I would never have thought when I was a young woman taking psychology courses at university that I would end up like this – the proprietor and only staff of Madam Brianna Rue’s Dream Schemes. Here I sit, dressed for the part, like you would see in a movie, with a crystal ball placed on a small circular table, my chair across from that of my client-believer.
Psychology degree, no related work, long term employment as a cashier in a supermarket, replaced at 45 by self-service. My new ‘career’ began at a party. A drunken young woman, whom I had never met was talking quite loudly and tearfully about a deeply disturbing dream she had recently experienced. Feeling rather maternal at that point in time, I sat beside her, and asked her to tell me the dream from beginning to end.
It was a scary story to be sure. She was walking in some park in the evening. Then suddenly there was a storm complete with thunder and lightning. She saw that it was coming in her direction along a narrow path. So she took a sharp right 90 degree turn unto another path. The storm, particularly the lightning took the same turn and began to speed up, getting closer and closer to her. She then took another sharp turn onto a path that went the opposite direction to where she had been going in the first place. But the lightning made the same turn and increased its speed. It a matter of seconds, bam, crash, flash, it struck her. She then woke up breathing very deeply, her heartbeat racing.
I took her hands in mine and asked her the first question that came to my mind. “In your waking world, is there something or someone that you feel is pursuing you?” I didn’t take all those psych courses for nothing!
She thought as deeply as she could in her drunken state. Then a big ‘ah-ha’ came to her face, and she said. “It’s my mother. She never leaves me alone. She calls me almost every night. Visits me at least once every weekend. She keeps asking me “When are you going to settle down and get married to a ‘nice man’. When are you going to give me grandchildren? She is the lightning bolt in my life. Thank you so much for helping me understand my dream.”
And so it began. Other women at the party asked me to interpret their dreams, particularly their nightmares. I had never been so popular at a party. It wasn’t too long before I set up shop in my garage with Madam Brianna Rue’s Dream Schemes. The Madam Rue part came from the old song, “Love Potion Number Nine”.
A Sudden Change
Things were going well in an ordinary way before the sudden change. This serious shift began when a young woman named Ella came to me with a dream that really frightened her. In her words, “I needed to tell someone who wouldn’t think that I was completely crazy.”
She then told a harrowing tale which began with her driving on a road in town approaching the point where a train-track bridge crosses over where cars go through. She was just about a second away from that point when the bridge collapsed, taking the train with it. Both her and her car were crushed. She ended the story with the words “It felt just so incredibly real!!!
I went through one of my usual routines of asking her whether there was something that she was fearing, the end of a relationship perhaps, or being laid off from work, both horrible experiences of my own. She couldn’t think of anything at the time, but graciously said that she would give some thought to just such a possibility.
I did not put much thought into Ella’s dream after she left, hoping that she would return with a possible answer so that we could proceed further in working out the meaning it had for her. But two days later, the dream returned, but not with the same woman. A different client came in, saying that she had experienced a very scary dream. A few seconds after she began going through its plotline I recognized the story as an exact match for Ella’s dream. I asked her whether she knew anyone called Ella, and she said that she did not. I don’t generally believe in coincidences. Maybe both of these women have the same experience of driving under that bridge, and maybe they both have done so when a train passed over them. That is possible, I guess.
But it did not end there. I heard the same story the next day, and the woman who experienced it told me that she did not even know about the bridge, never having driven there. The road is not that often used. I could not come up with much to say to her. I was too stunned to explain. I doubt if she will ever again return to Madam Brianna Rue’s Dream Schemes.
That night it was difficult for me to sleep for wondering what was going on with three people experiencing the exact same dream. Was it some kind of weird coincidence? Was it some kind of plot to discredit me? I had no good idea what was going on.
It got worse. That night I had the dream, unfolding almost exactly like it had for the other three women. There was one difference, however. A few seconds after the crash, the dream started over again, with me driving towards the spot the same time as the train was. But this time I could not go under the tracks. An old truck was blocking the road. I had to stop. The train crashed, but it did not hit and crush my car or me. When I woke up, I knew what I had to do.
The train track crossing is not far from a place that sells very used cars and trucks. It is generally referred to in town as ‘the scrapyard’. When I was a teenager, my older brother taught me how to ‘hot wire’ a vehicle. It was kind of fascinating to me then, even though I never had to perform that particular mechanical operation. It was just a guilty pleasure to think about doing it.
I looked at the scrapyard’s website. It opened at nine o’clock. At six-thirty o’clock it was still fairly dark, so I snuck into the yard, hot-wired a truck that was not locked, and drove it onto the road, and parked it so that it blocked any vehicles from going under the tracks. Fortunately, I was able to accomplish this in only a few minutes, and no one was on the road just yet. I ran back to where I had hidden my car and drove quickly away.
As I got dressed in my dream interpreter costume, preparing for my few appointments for the day, the radio was on. On the eight o’clock news hour I heard that there had been a train wreck where we four women had said there would be. Fortunately, the engineer and crew were only bruised and a little battered, not seriously hurt. The police were still looking for the driver of the truck.