Thursday, June 27, 2013

a strange dream

by anonymous

illustrated by konrad kraus

last night i had the strangest dream

i dreamed i was forging balzac's signature

on a letter to franz kafka

i didn't have much time

dupin was waiting in the next room

with sherlock holmes

i needed a quill

not a ball point pen

i found a fountain pen

in the drawer of the old wooden desk

it would have to do

dupin just glanced at it when i gave it to him

he and holmes were deep in discussion, muttering about something

i could not understand them

overcome with relief

i walked down the dark street

under the lamps

in the fog

the lights of a tavern beckoned

i entered

i settled in to a booth and ordered a foamy glass of dark ale from a rosy cheeked barmaid

i thought my troubles were behind me

but they had only begun

four people were seated at a table behind mine.

i could not help overhearing their conversation

i looked behind me and recognized them as

the distinguished novelist george meredith

mister gladstone

prince von bismarck, chancellor of the german empire

and our beloved queen victoria

to my horror i realized they were plotting a series of dreadful murders

of unfortunate women who were reduced to walking the streets

and selling that portion of themselves which no longer had any value

their plan of attack was carefully coordinated

each was to provide alibis for the others

and the murders themselves were to be executed with a minute and unimaginable savagery

i froze in my shadows

would they realize i was overhearing them?

with infinite care i rose from my seat

leaving my glass of ale untouched

not daring to look behind me i made for the door

an eternity passed

i could only make headway by swimming through the darkness

at last i reached the door

at last!

as i entered the street a tall figure brushed past me on his way into the tavern

it was sir edward burne-jones!

i fairly flew through the streets

when i reached my lodgings

i saw a strange yellow light in in my third story window

i opened the front door

and careless of waking mrs foster the landlady

i raced up the stairs

the light beneath my door was a ghastly pink!

i flung open the door

and there

hanging from the rafters

casting a dark and swirling shadow over my overturned paint pots and scattered brushes

was a dead man!

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