"Doctor, I need your help. For several months I've been having this dream that never seems to go away."
The person asking this question is a young man, sitting down in a comfortable red chair. He was exactly six feet in height, blond haired, blue eyes, strong features, and a pale complexion that suggested he wasn't spending enough time outside. His normally cheery face was twisted in a worried expression, and he was moving rather uncomfortably in the chair he was sitting.
The room where he and the Psychiatrist were sitting in was a large, comfortable room, designed to promote relaxation in its occupants, but this had no effect on the young man whatsoever. The contents of this room is irrelevant, save that the room was carpeted in a relaxing red color, with diplomas hanging on the walls, the chair the young man was sitting in, and the large desk and adjoining chair that the Psychiatrist was sitting on.
"Can you describe the nature of this 'dream' you've been having, sir?" the Psychiatrist leaned back in his own red chair, fingers interlaced over his crossed knees. He was five-foot-six, brown haired, gray eyes that can twinkle at will, scholarly featured, and a well-tanned complexion that proclaimed he spent as much time outside as he did in the office.
"I don't know where to begin, sir, but it always started out in a dark place, very, very dark." The young man replied as he shifted again in his seat. He was obviously agitated over this dream, "Every time I close my eyes, I would find myself in this dark place. I would see a large concrete street stretching before me. I would take a step forward, and then before I can stop myself, I would be walking, always down the same path. . . .
The wind blew restlessly as I walked down the cold, wide street, rimed with old-fashioned streetlamps. The sky was an oppressing blackness, no stars, no moon, no blinking lights that pointed out planes. No sounds whatsoever. A newspaper blew by me in the wide street, pale in the dim light cast by lamps around me. I reached over and stopped it from moving further. I opened it and saw it was a copy of The Washington Post. But that was all that was written on it; the rest of the paper was blank, blank as the sky above me.
My path brought me into a large square, rimed by more streetlamps, some of which were sputtering, others blown out completely. In the beginning of these nightly wanderings, they had all been lit, but now the illumination was scattered by burnt-out bulbs and flickering lights. Only one or two still burned brightly and unwavering.
The cold wind picked up in its pace as I sat down upon a bench. I pulled my coat closer towards me, shutting out the damp breeze, but still I shivered. I opened the paper again, and started to scrutinize it closely, hoping to see something when all of a sudden, a blinding light split the still and dark night, outshining the dim lamps around me. I covered my eyes, and got up from where I sat, and began to look for something to shut out the light.
I soon found it; a small alleyway between two buildings down a street that led away from the square. I quickly made my way towards it, and once I was in the cool and soft darkness, I was able to relax.
After a while, (a minute, an hour, or a day, I do not know) I became aware of a large crowd outside of my hiding spot. I turned around to behold a sight that I'll never forget. Hundreds, thousands, maybe more, of people were everywhere, standing in ranks facing forward. People in all of the varied forms of humanity; male and female, adult and child, rich and poor, from Asian to European, all here.
I turned my head towards where they were facing, towards the bright light. There I saw a building; the United States Capitol, the eastern front facing the vast crowd of humanity. As I gazed upon it, the blinding light soon resolved into a globe atop the Capitol. Before the building, I saw a strange figure standing, facing the crowd. It took me awhile to see that he (or it?) was addressing the crowd, but I could hear nothing, even though his arms were gesturing.
The people surrounding me all wore the same expression; a blank, uncomprehending expression as they faced the Speaker. Here and there, amongst the crowd, I saw single persons, with their heads bowed, facing something that they were holding. Curious, I walked over to one. It was a man, but his features were obscured by the large hat he wore. He was holding a little note-book, a pen scratching away into it.
"Hello?" I asked, "What is this place?"
He ignored me, still writing.
I walked directly in front of him, and waved my hand over his field of vision, blocking his view of the note-book. Still, he went on writing. I gave it up, and instead looked at the little book he was so intent upon. All I saw was nothing, nothing was written in it. The pen made no mark on it whatsoever, though I could see that it was full of ink.
"Hey, listen to me! What is this place?" I asked again. Still he ignored me. I reached over, and grabbed him by both arms and shook him, dislodging the note-book. "What is this place? Where am I?"
As soon as I let go, he reached down and picked up the note-book, and began to walk away. As he disappeared in the crowd of humanity, I turned to face the front. The Speaker (whatever he or it, was saying) had taken no notice of me, even though my voice had echoed throughout the vast, empty square. I was the only one whose voice made any sound at all.
"You are all fools!" I yelled, disturbed by the oppressive silence, "Why don't you say something? Anything!?" Still, no answer. As the dying echoes of my voice disappeared in the darkness, I saw everyone beginning to kneel, including the Speaker. Soon, I was the only one left standing. I looked upwards to where the light was, what everyone had bowed to.
And then, I saw words forming in the light. At first, I could not make them out, but then I saw them, and they made me shudder.
Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth.
I tore my gaze away from those blaspheming words, having recalled the Book of Revelation. I instead cast my gaze upon those worshiping the 'light'; the light which I was sure was something false and foul. And then I saw that upon their right hands, or on their foreheads, was a number. The number was six hundred, sixty and six. The Mark of the Beast.
Realizing that I was in a place full of condemned people (for who would not listen to me and think?), I turned and ran for my life. How long I ran, I did not know, but somehow, I ended up in a subway station, of all the places. Catching my breath, leaning up against a coke machine, I became aware of a small group of people standing before a wall, looking at it. Unlike the crowd of humanity above, these were talking, though in whispers, so low I could not make them out. I came closer towards them, and saw what they were looking at; a sight most strange, and did not make much sense to me. Written upon the wall, were these words:
The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls
Underneath that was another:
Let freedom ring/Let the white dove sing/Let the whole world know that today/is a day of Reckoning/Let the weak be strong/Let the right be wrong/Roll the stone away/Let the guilty pay/Its Independence Day
The final one was most ominous, but oddly comforting:
I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. The King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Surely I come quickly. Amen.
. . . . . and the dream ended." Concluded the young man, having relaxed on his seat, as if telling the Psychiatrist had helped relieved his tensions. At first, his narrative was shaky, and he stumbled, but as he went on, his voice had grown stronger and bolder, until he spoke in a conversational tone, as if he was talking about commonplaces with the Psychiatrist. "Do you know what this means?" he queried.
"Well, I do not know what this vision of yours means, so I suggest you visit your Pastor for this seems a religious matter, and I have no experience in such things. However, what I can do is make a few suggestions" The Psychiatrist answered, then asked, "what is your job?"
"I work in an Insurance company; my job is that of casualty insurance. To be more specific, I cover automobile insurance. Why?"
"I suggest you take some time away from the office, and spend some of that time outside. You are suffering from overwork, and lack of sleep, which is probably why you are having these dreams."
"But I've had this dream for months on end!"
"In that case, then what do you do other than insurance work?"
"I attend the Republican Party's meetings, for I'm a Republican; I attend school, government class is what I take, studying to be a lawyer; and I attend bible study with friends and afterwards discuss the current political issues of the day."
"Then I conclude that you are close to suffering a mental break-down. Take a break from these activities for awhile, and then come back later. Also, while you are doing that, I suggest you talk to your Pastor, for you need spiritual guidance and I cannot help you there."
The Psychiatrist stood up, and walked over to the young man, who also had stood up. "You need to take some time out from your work-load, and get more sleep if you do not wish to go insane." The last was said with a smile, and the young man laughed, and replied, "Of course I will. Thank you, sir. I'll go see my Pastor and after that, go on over to the YMCA. Thanks again."
The Psychiatrist opened the door, and showed the young man out. When the door closed, he walked on back to his desk and sat down, a frown on his face. 'This is most odd; that is the third time this week I have talked to people who've had identical dreams' he thought worriedly, 'Does this mean something? If is does, then what does it mean?' he asked himself silently.