It’s that time of year when I’m too hot under a blanket but too cold without one. When I’m too hot sleeping I often have nightmares, and last night gave me a doozy. Here’s what I can piece together from attenuated memories and the notes I scribbled just before dawn.
The basic plot involved groups of children, ghosts, a mysterious machine, a secret research lab, and many scientists ranging from cold to outright evil. There’s some pretty clear horror movie influence in that last one, because all the scientists I’ve known in real life have been very warm people. These guys were right out of the movies, you had the detached but compassionate scientist, the cold, logical scientist, and the total psycho who masqueraded as a cold, logical scientist.
It’s not clear to me what they were doing with the children, because most of the dream, nearly all of what I can remember, was from the childrens’ point of view. The kids were kept mostly separated in small groups, with one or two almost completely isolated. One boy who was kept almost completely apart from the others was described as “potentially trans-lucid”, I’m not sure what that meant, and he could see ghosts. There was actually only one ghost in the dream, that I saw at least. I think her name was Lucy, and she spent most of the time possessing trans-lucid-boy.
Ghost possession didn’t work like it does in most fiction, the ghost couldn’t control you or even communicate usually. Maybe small influences, affecting your dreams, for instance. TL-boy could talk to Lucy while she was possessing him, and see her when she wasn’t. I remember learning that when he hooked himself up to the weird machine and she suddenly left him, either forced out by the machine or unwilling to be attached to it through him, and he looked at one of the scientists and saw a white, vaguely skull-shaped glowing miasma within the man’s face.
The machine looked like something out of an early 20th century mad scientist’s lab. A tall wooden cabinet with brass fittings. There was a big brass knob that was the main control, instead of per-cent it was per-mil, zero to one thousand. The boy’s status went from “potentially trans-lucid” to “trans-lucid” when he clipped electrodes to his earlobes and turned the big knob slowly all the way to 500 without convulsing or anything. That he was still able to talk perfectly lucidly amazed the scientists. I think Lucy was afraid of the machine for some reason.
I never got to see most of the things the machine did, I remember scientists talking about the “Invisible Hour” & the “Blue settings”, presumably the row of switches and knobs with blue ends. The Invisible Hour was the thing that may or may not have been time travel. Wish I’d gotten to explore some more.
There were other plot threads which faded from memory too fast to write down. Need to work on shorthand, I guess. I recall that the children were organizing, planning to escape. There was an incident where a helicopter caught a bunch of them on a roof, I’m not sure but I think the roof group might have been a diversion.
And that’s all I have. There was a deep story there, but I’ve lost it. And it was scary, I woke shivering in the blue pre-dawn light. But I can’t remember what was scary about it. This is why I sleep best when I don’t remember my dreams at all, I don’t drive myself crazy trying to put the fragments back together.
Anyways, that’s all for now. Thanks for reading!