I actually read her diary, after I found her body. I wanted to know why her hair had turned white as she went off to the other realm. Wouldn’t you? I had to know… Her hair had been salt and pepper, but now was white. Pure white.
My gram was in pretty good health for her age and she didn’t actually have anything that should have killled her. She wasn’t that old either.
And when they did the post mortem, they couldn’t find any reasons for this sudden unattended death. They even checked for unusual poisons.
In the diary, I found she had had a recurring nightmare. And as she described it, I was scared. So I cannot imagine feeling paralyzed as I viewed it in my mind. I’d have been horrified as well.
The same thing happened over and over. She was in a black carriage, with four black horses running. There were other women with her and they were all frightened. Panicked actually. They kept looking behind them as masked riders chased the carriage they were in. Masked riders; some with rifles, some with sabers and some with tomahawks.
Gram wrote that the ladies knew this gang was one that kidnapped women and ransomed them back to their families or villages. And if they didn’t get the price sent, the kidnappers sent back a token body part to prove they had had the woman in question. Sometimes a finger with a telling ring on it. Sometimes a breast with a family brooch on it. And sometimes they scalped the woman, if they didn’t think she’d suit their later purpose.
Which was to sell them to high bidders in foreign countries as sex slaves. Which might be as a “wife” or concubine to some rich man. It might also be as a prostitute for sailors. Depending where they thought they could get the most money.
Gram’s dream was all about the fear of what these men intended. And the fact she knew she was alone in the world. That her village was poor and wouldn’t likely pay out for her.She had no special skills the village needed enough that she couldn’t easily be replaced.
And gram thought she looked decent enough in a skirt. But she was hardly a rich man’s idea of beauty and grace. So if she had any future, it would be as a sailor’s port toy. And it would have been unendurable to gram.
I mean she wasn’t a prude, but the thought of many hands making light with her curves and perhapes torturing her? Yeah gram said she felt shame at just the thought.
Each night gram said in her diary that she saw more and more detail. Riders’ faces, carriage emblems, tree limbs and their hoary trunks… And her fear built.
She had heard of lucid dreaming where you can convince yourself to wake during a dream. And she tried so hard to do it. But it added a weird dimension to it. She heard herself say “wake up” and beg herself to rouse. But it was like she was watching herself get taken down by these riders. And not able to do anything. She was doubly helpless.
She finally got to the point where she was sold and the sailors had her in their bordello. They were about to enjoy her….
That was her last entrance.
So my poor gram had been in a state of horror and fear. Helpless, unable to wake. And noone had come to her aid. She was now a prisoner to her nightmare. There was nothing she could do.
And in the dream, she didn’t know she was dreaming. It felt so real. She could hardly breathe. She felt her heart palpitate. Faster and faster. Till it skipped out of her chest.
And gram was gone.
I went to a local spiritualist and had them help me convince gram she was safe now. The sailors didn’t have her. And sent her off to the heaven that was this poor lady’s reward. So sad that she even knew such a thing had been possible. Because whatever else you may think…
you can only dream of what you know.