Yesterday before dawn I had a vivid dream which has stayed with me. These are the details:
The point of view is mine when standing in front of the living room window overlooking the downtown Los Angeles skyline. I am on the twenty-fourth floor and can see clearly the Eastern and Bendix buildings and, more closely, the FIDM campus.
It is day time. The sky is clear and bright. In the distance, there is a young woman in a long, black, hooded robe on the back of a horse. Instead of a saddle she is sitting on a broom. The top of the broom seems to have merged with the back of the horse’s head. The bottom of the broom lies above the horse’s tail. The horse is shiny black. The mane and the tail are a different shade of black but no less dramatic.
When I first see the woman on the horse, she is galloping over the roof of a building near the Eastern. Because of the distance between us she and the horse seem no more than a few inches in length, width, and height. The woman is bent forward so that her chest is lost in the flowing mane. The horse is fast and fearless, as it approaches the edge of the building. The horse leaps over the edge and glides toward another rooftop.
I do not see the horse land upon another roof, for the building toward which it is headed is obstructed by a nearer building. Nevertheless, within moments, I see the same horse leap from a different building also near the Eastern and glide toward one closer to the Bendix. Interestingly, it juts out its forward hooves like it is using them subtly to steer its flight through the wind. The horse is arching downward ever so slightly, so it will need to land soon enough to be saved from a tailspin into the ground.
The horse lands successfully on a rooftop. Without stopping to rest, it gallops around the perimeter, while the hooded woman sits upright and proud on her broom. This is when I can see that she is wearing black gloves and tugging subtly on reins. Though she and the horse remain only a few inches tall, because of the distance from my vantage point, I am able to see her studying the skyline. She is determining where to jump next.
When she has made her determination, she leans forward, and the horse makes a sprint for the edge. She must have miscalculated the distance, though, for this time the horse starts to tailspin toward the ground before reaching another building. The woman leans in such a way as to guide the horse into a more controlled spin. The horse juts over its forward hooves and looks around for something on which to land before barreling into the populated streets below. At this point, the woman and horse are somewhere in the air between the USC building and the intersection of Olympic and Figueroa.
The skyline changes, and now there is a tall skyscraper with a narrow top very similar to the Empire State Building. At the last moment, the horse barely manages to grab onto the thin ledge that forms a square around the pole at the top of the building. The horse stops, for there is no room up there to move.
Now, the point of view changes. Instead of watching this from a considerable distance, I am up close. I am either standing on the ledge with them, or I am floating in the air just a few feet in front of the ledge. I watch the woman disembark carefully from the horse. Because the winds are so powerful up there, she ties the reins firmly to the pole. As she stands on the edge, the gusts snap her robe every which way, and yet all the while she remains hooded and her face obscured. She leans on the ceiling glass of the penthouse. She studies the penthouse to see if there is anyone inside. The penthouse is dark. There is no one in there, and yet she starts to pound the glass anyway. She is not trying to get anyone’s attention, so much as breaking the glass with her palm and forcing herself and her horse into the space beneath her.
I awaken before finding out if she and her horse make it inside. This dream inspired me to write “Witch Horse” later that same morning.