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    Carabas

    1. The translation of a book and old negatives

      by , 08-21-2015 at 06:00 PM
      Setting loosely based on China some centuries ago, vaguely Ming dynasty. Two men have been speaking to a human woman about a book, but they're interrupted by a human man who is a friend of hers, of sorts - he offers to join their expedition. He has some manner of expertise to do with this book they're looking for, and if he comes along, the woman's presence would be unnecessary. The leader of the two at first is ready to agree, this would be much preferable.

      But the human man then says, why should his cut be only 10%? Make it 100% - he'll keep the book himself, but translate it for them. To his mind, this would be a better deal for all of them, he expects this to be accepted. But the leader of the two is offended by his presumption and kills him, abandoning his human appearance in the process - his eyes are covered by a cloudy grey film, his teeth are fangs on both upper and lower jaws. I'm remembering a year earlier, when that human man had been doing something in a place where many books were stored, directly above where this man had been sleeping in the ground for a long time. The human woman, watching him kill her friend, blames herself - she was involved in something that happened in a market a year ago, when this man woke up.

      Belle is in the kitchen of someone else's house, someplace that has servant quarters, and she's found a jar of a certain weed that's been spilled - it's not something that should be used for cooking, it's dangerous, causes disfigurement. The implication in finding it spilled across the counter is that a servant was carelessly exposed to it. It's said that it only affects those who say rude/cruel/insulting things while holding it - a physical disfigurement to reflect a disfigurement of the soul. She calls Rumplestiltskin to dispose of it safely, and to look into what it was doing there.

      As he removes it, he looks around the building and sees old photos and negatives of him and Belle among various trophies that the owner of the house has collected - there's a sense that these photos are things that were stolen from him. He looks at one in particular, a moment when he'd stopped Belle from saying that she loved him. He regrets this, and says he would listen now. She says, "I would have meant it then." And wouldn't now, is the implication. But she stops him from moving away from her by grabbing him roughly by the hair.

      She tells him her plan is to find her ideal world this time, with the money that Regina left her, and with him, as they're stuck together due to a previous deal. He reminds her that he's no longer capable of appearing human, which will cause difficulties in many other worlds. "I'll work with it," she says. A previous deal requires him to leave at least a piece of himself in this current world, and I see an image of his hand chained to the sand, in the surf.
    2. Isfael and the Lady's smile

      by , 06-11-2015 at 07:20 PM
      I'm coming out of a mine with a box a man gave me. Sitting down at a table across from a woman I know who's eating lunch, I open up the box and we have a look at the books inside. There's a two-volume set on healing magic that catches my attention; I've seen the first one before but the second is completely new to me, I'm very pleased. The woman asks me for a demonstration, and I laugh, saying I've barely got any understanding of it - it's not something you can learn from books, they're just for pointing you in the right direction, it takes time and work to actually put into practice. She's disappointed and leaves. As I look through the book, I call up a blue healing light that plays around my hand. Reading, the book is saying that it's impossible to progress further without "the Lady's smile."

      I see an image of said Lady, a woman in a void. She's aware of my attention, though her eyes don't focus on me; she talks as if this is a visit from an old friend, sounding surprised and pleased, saying that I've come earlier this week than expected, and calls me by a name that starts "Shari-" But she cuts off partway through that name, and gives the impression of focusing on me, though still not with her eyes. She says then, "Isfael? Is that you?"

      The observer side of me splits off, recognizing that this Lady and Shari-whoever are figures that often appear in stories together under various identities. When she correctly called me Isfael, I realized that Isfael is one of those identities, a specific young version of Shari-whoever without knowledge of his older self.
    3. Reaching for illusions

      by , 03-03-2015 at 11:16 PM
      I'm seeking a book, something that I think of as 'a way out.' To retrieve it I'm drifting through a cloud of abstracts that sometimes resolve themselves into words floating in the cloud. They're dream images, illusions, but grasping the illusionary versions of this book will gradually lead me to the real thing. But they're difficult to capture - it's like trying to scoop up something small floating on water, if you're not careful the water will carry it right out of your hand again. It takes patience and deliberation and allowing the words to drift into my grasp.

      I take hold of one word, feeling the substance of it. This changes the images that are drifting around me - now they're closer to the subject of that word, closer to what I'm seeking, and many of them are in the form of books rather than individual words. I repeat this process, releasing the word I had a hold of and reaching for the first relevant image that drifts into my grasp, and every time I repeat this process there are less individual words and more books, and the images displayed on the covers of the books become more and more relevant.

      Now many of the books show images of a demonic face, which is heading in the right direction, but which also has drawn attention. A man I'm familiar with begins speaking with me, a demon or something close enough - I've forgotten the content of this one-sided conversation except that it was about that book I'm searching for. Our surroundings have gotten more solid by this point, and as I move through the cloud I find wooden steps under my feet.

      I come up the steps into a room full of books piled haphazardly on wooden tables. There's a young human woman here looking through the books - long dark hair, blue jeans and white t-shirt, I recognize her as someone who has a history with that demon I've been speaking with. Her name's Dawn. Their interactions are familiar but antagonistic - she once struggled with him and lost, though I'm not sure she's realized she's lost yet. In any case, she came to him to search for something, but she failed and became trapped in a dream. It seems she's still searching for whatever it is. I find that sad to watch. She looks at the demon as he climbs up the stairs behind me - or I assume she does; I haven't seen him, he's just a voice to me, but she's looking right through me and to the place I believe he would be. In annoyance at his presence, she moves to another stack of books, further away. The demon sounds amused as he calls to her.


      It occurs to me as I watch her that I've been consciously thinking of this as a dream for some time now. Since it seems she can't see me, I decide to step aside and watch the two of them. I settle down on a white couch out of the way and allow my perspective to change slightly. I can see the demon now, and Dawn's appearance has changed as well, both of them now dressed from the late 1700s, France - their hairstyles and clothes are looking rough, as if they started out with a fine presentation but over time the polished image has fallen apart. He's struck up a conversation, and eventually she says to him, "The doctor warns that (something to do with a slow death), and my minutes are done." She sounds defiantly happy about this, as if it's a kind of victory over the demon.

      Updated 03-04-2015 at 01:08 AM by 64691

      Categories
      lucid
    4. Romanticization and ugliness

      by , 02-27-2015 at 11:01 PM
      I'm in a garden, speaking in Russian with a very old human man in a wheelchair. We have an arrangement. I'm to kill him, but as he puts it, without ugliness. That he wants his death to be smooth, I have no problem with, but this ugliness he's referring to isn't about his own death, it's about preserving his image of me, or rather what I represent to him. He says I'm a man who should understand this, unlike that brother of mine - he uses a word that my dream doesn't bother to translate aside from noting that it's uncomplimentary. The old man wants to believe in the existence of a creature that's above all the things he dislikes in humanity, an embodiment of death without ugliness. I'm disgusted and feel illogically betrayed by hearing this from him, a man more intimately acquainted with violence than any human I've ever known - he of all people shouldn't have any illusions about this. It's hypocrisy.

      As he talks we move indoors, to a dimly-lit room that's kept very cold. He has a selection of alcohol lined up before a mirror, and I go to pour him a glass; as I do so I see a small portrait of a blonde woman, which I pick up. A woman who works for him, who's been pushing his wheelchair, urgently asks me to be careful with that. I recognize the image as his granddaughter - she's how I met him in the first place, years back. He laughs and corrects me, and he says this in English: "Vivian. Her mother." This startles me, and I examine the portrait again - I would never have guessed they weren't the same person. Her mother had died before I met her.

      (Woke up. Back to sleep.)

      While using a spell to pull out some relevant books and scrolls from a collection, one of the books that comes to me is titled "The Unbeauty of Life," by a Japanese author.

      I'm running up several flights of stairs, spiraling upward through a ruined building, piles of rubble around; I should have fled the building with the others when I reached the first floor but instead I kept going upward, thinking of the woman I'd originally come here to track down. As I reach the upper levels I find her laboratory, with her books scattered on the floor, sarcophagi in rows. The next level above that is devoted to "the theatrical vampire," complete with red stage curtains hanging on the wall, full of what I think of as romanticized images from stage and screen, and as I look at it I remember the sound of her laughing. There's one more floor above this.

      Updated 02-27-2015 at 11:10 PM by 64691

      Categories
      non-lucid
    5. Bookselling, thrones

      by , 11-24-2014 at 09:18 PM
      There's a monk who needs to buy a certain rare, extremely expensive book, and he intends to raise the money by selling off a different rare book. He can't do this himself, so he sends a fox demon to take care of it. She can't read the script it's written in, but she compares the characters he wrote down for her with the characters written on the covers of his books, and she eventually finds the right one and takes it to a fair that's going on. There are many specialists here who'd give her a good price for the book, but she goes to a bookseller she recognizes, a place she's been to many times. This man doesn't know the values of things, so he gives her very little for it - it's the equivalent of buying a book for a dollar when it should be worth millions.

      The monk's disappointed - not in her, but because the book's gone and he'll have to start over in terms of raising the money. The fox demon gets annoyed at him for what she perceives as insulting the bookseller - she thinks the bookseller is a very good man, since he's sold her many novels for very little money. The monk is thinking about how much he looks forward to the end of his life, except that he's concerned about how she'll survive.

      (Woke up. Back to sleep.)

      I'm speaking German with a man who'd promised to (acquire or translate or something similar) a certain book, but now he's fleeing and has to go back on his part of our deal. I don't really mind.

      Two paired images of people on thrones. The first is a blonde woman dressed in gold robes, surrounded by abstract shapes woven out of gold wires, on a balcony overlooking beautiful green fields, rivers, wide blue sky. She's saying, amused, that although she was meant to be associated with style and worldliness, instead "I'm merely back in the desert, healing women at an oasis."

      The second, a sad and tired-looking long-haired old man, first in a dark wooden room full of cabinets and herbs, then overlooking a mountain. A pair of ravens leave him and fly up the mountain over a trail, croaking - grey stone, grey skies.

      (Woke up. Back to sleep.)

      Two fragments:

      I'm trying to convince the radio to put out an important broadcast to keep people out of the (either Dallas or Houston) area, it's an emergency, but they refuse to disrupt the normal services.

      A man saying to me, "You're afraid that this is the real world. It is. I trust you."
    6. Recurring DCs as characters in a book

      by , 09-27-2014 at 06:17 PM
      I'm reading a book. There had been a series I'd loved that ended some years ago, and now the authors have put out a new prequel series featuring some of the side characters - one of them is the Magician.

      Scene changes slightly - instead of just seeing words on a page, I'm now seeing the scene described in the book. The Magician and Julie are having a standoff, just arguing with words at the moment but willing to cause damage if it gets to that point. I'd been looking forward to seeing a scene with Julie. In the main series, it's established that she and the Magician had a long and complicated history, but we only actually see her once - learning more about her is the main reason I'm interested in this new series.

      But Julie's personality here is drastically different than it had seemed in the main series - I actually hadn't realized this was meant to be her until just now when I heard her name (she's using two of Julia's usual aliases). Her portrayal's so different that it just seems like bad writing, like she's been reduced to a caricature. And that complicated history she had with the Magician seems to have become a standard characters-who-irritate-each-other-wind-up-getting-together plot. In the years since that first series ended, the writers have really gone downhill. So I decide I'm just going to ignore this characterization, this new series in general, and focus on the main series instead.

      For (supposedly) unrelated reasons, a character on the Magician's side puts his hands over his ears and starts singing to avoid hearing what the Magician and Julie are saying.

      Updated 09-27-2014 at 06:23 PM by 64691

      Categories
      non-lucid
    7. The building on the lake

      by , 09-24-2014 at 04:59 PM
      A woman's looking over a small art collection - sketches of the building she's in from various earlier eras, collected in a large book. On the wall directly over the book is a recent painting of this same building, but showing it thousands of years earlier when there was a lake here, with the door opening directly onto the water. She finds this painting a little funny - unlike the historical sketches, she believes this one's a sort of what-if image. The building's old but it's not that old. But the man who commissioned the painting, the owner of this place, she's thinking of him as being oddly precise about where the lake should be in relation to the building; as far as she's aware there's no evidence that there was ever really a lake here at all. The title of the painting is Lake Hae or Hayle or something along those lines. Although the building in the painting and the building in modern times are identical, somehow in the painting it gives the impression of being someplace sacred.

      She turns the pages of the book - she's careful with it, it's very valuable. After the sketches of the building there are a series of anatomical sketches and portraits. She's on a page showing several sketches of an old man, mostly bald and with a sort of rounded profile. As a disembodied observer, I'm fond of the sketch, sort of nostalgic about it - both about the subject and about the sketch itself. She keeps turning the pages, and there's a sketch of a young man with a very square jaw; looking at him changes the scene.

      Still in the same room, but a couple centuries earlier; the walls are lined with bookshelves. There's a woman sketching, holding a conversation with a man sitting in a chair. A servant comes into the room - he's that young man from the sketch - and the man in the chair stands up to speak with him. A man all in black and with very long black hair, he's the same man who owned this building and that art collection in modern times.

      Updated 09-24-2014 at 05:19 PM by 64691

      Categories
      non-lucid
    8. Library

      by , 05-17-2014 at 07:23 PM
      I'm standing outside my IRL local library with two women. One of them needs to get something from inside the building, without getting caught. There's only one person inside to avoid being seen by, that and hiding her face from the cameras, so it seems fairly simple, but she's still worried, and she's standing around working out various plans. This seems to be something she intends to do on her own, she's not asking either of us for help, and the other woman with us is just waiting impatiently off to the side, but it seems to me this would go a lot easier and faster if I just went ahead and took care of it myself. After all, unlike her, I don't show up on video, and it'll be much easier for me to avoid that person inside - they're mostly walking around the main area near the door, so I'll just go around to the side of the building instead and walk through the wall.

      The section of wall I phased through comes out in the fantasy section, off in the corner of the library and out of sight. I'm looking around at the fantasy books, and thinking about how I used to eat this stuff up, and about how much more difficult it is for me to get lost in a book now. I'm aware that the quality of the books hasn't changed, it's my own mindset - but I somehow feel sure that if I look at one of these books, now I'll find one I can get absorbed in. I pick one up and flip through. The paragraph I'm looking at now involves characters named Maedhros and Fingon - I recognize the names from Tolkien, and I note this as odd, since this isn't a Tolkien book. These aren't meant to be the same characters either; the author seems to have just stolen the names for his own characters.

      The dream scene changes to a scene from that book. One character is explaining three weapons to another, and he's making a big deal out of a knife that secretly contains some kind of poison. He says there are two options with this - a whole dose inside will kill instantly, but "a thousand light touches... well, depends on how you define death." The scene changes; he's meeting a small group of people in a forest, one of them a queen, and they're coming to some agreement. He secretly places small doses from that poison in each of their drinks, which will give him some power over them - to his mind, this is simply making sure that they don't back out of the deal they've made. After they drink, they instantly realize what's happened and regret making this deal, but it's too late now.
    9. Corvo

      by , 04-11-2014 at 03:34 AM
      Shortly after passing a man whose head is a snake, three creatures are presented as things I'm meant to fight. But they seem harmless, and when I walk up to them, they disappear. Past them, I walk into a hidden door set into a tree, and spend some time walking through a series of rooms. The passageway I'm walking through makes a large circle, and when I get back to the start (there were a lot of scene changes along the way, so this "start" wasn't actually the same place as the tree-passage from before), I notice a flight of stairs heading down that I hadn't seen before, with small, glowing blue arrows hovering just above the floor, pointing down.

      The stairs lead down into an enormous room filled with books and a portrait of a man I recognize as someone infamous named Corvo - he's someone I've heard of often, in the context of being a doctor or a researcher or something similar, responsible for some tragedy or some sinister event; but I personally think of him positively, even though I know very little about him - mostly I feel curious. I realize this was his room, and these are his records.

      I'm standing in a city street in Corvo's POV, sort of - I'm aware that this is me going through his records, his reflections on the past. At this moment in time, he'd been disgraced, along with some other man who I'd also heard of, someone who's walking away from him right now. I have some mental connotation between this man and violence but also think of him as a better person than Corvo, someone who dislikes Corvo intensely but works more closely with him than anyone else, I have the impression Corvo somehow forced him or manipulated him into carrying out a lot of dirty work for him. Now Corvo's looking at the open gates to the city, looking at the crowds of people entering, aware that they're unknowingly carrying some danger that others refuse to listen to him about, and feeling powerless. With the knowledge that this is a flashback, he's feeling an incredible amount of pain over this moment in the past and whatever it eventually led to, and I feel that same emotion so intensely that I have a false awakening or something similar and spend it looking for some space to just calm down from that scene.

      Updated 04-11-2014 at 03:43 AM by 64691

      Categories
      false awakening , non-lucid
    10. A collection of memories disguised as history

      by , 12-20-2013 at 10:51 PM
      Two middle-aged spinsters are visiting Rumpelstiltskin/Gold just before attending some event, but he's busy with a delivery of some sort. The room where they wait for him holds a collection of various objects behind glass, and as they look around, one of them says, "Richer than the (some family name beginning with A) brothers!" The objects behind the glass are personal mementos from over the centuries, arranged and displayed in such a way as to look like a collection of history - playbills and tickets, a photo from a political protest that changed history, old forms of currency, all neatly labeled with places and dates and short descriptions. But I'm looking at the objects as a disembodied observer with Rumpelstiltskin's mindset, with fond memories of the actress depicted on that playbill, and a woman at that protest, and the profit I made when that country changed currencies. (Although I'm thinking of it as a collection of memories that stretches back centuries, the oldest items I actually see are only from the 1800s.) I think to myself, 'and I could sell it, if I chose.' As if convincing myself that I could part with it all, if I had to.

      (Woke up. Back to sleep.)

      Fragments - someone involved in some industry that's often glamorized in movies, intelligence or organized crime, mentally contrasting his actual day to day life with the ridiculous movies. A rich and powerful woman who's sleeping with the hired killer who works for her. Overdue library books, a trilogy by an author who's written 156 books, these ones with covers showing caves with stalactites that remind me of fangs. Rumpelstiltskin again, spending a summer at a country estate belonging to a brother and sister he knows, looking out the window and feeling someone's suffering, the potential for a deal; following it, and finding someone in the garden, reading a journal that had belonged to Belle.
    11. A corrupted town and a glowing book

      by , 11-23-2013 at 11:15 PM
      I've just arrived on the edge of a cliff, out of sight, and now I'm following a path through the trees into town. I'm shocked by the state of the place. Although visually, I-the-dreamer didn't actually see anything that looked unusual - it was night, the streets were empty, there wasn't much to see but it seemed like an ordinary small town - I had the impression that I-the-character was looking at foulness or decay, something along those lines. I hear a conversation like a voiceover, it's not part of this scene - I have the impression it's something said later, as if what I'm seeing is a flashback related to that conversation. In the conversation, I'm saying, "I saw-" and someone else cuts me off, saying "No. You didn't 'see.' You corrupted." They sound angry. That is to say, whatever's wrong with this town is due to my presence, or at least the person speaking believed so. Visually, I'm still walking through that town, and a woman appears in the street, shining or glowing, wearing white robes, and after a moment I recognize Erana. I'm very relieved and run to her; she's not looking at me, she's looking around at the town, looking like she's mourning.

      (Woke up. Back to sleep.)

      That same town, relatively early in the evening, when there are still people in the streets. I'm walking together with a married couple. I'm looking at two shops next to each other, and I'm remembering when the man I'm walking with praised this town to me, telling me I should come and visit him and his wife here, talking about the brightly colored buildings and the many-colored tiles on the roofs. I'm looking at the faded paint on these buildings and trying to convince myself that maybe it looks better in sunlight, but I don't think so. I mention this to him, and he brushes it off, vaguely implying that I'm misremembering what he'd said, or that he'd exaggerated, and that it's not important. I start to press the subject, asking his wife about the state of the town.

      (Woke up. Back to sleep.)

      I'm walking on a dirt road just before dawn, sky's bright. The ground to my right drops off sharply into a valley which at the moment is filled with rising mist, and I'm stopping to enjoy the sight. It's very beautiful.

      (Woke up. Back to sleep.)

      A mother and daughter in their library, the mother is standing over a book lying open on a stand, and the daughter is behind the stand, trying to get a look at the book. She holds up a candle to try to read, but her mother tells her you can't read it like this. The mother puts out her candle, and all the other lights, and when it's pitch black the book starts glowing. As a 3rd person observer, I'm thinking something about how this makes perfect sense for a book about darkness. The mother is focusing on the book and saying "I shan't flee from you around here, mortal." The light from the book flares up so brightly I can't see anything else.