I think I was asleep. It’s been a long time since I had an experience and genuinely didn’t know afterward if I had been asleep or awake or somewhere in between. This was yesterday morning I think. Or the day before.
I was standing in the dirt with a blue sky overhead. In front of me and off to the side a bit was a small and motley assortment of people who appeared to be doing archeology work. Digging something out. I walked casually toward them, feeling a tug on my memory, but unable to place it, and so shrugging it off. Most of them were sitting below the plane of the land that surrounded the location. It went down probably 15-20′ before it reached the artifact area, and at that point, there was a shallow, perhaps 3-5 foot deep, squared inset area, maybe 30-40′ squared (wild guess, don’t remember exactly). Several steps the full width of the area led up the sides of the inset area.
Behind where most of them worked, visible in the wall of dirt they had dug back to, a couple of columns had already been dug free, and it looked like more were behind that, awaiting. I figured this meant it was some greco-roman kind of building, given the look of the columns. I turned slightly and saw that there were a few small handwritten signs around that described different areas of what they were digging out. As there were people around, tourists it seemed, I thought this might be to reduce how often they bothered the people digging with questions.
I was just about to turn and leave when I noticed the small sign pointing to “the courtyard” inset area, as it called it. I looked back at it again, that tug-of-memory bothering me, and then all the sudden it hit me: I used to live there. I knew that place.
It wasn’t an inset courtyard. It had been a shallow pool.
I managed to find the ‘person in charge’ of the excavation, a man. I told him that he had it wrong; that there was no inset courtyard but an inset pool. I told him that it had been beautiful and clear which suggested there was a water inlet and outlet somewhere that he hadn’t dug out yet, and gave some ideas on where to look. I told him how far the columnic area went back, and how over to the sides had been where we slept. And I admitted to him that I knew all this because of a dream I once had.
I remembered the dream clearly. Even conscious I remember it pretty well, though not nearly as well as I did when I was talking to the archeologist. The dream was from several years ago.
I was a young woman living with many other young women in this building. We didn’t wear very much in the way of clothing, as if it was very warm. Life was very simple and filled with prayer, focused a bit on beauty (and our beauty). We slept in the same room, most of us. We had other people who also lived with us, older-elders, a few, and several men who had roles I’m not clear on now.
One day we found one of our sisters (priestesses maybe? we weren’t physically related) drowned in the pool in the morning. Her body was floating face down. We were stunned and stricken and we buried her with much grief, baffled at how she had managed to drown herself in the night. It was common for us to walk about at night, and the nights were often warm, and a relaxed swim in the pool for awhile to help bring on sleep was not unusual. Nobody had ever managed to drown while doing it though, until then.
Just when we were getting over that, like a bad dream that we were starting to forget and blur with the mercy of time, another of our group was found drowned in the morning. We were terribly upset now and prayed fervently for an answer. Was it a punishment from the gods? Was it foul play? Why did we hear nothing? Was she possessed in some fashion?
Our life had not known fear until then. It seemed we’d had it so blissful, then, before the fear came. Before one young woman after another, a few weeks apart, would be found, silent and drowned, in the morning light.
Some time had passed when I found I couldn’t sleep one evening. I got up, bare of feet but some jewelry and in something I’m guessing is similar to a form of toga, and I quietly walked around the building. Nobody appeared to be awake, except someone quietly moving in the pool at the front. I stepped slowly into the pool, seeing one of the elders there. Thankfully, I thought: if only we always had two of us together like this, we would know we were safe. We should not be swimming alone anymore. He and I spoke quietly for awhile, as I floated on my back toward the center. He wanted to pray with me, at least I think that was it; and I felt his gentle hand on my head; and then he pushed me under. And he held me there fully underwater until my struggles finally ceased, and then my body’s spasms at last-ditch efforts at survival ceased, and he released my body, spreading my arms out so it would stay face down.
I knew I was supposed to be dead. I knew that if I just turned my head a little, I could see and feel this huge sense of light-and-longing, and I should go.
But I was still furious. It didn’t feel like it had when I was dying; much paler now; yet still, at least intellectually, real. It was the moral of it, damn it all, he was the last person we would ever have suspected of such evil, all my sisters were in danger, and I was so grossly offended about it that I refused to turn into the light and leave. I vowed that I would not leave that location until I saw him discovered.
Time and reality were very odd then, and not easy to remember let alone record. But I figured out how to intensely focus my attention and intention to cause small changes in the physical world I had lived in. I gave sign after sign to my sisters to point them toward him. And when I wasn’t doing that, I gave signs to him as well, and he began to tremble with fear, knowing that the gods or spirits or something were on to him. And finally they began to get the suspicion. And finally they worked it out between themselves that they would test this suspicion, with a seemingly lone innocent newer girl, and just as he began his quiet but effective drowning process, they all dashed out and into the pool to save her and the bulk of them overcame him. Their cries brought the other elders and by morning, he was remanded to authorities; he would die.
I felt grimly satisfied. And then I finally let myself pray again, which I hadn’t done since I had died, perhaps somewhat in anger that my prayers while being murdered hadn’t worked. And I felt more than saw the warmth and light, and I let the world fall away, and melted into it.
That was the dream I remembered, which took place at the location the archeologists were digging out.
I have no idea if this place is real or where it might be.