Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Practical Magic: Memory is a Funny Thing 2 (Practical Magic #17)

They were starting their fourth session with Charles today. They had been moving very slowly and so far had only revealed more of the dream he was having before he robbed the store. Today they would be working toward the center of the previously completely blocked memory. Deidre was hopeful that today would be the day they would finally begin to see the shape of what was hidden in Charles’ memory. It had been a tedious process for her. Everyone else had been fascinated by the procedure. This was something that hadn’t been done before, that they hadn’t seen before. For Deidre it was just waiting. She wanted the information that Charles held trapped in his memory but the process of getting it out was of no interest to her. She was only interested in the last 15 minutes of her time here, the part where they all reconvened and the circle shared the next piece of memory to be uncovered. But even that had, so far, been of no use to her in uncovering what actually happened that night.

Charles still could remember falling asleep. As they uncovered the dream he was having he would recall bits of that, but they would fade quickly as dreams do when the dreamer wakes. But those that were sharing his memory were looking at it and would record their impressions after the session. They would also answer questions from Dot and Al about the process itself, how they were all feeling. Charles would be watched for the next 24 hours to ensure that he was having no ill effects on the rest of his memory from having so many people share his consciousness at one time and from having the block removed. The procedure was still exhausting to all parties involved and they felt that there was no safe way to move faster.

Which meant Deidre watched and waited. It was her duty and she was a professional so as soon as they started her focus was entirely on the people around her. Making sure everyone seemed to be doing what they were supposed to. Watching the people, watching the doors, listening for movement in the hallways. But when it was over and she was off duty she would admit it was her least favorite part of the day. Though she wished it was moving faster there was a part of her that was grateful to know the entire procedure from start to finish would take no more than an hour each time.

As she felt the magic lessen in the room and watched the circle begin to stir she was anxious to move along to the next portion, where she could finally hear what they had found. Looking at Deborah’s face she thought there must have been something new today. She seemed to be puzzled by something. Deidre was taking this as a good sign.

After they were all settled in the conference room Greg started by explaining where they had started that day and what they had done to remove the next portion of the block. He did this every session, they were recording all of this information for further studies and felt that all information could prove useful to someone. On this day that were closer to the center of the block than they had been. Working on the widest part of the ink spill in Charles’ mind they had succeeded in removing the very middle of the stain. They had been afraid that they would encounter more resistance here because it was the largest portion of the block but that had not proven out. This part lifted out much the same as the other pieces. They had worked carefully unraveling the memory from the block leaving the memory intact and accessible.

Deidre listened to all of the preliminary information as patiently as she could but was relieved when Deborah began to speak, “What we saw today was a continuation of the dream,” Deidre tried not to show the disappointment on her face, she had been so sure that there was something different this time, “however the dream has started to shift.”

“Started to shift? Do you mean a new dream is beginning or he is waking up?” Dot asked.

“We are just at the beginning edges of the shift and we should really know more next time, but it looks like a new dream, or a change in the dream he was having more correctly.”

“Charles, do you have anything to add?” Al directed the question at Charles not wanting it to seem as though they were discussing him like a lab rat and not an actual member of their society sitting right there in the room with them.

“I wish I did. When this portion started to be uncovered I had a fleeting glimpse of the dream. But it’s very hazy. I don’t really remember much about it. Maybe singing?”

“You were singing in the dream?” Al asked.

“No, I don’t think I was singing, I think I was listening. But it was brief and then it was gone.”

Deidre turned back to Deborah, “Do you have anything else about the shift? The new dream beginning? Your expression as you closed the circle seemed a little puzzled.”

“I don’t know what it means, and I don’t want to speak prematurely, and I’m not sure if Al or Joshua saw this as well, but it seems like the new dream Charles was starting he was going someplace. That’s what I think I saw right before we ended this session. I think I saw him dreaming of leaving.”

Deidre leaned back in her chair, “That is interesting. Charles, you said before you have no history of sleep walking, correct?”

“Yes, that’s right. I shared a room with my brother growing up he would have noticed if I did. I’ve never woken up in a strange place. I normally don’t even toss or turn much. I’m a pretty deep sleeper.”

Joshua nodded his head, “Yes that makes sense from what we’ve seen with his brain patterns. Solid sleeper, deep sleeper. I’ve not picked up anything in the dreams around this one to show anything unusual. I did not see what Deborah did, any details on the shifting dream as we were leaving, but I was focused on easing us out of his thoughts with as little damage as possible. I don’t see the dream memory as well as Deborah while we are working. We have to have an area cleared for me to focus on it, our gifts are different that way.”

Dot nodded, “That’s understood, it’s part of why we have the three of you working together. Complimenting each other’s work instead of duplicating.”

Greg stood, “Are there anymore questions? My wife is picking me up, I nearly fell asleep on the drive home last time so chauffeuring for me from here on out.”

As Charles and the three from the circle left the room Deidre turned to her aunt, “I’ve seen you read thoughts in court all day and not show such signs of exhaustion that these four are having, why is this different?”

“Al and I have been talking about that, I think it’s a combination of things. One they are doing something unknown so they are concentrating at a very deep level. But more importantly we think it’s because they are wading slowly through a sleep memory. We think they are feeling the exhaustion that Charles felt while it was happening, they are fighting sleep the whole time they are working. By entering his consciousness they are allowing a part of him into theirs, so they really want to sleep.”

“What would happen if they fell asleep while they were still linked? Is this something we should be worried about?”

“Dot and I don’t think so. We believe that they would fall out of sync with each other and the connection would be broken. The sheer amount of concentration they are using to hold together is astounding. But it is probably a good reminder as to why we have to move slowly. We don’t want to test that theory.”

“Agreed. Do we have anymore to go over today?” Dot looked to Al and Deidre, “No? Okay, then let’s plan on meeting back here in two days as usual.”

Deidre was very much looking forward to the next session, finally something was starting to change. What would it mean if he did dream of leaving? Was it a case of sleep walking after all? But what would have caused the memory blockage? Was it his own mind protecting himself? She had heard of cases where people forgot traumatic experiences, that their own subconscious tried to protect them from the memory. Could this be what they were looking at? Charles dreamt he robbed a store, did rob a store and because he is not the sort of person that would do such a thing his own mind blocked it out? Still more questions than answers but at least now she felt like the might actually be getting somewhere.

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