The place’s entrance is on the outside of a curve in the fast main road. The road runs along the top of a large hill but dips down towards the entrance of the place to rise again afterwards. The entrance is large, as is the car park that surrounds the place – too big for the place itself and one wonders how the car park was ever filled.
I go in with friends, as yet undefined. The car has a problem. We need somewhere to stay the night and this looks like a pub/hotel. But, apparently, it’s not. However, there is a hotel, within walking distance (since the car won’t go any more) further down the main road. We go for a quick drink in one of the many bars. This particular bar is to the left (as you look at the pub) and is, almost a separate building which has its own entrance.
A few days or weeks later I am back.
I am with a woman, younger than me. We stop at the pub for something to eat and drink. We get two rooms for the night. We each go to our rooms after dinner but then I remember that this place is not a hotel and has no rooms. I go back to the bar. I ask if it isn’t possible to stay in the rooms we are already in. Apparently not, since this is not a hotel. I go back to my room to pack. I pass the girl’s room which has a window (very large and with a rounded top) onto the corridor. I go in to tell her that we do have to pack and leave after all.
She is sitting in the hallway of her room, her back to the large window, kneeling on the floor. She is making what appears to be circles with her right elbow on the lino in front of the window.
“What are you doing?”, I ask.
“I’m clearing these lines away”
I bend down to see and, sure enough there are lines made as when you drag furniture along the floor – a sort of grey. As I look, her elbow does, indeed, clear these lines.
“OK”, I say, “we have to pack and go to this other place which is a hotel”. I add, “I’ve been before, it’s not far”.
“I’m glad you came”, she said, in a slightly strange, flat voice and yet, filled with some emotion that I could not guess at. “I need you to help me”.
“I need you to help me get away from this thing at my back”.
I look and see that there is a swirling, white, whirlpool of light behind her that appears to be pulling her into the window. I grab hold of her and pull. I pull her away from the light. The light wants her for itself. I pull harder. Even when she is free I can feel the light pulling her back, as if they are attached by rope. Once she is away, we stand and I hold her, cuddling her. My head rests on her shoulder. I look down her back and see that, although the white whirlpool of light is back at the window, she now has white light in the small of her back. I say nothing. I am scared, mainly for her.
I woke, of course, but returned to sleep quickly, as I was very tired.
The next morning I couldn’t get the girl out of my mind. Who was she? At first, I thought it was my sister, even if she looked nothing like her. Then I thought it was Best Mate, even though, again, it looked nothing like her.
I became convinced it was Best Mate.
I phone. I wait whilst some unknown, unnamed person goes and gets her.
“How are you?”, I ask. She answers that she is ‘fine, thanks’ in a bright and over-cheerful voice. There’s something wrong, I know it. I ask. She explains that she now has someone with her. All the time. I guess what it is and why it is. I admonish her for it but in reality just feel frightened for her.
I tell her of the dream. The dream was two days ago. She says ‘Oh, how interesting’ in the fake, light voice that is required in order to get the ‘minder’ taken away. I can’t bring myself to ask if the dream and her actions were at all connected. But I am left wondering.
He tells me, over dinner what he would do.
“I would go and tell her like it is. Say that it’s her life and she can do what she wants but if she really wants to be better, she has to understand that it’s inside her and only she can stop it. Drugs and other things aren’t required. There are so many people who have real problems whereas hers are all in her head. If she was my friend, I would be hard on her. You should take a week from work and go over and talk to her”.
I want to. But I don’t want to make a mistake. He is right but it is easy for us to say. He thinks she is weak (not that he doesn’t like her) and she needs to be strong and, most of all, like herself. This is true. One must like oneself above everything, otherwise how can you like others or life or anything else?
But I’m not sure I am strong enough to do this. He tells me that if it was his best friend, this is what he would do. But, at least, I’m thinking about it!