The Pentachrist is a character that I have dreamt about three times. He has the body of a man, the head of a goat, and the horns of a ram. When he comes to the earth, the world will end.
Dream #1 (over a year ago)
Note: this one involves lots of dreams-within-the-dream, so just treat every mention of “waking up” in the description as part of the dream.
In the dream, I am having a recurring dream. In the recurring dream, I find myself in a barren wasteland. The light has a red quality, it’s misty, mostly flat but with some outcroppings of mountains or jagged hills in the distance. There is a terrifying creature who rules this wasteland. He has the body of a man, the head of a goat and the thick, curled horns of a ram. Somehow, I know that his name is the Pentachrist. It’s as if he’s warning me in the dream that he is coming.
Every time I have the dream, I wake up in a cold sweat, but over time I feel less scared in the wasteland. I begin to explore. I learn new things. I learn that when the Pentachrist finds a portal, or a gate, or whatever he needs to cross over into our world, he will bring about the apocalypse.
I realize that I’m not alone in the wasteland. There are other humans there, four others, spread out and very far away from me. We can see each other – just barely – but we’re much too far away to communicate, and the wasteland is deceptively large. I want to reach them but I can’t.
One day, it hits me, a realization that should have seemed obvious but never was: these four other people, they are real. They exist, in the waking world, just like I do. They are also having the dream. If I can’t cross the wasteland and speak to them in the dream, I should find them in real life. Perhaps together, we can find out why this is happening to us. I start to search for them when I’m awake. They could be anywhere.
The second realization comes more slowly. That the five of us are the only ones who can stop the Pentachrist. We are having this dream because we are, somehow, “chosen”. He is warning us that he is coming, but he is keeping us apart in his wasteland because he knows we can stop him. If we find each other in the waking world, the five of us can form the five points of his pentagram, and we can stop him from coming into existence. We are the only ones who can save the world.
Note #2: I posted this dream (in brief) on Twitter and my friend Daniel Cockburn read it and then thought about it and came up with a complete narrative, fleshing out the bits I dreamt and giving it a great ending. I liked his take a lot!
Dream #2 (August 2013)
I am staring at the night sky, looking for constellations I recognize. I see the Big Dipper, and Cassiopeia, my favourite. Suddenly, I see two glowing stars in the sky. They are looking at me. Their gaze is piercing. A voice whispers in the wind “when you see his eyes in the sky, he is coming”. The voice doesn’t need to tell me who it is referring to. I know it is the Pentachrist.
Dream #3 (October 2013)
This dream is about linguistics – morphology. We are analyzing root words, morphemes, the smallest units of syntax, of language.
We are analysing the root “pen”.
I am writing with a pencil.
I draw a circle with the pencil I am holding. I draw a star inside the circle.
A weird feeling bunches up in my stomach. I regret drawing the pentagram. I have unleashed something. Something that is like a coven of witches, but more abstract. Ghost witches. Witch spirits. They are bringing a message.
He is coming.
So, what should I do? Write a script or novel or something because it might make a good scary movie, or start preparing for the apocalypse because the joke will be on me when the dreams turn out to be a real warning that I’ve been ignoring for a couple of years now?
This is the dream I had on the night of October 10th, 2013.
There’s a young woman who is studying to be a lawyer. She lives with her family and they are looking for a bigger place to live in. The law firm where she may end up working, or perhaps the law firm where her father (also a lawyer) works, has a huge office space that’s not being used at the moment. It’s a beautiful, large, multi-room corner office. They can move in there, even though just outside their doors is a sea of cubicles and busy secretaries. The girl is very happy. The girl also has a best friend, who is kind of quiet and withdrawn. And really, this dream is about the best friend.
There is a statue in town, a big monument to a mythical creature who once upon a time saved the town. The creature is a hunter, but also a bear. It’s a big bear with a bow and arrow. In the statue, the bear has a bow slung across his body, holds an arrow in his paw, and wears an eye patch. The law student’s best friend really, really hates the statue, and refuses to go to that part of town. On this particular day, the law student tricks her, telling her that they’re really going somewhere else, where there’s a surprise waiting for her, in order to get her, blindfolded, into the square where the statue is. It’s a port city, and the statue is at the end of a long boardwalk along the sea, which is very turbulent and dramatic.
The statue is huge, at least 30 feet high. The two girls stand in front of it and the law student takes off her best friend’s blindfold. The best friend looks up at the towering bear and bursts into tears. “Why do you hate the bear?” asks the law student, and the best friend crumples to the ground and says “I will tell you my story”.
It turns out that the best friend is not just a quiet, mousy, plain girl at all. She is actually a princess. Her family used to rule this entire land until the day they were torn apart by a terrible secret. You see, the royal family were also hunters, just like the bear. They were hunters who hunted with bows and arrows, and during the terrible battle in which the bear saved the town, one of them mistakenly shot him – right in the eye. That’s why the statue of the bear wears an eye patch. It was all her family’s fault. The bear saved them all, and they killed him. It was an accident, but still. It tore the family apart. And ever since then she’s been living as a plain, mousy girl in town and hiding the fact that she really used to be a princess.
The law student is shocked! She can hardly believe that her friend is a princess. But the princess isn’t done telling her story yet. Her family has another secret. It’s even more shocking than the fact that they killed the bear who saved the town.
The royal family are also shape shifters. And the princess is the most skilled, the very best shape shifter of them all. She is so talented, it’s astonishing. She can become absolutely anything. Suddenly, the law student sees her plain, mousy friend in a new light. She’s not plain at all. She’s beautiful. She’s more beautiful than the law student is, which is a little bit difficult for the law student to accept, but she swallows her pride, because after all, the princess is her best friend.
The princess smiles. She’s so happy to have told her story to someone. She feels unburdened. Her face lights up and she really does look beautiful. The two girls leave the square arm in arm.
But the question remains: was the bear who saved the town really a bear who happened to be a skilled archer, or was he a member of the shape shifting royal family, and if so, why did his own flesh and blood kill him?