Curiosity stirred as they inched forward. Then sharp wonder took over. They stood at the edge of a perfectly circular clear space in the hushed green glade. In the center of the sun-lit circle lay a low square dais of dazzling crystal. On the dais stood a low copper couch with strangely carved sides. And on the couch, wrapped in a robe of golden cloth, ornamented with black figures, lay the motionless figure of a man. They stood wide-eyed in fearful awe.
"This must be the corpse laid here for burial by some unknown race long ago!" he exclaimed. "No, he is not dead, only sleeping," she replied. "Speak not so loudly, lest you awaken him!"
©2005 Bob E. Flick; (P)2005 Ziggurat Productions
Originally published in the May 1938 issue of Weird Tales, this story also been anthologized a couple of times. It was included in the 1961 paperback anthology The Ghoul Keepers edited by Leo Margulies and in the excellent 1993 dream themed anthology To Sleep, Perchance to Dream... Nightmare.
It tells the story of a man who is shipwrecked and washes up on a mysterious island. There he meets a beautiful young woman who tells him that the island and themselves are merely the dream of a man who sleeps on a dais in the jungle. Of course he finds this idea preposterous. After some time spent falling in love with the young woman (who he thinks is only 17) and having adventures there is an unexpected story twist.
This audiobook is abridged in that it is changed from the third person to the first person, so everything is changed from "he" to "I," there is some sentence rearrangement and an occasional sentence is dropped here and there. Otherwise it includes almost all of Edmond Hamilton's words and is a delight to listen to.
Report Inappropriate Content