“And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams.”
In a medium-sized, yet growing, Pennsylvania hamlet, the black print on the rippled glass window of a heavy oaken door read:
Dr. Evan Blakely, Psy.D.,
Three weeks ago, the doctor was about to put a permanently closed sign on that door and search for another way to make a living; the availability of online resources and cheap phone apps made his business of dream interpretation therapy “virtually” unnecessary. Suddenly, however, his business had been swamped; now, he rarely took lunches and his office was booked solid from open to close; the thought had crossed his mind on more than one occasion to hire an assistant, but a subordinate might compromise his long-established psychological therapeutic methods.
Prior to this unexpected surge of patients, he’d often found himself sitting alone in his office “reviewing” old cases. To be clear, Evan Blakely was neither moral nor ethical; in particular, he saved the hidden camera video he recorded of many of his patients for his own personal pleasure. His favorites were his more attractive clients, both female and male, who had described their dreams of being naked in public, and more times than one would expect, he’d been able to coax these vulnerable people into reenacting their nocturnal sexual visions to “help them overcome their fears of imperfection.” Needless to say, Evan considered himself extra fortunate when given the chance to “physically participate” in their healing, and he was always on the lookout to expand upon his forbidden collection.
Unfortunately, in his mind, none of the plethora of patients he’d recently seen had presented such dreams of nudity or infidelity. In fact, there was a total of zero of the more common dreams of falling, indicating something in the patient’s life was not going well, or flying, which could either indicate freedom and independence or a desire to escape. Not a single dream of dying or drowning; instead they were all experiencing bursts and flashes of unusual imagery sometimes creating hallucinations that he’d never before encountered.
The first patient that had walked through his door at the beginning of the influx had been a promising prospect; she was a pretty, middle-aged, redheaded, Irish lass dressed in a tight-fitted nurse’s uniform. Doctor Blakely would have given almost anything to find out if she was a true ginger, but it wasn’t in the cards. Instead, she described to him her recurring nightmare, which was nothing more than her boss, the supervising physician of her nightshift, staring into her soul with eyes that blazed with a consuming fire.
He’d tried to explain the dream as her insecurity and perhaps a secret desire for a deeper relationship with her superior, but she was unconvinced, and after seeing at least two dozen other patients with similar visions, he found himself in agreement. Sometimes a patient would see the vision of a manager, or parent, or priest, but each person described the same penetrating and flaming gaze. One man even said he saw the aspect of an albino lion with fiery eyes and a snow white mane. His customers were all ages, all genders, and all races; it wasn’t so much a mass psychosis, but more like a shared delusion, and if he could definitively figure out what it truly meant, he stood to make a fortune; then he could afford to buy his fantasies instead of manipulating the susceptible.
The second week of the surge, Doctor Blakely treated a Native American stock-trader who’d related a story of seeing a white Ferrari parked in his driveway; the vision was so real that the man claimed to have physically seen the car after waking, but when he opened the garage door it was gone. A dream of sudden wealth or riches was slightly more familiar to the psychiatrist, and usually meant the dreamer was afraid of a suffering economy, which was highly understandable with the recent fluctuations of the markets. Indeed, over the past several weeks he’d seen multiple people with similar visions of new homes, new vehicles, or even of becoming royalty. A fat, elderly, Jamaican woman had dreamed of being a queen and wearing a magnificent golden crown. Sadly, he had to inform her that she most likely wouldn’t find herself unexpectedly rich, and after she got his bill it would no doubt disappoint her further.
As Evan sat alone after hours at his office desk, he tried to make some shred of sense out of the last three weeks, but he couldn’t quite get his last patient’s dream out of his mind; it had been by far the strangest case yet. The old pale Asian man had shuffled into his office and lowered his frail body into the reclining patient’s chair before revealing that every night for the past seven days he’d had a lurid vision of vomiting swords. Except he hadn’t called it a vision, he’d used the word “revelation.” It made a bit more sense to Evan once he’d found out that the wizened man had, as a young man, been employed as a circus sword-swallower. Still, it was so unlike any of the other cases.
Suddenly, Evan kicked himself for being so stupid as to assume that all of these cases could even be tied together. To ease his mind, he leaned his fifty-five-year-old frame back in his comfortable leather chair and navigated to his secret folder of videos on his laptop to begin playing one of his favorites from the mid-nineties. On his screen, the buxom blonde slowly disrobed and folded her shirt, skirt, and underclothing, to place them in a neat pile on his desk. Her long tresses subtly covered her ample chest; her hair was feathered and parted in the middle, clearly a fashion hold-over from the nineteen-eighties.
The doctor found himself back inside his body from long ago, and his older hand mimicked the motion of his younger hand which directed his patient to pull back her hair. Before the camera could reveal her glory, a knock came on his office door, which quickly snapped Evan back into the present.
“Hello? Doctor Blakely? Are you still open?” It was a woman’s voice behind the wavy glass.
The doctor closed his laptop and got up to unlock the oaken door. When he opened it, he set his eyes on a frazzled mother who held her little girl by her petite shoulders. The brunette second-grader wore a flowered red dress and she clutched a little white leatherette book in her tiny hands. “Actually, I’m closed but if you come back in the morning, I may be able to fit you in around nine or nine-thirty.”
“Please doctor, can’t you just see my daughter now?” the woman begged.
Evan Blakely raised an eyebrow in contemplation, ‘Even with her slightly graying hair, this woman has a rather alluring and athletic build…she must do yoga...but what would we do with the child?’ He laughed to himself thinking, ‘Well, it wouldn’t be the first time a child was present for one of my sessions…we’ll figure something out.’
“Does that laugh mean yes or no?” the woman seemed confused.
“I’m sorry, yes, come in and tell me about your problem.” Doctor Blakely apologized, welcoming them both to take a seat.
The woman didn’t sit, but the girl climbed into the reclining patient’s chair as her mother spoke, “Tell the doctor about your dreams, honey.”
“It’s no biggie. Every night, my father brings me a white pony,” the girl stated matter-of-factly.
“It’s no biggie?” her mother countered. “Even if your deadbeat father didn’t put that hopeless dream into your mind, you have to know that you’re not getting a pony. Doctor, please tell us, what could the dream mean? Hopefully it doesn’t really mean her father is giving her a horse; he knows we can’t afford a horse…”
The woman continued to drone on about her ex-husband but Doctor Blakely didn’t hear her, because the words…white pony…white Ferrari…white horse…repeated ad nauseam in his analytical mind. Peering at the book in the child’s hands, something percolated to the surface from his days long ago in parochial school. Snatching the pocket-sized book from the girl, he opened it revealing the words, “New Testament Bible.”
Flipping to the back he stopped when he saw the word “Revelation;” it was the same word that the old circus performer had used. He then paged forward until he found a section labeled “The Rider on a White Horse” and began reading:
“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems…he is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.”
His reading was interrupted by shouts and screams from outside his office. Throwing down the little girl’s holy book, Doctor Evan Blakely rushed outside and into the street. He looked up into the sky along with the throngs of people doing likewise, and in the setting sun he witnessed the spitting image of the being described in both the little white book and in the various dreams of his patients. The deity’s fireball eyes cut through all of the doctor’s lies, and laid bare his disingenuous and fruitless life.
There was no doubt in Evan’s condemned mind that the little girl’s “Father” was indeed going to give her a white pony. The sullied and depraved doctor closed his eyes and wished he was dreaming when the omnipotent figure spoke in a voice like the roar of rushing waters and the vision became an unescapable reality:
“Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great!”
Dr. Evan Blakely, Psy.D., Dream Specialist, was out of business…forever.