I dreamed last night in stark black and white, in animations. It was a dream that could have been written by Edward Gorey or Neil Gaiman. My dream's protagonist, observed from mostly third person with some occasional first person, was a young girl, sent off for the first time to a British boarding school/castle/rich relative's house (think Secret Garden). The setting was full of twisty secret passages, tapestries on the walls, ancient furniture and servants invisibly coming and going.
There were adults (relatives, teachers) about whom she kept discovering shocking secrets (affairs, personal indulgences, superpowers [think Orphans of Chaos]). And at some point, a kindly matron with a bust like the prow of a ship pulled her off a corridor and said, "You know, you're getting older, and it's almost time for you to find a mask." -- everyone was wearing masks, big ornate costume-ball masks with feathers extending in a wide radius, fancy partial-face-covering masks, masks held up on sticks and masks subtly interwoven into triumphantly ornate and voluminous hairdos. The photos on this site will give you an idea.
Right at the end of the dream, she found her mask. It was a meter wide or more, in the style of some Venetian masks, covering the eyes and the nose with a smooth, extended beak (a bit like this). The sides tapered off in a Katamari-like way, long and thick points (not cylinders). The whole mask was made of material like a surgical cast, and in a dark grey that was almost black.
Aside from really enjoying this dream, I was surprised to find that the entire dream was black and white, and in a pencil or charcoal texture. Not real at all. I remember reading somewhere that people who had black and white TV as children are more likely to dream in black and white. I wonder what strange depths of my subconscious this arose from.
This post's theme word: manichean, "of or relating to a dualistic view of the world, dividing things into either good or evil, light or dark, black or white, involving no shades of gray."