i_id: (G is for Grue)
The Yellow Dream is my favorite nightmare. My dreams tend towards the cinematic, high-adrenaline blockbusters full of action and narrative and geography. Yellow Dream is abstract, a little art piece, three minutes and ten seconds on youtube.

When I was small, we had four bowls. They were made of plastic, lightweight and thin and so smooth that when you touched them, you expected to find oil on your fingertips. They were the precise yellow of powdered cheese. I have not seen any of them in years, since I was nine or ten. I remember them being in the playhouse, for a while, but it's a storage shed now, and nothing comes out. They're still here, somewhere. Nothing ever leaves.

The Yellow Dream takes place inside those bowls. There is nothing but dry oil and that yellow, all around me. I can feel it before I even fall asleep, against my knuckles and the backs of my eyelids and between my teeth. If I'm smart, I get up, move, escape and stay awake.

If I'm not, I see the threads. Just two, at first, trailing from above. Two threads, and they're crossed. Messy. Unacceptable. I lay them straight, and the world is right again, tidy and clean and bright.

But over there, four threads are knotted loosely together. They itch at me, pull at me, threaten to trap me. I lay them straight, and this place is perfect again, so clean and smooth.

Then a dozen. I begin to shake, I know what's coming. I lay them straight.

They don't stay straight.

They knot.

The world is wrong.

Then there are a hundred. A thousand. I try to lay them straight and my arms get caught in the knot, fingers twisted and tied, tourniquetted by the threads that escaped my control, that threaten to crush me.

I wake up, sweating and swearing in this house, this home that is not perfect and smooth and never will be. I lie back, force my breathing calm by counting stars. One, two, three, ten, twenty, forty-one. Above me is the tangle, waiting. My hands are tied.

This journal entry was written for LJ Idol: Week 2 Deconstruction. Constructive criticism is always welcome. LJIers, feel free to friend me or watch my LJ IDOL tag.  
Thank you for reading!
i_id: (Default)
So, the dream starts with flaking lips. And then the skin peels off, until I have a thumb-sized hole in my cheek. I can see the muscles and ligaments inside, and they look rather like this. All separated and preserved-looking. And I'm trying to reconnect a tendon with q-tips, because it burns so bad when I use my fingers. In the old bathroom, the one we tore out when we remodeled 5 years ago. I can tell because the mirror's so low I have to stoop. And then the skin on the inside of my mouth starts to come apart until my cheek looks more like this, and it keeps growing, the gap spreading back along my jaw. And I can't see out of that eye. I try to show Mom, but she just focuses on the raw spot on the other side of my mouth and tells me it doesn't look so bad, and if I'm that worried, I should make an appointment with the free clinic in the morning, but I'll have to drive myself because she'll be at work. But I can't see, and I can feel it getting worse and worse and she just won't see so I crawl back into bed and curl up to cry and wake up with my face sore and my mouth raw.
i_id: (house-psychotic)
I dreamed about being trapped inside a pipe, long and impossibly narrow, serpentine and dark. And wet. Water rushed through it as I crawled along, up to my thighs, my belly, my chin. Very cold.

The pipe was translucent, and as I crawled along, every so often, just when I'd thought they were gone and I could go more quickly again, a large shape, large hands would crash against the pipe beside my head, making the whole thing shudder so hard the water would splash up all around me, up my nose and in my ears.

It was the sort of dream that just petered out when I was too tired to keep dreaming it. I never got away.
i_id: (G is for Grue)
Have you ever had the dream where parts of your body stretch and morph? Like chicken pox gone mad, every lesion swelling out, stretching until it's longer than my hand, a tentacle as thick as my wrist made of soft white skin, hollow, with teeth in the round, inert mouth.

It all felt perfectly normal, until the teeth.

And I was in the old bathroom, the one we tore out in the remodel with its yellow floral walls and peeling lino, and the creeping black mold on the ceiling.


Jul. 28th, 2009 12:41 am
i_id: (Ten - Time Lord Costume)
Sometimes, the stress dream starts when I'm wide awake. I can feel it as a pressure behind the corners of my jaw, against the outside of my eyes. The texture of yellow plastic bowls against my lips and the first knuckles of my fingers. The urge to pluck my hairs and sort them by length.

I don't dare fall asleep now.
i_id: (Shadow balloons)
I've been having a number of rich, vivid dreams, lately. I'm not sure what to think of them; my left brain wants to read detail and symbolism into them, but they're just dreams. Right?

    The first one, a few nights ago, was glorious. Me on my sailboat, a beautiful tidy little craft, sailing down the coast. The weather was fair and perfect, and we made beautiful time between Cape Flattery and the mouth of the Columbia. We, because I wasn't alone aboard. I was the sailor, but I had a companion. I'm not certain who it was, but in the dream, I knew her. She was someone I knew very well, and could tolerate, but didn't like very much. I don't even remember what she looked like, just her acidic intelligence.
After we passed into Oregon waters, we encountered a tight little archipelago of islands. (They're not there, in the real world. But such things make sense in dreams.) The weather continued to be perfect, ideal, so I sailed into their midst with no qualms, but the passage narrowed and narrowed until my boat and I were sailing down a stream barely as wide as our hull, our keel scraping the cement bottom. My crew deserted into the thick woods surrounding us the moment we ran aground, leaving me to re-stow everything that fell out (boxes and boxes of clothes or cloth), and to manhandle the boat back into deeper water. I was working on it, and taking a much-needed break when I saw the octopus in the woods.
    It made perfect sense for there to be an octopus in the woods. I am a Washingtonian, after all. It was man-sized, a giant Pacific octopus simply striding through the trees. I followed it, for some hungry reason, and it led me first to an old road, root-raddled and overtaken by the forest, and then to an abandoned concession stand. Shrinking, the octopus took refuge in a lobster tank full of yellow duckies, changing its color to match. I think I caught it before I woke up.

    The next night, the dream began on a bus. Across from me was sitting a very young and very pregnant woman, and we were talking about hospitals, the comparative quality of various maternity wards, and the government vouchers that would get you into one or another of these. When she got off, her stop a few miles before mine, I realized that I'd forgotten to mention that I was pregnant as well.
    I went home, to a house full of family not quite mine. An awful lot of them were ill, bedbound and cantankerous, but excited about my very-close due-date. The debate about hospitals resumed, and occasional segued into PSAs about the evils of teen pregnancy. And eventually, it all simply turned into a big hospital party, while I just sat in a corner, leaning on my father's shoulder, watching my relatives argue and waiting to go into labor.

    And then the next night, night before last, I just had a very short, very vivid dream of being at my aunt's house. I'd arrived in the middle of a family discussion about money, just in time to hear the oldest daughter suggest that they rent out their tree house. I must have been skeptical (probably remembering their real tree-house, which is two boards tied some four feet up a cedar trunk), because they took me outside to show me.
    In place of the playhouse/dovecote they actually have, there was a gate-house and a ramp up to the most magnificent tree-house ever conceived. Easily three stories tall, it was a masterpiece of dark blue shingling and plate glass. I offered to rent it myself, for $400 a month, and they were about to take me up on it when I realized that this must be a dream. I looked at a computer menu, and found the option to wake up. And so I was awake. Awake and extremely disappointed.
i_id: (OcTODpus)
Burrows, again. I have no memory of how I got there, but I was undeniably on Burrows, a much more mountainous version of the same eerie little island. I came to myself on a high trail, just above the boarded-up Coast Guard boathouse. From there, I could see Dad in his boat, circling with no way to come pick me up. There's a little beach on that side, I could see it when I climbed out on the slickest edge of the path, but it's boulder-strewn and there's no way for him to come in.

Adopt one today!

So I shouted to him (sound carries well across water, but not as well as it did in this dream) that I'd cross the island, and maybe there would be a better spot over there. We'd heard of a beach on the south side, and if nothing else, the current on the south side would be less fierce and I could possibly swim out.

I remembered that if I went up to the bluff where the lighthouse and house stood, there was no trail south, so I went east instead, into the heart of the island. And gradually, my trail turned into a boardwalk, and the boardwalk left the ground, winding up into the trees. As I climbed, I began to hear voices, and finally, in a lookout high enough that I could see Mt. Baker over the bulk of nearby Fidalgo Island, I came across my companions on this deserted islands, a man and a woman obviously dressed in kayaking kit. There were kayaks built into the walls of this lookout, I noticed then, alternating with the logs. They looked old.

Adopt one today!

The man and woman were geocachers, it turned out. People I'd never met, but we shared common acquaintances. But they only wanted to find the cache, which was apparently moving, and I only wanted to get off the island, so we parted there. Only as I watched them go down the way I had come did I peer over the edge of the lookout to see where I was.

Around me, the forest opened up into a broad clearing, cupped between two ridges of the island. On the far ridge, there was a rambling lodge of some sort. Most of the windows were dark and broken or boarded over, but there was one room that was brightly lit. It looked like a meeting hall of some sort, and I could see that it was empty. Around the edges of the looming forest were tucked a handful of small buildings, homes and sheds alike. And in the middle was a hanger, the black-green of any building that stands in the woods too long. In front of that, its wing just touching my high perch, was an airplane lying wonky, its tail buried in the loam. Climbing down its wing was my only way down from the perch without backtracking, which... well, the voices behind me weren't my fellow geocachers anymore. But there was a handrail. The problem lay in that the lower end of the wing was still about eight feet above the ground. So I held the foot of the handrail and lowered myself down, and the wing bent with my weight, depositing me safely in the loam.

Adopt one today!

After that, the only uneasy thing was getting out of the valley without passing any of the dark staring windows. The paths were paved with slick logs, and I did eventually come to a wide, easy beach, just as Dad reached it in Offbeat. He threw me a line, with a fender on the end, and I abandoned myself to the very cold surf and let him pull me in.


Mar. 4th, 2009 12:39 pm
i_id: (Bloody footsteps)
I slept absolutely forever today, and dreamed many things.

The first dream was kind of inevitable. House-sitting took up half of February, so I shouldn't be surprised when I end up dreaming about it. My grandma's house this time, but somehow in a seaside version of Boulder, Colorado. I spent all my time out walking the streets of the town, alone mostly, and then suddenly the town was over-run by zombies. Together with some new friends (Because you always meet new people in zombie movies), I hid out until the zombie danger was past, then returned to Granny's house to find that her dog had destroyed nearly everything upstairs. I'd forgotten she had a dog. Some house-sitter I am. Me and my new friends cleaned up, a bit, then went outside, ran into a roving pack of zombies, and killed them in the snow. Then I decided to make a snowfort by clipping away the blackberry bushes under a snowdrift, and got very warm doing so. The last thing I remember from that dream was trying to shovel out the remains of a horse made of canvas and rotting straw.

Then I woke up briefly. Mom asked if I was still alive, I muttered something, rolled over, and found myself dreaming again.

This time, I was walking, and had been for a very long time. I knew I'd started at home, and here I was most of the way to Mount Vernon, trotting alongside a road hedged in by blackberries. For some reason, I was carrying a gas-powered lawn-mower/vacuum-cleaner, one of the little shop-vac sized things, and trying to get to the transit station in Mount Vernon.

Suddenly, I came upon a taxi parked on the wrong side of the road, with a frustrated-looking man sitting inside. He'd run out of gas, he said, and was going to have an utterly miserable day pushing his car to the station. But! My lawn-cleaner had a full tank. Only a gallon or so, but it would be enough to save his day. So we poured the fuel from his tank to mine, and I got into the front seat with him, he handed me his cup of coffee, and the dream changed.

Now I was back in high school. In the band room, all the way back in the percussion section looking down at Vince Fejeran, conductor of the extracurricular youth symphony and any number of community bands. There were only three of us there. Me, Vince, and A Boy Who Was Brilliant. I was there, I knew, because The Boy could not play every single instrument. They needed me to play the timpani. And so we started.

Vince was crying as he conducted. It was the music. It was Perfect, and I wish so badly that I could remember a single note. I struggled to keep up, to be worthy of being allowed to play it, but it was plain that I was only there to play one note, a low rumble of support for the supernatural edifice of Music that The Boy was building. He fluttered from flute to piano to violin to trumpet, and every instrument he touched performed exquisitely in his hands. This was the best performance in the history of music, since a monkey hit a rock on a branch and liked the sound. It was Utopia in sound, ambrosia in rhythm, perfection in pitch. And when it was over, it was plain that both Vince and The Boy had forgotten I was there.

So I left. They followed me out, but only to go to the aquarium that was for some reason in the place of my high school's music hall. I took a left and went outside, where a gray rocky beach had replaced our gym. I tromped through the surf, trying to find some proof that I did exist, I wasn't only a prop for someone else's perfection. They'd just begun to look for me for another performance, striding elegantly over the rocks in swooshy coats, when I woke up and found it noon.
i_id: (Default)
I was sailing with my dad, but it was myself at the helm. The bay looked like his bay on Decatur, but there was wreckage all through it, vast jagged iron remnants of some past calamity. We were moving very quickly, under a very small mizzen (which is a sail my dad's boat doesn't have), and I was having trouble navigating this obstacle course. But slowly, bit by bit, we worked our way around the tombolo, and on the far side, we got stuck between two houseboats. The water was just shallow enough for me to walk, so I jumped out with a bowline to tow the boat, forcing it through the narrow gap. I clearly remember my feet sinking in the gritty warm mud, the boat's keel scraping, but never digging in.

When it was floating free again, we anchored it with an anchor that looked like a child's drawing, a squiggly thing of heavy, untempered iron. And then we had to be careful not to allow anyone from the houseboats aboard, because Offbeat is made of fiberglass, and here in the past (we were in the past now), that hadn't been invented yet.

One of the houseboats was a convent, and I lost track of Dad there and took a nap, but found him again in the houseboat next door, which was some sort of diner. I was just coming out of there when a shadow fell over all the houseboats, and every man on deck stared up behind me in trepidation. The whisper ran around that it was a navy ship, here to press crew, but I never turned around to look. Only when someone said that it was a cruise ship did I feel free to move again, and when I turned around, there was nothing there.

After that, Dad and I were preparing to leave, to move on, when a familiar face showed up. It was, simultaneously, my aunt and my little sister. Dad told me to avoid her, but I had to go tell her who I was, who I would be. We snuck out to one of the long balconies and sat on some crates, talking. She said that her sister, my mom, had just gotten married that year. And then my mom showed up, as she is today, and I woke up to my real mom telling me she was leaving for work.

Adopt one today!Adopt one today!Adopt one today!
i_id: (Bloody footsteps)
I had two distinct dreams one night, both unsettling enough to make me want to wake when I had the choice.

The first one had an odd note of foretelling. The storyline of it was narrated in a rich voice, reminiscent of Unsolved Mysteries, and what it foretold filled me with a chill. I was babysitting Cammy, the daughter of Katy, a friend, and the voice-oover told me that she'd be kidnapped, her body never found. I let in a handyman to fix the plumping, while Cammy played in a glassed-in backyard, and the voice-over promptly told me that he would be the prime suspect, but there'd never be proof or real evidence. Trying to ignore the voice, in the inexplicable fatalism of dreams, and the cold pit in my stomach, I went into the house to watch TV. But eventually, the dread intensified until it forced me back. And of course, Cammy was gone. The handyman looked at me blandly, and when I looked out into the driveway, his van was blocking mine in, and all of my doors were open. I began to move towards the backdoor, and he moved towards me, so I shoved him, hard. His head hit the granite countertop's rounded beige corner, and down he went.

I raced out to the vans, calling for Cammy. No answer. I dug through both of them, mine and his, and was about to check my spare tire well when I chanced a glance back at the house. The sinister handyman was up again, crouched at the back door, peering out through the glass like an unfriendly dog. His eyes were fixed on me with a calm malevolance, a knowing that chilled me to the bones. I woke then, startled enough that I made some noise, and only began to settle again when I remembered that I don't know a Katy or a Cammy. When sleep rose up for me again, his gaze came with it.

Yet when I really did fall asleep again, it was to a very different dream. 'I,' and I say that carefully because I was aware of being someone other than myself, had learned something I wasn't supposed to know. There was a long room full of ramps, pits, and canals, and two sinister men. They owned me; I was a person, but a thing of no consequence, and it didn't matter to them if I lived or died, so long as their secret was safe. So they hanged me and thought me dead. I drifted around the ceiling of a room to the side of the long room, hung from the ceiling fan and dripping far more blood than I should have had. Below, a boy and his nanny went about their business, pushing away my drifting corpse as needed. I think they were playing a game, with cards or tiles.

Then the sinister men returned, and my body fell in a splash of blood. I hoped that they wouldn't notice I was alive again, and woke up cold with a bloody lip.
i_id: (Bloody footsteps)
Adopt one today!|Adopt one today!|Adopt one today!|Adopt one today!

I'd like to start documenting my dreams. There's going to be a time when they're the only company I have, and if I can train them, like [livejournal.com profile] skylanth has, not to flit away like ghosts in the sun, I'd like that.

I'm not sure why we were on the island. A dim recollection of the beach, a dirty, rocky beach full of gravel and pine needles, unfriendly under the black edge of the forest. A trail led upwards, steep, as much made of boulders and tree roots as of dry, chalky dirt. There were five of us and we climbed, the day growing hotter as we labored our way up. At least the path was wide enough to save us from the blackberries and salal. We knew it was well traveled. Eventually, it grew so steep that it was more rock climbing than hiking, but the natural handholds of twisted root made it easy. A last haul up through a field of boulders, and there was the house, its vast planked porch bridging a gap in the boulders that dropped into blackness.

We looked into the daylight basement first, where we found a wash basin and a drum set sitting on a tired purple carpet. The island's ochre dust lay over everything, and the house gave off a sourceless impression that someone was speaking very quietly in a room far away. A sense of occupation without welcome; it wanted us to go away.

Then we went around, climbing the edge of that chasm in the rock up to the grand porch. The view here was spectacular; we were looking over the crest of the mountain we'd claimed to the interior, endless forest dotted with lakes and rivers and rising into more mountains, as far as we could see. I don't know why we didn't turn to look out to sea. The person I am should have done so. But maybe we were distracted by the house itself.

We never knocked. Something about the house, about the cocked front door and the staring, filthy windows said we'd be unanswered. But we peered in, and then in the solar we saw the body of a man, lying face down on the floor, dressed in rotting clothes and sturdy boots. Or not a body, because hearing us, he begin to get up. "Malign me!" he groaned, a thin, painful sound, and then he collapsed again. Where his head had been at first, there was a deep scorch mark on the wooden floor, deep enough there was char. Then we saw the other body, this one face-up, burnt and bloated, and the feeling of unwelcome burst into a crush of terror and malignance. We fell over each other to flee, running down into the basement. One of us paused to add "Freaky!" to a written list of attributes in a notebook on the wash basin, in my handwriting. I woke up hearing footsteps overhead.

Which is why I was awake at 5 this morning.


i_id: (Default)

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