Wednesday, February 1, 2012
A Dream of My Wife (with Unicorn)
(Note: This is another actual dream I had, though the process of writing it down has changed it a bit. I woke up at the end.)
We were driving along a narrow road surrounded by forest.
"Pull over," my wife said. "I think I saw a unicorn."
"What?" I asked. I was busy trying to figure out where we were.
"Just pull over."
I did, and she bounded from the car so quickly I thought I would lose her in the darkening twilight. Luckily, she was wearing that bright pink hoodie she always wears to the gym.
She jogged along the shoulder of the road back the way we had come for a bit, and then she turned and sprinted into the woods. I could barely keep up with her because I was only wearing flipflops.
Briefly, I worried about our car, sitting there on the side of the road with the passenger door flung open. I had closed my door, and I had the keys with me. Still, all our stuff was just sitting there, waiting for someone to come along and take it.
But I couldn't even chance glancing back for fear of losing my wife as we wove through the trees. I was too scared of getting my feet cut up to kick my flipflops off.
"I told you," my wife said and stopped so quickly that I almost ran into her.
We had come upon a clearing, a large oval of grass surrounded by a short horse fence of rough timber. And standing in the exact center of this oval was a massive white horse, his head bent low as he grazed. Despite the gathering darkness around us, this little meadow seemed bathed in sunlight.
"He's beautiful, isn't he?" she said.
"He's no unicorn," I replied.
"How can you not see a unicorn?" my wife asked and then started to climb the fence. The horse trotted over to us, and I got a little scared. He was huge! I put my hand on my wife's leg as she started to swing it over the top of the fence.
"Wait," I said. "What if he isn't friendly?"
"Don't be silly," my wife said, shaking my hand off. She scrambled the rest of the way over the fence and hopped down to the grass. "He's a unicorn!"
I started to climb the fence as well, but I was clumsy about it and fell backwards, landing on my backside. My beloved wife was too busy staring at the horse to notice.
"I'm okay," I said to no one listening.
The horse slowed as he got close to my wife, and she reached out a hand to him. He was so tall he had to lower his head so she could touch him on the nose.
"That's a nice boy," she whispered, repeating it, as she walked along his side, rubbing her hands along his neck and flank. The horse's mane was so long that it hung down in thick strands, and I realized what my wife was going to do just before she did it.
"Honey," I blurted. "Don't!"
But it was too late. My wife, still whispering at the horse, grabbed two large handfuls of mane and pulled herself up just as, in the same instant, the horse turned its neck and lowered its head so that it could use its muzzle as a kind of step to boost my wife onto its back.
As I got to my feet, the horse began to trot along the fence, and my wife gave a laugh.
"Oh, my god," she gasped. "Can you believe this? I'm riding a unicorn!"
"That is no unicorn!" I yelled at her. I started climbing the fence again and landed on the other side just as the horse was completing its lap of the clearing with my laughing wife on its back.
"Take a picture!" she said as the horse stopped a few feet from me. "That way we have proof I rode a unicorn!"
As I dug my phone out of my pocket, I said, "How many times do I have to tell you? That's no unicorn. It's just a horse."
And this is when a voice inside my head said, "Of course I'm a unicorn. You just need to open your eyes."
I suddenly realized two things: that the horse's voice was inside my head, and that its voice was female.
"What?" I said out loud.
"Take a picture!" my wife exclaimed, striking a pose with both hands in the air.
"I'm a unicorn," repeated the voice inside my head. "And you should do what your wife tells you."
I raised my phone and snapped a photo. Then the horse began another slow lap of the clearing. As it did, my wife began laughing again, and I could see that, indeed, the horse was female.
"Look at the picture you just took," said the voice inside my head.
The image on the screen of my phone clearly showed my wife sitting on the back of a large, white unicorn, with a long, twisted, multicolored horn sticking straight up out of its snout.
"Not everyone can see it," said the voice inside my head.
I was dumbfounded.
"You're a girl," I stammered. It was the best I could do.
"All unicorns are of the opposite sex, silly," replied the voice. By now, the unicorn and my wife had completed another lap, and they began another, this time speeding up to a gallop. My wife was whooping it up like she was on a rollercoaster, recklessly throwing her hands in the air as the unicorn went faster and faster.
Now that I'd seen the horn in the picture, I could see it in real life. It was beautiful. I had to struggle to look away from it.
I watched as the unicorn and my wife sped around the clearing for yet another lap.
"My wife knew you were a unicorn," I said aloud.
"She's special," said the voice inside my head. "She sees things most people can't."
They finished their lap, and the unicorn stopped right in front of me. My wife slid down from its back and came over, collapsing against me in a hug.
"That was fantastic," she gasped. "But now I'm hungry. We should go."
"Yes," the voice in my head said. "You should go now."
I heard a howl in the distance. It seemed to come from the woods between us and our car.
"What was that?" I asked. I couldn’t tell if it was a coyote or a wolf or something else.
"What was what?" my wife replied. She hadn't heard anything. But the unicorn stamped its front hooves and then reared back on its hind legs.
"That," said the voice in my head, "is part of the reason you need to leave now."
Meanwhile, my wife had taken the phone out of my hand. She hadn't even seen the unicorn rear up behind her, and now she was holding the phone's screen out to me.
"Hey," she said. "What happened?"
Again, I looked at my phone's screen. But the picture it displayed had changed. It showed my wife sitting on the back of an ordinary white horse. No horn. But, in the photo, tiny, rainbow-colored gossamer wings had sprouted from my wife's back.
"I don't know," I told her, taking my phone back. "But I think we'd better go."
I looked at my wife to see if the wings were there, and there they were, sticking out of her shoulder blades and so small that they couldn't possibly be practical. They were so thin I could see right through them, and they just kind of fluttered whenever she moved. I wondered if I should point them out to her.
There was another howl, but this time it was closer. And it was answered by more howls. Whatever was out there wasn't alone.
"Yeah, I'm famished," my wife said, and, with that, she scaled the fence in what seemed like a single bound.
I started to follow her, but the voice in my head said, "Wait. Look down."
There, at my feet, was a large knife stuck into the ground. I pulled it out and looked at it. Its blade was as long as my hand and very shiny, and its handle was made of twisted, multicolored horn.
"Take it with you," said the voice in my head. "You're going to need it."
I looked at my wife on the other side of the fence. She was just standing there admiring the unicorn. I couldn't see her wings anymore, but I had the feeling they were still there, just invisible.
Another burst of howls filled the air around us. Whatever they were, they were very close.
"I'm supposed to protect my wife with this?" I asked.
"She's not the one who needs it," the voice in my head replied.
Without looking back at the unicorn, I put the blade between my teeth and scrambled over the fence. As soon as I landed on the other side, my wife said, "Race you to the car," and took off.
"I've never used a knife before," I said aloud after taking the knife out of my mouth. I began chasing my beloved back through the forest.
"Do what you can," said the voice in my head.
I hated to take my eyes off the shrinking splash of pink that was my wife, but I stole a glance back at the unicorn. It was standing in the middle of the fenced-in clearing -- I swear it was shivering -- and I suddenly realized why the fence was there. It wasn't to keep the unicorn in.
"Last one back pays for dinner!" yelled my wife, oblivious to the howling shadows closing in on us.
I hefted the knife and ran after her.
"Right behind you, honey," I said.