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LJI Week 8 - The Wonders of Alyce Land

This is my entry for LJ Idol, Friends and Rivals (therealljidol). We got to choose from amongst a number of prompts. I chose "A Dictionary for Dreamers."

Welcome aboard Head Trip Enterprises. I will be your guide, Vance Vagary, as tonight we tour the Wonders of Alyce Land. Please keep your appendages inside the vehicle at all times, and do not be lured by the furry pets. While they seem nice, they may nom on your fingers.

Our first stop is the Deserted Village, overgrown streets full of dilapidated buildings. At the center is a cracked marble column in a bramble-filled garden. You'll notice the occasional patch of loose earth. Don't look too closely at any bone-like fragment poking out of the mud, or you might unearth the presumed remains of the former residents. No doubt, you will wonder how some of these rickety houses remain upright, especially the flimsy, swaying high-rises. Perhaps by thought alone. But I guess that's no surprise, right?

Inside one of the houses, someone has recently begun redecorating. The formerly cracked walls have been repaired, and a coat of fresh salmon paint brightens the walls. Children have painted a mural: part scrawled messages, part improvised artwork. So far, the rooms are empty, but who knows what we'll find if we stop by in a few months?

We drive now through the Parallel Lands, this world's equivalent of real-life places. Like movie sets, each consists of a few key locations, which is why we can travel through them so quickly. On the right is the parallel for a summer camp Alyce attended for 10 years, represented by a couple cabins and a dining hall. You'll also find the street where Alyce grew up, along with her childhood house, her father's office and apartment building, both the newspaper and the museum where she used to work, a university campus, and her high school.

Raise your hand if you're familiar with the sources for these parallel places. No one? You'll have to take my word, then, that they do not exactly mirror their counterparts. More than details, they mime impressions. For example, the newspaper appears here as a huge brick warehouse very similar to the original. But the desks and interior walls move according to the demands of that night's performance.

The school contains the light-wood floors and institutional green lockers drawn directly from memory, but the exact layout of rooms changes. Lately, there has been a daycare wing added, for the working mom to deposit her son before trying to make that elusive final for the Physics class she'd forgotten to attend all semester. Perhaps she should stop taking that elevator which can go up, down and sideways, but never lands on the floor one selects. We do have a bit of fun with that one, don't we? Never gets tired.

Speaking of getting tired -- well, re-tired (*snort*) -- we are entering the Retired Recurrent Characters storage facility, a restricted area. Please take no items from this facility and allow no one to board the bus. In these small dormitories live the denizens of recurrent dreams that no longer appear. Some of you might already realize that, if you solve the problem represented by a recurrent dream, either within the dream or while awake, you can break the cycle. Please wave at the vampire from the fairground haunted house, retired after being kneed in the nuts, exclaiming, "I hate this job!" and leading the dream-girl to the exit.

In that glass-walled apartment you'll find Public Enemy No. 1 of the RRC facility: her ex-boyfriend, known only as Leechboy. For years, he tried to reclaim his position in her life by popping into her dream world and proclaiming himself her true partner. Finally, about 15 years after leaving him in real life, she kicked him out of her head. Every once in a while, he makes an appearance, but with a new, ghostly girlfriend who pulls him away when he makes trouble. Leechboy and his Boo had a showy wedding, all dressed in white, in a misguided attempt to impress our heroine. She showed up to wish them well, greatly amused by how terrible he looked in a white tuxedo.

For the next portion of our tour, we must go on foot -- and on all fours. Mind your head as we enter the Underground. Consisting of dark tunnels -- or hallways, at times -- that get more and more narrow, the Underground keeps out all but the most persistent travelers. You may be overwhelmed with a sense of fear when you enter this world, and you may feel certain you are entering the realm of the dead. The hallway tunnels may descend or wind upwards, to the unvisited extra floor of the house. Do not worry if you feel compelled to turn back; here lurk both the greatest fears and the greatest revelations of this land, so they must be protected. What awaits us tonight? Follow me and see.

Have you reached the swampy forest filled with impossible creatures, part dinosaur, part gelid insect? Or perhaps a sandy desert populated by a swarm of scarabs? Then you are getting close. Pick your way through them, but try not to think too hard about the oogly-booglies. They can attack, although their stings just feel like the prickling of an arm falling asleep. They cannot truly harm you, but they can knock you out of the dreamworld if you become too frightened.

Oh, good! Today's secret room contains a real treat. Inside this bright space, with shelves lined with clean china and glass knick-knacks, you'll notice an elderly woman with a cloud of soft gray curls. She is sipping a cup of tea and greets us with a broad smile. She is Alyce's paternal grandmother, and unlike most dream inhabitants, she looks exactly like she did in life. Why, you might wonder? Well, because she's dead, of course. The dead can visit the dreamworld in their true forms. If you look into their eyes, though, you'll notice the eyes of the dead do not move. A little disconcerting, wot? I assure you: she is kindly and gentle, and will never turn into a worm-rat or a beastie. She stops by every so often for a cuppa and a chat.

Now, at the count of three, everybody blink hard: 1.. 2... 3... blink! Ahh, we're back on the bus. For our big finish, let's visit the Halcyon Fields. Bask in the glow of the indistinct, colorful cloud of light. You may hear faint music, smell a hint of jasmine. Imbibe the peaceful nothingness and relax. We will float here for a few seconds, but it will feel like hours.

Thank you for your visit, and do drop your special glasses in the bin by the exit. You will awake with a smile.



( 26 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 6th, 2016 04:00 pm (UTC)
LOVE this! Feel I would get a lot out of this tour. Also enjoying getting to know more about your subconscious. I already have the impression you are a warm, kind, fun-loving, hard-working, and brave person. Also gives me the idea that it would be fun to do something like this for my own dreamworld, and discover what I could learn about myself. Very clever!
Feb. 8th, 2016 01:15 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for the kind words; hope I resemble them. :) I would encourage you to do some thinking about what comes up in your dreamworld. It has always been helpful for my personal growth to do so.
Feb. 6th, 2016 04:02 pm (UTC)
Ha! What a great job playing with dream motifs and personalizing them!!! The ex was my favourite section because yes yes yes.
Feb. 8th, 2016 01:27 am (UTC)
He, of course, is the main reason we have to have a RRC storage facility; just wouldn't stay out!
Feb. 6th, 2016 04:45 pm (UTC)
Love the concept here, a tour of your dream-world and I love the details and description of your dream-world, especially the idea of buildings held up by thought alone and the world being a mirror to your real world, only different in that distorted, ghostly way dreams make things.
Feb. 8th, 2016 01:28 am (UTC)
Thanks! I also think dreams are often like a show: a play you happen to star in.
Feb. 6th, 2016 09:07 pm (UTC)

This was awesome! Enjoyed this tour very much. Loved the concept. Well written! Kudos..:)

Feb. 8th, 2016 01:31 am (UTC)
Thank you! I wanted to write about my dreamworld, but not in the expected essay format. This idea came to me while swimming laps, in that semi-meditative state that repetitive motion produces.
Feb. 8th, 2016 12:41 am (UTC)
I like the "recurrent characters" storage idea. :)
Feb. 8th, 2016 01:32 am (UTC)
Thanks! I guess you could say that's where we put repeat offenders. ;)
Feb. 8th, 2016 06:10 am (UTC)
I loved the section of recurring dream characters who have been successfully "booted" out of the dreaming cycle. I wish I could do that with some of my recurring dreams, instead.

Leechboy... what an excellent nickname for him after the fact.

Mar. 17th, 2016 07:00 am (UTC)
The nickname is even more appropriate when you know that his real last name is Fluke!

It's been a strenuous process kicking him out of my dreams. It helped when I went to counseling about 11 or so years ago.
Feb. 8th, 2016 11:20 am (UTC)
I love this idea of the tour of so many of the worlds in your writing!
Mar. 17th, 2016 07:15 am (UTC)
They are the worlds of my subconscious, which do, indeed, underlie everything I write.
Feb. 8th, 2016 01:57 pm (UTC)
I love this guided tour! I especially like the name "Leechboy" but not the character. Leechboy sounds like a comic book villain.
Mar. 17th, 2016 07:16 am (UTC)
He truly was. The name suits him well.
Feb. 8th, 2016 03:59 pm (UTC)
This was very satisfying and creative! Thank you for crafting such work! Peace~~~D
Mar. 17th, 2016 07:18 am (UTC)
Thanks so much!
Feb. 8th, 2016 07:56 pm (UTC)
Ha! A great way to explore your mind through your dream images!

I have an ex-girlfriend that broke up with me around 1994 For about ten years, every morning when I woke up, I dream she was still next to me in bed. You can imagine the strain that put on my relationships. Glad to say I'm long over that, but I totally get your public enemy #1.

This is a current favorite song about Dreams from Beck:

Mar. 17th, 2016 07:38 am (UTC)
My husband and I are both big fans of Beck. Good choice!
Feb. 8th, 2016 11:33 pm (UTC)
I have an ex that is currently appearing in my dreams right now more often than I'd like. I am so looking forward to a time when he is just a distant memory, and I never have to think of him again, even in the subconscious realm, but, of course, he will come to mind unfortunately consciously from time to time, because of what he did when he left, in creating a wound that will not heal, but hopefully time will make that hurt less. (I'm not talking about not being able to get over him. That was a case of good riddance to bad rubbish, but he actually gave me an irreparable scar.)

Right, now, I've been trying to figure out lately what he represents in my dreams, so maybe I can resolve that issue, and not have to see him there anymore. For a while, my Mom appearing in my dreams represented situations in my life when I didn't feel in control. Perhaps he's taken that spot now that my Mom is a more active figure in my life, and no longer controls me. But that has yet to be determined.

I never tried mapping out my recurring dreams like this... seems a good way to keep track of it all. This is a great tribute to the prompt, but more than that, it's a very personal glimpse into your world. Thanks for trusting us enough to let yourself be that vulnerable.

Mar. 17th, 2016 07:41 am (UTC)
Thanks for your thoughtful comments and sorry it took me so long to reply. I remember reading them with interest on my phone and wanting to respond but deterred by the idea of typing it all with my clumsy thumbs.

I've found that recurring dreams are a great indication of what your subconscious is working on, and that there are two ways to make them stop. One is to resolve the problem within the dream itself -- sometimes, but not always, through lucid dreaming. The other way is to resolve the underlying issue while you're awake.

Good luck with exorcising your ex!
Feb. 9th, 2016 01:44 am (UTC)
So very clever and entertaining. Loved the bit about the grandmother.

Well done!
Mar. 17th, 2016 07:42 am (UTC)
Thanks so much! Sorry it took so long to respond. I haven't seen my grandmother in my dreams for a while, but I always enjoy her otherworldly visits.
Feb. 9th, 2016 01:47 am (UTC)
Aaaaw enjoyed the dream world ride .... I loved the Public Enemy No. 1 and leech boy well that is such an awesome name for an Ex. I am not sure if I would want to encounter an Ex even a dream though ... :) Well Done
Mar. 17th, 2016 08:08 am (UTC)
I haven't enjoyed running into him, though, but he wormed his way into my subconscious. Glad you enjoyed reading. Sorry it took so long to reply!
( 26 comments — Leave a comment )

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