I was walking down a lane with four other people behind me, whom I presumed to be my family. How I am unable to recognize them, I have no idea, nor any recollection of some strange incidents that might had happened. It was already dark, yet the hands of my watch showed that it was just a few minutes past four in the evening.

The lane was deserted; there were only the five of us making a rhytmic sound as our shoes pattered the sidewalk. The lane itself was not small; four cars can pass each other quite freely. It was sloping downwards, or at least I (we?) was heading down. There were houses of different sizes to my left and right, each was different in size but appeared to share a common design language. By the looks of it, I was in the quiter part of an Asian town, with Japan being my first and most confident guess. Ask me which part of the country I was in though, and I can only return a blank stare. Tokyo? Sapporo? Hokkaido? I could not at all tell since I have never been there, but there was this fleeting feeling that I was indeed in Japan, and that something, something, was very wrong. The sky was terribly dark the moment these thoughts came to me. It looked like a torrent could pour at any moment.

My feet kept walking down on their own as I started to ponder the queerness of the situation I suddenly found myself in. I was carrying a backpack, the one that I usually use when travelling short periods. I wanted to check whether my companions (for the lack of a better word, I dare not say ‘family’ just yet) had something that might indicate that we were indeed travelling, but I found that I could not turn my head to look back. No, when I now reflect, at the time I did not even felt the desire to look back. It was as if the walk had been pre-arranged, a properly scheduled affair that my conciousness felt nothing amiss.

Suddenly, and I mean suddenly, a man flew by me, his elbow barely grazed mine in his haste. He wore a layered outfit, not formal enough to call a suit however, and bore a hat. My quick look at his face revealed a hardened face, decorated with lines that led me to believe he was in his fifties. The instance I saw him, something tugged my mind, and I know I had to see him, to ask him an important question. Quick, or it is lost, I remembered thinking.

I then tried to call to him. I say tried because that was precisely what I did: I tried, but no sound would come to me. It was not that my mouth was sealed; I can move them alright, but could not seemed to summon the will to call out. It felt like I was no longer in command of what I do. I still retain my faculties, like opening my jaw or choosing where to see. But I cannot interfere with bigger moves, like how fast I walked, or the direction I am taking. It felt like my being, with the exception of my mind, had become a vehicle of a story. I was present not to participate, only to spectate. Indeed, just a few moments later I found myself thinking, I need to stop him, fast, do something! Then I yelled with all the energy I could muster.

Ooi! Nani mono nanda?!

I was startled. Not only was I shouting in Japanese, the words themselves are not something you say when you want to catch up to a stranger. The man did not stop, nor indicate in any way that he had heard me. I, however, knew that he in fact had. The man reached a crossroad and took a left turn. My pace quickened.

Taking the left turn, I saw the man entered a house, the kind of house that doubles as a small shop, selling sweets and basic necessities. Not that there was anyone to sell to. I reached the house, barely registering that my four companions were still tailing me, and saw a small bamboo ramp welcomed me. I climbed up. Rain started to pour just as I went in the front door.

When inside, I look around to inspect my surrounding. Tatami style floor, a low table in the centre, with slide doors to indicate the perimeters of the square room. But I came to realize these details later, as for the moment my attention was fixed on a little girl in kimono, staring straight at me. She was young, barely ten years of age by my guess, and did not seem to wonder about me barging through her front door.

“…baba ga imasuka?” I found myself asking, with reserve and hesitation in my voice. Again, the words flew out just like that. And a wrong sentence too. I was not asking about the man.

Dia ada di dalem,” she answered without skipping a beat, her head made a little gesture to the door on her right. By now I was positively, hillariously, confused. Did she just answered in my native tounge?

Then silently, like a practiced play, the door slid open, revealing the man still in his peculiar outfit. I could now see that he wore glasses; frameless, but quiet thick, yet did nothing to shield me from his sight. Those eyes bore heavily on me, scrutinizing me like I was an escapee of some heavy tragedy.

“Very well,” he started, “I will tell you.” At this point, I was not even sure what language he spoke to me in, but for all I know I could understand the words he said very clearly.

I would very much like to know what happened next, but unfortunately here I must interject and conclude, since that was all I heard before conciousness took me back. Thus I note down this queer dream that I had, finished 22.25, 30th December 2014.