Dream - The figure in the tree
At one point I was looking in a big hollow tree that leaned or curved slightly to one side, trying to show someone the light that was visible in the sky past the dark leafless branches of another, thin tree that was inside the hollow trunk of the big tree. The light was strange and pale, roughly circular, with a border around it like twisted or woven purple cloud, with a dark but not black nighttime sky as the background. It shown down inside the hollow tree and made a round bright area on some dark water, a lake or maybe a river, that was perhaps 10 or 15 feet underground. This time, though, I was having trouble finding the light. I just saw a broad washed-out pale area with the skinny branches of the small tree in silhouette.
I was leaning into the hollow trunk and peering upward, looking closer and moving my head back and forth, trying to find the light past the branches when I became aware that a small figure, perhaps three or four feet tall, was sitting in the tree and apparently blocking my view of the light. I moved my head closer at it, feeling somehow that I should be able to somehow see through its eyes and out the back of its head, as though there wasn't anything back there. Its face was round and broad, almost slightly square, and its mouth was stretched in a wide toothy grin. Its eyes were relatively small and very round, and were entirely black with a slight cloudiness, and looked somehow soft like round dark grapes.
As I came close to the head, looking at it and the eyes, I suddenly realized that it wasn't really alive, not as we think of life, that it had an emptiness about it, but that it was somehow nevertheless animated, though by something that wasn't actually living precisely in it but behind and somewhat above it. It gave a short laugh and said that I would never be able to look through its eyes that way.
I was fairly close to it now, and there was suddenly a feeling of great danger and of tremendous power held in check, power that could be released at any time and to any degree necessary, and that it was only letting me do as much as it pleased it to let me do, and that I should not tempt it too much.
I had a brief vision, then, of what could happen. I saw its body silently crackling with white energy going out all around it like electricity, and its arms becoming much longer and reaching out for me, with long hands and long fingers ending in pointed nails. Its face seemed more angular, but still with the wide, toothy grin and small wide open black eyes. Its face got closer to me and also seemed to somehow project inside my head, and I felt tremendous terror wrap around my brain like a fog, not the kind of terror where you run, but the kind of terror that brings you to you knees, hovering between consciousness and unconsciousness. I felt my awareness and my brain cringing, shrinking in on itself, feeling like something caught in mid-spasm, shrinking to a point and then starting to fade out, leaving only the face and the eyes and the terror.
And then I was moving my face back, somewhat nervously, and trying to look around the figure to each side, trying to find the light in the sky. I finally reached up and lifted the figure, the little man, down from the tree, but I still couldn't find the light, just a broad diffused light through the dark branches, and light that shown down softly on the dark water below. I finally left the tree and the dream proceeded to other things.
That Sunday, after the dream, I happened to watch the last half of Waterworld on the TV, a movie I had never seen. In it, the main character had a boat made of metal or metal-like pontoons and with tall metal masts and supports. Near the end, he rescued a little girl by blowing up an oil tanker run by pirate-like people. He did this by dropping a lighted flare through a wide metal pipe that led to a lake of dark oil far below. The light fell onto the oil, which then erupted into pale streamers of fire and exploded. Fire boiled through all the openings of the ship, and blew open new openings. People were running everywhere in mindless terror.
The movie had in common with the dream the metal boats, the light on a dark liquid far below, bright streamers that were electricity in the dream and an explosion in the movie, and terror.