The Poison Gamble
By Dolores J. Nurss
On the Anvil of Ordeal
Once again, I have managed to accidentally erase my
original dream notes. I will try my best to reconstruct them. I really
ought to start backing these up as conscientiously as the fiction!
The opening scene comes straight out of the second core dream. In my
strictly legalistic teens, I felt enormous guilt in recording Lisa's
words accurately, fearing to break the Ten Commandments by taking the
Lord's name in vain. Yet I felt, still more compellingly, that God
wanted me to be true to this dream at all costs. Most readers cannot
fathom with what difficulty I wrote down those simple words, "Oh God,"
but in the end fidelity to what I had received won out.
(I have since come to the conclusion that taking the Lord's name in
vain means claiming that God backs you in something that He does not,
or has given you instructions that He hasn't, or revealed things to you
that He didn't, for your own vain purposes. Taking His name and
covering your own decisions and desires with it, without His permision.)
Zanne's scene came of the third core dream. At
this point I had moved firmly into her viewpoint, and while the details
remained fuzzy, they got clearer the closer I came to waking up. I did
not recall specifically what Zanne studied, just that I, as she, became
fascinated with details of something that should have upset me, so
intellectualized that I did not immediately connect it to myself.
Logically, awake, that seemed like it would refer to the ropes, and the
abrasions under them.
I did not directly dream of Don and Lisa making love. However, I did
dream the widespread knowledge, later, that they had lost their
virginities to each other on that boat, during that hellish time. I can
only speculate that a desperate desire for consolation motivated them
in this least romantic setting.
I did dream, in quite a bit of detail, the disrespecting-in-the-morning
scene. I only added the mis-set chock because I knew that Don fussed
about something to do with boating, but at the time I didn't know
enough about boating to know what might have set him off. I did
research to fill in the gap, here and elsewhere.
I only remembered the initial dialogue vaguely, but I did know that it
hung ripe with sexual innuendos that let everybody figure out what had
gone on before. I do remember, very specifically, him shouting that he
was leaving, and Jake, helpless not to laugh, asking where he intended
to go. I remember a hopeless giggle-attack overtaking all of us, made
worse when Don fell and got the sludge-bucket's contents in the face.
(I also had a vague sense of Randy's ravings taking a funny turn,
though I couldn't remember on waking what he said.) And then Don
insanely gripped the tiller like we were going somewhere, shouting in a
rage about our lack of responsibility and how we could all capsize for
all he cared, despite having sea-anchor out. I remember him swinging at
Jesse, hitting the tiller instead, and falling overboard.
And then, fished out, I remember him suddenly realizing what was
happening to him. I remember, verbatim, him leaning almost nose to nose
with Jake and saying, "I think I just might want to lie down," and Jake
replying, "I think you're right," and we all cracked up again, and Don
tried to laugh along, even clown a little, but not very convincingly.
And he tried to hold back his madness long enough to let us tie him up,
then reached the point where it overwhelmed him, and everything got
very serious, and very grim again.
The sunset scene at the end, with Deirdre and Jesse, feels like a dream
memory, but I think I made it up. It could have been dream re-entry,