Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I'd been in this area before: it was a chain of islands somewhere in the Caribbean, owned by a resort.  Further inland (for I was on the beach), I knew there was a huge, domed conservatory that connected with a bunch of treehouse cabins.  The last time I had been here, the owners of the conservatory-resort had trapped myself and the other customers inside the large glass dome so they could create an utopia world with us as their breeding-rabbits.  A friend and I managed to commandeer one of the official's aircraft, fly it off the island and report the resort's activities to the government.  Fortunately, ownership of the resort had changed hands since then.
Since my last visit, everything had shifted to the beach.  All the resort buildings were now there, and there were house-hotel-boats floating far out on the azure waves.  It seemed that this time, I was there on some sort of vacation with the kids from my highschool; in addition, my family was there, as well.
Naturally, I spent the days there exploring with three of my best friends: Kieran, Ian and Zayne.  We spent afternoons walking up and down the pure, white, powdery sand of the beaches, until we had circumnavigated the whole body of land and had seen the other islands continuing to the horizon in a curving chain on the eastern side.  We explored the forests filled with huge palm trees and strung across with vines, experiencing the strange and exotic flora and fauna of the land.  We swam in the ocean and slept long nights in a tent we had pitched on the beach.
Early one morning, however, during our daily swim, the four of us happened upon a tiny island that had seemingly never been there before.  We clambered ashore, our limbs filled with the simultaneous lightness and heaviness that comes from a good, long swim.  Upon the crest of the hill of sand, there was, startlingly, rooted a tree.  It wasn't startling merely because of its presence, but because it was not a palm tree, or any other tree I'd seen before; I don't even know how I would go about describing it.
Curious, we walked closer to examine it, thankful for the shade that its spreading boughs provided.  It was Kieran who discovered the second peculiarity of the tree.  He and I had climbed up the branches some way and were both sitting perched in a wide crook between branches, looking out over the waves to where the sun was now beginning to set on the horizon (I don't know how the time had passed so quickly) and listening to Ian and Zayne talk and laugh quietly below when something startled Kieran and he almost fell out of the tree.
"Ruby!" he hissed.  "Look at the branches, they're see-through!"
He was right.  In the golden light of the westering sun, the dark bark of the tree had turned shadowy, and I could see through it to the thick sap flowing within the tree and all the way beyond that and through to the other side.  It was undoubtedly the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, and Kieran and I stared in awe at each other for a moment before scrambling back down the tree to tell Ian and Zayne, who were facing away from the trunk.  As we did so, I could feel the tree thrumming, as if something within it had been woken up.
The moment we got down to the sand, I knew something amazing was about to happen -- the sand around the tree had turned to a dark gray color and the vibrating of the tree was becoming a low, sonorous hum.  Sure enough, when both of my feet were firmly on the ground, I heard a muffled "thwump" sound from the northern side of the tree.  Kieran and I ran around to investigate what it was; Ian and Zayne were already there.
A large chunk of sand had fallen in between the tree roots, exposing a small, dusty cavern that looked absolutely ancient, hundreds of years old.
Glittering within the ruin of the cavern was a huge milky-white crystal.
Zayne stooped and picked up the crystal, holding it up to the light to examine it.  "It's a transportation device," he said.  "There are instructions engraved on the top of it."  He scrutinized the runes that were carved on the flat stone top of the crystal for a time and then muttered something indistinguishable under his breath.  I nearly couldn't believe my eyes as he floated off the ground and through the branches of the tree before alighting softly on the ground in front of us.  "Here, you try it," he said, handing it to me.
I took the crystal hesitantly and was surprised to discover that it was incredibly light.  Zayne was right, there was a set of instructions scribed on the back, but they were in another language.  Upon further inspection, though, I found that there was a key, which looked like it had been carved much more recently.  I examined the code for a bit longer, and then I clicked my tongue and imitated the cooing of a dove while at the same time focusing all my willpower on activating the stone.  To my delight, my body began to feel as light as a feather and I knew I had the ability to use this stone for amazing things.  It was thrilling and empowering.
Kieran and Ian, however, were unable to tap into the crystal's powers, and Zayne claimed that he had no use for it, so the crystal was left in my care, which I wholly approved of.  I felt that there were secrets to unlock involving the crystal.
I parted from the guys, who were going to swim back to shore and bed down in the tent for the night.  I didn't feel at all restful; in fact, I was filled with that awareness and clarity that I feel whilst standing outdoors in the evening, gazing at the moon.  It was like a veil had been lifted from my whole body and suddenly all of my beautiful potential had leapt out at me in its full brilliance, and I could hear my thoughts perfectly, and they sounded like the voices of the stars in the heavens above, if only they had had voices.  So, I decided to use the crystal to fly over to the south-western side of the island, where my favorite beach was.
The sand there was piled into a high bluff overlooking the water, and the waves were always particularly tall and wild.  I took up a post on the peak of the dune and opened all my senses to the world around me.
I watched the celestial bodies circle in their cycles above me, and in so doing, I learned the secrets of the long-lost civilization that had found the crystal and discovered how to harness its powers. 
They had lived on this very chain of islands, and had found the strange translucent trees, just as Kieran, Zayne, Ian and I had, and they found that the trees only became visible and tangible during a certain time of the year, which led to the discovery that their sap, when the trees died, hardened within them to produce the crystals.  Each tribesperson wore a small chunk of the stone around their neck, and they were capable of great physical and mental feats.  But suddenly, one day something happened, some great and mysterious event occurred and the people of the islands disappeared, along with all the crystals, save one, which had been stowed in the roots of the tree that we had found today.

I stayed up all night, listening that strange some sixth sense that had opened up when I had first interacted with the crystal.  It was like I had become a beam of sunlight; I was filled with a warmth that kept me cozy when I fell asleep on the beach at sunrise, curled around the crystal.
The guys found me there early that next afternoon, and gently woke me up, asking if they could see the crystal again.  I blearily handed the crystal over, slowly standing up and brushing the sand from my clothing.
Zayne, standing across from me, nodded and frowned, looking at the stone.  "The runes have disappeared," he said, seemingly unsurprised, handing the crystal back to me.
"You'd better come back and start packing up soon; we're leaving this evening, remember?" Ian called over his shoulder to me as the three began to walk north up the beach to where the tent was.
I stared down at the crystal, dismayed.  After sleeping, I no longer felt that open awareness that I had the night before.  Somewhat desperately, I attempted to activate the crystal, and I couldn't.  That moment was so sad and so disappointing that I nearly burst into tears.  Then, with the resolve that it was the right thing to do and with the melancholy of a funeral dirge, I dug a hole in the sand and buried the crystal there before hiking back to the tent to help the guys pack up.

Thus, the dream ended.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


I had ridden my bike over to a Mexican restaurant in the northeast part of town, where some friends of mine were holding a birthday party for another friend before they headed back to the house for the remainder of the festivities.  Before I left the house, I reminded myself to take a shower, pick up my earrings from where I'd left them in the bathroom and put my keys (along with a few spare quarters) in my pocket, as these were the supplies I would need for the outing.  I ended up initially forgetting the keys and coins, but I did walk out of the house with them the second time around.
When I eventually arrived at the party, I found that they'd begun dinner without me, but that was just fine because I wasn't really hungry in the first place.  When I'd settled in with the guests, the squire of my dance team, Tabby, came over to sit next to me and asked if I would be attending practice the next day.  I told her that regretfully, no, I would not be, as I would have yet another birthday party to attend the next day.
Dinner progressed and eventually finished, and we walked through a light, enjoyable rain back to the house (which was only a few blocks away).  Upon our arrival, we all went to the roof where punch was being served.  Music was being lined up by a DJ for the coming dance party, which was to occur once the sun went down.
About halfway through the party, in what I would guess to be the late-afternoon (it was still cloudy, so I couldn't tell exactly where the sun was, nor was I paying too much attention), I saw a woman riding a bike down on the sidewalk.  Behind her, she towed a trailer with two girls seated comfortably in it.  The woman had extremely curly, sandy-blonde hair, and the more I gazed at it, the more I began to realize that I knew this woman.  Why, she was Mandrake's mother!
Without second thought, I climbed as hurriedly as I could through the window, raced downstairs, grabbed my bike and helmet (because Mom always warns me never to ride without one) and raced after the woman.  But by this time, she was already out of sight, and I had no idea where she might have gone.  Still, I pedalled quickly down the street, sure that I would be able to catch up with her eventually.
I soon entered another neighborhood that had appeared several times before in my dreamscape -- kind of an artsy place in the reclaimed-warehouse sort of way.  The sidewalk was still wet and as I zoomed along, my tires kicked up great puddles behind me.  At that point, I was completely happy.
However, only a few seconds later, a small dog raced, screeching and yapping at me, from the homely doorstep it was gaurding.  I accelerated past, thinking I'd leave it behind once it was convinced I was no longer infringing upon it's territory, but it miraculously managed to keep pace with me, chugging it's stubby legs as fast as they would go.  The little dog began snapping viciously  at my ankles, despite the fact that they were still pedalling the bike.  More and more dogs streamed from the front yards of houses and followed the example of the small dog until there were twelve or so of them on my tail.
I knew I had to find some way to escape them, or they would catch me and devour me.  So, at the next warehouse, I jumped off my bike and ran into the building, slamming the door behind me.
The place I found myself in was quite peculiar.  I was backstage of an amatuer auditions session for Shakespeare's "Macbeth."  A couple of snotty-looking kids turned my way and favored me with a "What the hell do you think you're doing here" sneer that I had thought could only be pulled of by TV-show high school preps.  These kids pulled it off with nastiness to spare.
I really wanted to leave, but I couldn't; the dogs were still waiting outside, I was quite sure of it.  I looked around for a quiet corner where I could sit and look as inconspicuous as a broom or a mop, but I couldn't find one.  the preps were called onto stage in short order though, so I was spared any more nasty stares.
Just when I had got to thinking that it might be safe to go outside again and reclaim my bike, a cute, blonde girl poked her head around the curtain, popped the pink bubblegum bubble that she had been blowing (it was quite and impressive one) with her teeth and said to me, "Oh, Green, there you are.  We've been waiting ages for you!"  At that, another girl with shoulder-length dark brown hair and freckles across the bridge of her nose stepped around the curtain.
"Yeah, come on, Green; we're going to be late for the dance-out!" she said, tugging at my sleeve.  She was so earnest and kind that I felt my dream-self must know her well and trust her, so I followed her and the blonde girl out the back stage door.  Thankfully, the dogs were no longer outside; they must have all returned to their houses.
Before we caught the bus from what had suddenly morphed from a warehouse into my high school, I stopped by the garden and grabbed my earrings from atop a gray rock; I'd been wearing them only a little while before, but they'd somehow appeared there and I knew I would need them with me.  Otherwise, Mom would be furious that I'd lost them.
After that, the two girls and I were on our way: we caught the bus and took it to the train station downtown, where the dance-out was taking place.  I wanted badly to join in with the dancing, but the girls dragged me on to the ladies' watercloset, where we had a serious discussion that I can't remember the details of.  After that, we caught one of the trains and ended up back at the high school.
The two girls and I parted ways -- they walked back into the building, waving over their shoulders, and I scrambled to get on my bike before the dogs found me again.  I knew if I tarried too long here and didn't build up enough speed before passing their domiciles, they'd have me in an instant.
I set off, not bothering to put on my helmet in my haste, and pedalled furiously away, this time riding down the middle of the traffic-devoid street.  I was no longer concerned with the woman on the bike I'd been chasing before; in fact, I'd forgotten all about her.  I made it safely back to the house where the party was still happening and rejoined the crowd on the roof, feeling oddly satisfied with my adventures for the day.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I had taken on the role of the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, and I was traveling with the thirteen dwarves -- though not through the expected setting of Middle Earth, but rather the cool, green pine forests along the shore of Lake Superior.
Evidently, we were on our way to visit the gym of one of the Pokemon trainers to negotiate on the behalf of Gandalf, who was away on business (he had recently become the director of an airline and was busy making some reformations).

The gym turned out to be a sumptuous mansion with a driveway three miles long.  When we finally arrived at the front door, Ash Catch'em was standing in the doorway to welcome us.  He showed us to a dimly-lit parlor, and we spent a forgettable couple of hours discussing terms for a lengthy contract concerning the airline.  Sometime during these monotonous dronings-on (I was paying more attention to the refreshments served about half-way through), Pikachu wandered into the room and casually stowed himself away in one of the numerous pockets of my green cloak, shrinking a bit so as to fit.  Nobody seemed to notice, and I thought nothing of it, assuming he only wanted a warm place to take a nap.
Eventually, having reached some sort of conclusion, the dwarves stood up; Thorin shook Ash's hand solemnly (I don't think there's ever been a moment where he wasn't solemn) and tucked a scroll into an inner pocket of his sky-blue cloak.  Ash ordered the company to take the winding dirt roads on our way to Gandalf's airport (our next mission was to deliver the contract to him for signing), then he showed us out, wishing us safe travels.  As we trudged down the long, gravel-covered driveway, the dwarves grumbled about how much time would be wasted if we took the back-roads instead of the highway, especially traveling on foot as we were.  They all came to the agreement that we would disobey Ash's orders and take the quickest route to the airport.
A couple hours later while we were on the road, we got word from a talking raven that Ash's prized Pikachu had been swiped from the manor and that he was also on the lookout for a band of disobedient henchmen.
The dwarves got spooked, even though they didn't know that I had Pikachu.  We ran to the next overpass and spent some time huddled underneath it while carriages, which presumably contained Ash's angry goons, rumbled overhead.
Finally, we made it to the airport and were ready to board the flight back to Middle Earth.  The goons were hot on our tails, though, so there was no time to haggle Pikachu (my new little friend) through security.  I ended up leaving him, looking very melancholy, in the Lost and Found bin.
We ran all the way to the boarding terminal and got on the plane just in time.  Thorin and Balin, the two senior dwarves, took their places in the cockpit and we were finally on our way home, safe from Ash's schemes and soon to see Gandalf again.  I wondered if the teacakes would still be good when I got back to my hobbit-hole.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


The year was 2051.  It was winter, and the outdoor temperature was hovering around ninety-five degrees Fahrenhiet.
Of course, I was holed up inside.  Everyone was holed up inside, just as they always were -- that is, of course, except for the dregs and radiation mutants.

You see, back in the thirties, a new painkiller was developed and put on the market.  It was a real hit; it was more effective than Advil or Tylenol and was used in almost every household.  What the pharmacists didn't know, though was thet when the tablet or gel capsule of the painkiller was exposed to sugar (outside of the digestive system), it became a heavily psychoactive drug.  This, of course, was passed around quite prolifically and unstoppably, as everyone thought it was unaddictive and harmless.  The drug, called "cloud," was distributed mainly in airports, trainstations and warehouses, or in places where statues were present.  Earlier in my life, I'd had some pretty bad experiences with the kids hanging around these places.
However, reports started popping up of people who had gone missing after flying into unquellable rages while using cloud and running out into the night after horribly maiming or murdering everyone around them.  By this time, it was getting dangerous to be out in the sun during the day, so it was assumed that they'd died.
Retrospectively, these cases all had a few things in common: the beserkers in question had all recieved the vaccinations against cancer that were now being handed out as freely as vaccines against the flu, they were all using cloud, and all of their freak-outs had occurred at night after the sun had set.

These beserkers were (well, are) the dregs; the reason everyone disposed of their  painkillers, the reason no-one goes outside anymore, and the reason why no houses are allowed to have lights on at night.  The dregs are attacted to and infuriated by it.
My family and I are currently staying in what used to be my grandmother's house, out in the suburbs.  She died just a few years after this all started to happen.  Some days, I wish I had met what seems to have been such a timely fate.
Anyways, this day dragged on like any normal day.  Once the sun had risen, my brother, sister and I pulled on our astronaut suits (which had imporved over the years and became available to the general public "for all your traveling needs."  Which reminds me: the richer class made a break for it at the beginning of the thirties and went to live on the moon.) and strapped on our oxygen tanks before opening the reinforced back door out onto the jungle that the world had become.
The plants and animals, of course, had adapted quickly, developing waxy coverings to keep out radiation and growing tougher, spiny skind to ward off dregs and radiation mutants.  Humans, after living in evolutionary stagnancy for so long, had been incapable of adapting to the changes.
Our goal this afternoon was to replenish our stores of fruits, greens and meat, if we could find any of the latter.  The fruits and veggies were easy; we'd always had a garden, so the smaller plots of stawberries, salad and flowers had transformed into larger areas for our mini-sustenence-farm that had grown up with the jungle.  I'd never been so grateful for all the canning mom had done when I was a kid -- food preservation is extremely easy when you can just put all your edibles in glass jars in the basement.
Somehow, we ended up staying out past sunset, even though there was no way that the oxygen in our tanks could've lasted that long.  The lights in the house were on, and I began to get the sickening feeling that we were being watched.
A strange, stick-thin man stepped around the corner of the house, regarding us with wide, huge eyes that reflected the moonlight in a perfect sheen, making him apppear blind.  He smiled a slow, feral smile.  That's when my siblings and I bolted for the door.
We managed to close the screen door on him, but couldn't manage the second, reinforced door for some inexplicable reason.  As the dreg punched his hand through the glass, I woke up.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I was strolling through the airport with my father, carrying my worn, trusty, ten-year-old veteran of a backpack (which was presumably stuffed full of clothing and other necessities for a trip) and a furry, light blue Blue's Clue's briefcase (which was surprisingly light -- I couldn't fathom what could possibly be in there) that I have never seen in my life.
Eventually, we reached the car, which was parked next to an oddly-situated information booth.  I threw my bags in the back and got in the front passenger's seat.  Strange.  Earlier on I had been under the impression that I was about to travel somewhere by plane.  Perhaps my flight had been delayed for an egregious amount of time.  It was raining pretty hard, but that didn't bother me.
Without ever seeming to have traveled anywhere, Dad and I were in the house again.  My bags sat heaped on the couch, and I puttered around the kitchen, preparing a bowl of soup.
Looking at the soup can, I had the strange feeling that it was very familiar.  "Where'd these come from?" I inquired.
Dad, who'd been standing at the back doorway since we'd come home, suddenly appeared at my shoulder.  "Don't you remember, Green?  You helped Bjorn make those this summer."
At that particular moment, I had no clue who Bjorn was...but after looking at the soup can for a while more (it read "Bjorn's Amazing Stew -- That Smoky Flavor You Won't Find Anywhere Else!" and had a picture of a chimp on a Hawaiian island playing guitar and smoking a cigar on it), memories started filtering back (these were really a mish-mash of events from other dreams, but oh well): making soup on the patio with Bjorn, trying to decide what ingredients were going to be in it; the night-time scene of somebody's back garden, filled with ferns and frond-y plants; walking along a beach somewhere in Thailand with Bjorn and a group of other peope when I was just four or five, stopping because we found an interesting carnivorous plant that would leap into the air, catch and devour anything that was thrown it's way; collecting seashells on a beach in Florida with Bjorn; and finally, the late nights from back when the now disbanded yoga club met up at the house with the fern-filled back garden, training themselves in balance and ease of contortion.  "Oh," I said.  "That Bjorn."  Understatement.
I finished preparing the soup and then ate it, savoring the smoky flavor that I now knew came from copious amounts of chili powder and burning the soup on the bottom of the pot before canning it.  By the time I was finished, it was nearly eight-o'-clock in the evening -- we were going to be late!
Dad and I bundled back into the car, Dad hurriedly explaining to me all the while what I was supposed to do when we got to the airport.  Suffice to say, I heard everything he said, but didn't understand a snippet of what I was hearing, so by the time he dropped me off at the information booth where the car had been parked approximately two hours ago, I was utterly confused.
I decided I might try going through security, so I strolled over to where I knew it to be.  Upon arriving there, I tried to check in and follow normal procedure, but my passing through the metal detector set off a horrid alarm.  So I tried again.  Same result.  I beat a hasty retreat back to the little gray information booth, sat down on a train track that dead-ended when it hit the building, and put my head on my knees in despair.
Quite a while later, a duo of airport police officers' shoes appeared in my limited line of sight.  They told me I couldn't sit here anymore.  I jumped up in indignation; where else was I supposed to go?!  I didn't know how an airport worked!  They were already strutting away, though.
Fortunately, the man inside the information booth was kind enough to give me some assistance.  He said that if I took the escalator directly in front of me going down, turned left and took the moving pathway heading that direction, I could bypass security and still board my plane on time.  I thanked him, picked up my bags and walked to the escalators.
These presented another conundrum.  Both the escalators were going up, and there was no hope of just walking down them because they were moving too fast.  As I stood there, unsure of what action to take, a man came up behind me, pressed a button in between the escalators that I hadn't seen, and one of the pairs of stairs reversed the direction it was moving in.  The man stepped casually onto the escalator.  Well, that solved the problem.  I followed suit.
The escalator was moving more rapidly than I had expected.  At the bottom, it flung me off, nearly landing me on another rapidly moving walkway.  I managed to straddle the path like you would a treadmill, and carefully extracted myself from the situation.  I then prepared myself to ride the up-going escalator and hopped on.  This time, I was ready for the dismount, and hopped off at the right time.  I then took the down-going escalator again.
When I got off this time, I noticed there was something different about the room I was standing in.  The back wall was missing, and through that hole I could see moonlit ferns swaying gently in the breeze.  Forgetting my plane, I strolled into the garden.
Everything was there, just the way I remembered it.  But that also meant...
Before I could finish that thought, the large pit-bull I had been expecting to see rounded the corner of the house, saw me, barked and started to advance towards me.  Knowing this scene all too well, I turned and ran, jumping into a raised fern-bed that the dog couldn't reach and concealing myself in the ferns.  Now, if I wanted, I could make my escape by jumping over the high picket fence that walled off the garden.
But I waited.  The dog barked below me as though it had treed a raccoon, incessant and angry.  Still, I waited.
Eventually, the French doors on the house slid open and out stepped a scowling little girl wearing a white sundress that glowed in the moonlight.  "Hush, Puckett," she said, walking over to stand below the place where I was hidden.  Yes, this was exactly like all my other dreams of this place.
She looked up and was about to discover me when, out of nowhere, some shelving to her left collapsed and tipped over on top of her and the dog, burying them in boardgames, buckets, cans of Bjorn's Amazing Stew and other items.  I turned, jumped over the fence, and was devoured by a carnivorous plant.  "Well, that was a new addition," I thought wryly.

Monday, March 14, 2011


It was a cool summer afternoon, and by that I mean that it was seventy degrees Fahrenheit (at the least) in the shade, and if you were lucky, the humidity was low enough for things to be bearably hot and stifling.  My boyfriend (here referred to as Mandrake) and I, my siblings (Sol and Rose) and my mother were strolling through Minnehaha Park, a place I've been to a bare few times in my life, but that I'm still greatly enamored with.
Evidently, a festival of sorts was taking place there today: people lounged about on blankets thrown over the grass, children ran barefoot from the hills to the stream and back again, live music was playing and food was being made available. 
Mom and Sol parted ways with us, saying they were going down to the stream to cool off.  Mandrake, Rose and I shrugged and ambled over to where a group of people were performing an acapella line-up.  Suddenly, they started singing Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours."  Rose and I jumped up and joined their circle, which was now singing and dancing, as the song was quite familiar to us and we were fond of it.  Mandrake watched bemusedly from the grass, perhaps humming along.
By the time the song was over, the whole park was singing and clapping in time with the music.  the performers finished with a soulful flourish, the crowd clapped and ululated, we bowed and congratulated each other.  It was only then that I realized the person next to me was a boy from my past -- he had been one of my closest friends for a long time, and it had been about five years since I last saw him.  We'll refer to him here as Mac.
As I gaped at him in surprise, he looked over at me smilingly, offering a hand to shake, but as he took in who I was, he dropped his hand and his expression changed to mimic my own.  Of course, afterwards came the general excitement of encountering someone close to you who had been gone for many years.  I thought to introduce Mac to Mandrake, but he seemed to have disappeared without my noticing before now.  I was vaguely worried, but I figured he could take care of himself.  Besides, I suspected that he had transformed into Mac for some reason I couldn't put my finger on.
Anyways, Mac, Rose (she was happy to see him, too) and I spent the remainder of the afternoon in merry frolicking and catching up.  It was a pleasant enough dream.

Unremembered Date

It was drizzling lightly as my friend (here referred to as "Elayne") and I walked down a rutted and muddy track bordered by fall-season forest that led to an open field.  We had just met up there, seemingly by coincidence, and were heading to a cultural dance event that was to take place at the field.  I had recently escaped from what promised to ultimate doom.  Let me tell you about it.

I had been traveling with a band of knights, though they were not exactly the paladin-type knights-in-shining-armor one normally envisions when talking about these things.  Sure, they had the swords, the armor and the brawn, but they were, in character, more the scruffy, roving, take-what-you-can-get-when-you-can-get-it rogues that can either cause a person great mischief or great fortune.  Fortunately, it seemed I was in their good favor.
However, we had become trapped on a raised platform of stone, about five-and-a-half feet tall, that was surrounded by a low stone wall.  For some reason, we couldn't escape.  The motley crew of men were huddled around a fire they had built, feeling grim and desolate.
That was when the first cloaked figure rode by on a horse.  As he passed, he flicked something silver high in the air.  It landed on my palm with a satisfying "plip" sound, and I saw that it was a quarter.  On the back was the California quarter design.  One I've never encountered before.
I turned triumphantly towards the men, only to realize that they were staring at me in shock and horror.
"Put.  That.  Down," one of them hissed.
I tilted my palm and let the quarter drop to the ground.
"No, I meant outside the prison!" he said, hysteria rising in his voice.  "Now, only three hundred and thirty-two to go...Oh, we'll never make it out of here alive."
Bewildered, I stooped to pick up the coin, but could not part it from the stone of the platform.  It was stuck, though by no means that I could see.
At that moment, another rider came past, flicking more coins into our hollow as he did so.  It became clear to me that if the hollow was filled with three hundred and thirty-three quarters, the whole place would go up in flames and no-one would be able to escape.
We spent the next hour madly trying to catch quarters and throw them out into the forest or somehow pry the quarters that had landed on the floor off of it.  All to no avail.
It was a while before I got a grip on things and just left, jumping to the ground from a hole in the wall.  None of the knights noticed me leaving, and in no time at all I found the path and met up with Elayne.

By this time, we had reached the field.  I was surprised to see that there were no Morris dancers present, except for Elayne and myself.  All the rest of the people were from a local Hmong traditional dance group.
Elayne and I walked up to them and began to learn a dance.  It was fun, but I can't remember any of what we were doing.  About halfway through, I noticed Elayne had disappeared.
I made my excuses to the dancers and set out to find her.  Eventually, I discovered a track much like the one we had followed into the field, except that along this one there was a railway upon which rested sleek, black, carriage-style train cars.  One of the porters beckoned to me to join him on the train, but I, distrustful of him and the train, shook my head and stuck to the muddy path.  I hoisted my skirts and walked.
At last, I arrived at -- you guessed it -- the Mall of America, though in this dream it was a different version, made all out of reflective copper and silver, black velvet and poshness.  It had a kind of steam-punky feel to it, though this was more ominous.  I had a feeling that Elayne was in trouble.
I found her in an elevator, staring blankly into the shining metal wall at her reflection and whispering quietly to herself.
"Elayne," I said softly, reaching out to touch her shoulder.
At the sound of her name, she whipped around, turning her blank stare on me for a fraction of a second before her facial features returned to their more normal state.  "Oh, hi there, Green," she said pleasantly.  "You should check this out, it's really jazzy," she chirped, turning to face her makeshift mirror again as her eyes glazed over.
I stared at her in confusion.  There was nothing reflected in the metal except the pair of us.
"It's really cool.  I got these implants in my eyes that allow me to see things written on pieces of glass or other reflective surfaces.  It's like somebody breathed on a cold windowpane and is writing in it with their finger," Elayne said, still transfixed by her reflection.
"What sorts of things?" I asked, grimly fascinated.
"Oh, stuff like relevant advertising, the latest gossip," said she, as if it were perfectly normal to want to read about these things non-stop.
"Alright," I replied, trying to hide my worry.  The elevator bell dinged and we stepped out into a part of the mall that looked a little more like shopping centers usually do: all sparkling lights, polished surfaces and easy-listening music.  I privately shuddered.
"Ooo, let's look in there!" squealed Elayne, pointing to a jewelery store immediately in front of us.  I decided it was best to humor her at this point, so we walked over.
A Jamaican man met us at the door and led us on a tour through his shop.  He refused, however, to show us the back room, claiming that there was something extremely dangerous, a medusa, in there.  But, while he was distracted by a girlishly giggling group of customers, Elayne and I crept into the off-limits room.
Inside, we found Elayne's older sister.  She turned around and smiled cutely at as, then continued arranging jewelery on a mannequin.  For some reason, Elayne and I both agreed that it wasn't safe for her sister to stay with the Jamaican man anymore, so we brought her with us when we left.  He didn't notice she was leaving.
We caught the carriage-train back to the field and rejoined the Hmong dancers before my dream ended.

Unremembered Date

I became conscious of the dream as my friends and I passed through a tea room on the third floor of the Mall of America.  It was a familiar area, though one that I'd only ever visited in other dreams, at the time associating it with an art gallery.  This time, though, the lighting was moody and brooding, the tables were small, circular and adorned with tea-lights, and there were no beanbags to speak of.  Around the tables were seated snappy-looking business people, all uptight and tense in their shiny black shoes; they sipped their coffee (which was a black as their shoes) through precisely pursed lips, crossed, uncrossed and recrossed their legs, and adjusted the positions of their briefcases -- which were as equally shiny and angular as their apparel -- with a terseness and neatness that I found irritating to the extreme.
My group of friends swaggered noisily and unbotheredly through the tense atmosphere, chatting , laughing and goofing off.  We flung open the double doors at the end of the room, letting the bright illumination flooding from skylights beyond the door to permeate some of the gloom of the tea room.  As we departed, I turned and noticed with satisfaction that some of the room's occupants were grimacing and wincing in the sunlight.  I left the door open as I ran to catch up with my friends.
At the food court, we parted ways, the more rambunctious of my friends wandering off into an amusement park section of the mall, leaving myself, my boyfriend and one of our quieter friends to fend for ourselves and go where we pleased.
Hoping to escape the hubbub and nerve-wracking humdrum of the building itself, we decided to go picnic on the front lawn (I had some food in my backpack, as I avoid eating mall food when I can).  The mall doesn't really  have a front lawn at all, but there was, to our knowledge, quite a verdant one waiting just beyond the sidewalks that led to the mall's entrances.  Unfortunately, we would have to navigate our way through the all-too-garishly-colored theme park before we could take our luncheon. 
We began to resignedly wend our way through the park, dodging anxious, flustered mothers, their runaway, sugar-high children wearing wheeled shoes, bored fathers, school groups, and vendors hawking their wares like you wouldn't believe.  Ignoring all of this, we hurried through mazes of roller coaster lines, balloon stands, and ticket booths, finally emerging into a cobblestone-floored plaza; escape was near at hand!
I looked around me, grinning, hoping to share some wry witticism with my boyfriend or with my other friend, but they were nowhere to be found.  Had they gotten lost in the crush of the crowd?  I called out for them breathlessly, verging on panic, but I shouldn't have worried, for they stepped out from behind a hot-dog vendor's cart a moment later.
Travelling in company again, we stepped through the revolving doors and into the sunshine.
It was a bright, Spring-like day.  Filled with a sudden enthusiasm, for the sun was like a balm to my worries, I cartwheeled across the lawn, springing and bouncing with delight.  I came to a stop sprawled on the lawn, giggling to myself and staring up at the clouds.  I waited for a few moments for the other two to catch up, but they didn't come.  I heard their laughing voices retreating into the woods behind the mall.  What were they doing?  We were supposed to be having a picnic, but somehow my boyfriend had my backpack and he and my other friend were walking into the woods and ditching me.
In the time it took for me to register my immediate confusion and (surprisingly for me) anger, they had already turned a bend in the path and disappeared from my view.  I sprung to my feet and ran into the woods after them.
For a long while I chased the two, never seeming to be able to catch them.  Sometimes, as I rounded a corner, I would see them strolling ahead of me, casually holding hands and chatting amiably before they disappeared from my view again.  Occasionally, I would hear one of the laugh from what sounded like very close by, and I would get excited, nervous, confused and angry all over again, thinking that I was about to happen upon them.
The farther I chased them into the woods, the more lost I became.  The trees started morphing into shelving that held all manner of pharmaceuticals in shiny glass bottles, the carpet of underbrush turned into linoleum tiling, and woodland creatures took on the semblance of employees.  One of them, a kind-looking blonde-haired lady, tried to stop me as I strode past her, asking what was wrong and if she could help me with anything.  I shoved past her, paying her no heed, and opened a pair of double doors.
It was only when I stepped into the tea room, whose atmosphere didn't seem so unsuitable anymore, that I noticed I was crying.  The double doors closed behind me and everything went black.

Friday, January 7, 2011


Hello, readers.  Firstly, I would like to apologize for my extended absence...things got busy and I neglected my Dream Journal.  However, I have two dreams from that period that I have yet to write down and type up.  So there are those to look forward to, I guess.  Anyhow, here's the latest from my head.

I was a Spartan warrior, a member of the fiercest army recorded in history, trained to kill and not question.  Everyday, I was fighting for my life.
I had earned my sword and my place in the Spartan ranks through many battles, facing fearsome men and even more fearsome creatures, the beasts of legend and myth.  A man of twenty-four years, I was a battle-scarred, fearless, un-bending agent of death.
Presently, Sparta was at peace, or as at peace as it come close to being.  Many of the warriors were then in the city, spending time with their respective family, friends, or (as it may be) their favorite tankard of hard wine.  I was alone, as I always had been...I spent my days meditating on what I had done and what I had left to do.  I was, as always, an untouchable figure among the commoners.
It was during those few days of return to my home that I felt a black shadow cross my heart and knew my time here was ill-spent: my peace would be short-lived.
But I could do nothing for it, for where was my proof?  I had only a feeling, and those are usually not the acceptable catalyst for launching  a war.  Not to mention, I didn't even know against whom we might be warring.  Things just didn't feel right...

As much as I had wished against it, my premonitions of doom became truth.  Late one balmy summer evening, Sparta was besieged by hordes of monsters.  By some divine power, they sunk the city fifty feet into the earth and proceeded to climb down into the ditch, probably hoping to massacre us in our disorder and confusion.
The serfs, women and children were the first to go, of course.  And I could not help them; the city was too large, too overrun.  I had to stay with the small platoon of Spartans I had gathered about myself, lest we all succumb to the creeping, misty fingers of death that wreathed the city, holding us in it's clutch.
The first wave to reach us was made up of the normal human soldiers, just like us: trained from a young age in combat and tactics, trained to relish gore, worship the sword, fight, always fight.  And we slew them.  Without any qualms, without any casualties.
The second wave to come were the wolves, creeping through the mist on padded paws, eyes glowing malevolently, circling, always circling.  And those too, we dispatched.
Third were the minotaurs, bellowing and rampaging, throwing their brute strength and weight around.  We sent them to the abyss without so much as a backward glance.
But then...then they came.  The mist descended ever thicker upon our group, bringing with it a chill and a scent so sickening, most of the men vomited before they could think twice about it.  The worst was the rattling, though.  It was the scraping and the creaking and the rattling of long-dead bones risen from their grave, shambling towards us from all directions, closing us in, intending for us to soon join their numbers.
We fought with every inch of our swords and with every whit's worth of intelligence, but still many men took the hand of sweet death and walked into oblivion that day.  The skeletons were surprisingly fast.  They could evade the swiftest of blows and be within range to throttle you (or worse) quicker than you could blink an eye.  They were tough, too.  Jab them through the back of the skull with a blade and they'd do no more than turn and grin vilely at you, eye sockets empty and lightless...then they'd slowly pull the sword from their head and jab you through your own gut with it.
Dawn never came while fighting these ghasts.  The city was shrouded in twilight and death's mist, hopeless and silent except for the noise of battle from our sector.  The remainder of Sparta slept for all eternity.
There was one point during the battle where I thought I had lost my life.  I was on the ground, having been knocked over, and my sword was embedded in a skeleton not yet subdued.  The horror stood up, removed my sword from itself and thew it at me.  Things progressed in slow time, yet I was helpless to move; I could only watch as my blade spun on a course bound straight for the impalement of my own brain.  Suddenly, there was a whooshing sound, and time stopped completely.  Scintillating scarlet droplets of blood shimmered in the air, though there were none there before.  A number of them coalesced into six larger droplets, which spun round and round in front of my nose, forming Death's insignia.  I looked up, and there She was, blue light glimmering off of Her alabaster skin and red specks dancing in Her eyes.  She smiled warmly at me, plucked the sword from the air, and planted it in the earth between my feet. 
"Now is not your time," She said, and walked away.  All the skeletons She passed, She flicked on the skull.  Pure, deep notes emitted tranquilly from each one.  Then She faded into the mist and time resumed it's crawl.
The blood in the air had disappeared, but the sword was at my feet; I jumped up and wrenched it out of the earth.  Around me, the skeletons the Lady had touched fell over and disintegrated into ash.
I took to the battle again, and my sword burned with a cool, blue energy.  The skeletons I downed seemed to need but one blow to convince them to surrender their bones to the earth once more.
Finally, only two of the fiends remained.  They were dispatched by others with crushing blows to the head.

I looked around.  Only thirteen of us Spartans remained.  The rest of the city had been claimed by the Dark Lady...