When Edmund Teleglass woke up one morning in 1956, he reached for the pen and paper on his bedside table, but as always was a moment or so too late. He tried keeping the thought fixed in his head, but he got little more than an incoherent sentence written in the fug of his liminal dream state. He always remembered how important the thought was, but never anything about its actual content, which was funny because it always came just before he woke up, a revelation to signal the end of the dream; one of the audience came over whispered it, once they’d finished the last song.
Apart from this incredibly frustrating aspect, the dream was pretty good; he got to be a rock star, after all. Teleglass and his friends were playing a concert, with Janie on guitar and Kite on the bass and himself playing the drums, so that the person getting on stage had to wind their way past the other two first, who completely ignored this stranger’s existence. Everyone just kind of stands still as the stranger approaches, and then whispers something in Teleglass’ ear. They are all standing in the deep end of an empty swimming pool. The diving board looms overhead.
He started getting the dreams after a visit to the pool in real life, then a derelict building (called Rennever Road Bathhouse) in Ranaclois that was due for a demolition that never seemed to materialise. Some locals were always trying to save it for its architecture, whereas others were trying to knock it down so that they could build something more useful there. They’d all broken in together, the friends who made up the dream band, and had stood in the same spot, right down the bottom of the empty pool. Kite said ‘This would be a good place for a gig,’ and presumably something in those few words seeped into Teleglass’ unconscious, as it was on that very night that the dreams started. He has them still.
He’s old now, eighty four to be exact, but him and the others still play the gig as they have every year, same as ever. Kite still looks implacably into the distance, Janie still executes her signature high kicks. Since an interview with Buentoillitant Psychic in 1988 in which Teleglass revealed the reason for the annual gig, some folk will occasionally walk down into the stage area and whisper something strange into his ear, but so far it’s been nothing revelatory in nature. Nowadays Teleglass has a pretty much encyclopaedic knowledge of the dream, and the gig is set up to mimic it as much as possible. It was on that morning in 1956 that it occurred to him that the reason he could never remember what the stranger said was that he never actually heard it. It is a third person sort of dream, and when the person whispers the ‘camera’ pans out, and Teleglass only hears whisper sounds. As dream logic dictates, he knows that the stranger says something revelatory, even if he cannot hear it. It was upon this revelation that he realised that the only way he was ever going to find out was if he staged the whole thing in real life, and hoped that the mysterious stranger would arrive.
It was persuading his friends to learn to play the instruments from the dream that was the tricky bit. They’d never, any of them, even picked up a kazoo, but in the dream the performance was excellent, and the room packed out; they had a lot of work to do. Thankfully, persuading teenagers to join a band is fairly easy, but the learning is still difficult. It was seven years later that they finally had the first gig, and a few people turned up to the derelict swimming pool, at the time and date that was on the frozen clock (8:12pm today). Nowadays that the swimming pool has been permanently saved from demolition, and is now in use, they have to drain it to let the old-timers work, to sit at the bottom of a pool, playing songs and waiting for strangers. Hopefully it will be worth the wait.
Other festivals happening today:
- Singh Sermini Day
- The Festival of Ending Tales