All the things one has forgotten scream for help in dreams. Elias Canetti

There it is again.

This one… it won't stay as long as the others have.

This one will stay just long enough to give me something to blindly clutch for a scattering epoch of seconds, distant and fleeting; a translucent scarf stealing away behind shivering eyelids. A vicious incubus, it is. It's the sort that allow me to embrace it for a small, precious moment, just long enough to convince me that it may, just for once stay with me. Then the feeling of sunlight will creep along my cheek and it will vanish, in little parts, one by one like droplets of rain on a desert highway.

True, it won't stay long enough to utterly grab me by the collar and drag me into it's surrealistic den, and it won't make me stay long enough to drink deep into the dream pool until I am intoxicated enough to actually believe that this, and not the place hovering above shut eyes is true reality.
It will stay just long enough for a tease, a brief taste of nectar that I know I can't have but try to taste again anyway. One of the particularly sadistic fantasies, this one.
And it's happening so fast I really don't know what it is I'm seeing.
A canvas of undaunted cerulean and azure extends above, untouched by nary a woolen cloud. A sudden tempest roars across the hell-hot sand, sending it soaring into the blue and inspires a metamorphoses, the sand becomes a horde of wasps mad with rage viciously attacking the woe begotten souls cursed with the misfortune of crossing their holy warpath. Sallow robes billow violently in the tempest fury, and for some reason the resemble wings of a dove plummeting to earth, a long, elegant arrow protruding from its gasping breast.
The wind is gone as quickly as it came and I am left with only the feeling of smoldering desert beneath naked feet. And for some reason, I'm welcoming it like an old friend.

…I do not like this reverie.
I do not like it because it is not like the others. It's taunting me like the others, yes, but this one seems to be tinged not with mockery, but with urgency. It's laughing, but it is not oily with sadism and malice.
I do not understand.

In the Waking Realm, I think warm tears are crawling their way into my eyes.
I do not like this reverie. I don't like it at all.
This one- it really is real.
It's… happened before. Somehow. How do I know this? I'm not sure. But I know it for certain, although there are no memories to present evidence of any sort. It's impossible. I've never even left the city. I couldn't have been here. It's illogical. Impractical. Inept. Unreasonable.

In the Realm of Waking consciousness tries to claw its way into my skull- storm troopers demolishing, ripping, tearing, on orders to dismember what ever it is I'm recalling. And it's working. Miniscule pieces, each holding a precious secret screaming out to me in alarm as the fragments perish thousands at a time. Their voices are so soft their message slips through my idiot mortal psyche of a sifter.
I must grasp what little remains I can before they too are stuck down.

Now. Concentrate. Stay here. Stay in the reverie.
Dogs. Lots of dogs barking in the distance, excited and alive with vigor. Some of their howls stretch upward to the cobalt canvas hanging above them. But one of them is close to me. Not with the others. Warm, sweet canine breath caresses a bare leg.
I- I think- I think I'm laughing. Yes- that's right. I'm laughing and I'm laughing hard.
There's the arctic chill of a moist snout, the smooth, slimy sensation of a tongue against skin. And I'm laughing.
Odd. I'm usually terrified of dogs. Not this one, though. This one feels almost heartening.

In fact-
No. That's just absurd. It's impossible, isn't it? No dog's that big. Not big enough for me to lie upon. And this one's thrice my size at least.

A brilliant flash of ivory as a bark shreds through the bedlam barking in the distance pouring forth from the dark cavern of the canine's gullet. The mad howling ceases as if it never was. Stillness for a moment. The trill of a swallow hangs sweetly in the empty sky. Ebon tendrils splay across my face, hell-hot breath wrapping about my body as the furred chest heaves. Another roar tears through the calm, it liquefies my bones, sends my heart leaping into my throat. Yet even this does not frighten me in the least. Still I'm laughing.
I wonder why.
I must be tired, because I'm stretching now. No… I'm not stretching at all. My hand's simply reaching upwards. Short nails dig into russet fur softer than infant breath and begin to scratch. The ground rumbles with growls of content. And my feet nearly slip out from under me because now the ground really is shaking. Legs are converting to rubber as a titanic paw slams against the sand over and over in ecstasy, the growls thunder in the heavens. And, like thunder carries the comforting scent of rainwater, this sound summons forth the strange smell of lotus flowers.
But how do I know it's lotus? I've never even seen the blasted things, much less smelled one. But I know the blossom all the same.

The sun's blaze grows stronger now. Already more fragments of the anamnesis are dying as the Realm of Waking wields a diamond-hard battering ram, cold with purpose to smash through and drag me back to what's real.
But this is real. At least… it was real. It used to be. I must hang on before the reverie vanishes entirely.
The lotus scent's sweeter than the fanciest of fine wines. It almost seems to call me. That's silly, my head says. You don't need to call me, I'm right here.

I glance behind to share this knowledge, but the dog is gone. Whatever- whoever- it was is still there, however, in the canine's place somehow.
This… all of this is- was- real. This I know for certain. But how can it? Things like this don't really happen. Do they?
The dog's metamorphosed into… somebody. Someone I used to know. Someone… I think I used to love. I cannot recall.
I turn to look, but now the sunlight finally smashed through my pleading barrier and storms into my retinas. I'm thrown back into an eggshell white room atop sheets of linen.
It's leaving. It's really leaving now, it's almost gone! It can't go. Not now.
Quick, Tem, concentrate. Gather up what little you can.
I saw something of this figure.
There were….eyes. Yes. They were the color of golden goblets in the noonday sun and tawny like dead grass. I think I used that description before, once. And there was a glorious sensation of a warm, soft cheek against mine, and laughter in the air that shimmered gemstone brilliance in the desert sun. Oh…and it's a beautiful sound.

And now… It's gone.

All of it. Only random bits and pieces, a cruel collage of nonsense tumbling about my skull, no two fragments fitting together. I can feel trails of crystalline tears on my face.
Shaking with despair, confusion, desire, fright, or frustration, I honestly have no idea which, my feet somehow take me from my cool, soft bed.
Out of the room. Down the hallways. Past an open window.
There's a trilling laugh echoing far off in the streets. Like the one I was… dreaming? No. Remembering. I wonder if the figure- the one in my dream, the one I'm sure I loved once. I think she might be laughing at me.
Then I suddenly realize I'm laughing as well. I wonder why.

I arrive at the front door. It opens with ease. Morning air brushes against my face

And I swear to God. It smells like lotus.