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16: Paul's Dream
Chapter Sixteen: Paul's Dream

"Calling out her name I'm dreamin'
Reflections of a face I'm seein'
It's her voice
That keeps on haunting me..."

---Journey, "Send Her My Love"


Paul sat back comfortably in his chair---throne, rather. The cushions were of red velvet and the chair itself seemed to be made of some precious metal. He was in a really great mood and he thoroughly enjoyed the delicious breeze and the soft cushions.

John, George, and Ringo were sitting in chair-thrones identical to Paul's, but they were all chatting and laughing. Paul sat with his legs curled up and his head leaning on his arm. All of the chairs were side by side, in a straight line; he didn't bother to turn his head to see the others. He could hear their activities perfectly well.

These four chair-thrones were placed on a smooth, wide, white marble surface of an open courtyard. There were long, narrow steps, about three or four in all, that descended from the chair-thrones to a polished white and gray marble walkway. It did not spread out very far---Paul could see its end about thirty feet ahead of him. It disappeared from view then, but it did not stop going somewhere. It went down another flight of stairs to a place Paul wasn't very sure of. He only knew that the pathway lay out straight in front of him for thirty feet and then disappeared as it went down a flight of stairs.

It was daylight, but he could not see the sun. It was quite hazy, which accounted for the sun's invisibility. It was also quite warm, but comfortably so.

Behind the four chair-thrones was a mass of white clouds and they bordered their chairs and the walkway as well. At the path's thirty-foot mark was a rather thick cover of clouds---almost like a hedge---that ran along the side.

It was like...Heaven, maybe?

Paul still leaned his head on his hand and with his other hand drummed a beat on his folded knee.

The light step of an approaching person sounded out in the midst of the laughter of his three friends. The person came into view, climbing the stairs, and was soon at the foot of the stairs that were in front of Paul. The stranger was a young girl.

He knew her, of course. He knew her well.

She was dressed in a white gown that fell in graceful, generous folds about her slender young form. Her dark, thick abundance of hair fell about her face, lightly brushing her faintly pink-pearl hued cheeks. Her eyes were a brilliant, warm golden-brown, fringed with rather long, curling, black lashes that almost touched her golden-peach skin. Her eyes were beautiful and dreamy and hinted at the thoughts and dreams of the soul in the form he now beheld.

He said her name in greeting. She looked up at him with a friendly expression, though her dark beauty wreathed her glance in mystery and dreamy loveliness.

Her voice, soft and low, though accustomed to speaking both loudly and quietly, called out a cordial return greeting and her cherry-red lips smiled at him.

All of a sudden she cried out as if in pain and the laughter of the other three stopped. Paul cried out her name and started up in his chair.

She didn't answer. She was not looking at him. She was putting her hands to her heart and looking at her chest with an odd expression. She drew her hands away and watched their path as she lifted them.

They were covered in blood.

The place she had touched on her chest was now deepening in its wetness. Dark crimson steadily spread across her white dress.

By this time, all four were on their feet and rushing to her, but her eyes rolled in her head and she fell, lying in a crumpled white-and-red heap. Her blood now spilled from her freely, beginning to expand in pools on the white marble floor.

John and Paul both knelt at either side of her and each took one of her bloody hands. Paul smoothed her hair from her white face. Her eyes were closed and she looked like she was only reposing in peaceful, untroubled slumber.

Suddenly her eyes opened. John released her hand in surprise, but Paul held on tightly. He said her name. She smiled weakly and then was shaken by some unseen force. More blood issued forth and Paul felt it seep into his clothes from where he knelt. Her eyes were fixed on Paul's unseeingly. Her lips parted slowly and she said,

"Blessed are ye that attempt'st this mission
But though thou crusad'st for Time,
thou hast none to spare.
Make haste, my worthy gentlemen!
My time draws near.
Life may leave you---
Before she ever arrives!"

She coughed and droplets of blood flew from her mouth onto Paul's face.

"Hold on!" he whispered. "Please, love, hold on!"

The dying girl took her hand from his and touched his face. She then smiled at him and Death drew a veil over her brilliant eyes.

Her hand slipped from his face and beads of her blood slid down his brow, blending with his tears.

"No!" Paul shouted. "No! C'mon love, one more breath! Please!"

"Paul!" came John's voice.

"No, John!" Paul screamed back, crying. "She's---no---she's---"

"Paul!" It was John again but he spoke fiercely this time. "Paul, open your eyes!"

He obeyed. And the scene vanished before his eyes.

He was in his bed, clutching his blankets tightly, his face flushed and sticky with crying. Three anxious faces peered into his.

There were no thrones. The heavenly setting was gone.

There was no girl.

And her blood was not warm on his face. Those were only his tears.

It was all a dream.

Only a dream.

Or was it?

The angels had made sure the little house in the Field was not bereft of any necessities and because of this, John was able to make a pot of tea, a cup of which he gave to Paul.

Paul accepted the drink quietly but his eyes did not move from the spot on which they were fixed.

"Paul, are you all right?" John asked softly. The others seated themselves silently around the small table.

Paul's eyes finally lifted to John's. His gaze was blank and John felt a pang of terror---was this a relapse of Paul's illness?

Paul looked away for a moment as he sipped his tea and it seemed to bring a little colour back into his white face. He met John's eyes again and the blankness was gone.

"Paul?" Ringo asked.

Paul moved his head in Ringo's direction, but stared absent-mindedly into his cup.

"I'm sorry, mates," he said at last. "I had a dream---listen and I'll tell you about it."

"Okay," John agreed.

"We were in a cloudy place---like Heaven in the movies, you know?---and we were sitting on thrones. Four thrones, in a straight line. You guys were talking and I was just sitting, you know, relaxing. Then this girl walked up---she was very young and quite lovely. She couldn't have been more'n fifteen or sixteen, now that I think about it. Dark hair, dark eyes---" Paul didn't see Ringo start at this juncture; he went on with his story. "She had this kind of mysterious, maybe ethereal, beauty to her. Thin, maybe about Ringo's height. And her eyes!---big, dark, and bright. They were like stars---luminous, dreamy, just starry..." Paul closed his own bright eyes as if to picture hers. "I said hi, I think, and in my dream, we knew her. We knew her well. Anyway, she came up to talk to me---or us---and then she yelled and stopped walking all of a sudden."

"Why?" Ringo asked, seeing Paul stop to take a sip of his tea.

"I don't know what happened, but she put her hands to her heart and when she took them away, they were bloody. She was wearing a white dress and the whole front of it was soaked. We ran to her, but---" Paul paused to take a breath. It was a much shaken Paul who resumed. "Her eyes rolled 'round her head and she fell, still bleeding. We were there with her, but she was already dead. John, you and I each took one of her and then she opened her eyes! And smiled! You let go, but I held on. Then she started saying,

"'Blessed are ye that attempt'st this mission
But though thou crusad'st for Time,
thou hast none to spare.
Make haste, my worthy gentlemen!
My time draws near.
Life may leave you---
Before she ever arrives!'"

And then she smiled at me and put one of her bloody hands up to my face and then---was gone." Paul again looked away, not wanting to see mockery laughing cruelly at him from their eyes.

There was none. He glanced at them and found that they were all white.

"Another verse for that poem," John murmured. "Paul, you weren't dreaming. You just had a damn vision. How does it feel?"

Paul smiled weakly and then looked at George and Ringo.

"Oh---the verse---the blood---symbolism at its finest," George said softly, in response to Paul's gaze.

"Ringo? Why are you so pale?"

"The girl you've dreamt of," Ringo replied quietly, "is the girl we're supposed to be with."

"Are you certain?" John demanded.

"Damn straight. It's her. You saw her, Paul. I know that was her---I caught a glimpse of her once back in London, when the Voices visited me in the woods out in Weybridge."

"So that's the girl. Why are you still so white, Ring?" George asked.

Ringo forced himself to meet their eyes, even the shaken Paul's.

"Maybe this will ring a bell," he said, and recited:

"Be aware! Death may stalk this child
And your help and love may help you naught.
Defend her with your lives
(As you value your own)
And so shall she for you..."

He took a deep breath and went on, "As we value our lives, we'll protect her, remember? And our help and love might not even help. Didn't the voices say once that if she died, so did we? What happened to her in Paul's dream?"

The full meaning of what he was saying hit the other three Beatles with such force that they were literally shaken in their chairs.

"What have we done---what have we done?" cried George in tortured agony. "How could we have killed her so soon? Do we really have no chance at all at this thing? Are we doing something wrong?" His reverent reserve broke and he ran to the door and flung it open. He stood on the porch, making himself a target for any possible lightning-bolts, and shouted,

"Hey! Adriana! Alexander! You up there! What did we do? Get yer---" he choked and said, "Get down here now!"

"You think that'll do anything, George?" John called to him. "George, come in."

George obeyed, after a quick scan of the sky for traces of angels or the Aurora. He shut the door behind him and faced the others.

"We haven't killed her---yet," Paul said, so softly that the others almost didn't hear him. "But we need to hurry. We don't have time to rest anymore. We'll conjure up the Timepool---we've got to hurry." They all looked like they were on the point of saying something disagreeable, but Paul cut them off: "Look, I know the girl now. I've seen her, though the images are starting to fade fast---but I know her. I'm responsible for her now, and so are all of you. If you don't want to go, suit yourselves, but I'm going---I'm going to save her and all of you, with or without your help."

"He's really smitten, isn't he?" George murmured teasingly, but Paul turned to him with passionate eyes.

"There's not a bit of infatuation involved here," he said with dignity. "Someone as young as she is and with such soulful eyes---Damn it all, I love her! And I'm going to save her!"

"Not yet you're not," John said suddenly. "You've been so shaken by that vision that I fear you're unwell."

Paul stared at him. John smiled back playfully, but then turned serious.

"Paul, c'mon. Rest a little longer, and then we'll try to go. That dream really has drained you and you can't save anyone like that. Please, Paul." I don't want you getting sick again, he added in his mind.

"All right, John. For your sake, and hers and theirs, I will." You bugger.

Oh, c'mon, it's not as bad as all that. We can't go anywhere anyway. How could we open the Timepool?

I know. But I couldn't just stand there---I saw her lying there---Paul relayed the images of the girl into all of their minds.

"Yes, yes, we see, Paul," Ringo said, "but where's her face? I can only see the shape of it and her hair---yes, but her face is foggy. I can't quite make it out."

John nodded in agreement and George said, "Maybe that's because we aren't ready for it yet."

"George," John answered, "that's the most intelligent thing you've said all day!"

Chapter Seventeen

Copyright 1999, 2000, 2001, etc.

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