For Assignment 4, I will be cutting the dreams down into single scenes for which to craft the visual components. However, I wrote down the dreams entire, and thought they should be included somewhere.
This particular dream was quite short, comprising only the single scene for which I will be creating the assignment. I expanded upon it to test my worldbuilding ability.
Dream 3: Supernatural Scene
She ran at me at breakneck speed, feinting left and right so that I had no hope of tracking her movements. When she slowed to wrap her arm around me in a headlock, I ducked, pushed my right shoulder into her stomach, and sent her to the ground, but not before her teeth raked across my forearm, eliciting a pained grunt from my lips. She growled in frustration as I pounced on her, raking my nails across her face as I somersaulted back into a kneeling position above her head. I took off, knowing that even had I stayed and gotten my hands around her throat, she would have just flicked me into the wall as if I were an annoying mosquito.
The next room held little in the way of hope. There were two windows I could crash through, incurring multiple cuts and bruises and still having the crazed ghoul on my tail; there was a counter with drawers that I could search through, though I wouldn’t have much time and there might not be anything useful; and finally, there was a heavy, dark-wooden table and chairs in the center of the room, under a sturdy-looking chandelier. If it could support my weight, I could be in an advantageous position by the time she ran through the door behind me. Jumping onto the table, I tested the strength of the large, metal contraption. It seemed solid, without rust, and I decided to try it. Swinging up between the chains and crystals, I hooked my legs through the rim and hung downward, reaching into the pouch strapped to the side of my leg for a weapon. That’s when I heard the loud crack that thrummed through the room above me. She hadn’t followed me at all; she’d gotten to the next floor to crash the ceiling in on me. The ceiling I was now hanging from. The ceiling that was now starting to give way.
Clawing and punching through the somewhat rotted floor of the room above me wouldn’t take her long, so I flipped down onto the table and tried to make a run for it. I was too late. Seconds after my boots hit the table, the chandelier groaned and broke free of the crumbling ceiling, the heavy frame that I had once though to be my savior now crushing me. As my back hit the wood, I saw a hole open in the ceiling where the chandelier had hung, and it was just large enough to let the ghoul drop down beside me. I thanked God that she didn’t come down straight on top of me, or else I’d have more problems to deal with than a chandelier.
I quickly tried to take stock of my situation, numbering the ribs that had probably cracked or broken under my metal captor. Groaning, I once again reached for the pouch, praying that I could still get to its contents. As she walked over, eyes fiercely intent on my limp form, I grasped my last hope in my hand. The ghoul quipped no witty one-liners, gave no Bond villain speech; instead, she unceremoniously kicked the chandelier off of me, eager to get at my throat. She was too far gone into the Rage to notice the open vial in my hand. I smashed the glass into her eyes, and she screamed as the water worked its way into the sockets. I prayed thanks for the warded pouch that had kept the flask safe and lifted myself from the table as the ghoul continued to rake at her face. The scratches she added to the ones I’d left earlier did nothing to prevent the flesh from melting and running down her shaking form.
Seeing my opportunity to escape, I lifted myself from the table and cautiously hobbled around the crouching, screeching ghoul; then, as fast as I could—which admittedly wasn’t very fast—I ran out of the decrepit house, clutching my side and gritting my teeth against the pain. “Ich! Ich! Get the car running, now!” I yelled as I came stumbling down the drive. My unfortunately named friend, Ichabod, jumped up from his lounging position in the back seat, left the door open so I could slide in, and turned the key from the driver’s seat all before I was able to lug my pained form into the back.
“Good Lord, girl, what happened?” he asked, wide-eyed.
“The ghoul got a jump on me. I interrupted her happy little feeding frenzy, and she got a little annoyed.” I paused for breath. “At least we know why all those corpses kept disappearing from Peaceful Rest. They were too mangled to salvage, though; probably for the best, given that there will be more ghouls to come.”
“So,” Ich sighed, eyeing my wounds quickly before returning his gaze to the road, “hospital, or Lynn?”
“Lynn,” I replied. “Cracked ribs are the least of my problems. The bitch bit me, and with all the running I’ve been doing, it’s only a matter of time before the festering starts.” I looked down at my arm, the blood already starting to congeal. Ichabod held back a gag. “Don’t worry, Ich. I feel just…” I paused as a wave of nausea overcame me. Ichabod shot me a worried look.
“Hold on, Celeste. I’m kicking this thing into high gear.” The last thing I saw was Ich’s pitiful attempt at a reassuring smile in the rearview mirror.
I awoke to the sound of man’s best healing implement sizzling in the background: bacon. I opened my eyes and immediately saw morning light projected onto the ceiling of Lynn’s modest apartment. I couldn’t quite hold back a shudder; cracked white ceilings were going to haunt me for weeks. Hearing my groan, Ich looked up from the recliner where he’d been reading a newspaper, and Lynn walked in from the kitchen, a plate piled high with all sorts of breakfast confections in her hands. She always knew how to please a guest. Before reaching up gratefully to take the plate, I felt the bandages along my side. The left ribs still ached, but the cracks were already well on their way to being healed; the right were apparently in complete ignorance of the fact that they had been sending me waves of pain last night. Finally, I checked my right forearm, and was glad to see an obvious absence of rotting tissue. Lynn had done it again.
Lynn was in training to become a doctor, but everyone on the farside knew that she was already the best healer in the city. Perks of being a White Arts witch. “You didn’t have to use the super healy stuff, you know,” I commented. “You should save it for special occasions. Short of the bite, this was nothing a few weeks of rest and a good doctor couldn’t fix.”
She rolled her eyes. “Every time you walk through my door, it’s a special occasion. Besides, I have plenty of extra herbs left over from that sale.” She smiled. “And, if you can’t move, how are you supposed to eat bacon?”
She had me there. I tore into the food as if it were going to evaporate before my eyes. Pancakes, eggs, bacon—oh, the bacon—and hash browns passed my lips quicker than my insulin levels could gawk. Don’t get me wrong, farside food is great, but there’s nothing like Lynn’s breakfast to get you back on your feet. I could see the remnants of Ich’s breakfast as well; given the thick coating of bacon grease glinting off his plate, I gathered that he’d consumed all the bacon on the first round, so Lynn had gone back to make more for me. The only question remaining at that point was why Lynn’s cat had yet to vacuum up the leftover crumbs. “Where’s Bob?”
“He’s out hunting again,” she said plainly. “Apparently, my breakfasts aren’t good enough for him lately.” I chuckled at that. No one—human, familiar, or otherwise—could turn down Lynn’s cooking, especially in favor of sewer rat á la Manhattan. If he was refusing, it meant he still had his tail in a twist over our last encounter. I suppose I shouldn’t underestimate a familiar, though, even if it’s a fat cat like Bob; I still can’t figure out how he gets up on the fire escape for Lynn to let him through the window. Either he can secretly levitate, or his jumping skills put Olympic athletes to shame. “So, Celeste, how did all of this come to pass?” Lynn asked with a vague gesture as she sat down in the chair opposite Ich’s.
“Well, you already know about the string of grave robberies, and how Ich and I traced them back to the creepy house.” She nodded. “We knew that it had to be a ghoul, so I went in armed to the teeth with firewater. I left the major arsenal in the car, because judging by the robberies, it didn’t look like we were dealing with one of very high intelligence. Then the chandelier happened.” I grimaced. “I got her, though. Melted her face right off.” Ich got that sickened look about him again. Really, after hanging out with a mercenary for so long, you’d think he wouldn’t turn green at the mention of gore. At least his nickname suits him, and besides, he’s the best Berserker I’ve found. It may take a while to get him worked up, but when he hits critical, what a sight it is. “Anyway,” I continued, “I underestimated my opponent’s ability to use her surroundings, I put myself in danger, I could have lost an eye or something, yada yada yada. Next time, I’ll take more healy things, and my knives, and a gun, and then we won’t even have to run through your bacon supplies.”
Lynn rolled her eyes. “My bacon is free for your inhalation at any time, as long as you stay out of trouble. Take your whip next time; I don’t need any gray hairs.” Lynn stood and began clearing away the plates. “That whip is special, you know. It really likes you.”
“Well, whenever I need an inanimate object to talk me over a ledge, it’ll be the first one I consult.” Despite my jape, I know how important my weapon is. Still, if I don’t get used to the other weapons in my arsenal, I won’t be as versatile—and that equals fewer jobs, followed by less pay. And I’ll keep giving myself these excuses until I actually need to pull out the darn thing.
As our conversation wrapped up, Ich left to get some real sleep, Lynn sentenced me to bed rest. As a result, multiple vampire movies were scrutinized, dissected, and subsequently laughed at for their improbability of occurring in real life. Afterward, I decided to head home, lest I risk more bacon calories in the morning. “I hope you know I vehemently object to this,” Lynn said, exasperated. “Please stay until morning? It’s all creepy out there.” I laughed, showed her the knives I’d strapped to my belt, and reassured her that I could make it two blocks without being abducted before setting out.
As I turned down the alleyway to cross behind the apartment building, I suddenly felt a hand across my mouth. My instincts kicked in and I tried to lash out, but I was promptly punched in my still-healing ribs with a jarring force that felt as though it were aimed precisely to amplify the pain. This guy knew I was injured. Doubling over, I tried to bite down, but the hand across my mouth just gripped tighter. “Shh,” a raspy whisper chided as he pushed me to the ground, “don’t struggle now. You’ll spoil everything.” I tried to reach for a weapon—any weapon—but it was no use; he was holding me down with all of his weight. One again, I found myself gritting my teeth against the pain, my brand new ribs starting to feel the strain. “Unfortunately, sweetie, I’m under contract. No kisses for you.” His twisted smile revealed a chipped front tooth that complemented his other rough features. I eyed him carefully, making silent note of his oily black hair and scruff, long nose, and cold gray eyes. He pursed his lips playfully and took a syringe from his coat pocket, his knee pushing hard into my stomach. “Oh, how much fun I’d have with you,” he lamented, “but that’s for another day.” He almost gingerly moved my wrists out of the way, holding both in place with one large hand. I was trapped beneath him, and despite my struggles, he pressed the needle into my arm without so much as a second glance. He hauled me up roughly, throwing me over his shoulder like an unfortunate sack of potatoes, and I grimaced. “She’s gonna like you too, I can tell.” He walked forward slowly until he reached a nondescript black car on the side of the road. After tossing me unceremoniously into the back, he hit the gas, and I blacked out for the second time in as many days.
I again woke to a smell, though this one wasn’t nearly as pleasant as the last. To be honest, it smelled like a sewer, which partly explained the rough stone walls and old lamps. As my eyes came into focus, I tried to reach for the a knife at my belt, only to be disheartened with the realization that I was tied firmly to a hard wooden chair. “You’ll save a bit for me, won’t you?” came a voice from behind me. It was the same guy from the alley. “Wouldn’t want the poor dear to go too long without my handsome company.”
A female voice clipped a reply. “You’ve got your pay. Now get out.” The tone brooked no argument, and I listened to the shuffling of the man’s feet as he retreated, perhaps down a hall. I heard the woman shut the door firmly behind her before she snaked her way around from my left, smoothing her gray pencil skirt as she stepped. “Farside cells,” she scoffed as she wrinkled up her dainty nose. “Have you ever smelled anything so horrible? It’s as though they kill cats down here for entertainment.” Well, seeing as how the Manhattan farside cells were owned by the Mahti family of ghouls, I’d wager that wasn’t entirely a preposterous guess.
“Don’t tell me you crossed the Barrier for little ol’ me,” I quipped.
Her catlike smirk didn’t fade as she smoothly shifted her weight between Prada heels. “It wasn’t out of our way.” The tall, sharply featured woman eyed my slumped form. “We all have our own agendas, after all.”
Was that supposed to be some kind of hint? What was this snake trying to get from me? I replied, mustering more bravado than I felt, “Glad to hear it, then. People usually have a hard time finding the Barrier crossings in the middle of Manhattan.” I kept my gaze steady on her. There were only a handful of reasons why someone would take a prisoner across the Big B, and not one of them was pleasant. “Or did you just get lost on your way back from a business meeting?”
Her plaster smile finally faded. “Listen, sweetheart, I’m going to be blunt. We want what you have, and we’d like to have it before things get messy. I’m wearing my best skirt today, and I’d rather not dirty it by physically riping an answer out of your throat.” Her already narrow eyes squinted further. “Now, are you going to tell me where we can find it, or am I going to have to get dirty?”
“What are you talking about? I don’t have anything, and trust me, I usually make a note when I steal something important enough to have an organization after me.”
She rolled her eyes in exasperation. “You’re going to make me do it, aren’t you? You’d just love to make me ruin this skirt.” She leaned closer. “The key, you imbecile. What have you done with it?” She folded her arms across her chest, content to wait until an epiphany came over me. It didn’t.
“Sorry, nope, haven’t seen one. Can I go now?” I gave her a winning smile. She seemed about as amused as Queen Victoria. Without saying another word, she clacked her way out the door behind me, slamming it shut in the process. “Well, Celeste,” I mused aloud, “looks like you’ve gone and made a new friend.”