From the Workbook of Interpretation of Dreams: Reading Comprehension
The snake was deadly, that much you knew. And so once your hand had seized it just below its spear-point head—your arm an impromptu Taser wire—you could not let go.
Most of the dream was the tedious, fear-soaked sequence of your wandering, my god, so many stairs you climbed (the stone staircase you remember from a castle, once, in Ireland; the flagstones in the shrubby vacant lot next door to your childhood house; broad steps down to some riverfront market crowded with the innocent, their Bruegellian laughter and the smell of baking sweets). You kept the snake gripped tight. You knew you’d have to try to kill it. In fact, you’d evidently tried already, since at one point the snake was—still tight in your grip—wrapped in a plastic baggie, contusions and protruding snake-bones showing where you must have hammer-smashed it, yet still it lived.
When the snake escaped—inevitably! Anyone could have seen this coming!—you were left, quite literally, holding the bag. You knelt to pry up the wooden planking and discovered, there beneath the weathered boardwalk, an extravagance of them, a serpentine miscellany, among which the lithe body of your personal responsibility had settled in to wait you out.
By the time you wake, you’ll have forgotten where the snake first appeared. The animal’s name is gone as well, and now, in the gray light of your waking, the vanished memory rattles you, and each attempt to call it back whets this truth: a malignant knowledge-of-forgetting has replaced the neural imprints of the facts themselves.