• Lucid Dreaming - Dream Views

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    Snacks From the Butler's Pantry

    1. The Golden Age

      by , 06-10-2010 at 12:25 AM (Snacks From the Butler's Pantry)
      I feel disoriented as I transition to sleep. My body feels distant, and my imagination becomes more real. Instead of lying in bed, I believe I am sitting at a desk surrounded by high tech equipment. I am hooked up to an array of lights and computers I know is some kind of EEG I can control by flexing my mind. I hear a clear voice right in my ear say, "Find Annabelle, Dream Queen." I know my WILD has succeeded, so I look down at my hands to count my fingers. They look normal, so I look away and check again. This time, my fingers are stubby like a dwarf, and I count 6 on each hand.

      I look up to see a beautiful young woman lying next to me. We are in my old house from high school, lying in my old bed. The woman is discussing her sex life, but I am not paying much attention. The way she is laying draped across me is very overpowering and forceful. She is incredibly strong, and holding me down without even trying. I relax, and float upward towards the ceiling, pushing her voice from my mind, and leaving her behind.

      The bedroom window fills my vision, so I float towards it. I land on the sill, looking down to the front yard below me. As I leap down to the grass, I remember, "Atlantis." Telling myself the grass is water, I splash right through it. It was only a thin layer of grass floating on the surface like a swamp. Darkness surrounds me as I sink down into the deep water. After a few moments, I feel my feet touch the rocky bottom. I swim swiftly in the total darkness, using my sense of touch to feel along the bottom with my hands. I try to visualize a vast, high-tech underwater city, like the one in the movie "The Abyss." A light appears ahead, and I swim towards it, assuming it will be the entrance to this underwater paradise.

      When I approach the light, it turns out to be the surface of the water. I climb out, finding myself on the grassy lawn of my old neighborhood park. I must have just swam underground a few blocks to the park. The grass is swampy, and I am sunken in to mid-calf. Looking around, I see the neighborhood has all been flooded. The houses are all in the right place, but they are abandoned, boarded up, and sitting in shallow water. It looks like a tidal wave or tropical storm has ripped through the neighborhood, flooding it like Atlantis.

      I climb a nearby fence, behind which used to be an open field. I want to get a good view of my surroundings. Instead of a cow pasture on the other side of the fence, I see endless rows of suburban houses. They stretch into the night as far as I can see. Sitting on top of the fence, I watch the lights come on in each house, one by one, as if they are turning back on after a blackout. I have the feeling each of the lit windows holds a pair of eyes, watching me. They are not happy about me being there.

      As I watch the lights come on, I understand the sad meaning of all this. This is the neighborhood I grew up in. This is my old park. This is my memory of my childhood. It has been destroyed, flooded by the new memories from my life. The open fields from my memories have been flooded by new housing developments making homes for new families building new memories. Just as Atlantis represents humanity's mythological lost golden age, this is my own personal mythology. A lost utopia that seems to grow more amazing the further it sinks into the ocean of the past. I fly out over the hidden eyes of the houses, daring them to see me as I wake myself up.
    2. The Quarry

      by , 06-10-2010 at 12:25 AM (Snacks From the Butler's Pantry)
      I woke to the soft glow of sunlight on my tent walls. My girlfriend was shuffling around next to me, trying to shimmy into her jeans without leaving the warmth of her sleeping bag. I unzipped the tent, and wandered out into the morning, shoes still untied.

      It was a crisp morning, but I knew the clear sunlight would soon warm it up. I remembered the strange happenings from the night before. Our friend, Katie had traveled back in time to confront her younger self. Now she could not return to the future, so she changed her name to Chloe and moved in with her parents to help raise herself as a baby. We spent the night camping on her family's land so we could be close if she needed our help again.

      I rounded a large rocky hill, accompanied by my girlfriend. We passed an enormous granite boulder taller than a man, and saw the entire valley opened up below us. It was an incredible view. Grassy hills spotted with white granite boulders stretched out into a shallow valley. The far side of the valley ended in sheer rocky cliffs. I recognized them as the remains of an ancient, abandoned quarry. The remaining rock had been eroded by the weather, and grown over with grass and brush. The cliffs curved in a jagged arc, reminding me of an amphitheater or stage.

      The history and beauty of the place was so strong, I became very emotional. I embraced my girlfriend and started kissing her passionately. We dropped to the grass, and started tearing at eachother's clothes under the shelter of the huge boulder. Before things got too far along, I heard a car door slam, and footsteps. I poked my head around the corner to see my friend, Katie/Chloe's father walking over to us. We threw our clothes back on, and I stood to greet him.

      I told him how impressed I was with his land, and that we wanted to hold our wedding in the abandoned quarry. I wanted a traditional Shinto ceremony, with blessings from the spirits of the place. He explained there was no electricity down there, as we walked down the hill to check it out. I saw my girlfriend had fallen asleep in the grass, so I left her to go explore with my new friend. The views were so surreal, I knew I had to be dreaming. My guide pointed out that his land stopped at the edge of the quarry, so we would need to talk to his neighbor.

      I just now noticed the small cottage on the other side of the fence beside us. A terrible smell was coming from his yard. Looking through the fence, I saw the rotting carcass of a stag. Katie's father was going on about how he had to call the police to investigate his neighbor, who hadn't been seen for weeks, and had not cleaned up the dead animal in his yard. The carcass looked half-eaten. Apparently his pet tiger had been living off of it for the past week or two. I saw the tiger lounging in the grass, eying us casually. The low, chicken wire fence did not seem like it would keep that tiger in if it really wanted to leave. I was glad he had some food left to keep him happy.

      All this time, I knew I was dreaming, and was scribbling down notes in a small journal, trying to remember and interpret everything I saw. We walked further down the slope to see the lake. I suggested to my new friend that he should build a small cabin or gazebo on this side of the hill to take advantage of the view. He smiled, and opened a door that led directly into the hillside. Inside, was a natural cavern that had been hollowed out and decorated to look like a sitting room. It had windows cut through the side of the hill, overlooking the valley floor.

      As soon as I walked in, the dream began to fade and I found myself back in bed. I lay still for a second, going over the details in my mind It was very vivid, and I imagined writing it down in my journal. As I did this, I thought about how badly I wanted to return and explore more. My imagination took over, and I found myself back at the giant boulder, still scribbling notes in my small journal.

      I retraced my footsteps down the hillside, and was surprised to see the quarry was gone. In its place, was a clear mountain lake with a rocky shoreline. In my absence, the quarry had been flooded. It was even more beautiful than the previous scene, and I wanted to cry, knowing it was not real. My guide was sitting on a low boulder, dipping his feet in the water. I sat down to join him, fascinated by the short waves that splashed against my ankles. The water creeped higher with every wave, until it was splashing up to my waist. A laugh startled me. I looked to my left at a beautiful young blond woman sitting beside me. She giggled, teasing me about my wet clothes. Before I could explain to her that this was all a dream, I woke to my alarm clock.

    3. * * *

      by , 06-10-2010 at 12:24 AM (Snacks From the Butler's Pantry)
      Standing in line at my local crappy sandwich shop, I catch a glimpse of an entire room I've never seen before. Curious, I lean around the corner to have a peek. I am surprised to see rows and rows of glistening glass cases filled with every kind of deli treat you can imagine. Fine meats, cheeses and olives. Breads, pies, and tarts. I've never before seen such an incredible spread.

      Tearing my eyes from the feast before me, I look up to see my friend from college working the counter. Startled, I ask what she is doing here. We haven't seen each other in years. She shushes me, and points to the television where an episode of Seinfeld is playing:

      George washes up on the beach like a castaway. He coughs, and rolls over to see a pack of robotic velociraptors charging at him. The dinosaurs chase him around the beach. Their vinyl skin and animatronic pistons are not suited for walking on the soft sand. George barely makes it to the safety of my house, where I slam the door behind him.

      Out of breath, he runs to the bathroom to splash some water on his grimy face. I can hear my girlfriend and her sister helping him calm down. A gang of noisy kids is on the porch, trying to break into the house to vandalize it. I yell at them to leave; that the dinosaurs will be here soon. Worried, I finally decide to let them into the safety of our house.

      As soon as I touch the door handle, I realize this is all a dream. I immediately slam the door shut again, and turn to face my girlfriend and her sister. I drop to my knees, lift their shirts up, and press my face against the smooth skin of their bellies.

      I suddenly find myself in bed, locked in paralysis. It is still dark, but my girlfriend is busy banging around the bedroom. I relax, knowing this is sleep paralysis, and likely a hallucination. I try to mumble to my girlfriend to help me out of bed. My arms are frozen in place, but I can see ghostly duplicates reaching out towards her for help. Focusing on these ghostly hands lifts me out of my body and into a terrible dream version of my bedroom.

      There has been some kind of flood. The walls and ceiling are soaking wet, covered in thick mold and fungus. There are dirty, used paper towels scattered all over the floor. I grab some to try and wipe off some of the fuzzy, climbing mold.

      I snap back to myself in bed. I am lying on my side, paralyzed again. Through the thin curtains, I can see three stars on the horizon, *** like Orion's belt. They grow larger as they approach the window. In an instant, it seems they are hovering right outside the window, bouncing up and down rhythmically. I wonder for a second if I am seeing our real christmas lights in the back yard. I tell myself this is impossible, since they would have turned off hours ago.

      Looking away from the hypnotic lights, I let out a stifled scream at the monster standing just to the right of my window. He is an impossibly tall and spidery humanoid, with a smooth, alien face. At first I think he is wearing a long draping robe. I know this is the same creature I saw several weeks ago. I look at him closer, and see he is naked, with his skin hanging off his bony body in long drooping folds, like cloth.

      Behind him, I see my girlfriend still puttering around the room, oblivious to my hallucination. I try to call out to her for help. I reach my hand out again, trying to move. The tall, silent creature surprises me by grabbing hold of my hand. His grip is strong, but his skin feels like soft, worn leather. I suddenly have an impossibly distorted view of my body. I can feel my real left hand under my pillow, pressed against the soft sheets. At the same time, I can feel that same sensation in my dream right hand as this creature grips it. I know I am somehow transferring the sensations from my real left hand into my dream right hand.

      This is too much for me, so I wiggle my big toe and instantly wake up safely in bed, with my girlfriend snoring away next to me.
    4. The Crypt

      by , 06-10-2010 at 12:21 AM (Snacks From the Butler's Pantry)
      A commercial for an anti-anxiety medication comes on the television:

      A handsome woman out on a date jumps in the sculptural fountain in her hotel lobby. She splashes around, playfully teasing her date. Her date is not amused. He explains to her that this hotel used to be his family's mausoleum, and the sculptures lying all around are really tombs of his long dead family members.

      The sarcophagi of two lovers lie side by side in an alcove. Their weathered stone statues are sculpted into the tops of the tombs, holding hands The dating couple climb onto the two caskets and lie down next to the statues

      Suddenly, the male statue turns its head slightly. The girl freaks out, and leaps up to run away. The male sculpture opens his stone mouth and says, "You two make a lovely couple. You remind me of your father." The female sculpture reaches out and grabs the fleeing woman. She coughs out a cloud of dust and says, in a raspy voice, "And you remind me so much of myself at your age. I can tell you are strong. Want to arm wrestle?"
    5. The End of The World

      by , 06-10-2010 at 12:20 AM (Snacks From the Butler's Pantry)
      My girlfriend wanted to stop by her mother's house to make sure she was prepared for the end of the world. The house in the countryside was not how I remembered it. It looked like she had recently replaced the roof and thrown a fresh coat of paint over the siding. My girlfriend went inside to pick up the mail, while I wandered the gardens. Her orange trees were carrying a healthy crop of fruit, and the bean stalks were climbing their way up the rear lattices.

      While my girlfriend talked with her mother about the approaching apocalypse, I sat down in my aluminum lawn chair and took off for a quick flight. I held on tightly to the flimsy arm rests, and jetted out across the hills. I sped off towards the coast to see the half completed bridge that was being built to connect our island to the mainland. Hovering just above the snow, I jumped off my chair, landing lightly on all fours. The fresh powder crunched softly beneath my furry paws as I trotted to the cliff to inspect the new bridge construction.

      The rumors I had heard were true. A big-rig truck had fallen off the cliff, landing in the wet concrete below. This would be a terrible setback for the construction. We would probably not be able to finish the project before the end of the world. I took a moment to marvel at what we had managed to build. The raised motorway stretched out into the sea. The white concrete pylons marched out their regular rhythm, meeting the horizon at the edge of my vision. It was an amazing feat of engineering and construction, but it would never be completed. What a shame.

      I sat on my hind legs and watched the sea until the sky began to darken from the oncoming storm. The falling snow quickly concealed the bridge, and soon even the coastline was invisible to me. I decided to make my way back home as the storm picked up to become a blizzard.

      In the darkness, I sniffed at the air, trying to recognize the other wolf. Even through the wild winds, I could tell his unfamiliar scent was coming closer. He was closer than I thought. I saw his towering form materialize slowly out of the falling snow, right in front of me. Standing twice my height, he was a giant. I knew I was doomed, but charged him anyways. If I was to die, maybe I could take this monster down with me. The flurry of fangs and blood lasted only a moment, before I felt his jaws clamp around my throat. He easily ripped through my fur and flesh, tearing my throat out.

      He bent over me as I felt the last of my life slip from my body . His huge hands wrapped around my waist to lift my naked, human body out of the bloody snow. He threw me easily over one shoulder and lumbered off into the blizzard to bring me to his master.
    6. Vex Ruins the Surprise

      by , 06-10-2010 at 12:17 AM (Snacks From the Butler's Pantry)
      I cut out of work early to get ready for the big surprise party. Overestimating the time it will take, I arrive hopelessly early. My brother wants to take a nap, so we lie down in the living room to rest. Some ass-hole wants to play an old Sega Genesis game, and won't let us sleep. I finally give in, moving upstairs to let him have the TV.

      Upstairs, I make my way to the spare bedroom. To my surprise, my best friend and Vex Kitten are already there. My friend is on the bed, and Vex is sitting at a computer playing a video game. The room is a total mess. It reminds me of a teenage boy's room. There are stacks of CDs everywhere, with clothes and video games strewn all over the floor. Life size superhero blow up dolls hang from the ceiling and walls.

      My friend starts to tell me about a dream she had, and reads me a terrible poem about dreams. It uses a metaphor for dreams being like digging through a dumpster. I know the author of the poem from an art exhibition. It vaguely reminds me of a dream I just had about Vex. I try to tell her about it, but I can barely remember, even though it feels important. I only have a faint memory of a huge fat black lady, and a nagging feeling that I need to remember something about it. My friend asks me if I ever dream about her, and I reply, "Yes, but those dreams are very different." I suddenly wonder if my friend knows that Vex and I know each other. It seems to be a strange coincidence that she is here. I am too exhausted to figure it out, so I lie down with Vex on the floor to take a nap together.

      I wake into a hazy FA sleep paralysis, frightened by the shadowy shape of a life size Incredible Hulk action figure. It is dark and freezing in the house. I have only an thin denim jacket to keep me warm, so I cuddle closer to Vex. I rack my brain trying to figure out why I am sleeping on the floor. I hear voices and music from downstairs. Something about a surprise party? Where the hell am I? I wake Vex to ask her what time it is, worried that I slept through the party.

      Looking at her, I can't pin down her age. It seems like her appearance keeps shifting from a beautiful young teenage girl to an old woman. The more I look at her, the more she confuses me. Her eyes are bright and youthful, but she has wrinkly, bumpy skin like a zombie. Her body seems fit, but her skin is stretched and loose like an old woman. I jokingly wrestle with her, giving her a loud raspberry on her bare belly.

      From downstairs, I hear people yell, "Surprise!"
    7. The Fossilized City

      by , 06-10-2010 at 12:12 AM (Snacks From the Butler's Pantry)
      My body hums with energy as I lie on my side. I close my eyes and look away from my thoughts. When I open them again, I see the shadows have taken shape. In the darkness, I can barely make out the shape of a small robot standing in front of the window. He looks like that blue and white robot from Star Wars, R2D2. I blink my eyes, knowing it is only a hallucination. When I open them again, there are two of the little robots stacked on top of each other. It looks like my vision has been layered, with the second hallucination identical to, but offset from the first.

      My body vibrates again with another wave, and I close my eyes and take a deep breath. I open my eyes again, and see the robots have been replaced by the shadow of an impossibly tall, thin humanoid creature. He is silhouetted in moonlight filtering through the curtains. He wears a loose, hooded robe that conceals everything but his long spidery fingers. I try to pull back the covers to get out of bed, but find I can not move. In my mind's eye, I can see myself getting out of bed, but my body stays stubbornly paralyzed. The scene plays several times, as if on a loop. Finally, I reach out my hand to ask the tall creature by my bed for help. It slowly lifts one arm, and wraps its long spidery fingers around my outstretched hand. Its dark skin is tough and calloused, but velvety and warm, like the pads on a cat's paw. I expect it to lift me out of bed, but instead it just reassuringly caresses my hand.

      I struggle to roll backwards out of my body. It takes a few attempts before I awkwardly fall out of myself. I find myself lying, face down, on top of my girlfriend. My body is ethereal, like a ghost, so I am half merged with her sleeping body. I can feel her breathing and heartbeat separate from my own. Her energy feels anxious and antsy. I try to give her my calm and loving emotions before climbing off (and out of) her. I still feel paralyzed and stiff as I struggle to crawl away from my bedroom. Eventually I make it out the door, and into my front courtyard. In the darkness, I drag myself towards the front gate.

      Before I reach the gate, I am suddenly surrounded by sunlight. I am on my back floating weightlessly through the air. I watch the clear blue sky above filtering through the rustling canopy of trees. I am whisked along, unable to see where I am or where I am going. I can see every leaf clearly, and marvel at how real and stable everything seems.

      It doesn't last more than a moment before I find myself back in bed. The tall, spindly creature still stands inches away from my bed, watching me from the darkness. Knowing I must be still in the dream, I try to get out of bed. My body is still paralyzed, so I relax and take a deep breath. I can hear voices in the distance. I give them my attention and they become clear.

      It sounds like a talk radio program discussing border politics. The law granting citizenship to children born on U.S. soil has caused financial strain for hospitals near the border. They can't keep up with all the births. A new proposed law will grant citizenship to any child born within a certain distance of the border. This will help shift some of the burden back to Mexican hospitals.

      As I listen to this, I find myself floating along a freeway on-ramp. I follow the cars onto the freeway, flying just above them. Chain link fencing topped with barbed wire lines one side of the highway. The other side is a sheer cliff that drops into a beautiful, rocky mountain valley. I see the mountain in the distance, and fly towards it. Its cliffs look like an old quarry, with scrub trees clinging to the rocky cracks. My vision seems super sharp. The mountain is far away, on the horizon, but I can see every detail clearly. I can count the leaves on the trees, and see the bugs climbing through the cracks in it's rocky cliffs. I must be flying faster than I thought, because before I know it, I have passed the mountain, and am headed towards another.

      This one stands above a beautiful, still mountain lake. Bright, afternoon sunlight reflects, white, off the deep blue water, and I fly lower to splash my fingertips as I zoom along. I imagine all the fantastic creatures lying just below its mirrored surface. Lake creatures, sleeping dragons, beautiful sirens, and forgotten prehistoric creatures. I fly down into the water gradually, like a sea plane landing. As I pass below the surface, everything goes dark. Frightened the dream may fade, I quickly come up out of the water.

      In that split second of darkness, the entire scene has changed. The lake has become a ocean bay, and the mountain is now snow capped and icy. Fantastic rock formations cover its slopes. Natural white stone bridges, pinnacles, and stacked boulders. I fly along the choppy bay, towards a giant rock formation whose peak juts from the surface of the ocean. As I near it, I see it is the petrified remains of the San Francisco Bay Bridge. The steel has been covered in white ash, and hardened to stone. Only the top of the tower remains above sea level. I see the Golden Gate bridge in the distance, also half submerged and somehow fossilized to white stone. I now recognize the strange mountain rock formations as what is left of the San Francisco skyline. I imagine this must be the future, after the ice caps have melted and the sea level risen. I feel immense, uncontrollable sadness, and begin to cry. I start to sing a song I have never heard before,

      "My heart sings a hymn
      for what was lost..."

      I land on a small island in the bay. Only the peak of it stands above the water, snow covered and icy like a glacier. A gigantic pipe extends out of the island, buried in the rock and ice. It is big enough for a truck to drive through, and I know it leads to a subterranean system of tunnels below. I begin to walk into the tunnel, hesitating briefly at the edge of the light. A pair of eyes appear from deep within the tunnel, and a huge hulking white form lumbers from out of the wall of darkness. I find myself face to face with a giant polar bear. Standing on all fours, it is still twice as tall as me. Its hot breath steams in the frozen air, and I crane my neck to meet its eyes.

      "Hello sir." I manage to say. It looks as startled as I am, but friendly and wise. "Hello." It responds carefully, "I was just on my way out." I continue, "I would like to explore your den. I promise not to take any of your food, and will be gone before you return. Would that be alright with you?" It thinks for a moment, then continues slowly, "I don't know. That doesn't sound like a very good idea." It seems to be stalling, trying to think of a good excuse.

      I hear knocking. It gets louder, and more frantic. Someone is pounding on the front door of my house. A muffled voice is calling from the other side of the door. I know it must be a hallucination, but it sounds very real. The voice sounds like my girlfriend's mother. I am back in bed, but still totally paralyzed. I consider my options, then decide this is a good time to record the dream, anyways. I open my eyes, and am surprised to see the tall, spooky, hooded creature is still standing over me. I struggle against the paralysis to move. I see him shift his weight to his other foot when I open my eyes. I know he knows that I am awake. I reach for my flashlight and dream journal. I act casual, then suddenly point the light at the hooded figure, and flip it on, trying to catch myself (and him) off guard. Nothing happens. I click the switch a few times, before realizing this is a false awakening. The pounding is still coming from the front door. I close my eyes again, then open them and know I am really awake. There is nothing standing in front of the window. Just long shadows from the moonlight filtering through the curtains.
    8. Chastise

      by , 06-10-2010 at 12:10 AM (Snacks From the Butler's Pantry)
      A whisper woke me, and a shadowy hand helped pull me upright. My joints cracked as I stretched, and stiffly unwound my wrappings. I stumbled along the cold stone floor after my companion, still groggy from sleep. Her sleek body darted back and forth ahead of me, seeing easily in the darkness. Bast. I recognized the smell of her perfume, still fresh after all these years. I followed without hesitation. I understood her haste, as the groans and shuffles echoed down the corridors all around us. They were coming closer. We came around a corner, and found ourselves face to face with them. Rotten and decaying corpses, animated by their jealousy and hunger for our warmth. They came from every angle, scratching and biting at us in the darkness. Bast flattened herself against my back, hissing.

      Still weak and groggy, I gathered myself, then ignited the air around us into a tight ring of flames. It burned brightly, illuminating the mutilated faces of our attackers. I held it for only a second before it exploded outward, sending the ghouls flying away from us, and knocking them to the floor. We hurried over their burning bodies, as they grabbed at our ankles with their bony fingers. The survivors chased us through the hallways. We ran for safety, following a faint light and the sound of rushing water. Light poured from an opening ahead of us, and we jumped, crashing into the river far below.

      The swift current carried us down the Nile, away from our pursuers. I turned on my back for a moment, to float and let the familiar desert sun warm my face. Then, with a thought, I froze the water beneath myself into a small raft made of ice. I steadied myself, then helped pull my floundering companion from the rushing water. Annoyed, Bast shook the water from her fur and moved closer to me. I smiled to myself, remembering her aversion to water.

      We skimmed past the shore, watching the canyon fall away to reveal the sun bleached sand beyond. Ahead, a glint of gold caught my eye. Hulking forms moved mechanically down the shore. Shaped to look like men, their bodies were sheathed entirely in polished gold, brought to life by clockwork engineering. When Bast saw them, she bared her sharp teeth in a grin.

      There were thousands of them lining the base of the temple. I steered our raft to the shore, where it crashed into the bank, shattering from the impact. My companion wasted no time, and leapt into the wall of stoic gold giants with glee. They moved surprisingly fast for their size, but even their flawless engineering was no match for her. She danced between them like a whirlwind. She whipped her sistrum-topped spear around herself in a frenzy, each strike clanging against the hollow metal like a bell. The butt of her spear crushed the thick gold like it was paper, and her sharp claws tore it to ribbons. She cleared a path for us through sea of animated gold, while I moved steadily towards the center of the temple.

      Confident laughter drifted from above me, as I climbed the steps. I glanced behind me, to see the golem army crowding in around Bast, below. There were thousands of them, a seemingly unstoppable force. This arrogant fool thought his toys stood a chance against Bastet of Bubastis? Standing on the highest terrace, the mortal king who dared to name himself a god waited for me. I sauntered up the stairs, slowly and patiently. The man was about to find out what a real god was capable of.

    9. Lucid Love Maelstrom

      by , 06-10-2010 at 12:07 AM (Snacks From the Butler's Pantry)
      Our high school reunion is in full swing, and I'm having a blast. Everyone is chatting and reclining on blankets laid out on the grass. Music plays on the stage, like an outdoor music festival. I see my friend, a few picnic blankets over. She sits alone on her blanket, pensive and sad. I leave my group of friends to go sit with her. We don't speak, but we lie together close so our bodies are touching. The contact feels peaceful and comforting. I can tell she appreciates the company.

      Eventually, I worry that my girlfriend will be jealous if I don't spend some time with her. I return to our blanket, but am suddenly confused by Hope standing on stage, calling me out of the crowd over the PA system. I join her on the stage, where she hands me an award and leaves me with the microphone. Instead of an acceptance speech, I stammer, jokingly, "I was not, at all, paying attention. What the fuck is going on?" The crowd laughs, and an older woman explains to me that I need to nominate someone of my own to present the award to. It is a game to reconnect old acquaintances. I nominate my girlfriend, and we go inside the house together.

      In the house, my girlfriend takes one of her twin sisters to the next room to help her with something. I am left alone with the other twin. She is blabbing about laundry while I browse the internet on her laptop computer. I come across one of those friend update alerts on Facebook from my picnic friend's ex-boyfriend. Apparently he has posted nude photos of her as some sort of revenge. I try to download them to warn her, but I see the post has already been removed by the Facebook staff. In it's place is a link to the photos on Myspace. I start to download them, but remember that I am not on my own computer. I look around for my computer, only to realize I am in my old childhood home, where all the furniture has been removed.

      My girlfriend's sister is still talking about laundry. She says something about washing her bras, and I reply, "Show me." She takes her shirt off, and moves to my lap to press her breasts in my face. Before we get too far, she scrambles off of me, hurrying to put her panties back on as my girlfriend walks back into the room. I laugh, and tell my girlfriend, "Don't look so worried, this is all a dream."

      Just realizing this myself, I hop into the air and tuck my legs up to my chest, like I'm doing a cannonball in a pool. I leisurely float around the room, rotating my curled-up body to steer. My girlfriend floats with me, and we begin kissing and touching each other. As we make love, a loud rumbling begins. It grows to a deafening roar, and the house is torn apart around us. The wind whips enormous rocks and boulders through the air, as if a tornado was tearing the earth to pieces. The spectacle is exhilarating to watch. I try to remain calm and take it all in. Wind whips us through the maelstrom, our bodies still locked together. Chunks of earth the size of cars fly past us, colliding in catastrophic sprays of rubble. I try to look in all directions at once, worried that a boulder could hit me from behind and injure me. I have the strange notion that the only thing keeping this all a dream is my ability to witness it. Something unseen or surprising could be real, and therefore could kill me.
    10. Whitney

      by , 06-10-2010 at 12:05 AM (Snacks From the Butler's Pantry)
      It feels good to ride my bicycle through my old neighborhood. I remember the freedom I felt when I would ride as a kid. Two attractive young ladies pass me, also on their bikes, and I wave. I feel like I recognize them from somewhere.

      I meet up with some friends from my gym, and together, we ride down a rocky mountain path. They look like the guys from the children's TV show The Wiggles. My bike keeps sliding out of control, and The Wiggles make fun of me for taking a road bike on such a rugged path.

      I arrive at the beach, park my bike, and walk around looking for a good spot to post up. Campers or squatters have set up tents on the sand. I peek in one of the tents, and see a huge, leashed brown bear stretching and baying. I find this amusing, and smile at his owner. The man must be a rich collector of exotic animals. I see his wife outside, playing with a full grown seal. I spend some time with her, playing with the seal as if it were a dog. It moves surprisingly well out of water, and can outrun me as we play. I can't read it's body language well. I'm scared I will misinterpret it's aggressiveness for playfulness and get bitten.

      I continue down the beach, and see the two bike riding girls from earlier. One of them has great style, and I feel like I knew her somewhere. Maybe from college, or my childhood. I try to chat her up, but she seems apprehensive, and her friend is very rude. She keeps just staring at me, sadly and expectantly, with her huge brown eyes. I must look like a total dork with my bike helmet on and my pant leg rolled up to stay out of the chain. I clean up in the bathroom, trying to make myself look like my normal, hip self. The familiar girl joins me, and we casually undress to shower together.

      As we wait for the water to heat up, she stops and tells me we probably should not pursue anything romantic or sexual. We have differing ideas of what love means. I ask how she could even know my attitude on love. She recounts several of my personal experiences back to me in detail. I can't believe she knows so much about me. When I question her, she says she knows me from an online community. What a coincidence. I ask DV or MM? She says her name is Whitney, and she is a member at DV. I tell her I'm RB, but I can tell she already knows who I am. She replies, uncomfortably, "I know who you are." I wonder if this is just a coincidence, or if she was somehow stalking me.
    11. Vex Kitten's Family

      by , 06-10-2010 at 12:04 AM (Snacks From the Butler's Pantry)
      Vex decided to finally bring me home to meet her family. Her home was a small cabin in an otherwise unpopulated, natural setting. She introduced me to the family doctor, a handsome young Indian man wearing a linen Oxford shirt and a Dhoti. He was there taking care of her sick brother.

      We found her brother in his bedroom, twisting in agony on the dirt floor. His left arm was wrapped in bandages like a mummy, with pus and infection seeping through the cloth. It was obvious that his arm was gangrenous and rotting away. He had already lost his fingers and most of his hand. I was horrified to find out that Vex's family was in the middle of a legal battle about her brother's injury. The doctor would not treat him, fearing that if he was cured, the family would lose their case and forfeit the money from the law suit. I sensed that the Indian doctor was the one that talked them into this evil plan. I tried to play along, knowing that he would kill me if he thought I would jeopardize his schemes.

      Once we were safely away from the cabin at a diner, I told Vex over a pile of french fries that we had to help her brother, or he would surely die. We made plans to bring him antibiotics and pain killers, and get him safely to a real hospital.
    12. The Marshal

      by , 06-10-2010 at 12:01 AM (Snacks From the Butler's Pantry)
      I was framed. Now, in prison, I await my sentence. This small, off-the-map village seems so foreign to me. I wonder what kind of cruel justice they deal out in this land. I wait in my small makeshift cell in the village square. I could probably escape, but that would only make me look guilty. I know that if I am given any sort of trial, my innocence will come to light.

      My jailer kicks open the door, and pushes me out of the cell. The Marshal is here. He will be transporting me to my real destination. He is dressed strangely. His chest and arms are bare except for the thick leather cords criss-crossing his intimidating muscles. He wears a green and brown leather kilt with a high waist that flares outward above his belly. He looks like some sort of gladiator, and I know this is not someone I would want to see angry.

      The marshal grabs me roughly, and unties my hands. He then strips me naked as the mob of villagers cheer rabidly. I can't imagine what punishment awaits me. Whipping? Beating? Maybe they have decided to just hang me right here. The marshal hands me a thick leather kilt to match his own, and then helps me wrap it around myself. I am relieved that I will not have to face this ordeal naked.

      He hands me a double bladed knife, like a pair of crude scissors. As soon as I take hold of the hilt, the angry villagers mob me. They beat me savagely. I grip the knife tightly, but refuse to fight back. They will not provoke me into becoming the villain. It stops as suddenly as it began. I look up to see the marshal standing over me. He grabs my hand, and suddenly drives my knife into his own belly. It stops an inch away, repelled as if by a magnetic field. I know that the knife has a mechanism that prevents it from ever coming in contact with a living person. I could not have defended myself if I wanted to. It was only a test to see if I would act violently when provoked. As a reward for passing the first test, the marshal fastens a large metal buckle to the waistband of my kilt.

      We walk to the next village, where a mute Korean boy shows us around. It is empty, and people look scared. We soon realize there is a mysterious killer on the loose. I solve the mystery with the help of the young boy, who can read peoples minds, and bring out their hidden strengths. I battle the two thugs responsible in a shallow pool. I easily disarm them, and knee one of them with such force, he shatters into a cloud of splintered glass. The other escapes, and my marshal tracks him to the next town.

      In this town, we find out the villain can shapeshift and has taken the form of a woman. She is killing people to feed, absorbing them into her liquid metal body. I face her in a old, run down bathroom. Chipped seafoam green tile, and a claw footed tub. The villain is attacking a woman in the bathtub full of water. The villain melts into a glob of silvery mercury, and pours into the water. The woman screams as the water comes to life around her. Her death throes send out a shock wave that freezes the water to ice, trapping both herself and the villainous liquid-metal-lady. I thaw out the innocent woman to revive her, and then take the frozen block of liquid villain to be destroyed.

      The marshal rewards me with a leather strap to wrap around my bicep. I realize that he is not escorting me to prison. This journey is my trial, sentence, and rehabilitation. As we venture across the countryside helping people, I win pieces of the Marshal's uniform. Eventually, I will have a complete uniform, and become a Marshal myself. Then it will be up to me to take over his responsibilities and rehabilitate accused criminals.
    13. Lucid Family Reunion

      by , 06-09-2010 at 11:58 PM (Snacks From the Butler's Pantry)
      I've heard rumors about my girlfriend's family's shady dealings. They are heavily involved with illegal genetic engineering. I was chosen to go undercover and expose their operation. Armed with an old cowboy revolver stuffed in the back of my pants, I accompanied my girlfriend to their yearly family reunion. My mission was to lay low and mingle until my team arrives and gives me the signal to take them down. Unfortunately, that plan went sour, fast. I underestimated how boring this whole thing was going to be.

      Halfway through the party, I snuck out of the banquet hall to get a break from all the stupid family reunion games. I followed the sound of some bumpin' music to a hidden back room. Lights flashed on the stage, as strippers danced and worked their poles. I took a seat in the front row, and struck up a conversation with one of the girls. She explained to how panties had gone out of style, replaced by fishnet stockings. No one wore panties anymore, these days.

      As exciting as the conversation was, I had responsibilities back in the reunion, so I excused myself to leave. On my way out, the bouncer stopped me. Apparently I had forgotten to pay the girl for our time together. I took a bunch of money out of the ATM to pay, but soon realized it was all $1 bills. I couldn't find any $20s in the stack. I felt bad digging through my wallet like this, like it cheapened my new friendship with this girl. Finally, I just gave her the whole stack of bills in my wallet, receipts and all.

      As I made my way back to the reunion, I heard gunshots. I ran into the hall to see everyone huddled on the floor, hostages to a single man with a gun. I didn't want any part of this. I didn't care what these people were involved with, it wasn't worth my life. The man started shooting me, but instead of bullets, his gun shot liquid, like a squirt gun. I knew the liquid was a genetic mutagen. It would turn me into a monster if it hit me. I dodged his shots, while fumbling with the safety on my gun. My gun had three modes. One that would speed up time for the target, one that would shoot bullets, and a safety. The revolver rotated like a dial, setting the mode. I couldn't get it to work, and was afraid I woul hurt myself. Finally, exasperated, I gave up. This was all too weird. Why the hell was I here to begin with? I didn't even know these people.

      As I stood confused, looking at the sea of hostages, I recognized one girl as my old neighbor from childhood. She reminded me of the genetic engineering lab in the attic, and promised to show me the terrors it held. I followed her up a hatch to the secret lab, hoping for some answers.

      The lab looked suspiciously like a laundry room. I could see a load of laundry tumbling in the dryer. She opened the door to stop the machine, but the clothes didn't stop moving. The half dry load of socks and tee shirts started undulating like something terrible was buried beneath. I fumbled with my gun, trying to get it set to bullets mode. The menacing pile of clothes flopped out of the dryer. It started to slither and undulate towards me threateningly. The clothes fell away from the monster, revealing..... a cute little blue turtle and a brown bunny rabbit. They looked like little lovable Pokemon. My neighbor screamed, "Kill it! Kill them quickly!" I aimed my gun and fired at the turtle. A white light flashed, and the turtle started running in circles in fast motion. Comically fast, like an old Charlie Chaplin movie. I looked at my gun, and saw it was set to "A.H.M." which I knew stood for "A Haste Mode."

      This was too much. I looked around for anything that would help this all make sense. My father climbed up from the attic ladder. He would know what to do. Relieved, I ran to him and gave him the gun. I told him how much I hated it, because I couldn't get it to work properly. I had been scared all night that it would go off in my pants and accidentally shoot someone. He took it from me, and it immediately went off accidentally in his hand. I felt the concussion from the shot, and knew he had hit me. I looked down at my body to see where I was had been shot.

      I was naked. Completely naked. When did that happen?! My father said my front teeth looked chipped. Maybe he shot me in the face. I looked in a nearby mirror, but my teeth looked fine. This was too obvious for me. Suddenly naked? Chipped teeth? I immediately became lucid.

      My father kept blabbing on about how he grew up in this house, reminiscing. I knew he was just trying to distract me back into the dream. He explained how he used to sneak out of the house using this attic window. I looked out the window, and saw we were high above a city, at the top of a high rise building. The city was lit up in the night , and I could see car's headlights whizzing along the street below. "This is a perfect opportunity to fly." I said, as I climbed out the window. I hovered out over the lit up city, and then sped off to do a few exhilarating laps around the block. It was a huge relief after the stressful dream. I returned to the window, and tried to convince my dad to come flying with me. He was scared of the height, and clung fearfully to the window. I left him behind, and descended to the street below.

      My mother and brothers were on the street, looking for a restaurant. They wanted to bring some takeout food back to their hotel room. I tried to convince them this was all a dream, but they wouldn't even talk about it. I grabbed my mom's hand, telling her to get a running start, then jump and fly. We jumped together. My mom fell back to the ground normally, but I hovered for a brief second before landing. I gave up on trying to convince them, and decided I wanted to run and feel the motion and speed. I took off running, but my body was clumsy. I remembered what the Wii Fit video game had said about using your whole foot when you run or walk. I tried that, but it just made me feel like I was marching in place. A jogger ran past me as I stumbled along. Cars were driving past me on the street, their headlights approaching at crazy speeds, making me feel even slower. I thought for a second that running in a dream would be great practice for a marathon runner. I could really feel the rhythm of my pace, and could tell exactly what muscles I was using in my legs and feet.
    14. Dream Cops

      by , 06-09-2010 at 11:57 PM (Snacks From the Butler's Pantry)
      My alarm wakes me up. I switch it off, then lie still to try and recall my dream. I have memories of a long, involved dream about a luncheon with President Bush, and run-ins with law enforcement. My memories become very vivid, and I am back in the dream.

      I stand on Main Street in my hometown, lucid and aware. A police officer is walking down the street towards me. I know I should wake myself up to keep from sleeping in, but I am curious to see what he has to say. He approaches, and asks, "Sir, what is that?" I look down at what I am holding, and reply, "It is a samurai sword." He asks smugly, "Do you have a permit for that?" I answer him, "A dream permit for my dream samurai sword? Are you kidding?" He looks confused, so I continue, "Do I need a dream permit to stab you in the chest with it? Or a dream permit to cut off your dream policeman head?"

      He continues to question me about a conspiracy against the president. I explain that it was a dream I just had before this one. It is not real. I leave him standing there jibber-jabbing and go exploring. I am in a train station full of all my friends. We run around together cutting down power poles and street lamps with our comically large samurai swords.
    15. Amazing Night!

      by , 06-09-2010 at 11:54 PM (Snacks From the Butler's Pantry)
      I took GM again last night for the first time in several months. That shit is a miracle drug for sure. I can't remember the last time I had such a vivid dream, let alone such strong lucidity. The strange thing was, I kept returning to the same, bizarre, false awakening throughout the dream. Even though I knew the FA was not real, I felt as if it was reality, and the dream was layered on top of it. This is the first time I've ever been unable to wake myself up from a dream.

      The first thing I remember is being in my old high school. I was lucid, and was intentionally bringing back the feelings of awkwardness and uncomfortableness. I wanted a clear memory of what it felt like to be young and at the mercy of the adults who ran my life for me. I explored old, long forgotten neighborhoods, friends houses, and childhood classrooms.

      I looked out the window of the chemistry lab at a concrete courtyard with terraced fountains. I took a running start, and leaped through the glass into the courtyard. The glass shattered around me, interrupting conversations and turning heads. I walked between the cafe tables, excusing myself to the stunned people whose lunches I rudely interrupted. The fountain was made of several stacked, rectangular concrete troughs, covered in redwood planks. I climbed to the highest terrace, and looked down on the courtyard. The water started to overflow the rim of the lowest fountain, spilling into the pavement. I made it flow faster, filling the courtyard below like a swimming pool.

      The water was filthy and muddy. Straw and green scum floated on the surface. I balanced on my high ledge, then jumped down onto the surface. I landed on the surface, sunk several inches into the water, then floated back to the top. It felt like my feet were made of wood, floating on the surface of the water. Every time my weight shifted, my feet would sink or float accordingly. I walked awkwardly to a table (also floating on the surface) and sat down to take off my shoes. As I slid my sock off my foot, I remarked at the vividness of the feeling. What a mundane feeling for my mind to reproduce so accurately. I stepped out onto the surface of the water, this time feeling the water splash against my bare feet. It reminded me of walking along the sea shore. When you let the waves glide up along the sand in a thin film to swirl against your bare feet. I jumped up and down a few times, feeling myself sink into the water each time, and then bob back to the top. It was almost like walking on a trampoline.

      I opened my eyes to record the experience, and found myself staring at a strange room. My point of view was high, like I was on the top bunk of a bunk bed. I could see the top of a cabinet close to my face. The top of the wood was lined with long hooked bones, like a dinosaur's teeth, or ribs. In front of me, I saw a cheap fluorescent tube fixture suspended from wires. I knew this must be a false awakening, so I relaxed back into another dream. I narrated to myself, making the scene appear as I heard the words.

      "I am running along a wide cobblestone road." To each side of me is an open expanse of white desert sand. The feeling of speed is incredible. I know I must be running faster than humanly possible. I can jump and feel myself propelled forward through the air. The speed feels like a roller coaster. I realize I am alone, and suddenly feel scared and vulnerable. I summon something I know will feel safe. The Luck Dragon from the Neverending Story. It appears next to me, snaking through the air with a smile on its gigantic face. I feel safer. I look to my other side, and see a panther or tiger bounding along with me.

      The landscape has changed to a futuristic city. There is now a cliff on my right side, with a drop off to the city below. I steer myself to the right, and throw myself off the cliff. The image flashes through my mind of my luck dragon swooping down to catch me. It doesn't happen. I continue to fall, plummeting to the earth below. I look down, seeing the ground speeding towards me fast. "This is going to hurt," I think to myself. I see my shadow rushing up to meet me. As I watch my shadow, two tendrils sprout from it's shoulders. They twist out to each side, then balloon out into wide feathered wings. A second later, I feel the wings sprout from my own shoulders to match. They catch the wind, and transfer my momentum forward as I swoop along the ground. I flap my wings, and rise back into the sky.

      I explore the city for several minutes. A green stone obelisk stands in the center of the city, the height of a skyscraper. It looks to be monolithic, carved in the style of Futurism or Art Deco. I fly up to the top of the tower, and land in a beautiful garden. It is landscaped with a line of stone walls and small shrubs. One of the shrubs is a young pineapple guava tree. I remember the fruit from my childhood. When I was three or four years old, my neighbor had a huge bush I used to steal fruit from. This tree was tiny, barely reaching my waist. I stood in front of it and held it's branches in my hands. I closed my eyes and focused on pouring my energy and loving happy memories into it. The feeling of energy flowing through my body was so real, I worried for a second that I was really giving something from myself that I could not get back. I felt the plant grow between my fingers, and opened my eyes to watch it climb the wall and fill out to an impressive size. Fruit sprouts on its branches, plumping up like water balloons. One close to me drops from the branch and I catch it. For some reason, I was suspicious. The fruit reminds me of an egg, and I imagine all kinds of horrible things hatching from it. I pierce its skin with my thumb, and tear it in half. It is a little dry and woody inside, but otherwise looks normal. I smell it, then taste it. It tastes like I remember, but very bland. I was disappointed.

      I open my eyes again to the same False Awakeing as earlier. It is confusing. I am obviously lying on my side, but there is some illusion of space that makes me think I am looking at everything sideways, like the room is rotated. I can't figure out what I am looking at exactly. Is this a distortion of my real bedroom, seen in the dark? Did I move the guest room during my WBTB? Is this the memory of a room from some other time? I am paralyzed, but I want to explore this dream world. I manage to free one arm. I reach up to touch the ivory tusks that line the cabinet next to me. They feel smooth and warm. I can hear my father having a phone conversation from the other room. He refers to the person on the phone as "Little Man," so I think he must be talking to my younger brother. He is telling him to go to the doctor because I was sick recently. He might have the same thing I had. I close my dream eyes, and listen to the voice.

      Suddenly, I am in a strange house I have never seen before. It is decorated like a house from the '60s, with greens and yellows and dull incandescent light. I reach for the doorknob, noticing it is one of the tiny disc knobs they used to put on the inside of closet doors. The door opens to a hallway lit with the same faded yellow light. I walk towards the sound of my father's voice. From the corner of my eye I see a door open, and a monstrous shape dart into the side room. I calm myself, telling myself it was not a monster. This is not a nightmare. The hallway leads to a kitchen floored in 60s green linoleum. My father is leaning against the wall talking on an old rotary phone. I am scared, so I tell myself the man looks exactly like my father. Not strange or monstrous at all. Just my father. I lean against the counter, and wait for him to finish his phone conversation. I have some interesting questions for him.

      I am startled to see movement from the corner of my eye. There is a young, teenage African-American boy crouched next to me casually in the corner of the kitchen. His presence is startling, but he is leaning against the cabinets in a very casual non threatening way. I speak to him softly, to not disturb my father's conversation. "Hey, you know this is a dream, right?" He nods and stands up. "You want to see something cool? You want to see me breathe fire?" He looks bored.

      I walk into the family room, where a mirror hangs on the wall. It is one of those old mirrors set in a bronze frame shaped like a sunburst. Straight wire rays extend out from the mirror to catch the light.

      I inhale deeply, then breathe out like I'm blowing out candles on a birthday cake. I suddenly feel my body back in bed choke. I know my real mouth is closed. I sort of breathe out weakly, spitting out through my pressed lips. I try again, focusing on my dream. This time, I feel my real body breathe out with a "pffffftht" rasberry/ motorboat. I wake up to the dim light of dawn, knowing this is not false awakening. (Of course, I check anyways)
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