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    Drones + Smallpox + Bed Monsters (NLD + FA-DILD + DILD)

    by , 05-09-2015 at 09:55 PM (726 Views)
    Ritual: It was a great night for dreaming, probably because I went to bed so much earlier than usual, though I've also been especially attentive to my RCs for the last couple days. I went to bed a little before midnight, and I'm also currently on the East Coast, so the clock was three hours ahead of my usual time zone. My sleep was punctuated with the usual half-dozen wakings, though I didn't do any specific night practices other than try to pay attention to the transitions between sleeping and waking, and in this I was not persistant or prompt enough to pull off a WILD or a DEILD. But by around 6am I woke up from the first DILD, spent until 7:30am writing it down, then went back to bed and lucked into a second one.

    NLD, "Drones": I'm standing by a floor-to-ceiling, wall-length window in a big hotel suite, looking out over the curve of a bay. From the height we must be somewhere between the 20th and 30th floor, and to the right I can see another tall building, or perhaps an extension of the same hotel, following the curve of the beach. Ahead and to the left is the flat horizon of the sea. It would be a pleasant view if it weren't for all the drones hovering in our field of vision, each one carrying a sign with a single word on it, white block letters on a black background. The words seem to be completely random.

    "It's like some dystopian future," I comment to Peter Dinklage, who is standing to my left. I muse about what it would be like if the drones were weaponized, and turned on us like machines tend to do in science fiction. Though a chilling thought, they are awkwardly constructed without any armoring, and look like they would be easy to shoot down.

    Then I notice that although they are not armed with guns, each drone is fitted with a camera, which is just as bad in some ways. Are they conducting mass surveillance on us? The cameras are all pointed directly at us. As I watch, a see a few drones of a different type fly in very close. They are not carrying signs, and they are disk-shaped, topped with a transparent dome through which we can see tiny people inside operating them. The pilots can't be human: even though I am standing next to a dwarf, they are much smaller than him, the size of babies, but with adult features and pointed ears. One of them waves at us, and Peter Dinklage says something like, "This is really disturbing."

    FA-DILD, "Smallpox": Shortly after this I have the sense of waking up, though it is not a typical FA; I do not find myself in bed. I feel like I am standing in the same spot, in the same room, only awake now. Everyone else who was in the room a moment ago is gone, and there is no longer any impression of a view. The light has changed, becoming greyer and dimmer: it felt like late afternoon a moment ago, now it feels like early morning.

    At once I notice that something is wrong with my body: a dense network of small patchy blisters is completely covering my skin. I look at myself in third person, as though in a mirror, and see them everywhere: covering my face, my chest, my arms, every patch of visible skin is mottled with these raised lesions. I know exactly what they are, too, I've seen them before in historical pictures: these are smallpox pustules, apparently in an early stage, since they are slightly lighter than my natural skin color and haven't scabbed or opened yet.

    Immediately my rational mind rejects the scenario: didn't I get vaccinated for this? I realize I don't specifically remember getting a smallpox vaccine, but... isn't that because smallpox is extinct? I can't recall the details but I'm sure I remembered hearing that. Surely it's not making a comeback, like measles, because of all these anti-vaccers? But that can't be right—if smallpox were coming back then vaccinations for it would have become available, and I'd have been first in line.

    This can't be happening. I try to will away the pustules but nothing changes. I remain unconvinced. This can't be happening, it must be a dream. If I can levitate, I will know it is a dream: I put my mind to it and though I do not levitate properly, I can feel that gravity is definitely different from waking life. So it is a dream! Okay, that's what I thought. Thank goodness I don't really have smallpox. Now I just need to fix my appearance.

    I go into the bathroom and look in the mirror, trying to will my skin smooth again. The pustules are stubbornly persistant, but a lock of hair turns white and I decide to transform the rest of it for fun. It instantly turns stark white, but the texture remains smooth and silky. This gives me the idea to turn my skin jet black, like that of a drow elf. I concentrate and most of it transforms, but there are still pale patches on my forehead and upper cheeks, and when I look down at my legs, they are a streaky grey that is fading out toward the ankles, more like body paint than skin pigment.

    On the bright side, changing the color of my skin finally got rid of the pustules, leaving it smooth again. Now I just want to even out the color, but the pale patches resist my initial attempts to darken them through will alone. I try to use my hands, as though spreading pigment over the resistant areas, and this helps a bit, but it is not an easy fix. As I peer closer into the mirror during this process, I notice that my eyes are solid black. I can't remember if this was the correct color for drow eyes, but I really like the effect. By the time I complete the skin transformation, my hair has faded from snow white to a yellower bone white, and this looks better and more natural with the jet black eyes and skin.

    During this process my hair has been going through stylistic variations, always long and straight, but hanging down in different ways, and smeared with substances like blood or oil. I figure this makes sense for drow fashion, since living underground they probably don't bathe all that often, making hair treatments like oil very practical, whereas the bloody streaks look impressively gruesome. Although my skin won't stay pure black, it doesn't fully revert to its natural shade either, but retains traces of color, like streaky orange-browns on a muted blue base, while the hair stays yellowish-white.

    WBTB: I woke up and spent over an hour writing the report of the last dream, but afterwards it was still early enough to go back to bed. Although I was not sleepy, it was a pleasantly lazy morning, and I enjoyed drifting in hypnagogic imagery. There was a period of ambiguity where it became increasingly difficulty to tell if I was having waking or dreaming experiences, and then I slipped again into full dream.


    DILD, "Bed Monsters": I was wandering through the large house belonging to my in-laws where I am currently staying, and I had lost count of the number of bedrooms... there had to be more than twenty. Just how big was this place? At that moment I realized, no, of course it is not so big in waking life, it is because I am dreaming that the size has been exaggerated. Dreaming, eh? Wasn't there something I had meant to do, if I found myself dreaming in a bedroom? Suddenly I recalled this month's TOTM, to make friends with the monster under your bed. Oh! I should get back to the room where I'd been sleeping! I dashed back so quickly I was afraid I would destabilize the dream, but luckily it stayed intact.

    I peered under the bed but it was a pleasant open space. It looked like there were a few banal things stored under there, but nothing looked sinister or monstrous. I felt around for something to work with, and my hand closed around a small plush object, which I withdrew and examined closely. It was a small brown teddy bear, only five inches long, with a plump, pear-shaped body and tiny beady eyes. There was a lighter brown oval around the bit of stiching that served as a nose. I was impressed with the detail with which I could perceive it, but had no idea how was I supposed to "make friends" with it. It seemed totally inert, a harmless stuffed animal. I set it on the thick folds of the comforter piled on the bed. "Dance!" I commanded. It just sat there. "Dance!" I tried a few more times, but it remained inaminate.

    I walked around to the other side of the bed, setting down the teddy bear on a dresser. I turned away for a moment, and when I looked again it had changed: now it was a sort of bell-shaped plastic structure hanging from the ceiling by a string. I couldn't tell what its purpose was, but it still appeared to be an inert object.

    It occurred to me that I had been walking around and standing right next to the bed completely heedless of the space underneath. If there really were monsters under there, I'd have to watch out for my ankles! I wondered if this was the problem, that I didn't really have any lingering childhood fear of monsters under the bed. Perhaps I should try again with more intent.

    I bent down and looked under the bed from this side, trying to keep the idea of monsters in mind. I still didn't see much under there: it was a light and airy space, just like in waking life, completely different from the overstuffed space under my bed at home. But I did see a scrap of cloth within arm's reach, so pulled it out. It turned out to be a little crocheted cat, only about three inches long, white with some orange spots. I guessed it must have been made by a total amateur. The body seemed floppy like it was unstuffed, and as I turned it over in my hands, I discovered that it was actually crocheted in a single flat piece with the four little legs sticking out horizontally, so only when it was folded in half along the back did it look plausibly like a cat. The head was the only piece that appeared to have been crocheted with any semblance of three-dimensionality. As I studied it closely, I saw tiny points of bright green contrasting with the dominant the white and orange: there was a little green tuft on the trip of the tail, and projecting from the head was a narrow appendange like the antenna of a cartoon alien, also topped with a green point.

    However, this object also showed no sign of motion or life, so it would be hard to say I was "making friends" with it. But then my eye caught a glimpse of orange fur near my feet: my cat had appeared! I wasn't surprised that she had turned up: when thinking about the task in waking life, I had reasoned that she really was the monster under my bed. Though I adopted her when she was about five months old (the best guess of the shelter) she had been living in a feral state before that, and even after five years of comfortable indoor living she still has the edgy instincts of a street cat: she hisses at the slightest provocation, and holes up under the bed for hours whenever a stranger is in the house.

    I knelt down to ruffle her long, soft fur, which felt totally life-like, but I noticed the color was off. In the dream she was calico, with big orange patches, but I remembered that she was a tabby in waking life. I wondered if she could qualify as my dream bed monster—though right now she was acting very pleasant and relaxed, and I figured it probably wouldn't count because I had already made friends with her in WL.

    Yet again I peeked under the bed, and this time at last I found the perfect candidate for my experiment. I felt that it was connected somehow with the tame cat at my feet, as though all her feral qualities had separated into a different animal. This one had a tortoise-shell coat, all the same colors as a calico but in smaller, more mingled patches. Although the fur resembled that of a cat, the body suggested another animal entirely, with a narrower head and tapering snout. I was pretty sure it was a fox. Best of all, it was already hissing and snarling at me! This was the monster I had been looking for!

    Now all I had to do was make friends with it. I began calling to it in the cooing, overly affectionate voice I might use with my cat. "Come here... lovely sweetie... lovely sweetie. I have treats for you my love... treats for you my love." The animal reacted as any feral creature would, holding its ground and continuing to hiss and snarl. I could see the tension locked into its body, poised for fight or flight. I reasoned that since it was a dream monster, the best approach would be to hug it, but that wasn't obviously wasn't going to be possible while it was still under the bed. I needed to draw it out first.

    I reached under the bed and the animal snapped at the air and threatened to bite me. I considered drawing my hand back for a different approach but decided to let it go ahead and bite, inspired by that wonderful scene in Miyazaki's Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind where Nausicaa tames the fox-squirrel by remaining calm and patient when it bites her finger. Plus, since it was a dream I didn't have to worry about physical harm. So I kept reaching toward the animal until it bit down on the middle of my left index finger. The pain was surprisingly clear and sharp, but easily manageable. I kept thinking of that scene from Nausicaa and projecting similar expectations on this situation. I felt the animal relax enough to take a few steps closer to me, but it had not yet emerged from under the bed when the dream abruptly faded. Intriguingly, even after I had fully transitioned to wakefulness, I could still feel a distinct itch in the second joint of my left index finger where the animal had bitten me.

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    Updated 05-10-2015 at 04:09 AM by 34973

    Categories
    lucid , non-lucid , false awakening , memorable , task of the month

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