Mornings are very hard for me now. I suspect the Dr. upped my prescription again. I swore my last one was for 100mg and now it says 150mg. Every morning I wake up in a cold sweat with a queasy stomach and chills. I don't like it. It's like those TV commercials for new drugs where they have to list the possible side effects and they sound worse than the original problem.
Anyway. WIP is still going well. I'm up to 31,321 words with notes on a few more scenes, so it's really just a matter of getting it down. And a nice little twist my main character introduced; she invited George to go with on Uncle Mortie's next excursion after Aubrey asks if he can go (mostly because Aubrey was ignoring George at the time and she doesn't like rude people). That wasn't in the original plan, but it works out great. I'll get to show again why George is such a cool guy and Aubrey is a know-it-all suck up.
I've also been having these really funky dreams. Ok, actually, I always have really funky dreams. But this one was up there in oddity. Maybe I read too much science fiction growing up. Have I mentioned that was one of my specializations in college? Or maybe I just have played too many computer games...
At 3 AM EST, October the 4th, every human on the planet suddenly found themselves in huge, cavernous cargo holds in alien ships. No one was missed in the roundup, from a bedouin tribe celebrating a wedding in the middle of the desert to miners deep withing the bowels of the earth. Sleepy, wide-awake, dressed, half-dressed and in a panic, they waited and wondered what had happened to them.
So I'm actually in this dream (sometimes they just play like movies and I'm not in them at all) and so is my husband Tony. And for some reason we have a baby daughter named Emily (the same as my niece and goddaughter and scores of other little girls born in the last five years). We had all become separated somehow and the first part of the dream is frantic searching to get the family back together. In the process, we wind up wandering into a medical ward (where we finally locate Emily in the care of alien nurses) while the rest of our group is going through an induction process.
One of the alien nurses, disguised pleasantly enough in the body of an aging blonde woman with old-fashioned hair notices us wandering through the ward and comes up to us with a concerned look on her face. "Are you lost?" she asks. "Not anymore," I reply. "We just found our daughter. You were holding her here." She looks down at Emily sleeping in my arms and gives a start. "Oh, yes," she says, "this one is causing us problems." "What kind of problems?" Tony jumps in, ever the problem-solver, even in alien abductions. "It's the symbol she's chosen as her totem," she explains, but we just look at her blankly. Having missed the induction everyone else is going through, we have no idea what she is talking about. She looks at us closely. "You haven't chosen yet!" she exclaims.
She pulls out two pouches and out spill a dozen or so different carved pendant-sized statues. Some look like Hindu gods, other like angels or demons. She asks me to pick one from one pouch and Tony from the other. Emily stirs in my arms, like something is wrong.
"Why do we have to choose one?" I ask. "Everyone has to," she replies. "You must do it." I stare at them again and at the ones in Tony's palm. "Why do we have different symbols to choose from? Mine aren't the same as his." I worry that they are some kind of grouping mechanism and we'll be separated from each other. She doesn't answer, just taps the symbols again. Emily reaches out a delicate little baby hand out and pulls at my hair. I look down at her. She is staring up at me with wide blue eyes like she is trying to say something. I look back at the nurse, who seems to be growing impatient. "Which symbol did Emily choose," I ask her. A strange look crosses her face and she dumps all the symbols back into their pouches. "We'll do this later, perhaps," she says and leads us away.
Here's where that dream-like understanding hits me, or perhaps I overhear some other 'nurses' talking. It's a little fuzzy here. It seems that the symbols do define your role in the new world order they are 'creating.' And they were able to communicate with Emily mind-to-mind (you know, being aliens and all that) and she chose a symbol that existed but had not even been shown to her. The symbol of a god. They don't know what to do. Under the rules they have established for themselves, they have to honor her request, but they weren't planning on such a thing. Then another alien coordinator dressed in the body of a younger woman in a flight suit comes out and begins speaking to us. We've re-joined our group, but haven't gone through any of the things they have.
The coordinator blows a shrill whistle and indicates that everyone should line up. "I'm going to be coming around to each of you to make corrections." That's all she says. Most people shuffle obediently into line, all the fight gone out of them already. The coordinator starts down the line with a little gizmo and kind of waves it at each person. They immediately seem to revive and many rush off to the bathroom (changes to the intestinal tract, I suspect). A woman in front of us is in a wheelchair and when the coordinator reaches her, she has her stand up unsteadily. The woman's leg is twisted and bent and it is obvious she can't walk. As the gizmo is waved at her, her leg begins to straighten and unbend until it is unblemished. "What are you doing to us," I ask the coordinator. "Just fixing you," she replies, not even looking up. "Will we even be biological creatures any more?" She finally looks up and sees Emily in my arms.
She comes a bit closer and seems inclined to tell us a few things. Meanwhile, a 'safety' video is playing on monitors all around us warning what will happen to people that misbehave. It shows them being 'deleted' and little selection bars even appear above their heads, like they've been digitized and stuck into a computer game. I put two and two together.
"What is this," I demand, "are we just some kind of simulation game to you?" The coordinator's silence confirms my suspicions, but no one around us seems to care. I think back to my college days and playing Sid Meier's Civilization and more recently, The Sims. I step closer to her and whisper, "Are there cheat codes? Every game has cheat codes." She looks around to see if any other aliens are near and hands me some slips of paper. Another one falls out of her pocket and I pick it up when she turns to the next person in line. The ones she handed me are simple enough: codes for food and clothing. But the one she dropped is a special one. One you could use to gain knowledge.
Anyway, that was about it. It got really jumbled after that. But a strange dream, eh?