Far below the clouds, a kingdom rolls along the hils of a distant land. From a bird’s eye, we descend into the kingdom and see a large walled castle. This isn’t a typical castle, for most of its inside area is covered with an enchanted lake. Flying closer, a grey dot appears in the center of the water. Closer still, the dot turns into a piece of land large enough for an adult human to recline and sleep on the hard surface. And on that island, a young man awakens.
He has been dreaming of another place where he has a bed and parents who love him. Here on the island, he has no food and no shade. In the sun’s glare, he looks across the impassable pool and sees the familiar patch of dirt that stands before a large, armored gate. The gate suddenly swings open. Two leering guards half-drag a beautiful lass. She tries to hide her fear of the men, but he can see it in her deep green eyes all the way on his island. An older man walks behind them, slouched and frowning. The guards drag the lovely woman to the edge of the water and then force her down on her knees.
“Tell me the secret!” the sniveling man yells out into the open expanse of the castle lake. On the small island, the young man scrunches his face and yells back “I don’t know what you’re talking about!”
“Don’t tell them! Please don’t tell them!” the woman shouts. A guard grabs her wavy brown hair and jerks her back. She screams.
“Please don’t hurt her!” he pleads.
“Then you’ll have to tell me the secret!” the old man snorts.
“I don’t know any secrets worth telling!”
The guards drag the screaming woman back towards the doors. The slumped man follows.
“Tomorrow you tell me or she’ll really start hurting!”
The gates slam.
Night falls the prisoner has a dream. Instead of the city by the ocean, he dreams that he is flying. What an exhilarating experience. The lake drifts away as he swoops through clouds and seems to dive into the starlight. But he hears crying, so flies back down towards the castle where the beautiful woman is held. The crying seems to be coming from a tall tower, so the man comes to the only window that opens into a small, dark room.
“Hello?” he asks.
“Oh, you found me! Now you can remember. You must remember, so that you can save me and save yourself. Remember the secret!”
He looks into the window and sees the lovely woman, her face wet with tears of sorrow and now joy. He then looks down at the island and sees a serpent-like dragon curled up where he should be sleeping.
With a crack of wakefulness, the man comes out of his dream and finds himself back on the island. Instead of feeling hopeless, he feels a sense of possibility. He looks around and then finds himself about ten feet above the island! He’s flying. Without hesitation, the dragon darts straight to the tower. She awaits him with smiles and laughter.
“I knew you’d remember,” she says as she hugs his feathery face. She climbs on his back and pats his neck.
“Time to leave the miserable place.”
(a dream I had in the early 1990s)