A Thief in the Night

First off, Word Press doesn’t really transfer Microsoft Word documents over as well as they think they do.  I insert my document using their tool and it screws it all up.  There are lines of coding at the top of document and I know enough about coding to know those shouldn’t be there.  So I delete them.  Then the font spacing and sizing gets all wonky.  The last post looked the way it did because after a few hours I gave up fixing it.  I only know enough coding to write it from the ground up, not fix complex webpage’s bugs.  But I know enough to write from the ground up AND I have a corner of the internet that is all mine.  One day I will move all this there and Word Press can keep their bugs but until I have that time I’ll be here.  However, that’s not why you’re here.  There’s a new post and that must mean I’ve been dreaming.  I have.  Lots, I just haven’t had had time to write any of them up.  But you’re only getting one today.

            This dream started with me waking up.  There were the sounds of general conversation as people milled about and gathered their belongings.  Sheets of paper were tucked into folders, books were closed, miniature figures were tucked into foam cases, and dice were dropped back into bags.  (And now you may be thinking that is way too much detail for me not to be a table-top gaming geek and you’d be right.)  I lifted my head and glanced at the clock; 1:30.  This session ran way late of our usual 10:00 pm cut off.
“What did I miss?” I asked my husband I gathered my papers.  He explained the conversation that had taken place in a location my character wasn’t really welcome and in a language she didn’t speak.  Also, they decided my character had also fallen asleep.  I gave a groggy nod.

“Zen doesn’t do well with Shade hours,” I agreed as I tucked my notebook in my bag.  We said our goodbyes to the group and stepped out the door but it wasn’t a suburban neighborhood we entered.

My other half was gone and I walked slowly through a large hall.  My bag was still slung over my shoulders and my sneakers didn’t make a sound as I stepped along the marble floor.  Huge columns, spread fifty feet apart, held up an arched ceiling disappearing above me.  I could hear a waterfall in distance and a breeze suggested the room was open to the outdoors.  As I passed another pillar I spotted my goal in the distance.  Lying on a nest of golden straw, really sparkling, soft metal golden, and silk sheets was a clutch of eggs.
There were a half-dozen of them, all bigger than my head and a light blue in color.  They sparkled in the light of an unknown source, as if covered in a pale blue glitter.  I placed my hands upon one expecting it to have the texture of sandpaper but found it smooth and warm; their mother hadn’t been gone long.  The egg was slipped into my bag and I turned to see I wasn’t alone.

The man that stood watching my was tall, broad, and dressed in turban and robes.  He was not happy. I gave him a snarky smile and wave before I turned heel and ran.  A glance over my shoulder wasn’t needed to know he was following me but I was quick.  The exit to the outside was found in my dash away and I hid amid large pots of plants on the balcony.  It wouldn’t be safe for long but it was long enough.  A device was pulled from pocket with various dials.  I spun them quickly, clenched my eyes closed, and was pulled through an impossible vortex in space just as the robed man began inspecting my hiding location.
I landed in a ditch alongside a dirt road.  The sounds of many feet approaching suggested hunkering down further would be a good idea so I did, watching the approaching mass through tall reeds.  There were hundreds of people, walking a procession of eight across and stretching beyond the horizon.  Men, women, and children passed by me dressed in identical robes of white and red.  Some pulled carts; others carried platforms loaded with fruits and vegetables.  Several carriages were spread throughout, pulled by florally decorated ox like creature.  All were oblivious to my presence as they walked towards huge doors of a city far off to my right.

As the line came to an end I saw one I recognized from the identically clad people and I rose from hiding place.  It wasn’t until my feet hit the road that he saw me, though. 

“It’s you!” he exclaimed happily as I approached.  “What brings you here?”
“Hiding,” I answered simply, purposefully avoiding the subject in my bag as I glanced around for a safe location for the fragile cargo.  He grabbed my arm in a friendly manner, urging me to keep up with the last of the procession to the city.   There was no opportunity to part safely with my treasure so I pulled it closer.

“Come in, then!  Come see!”  I was shepherded through the doors and into a glass front shop.  I looked around in awe at the bottles and paper wrapped packages that lined the shelves.  “We have so many!” the eager man explained as he handed me a bottle from a nearby shelf and urged me to open it.  I pulled the cork out and smelled.  Lilacs and vanilla filled my senses.

“Soaps, lotions, shampoos…” he stated as he motioned around the shop.  “And a sink to try them out in.”   A basin of cloudy water sat in the center of the shop, obviously used from the mix of smells emanating from it.

Forget the sink, I thought.  Show me a shower but a quick scan of the shop revealed nothing as luxurious as running water.  I pulled another bottle from a shelf and uncorked it but the ground began shaking before I could get a good whiff of the product.

“A giant,” my escort said offhandedly.  I furled my brow knowing the creatures were huge, dimwitted, and dangerous.  They had once plagued these people with the damage and death they brought about a single village.

“Shouldn’t you warn people?” I asked as the vibrations continued in rhythmic thumps.

“Gates,” the man assured me.  “You’re idea.  They’re strong enough to tire a gaggle of giants before they can break through.”  It was a sound idea but the increasing vibrations made me doubtful.  I stepped to the glass windows and looked back at the huge doors we had come through.

“Don’t they work better closed?” I asked.  All the color drained from his face.  “Whose job is it to close the gates?” I inquired as the former eagerness became silence.  The gulp that went down his throat and the averted eyes answered my question better than any words.  I looked back to the gate to see the gigantic humanoid lumber through with the remains of an ancient tree dragging behind him.  Eyes as large as platters looked left and right before settling on the glass store front where I stood.
“Shit,” I mumbled as I pulled the device from my pocket once again.  I wasn’t looking forward to using it again so soon but it sounded better than dying.  “You should run, Bob.”  I called to my once eager friend as I spun the dials.  It began to hum as the vortex formed in front of me and the tree trunk of a club was readied to smash the glass windows.  I was pulled through again to the sound to crashing glass.

            It would have been nice to see what dimension I ended up in next but I woke up.  However, I do have an idea for my next story, Jamie Roberts; Inter-dimensional Thief.  I just have to finish Kat’s Tale first.  And Confessions of the Hell Bound Atheist… and Remembering Ilyassa.  I need more free time.  Sigh.

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Living in Lala-land

I had a dream that started out perfectly normal; simply moving into a house with acreage in Montana.  Before long it turned weird and I found myself in an unknown place and a scene I couldn’t get out of my head.

            The day had finally come to an end and, as I stood before the large bathroom mirror, a sense of relief I believed wasn’t possible in this chaotic place washed over me.  Tense shoulder started to relax as my fingers worked out the intricate knots and complex fasteners that bound the uncomfortable clothing to my worn body.  One by one the heavy layers fell to the tile floor until I stood wearing only a pair of blue cotton panties, the minimal comfort given to me this day.  They weren’t enough to protect me from the chilly air that penetrated the large bathroom and I looked around for what was deemed appropriate for nightwear by the powers that be.   A nightgown hung near the entry and I took it down with some reservation.  The fabric was soft but stiff under my fingers and I didn’t need to put it on to know how stifling it would be under the multiple covers that dressed my bed.  I replaced it with a heavy sigh and looked around for a more comfortable alternative.  The bright pink fabric of my tee-shirt peeked from under a pile of damp towels that had been shoved in the corner early that morning.  I was surprised it hadn’t disappeared during the course of the day under the guise of being unsuitable for my status.  It was freed with a gentle pull and a smile.  It wasn’t clean or dry and didn’t cover nearly as much of me as the gown would have but it was mine and far more comforting than the most luxurious pajamas.  Exhausted but satisfied, I left the bathroom and headed to the overstuffed, fluffy contraption I was told was my bed.

            The man that sat upon it was evidence my evening was not yet over.  The thinning, dull brown hair was vaguely familiar and I recall seeing the sharp beak of nose about but I couldn’t recall his name.  A bushy eyebrow rose over a watery eye as I crossed the room with no shame in regards to my exposed body.  He had lost layers in late hour as well and a stiff coat of a clan color that would have given me a hint of his identity should have covered the once pressed white shirt he wore.  The dark gray trousers he wore offered no hints as to what color it had been nor what family he belonged to and the wrinkled white shirt was unbuttoned at neck.  The collar flopped down and effectively hid what may have been a crest.  He must have believed that whichever family it was it ranked high for him to presumptuous enough to enter my rooms unbidden.  I wasn’t concerned about rank though, and was only interested so I knew who to punish later.

            “Rejecting the family colors?” he questioned as I approached.  The smirk that crossed his lips made me want to scowl but I kept my face neutral and uncaring.
“They’re not my family,” I replied.  “And I’m going to bed so it doesn’t matter what I wear.  What do you want?”  I casually dropped into a sitting position near the head of the bed and faced him.

            “I merely thought, seeing as how you are unwed…” he began but I quickly cut him off.

            “I am married.”  The words were blunt and cold but he smiled smugly.

            “The families don’t recognize it,” he retorted.  “Nor is he here to claim you.”  The implication I was property set my lips into a thin line that I turned into an irritated smile.

            “I do recognize it,” I managed but the words were unheard.  He scoffed and edged closer to me on the bed.
“A woman of your age and position…”  A hand was placed on my thigh as he spoke but I rolled my eyes and removed it.

            “No point,” I interpreted.  “I can’t have any more kids.  You want to plow a salted field.”

            “That can be worked around,” he said with a smile and scooted closer again.  My hand balled itself into a fist and the urge to punch him had to be subdued with a deep breath.

            “It can’t,” I stated instead.  “Now, please leave.  I wish to go to sleep.”
“A task I simply want to join you in,” he said in the least alluring voice I could imagine.  It was also a motive I had long ago suspected and didn’t need to be stated out loud.

            “No.”  There was no dejected slump of his shoulders or shuffling of feet to my door.  Instead he leaned closer with a knowing smile.

            “I can have you tonight without your consent and simply pay your family the bride price,” he whispered.  A quiet groan escaped my throat as I flopped back on the bed and covered my face with my hands.  This world was so strange; light years ahead of my own in some aspects but strangely archaic in others, yet I had already suspected this view of women as property.  He took my behavior as reluctant consent and lay beside me with his hand on my waist.   My hand went under my pillow and wrapped around the insurance I had placed there upon learning my door didn’t have a lock. 

“Should you do that you’ll find you don’t have the equipment to enjoy it,” I stated as cold metal was pressed against his crotch.  His hand withdrew quickly as his watery eyes regarded the pistol aimed at his manhood.  A tongue licked dry lips and he nodded before rising from the bed and leaving without another word.  I let out a deep sigh, placed the gun under pillow again, and pulled the covers over me for a night of restless sleep.

            Morning came long before I was ready.  The overstuffed down comforter was pushed away with a disgruntled sigh and I slid from the bed.  The lack of coffee in my rooms made a bath the next most desirable item of the morning.  I stepped back into the chilly bathroom, flicking on an overhead light that came to life with a gentle buzz.  A gigantic bathtub sat in the corner.  It was set into a tiled platform and made of smooth stone that met up with an artificial rock wall.  The sides contorted in ways that offered many different positions for comfortable soaking and live plants grew from dirt filled holes among the rock and tile.  The handle for the water was hidden beneath a frond but the faucet was nowhere visible to my eye.  I turned the silver handle until it was pointed more at the red line than the blue with hopes the symbolism was the same here and stood back to see where the water emerged from.  A torrent of water began falling from the ceiling and tumbled down the rock wall as an artificial water fall.  At the lip of the tub it hit a smooth incline that directed it into the tub.  The water spread slowing across the bottom and began inching its way up the side; a tub this size was going to take some time to fill so I placed a hand in the water to check the temperature, too cold, pushed the handle further towards the red and went to find a way to occupy myself while I waited.  A knock at the door solved that problem pretty quickly.
Three guards dressed in full uniform entered my room without waiting for permission.  One wore the regalia of the captain and the stern look on his face made me feel like a teen that was in trouble yet again.  My shoulders fell as I turned with a defeated sigh and a roll of my eyes.
“A lock,” I demanded to the empty air in front of me.  “I want a lock on my door.”   The captain said nothing so I walked back to the bathroom to check the progress of the filling tub.  It had picked up the pace quite a bit and was half full.  I considered that close enough and pulled my tee-shirt over my head.  A cough from behind was all I needed to be assured I was followed.  “I’m serious,” I stated as my panties were thrown into the corner and I stepped into the warm water.  “I want a lock for my rooms.”
“I’ve been asked to approach you about your choice in late night visitors,” the guard stated instead of acknowledging my request.  I lowered myself into the water before turning to him.

“An unwelcome visitor that could have been avoided had my rooms possessed a piece of rudimentary technology such as a LOCK,” I insisted.  “He left without incident only because I had the forethought to arm myself.”  The captain averted his eyes because of my stern tone.

“You assure me nothing occurred between the two of you?” he questioned.

“A lock!” I shouted and slap my palm against the tile alongside the tub.  It stung but I refused to flinch and show any weakness.

“Yes, my lady.  We’ll have a metal smith install one as soon…” he began but already I could tell this wasn’t going to be fast enough.
“No.  You will venture forth into American land and find a heavy duty, keyed dead bolt that was likely made in China and have it installed today!”  Perhaps I sounded important or maybe I was scaring him but I did get a “yes, ma’am,” from his lips.  I relaxed the water and let it lap over my shoulders.  It was getting deep and it occurred to me that I couldn’t reach the handle without leaving the water.  “Could you turn that off for me, please?” I requested in a less commanding tone.  Another nod and he stepped around to stop to the water, all the while avoiding looking at me in the water.  I thought the conversation over but he remained at the handle pointedly looking away from the tub while standing stiffly.

            “Is there something else you are here for or do you intend to stand guard over me in place of a lock?” I inquired as I drifted on the water in search of soap.
“You have mail, my lady,” he answered stiffly.  I sat upright.  Coming from a world was mail was a daily thing full of adverts and bills; mail here was something one would actually want to read.  I wasn’t close enough to anyone in this land for them to take the time to write me so it could have only come from one place.

            “Let me see!” I demanded and outstretched a dripping wet hand expectantly.  A thick envelope was placed in it with a slight bow and I smiled at the scrawled handwriting addressing it to me.  A quick wave dismissed the guard from the awkward situation. I leaned on the smooth incline the water had flowed down before and regarded the letter a moment.  It was heavy and contained more than a few sheets of paper.  The corners were bent and battered, showing the rough treatment it had been through before arriving here.  Several stamps, adding up just over three dollars, were placed haphazardly in the corner and made me smile.  I wasn’t that far from the return address but it was times like this it felt more like centuries than miles.  My finger pushed into a gap in the flap and ripped the long edge before I tapped the contents into my hands.  A stack of hundred dollar bills came out and my heart dropped.  “No letter?” I whispered under my breath as I fought back tears.  “No note?”  The bills were flipped through and I found other countries currency mixed in but the pages of handwritten or even typed communication was missing.  The envelope was ripped open in hopes it had stuck inside.  All I found was a yellow sticky note; “Here’s the money from your investments.  I don’t know how money works in lala-land so I hope cash works.”  It wasn’t even signed.  The tears escaped now as I realized just how much I wanted to hear from the people left behind.  I wanted to know how the USA, or the world, was coping with such a drastic change.  I wanted to how Kayla was doing but now I was left with the empty feeling she believed I abandoned them for something better.  I threw the money aside and cried.

I want that tub.

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Three’s a crowd, I have a party.

This is how a story is concieved.  These characters and scenes seemed to have just appeared in my head today.  It only took a bit to write them out as well.  Not that I needed more people in my head.

It was the end of the day.  The sun was disappearing behind the horizon, or so I assumed.  My ale was rapidly disappearing from my cup, of that I was certain.    I set the pint on the heavy wooden table before me with a dull thud as I motioned to the innkeeper, Hugh, I believe he said his name was, that I would like another.  A brief nod showed me he acknowledged my request.  Leaning my chair back on two legs, I propped one heavy boot against the table and closed my eyes.

The sound of wood scraping against the rough stone floor beside me caused the tiniest crack in my eye lids.  A man had taken a seat beside me and was calmly sipping his own pint.  Straggly blond hair, gray blue eyes, sharp chin, tanned skin; he looked like all the other and was of no interest.  The fresh pint in front of me, however…  I pulled a couple coppers from the leather pouch at my waist and tossed them to the Hugh.  He caught them with ease and went about his business as I brought the frothy drink to my lips.

“Word is abound that you can do some amazing things,” the man said into his beverage.  A smirk came to my lips from the wooden mug as my eyes closed again.  “For a price,” he finished.

“You cannot afford me,” I answered, my eyes never going in his direction.  He moved, dug around in his pockets, I suppose, and threw something onto the table with a waxy thump.  I opened my eyes just enough to see the wax paper bundle, no bigger than my hand, tied with string.

“Soap,” he informed.  My hand moved with blurring speed as I reached for the package but he intercepted and reclaimed the package before I could touch it.  “In return for something amazing.”  I suppressed a laugh.  A young man had tried to win my affections the day before.  He was dirty and smelled of a barn, so soap had been my named price.
“I want to smell it,” I answered, now turning to him and expecting to find the same boy.  This was not the same one.  His blond hair was cut short and stuck up in odd angles.  If allowed to grow it was likely quite curly.  The roots were just as blond as the ends; it hadn’t been bleached light by the sun.  His tan was fake, a copper dirt carefully smudged over his face to give the appearance of working in the sun.  He smiled, showing me some perfect white teeth, and waved the bundle under my nose.

The smell of lavender and roses made me want to swoon. Many years ago I detested the sharp scent of the plant but have come to love the strong tang.  It did a wonderful job of covering potent odor of others.  I placed my hand firmly over his and looked in his with a smirk.

“For this I shall give you a night you will never forget.”  His grin nearly split his face in half and I realized just how young this man was.  And stupid, oh, was he stupid.

I had stayed too long, I thought to myself as I casually led him to the room I rented.  The job I had come to complete had been done weeks before but the chaos that normally followed had died down early.  No one was suspect and I was enjoying a break.  Obviously, I had grown lax and people had caught on.

What I should have done was merely smack the young man across the head with my mug, rendering him unconscious and made a run for it, but I wrongfully assumed he had more brains than he actually possessed, and over thought the situation.  Others should have been positioned outside, awaiting such a reaction, I believed.  Or perhaps they were situated around the other tables. Maybe they were awaiting outside, or even inside, my current domicile. Though my composure would have never shown it, I was far too good at my profession for that, underneath I was panicking.
He shut the door behind him, carefully making sure the latch caught then doing up the simple lock above it.  Alright, I thought, now it gets interesting.  I bent over at the waist in a show of doing the laces of my well-worn and loved boots, carefully keeping an eye on this man.  Imagine my surprise that, just as I was loosening a dagger from its sheathe inside my boot, he removes his shirt.  He thought to take part in his bargain before handing me over!  It was unlikely any were awaiting him then and I smiled as I replaced the dagger.  This surely would be a night he would never forget.

I straightened up and began the arduous task of unlacing my corset.  Only a few loops had been undone when I saw the shear the excitement this boy, I shall now say, had.  He practically hopped in spot while trying to remove his leather boots.  I snickered as I took his hand and led him to the bed.  With a gentle push he landed on the feather mattress with a bounce.   A gentle caress down his leg had him tremoring and the removal of his boot life changing.  In a moment I had the other off as well and he sat on my bed in only his trousers.  I, however, was still full dressed but this did not dissuade him.  I climbed gracefully upon his lap, my fingers trailing along his bare chest.  He shivered under their gentle touch.    Then I smiled at him as I climbed from his lap once again.  Such manliness (hah!) as he scotched his way to the head of the bed.  I made a show of undoing the remaining laces of my corset in front of him, gently swaying back and forth.  Eager gray blue eyes watched with anticipation up to the last two eyelets, when he suddenly realized he was still wearing his trouser.  The brown pants, as new as his tan, were thrown hurriedly to the floor.  He now wore nothing but his britches and they left nothing to the imagination, a bit of a disappointment really.

It amazing, the way I managed to climb above the young man in a sensual way without ever removing my heavy boots.  He failed to notice them at all, the excited anticipation had clearly clouded his brain.  I gently tickled him with the lace from corset, dragging it up and down his body and then his arm.  It only takes one hand for me to get a decent knot around a wrist while the other was keeping him very distracted.  He never even noticed when I released that hand.  I caressed him some more, allowing his hands to wander a bit more than I would really would have liked before I laughed suddenly, a teasing sort of chuckle.  I grabbed his hands and pushed them over his head as he leaned up to kiss my neck.  A few loops, a tuck and tightened; his hands were now bound.  I sat up, still comfortably straddling him, and gave him a smirk as I took the pins from hair.  His eager smile became one of triumph as my few well hidden but distinguishable locks fell around my shoulders.
“Caught you, my lady,” he smiled and reached for me, finally discovering his hands were tied.
“Really?” I answered as I lay on him, my lips only inches from his ears.  “The night you’ll never forget just cost you a promotion.”  I sat back and reached for the pillow behind his head.  “I can always tell a city guard by the smell.”  My smile was gone but he couldn’t tell.  I held the pillow over his face and he squirmed as I slowly counted.  Eighty-eight, eighty-nine, ninety, ninety-one… he finally relaxed under my weight and the pillow was tossed aside.  My fingers found his pulse on his neck, rapidly beating away.  His breathing resumed a moment later.  He’d live, they normally did, but I now had only precious few moments to gather my things and hurrying from town before anyone else thought to claim the bounty on my head.

It was unlikely I was first the notice him but there couldn’t have been many before me if he was still standing in the middle of the road with that dumb expression on his face.  The clothing was a dead giveaway that he was lost and the expression was confused.  I hurried away with the hopes that it would not be me he would soon ask for directions.

Wait!” he called loudly.  In that small crowd it was only I who understood the word but I gave no inclination of it.  I hurried on towards a tavern on the north side of town, weaving among as many groups of people as I could in order to lose him. Just as I thought I had lost him. I heard the sound of rubber on cobblestone, not a sound often made around here.  Or ever.  A glance over my shoulder, with hopes my cloak hid my gaze, showed him behind me panting slightly.

Please, stop,” he called breathlessly.
“You are fool who will not live through the week,” I said to him knowing he understood not a word of it, and then turned to continue to my destination.  The footsteps ceased, he was a fool and stopped following me.

The tavern was not much further but these events made me early.  The one I was to meet should not have arrived yet and, if he had, was not in a state ready for me.  I had time to kill.  I turned down an alley and began talking stock of the tools I had brought with me.  A tie on the leather pouch was tighter than expect and I had just loosened it when the sound of rubber approached again.

Fuck,” I mumbled as I pulled the strings tight again.

I knew it,” he called.  “You don’t belong here either!
Why are you following me?” I asked him.

The boots,” he answered quickly.  I raised and eye brow at him.  Maybe he really was simply insane.  It didn’t explain his knowledge of modern English

Everyone is wearing boots,” I growled at him.  “I have business to attend to, so leave.”

Doc Marten’s,” he answered smugly.  “I recognize the stitching.
Bravo, Sherlock.  If you’ll now excuse me…”  I moved to pass by him but he stepped to block me.  “You have no idea what you do,” I growled to him.  “What do you want?
Help,” he stated.  “Where am I?  How do I get home?”
Settervan, and if I knew that would I still be here?”  I stated angrily.

Help me,” he replied desperately.
Survive the week and we’ll talk,” I responded and attempted to push past him once again.  He was stronger than I expected and didn’t budge.   I stepped back, reached under my cloak to my back.  My hand returned with a long dagger.  “Allow me to pass,” I said in most threatening voice.  His response was not what I expected.  A hand disappeared into the waist band of his cargo shorts and emerged with a pistol.  Once ago my composure failed to show the wave of panic that came over me.

“You have, what, ten bullets if that is fully loaded?” I inquired calmly.  “You have to eat and it will be a while before you learn the language.  You’re going to waste a bullet on me simply because I can’t help you?  You truly are a fool but, then, only a fool would carry a loaded pistol in their pants.”
One,” he answered sheepishly as he lowered the gun.

Good luck then,” I told him as I finally forced my way past.  “If you survive the week, find me.  Until then, find some decent clothes.  You look like you’re running around in your underwear here.”

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Interpret this

Last night was odd, random, confusing, and general left me with a WTF? felling when I woke up.  And it may not be safe for working environments if you work somewhere where HR is actually concerned about your activities and internet whereabouts. (No worries for those in the cable industry, you can read on in peace.)

When I woke up my first thought waswell about a vast number of prominent male genitalia in cold water.  Don’t worry, it wasn’t penis soup, they were still attached to their bodies.

The first part of the dream I recall was walking along the edge of a zero depth pool.  The water was freezing, cold enough I expected to see bits of ice floating in it.  I avoided touching it with my bare feet.  In the center of the pool was a man in wet suit standing on a stage in the middle of the pool.  Hundreds of people were sitting along the side of the pool, wrapped in large beach towels against the cold, and eagerly watching this guy. He made some sort of an announcement and a moment later water began to shoot forth from a water fall at the far end of the pool.

I refocused on the moving stream of water as it made it’s way down the fall, zigzagging quickly back and forth.  I could make out a man on a surf board heading towards the depth of the pool.  Much bare skin was evident and I thought he was nuts for daring to go in that water in a Speedo.  In a wave water he hit the pool and surfed up the the announcer.

People stood and cheered him in on as the wave settled.  I, however, simply watched in shocked.  The  surfer was naked but that was not what had my attention.  He was also, ahem, fully erect despite the chilly temperature of the pool.  How was that possible?  Now, I’m certainly lacking those part but my husband assures me that there is substantial shrinkage involved when certain “members” are introduced to cold.  This is repeated often in the winter as my frozen feet search for a reliable source of heat.  Yet this man seems to have defied that rule of supposed anatomy and was prominently displaying his happy member.

I turned and scanned the crowd to see if anyone else had noticed this miracle of nature.  The people who had once been shivering in beach towels were now standing and all the men happily wore thing but a flesh tone ruler perpendicular to their bodies.  The women wore nothing but sunshine.  (No, I can’t say that.  There is often a distinct absence of a light source in my dreams. They are all lit like a lightly over cast sky.  Needless to say, the women were still naked.)

Honestly I was unmoved.  The show was over and everyone was walking away, awkward for some of the men as buxom young women were helping to support their staffs.   I wrapped my towel around myself, I was naked to but not bothered by it, and began walking to a nearby building.  I wanted to dress, or at least put on some panties, and head home.  This even was hardly worth the hoopla.

The building was a school and deep inside was a classroom.  It had auditorium seating for more lecturing potential was filled with all sort of stuff.  At the bottom and to the right of the desk was my bag.  I went down the stairs and headed over to find that part of the classroom had been locked off with a gate.  A motorized scooter, white if your curious, was chained to the gate in such a way I couldn’t pull it open.  I could easily reach through and grab my bag but it was too big to be brought through the gaps.  I struggled with it, attempting to open the gate, move the scooter, and even work the bag over the top with many ailed attempts.  I finally settled on simply grabbing my panties from the bag, which I put on immediately, and my hairbrush.  Then I settled for going home as scantily clad as I was.

I must of dressed because Dave an I were now taking a walk through the neighborhood.  The air was warm and smelled of lilacs and cherry blossoms.  We chatted about nothing as took the path weaving between the houses from the park. Music began to fill the air and push the serenity that surround us out of reach.    I listened with my head bobbing to the beat as we round a fence and discovered a guy happily wiring giant speakers to a sound system.

“I wouldn’t want to be around here in few hours,” Dave said in contempt and scowled.  Was he getting old and bitter?  I knew we were to grow old together but I was hoping we’d both remember how to have fun.  The man had decent taste in music, anyway, and looked like he was setting for a great time.

As we walked by his yard we past a massive amounts of electronics, amplifiers, lights, speakers, even a stage.  This was a going to be a great party and I was bit disappointed we weren’t invited.  Then I noticed the ten foot tall post of Jack Skellington.

“Goth rave?”  I asked Dave as we passed.  He mumbled something about “poor neighbors” and I pouted.  I kind of wanted to bring our youngest down.  She’d probably like it.

We continued to through the neighborhood and encountered more speaker set ups, though less elaborate, and even some souvenir stand and garage sales.  They all focused on characters from the Nightmare Before Christmas.  Ci would love this, I though to myself.  It appeared to be a huge block part featuring her favorite movie.  Nearby someone turned on their stereo and quiet music, the kind you hear at a new age shop that smells strongly of patchouli, streamed out.  I was disappointed in the rather relaxed tunes and kept walking but the tune got louder and louder.

I opened my eyes, realized the inappropriately placed music was Dave’s alarm, and then reconsidered my dream.  The first thing I remembered? Penises.

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A ghostly sacrafice

Last night was a night where sleep was desired but hard to obtain.  I laid comfortably in the bed as dreams beckoned only to have a dog scratch at the door frame.  I trudged down stairs to let him outside only to learn he desired more food, but he was willing to go outside to find some.  With the bowl filled I returned to the warmth of the blankets.

Then it was kitten eagerly attacking moving body parts underneath the quilt and sheets. She bounced with joy and waited with great anticipation until it became clear we really were going to sleep and be still.  She settled down between my legs to sleep the night away as well.

Just as I reached sleep’s door a cry came from the other room.  I was jarred awake and listened.  Another.  My youngest was crying.  I dragged myself from sleep once again and went to her room where she instantly clamped her arms around my neck in a firm hug. A nightmare, great.  It was only shortly after 11 pm.  A nightmare this early would me there were likely to be several more before the night was over.  I reassured her and tucked her back in, knowing it would be temporary, then went back to bed myself.  Two more nightmares later and a tossing, twirling five year old was in bed with me, hands resting on my arm, snuggled close for comfort and protection against the horrors of the night.  (Cthulhu, her stuffed lovey, on the other hand, is fired.  This is his job.)  And the plus side, she left the hard sippy cup in her bed.

I eventually fell to sleep myself where I was subjected the remains of her bad dreams.

The house was haunted.

I couldn’t see the spirits that plagued my child be she was certain they were there.  We walked through all the rooms in our nightgowns searching for the elusive entities but found nothing.  I reassured her we were safe but she could sleep in my bed tonight.  I would keep her safe.  It wasn’t enough, she needed to prove to me these ghosts were real.

I’m not sure what the tools she gathered were but they consisted of four canister of bright colors about the size of a toilet paper tube.  They had small holes on the top, like plastic speakers.  She set them up carefully then climbed between Dave and I saying, “soon the ghosts will come.  You will see.  Find out what they want.”

I admit, even though I highly doubted this would work, I was nervous and more than a bit frightened.  I tried to move her to the side with the little canisters but she wouldn’t have it.  I settled down into the quilts with vain attempts to ignore the devices by my head and go back to sleep.  As I lied there trying to convince my eyes to close I saw a… shape? approaching.  It had no color or form but was more like a ball of distortion, like heat rising from a hot road.  I reached over and shook Dave awake but was too terrified to speak.

It hovered in front of me for a moment and, when I opened my mouth to say something, flew inside.  Terror took me and I was stiff as a bored.  I went to chest and stayed there, a cold emptiness.  I gathered all my will to speak and managed out a gravelly, “I love you, Dave.  Goodbye.”  (Creepy.)

I was beyond terrified as this spirit possessed me but there was nothing I could do.  I couldn’t move, I couldn’t speak, and I was convinced this was the end.  I knew what this thing wanted, my soul, and as desperately as I wanted to keep a hold of it I couldn’t.

A moment later the thing flew from chest again and all feeling left.  I was thinking that my point of view should have changed, I should have been looking upon my empty husk of a body.  In my now awake form I’d love to say that I was disappointed but, in the dream, I wasn’t, there was no emotion left in me, just logical thought.  My eyes were in my head and images were just flickers of signals running down nerves.  A soul cannot see.  I slid from the bed in a lifeless heap, knowing this was the end.  I was killed by ghost stealing my soul.

I awoke with a start, of course.  The room was dark, the child was taking up an absurd amount of room between Dave and I, and the animals were tucked in between us three, contentedly snoozing.  As was normal and sleep was screaming my name.  I closed my eyes and, even though I was still disturbed by the dream, I fell back to sleep.  I must have; the bed suddenly had a headboard.

In my dream I was still terrified of the ghost and did not want to fall back to sleep.  There was something out there, in the hallway, and I could feel it.  I groped around the shelf on the headboard until I encountered a hard, plastic item; my daughter’s flash light.  I began pumping the handle (it was one of those that doesn’t need batteries but relies on endless child energy to run) and pointed it at the door.  In the flickering light I could make a wolf-like head emerging from the hallway.  When the light was on it it remained still but with each flicker it moved just a little bit.  This toy flashlight was not going to keep us safe from a werewolf.

With my left hand I kept pumping while trying to hold it steady, while my right hand was groping around for the more reliable adult flashlight.  My hand was getting fatigued.  The light was flickering more and more.  Just as I though I couldn’t push the handle one more time my other hand came across the large, gray LED flashlight.  The room went dark as I whipped it around and shined it at the doorway.

It was empty.

I frantically looked around the room for it, fearing for my husband and child.  The dog blinked sleepily at me as I shined it in his face.  The cats merely yawned. The kitten stretched.  There was nothing there. I flopped back against the pillow and was woken up my a squeak and hands clenching my arm.

I opened my eyes to a dimly lit room.  My daughter was snuggled against me and let loose another squeak.  A bad dream had her as well.  I rubbed her back and noted that Dave was gone; it was morning, or close enough.  She relaxed and I pulled up the blankets once again to gather what sleep I still could in the last few moments of morning.

I dozed but I don’t know if I dreamt.  Cats came bounding in, a shower was run, the dog wanted fed.  I was interrupted too many times before I was ready to call it morning.  That’s alright.  I was done with the nightmares anyway.

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Vacation home

No, that isn’t where I’ve been, though it would be nice.  Stress, insomnia, and allergies all prevent fun and/or memorable dreams.  In fact, when I first woke up this morning all I could recall was shopping?  Pets?  It was vague and uninteresting.  I got up, made coffee and started up Audiosurf.  Half way through “Nothing I won’t do”, (I will beat Surfin On Beatzzzz’s score just for having that many z’s in their name) lightening came to mind.  Then it was a large and crowded bar, a house with two many rooms, and grocery shopping.  Soon the dream was back.  Interested?

It was a warm, summer day and we were pulling up to our vacation him home deep in the mountains.  It was nestled in a valley over looking a pond with steep sides of pine trees rising from it.  A summer storm was building and the dark clouds were forming fast over the house.  As I stepped from the truck pulling a large RV type fifth wheel I could feel the electric charge building in the air.  There would be lightning and at this altitude it could be deadly.

The rest of the family stepped from the truck and RV; three or four children, my husband, brother and Sister in law, and simply stared in awe at our surroundings.  It was was beautiful but this was no time to take in the view.  I yelled at them to get into the house.  It was two late.

My brother walked towards the pond as I heard the loud crack and watched lightning flash across the sky.  It struck him and I could only watch as the blue lines wrapped around his body ad he shook violently.  It stopped after what seemed like and eternity and he was on all fours on the ground, breathing heavily.  He lived and I was thankful, but the lightning was not giving up so easily.  This was not a standard thunder storm.  This lightning had intelligence.

We began running to the house when another bolt struck and threw someone else, a man is all I remember, into the air.  I watched them disappear into the blue sky and wondered when they would come down again.  Immediately afterwards another bold struck between two of the kids.  They were lifted from the ground in blue, electric spheres where they twitched from the energy surrounded them.  They stayed in the air for some time as things began raining from the sky.

First came the soda bottle the man was holding.  It came crashing to the ground with surprising speed.  Then came a dog that crashed into a shed on the edge of the pond.  Next was a cow.  Then the truck came down in a flames, crushing the shed (and likely the dog and cow as well).  The man finally appeared, screaming as he made his rapid descent, and land with a splash on the edge of the pond.  He stood right away, panting, and amazed that he survived.  We all were amazed.

The orbs surround the two children suddenly dissipated and they came running to my side.  I yelled again for everyone to get into the house and we ran as the storm charged for another strike.  They listened this time and ran at full speed for the door at the bottom floor.

It was a garden level basement that was fully finished.  We first stepping into a huge room set up with a sofa, huge television and stereo system.  There was still room for the huge playhouse and various ride on toys that were spread around.  But the room also had picture windows spanning the entire side by the lake.  This, combined with the electronics, made me nervous and I suggested we get deeper into the house.

I led the way down a hallway and passed a huge five piece bath with a jacuzzi tub.  A relaxing bath called to me but I knew water would be a terrible idea at this moment and passed it.  Soon we found a huge storage closet in the center of what I believed to be the bottom floor and hid there to wait out the storm.  Children got hungry and people became crabby.  We needed to eat.

I’m not sure how I got around the storm and to the grocery store but I did.  I was wondering alien looking aisles past bins of strange looking fruit and trying to find something we would all eat.  I’m not sure if I succeeded but I did return with bags of food.

I walked into the house carry the recent haul and entered the kitchen.  There was a large table set with chairs and enough room to seat twenty.  Many archways and doors led from it.  The house was quiet and empty so I went searching for everyone else.  I stepped through and archway and found a large, polished counter set with stools.  There was a lot of furniture making it difficult to maneuver and I could see taps at the counter.  But it was void of people so I turned around and tried another exit.  This one went up a couple stairs and led to a very narrow kitchen.  Large bottles and tubes covered the counters and it was fairly obvious that beer was being brewed.  It too was empty.

I tried door after door and failed to find anyone then it came to me.  I was on the fourth floor (down though, so below the level I thought was the basement).  I found the stairs and found everyone in the large family room, the kids playing and the adults watching the television.

I woke up to a small, restless child then and the dream quickly faded.  Now that I can recall I have to wonder just what the top two floors looked like!

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The Following Dark

My mind messed up last night.  In my dreaming stupor I kept calling the creature the “following dark”.  I know where my mind got it from but it was wrong.  The creature was the “summoning dark”.  If you read Terry Pratchett’s Discworld books, Thud in particular, you  know what I am talking about and will see what I mean in this dream.

I was exiting an access stair to an subway tunnel system very quickly.  There was something terrible down there and I was attempting to get away even though I knew it was too late.  I was cursed and it was following me.

I ran outside and stood in the warmth of the sun.  It was directly overhead and cast few shadows.  Here and now I was safe but soon the sun would set and the world would be cast in shadow.  Then I had a lot to fear.  It would come all to soon.

As the sun set I found myself in a small room with several other people.  I was running about turning on lamps as fast as could as the light faded.  The streaks of darkness in the room grew.  I stood in the light, scared and nervous as the others huddle about me.  There was a tap at the window and I backed away, knocking into a floor lamp.  It fell taking the others with it.  They fell with a heart stopping smash of the light bulbs.  Before all the light had gone a candle had lit cast light on an elderly woman.

“Calm down, children,” she said though all of us had been to scared to door more than shuffle closer together.  She lit a circle of candles that had lines on the ground connecting them like magic.  Here, in the miraculous light of the candles we were safe.

The window tapped again and slid open.  I watched, afraid to breath, as a head peered in.  It was huge, covered in white hair with a blue nose and big teeth.  Thinking about it now, it looked a lot like the Abominable snow man from “Rudolph, the Red-nosed Reindeer”.  I exhaled as he leaned in to the room as gave a ferocious roar.  But this was not the “following dark” so I stared it down and roared right back.  It backed out of the window in surprise and I slammed it closed.  Then I sat in the circle impatiently waiting the dawn.

Day came and I ventured into the brightly lit city once again.  I was still fearful of the shadows but there were so few and so easy to see that I felt confident.  That only lasted until I go in the elevator.

Sure, sure it brightly lit when I stepped in with a fewother folks and began going up but then the power when out and the elevator stopped with a jerk.  I could feel my heart stop as panic set in.  In a brief moment that seemed like eternity a man turned on a bright blue flash light, illuminating most of the elevator.  Most of it was not enough.  One corner was still cast in shadow.  In that shadow stood a boy, about ten years old.  He looked to the adults in the elevator with wide, fearful eyes.  Tears began to form in his eyes.  Then he screamed.

“You’ll be alright!” cried the man with the light. He handed the light to me, it was strangest flash light I had ever seen and looked more like a toy princess wand, and pulled for the boy.  I turned away.  Even if they rescued the boy I knew the boy was gone and it was my fault.  I carried the curse of the dark.

Now I stood on my front porch.  It was late and the sky was dark but I stood safely under my porch light looking around at the vast shadows surrounding me.  Every night, I thought, every night I will live with the fear that it may be last.  If a bulb blows, a shadow falls wrong, and that’s it.  Then the bulb above me popped and the light went out.  With out a word or a thought I ran as fast as I could back into the house.

The front room was not lit up and I ran as fast as I could to the bright lights of the kitchen.  I could feel it behind, the cold finger like tendrils grasping for me.  I choked down a scream and stepped in the kitchen, bathed by the safety of eight 60 watt bulb burning brightly over head.  Then I turned around to face it.

The following dark appeared as a black smoke in the light and recoiled with a hiss.  A face formed in only briefly before it retreated to the safety of the shadows.

This was one of a very few times I have woken with a start from a dream.  My heart was still racing and my mind terrified as my body tried to drag me back to sleep and my mind back to this dream.  I fought it, staying awake for some time before falling asleep and dreaming of something completely else of which all I recall is “sprinkles”.  And, for the record, it has been well over a year since I last read Thud.


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