I had one of those dreams that felt important last week. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and drawing some of the images. Sometimes I get gripped by the fear that I’ve run out of stories. That when I finish LeyLines, that will be it. I will have exhausted my creative reserve. (When I express this sentiment to Cory, he always makes a point to remind me that I would periodically freak out about the same thing when I was working on Shades of Grey, and clearly that was not the case.) It’s dreams like this one that help ease that fear. And plant the seeds for future stories.
Te people around me are changing. The women are becoming more docile and afraid. The men more aggressive and violent. Some people, male and female alike, turn eerily, blankly threatening. They are thoroughly not themselves, and everything they do, no matter how normal, seems intensely scary. They feel alien. Sometimes when you look at them, their eyes flicker to a white, milky texture. They smile too much, and their words are always tightly controlled, sickly sweet. It feels like they are always watching, never allowing a moment’s peace or privacy.
The people that don’t change start disappearing.
Only a few stay free of influence, all of them women. It is a terrified Sisterhood of sorts, all ignorant of what is happening, but all aware that there is something wrong. One of the women is Regina (the “evil queen” from the “Once Upon a Time” show). Then she disappears as well. Unlike the others, she returns, but when she does, she’s no longer completely herself. There are hints that she’s been sexually assaulted. The Sisterhood tries to reach out to her and perhaps repair what’s been done, but it’s already as if part of Regina has been lost. That she lives and perceives a slightly different reality than us.
A storm gathers. I am filled with fear. I don’t know what is happening. By this time our Sisterhood has dwindled. Only two other women remain. One is a big, bulky woman with close-cropped hair and strong arms. The other is a woman that seemed more afraid than I was, who hid in a closet for most of the dream. However, she emerges as the storm grows, and her body is covered in tattoo-like designs. She suddenly seems possessed of purpose and knowledge. She tells us what has come to pass, although how she suddenly knows is a mystery. This is what she reveals:
The earth has been conquered by an alien presence. A parasite of sorts. On earth there is also a counter to this parasite. Massive flowers that will emerge all over the earth, and if they can be fertilized and allowed to bloom, they will somehow remove or combat this alien presence. People are the source of the fertilizing pollen, which is why so many people have been disappearing. Not everyone becomes a pollinator, and a pollinator must survive to transform. Regina had been one. So was I. And all it took was for one to survive. If a pollinator could get to the center of the storm, the wind would take the pollen they released and spread it to all ends of the earth.
As if transformed by this knowledge, I became a fairy-like creature, with wings and a puff-ball of spores on my back. I flew up into the storm and began to dance in the wind. Aliens flew up to stop me and I had to dodge and evade them. I had almost released all of my pollen when I was tackled and fell from the sky.
Then I was another me and I watched a miniature baby grasshopper attack a midge in front of me and drag it down. I knew that the midge was me. I tried to keep the grasshopper away from the midge, but I wasn’t fast enough to kill the grasshopper before it killed the midge. I did follow, and eventually squash, the grasshopper as it tried to flee.
I hoped that the pollen that had been released was enough. The woman with the strong arms assured me it was. I worried about what happened next. How long did the flowers, if fertilized, take to bloom? What would stop the aliens from chopping down these massive plants before that happened? Could we organize some sort of protection group around the flowers while the aliens regrouped? If I had been the midge, and had died, how was I simultaneously still alive?
The other two women seemed to think that our task was done, salvation at hand, but I was not so sure. It seemed that the task had only just begun, and it seemed even more impossible than the last.
Even though the dream ended on a grim note, there were lots of encouraging elements as well. It’s given me a lot to ponder. A hope, that maybe something in me is able to start moving forward again, after what happened last March. Maybe the energy that I’ve wrapped up in my internal Regina can transform into different kinds of strength, represented by the two women that survived. I’m not sure. We’ll just have to see.
What I do know, is I’d like to revisit these characters someday. I think I could weave a really great story for them.
Has anybody had any good dreams lately?