Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Power of Reading

Dream: I'm in a boarding school, scared, young, climbing around on the rooftops to keep away from everyone else. There are microphones listening in on almost every conversation. Nothing is private. It's almost Halloween and they are trying to make us feel like it's a holiday and there are giant inflatable pumpkins and witches heads and it makes me want to climb down from the roof...

Suddenly, it's years later and the school looks like a survivor camp from a civil war, being run by bullies with thugs. There are no children here anymore, it's more like a prison. I am bundled in rags, and the others mostly leave me alone because I've been here for so long.

It's rubbish day which means that the dead bodies are being taken to the gate, littering body parts and blood in the gravel that now fills the playing field. Pebbles mixed with teeth. Part of rubbish day is that the dead's possessions are up for grabs, a horse drawn cart trails after the cage containing the dead and everyone is allowed to choose one item from  It. I look through the clothing, but there are so many printed tees for bands and TV shows which no longer exist and it makes me feel depressed. 

I'm about to give up when my hand falls upon something solid. A book wrapped in clothing. I pull it from the pile of cloth and it's a copy of Little Women. I hesitate and then hold it high in the air to claim it as my choice and a ripple of voices chases through the nearby crowd. I have a book. I chose a book. They now know that I can still read. Soon the lessons will begin but for now the world ripples through the other prisoners, the word which will become my name, "Book".

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Diseased Running

Dream: I was jogging, which was a strange thing because it's not something I've ever done. The fields were open and empty, but the path was clear. In the distance I could see some houses that seemed vaguely familiar. On the way, I bumped into another jogger. A slender woman with red hair. She stopped and flirted a little, saying that we should get together as we both liked the same book series.

While tempted, I felt drawn to those houses. I remember one from my past, somewhere I used to live. I was a tenant in one back when I was a student. I entered the house, leaving the girl behind. 

Inside I found P, my old landlord. He was alone, and there was no sign of the dogs he used to have. There was something wrong with him. His face was pasty and flaking, covered in dirt and scabs. He reached up and pulled at a particularly pustulent scab and pulled a long stream of thick goo from his face. Repulsed, I turned and ran...

Behind me, in a strange cut-scene, I could see a cop looking surprisingly like Jeffrey Coombs, checking the room. He wasn't happy. He knew I'd been there. 

I continued running. The red-haired woman was still outside, she ran with me as the cops gave chase. Surely they didn't think I was responsible for the disease? 

"C'mon!" the woman shouted, she'd leapt onto what looked like a milk-float, but it drove faster. I piled on board and we screeched across the grass like a golf-cart on nitrous.

The next thing I remember, I was in a stark white room - there was a test - I had to construct something, some sort of device... then I woke.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Piracy on the Thames

Dream: I was in London, near the Thames, around dusk. There was a thin layer of fog covering the ground, and the streets were deserted. The lamp posts cast pools of yellow light onto the street, and the ugly smell of the river filled the air. I was running, running for my life.

I would head through alleyways and through deserted shops. The world passed by too quickly for me to truly recognise places, but they seemed to be connected in odd ways - corridors opened out into streets which closed overhead and became courtyards and rooms again. Something was pursuing me. I could hear the uneven steps behind me, heavy and strangely paced, but unceasing. I was never an athletic child, and I could feel myself tiring in my dream. A harsh, cruel laughter filled the air, raucous and bullying, echoing off walls and pavement.

I emerged from a restaurant and ran, unsteady, down some steps. We were at the riverside, next to a large Elizabethan galleon, restored and serving as a museum. I ran up the walkway to it, slipping on the wet wood before crouching behind some barrels and slowly, fearfully glanced out to where I had come from.

Striding towards the ship, huge and broad, was a pirate captain (this was pre-Pirates of the Caribbean, and there are now friendly, kooky pirates in pop culture). No, this man was a giant, with a thick black beard knotted and crusted with sea salt, his face curled in a malicious, gap toothed grin, skin ruddy and blasted by the waves. His tattered coat was filled with rusted knives and sharp hooks. This is the kind of man who would kill you as soon as look at you, slowly and cruelly. In my dreams he is terrifying.

He headed straight towards where I was hidden and, panicked, I started to climb the mast, scrambling up ropes and handholds. I glanced down and see that the Captain had already reached the base of the mast, and was beginning to climb. I had reached the top, a thin pole that seemed to waver 100ft above the deck. I could feel the wind whip at me, pushing me back and forth, freezing me and loosening my grip. Below, the Captain had almost reached me, his smile an evil gash that promises pain. Seeing no alternative, I pull myself tight to the mast then push off, dropping like a stone towards the water. The Thames rushes up towards me, huge and grey and awfully solid looking.

Then I wake up.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Alone in the Mist

Dream: It all started with a tweed suit and a 1970's school coach trip. The coaches were parked in a layby and I was waiting for everyone to return. I had a clipboard of names and was clearly younger and a seventies drop-out ex-hippie teacher. I sat in the cab waiting and turned the radio on. There was an emergency broadcast and then silence. Then there was nobody around, just me. I had to hike back to the city as the coach wouldn't start. All the roads were empty, if there was a car parked at the roadside, it didn't work and looked as if it was covered in ice and underwater.

I began wandering through the outskirts of the city, everything had a dusty/icey sheen to it. I didn't want to touch anything. A low grey mist hung over the city but it appeared to have been uninhabited for years rather than the length of the coach trip. I then just walked around, through deserted buildings and shops and  empty houses. At no point did I encounter anyone and the mist muffled all sounds.

The nightmare part was it felt very real, unlike a fantasy dream, there was too much detail on all the  little items, the bric abrac in an elderly persons home, the Ferguson telly, wooden style radios, polyester clothes hanging up. There was no one around but it had the vague dread of something just out of the corner of your eye. I ended up sitting in a living room, having found a chair with a cover and thrown it off to reveal a less glassy chair underneath, making a cup of tea and staring out into a mist shrouded garden with no idea what to do or where to go next.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Flight from School

Dream: There was something evil going on at a high school. I wasn't supposed to be there, I was too old, but I was possibly undercover. It started out simply enough, one of the students was possessed, but then it all went horrifically wrong. There was a big celebration in the canteen, lots of jocks celebrating the quarterback's birthday or something stupid, when the shit really hit.

Diving for cover under the shattered remains of one of the tables, the creatures were all smoke and teeth, ripping students to pieces. I couldn't find S. I knew he would be able to solve this.

In the aftermath, I met with the principal (who looked like Robert Vaughn) and we discussed what was going on. I smoked, and I remember the sensation of the roll-up paper sticking to my lip. I realised in my dream that I didn't smoke.

I remember then that I found S. He was drumming some metal anthem onto upturned plastic dustbins. I climbed up into an old cottage and talked to the old woman there. I realised then that the magic was working and that I should pay respect not only to her for helping me find S, but also to nature for helping me with magic.

I opened the door to the cottage, and said my thanks to nature, releasing any unused magic back into the earth. As I did, a cat spoke to me. Warning me, telling me that the outbreak had happened again and that I should go and help.

"How am I going to get there?" I said to the cat.

"Simple. Fly!" it said...

I turned into a bird, then into an eagle, then a falcon as I experimented in shifting from one form to another, trying to discover what would be the fastest bird to get me to the scene. As I flew, another couple of birds flew alongside. One was carrying a broom - this felt a bit like Harry Potter, only the broom was black, sleek and felt plastic. I grasped it, and turned back into a human, riding it through the storm to the roof of a television station. Other magicians were there, some with strange steampunk optical devices, but they didn't need them,. the evil was on the roof and was about to act.

And then, I woke.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Garden Vandal

Dream: I was walking home along a long and unfamiliar street, lined with bungalows with gardens. My wife was walking along side me, but veered off and started walking down the alley that connected all of the houses at the rear. I keep seeing her in between the houses as we walked. At the end of the street, it seemed to be my house, and one of my old friends was rummaging around in a pile of rubbish in the alley, pulling out bits of old prams and metal.

My wife, when I met up with her again had just finished having a massive argument with the two guys who lived next door. She stormed off, and I ended up having to talk to the neighbours. They were threatening, and told me to look at what she'd done to their property. I had to use tiny binoculars to look, but I could see their vegetable patch had been dug up. I had to promise that I'd buy vegetables to replace what had been damaged, but I only agreed if the neighbours promised to never speak to us ever again.

I went back to our house to see where she had gone, ended up climbing some strange stairs. The entrance to the bedroom was in the ceiling, so the stairs ended on the roof and a hatch that I had to climb in. She was already asleep and had forgotten all about it already.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Biology Exams

Dream: Oh god, it’s one of those dreams again isn’t it? The whole, “it’s an exam and you haven’t studied?” Haven’t had one of those in a while. Maybe it was influenced by the episode of that TV show I watched just before going to bed.

The room was already full, but it didn’t seem like any exam I’d been in before. Some of the students were still milling about and there was a low level of conversation going on.

“You’re late,” said the tutor.

Yeah, I bet I was. I’m always late at these sorts of things.

I wandered around a little and found a seat. Great. First day and already an exam. And what was it on? Biology? I’d never studied Biology before. Sat next to me was H, but I know it couldn’t really be H, as she’d died a while ago. Really good friend, and I miss her a lot. I wonder why I’m dreaming about her all of a sudden?

“I really don’t know what I’m supposed to be doing here,” I said to her.

“Go get the paper from the cubby hole near the door. You’ll find everything you need in there.”

I stood up and milled back to the pigeon holes at the entrance and sure enough, there was a little brown envelope with my name on it. Although it had S’s address. Does that mean I’m still getting mail sent to her address? This doesn’t make any sense.

M was following me around, checking his phone, looking on the internet for something. I don’t know what. Why would they allow phones in an exam?

I sat back down next to H. She had the same kind face as I always remember. It’s always the good that die young, isn’t it? Opening the envelope, I found a load of papers, forms and crap that you expect from starting college, and a text book that could never have fit within, along with the exam paper I was supposed to be sitting.

I placed the book on the desk and unfolded the paper. The first question confused me. It seemed the exam was tailored specifically for this book.

“Question One: Would you say that the textbook is a work of truth, or fiction? Or would you say that the textbook uses fiction, to explain the truth?”

What kind of a screwy question is that?

I looked to the front of the book. Biology “MASS” it said on the front, as if that meant anything to me. It probably stood for some examining board that I’d not heard of. Beneath the text was a picture of a rebel soldier. Not a normal rebel soldier. A rebel from Endor. In the green camouflage, with the strange helmets that didn’t have a top. Next to the rebel was a big woolly mammoth like Bantha creature. My first thoughts were - if they’re using Star Wars to teach Biology now, I’m screwed. Especially as Banthas weren’t on Endor, they were on Tatooine, so the people who’ve written the book don’t know anything they’re talking about.

I must have muttered some of this out loud, and I was shushed to silence by the tutor at the front of the class.

Then, I woke up.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pit of Infinite Darkness

Dream: I have to do something, but no one will tell me what it is. Either that, or they're telling me what I need to do and I can't hear them for some reason. I only have a limited amount of time which is running out, but I don't know how long I have.

There is an endless nothingness. A big black pit of infinity. I can't comprehend what I'm looking at, so I can't really see it properly. I just get the sense of being minuscule, similar to that feeling you get when you look up at the night sky and realise just how small you are in the universe. I don't know what I need to do. I've tried running from the nothingness, asking more questions, and trying to ignore it, but the dream persists.

Ghosts of Possibilities

Dream: "What did you see?" she asked.

"I don't know how to describe it," I replied, still a little shaken by it all. I felt the need to grab a sketchbook and pencil, and I started to doodle while I talked.

"She seemed happy, dancing, and then a figure came out from the house and started talking to her, joining in the dance. She was torn, she wanted to keep dancing, but part of her knew there was danger in the house and started to turn away. It was like she became two people. They even looked different.

A blonde girl continued dancing with the stranger, circling faster and heading back into the house. The other her, a dark haired girl backed away. Staring at the house with dread and a morbid curiosity, but knowing that she should never go in. What happened to her?"

The researcher calmly replied, "She died. She went into the house, and was killed. We never caught the man, but there are times when you're in the right place, listening to the right song that she seems to reach out to people and you can see what happened to her. Some see her being lead into the house, some see her refuse. It is rare for someone to see both at once."

I looked down and saw the drawing. I'd drawn the girl's face, her haunted eyes, and knew what I had to do.

Learning to Fly

Dream: The dream starts in many different ways, sometimes even as a nightmare, but then I realise I can fly. It's not really flying, it's more like swimming in the air. Just as in water, where it gets harder to swim the deeper you go as the air in your lungs struggles to push you to the surface, so do I struggle the higher in the air I am, as if my body is fighting me to get to the ground. I dream of flying around horizontally, as this takes a minimal effort, whizzing close to the ground, but I usually dream of getting kicked by people's feet at this height.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Reanimated Babysitting

Dream: This was an odd dream as I don't remember being in it. It was almost like I was watching a movie and I was just the unseen audience. I remember there was a couple of teenage girls and they were babysitting. Something was going wrong. It was dark, and they'd opened this box and two skulls flew out - glowing and hovering in the air. They slowly rotated around each other, and when their eyes met there was a beam of light between them and the glow grew stronger. The girls screamed and tried to get away, but tripped over a couple of decaying bodies on the floor.

The bodies moved, and started eating each other, though the more they ate, the more their flesh returned - a bit like Frank in "Hellraiser", but they were eating each other, becoming more and more restored.

Adventure: Zombies seem to be a common theme, but the strange reverse eating and restoring is very bizarre. Anyone have any suggestions how to use this in a game?

Resistance Parking

Dream: The resistance was failing. People were being rounded up and used as slaves. I remember I was doing basic washing up in a small hut as the creatures were passing. "A" was chosen to be the one to stand against them, to voice concern, but we knew it wasn't going to work. We knew it was almost certainly suicide, and "A" knew it as well. But something had to be done.

Then we were driving. I remember thinking that a lot of trouble had been taken to ensure all of the cars were from the 1970s. I wonder why? The police gave chase, but all of their cars were yellow.

"S" was driving again. I didn't know she could. She decided to park in a stupid place that could only be reached with a good drive up and a jump across some buildings' rooftops. We landed badly, skidded towards a patch of water where the experiments were taking place. With a combination of the right minerals in a jar, and an electrical current, we could create a sentient creature, but the second one failed and it crumbled like a plaster ornament. 

Adventure: Another "post-apocalyptic" type dream, this time with some form of alien invasion. People being rounded up as slaves but the subject is drawn to doing the mundane tasks while others volunteer to do nearly suicidal missions. Is this their reluctance to get involved? Why were the cars from the 1970s? And what was this experiment to create sentient creatures? Was this some part of the resistance and would these creatures help to fight off the alien invaders?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Trapped on Holiday

Dream: We were staying in a vast hotel. It was a strange convention of sorts, media celebrities were there, but no one I recognised. The Monday came and we entered the lift with another couple  and we expected to go to our rooms to remove our stuff for the end of the holiday, but the whole area had changed, the rooms looked different and our passkeys didn't work.

I called down to reception. 

"Our rooms have gone, we were staying in the 'Nest' wing and the whole area's changed. It's got a different name now and it's even painted a different colour!" 

Reception was automated, and we were stuck. Our belongings were gone and we were stranded. Seems it was all a rouse by an old school friend. We waited in the large hotel common room, wondering what to do next. I found my boots, but I was interrupted before I could put them on.

"Look out! I put something in there to stop the spiders!"

A beetle crawled out. It seemed small, but grew to the size of my fist and started trundling around, attacking what seemed to be a jellyfish floating around the common room.

Stranded in this new location, my wife and I ended up working, selling crap to tourists. I was supposed to be on my lunch break when a grumpy, elderly woman and her demanding daughter stopped me.

"I don't see anything with dots on? You don't seem to have anything I was looking for!"

Confused I looked at a pile of cheap crap I supposed to be shelving, the same over processed packaging for some branded toy-line called "Dot".

"This what you mean?" I handed her some of the stuff and wandered off, leaving her to it. One of the toys was a bubbling fish, another seemed to be a sorting game where you had lots of different coloured glitter and you made pictures by arranging it with a pair of tweezers. 

"Who's going to actually do that?" I asked myself, and wandered into the back of the shop, taking off my tie. Behind the scenes of the shop was my old childhood house, huge and multiple floors. 

"Are you excited about your holiday?" S asked, "You're going to the coast with your wife!"

"But I am at the coast, I just can't get home," I thought. I handed my tie to the overly keen work experience kid who was heading up to the top floor of the house, to my old bedroom, and veered off towards to the bathrooms but they were both occupied. There's always someone in there when you need it.

Adventure: Being trapped or unable to get home is a common theme of dreams, but what of this huge, changing hotel? And what was going on with the beetle in the boots? The glitter game sounds like some ancient fairytale of keeping witches busy or confusing evil spirits, was the old woman a witch? 

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Hometown Castles

Dream: I was back in my childhood home town, walking down the main street. I remember I was talking to a famous geek celebrity icon, when we passed a comic shop (which is odd, as my home town never had a comic shop). It wasn't very big, but it did have a second floor which was just a balcony. I have a strange recollection of hanging from the balcony to get to some of the particularly good titles.

Then I was outside in the street again. I was alone, but I knew some of my friends were nearby, but I didn't want to see any of them. I wanted to be alone. So I hid. Part of the town had become almost medieval, like the remains of an ancient city that had become a tourist attraction. Some guards who were dressed in period uniform warned me that it was getting close to the time when the daily procession would start and the street would close, if I wanted to avoid it I should move.

I took their advice, and wandered through a couple of doors into part of the town's keep (again, my hometown doesn't have any medieval fortifications). It was dark and cool in there, just like most medieval remains, and my eyesight hadn't adjusted. I fumbled around in the dark, going through door after door until I was completely lost.

I ended up in a large room, waiting for my night-vision to settle. I was in a room with loads of exhibits, but one of the old tables had a lot of cardboard models of rooms of the castle on it. I'd accidentally picked one up in the dark, and had ruined part of it. I felt really bad, and tried frantically to put the bits of blue cardboard together to make the model of the banqueting table complete again, but I'd already torn part of it and it could never be fixed.

Adventure: It seems like the subject was trying to hide from multiple things, their friends, the authorities, the procession. What were they trying to hide, and why were they avoiding people? Was the model symbolic of something, something they felt guilty at destroying?