0195: Sharing the Dream
“The image in the window assembled itself from shards of glass in the rubble. And then, when I couldn’t get the prayer right, it all started falling apart again.”
“That long, eh?” Lamont quipped. He took a long drag from his cigarette, allowing his head to be pulled back against the wall by the mysterious attractive force.
“You know, after the Escherspace jump,” Rosemary explained. “When I found you, you were disoriented, hysterical.”
The newspaperman coughed a cloud of smoke. He was beginning to notice that the gravity field which held them against the curved wall of the shuttle was by no means ignoring the smoke from his cigarette. Whenever he exhaled, it would immediately return to envelope his face, stinging his eyes. This had the effect of making them red and watery at exactly the wrong moment, when he glowered at the medic and said: “I’ll accept ‘disoriented.’”
Rosemary regarded him with an expression of combined concern and amusement. “What were you experiencing when you saw the sculpture?” she asked. “Did it feel like what happened after the jump?”
“No, I don’t think so,” Lamont answered with a note of uncertainty. “I’ve been having this dream. Just, you know, a normal nighttime dream, but recurring. What happened up there felt like someone suddenly picked me up and put me back in the dream while I was awake.”
“What’s the dream?” Rosemary asked.
“I’m in the ruins of a cathedral, like the kind that you’d find on the outskirts of London. I’m looking up at a stained glass window, at a picture of the Virgin. I’m trying to remember a prayer I heard somewhere, get the words right. But I can’t remember it, and something bad happens.”
“What happens?” The younger woman urged.
Lamont shrugged. “Something nasty comes through the window, or the roof caves in. That’s when I wake up.”
“And what you saw up in the garden was exactly the same?”
“For the most part, except that it started in reverse. The image in the window assembled itself from shards of glass in the rubble. And then, when I couldn’t get the prayer right, it all started falling apart again.”
“That explains one thing, at least,” Rosemary nodded thoughtfully.
Lamont looked at her expectantly, tugging his arm away from the wall to take the cigarette from his mouth.
“When I shook you out of your trance, it sounded like you were trying to recite the Rosary prayer. That’s why I was surprised when you said you’d never been religious.”