Strange Land

There was a dark tone throughout this entire dream – as if, the entire time, the weather was cloudy.  The first thing I recall was that I was at some carnival or festival with [Alana] and [Kris].  I walked towards a cluster of trees from where [Abigail] suddenly leaped, seizing me and pulling me into the trees.  I cried out for [Alana] to help me – I was being kidnapped!

[Abigail] had her arms around my waist and was carrying me like I was some living, oversized stuffed animal.  She took me to the other side of the trees to a hidden land.  There, we approached a river with wrecked cars […] on the shores, some still partway in the water – much [like shipwrecks].  [Abigail] proceeded to take me across the waters and we had already waded well in, up to our waists, when a crash-test dummy leaned out the window of one of the wrecked cars.  He warned [Abigail] not to cross the river – that to do so would mean death.  I got the impression that [Abigail] was a very valuable person in this land – a queen or a leader of sorts.  [Abigail] heeded the dummy’s warning and backed out of the river with some resentment.

The next thing I knew, I think I was rescued.  I was riding in the back of my mom’s car with my mother at the wheel when I saw [Alana] riding a bicycle along the side of the road.  We were still in [Abigail’s] strange land but were quickly making our escape.  Upon seeing [Alana], I thought, I knew she’d come to rescue me!  I told my mother to stop the car and invited [Alana] in.  Then I found myself in the front passenger seat and [Alana] in the back.  She was smiling and happy she had a ride – glad, also, that she had found me.  I asked her how she had found her way here and she told me she had crossed the river.  Upon hearing this, I became sad because I knew that crossing the river meant death.  But I didn’t tell [Alana].  I didn’t let her know that she was going to die – that in her attempt to rescue me, she had sacrificed her own life. […]

Then I remember [Alana] and I making our way across rocky, treacherous mountain paths covered with ice and snow.  We were climbing this mountain to reach a house at its very peak in an attempt to find [Abigail] there – that perhaps she could show us a way out of this strange, grey land of hers.  Funny, that the enemy should now become an ally.

We reached the house and, inside, I saw that it was an odd, convoluted thing made of wooden planks with many different floors and separate rooms.  This house was scattered with a great many Asian people of all ages – from tiny toddlers barely able to walk, to old men and women bent over sticks and canes.  [Alana] and I wandered through this house but we could not find [Abigail].

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Jungle

In the beginning, I was watching a small tiger cub catch its food.  It didn’t look real but instead animated like it was part of a video game.  The entire scene was set against a dark background with the foreground figures in bright colors – almost [fluorescent] in their bright pink, orange, and yellow hues.  The next thing I noted was the tiger cub flying into the air and it [shrank] down to the size of an ant as it flew towards a giant tree.  On this tree was a whole jungle of different animals the size of small insects – there were caribou, elephants, giraffes… all running around over the tree limbs, over the trunk – swarming all over it like a […] colony of ants.

To protect themselves against predators, like my tiger cub, these insect-sized animals would all swarm together to form a giant animal – like a great, full-sized giraffe.  I saw these tiny animals stack upon each other in a gigantic swarm until that swarm was in the shape of a giraffe and I thought,  With such a defense mechanism, it’s a wonder the predators get to eat at all.  Just then, I saw a bug-sized wolf who had missed his prey hanging by his teeth from a hole on the side of the tree.  “I know,” he managed to say to me, in response to my thought.

Then, I suddenly realized that I was watching this dream on television.  I was in a living room with a light, pale carpet and there were two or three others watching the television with me.  There was also a pale, peach couch against the wall but I was lying on the floor on top of my pet lion.  I realized that I was on top of my lion and so I moved away from her.

The next thing I remember, I was in some shipping yard where I saw, displayed in wooden crates, quite a few, small cabbage patch heads waiting to be bought, and thus, set free.  Someone approached them but they grew afraid and shivered, drawing back into their crates.  I wanted to save these poor cabbage patch heads and so I bought two of them.  I wasn’t supposed to buy [any more] cabbage patches but I saw that my pet lion was one of these unfortunate cabbages and so was a girl […].  I had to buy these last two cabbage heads, for they were my friends and so I bought them with a forged name.

I was trying to make my escape with all my cabbage heads when I was found out.  There were a few guards who tried to stop me.  I looked around me and said, “Where’s my pet lion?” – as a way to intimidate the guards.  It worked.  The guards were frightened by the prospect of my lion tearing them to pieces, and thus they left.

[…]

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Beethoven

I think it was the early eighteen hundreds because of the way the townspeople were dressed.  I was in one of those large dresses typical of that time – nothing fancy or elaborate but not too dull at the same time.  It looked like some sort of simple festival was going on at the town square – for a bunch of men and some women were all clustered together in the midst of some active game, all running across the cobbled streets with laughs and cries of exhilaration.  I was among the spectators who crowded around the players, clapping my hands and [craning] my neck to catch a glimpse of what was going on.  For a moment, I took a brief pause in my excitement and stepped back to the fringes of the crowd where I deliberately made the decision to stand next to a German man whom I knew to be Ludwig van Beethoven.  I didn’t look at him or pay special attention to him – just kept my neck [craned], my eyes focused ahead, and my hands clapping.  He looked at me calmly, at how excited and happy I was, and then he said, “Would you like to come to dinner with me?”  I was astounded, aghast – and altogether thrilled as I accepted his invitation.

[…]

I remember being in a store with him once – it looked strikingly modern, like a [JCPenney] or the makeup section at Macy’s.  There were whitewashed walls and long counters with mirrors and jewelry.  Beethoven and I were laughing and joking as I led him up to one of the counters and I looked at myself in a small mirror propped up on the countertop.  It was one of those typical mirrors that department stores usually have on their make-up countertops – with those fake gold-metal linings.  The reflection that I saw was a young girl in her late teens who was as cute as anything.  She resembled me in a way, only much lovelier, and with a face that was all smiles.  No wonder Beethoven loves me, I thought.  I’m prettier than anything.  My dark hair was done in elaborate braids – pulled back in two fishbones, I think, that ran across the sides of my head.  It was hard to tell exactly what hairstyle I had from the reflection.

Beethoven […] reached forward and picked up a set of beautiful earrings – one in each hand.  They were small hoop earrings, studded with rows and rows of tiny diamonds – they were absolutely gorgeous.  He held them up next to my face, right underneath my ears – and they made me look even more lovely.  “Oh, they’re wonderful!” I exclaimed.  “They’re so beautiful!”  And so he bought them for me.

The next thing I remember, we were in a bookstore together – a modest one with wooden walls and a single storekeeper behind a small, wooden counter – early nineteenth century again.  I think [Beethoven] was looking out a window, all sullen and worried, and I was coming to the realization that he was deaf.  I noticed that he never responded to anything I said unless he could see and read my lips. […]

Napoleon was invading and we were grim as we stood in the bookstore.  Beethoven wanted to save the books from being burned and so […] we pulled the books from the shelves in a frenzy, loading as many as we could into a cloth bag that I carried.  I asked him some urgent question that I can’t quite remember – something like, “But what if they don’t know…?”  I was referring to Napoleon’s troops.  However, Beethoven couldn’t hear me.  I touched him on the shoulder so that he turned and looked at me while I repeated my question.  But the time was too chaotic and I said it too fast – he did not understand me – was unable to read what I had to say.  He embraced me anyways and told me what to do with the books.  Then he left ahead of me, walking out the front door.  I remember thinking about how misunderstood the man was.  And I remember seeing a glimpse of myself running after him in my big long dress – down a dirt road in the middle of town.  As I ran, I thought, Who would’ve known that from dinner would come this? […]  And I was so glad he had asked me to dinner.

Then I was back at the bookstore, walking out the front door and leaving the books next to the front steps in a bag that was now plastic.  It was what Beethoven had told me to do.  I looked out at the town and saw a great many people lying dead or dying upon the ground – civilians that Napoleon’s troops had slain.  To my left I saw a woman on the ground […].  To my right, Beethoven was making his way among these dead – hurrying towards a particular building.  I picked up my skirt and ran after him.  As I did so, I noticed that my skirt felt like plastic bags. […]

I followed Ludwig into the building, which was all fancy and lavishly adorned inside – like a nineteenth century palace.  There were a number of gentlemen in a particular room going about business – dressed in suits appropriate for the time.  As Ludwig entered, one of the gentlemen – rather round in face and feature – approached him and greeted him with, “How’s that ringing in your ears, Sir?”  Apparently, they either did not know of Ludwig’s condition or were making fun of him for it.

Ludwig ignored the man and proceeded to the desk of another gentleman who was taller, more well-built, and more business-like than the previous gentleman.  This man had a dark mustache and wore over one eye a spectacle attached to a cord.  Beethoven threw what looked like a manuscript in front of the man upon his desk.  The two argued about the books Beethoven had been trying to save.  There was some elaborate scheme, but ultimately, the gentleman wound up taking the credit for rescuing the books.

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Napoleon

It was the early 1800s on a day that was bright, sunny, and absolutely gorgeous.  I sat at a large, grand piano on a green lawn right at the edge of the woods – the beautiful backyard of some wealthy family.  I played the piano, my fingers running along the keys, and as I did so, I was aware of the scent and shape of blossoming flowers.  It was such a tranquil and relaxed atmosphere.  My audience was only several people who were not overly attentive, but just casually listening or wandering about – the ladies dressed in their elaborate nineteenth-century gowns, flapping their fans and politely chatting, a few children running across the grass, and just one or two gentlemen strolling here and there in their black suits with coat-tails.

I was approaching the last line of my piece – a left-hand run across the keyboard – when I heard loud thumping noises interjecting into my music.  It sounded like the marching of a whole troop of soldiers.  I wanted to look up to assess the oncoming threat, but even more so, I wanted to finish playing the piece.  However, the urgency I felt towards the oncoming danger was too strong to resist and I dashed off the run in a blundered hurry.

Looking up at a trail that twisted into the serene […] woods, I saw an army marching straight towards us – in the uniform style – rifles, boots, and coats – typical of that time.  “It’s Napoleon’s army!” I cried in a panic.  “Napoleon’s army’s come to invade us!”  I ran from the piano to a group of women who sat on a stone garden bench.  Sitting down with them, I saw that one of my stuffed animals – an Easter bunny I named Jellybean – sat at my right.  I hugged her close to me, and all of a sudden, in a strange way, she became like the children.

The next thing I remember was everything was chaos and people were being slaughtered everywhere.  We were all running across gently sloping hills of that same green-lawn grass bordered by the delicate, whispering beauty of those same woods.  But the presence of the house, the patio, the backyard feel, and definitely the piano – were all gone.  It was just wide open space – seemingly a giant field of trim lawn across which we ran hectically, in every direction, in a panic for our lives.  We no longer wore our fancy clothes, but only the dullest, most typical things of the blandest colors – brown shirts, gray pants, tan colors – peasant clothes.  In front of me, I saw vividly, a soldier stab a man in the lower back, the sword sliding straight through the man’s body, emerging from his belly in a bloody burst as his eyes bulged and his mouth gaped open in pain.

Suddenly, the soldiers began to shoot arrows, and these arrows rained down upon us.  I caught one in my lower back but I kept running – the thing jutting out behind me.  Lucky it missed my spine, I thought.  It was a long and painful thing sticking out of my back, and it hindered me as I ran.  I reached behind me and broke off the arrow above my flesh, but a larger part of it was still inside of me.  Lucky I can still run, I thought […].

Then I noticed that it wasn’t arrows the soldiers were firing anymore, but giant, wooden javelins […].  There was a female commander wearing peasant[] clothes, and at her command, the soldiers behind her launched their javelins into the air.  I found myself running with a group of about a dozen others, all scrambling about in a confused frenzy – not knowing what to do.  I don’t quite remember what happened – there was a mistake – an accident […].  But suddenly, I saw a javelin mistakenly pierce through the female commander’s body – the head of the weapon slicing through her heart from behind and piercing through her chest.  The soldiers gasped and blamed us for their mistake, seeking vengeance by firing [a] […] torrent of wooden spears upon us.

We screamed […] [and] we turned and fled towards the edge of the woods.  For some reason, I did not turn like the others.  I ran backwards, facing the onslaught of javelins that flew just inches from my body until I reached the woods with the others.  There, I turned and fled into the forest, the great trees surrounding me.  Everywhere, people were scattering among the trees, dodging into the darkness.  I could still feel the arrow in my back and the presence of the javelins chasing us into the woods.

All the while, throughout all this, the sun was shining brilliantly, the sky was a clear blue, and the weather was perfect.

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Pitch Black

I was watching the news when one of the two news anchors reported that the monsters from the latest movie Pitch Black had escaped and would be up and around come sunset.  The anchors talked about this situation as though it were no big deal – a daily occurrence – and they nodded and smiled casually.

“Yes,” said the other anchor.  “Apparently something went wrong with the monsters they were making for that film – a [glitch].”

“Yes, apparently,” responded the first anchor.  “So just keep your lights burning and don’t wander outside by yourself at night – they tend to pick off the stray ones.”

I was a bit frightened but not panicked.

The next thing I knew, my parents and I were trying desperately to find a hiding place in our house – but we had no fire.  Light from a lightbulb would only hinder the monsters.  We were sitting on our family room floor and I was punching telephone numbers into a cellphone to try and reach friends to see whether they had fire and if so, whether we could drive over and hide with them.  But all the numbers I dialed were busy.  Outside the windows, I could see the sun going down and the gray back of one of the monsters as it walked along just outside the windows.

“Oh!  We’re running out of time!” [m]y mother said to me in Taiwanese.

We could hear people being eaten alive out on the streets.

Suddenly, my dad dashed out the front door.

“Dad!” I cried.  “Don’t go outside!”

But he ran back in, through an adjacent door – right next to the front door – the very next instant with what looked like misshapen cardboard boxes in his hands.  One of them was a distinct red.

I thought, when I looked at them, Oh!  E-mail equipment!  We could try to e-mail our friends and contact them that way!

[…] [A]t a computer, [we] work[ed] on the Internet.  But that didn’t work, either.  We still were not able to contact anyone with a fireplace or torches […].

[…] [O]n the floor, [I] peel[ed] back the carpeting.  I knew there was a hidden door underneath – leading to a cellar where we could possibly hide.  I ripped away at the carpeting until I revealed the door – an old, wooden thing with a black, metal ring […].  I opened it to find a pitifully small space […] that looked like a ripped hole, as if someone had pushed a pencil straight through a sheet of paper, leaving behind a hole with tattered edges – only, it was big enough so that I could’ve [lay] down within it […].

Then I became aware that a group of mailmen were inside our house delivering mail.  They were standing behind the couch, the back of which faces the kitchen – so, in fact, they stood in our kitchen, milling about.  I leapt onto the sofa and spoke to one of them.  “Excuse me, Sir.  But would you happen to have a few torches you could lend us?”

“Of course!” he said.  He was a round, jovial man with a bald head, wearing blue mailmen attire.  He pulled from his pocket two unused torches that looked like rolled up sheets of paper ripped from magazines.  These men had to travel the streets because of their job and so […] they knew how to […] keep the monsters at bay.  “You could travel with us!” [t]he jovial man said.

I knew that I would be safe traveling with them, but for some reason I was reluctant to go.

Then they left and all of a sudden our house was filled with people needing a place to hide. […]

“We’ll hide in the basement!” I told them, since the cellar was far too small.  I remember being a bit apprehensive since the basement was a dark place, but we had no choice.  I glanced furtively at the front door, knowing that the monsters could break it down with ease.  Then I herded them […] down into the basement and turned on all the bare light bulbs – but it […] wasn’t enough light.

I ran back up the basement stairs and turned on the kitchen lights, since the monsters would have to pass through the kitchen before reaching the basement entrance.  Then I saw, filling the entire kitchen floor and extending into the family room, a large number of […] people kneeling in prayer.  They were frightened and praying for their lives – mothers, fathers, children – crouching on the floor.

I closed the basement door as I went back down the basement steps.  I could feel that time was running out – the monsters were going to come any second.  Scrambling down the twisting staircase, I closed door after door behind me – three thin, wooden doors in all, built at regular intervals on the stairs – hoping to slow the monsters as they came.  I thought about the helpless people praying on my kitchen floor, […] Good.  The monsters will eat them first and it’ll buy us more time to get to safety.

I was getting more and more frightened […].  A boy I knew – [Nate] – thirteen years of age in real life but a couple of years younger in my dream – he approached me at the bottom of the basement stairs.  He was with a few children around three years old and they all wanted to go upstairs to find people they knew.

“No, [Nate]!” I cried, roughly seizing his sleeve and pulling him back.  “You can’t go upstairs!”  I was so frustrated because it seemed […] nobody was listening to me or helping […].  Everything was […] becoming hectic and chaotic – and the basement was getting dark.

Suddenly, there were terribly loud screeching sounds as a monster crashed through the first basement door.  I picked up two of the very young children, shouting for [Nate] to take the others to someplace safe – although where that was I [didn’t know].  I ran through the darkness of the basement to where my mother was, standing at a counter performing […] work that involved making some mechanical contraption.  “Where are the torches!” I screamed at her, for I remembered having given them to her.  But she didn’t know and was angry that I had expected something so much from her.

“Well, why don’t you do it, then!” she retorted.

I turned and saw that some of the people were fleeing through a door into a room connected [to] the basement – like a storage room.  But there was no light in the room […].  Even so, the storage room was better than nothing.  “C’mon!  They’ve found a place!” I told my mother.  But she ignored me and turned back to her work.

I didn’t try to persuade her further […].  Still clutching the children, I ran into the storage room where the people were hiding between giant mats lying on the floor.  [Nate] was lying there and I made him move over to make room for me and the kids.  I [lay] there in a fetal position between the mats, horrified that the monsters would find me.  I could feel them right outside the storage area – they had made it down to the basement […].

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Ice Castle

I was in another world […] that was tinted with the lightest shade of a mystical blue […].  The people here wore the most elaborate […] costumes – rich gowns of a silky, sparkling material that flowed […] past the ankles, with wide shoulder pieces and detailed [headsets].  There were either no men, or very few.  Their entire palace, or perhaps, the entire kingdom, was like an ice castle set in snow. […]

I entered a gigantic room with a tremendously high ceiling.  Floating […] within this room were numerous, glowing organisms – like dozens of jellyfish within a giant, aquatic tank.  This seemed like a place for dancing or for just relaxing […], for there were other people in bright shades of green and red, among other colors, walking around and doing nothing in particular.  I walked […] to the back […] and looked up […] I saw a cage hanging in the corner near the ceiling.  Something, or someone, was imprisoned inside – […] I hitched a ride on one of those glowing jellyfish, which were constantly rising towards the top, like bubbles in a soda bottle.  I rose […] above almost everything until I reached the cage to talk to its inhabitant.  I don’t remember who the prisoner was, or what we discussed, but I remember thinking the prisoner’s fate unfair.

I wasn’t the only one in this strange land.  I was with my friends, dressed in those elaborate outfits.  […] for some reason, we were trying to escape […] and it was difficult.  I remember being caught by the empress and her servants – four or five of them blocking our escape through a snowy passageway. […]

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Cave of Jewels

I was a […] young boy around ten or twelve years of age.  I escaped from my house and was running down the street, my arms stretched out at my sides like a bird.  […] I was free as I sprinted down that pavement.  I tried several times to fly, and after the third try […] I succeeded and rose into the sky, everything below me becoming tiny like toys.

I flew on, as though I were Superman – I might even have had a cape.  I flew over a place of great mountains […] that were studded with jewels and whose earth sparkled with tiny diamonds.  Some of these mountains had caves that also glowed with multi-colored gems, lighting their interiors with an ethereal glow.  One of these caves was very shallow – almost like a large dent on the side of a mountain.  This cave was very high, set in one of the largest, tallest mountain peaks.  Despite how shallow it was, it contained a lot of jewels – its floor was covered with stones that [..] shone […] and its stalagmites and stalactites were studded with rubies and diamonds.

It was here […] that a princess was imprisoned, tied to the sparkling cave walls.  It was odd, because I think she might have been me, since it was through her eyes that I saw the interior of the cave and beyond the mouth of the cave to the jeweled mountains outside.  At the same time, I was still the young boy, and I was so happy as I flew on to save this young princess who was no older than I – a princess that I knew was my true love.

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