The Faceless

by Sam Stone


An interpretation of one man's recurring dream.

Many Faces

The dream is recurring. The majority of the details remain the same across each individual instance, while a few subtleties seem to be the only independent variables. The consistencies, as they are, are interesting, if not grotesquely profound. As to why it's recurring, the unimaginative soul might say that it is the byproduct of a damage mind, however, as with most vividly lucid dreams, the reasoning behind such a dark subconscious usually has the dark conscious to blame.

I find myself in a foggy street, surrounded by what seemed to be a busy street at one point that belonged to an even more busy suburban town. It feels like late fall, or early winter, and the fog is as dense as I've ever seen it, and I feel as if I must be there, although I feel as if the town wishes me gone. Among the parked, plateless vehicles that line the streets in front of the closed shops, are crowds of people, mostly men, wandering aimlessly as if they're the walking dead. Only I know that these people aren't dead, and they aren't paying me any mind just yet. I'm just standing there, taking in my surroundings, being careful to note any deviations in scenery or setting from my previous visits to this locale. I am in the middle of the street, as if my intentions were to travel on the street as opposed to the sidewalks. This always strikes me as the first oddity in this dream, but then again, the sidewalks are lined with people of all different shapes and sizes, and there isn't possibly any room to walk, let alone stand. So I presume that my preoccupation with my method of travel is in vain.

All the details leading up to this point seem to be the smaller consistencies with this scenario, however the largest consistency is always what scares me.

The people don't have faces.

They have blank patches of skin where eyes, nose, mouth, and other facially recognizable features are usually present on most human beings. My first time experiencing this phenomena, I was paralyzed with fear, which struck me as extremely disheartening because there is very little stimuli in this world that prove themselves capable to induce fear in me. Yet here I was, immobile. The air gets colder as I realized that I have begun wading through the crowds of faceless people and slowly, carefully making my way down the street to a destination that still eludes me to this day (If there is, indeed, a destination at all.) The people are becoming aware of my presence at this point, and they begin their slow, decayed gaits towards me. They seem to want to say something to me, but they don't have the mouths to say it, and they seem to expect me to say something to them, or tell them something that they have been longing to hear, but they don't have the ears to hear it. And yet, they are aware of my presence, even though they don't have the eyes to see me. I keep walking, fearfully but slowly, and the crowd of people closes in on me to the point where I must use my hands to part them so as to make way for my passage. They flock to me like people might flock to the Messiah, however I am no Messiah. I continue like this for a number of steps, until I see that there is nowhere else to go, because the crowd of faceless people achieved a level of density that not even I could physically move alone. So I stop and look around and re-evaluate my situation.

I hear the wind blowing through dead, leafless trees in the near and distant fog, and what looks like slow and deliberate flakes of snow begin to fall form the sky and get carried by the wind and eventually settle on the asphalt as well as the heads and shoulders of the faceless. It takes me a second to realize that it isn't snow.

It's ash.

The faceless have surrounded me...and they are staring at me with non existent eyes. Ordinarily dressed, and ordinarily behaving people, with extraordinary facial features. If it weren't for the hair and clothes, I would never be able to identify the male from female among them. But I soon realized that none of that matters. none of that matters. I stare back. Until this day I have yet to decipher my purpose among them, and yet maybe I have, I just haven't been able to understand it...until now. I know now that not only I, but EVERYONE will venture there, among those people, in that street, in that town, and once you are there, you lose all of what made you YOU previously. Your identity loses value, because none of it matters anymore when you are there. Because, you see, this place I frequently dream of transcends all notions of social status, gender, sexual orientation, race, relationships, or anything else that sets us apart from one another, that uniqueness that all of us tend to strive for, that we long for, and that we cannot seem to live without.

I understand now that they are the Dead, and they have been personally chosen by Death upon his horse, and at some point, everyone must take their rightful place among them.

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