I dreamt of a Hallway

I had a strange dream last night. Apart from the vague ominous feeling that were wont in all dreams, it started normal enough, and got increasingly bizarre.

I was walking in a marketplace. Stalls littered the area selling clothing, knick-knacks, novelty baubles, etc. Sometimes the marketplace was inside my high school building, and there was a giant claw machine where the entrance gate used to be.

That claw machine didn’t have a tractable claw. It functioned like a vending machine, the goods piled up on top of each other. People pushed a bill inside a slot, and the claw would move on its own and drop their preferred item on the exit shaft. I didn’t have enough money to play, but a friend from high school suddenly popped into my dream and offered to buy me an item. I have never talked to this friend ever since I graduated. We were Facebook friends but have never chatted. Strange.

We walked around a bit and I met up with another friend. This friend was close was close to me, and the three of us strolled along the busy commerce, perusing items on sale. I was purchasing a pack of clothes for 70 cents when an empty booth caught my eye.

They had nothing on display. It was a simple wooden door painted white, and a guy in a tux manning the booth. There was a sign in front. Apparently the sign was supposed to inform customers on what sort of service this booth provided. In dreams though, symbols shift and shimmer, and I could not make out what it said. Despite this, I knew there was a magician inside, a soothsayer or a fortuneteller. The vaguely ominous feeling swelled as I opened the door.

You wouldn’t think it was the same booth from outside. The room was wider somehow, longer, like a hallway. There was a single table and a chair at the very end. No windows. The light bulb was cheap. I squinted at the harsh artificial blue that bathed the whole room despite it being the only light available light source. The chair was empty, but there was small, stout, squirrely man fidgeting by the table.

“You are here to see the master,” he squeaks, “I-I’ll go get him!”

He left and we were stuck inside the confines of this strange room. The master magician never came, and my friends and I exited the booth, confused.

The surroundings have changed once we stepped out. There was a parade. There was fire and effigies, people in masks like carnevale di venezia. The mood was effused with occult gaiety,  vaguely ritualistic, vaguely religious.  My friends, who I will call Steph and Lila, waded through the crowd with me, our hands clasped together to keep us from getting lost. The street we were walking in was lined with houses like a hallway. The people walked forward, and so did we, towards something unknown in the distance.