The Oneiromancer

 I was told a story about the oneiromancer.   He was born Abu Bekr Mohammed Ben Sirin in the city of Ibri on the foothills of the Djebel Akhdar, the Green  Mountain in the 33rd year after the Prophet’s migration.

   When you lived in the desert you constantly traveled or stayed in one place to die. . His people were wanderers.  His father was a wanderer. He became a wanderer.

   And a collector. He collected dreams. In truth he collected stories of dreams, daydreams, delusions, hallucinations, nighmares. He collected visions develeoped in reverie, imagination, trance and woolgathering. 

   At five years old the tribe understood he was an oneiromancer when he first deciphered a passing merchant’s vision. Abu did not interpret in the gypsy manner with vagaries and half promises that could be construed to mean one thing or another. Abu’s fortelling was with exactitude and this infallibility continued unto his last breath.

    It was a blessing and a curse depending on the recipients reaction; many realized Abu was only a messenger and that he could not change what is or what was to be.

   In his wanderings his name changed to Achimet. History does not say how this happened, speculation is it was done because people thought him a prophet and because in Arabic both Mohammed and Achimet  consist of four letters. Three of these glyphs are the same only the first graphic is different.

      Achimet’s wanderings took him through all of Persia, Egypt, India, Greece and the Roman Landholds in search of additions to his collection.  His fame as an oneiromancer followed and preceded him. He learned that to translate a vision he had to be in an almost trancelike state and so early in life he developed the habit of fasting every other day. As an oneiromancer he was required to be a master of languages so Achimet spoke all the dialects of Arabia, learning new tongues in his travels across the lands. He was fluent in Persian, Egyptian, Indian, Latin and Greek.

            It was in Gaul that Achimet fell in love and settled down. For over a decade he was quite content; his life was one of bliss.

   One day his wife came to him and asked that he perform an interpretation. When he had heard the rich man’s dream story Achimet explained the vision was a warning with two variable endings. The businessman  could give up his chosen field  or the merchant would be a pauper within thirty days. The man was not happy.

   In his anger the man went to a practioner of the Art. He paid her to curse Achimet.

    She told him, “I can place a curse around him but because he has not harmed you I cannot curse him directly. The law of The Rede allows no harm unless harm was done. 

   The merchant said, “Do what you can to him and his. End his tranquility as he has ended mine.”

    The spellmaker spoke, “If I curse this gentle person you must agree to pay what I write on this piece of paper.”  She scribbled something down folded it and handed it to the rich man. Without looking the merchant agreed.

    The merchant was directed to sit in a dark corner and neither speak nor move until she had completed the task. 

   Because Achimet had been a wanderer all his life the wise woman placed upon him the curse that he and his decendent’s could never live in one place for long and if any  tried to make a permanent home a feeling of great discomfort would surround the dwelling.

   When she was done the sorceress told the merchant to open his palm and read what he had agreed to pay her. The rich man unclasped his hand slowly unfolded the crumpled paper and read aloud.

   “On the day of your choosing, I will give all of my possessions in exchange for the service you have provided.”

   The merchant was aghast, his word was his reputation and his reputation was his livelihood.

   The next day Achimet became weary of his surroundings. He yearned for the open road. He told his wife to start packing.

     Achimet went to the merchant’s business and asked the trafficker of goods to give a price for Achimet’s home and all of the holdings he could not take with him.

   Achimet told him. I am leaving within three days. I  need to wander it is my blood.

   The rich man thinking to take advantage gave Achimet a price not half of what the property was worth and Achimet accepted.

   Three days later Achimet and his family left Gaul. The rich merchant was calculating his profits when there was a knock on his door. The greedy man answered the door. There stood the enchantress. “I have come to collect my debt.”, she said.

rickdogood rickdogood
56-60, F
Aug 3, 2007