It was sheer carelessness that found me out in the woods by the old castle at night near the full moon. I was so focused on my investigations that I’d lost track of time, both daylight and the moon’s phase. These are things you need to pay attention to when there’s a killer werewolf on the loose.
I knew I’d screwed up as soon as I saw the moon in the night sky, but it wasn’t until I heard the chittering that I knew I was in trouble. An alien sound to the quiet forest, it had a vaguely insect quality to it. In hindsight I think it may have been laughter.
Looking around I caught streaks of fey light out of the corner of my eye, and realized there were fairy creatures in the woods with me. Not the happy playful kind that teach children to fly and take them to Neverland for adventures with Peter Pan, either. These were the old kind, the fairies that eat children and will torment mortals with the same cruel detachment of a cat playing with a mouse.
So I did learn something useful from my mistake. I learned that fairies were probably involved in the werewolf attacks, because that’s when the monster jumped out at me. And I mean jumped, at the peak of its arc it must have been high as the top of a telephone pole. I think it cleared 40 yards of horizontal distance in that leap. After it hit the ground things happened too fast to remember clearly.
It didn’t go straight for the kill though, because if it had it would have simply killed me. It circled, unbelievably fast, and in a panic I summoned up Power and flung magic at it, a blazing ray of heat from my hand. But the werewolf was far too fast, it leapt and dashed around, perhaps trying to get behind me, or maybe just toying with me.
I became gradually aware of a smell, an acrid, vomit-like odor that hurt my throat. It was so pervasive I could smell it on the air from my lungs when I exhaled. Now it could be that the werewolf simply stank like this, or maybe I threw up in terror and was just too scared to notice, but looking back I think it had something to do with the fairies. I was still dimly aware of them zipping through the woods around me, being very distracting to a guy with as much on his mind as I had at the moment. It’s possible this smell was something they were doing, perhaps a way of directing or herding the monster.
But those thoughts came later, at the moment I had bigger problems. In my panic I had called up more Power than I could really control. The werewolf danced around just out of my line of fire as I brought the heels of my hands together, trying desperately to keep the ray of death in check or at least point it at the furry killing machine that I was certain would be tearing my throat out at any moment.
Stone glowed red and sagged where I clipped the edge of the castle. That wouldn’t be fun to explain, but on the bright side if I were explaining it then I’d have survived the night. Between that thought and the flickering fey lights and that awful smell and trying to control the magic, I lost track of the werewolf.
And just as I realized that, I woke up.
I lay in bed for about ten minutes, and then sat down and wrote this. It’s dreams like this that make me think I have at least one good novel in me. This specific dream, however, I’m pretty sure is my subconscious telling me that Jim Butcher isn’t writing the Dresden Files books fast enough.
Last night I dreamt about a series of children’s books in which a girl fights monsters with the aid of a suspiciously accurate D&D Monster Manual. I think they were mostly paranormal mystery stories, but there was always a monster, and she could find useful information about that monster in this battered old game book.
I remember reading an interview with the author who said she’d come up with the character and basic premise way back in 1968, before D&D existed, but could never really get the stories to come together until many years later when she saw the Monster Manual and flipped through it. Can’t recall the author’s name.
What’s really driving me crazy though is that I can’t remember the character’s name. It was an interesting name, the kind that belongs in a book title. I think her first and last names together made five syllables. Bah, just driving myself crazy trying to think of it.
I suppose this premise would fit into the whole “D&D is a trick to make kids into witches and slaves of Satan” bullshit, but it felt more like the other way around. Like, “This is a way to get this information widely published so that people can use it to protect themselves”. A warning and a weapon, instead of a trap. Could actually get some deep mythology in there about how the anti-D&D movement was just right enough to get it horribly wrong, interesting.
Anyway, that’s the dream that I remember. I’m vaguely aware of having others, but they didn’t stick around. Have a great day!
So last night I dreamt that there was a zombie plague spreading across the world. This probably has something to do with my company today. Anyways, in the dream it turned out to be not as big a deal as everyone expected, because social instincts didn’t change much. Social animals continued their lives without much change, they’d lose their sex drive and want to eat brains, but their willingness to kill their own kind didn’t change much.
So your average human zombie was a little more resistant to change and didn’t care about sex, but otherwise not very different from the general populace. Go ahead and make your own GOP joke.
I dimly remember an encounter with a zombie version of a large bird of prey, a solitary predator that was extremely aggressive, and attacked us on sight. Someone mentioned that there weren’t any unzombied ones left in the wild, that species had gone over to the undead completely. Seems very sad now, at the time I was too busy keeping track of those talons to think that they were effectively already extinct.
Well, that’s about all I can remember. Have a great day!
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. Read the rest of this entry