Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Dreams of Corruption and Pursuit - Set 1: Boulevard of Broken Dreams - City of Mists

At what point do nightmares stop being nightmares and start being just a fact of life? I don't know why I'm asking you, but I don't know why I ask you anything.

Just to have a way to clear the air, I guess. That's what the psychologists would say.

I'm not a stranger to nightmares about being chased by a relentless enemy. I've had these off and on for about a decade and a half. Once or twice a distorted version of that tin-foil fashion victim that gave an involuntary couple of days off school in a cabin just outside of town complete with taser. Mostly however, it's one of my family asking me to be "reasonable."

Last night's was different though. I wasn't being chased. I was being pursued. Whatever it was moved at a snail's pace, at best, but it never seemed to fall any further behind. I mean, that's a normal component of chase dreams, but, like I said, I wasn't being chased.

Still, I likely wouldn't have noticed anything strange about the dream if it had just been me. You remember, I got up at about ten, maybe eleven. I've been sleeping in later and later and staying up longer and longer lately. But I asked you about my schedule and then remembered that I had a lecture, which is where things started getting a bit weird.

Professor Fonstad is usually quite professional in his tasks. I've rarely known him to be late and I'd never known him to just not show up without at least an aid coming by to give the students a heads up. But here he was distracted and exhausted, editing a manuscript for a textbook he hoped to not perish up until I showed up a quarter til end of lecture. 

There were apologies and a rescheduling and all, but it stood out. And looking around I saw that this general fatigue was hitting elsewhere. Exams are coming up, they're always coming up for someone on campus, so a bit of post-cram glum is to be expected, but I'd never seen so many people crashed out on lounge furniture before. I went to the library to look up information on ancient Persian tombs and it was the same there. The librarian said something was going around.

I did my research for a few hours and left to meet the others at The Greasy Spoon once the sun was down. Same old, same old. Clean as a whistle and battered as toast. A chip in every brick with the remnants of old streetlamps standing cold sentinel outside. The waitress was trying to do her job but she was practically asleep on her feet and starting to nod off whenever she stood still for a moment.

Liza wasn't there, but I wasn't the only one with issues about dreams. In fact, only Kelsey hadn't had a dream last night, but then he doesn't sleep as a rule from what I gather, so that's not much of a tell. Evan had some sort of dream about a knot of rot and decay that EMTs didn't have the tools to excise and Ophelia's dream seemed to be even more vague than my own. 

Kelsey did have some brainstorm, though. A bit about Med-Hall's war profiteering and a story idea for a fugitive of some sort, but he couldn't say what they were running from or why they were running. The idea of corruption and rot came up again.

And that's where we stand right now with the slight addition that the waitress is screaming behind us.

The Corkboard created by Kelsey's player, Branwen Gillen

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