Their movements are slow under ancient thick-leafed canopies. They float along a bluestone road passed monuments and ruins - henges, burnt our cars, great wind-swept cathedrals, abandoned train carriages. Evil looking flowers peep from between damp granite boulders to watch them as they pass. Leading - indeed directing - the procession of ghosts, zombies and assorted diabolia is a clown-like figure who seems to change costumes continually. Tonight his loyal crew of actors are putting on a sterling performance for Samuel Elmsmore. those eyes … they fixed him to the spot with a nameless power (he recalls he wet the bed that night). In the first dream the creature landed and Sam was turned to dream-stone. He'd tried to hide his face, but, eventually, feeling the creature's rank breath upon his neck, he found himself unable to resist a glimpse. What he saw was a huge leering orange coloured Jock-O-Lantern pumpkin.
The clown-like figure is the famous Harry the Crab. He juggles as he walks, he does somersaults, and he pulls doves or rabbits out of battered top hats. Now and then, he breaks into a little dance - a waltz, a fox trot, sometimes, a disco move or two. For the moment he takes on the form of a somewhat flamboyant grim reaper. He juggles half a dozen scythes ahead of him as he walks - one must entertain the masses. The blade's of the scythes seem to be soaked in a bright yellow substance - mustard? No, perhaps the juice of corn. The reaper's skull-like face is tattooed with dark earth-coloured Maori - or is that Celtic?- spirals. The spirals seem to change shape and colour constantly. Very hypnotic. At times they appear to the dreamer's eye like spider's webs. The ghoul has empty sockets instead of eyes. He's being very hard on his acting troupe this evening, he shouts at some of them, others he threatens to sack or demote.
Caught in the nightmare Sam feels exhausted and frightened. He wants to cry out - but as often happens in these kind of dreams his body refuses to the bidding of his mind. And as usual the point of safety, of release, is always just a little too distant. Harry and his ghouls are sure to catch Sam. To add to the scene Harry's theatre staff are steering large numbers of Inquisitorial torture devices into position for the finale. Right this moment the hideous devices are rumbling across the bleak moorland to the West - they are sure to head off Sam before he can reach his mother's house. Why oh why did he have to try to save his action man from the hell hounds! After this dream, he will remember that favourite action man for the first time in decades. He
Harry has shape-shifted inside a monk's outfit. It looks superb. The hood hides his face, which is no face, but rather a gateway to the ancestors, the dead - their pains, joys, hopes and desires. In those socketless eyes, one can relive all the ages of humankind or one can observe all the secrets of the cosmos. In those eyeless caverns, Sam will see a thousand famines, droughts, plagues, wars, volcanoes, and tidal waves. But of course he may never look into those eyes, the mind has a way of avoiding unseemly truths about life.
Sam twists his neck to try to find out how close the ghouls are behind him. Right on time he catches a fearful a glimpse of him - his tormentor. The head ghoul's features - now taking the form of a Jack-o-Lantern are focused on Sam's fleeing body. Bony luminescent hands gesture at him from the black sleaves of his monk outfit.
Someone is talking to him, soothing him, a woman, Don't worry Sam, it's just a pumpkin with candles inside it. See, see the wax dripping, and the little cream-coloured seeds! And another voice, male this time, You
Sam dreamt of this same apparition years ago, as a child. In that dream he was playing with some of his friends in a garden - it must have been the height of summer, the air seemed very warm and the sky was a bright blue colour. Suddenly a large winged creature began to dive bomb him and the other children. In that dream he caught a glimpse of his pursuer. It took the form of a huge Red Admiral butterfly. But no ordinary Red Admiral butterfly, no, a dream butterfly. The great fiery wings beat the dream air like dragon wings or helicopter blades. And the creature's eyes ...