I’m a young boy climbing a slippery dark green hill in the dream. It seems like it’s late in the day.
I’m muddy and grass stained. I hold onto tufts of grass to pull myself forward. The grass breaks again and again. I fall backwards and slide, but catch myself. I’m making progress, but it’s slow, wearying, and tedious.
A shadow passes over me. Engrossed with my climbing, I notice it but don’t look up. When it passes me again, I think, bird. When the shadow goes over me a third time, it seems slower and larger, so I look up.
It’s a man with wings.
My first thought is, “Angel.” He’s grubby and bearded, though, with dirty hair and torn clothing. I decide, “That’s not an angel.”
Wings beating the air, he hovers above me. I think, he shouldn’t be able to do that. His wings aren’t beating fast enough. I wonder if wires hold him up.
He says, “Do you have the map?”
I don’t know what he’s talking about.
He says, “The map. You’re supposed to have the map.” He’s speaking slow and loud. “Do you have it?”
I shake my head. I want to continue climbing the hill.
After watching me some time in a way that makes me itch, he flies away. I resume climbing. Then, thinking, the map, I stop and begin searching my clothes for the map. I recall, yes, I’m supposed to have a map. I remember the flying man and realize that I’m no longer a little boy. I want to turn and look down the hill. The hill seems like a mountain now. I don’t look back because I think I’m still back there, climbing as a little boy. I don’t want to see that.
I search the sky instead, looking for the flying man, trying to catch a glimpse of his shadow.
I think, was I the flying man?
He could’ve looked like me.
Or I looked like him.