Dream Journal: Recant or Die [c. 1999]

Dream Journal: Recant or Die [c. 1999]


I had this dream sometime in middle school. To this day it is one of the most vivid of my life. 

I was on a ship, the old and ancient kind with large masts and a huge deck. I was standing on the deck of this grand old ship.

The deck was crowded with people. Most of them were dark and shadowy. A combat-hardened crew. A force to be reckoned with. There were soldiers/fighters, mercenaries, and proper officials – high office forces to be reckoned with.

And they had won. 


I remember the feeling of being tied and bound by the ropes (or was it chains?). Several were guarding me. There were others on the deck of the ship in my same situation, but I could not see who.
They were holding us hostage, and they threatened to take our lives if we did not recant.

I remember the feeling of being tied and bound by the ropes. Several were guarding me. There were others on the deck of the ship in my same situation, but I could not see who.

The inquisitors dealt with each of us individually, going one by one. I had already witnessed others go before me. Some recanted (which was painful to watch) – and were spared. A few did not – and were killed. And I knew this was serious – that this was it – that this was the whole point of all the moments, and that the final moment was here.

And I was terrified. 

I was just a young kid when I had this dream. And on the deck of the ship, and in the dream, I was a 13 years old boy. 

The inquisitors turned towards me; now it was my turn. I cannot describe to you the fear and the terror that I felt. I don’t remember the method employed or the weapon used or the tool or the means – I just remember being so afraid. 

The inquisitors approached me. All eyes on the deck turned towards me. I remember the sky being so blue and the clouds being so beautiful. I remember weeping, bitterly weeping, at the fact that this is evening happening. These people are so blind. So full of hate. They will never know.

Now was the moment. Now the confession. Recant and live. Or, die. 

I knew it would be death.

I lifted my face towards the sky, took a big breath, and gave my confession: “There is only one God!” I shouted, a big huge exhale from a terrified, trembling kid.

Everything went silent. Everyone understood. The erie silence spoke for it – the boy must now be killed. I felt so alone, and so terrified. I began to weep at the sadness of it all.

The silence was suddenly broken by a voice straight across from me: “You tell em, Luke!”

It was Mrs. B, my 2nd grade teacher. She had a profound impact on me as a child, especially spiritually. She used a hand motion with her fingers, twice in a row, with us as kids: 1-2-3 (I love you) 1-2-3 (God loves you) Mrs. B was apparently a captive on the ship as well.

Rather than weeping or mourning, she was beaming, boasting, proud like a mother hen, shouting her beligerant praise and pride and her face spoke of joy in having witnessed this moment: “You tell em, Luke! You tell em!” 1-2-3….1-2-3…

Her cheer and her words felt like a hug, a comfort in death, a “well done” and “you did it”

And then I woke up.

%d bloggers like this: