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Extended dream of being held hostage by some kind of very powerful consciousness, in another world... another kind of world. I had been removed from this one some how, trapped in an alternate dimension or some comparable mechanic. I was not alone, but lost most of the people I was there with. Dimly, I recall arriving with some companions, but I believe I left with others.

The level of horror varied. Sometimes the entire experience was this abstract gantlet of trying to avoid this thing killing us outright, trying to avoid being 'seen' even though my perception now is really of being entirely within it, rather than sharing a space where it hunted us. Other times it was almost a facsimile of reality... people who didn't know what was happening, or perhaps were fixtures of the energy and not people brought in from outside, doing reasonably normal things. Dreamlike, but the kind of dream you dream of the world.

I don't remember arrival, or much of the middle of the dream, only going through these various permutations of reality and unreality. Some of the faces. Relatives, being baffled that people were unaware of this hovering danger. Losing people. A small, blonde boy and a woman that were, I assumed at the time, killed. A little later I had done something I wasn't supposed to. Gotten to somewhere I wasn't supposed to be, somehow, I think. I found a little pocket, a little room of apparent if fragile safety. I guess it couldn't see me or hear me inside that little cell, although it completely surrounded the outside. The thing grew more powerful over the course of the dream, exponentially. At first it was an energy that maybe could just control machines or computers, and we were somewhere, some kind of structure, but over time it became this completely consuming force - as I noted above, the feeling of existing within it rather than just with it.

So I figured out how to get in this little room. It was sort of like the chunk of an apartment, like something you'd remember if some particular part of someone's house made an impression but you didn't really recall what the rest of the place was like (rather than a piece of a building that was half-finished or broken off from the rest - the boundaries were softer). The boy that I thought was lost was in there. It was very white... there was a sink, maybe, and a shower stall at the top of which was a little window for light - the sort that tips open with hinges at the bottom and latches at the top, wider than it was tall. I talked some to the boy, who was happy to see me and had obviously had a very intense experience over the course of whatever caused me to think he was dead (I don't think we found the woman lost in the same event). It had to do with falling through this thing's energy, pure ether or something to that effect (I can't recall exactly what we called it). It was understood to be an extremely destructive experience. There were means to protect yourself but they were difficult to come by for obvious reasons and no guarantee that you would live.

The boy and myself began devising an escape plan, the details of which I don't recall, and during that I decided to climb through the window at the top of the shower stall and see if I could make anything of what was going on with the being. I crawled down a long, sweeping tube of white light until I found its edge and peered out into the immediate, angry attention of our captor. It said some words of rebuke to me and a second later I was met by this giant spiraling blue beam of energy. I managed to evade it, I think, but it snaked all the way into the room to some profoundly startling effect. The child and I knew we had to move; whatever long shot we'd come up with was our only chance.

Things get hazy for a little bit in transition, but I end up with a handful of other people in some kind of auditorium. There's a projection screen at the front of the room and doors to the left. It looks not unlike a school gymnasium, really; the energy thing is in charge of what's happening and talking to us about something. I was only pretending to pay attention, sitting with the boy and a woman who joined us later on in our planning phases. At some point in the previous interval of time, we had gathered some belongings (that I do not recall having over any of the rest of the dream - but it felt congruent with having been trapped in this situation for a very long time, which was a consistent sensation over the course of the dream) and devised what our method of escape needed to be. It involved having printed out a lot of math which I was trying to keep straight in loose pages, each segment of which apparently represented something we might need to refer to over different legs of our endeavor. Phases of energy, frequencies, what was dangerous and what was merely uncomfortable or frightening. In addition, supplied by our new compatriot, we each had a little sphere about the size of a golf ball that felt like it was made out of that slightly squishy composite plastic that some child or dog toys are made out of. Each was a bright color, and in a pouch/container made of similar material. This, I understood, was for our final push wherein we could not avoid passing through the creature's raw energy. It was supposed to offer us some kind of marginal protection from the destructive effect.

We waited through the presentation, keenly aware that some of the other people there were also leaving/escaping/something and after a little while we ere shuffled through the doors to the right of the presentation space. Down a little ramp there was a row of turnstiles and beyond that platform elevators. I went back to the pile of things on the floor of the gymnasium realizing I couldn't take it with me and making sure I had the things that were essential: mainly the sketchbook that I'd stashed our instructions in, and the bag with the ball in it. I ran down the ramp, leaped the turnstile, and jumped onto the platform where my friends were waiting. They fell very fast, uncomfortable so, before stopping underground.

We exited to see a train, all of which was stone or concrete (I have dreamed of this train before). Large, shuttle-like cars, mostly open, more block shaped than train shaped. They moved very fast through a subway tunnel, and at the end of the train ride I lose the details again. Whether we stopped, fell off of, or the whole thing simply dissolved I do not know. The next part I remember is being in the shaft - the final push - where we were literally falling out of the bubble or dimension or field where we'd been kept. It was square and dark, the walls looked like the flashing-over-black that happens when you close your eyes and rub them, or you go from sudden flashing lights into pitch blackness. My friends and I fell through a terrible sound which we knew was the sound of the energy, of the damaging ether or radiation that we would barely be able to withstand. My two companions, one on either side of me, and I grabbed hands. I tried to close my eyes and relax my body because it hurt a little less.

Out of nothing, we were sitting on the floor in some kind of shopping/business complex. I can't speak for myself but my friends looked different, though I knew who they were and what we'd just been through. We were all dressed as though we were from an office and nobody seemed alarmed by our presence. Our silent, shared feeling of relief was overpowering; I tried to convince myself we were really out. After a few moments, we each reached for wherever we'd stashed the little ball to absorb the bad energy. The containers they'd been in were worn, with holes torn through them, and the balls themselves were gone. I asked after my sketchbook, at least, which to my understanding had other materials from being inside - things I'd written or drawn - but it had vanished as well. A fourth person - another friend, who I was conscious had also been trapped and gotten out before - approached and showed me several pieces of real-world miscellany on small pieces of black paper. A book recommendation, a couple of recipes. I started to cry (relief, again), and shortly woke up.

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I can't begin to say how much I've missed your writing.

This is just ... words fail me. Beautiful comes to mind, but it doesn't really encompass this correctly. Is this part of a larger project or just a random bit of writing?

! Unbelievable boost to my confidence. I've been feeling on shaky ground on the writing front lately, but this is a good reminder of that thing which I am best when I keep sight of: relax. Just write.

Thank you, my friend :) I think it's just what I needed today.

This is literally just... my dream last night. I woke up still sick with fear, and once I struggled out of bed decided I'd better write it down (if you click on that tag, you'll see there are a few of them, in varying levels of detail). That said, once I saw how much I'd actually remembered of it once I started writing, I was rolling the possibility around in my mouth of making some adjustments, cleaning this up, writing about it less as a dream and submitting it for the mini-contest with the Independence prompt.

PS HOW HAVE YOU BEEN. I worked all winter at the coffee shop, and taking your advice, got very good at pouring latte art. I have since moved on, and am once again on the job search. <3

I think that would be a grand idea! I have something written as well, but I MIGHT rewrite it as something else instead, maybe an experiment with prose or something. Something different for me, you know?

I've been good, thanks for asking! Busy with two weddings coming up (my friend and my sister) that I'm maid of honor-ing for. That plus the weight loss plan... it's been tough.

That's so cool! What kind of latte art did you end up making? My sister started doing some etching with hers, and the things she's churned out are AMAZING! Like, lace patterns in the foam, all free poured and etched. No stencils. And that's neat that you've moved on. What are you doing now?

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