The Dream Teller

by Nancy Jacobson

The Dream Teller

He had never really thought about his Native American ancestry. After all, it had nothing to do with him. He was a successful lawyer in Manhattan. He had everything he could ever want. He was very good at what he did. He also had a beautiful wife whom he loved more than anything. Everything was right in his world. But life can be hard, very hard, as he was about to learn. His wife was a fashion buyer for one of the top lines in New York and as such, traveled often. Who could have guessed her plane would not make it back from Paris? No survivors.

After the initial shock and disbelief wore off, he tried to reclaim some of the life he had known before. He was wandering in the wilderness and only going through the motions. Friends and colleagues tried to encourage him but it was useless. Alcohol started to numb some of the sharp pain but only lasted so long. There was always this hole that could not be filled. He tried everything, even going to mediums to try to connect to her on the other side. Since nothing happened, he assumed that there was no other side. He became bitter and swore he would never open his heart again. His work suffered and he was in danger of losing the only thing he thought he could do well.

He felt isolated and alone in a city of millions. They could not provide the comfort he so very badly needed. About this time, he started to have dreams. He wanted to dream of her, to have a small part of her, anything. But that was not to be. What he dreamed of was woodland forests and mists over lakes. Since he had always been a "city boy", this confused him.

He tried everything to keep from having the dreams, but the more he tried, the more they came. Finally, he gave up the only life he knew and gave into the feeling of isolation. He sold everything and quit his job. He bought an old car, packed up some personal belongings and said goodbye to the city. He had no real direction in mind but headed north. He drove without thinking until he came into the Hudson Valley, the land of the Algonquins. He probably had read "The Last of the Mohicans" in school, but didn't remember much about it. It is said that this area of the United States is ancient with the Native peoples.

He came to a remote place in upstate New York and found that the woodlands looked somewhat familiar, even though he had never been there. He was weary, bone tired. All he wanted to do was lay down and rest. Instead, he found himself in a real estate office looking at rentals. The agent tried to show him some beautiful places, resort type places. After all, he was a good looking, single man who should be someplace where he could socialize. He was adamant that what he wanted was to get away from everyone. She finally showed him a property that was so remote that they hadn't been able to rent it. It was a good property, deep in the woodlands, next to a lake. It was 60 miles from the nearest civilization and that suited him just fine. He said he would take it. After making the payment and getting the keys and directions, he went to a nearby store and stocked up on supplies. He probably bought too much, but he didn't want to be coming back into town often.

Trying to follow the directions, he got lost several times. The day was just turning into twilight and he pulled into the road that led back to the cabin. He had never been so far from other people and yet he did not feel alone. There was a feeling that he knew this place. As he pulled up to the cabin, he could see the forests and the lake that was close by. As he got out of his car, he turned toward the lake and saw mists rising from it. A half smile came to his lips and he watched and listened.

After putting his supplies away and setting the cabin in order, he poured himself a glass of wine and went out onto the porch that overlooked the lake. Except for the night creatures, there was no sound. He, who had grown up hearing sirens and the city sounds, exhaled deeply as if he had been holding his breath for a long time. This might not be the world he was looking for, but this is the world he found.

He lost track of the days but he didn't care. There was a peace here that he had not known before. He still grieved, but at least here, everything did not remind him of her. The dreams not only continued but came more often and in detail. The soft voice grew louder but the words were still unrecognizable. He spoke some touristy French and alittle Spanish, but these words were something he had never heard. They seemed to give him comfort. He took long walks in the woods and sat on the open porch looking at the mists on the lake. Once in awhile, he thought he heard human sounds in the forest, probably hunters he thought. When he finally had to go into town for supplies, he inquired about buying the property and was told it was not for sale. He could keep renting it though and he extended his lease.

What was there about this place that held him? Was he quietly going mad and becoming a hermit? He figured that someday, a hunter would come upon this cabin and find the body of an old man with white hair.

It was in the second year that he saw her. As was his habit, he had taken his glass of wine to the porch at twilight. He heard the sound of the Native American flute but was not frightened. As the light faded, he saw a figure of a woman standing by the lake. She appeared to be Indian and her dress was made of buckskin. Her long dark hair had an eagle feather and beads in it. She looked at him but did not speak. He should have been afraid, but strangely this woman seemed to give him comfort. She stood for a long time, then turned and walked into the woods as the mists of the lake obscured her from his sight.

Each night for several days, she appeared at the same time, saying nothing. The only sound was of the distant flute. Finally, she sang for him in the voice he had come to know. Ancient words, haunting words he did not understand, but knew. The sleep dreams seemed to stop now that he could see it while awake. He came to look forward to seeing her and hearing the words. He never spoke to her, but let the sounds wash over him.

One twilight, she held out her hand and spoke. "Come, for you are being recognized in the Spirit World. The Ancient Ones are waiting for you". He came down from the porch and approached her. He asked her who she was and she replied, " I am called the Dream Teller". He smiled the half smile and felt strangely happy. She took his hand and they walked into the mists.

When the rental agent finally came out to check on him, all they found was an eagle feather at the edge of the lake.

The End (or is it?)

Nancy Jacobson

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