Thursday, October 08, 2015

The Shanna's Brain Channel

I think my brain needs its own cable channel. My dreams would be as freaky and detailed as anything on the SyFy channel. Take the other night … I had a dream about next month's planned vacation. I arrived at the place, but when I woke up the next morning, instead of being in the hotel room I expected, I was in a cabin like you'd find in a summer camp, on a bunk with lots of other people -- strangers -- in the cabin, and all of us sharing a bathroom. I kept trying to tell the management that there was a problem here, showing them my confirmation for an actual hotel room, and they kept telling me that this was the only thing available. I demanded a refund and snippily thanked them for ruining my vacation, then I told them I was a famous author and would be sure to tell everyone how awful they were (yeah, my 200 or so Twitter followers will ruin them). To tell you how weirdly detailed my memories of my dreams are, I recall that one of the people sharing my cabin was a middle-aged African-American woman who used sign language, and I didn't know sign but was communicating with her using the finger alphabet (which slightly mirrors a real life situation from years ago, when I helped a deaf girl navigate the Dallas train system using the finger alphabet, which was as close as she found to someone who could communicate with her other than in writing).

Throw in a murder that kept me from leaving in a huff, or maybe a conspiracy to explain why my hotel room ended up being a shared cabin, and we might have a story there. Unfortunately, it's not the sort of thing I have any interest in writing.

Last night, I got a whole series about an alien invasion apocalypse. We knew the world was going to end and we were likely all going to die, but we were trying to figure out the best way to deal with it. In all the inevitability, we were still trying to survive because as long as we were alive, there was still hope of pulling through. I kept waking up, having that "whew, it was just a dream!" reaction, then taking about an hour to fall asleep again -- only to find myself right back in the same dream. In part one, I was trying to decide whether to get out of the city and head to my parents' place, since being away from the city might give me more of a chance, but I was worried about what the roads might be like. Everyone was trying to leave the cities, and there was a general lawlessness, since knowing that we were probably all going to die soon anyway made people care less about the consequences of breaking a law or taking a risk. I ended up deciding to stay put, since a woman traveling alone would be seen as easy prey.

In part two, I was with a group of people attempting to ride it out. We were huddled in a building in the middle of a city, and the attacks were starting. There were scorch marks on buildings we could see through our windows, and something kind of like fireballs was raining from the sky. As is my usual luck, Mr. Right happened to be in the group (yeah, me finding the right guy is a sure sign of the apocalypse -- every time I've met someone who seemed perfect, he immediately got some kind of job transfer elsewhere, so meeting someone while the world is coming to an end is to be expected). An epic game of Truth or Dare got started during the attack, because under those circumstances, what was the risk of telling huge truths or taking massive dares?

In part three, the alien leader arrived, and he was something out of Classic-era Doctor Who -- an elegant, classically trained British actor type swanning about dramatically, walking down the empty streets and making proclamations. We were going to try to fight him, but some of us preferred to go into hiding.

Hmm, now that I look at it, I might have the makings for a YA dystopia kind of story. It's not the sort of thing I usually write, and alien invasion is more science fiction than fantasy, but I love the idea of an epic game of Truth or Dare in the face of apocalypse. I guess it's kind of like that movie Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, where they don't go into detail about the world-ending event, just that it's coming, and it's inevitable, and it's more about the things people do as they're preparing for it.

At any rate, a whole night of this sort of thing made for a very weird start to the day. I can't quite seem to adjust to the real world. Getting back into my steampunk world may be a bit of a challenge.

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