scenery and finally the dream gives way to the sound of something bumping and scratching. Greyson Charlotte is awake and is right beside the bed grooming herself. What the hell, I may as well get up and write.
Here is what I wrote....
I lay in my bed and remembered hearing the wild wind rush around the window of my bedroom in the cottage where I spent my first ten years. Down from the mountains the wind would be thrown, by some unknown and unknowable forces. It would fall like the water does from the heights and it crashed into the trees in the forest with a sound not unlike water at all. There were spirits in the wind, blown awry from where they belonged, and they were lost, confused, and some were angry. They would scream in terror at being so treated and who could blame them? They had first lost the bodies that contained them and then they were scattered like so many leaves and perhaps might never find their homes again, if they truly had any home to call. Every Summer my father would redo the windows in the cottage, repairing the shutters and their hooks to keep them shut, and laying a thin strip of wood down so that the shutters would be closed tight even without the hooks. A monk would always come by in the Summer to cast a spell of closing upon the shutters so none could open them that did not live within the house. Yet with all of this there was no surety. Less than a league from where we lived the shutters in a house failed the family within and the spirits and the wind rushed in with them and none lived to see the sun rise again. There was nothing to be done for them for the ground was far to frozen to have a burial and Motus was frozen over with ice thicker than a man was tall. Snow was packed into the house and the shutters reset. When spring finally was able to force Herself into the hills my father and mother took me to the house and the belongings were held for their kin, and the bodies were returned to the ground from which all things that lived come from.
The snow inside the house had not melted and the bodies were stiff as if made of wood. A priest had been summoned and he performed the rituals that would keep the spirts from trying to reenter the bodies and would keep them from trying to return to the inside of the house. There were spells to be cast to keep the wild things from digging into the graves, and there was a spell to ensure the dead knew they were not murdered by men, and that was all that could be done for them.
I listened to the wind screaming outside my crèche and I wondered if it might be the spirts of those people I saw buried, or worse, my own family trying to find me. There were times I wondered, very late at night, with the world very dark and very cold, when I was most alone, if I might not have been better off to have joined them when they left, or perhaps even, joined them when they called.