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The most terrifying dream I had as a child was of the fortune teller in the desert. He would sneak up on me, appearing suddenly around corners or through doorways. Regardless of where and when I was, I would suddenly find myself in the waste, under a moonless sky. On a nearby dune would be the yellow tent of the fortune teller. His candles, their glow diffused by the thin fabric of his tent, are the only light.

The first few times I found myself in this place, I would try to go back, try to exert control over the dream and flee this desolate place, but it would never work. Beyond the glow of the fortune teller's lamp, there was only endless black sand. There was never any sign of where I had come from, and I never dared to walk so far that I couldn't see the glow of the lamp.

Where would I have gone if I had lost sight of the lamp? Is that where those who fail to wake up from sleep wander? Would I have become one of the Oneiroi's forgotten ghosts, endlessly stumbling through black sand in a vain effort to find some solace?

Frater Croix-I-lux of the O.T.N.U. writes in his monogram De Matrimonium Mortis et Somni:

Reality is the solidified dream of the Archon. We cannot destroy the Wanton Unconscious of the Will; we can only wriggle beneath its Rigors. We are the Loophole Children, the particles that slip through the Phantasmal Gap between Belief and Function. Our dreams are but reflections of Dark Dreaming, imperfect shadows that have shape only because we cannot separate our fear from His Will. As liberated as our souls may become, we are still connected to the Dream.

Sometimes the fortune teller looks like Frater Croix-I-lux before the cancer started to eat at him.

I never understood why the fortune teller frightened me so. I always woke from the dreams that he invaded before he cast his cards.

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