Later, we break into somebody's apartment.
I'm with a my friend's boyfriend, a flat-nosed, orange-skinned gangster.
We enjoy the stuff in the apartment, like we are in "The Bling Ring." There's a modern, brown, leather armchair that looks like it belongs in a museum. Even its shadow is beautiful.
I'm rolling a cigarette when I spot the shared bathroom. It is shared by other apartments. Across an acre of wet tile floor, black grills and plugholes. In the distance, there is a portly young man in a towel. Unsurprisingly, he looks surprised to see me.
I shut the door.
It's too late. Within a minute, there are people at every door, either banging for us to open up or preventing us from leaving, demanding to know who we are.
Angry faces everywhere. They chatter at us, at each other.
Thus cornered, I wake myself
Lying in the dark, scared of the consequences of breaking and entering.
I shouldn't have done it.
But then I realize it's over.
Which means that I managed to wake up.
Which means it really was a dream.
And now I feel like a wimp.
to the dream.
In a shared room, now, with bunk beds and friends. An orthodox Jew is making us watch TV.
A young boy of about eight years old, his personal student, is looking up at him and asking questions.
The old Jew answers, but always in a way that is derogatory to me and my friends.
"Would you like my chair," I ask the old man, standing, conciliatory, "so you can be more comfortable?"
He accepts, but in a way that suggests any discomfort, therefore, was directly my fault.
Although I'm burning with anger, I move away from the chair. I don't want my friends to see how furious I am. I want them to see the best in people. I want to set the example.
"What does that word mean?" the boy says, pointing to a page in his book.
"That means: 'two things helping each other,'" the old man replies, and he gives the boy a loving smile.
"It's the opposite of internecine," I spit, "which is where two things destroy each other."
"Yes," I think, glaring at them. "I'm implying that you're going to destroy each other."
They just look at me, like I've walked in on them in the middle of something.
A girl takes me to her apartment in Japan. Her apartment has an anti-gravity setting.
She and her roommate clamber over the walls and ceiling. It's like the dorm is turning slowly, like in an 80s music video, but I can attest that it's not. I'm on the ground and the room is not moving at all.
She turns the setting to neutral to make breakfast. Toast.
Meanwhile, she listens to her favorite song, which is backwards.
After two bars, I guess the track.
I can see from her shocked face that I'm correct.
"Are you not impressed?" I ask. "I got the right answer. After two bars!"
There are some beautiful moments, particularly how it begins and how it ends.
If you don't have software to have fun reversing your own tracks, here's a link to a site that will take care of it - https://www.mp3-reverser.com/en/
This is handy, too. - https://www.online-convert.com/result/a7835e98-5da6-4c1b-b1eb-49f616203153
The movie projectionist keeps moving the image on the screen. He makes it larger. Centres it. Pulls out. Moves to another area.
The audience groans.
Finally, the film starts.
Young US college kids are joking around. They jump into the sea.
Under the water, they cling to each other and kick and finally jump as one to break the surface again.
Then they're in a bar. Chatting.
I'm with them, in the movie. They requested audience participation and I'm it.
The college kids are joking around. There's an edge to it though. Jibes. Taunts. Not a sentence is said without it being at someone else's expense.
They dive into the sea.
They kick. Bubbles.
As one, they attempt to break the surface, but this time they can't manage it without a boost.
I wade into the beautiful, cold water to help.
Chatting in the bar, I'm smiling at the college kids' jokes.
There's a man there, drinking himself to death. He has about sixteen glasses of various kinds of alcohol lined up in front of him, taking over the bar.
He's pissing off the kids and they're pissing him off.
To cool off, the kids jump/fall into the beautiful, blue water and it's all white bubbles and thrashing legs and shorts billowing out like jellyfish, red and blue and white.
Underwater, it's all grimaces and silent screams.
They scrabble and push for the surface, hampering one another, like a bait ball inviting destruction not protection.
The boys finally break the surface, gasping.
In the bar, the guys are chatting while trying to put an elastic band around a lightbulb.
I start to join in with the conversation. I don't know if I'm meant to talk or not. If I talk, and go off script, will they improvise around me? Am I supposed to say something to break the cycle of drowning and drinking? There are no instructions. So perhaps I'm supposed to ask questions.
I open my mouth to speak and the camera moves away from me.
The alcoholic is no longer at the bar.
He is in the audience.
The woman sitting in the row behind him is stuffing a plastic bag into his mouth and he is trying to spit it out to scream.
A guy next to him is spraying his face with water through a straw, effecting a bizarre cinema water boarding incident.
Everyone but one woman ignores this, because they are watching the movie. They've not noticed that the alcoholic from the movie has stepped from the screen into their reality.
I watch from the screen as the woman gets up to save the alcoholic.
I leave my scene and cycle up a hill where there is a remote house built by a survivalist.
I cross the impressive green grounds where vegetables should really be growing, but instead it's all lawn.
There is a steep drop off one side, which I avoid.
In the modern house, which is grey and square, like blocks placed randomly beside each other and on top of each other, I examine the kitchen and storage areas.
A survival expert enters to help. He gives me advice about the granite sink, surfaces, and storage units.
He is unimpressed, but he says:
"We can make this work."
To leave, we all climb up through a trapdoor.
My friend, let's call her Sara, is the last to come.
We ask her to pass up the food before she climbs.
She passes up cake.
"The meat!" one of us yells. "Pass up the meat, love. Meat and frozen things. The meat! Fackin' 'ell."
Sara is feckless. She doesn't follow any of the instructions we give her.
I get frustrated with her, too, until I realize that the door is unlocked and we don't need to use the trapdoor at all.
I open the door for her and she just sits there, crying into her hands.
"Let's go," I say, gently.
She doesn't look up. She sits there, sobbing, until I wake up.
Mom's talking to me, but I'm ... n o t ... l i s t e n i n g ... because there are giant bugs crawling out of the sky.
They descend on near-invisible strings. Silent.
A few dozen feet from the ground, they crawl before each one takes its final step to the ground, the way an elderly person might step from a train onto the platform.
The world - our world - is volcanic black, ashy yet watery, as if an ocean has just been drained. Perhaps, the sea went down a plughole.
Everywhere, I see craters of shimmering water. Rivulets shiver, begging us to drink them. They seem to be flowing, except they start and end nowhere.
The wetness reflects the sky, which must contain red and yellow and blue although it is night, like 1 or 2am. The water must be reflecting astral bodies that I can't see, beyond the stars.
The blackness of the sky is heavy and close and seemingly full of holes. The stars are like an engineer's schema, an elaborate dot-to-dot.
In the distance, beetles the size of buses prepare to do battle amid squashed volcanoes and perfect, black gravel.
Through a dirty window. A utilities OFFICIAL sits to chat and drink with the householder, PETER.
It’s all very convivial and neighborly. The OFFICIAL, grey-haired and in blue overalls, is glad to get off his feet.
Unfortunately, PETER mis-hears something I say.
PETER’s face slackens and he glares at the OFFICIAL.
I should be leaving.
PETER grabs OFFICIAL's arm.
PETER appears to be having a terrible headache.
You tried to trick me.
That was a dirty trick. Now I’m going to play a trick on you.
PETER drags the OFFICIAL over to glowing BOOKSHELVES.
“I should be going.”
PETER holds his head as if he is trying to stop it breaking apart.
OFFICIAL is backing away, until he backs himself against the dusty BOOKSHELVES.
There is nowhere to go.
There is no way out.
I take my mom on a train to a popular French meeting place. For years, people didn’t realize how two particular villages were physically linked. They seemed distant, but they are, in fact, side by side.
Now, once a week, coachloads go to a nearby park or cafe to meet semi-formally near this fabled spot.
On the way, we see two forests of giant sunflowers. One forest looms over an entire village at the bottom of a hill. The flowers are bowed like ancient trees, heavy with foreboding.
The village exists as if completely unaware of the sunflowers’ doleful heads, bobbing in the breeze. They seem close to sleep. A terrible, nightmarish sleep.
The train rolls on.
There is little more to see and mom seems okay, so I decide to take thirty minutes writing time on my laptop.
I’m sharing the screen remotely with a friend. Depending on how I focus my eyes, I can either see my words in a text editor, or I can see her face and whatever she is working on from her remote location. She’s using a drawing and photo manipulation program.
The train doesn’t stop where I thought it would. I get off at a stop called “Lion.” My mom will go another stop or two to get to the true destination.
At Lion, all is grey and flat. Aside from the train, pulling away and then gone, it is devoid of vehicles.
I’m at a gigantic crossroads. One direction stretches as far as the eye can see.
Someone has made or shaped hedges and they run the length of the main road.
I am alone aside from about ten men nearby. They are wearing huge helmets like something out of Alice in Wonderland. The helmets are painted red and yellow and white, with gaudy images, like playing cards or children's toys. The headwear makes them well over 6 foot in height.
The helmets are made of wood and completely cover the sides of their heads, but not their faces. When I do see glimpses of their faces, they are looking down from that great height with disapproving looks. There is something horse-like about their wide, rolling eyes and their fixed facial expressions.
I try to talk to them, but they just shuffle and stamp their feet, coming to attention sharply but out of sync.
I ask them if I can go through the gate they appear to be guarding. No sooner have I spoken than they march me through it. I have to move with them to avoid being stomped, noting as I go that they march very effectively, but backwards.
Inside the gate, I’m inside the grounds of a house the size of a village.
“Thank you,” I tell the men.
They stamp and clomp into some kind of formation.
I look ahead to my destination. A house in grounds the size of a village and no more light than the world beyond the gate.
It’s getting dark. The greens are becoming grey. The grey is darkening; lengthening.
I take a deep breath and … my alarm is going off.
My friend picks seeds from the top of what look like grass stems. The seeds look like dried out chips. They feel soft and we collect them to go in a curry. An onlooker watches, fascinated.
While cooking in the forest, my friend shows me a clip of herself narrating her computer game progress for her followers online.
I could do that, I think. I remember my character from City of Heroes. Mannikin, the powerful ash-black midget with glowing eyes and healing powers. There is a framed painting of him on the wall, like he is a member of the family.
Andy Sirkis plays a traumatised soldier bent on revenge. His eyes glisten.
This is not make-up.
His captors perform experiments on him to learn more about his condition. He has the freedom of his cell. There, he listens to audio recordings and breaks down the component words for his unseen guards.
“Six “ofs,” three “as,” two “froms,” Seven “thes,” and so on.
When played a Shakespearean scene about revenge, he turns away, soliloquising.
“Reetablissement!” he cries. “From there to retribution. And revenge! But then death, immediately!”
Meanwhile, several hundred blue-uniformed soldiers with swords in their belts attack a building that houses royalty.
“There has never yet been one of us with fear!” a leader says. “If you have fear in your heart, leave now!”
They cut through the imposing, wooden double-door, thrusting blindly to stab anyone brave or stupid enough to try to stop them. From inside, they are all blue legs and swords and pounding on the door so that the wood shatters, the ornamentation cracking and splintering and becoming kindling.
Inside, the several dozen members of the royal, red-uniformed army look on in amazement and make plans to retreat up the stairs.
I'm clearing out my phone at the moment and came across this dream journal entry among my notes.
Fantasy landscape. Terrifying landscape. I run until I reach what looks like the edge of a map in a computer game, except this is real. The land is flat and eggshell smooth. It is like ice in that it seems breakable and there is something beneath.
I am being chased, so I continue.
I run carefully so that I don’t break the ground.
I walk and crawl over a fallen tree. Black bark.
I am tempted to wade through bubbling, black water, but it turns out to be too deep and I don't fancy swimming in it.
Soon, I reach a teleport spot where skilled people like me can inhabit another body in another part of the world. We make our choice and leave our towel in a peaceful, cosmic waiting room.
There is someone ahead of me. I listen in to find out where he is going and decide to follow.
I peek through gaping holes in the amphitheatre.
Doors, windows, beautiful, perfect ruins.
So here's the lucid dream, but first how it happened, so you can try it yourself if you haven't already.
All you need is a girl with a tummy ache, some dirty dishes, and a twitter account.
DreamViews seems like a good place to meet other people with similar dreaming interests. There are some fantastic dreams on there.
Check out The Deep Down by DeepEnd, for example, which is one of my favorites ever Despite the lack of formatting, which is normally a warning sign, this dream is expressed really well. The flow of text lends itself to the telling of the dream.
DreamViews has an old-fashioned interface, which is not a problem in and of itself. It is just taking some getting used to. If you're on there, you know what I'm talking about. And if so, ,add me as a friend if you'd like to hook up. I'm ArmouredCar.
While I will be posting general dreams on this blog, I will post lucid dreams on DreamViews. By keeping them on DV only, it separates them from my other dreams, will hopefully become a bit of a collection in their own right, and stimulate more lucid dreaming. I also hope to learn more about lucid dreaming and lucid dreamers whenever I'm over there.
Here's my latest lucid dream, "Alarmed by Alarms," now posted on DreamViews > http://www.dreamviews.com/blogs/armouredcar/alarmed-alarms-82566/
There are gradations of lucidity and I'm not sure where the alarm dream was on the spectrum. I think I was fully lucid. You can judge for yourself.
Click here for my dream on DreamViews. Leave a comment, share, or like if you enjoy the post. Thanks!
After a couple of weeks of not much sleep but consistently 'intending' to have a lucid dream, here one is.
If you're interested in techniques, this came about because I fully intended to have a lucid dream and because I was woken up for about 40 mins at about 4 or 5am, making this the Wake Back to Bed method (WBTB).
Check out the dream below.
I had a lot of dreams about zombies while binge watching The Walking Dead. Here's one of my favorites!
The girls are sort of milling about outside the hut, waiting for something to happen, when Jane spots a zombie.
She turns to look at the other women, but they haven't seen it. As a result, she isn't sure if she's seeing what she thinks she's seeing. She looks back. She sees what looks very much like a zombie climbing out of a window.
It is about six foot six, male, with broad shoulders. It's wearing a plaid shirt that is ripped and wet. It's face is ... it's face is sort of the wrong shape, more like Darth Siddius than a person, though she doesn't know that because she's never seen Star Wars. And she never will.
The zombie spots her, but it doesn't hesitate the way that she does. Instead, it strides towards her, grabs her by the shoulders, and proceeds to attempt to bite off the top of her head.
She still doesn't scream.
People are still busy, preparing for a zombie invasion that they don't really believe will come.
Her brain finally kicks in, the brain that the zombie is trying to eat. Her brain tells her that this is a definitely, really a zombie, but she still doesn't scream, because to sceam would make it real. If she screams, she thinks, she's dead.
Fortunately, somebody sees the struggle and soon there are four people, armed, pulling the zombie from her and hitting it and stabbing it.
"Why didn't you call for help?" Lisa says, her face wet with sweat.
Jane is in shock.
Lisa shakes her head.
"You finally got one," Vinnie the leader says, looking from the corpse to Lisa. "We could do with more women like you," Vinnie says.
"There are no women in the zombie patrols," Lisa says.
"So start your own," says Vinnie.
"Where would I patrol?" asks Lisa.
"You can have the whole of Scotland," Vinnie says. "I've got to move out."
He means him and the majority of his troops.
He probably has orders from London, Lisa thinks.
"Get to it," he says with a smile before walking away. It's not an order. It's the only thing he's ever said to her as an equal, as a friend.
It's funny in this new world. People look at you in the eye and they see you, they listen to what you have to say, because they know that you're probably going to be dead in the next 120 hours. Every exchange might be your last or theirs. And yet people still end conversations with things like: "Go to work" and "Get to it." Nobody says "I love you" anymore. That's the kind of thing you say as you're bleeding out.
Vinnie walks away in his big military jacket and boots, carrying more dust in their creases than is left on the road.
Lisa stands there in her red, cotton, sleeveless blouse and jeans; bare arms, bare hands, holding a bloody rake.
She looks at the dead zombie. She looks at the other women: strong, together, afraid.
In that moment, it becomes real: this is the first all-woman zombie patrol.
It will be the first of many such units throughout the country, but she doesn't know that yet. She won't be dead in the next 120 hours, and she doesn't know that either. Even Jane, who almost had a zombie bite into her skull because she couldn't scream, even Jane survives a few more weeks.
"What now?" asks Sandy.
Lisa creates two teams to check the house, while a third team checks the perimeter. The others should either be doing a stock check of weapons, including potential weapons — see rake — or attending to Jane's mental state. The orders spill out of her mouth, as if by reflex.
The women get to it.
The UK is really anti-smoking these days. My friends have a sign in the bathroom that gives them and their guests permission to smoke weed as long as they ‘throw down’ beforehand and they only smoke on the premises.
In public, however, smoking is not only extremely expensive, but must take place in pink booths like bus shelters, shared by huddling, coughing smokers in all weathers.
If you smoke at home, you must not be near children. And your neighbours can complain if there is too much smoke.
It’s not like the good old days when I was a kid and I would smoke packets and packets of the stuff out of the bedroom window. When the neighbours complained then it was because smoke was billowing out as if the room were on fire. These days, I’d be arrested.
It’s worn and warm, less like paper than plastic carrier bag material. about all this when I head to the bar across the road, wanting to write down an idea for a story.
It’s a modern bar and it appears to have pulled a lunchtime crowd of local office workers. On pulling open the swanky-looking but flimsy glass doors, I sense the groups and pairs eyeing me as I walk in alone.
The only other people who are close to being alone are a man with a briefcase full of baby bottles , hunched over a carton of Chinese food with his baby son in a blue romper suit sitting opposite, and the barman.
A the far end of the bar, because that’s the only place there is room for me, I pull a worn, warm, plastic-like fifty from my pocket.
The barman seems unsure about whether or not I want anything. To my surprise, I have to wave the fucker over.
He smiles tightly and approaches, looking as if his trousers are equally tight. He’s about fifty-five years of age, wearing a white shirt and black trousers. No bow-tie, because he’s just hip enough to work here.
“I’d like a beer, please,” I begin.
“We don’t serve alcohol or tobacco.”
I look around, mostly for effect. Behind the bar, there are all kinds of glittering alcoholic beverage bottles and even a tobacco and cigarette display.
“Are you kidding?” I ask
People are drinking fruit juices. Surreptitiously eating homemade sandwiches out of aluminium foil.
My watch says that it’s 11:34am.
“No alcohol or tobacco before 12pm?” I suggest.
“One,” the barman corrects me and then the fucker turns his back on me and walks away.
I take a deep breath, then I walk out. I go back to my friends’ place to start writing this review to share online.
I start with the flimsy glass door.
I wanted to include this dream because it's one of those dreams where I'm writing about the dream inside the dream. It seems to be a direct result of keeping a dream journal in more detail than the tweets and normally not far away from oncoming lucidity.
Every night, the kid remembers to check the window. Every night, it’s unlocked.
He is about to attach the lock, which is a flimsy chain - a hoop at one end that slips over a nail - when he wonders whether this nightly fear is based on anything real.
He opens the window and leans out.
There’s a guy down there in a cream suit. He looks like he’s been wearing it all day, in the office and in the pub. He’s looking up, as if searching for the best way to climb up the wall. Like he doesn’t do it several times a week.
“Hey,” the kid yells down. “How’s it going, dickhead?”
The guy just keeps looking up, planning his climb to the window.
Unnerved, the kid hurls down the first thing that comes to hand: a kitchen knife.
The guy steps aside and the knife hits the floor. He is now glaring up at the kid, who pulls the window closed and fumbles with the lock.
It’s at this point that he remembers that there is a back way in. He dashes to the back and checks the fence.
The fence is there, but it doesn’t go all the way across. So begins 20 minutes of adjustment and readjustment, trying to get a 20-foot section of fence to fit in a 26-foot gap. All the while, he looks beyond the fence at the place where the man will appear sooner or later: a black field that disappears into shadows and then trees.
Not long later, someone is walking out of the darkness.
The kid freezes and abandons his ministrations with the fence, ready to face this guy, whoever he is … whatever he is.
He is relieved to discover that it’s not the guy in the suit but a neighbour.
“Hi,” says the kid, trying to sound natural. “I’m trying to make the fence fit.”
The neighbour puts her shopping bags away and then returns to help.
More neighbours arrive from the forest. They’ve had a day at work or studying. A few help with the fence while the rest gather, smoking and drinking beer and white wine. There is a pleasant hum of people chatting about everything and nothing.
Soon, the fence stretches all the way across, at which point the kid starts thinking about barbed wire. Broken glass. Electricity. Another six feet of height.
“What’s going on?” someone asks him.
“I was fixing the fence,” the kid says, “and everyone started hanging out. There must be four hundred people here! It’s a fence party!”
The moment he says the words ‘Fence Party’, everybody leaves.
Now it’s just him, and the fence, and the waiting.
Dean's Dream Journal
As a dark fiction author, I like to take some inspiration from my dreams.
"How to Remember Your Dreams" will help you with:
Exchange your front row seat for a starring role.
Available on Amazon.