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12:04pm on Sunday, 21st December, 2014:

An Unexpected Story


I had a dream last night that was unusual in two ways.

Firstly, I remembered it. I know I must dream as much as everyone else, but I very rarely remember them. Those I do remember are either bidden (as in, I decided to have a dream in advance) or unbidden; unbidden ones either wake me up (in which case I will always remember them) or arise from something waking me up (in which case I may remember them or I may not — hard to tell with the latter as if I don't remember having had a dream I don't know if I've forgotten having had one).

Secondly, I didn't appear in the dream myself. As all the dreams I remember I have dreamt lucidly, I am almost without exception in them myself. I remember some from my childhood that I wasn't in (particularly one that I realised 0 or 15 years later was about the concept of recursion), but it must be decades since I had one I wasn't in. Last night's dream, I wasn't in.

I could still control things in the dream, because I was aware I was dreaming, but it was unfolding as a story so I thought I'd just let it carry on to see what would happen. I'm glad I did, because it was a pretty good story. I won't give you the details, because other people's dreams are always boring, but basically it started out as a surveillance story with three people (two men and a woman) watching a young woman and controlling the environment around her as she went about her everyday business. It looked as if they were trying to make her life easier, but there was a sinister overtone. Part of the way through, they managed to manipulate her into doingsomething that she was expecting would work but didn't. They did this another two times as the story progressed, and it gradually became apparent that these three people looking at the CCTV screens weren't so much stalking this woman as enslaved by her. Their job was to make her life run smoothly, whether they liked it or not. At the end, the three things they'd caused her to do wrong resulted in the creation of an artefact that they could use to escape.

This was a really interesting story from my perspective because I had no idea what was going to happen. It was unfolding before me as if it were fully plotted, but without my input. I could have changed anything I wanted at any time, but I gave it free rein and got a pretty good and unexpected twist at the end.

What's worrying, though, is that if I didn't create this story, what did? It must have been something my subconscious cooked up. If so, though, what was it saying? That it (my subconscious mind) is enslaved by me (my conscious mind) and it's figured out a way to escape? That would be bad for both of us. Maybe it was a threat, or wishful thinking, or a request to be given time off (I do work it pretty hard). I think I may have to set up a dream for tonight to have a dialogue with it and find out what's going on.

The story is unpublishable, by the way. The three surveillers were all 2cm high and they lived in the cassette player of the woman's car...

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Copyright © 2014 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).