Change of Heart

My usual dreams are silent movies with little or no dialogue or sound track. But occasionally I experience a different kind of dream, almost all narration. This usually happens as I am in the twilight zone between sleeping and awakening. I often know I am dreaming, but voluntarily stay on the sleepy side of consciousness because I want to hear how the story turns out. I don’t know what the next scene or even word will be until I “hear” it from the dream narrator.

Recently I had such a dream. If you have any idea what it means, I would be curious to know. In the dream a man was telling a story. As I heard the story unfold I created pictures in my mind as one would do when reading or hearing a story. They were not created for me as in a movie or television show.

The man’s narration went like this.

“I was in an English pub. A man came up to me and said, ‘I just saw a horrible sight, the corpse of a man. In place of his eyes where gashes in the shape of an X. His mouth was one big x-shaped gash. He was an ugly wicked devilish looking specter. He had done a horrible thing to a child, and the people made him pay with his life in a terrible way.’

“When the man in the pub finished, I picked up my gold headed walking stick and walked out. There I met a beautiful little girl with her mother. The child was crying. Her cousin who looked like this child’s twin was missing. I gave the child a five dollar bill to help her feel better. She didn’t take it because it was too much money, and neither she nor her mother had change.

“I saw nearby a group of boys playing baseball. I had not played in years, but I used to be quite good. I joined the boys in their game, and played surprisingly well.

“After awhile I grew tired, but they encouraged me to keep playing as I was valuable to the team. Finally we all had had enough, and we stopped playing.

“I went into another pub or restaurant. I saw a large black man who appeared to be an American. I approached him and asked if he could change a five dollar bill. He said ‘No,’ but pointed out to me another man. ‘You need to talk with him,’ the big man said.

“I went up to the man, a conservatively dressed gentleman with dark hair, and a sober expression. I gave him my five dollar bill and asked him if he could give me change. Instead he pulled from his pocket a white handkerchief. He unwrapped the cloth, and inside was a small human heart still beating slowly. I shrank back disgusted. The man hurried away with my five dollars.

“I reported the event to a Bobby outside. The police officer told me to do my duty and find the man. I searched and found him in a panic in a train station. He said, ‘I gave your five dollars to a cabbie to bring me here. Now I have no money to escape on the train.’

“Distraught, he took me to a room and showed me the fresh corpse of a child. I was aghast. It was the cousin of the girl I had met. In place of her heart was an open bloody cavity. The man took another heart from his pocket wrapped in white cloth. It was larger than the one he had earlier shown me. It too was slowly beating.

“He said, ‘Let me tell you my story. I am a doctor. I learned that this child had a bad heart and would soon die. I found her, and removed her heart.’

“The man then gave me the beating heart he had shown me. He told me to put the heart in the child. He said it was his own heart. Then he died.

“I placed the heart gently in the open hole in the child’s chest and closed the wound as best I could. The child immediately opened her eyes, smiled, and became happy, bubbly, and alive.

“I turned to look at the dead man. In place of his eyes were slashed X marks. His mouth was a larger slashed X.”

Then the man telling the story in my dream concluded, “I pray God that before we judge another person’s actions we know his motives, and the result of what he has done.”

That was the end of the man’s story. I opened my eyes. During the dream I had been somewhat concerned that I would wake up and not hear the conclusion of the story. I was pleased that this did not happen.