Dream of: 16 June 1996 "Church-Like Castle"

I was undergoing military training, dressed in brown camouflage fatigues. Several other people with whom I had become friends, dressed the same way, were going through the training with me. At present we were learning how to swim through icy water with all our clothes on.

While I was swimming in the frigid water, I wondered if I should kick off my shoes. I knew my shoes were weighing me down and I would be able to swim much better if I would dispose of them. Nevertheless I decided to keep them on, and I just kept swimming the best that I could.

Suddenly I noticed that one of my companions was having problems, almost as if he had had a heart attack. He was an older man, probably in his 50s, and looked just like Jack Lemmon. I immediately became concerned because I had come to especially like this man. Although the others and I hurriedly managed to pull the man from the water, once he was back on shore, he appeared to be in rather bad shape. I was unsure he would even survive. He was taken away and the rest of us were left there.

I felt shaken to have lost a friend, and for a moment I felt as if I weren't going to be able to continue. But then I knew I had to go on, and in fact, I now felt stronger than ever.

I knew we had to make five runs through the icy water, and that we were getting ready to start the fourth run. I stood on the rim of the water and looked out into it. I was standing on concrete such as on the edge of a pool. But the water in front of us didn't look like a pool. Instead there were several lanes of water, each lane separated by concrete walls which rose just above the level of the water, each lane about ten feet wide. The walls were all chipped and dirty, and the whole place seemed rather run down. As I looked down the length of the lane in front of me, I couldn't see where it ended. I only knew I must jump into the freezing water and swim down the length.

There was no set order as to who would swim first, and we were all a bit hesitant. But suddenly I realized I had no fear, and there was no point in wasting any more time. With as much strength as I could muster I leapt feet first as far out as I could into the dark water, crashed beneath the surface and plummeted toward the bottom. As I sank, I could feel the weight of all my clothes dragging me down, and I knew I was going to have difficulty rising back to the surface. But I had a plan in mind. I thought I would let myself sink all the way to the bottom (hoping I hadn't miscalculated and that I would indeed reach the bottom) and then I would use all my force to kick myself back up to the surface. And with great relief – my air running out – I felt my feet finally touch down on the bottom. Again I mustered my strength and kicked myself back toward the surface. However my ascent was much slower than I had anticipated, and only after a painfully long time did I finally break through to the air.

Once on the surface, I now felt in control. I began swimming along my lane, noting that the water didn't even feel cold to me anymore. In fact I wanted to go faster, but my way was blocked by four or five people swimming in my way. I thought if they would just get out of my way, I could start kicking myself off the walls on each side of the lane, thrusting myself in a zigzag motion down the lane, propelling myself along as fast as possible.

But just as I finally managed to get past the people in front of me (a couple of which vaguely seemed like midgets), the lane ended. Before me I saw the lane of water emptying into a calm pool-like area of greenish, stale-looking water. But it wasn't the water ahead of me which so much caught my attention as something over to my left. To my left was another lane of water – the fifth lane, the last lane I would need to swim to complete my training. But what captured my attention was something on the other side of the fifth lane: a large building made of rusty red stone, a gigantic building, a building which I could only think of as some kind of castle (but which in some way also reminded me of a church). It appeared that the lanes of water which we had been swimming surrounded the castle, like a moat, and that when we finally swam down the fifth lane, we would be able to enter the castle.

As I stared over at the spires of the fascinating building, I heard a voice, obviously referring to the edifice, ask, "Do you want to go to Enchantmentville?"

I wondered exactly what was inside this mysterious building. Whatever it was, I was sure I wanted to go.

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