Thursday 11 January 2007

A Dream.

This is a dream I had about a year ago, I wrote about it then, because it was so vivid.
At that time, I'd not heard the term 'Steampunk', but that dream was pure steampunk, and I can see the images now, the distant voices, the smell of woodsmoke.

It was posted on my profile at (a site that has provided some amusement and a few true friends)... :

"In my dreams of flying, I rarely travel more than a few feet above the ground. I have to go around trees and very tall buildings, but can easily manage brief hops to clear fences and houses.
In my dreams I sometimes fly high on the sky, but more often I am close to the ground. I seem to skate, but as if my feet are about a foot above the ground, I can lean into the turns, glide, rise and swoop, and balance is never a problem, I can never fall or suffer bruises. (did we have this discussion before?) I was very tired, after a string of long working days. I did dream of flying, though, over a mythical country .
There were strange beasts, castles, villages with mediaeval-seeming life going on. Yet on a road below me, a great steam powered traction-engine was pulling a sort of road train of four heavy trailers laden with goods, sacks with spilling grain, barrels, bales of something , maybe wool. Two of the trailers were sheeted over, I swooped down for a closer look and the driver, a woman, built like a heavy-duty russian heroine of the republic, wiped her brow with a bandanna and raised a cup of coffee in greeting. Beside her, a young boy, maybe ten years old, was shovelling coals into a glowing firebox. I waved back, pedalled harder for the climb, for the first time was aware of the craft I piloted, a beautifully made airboat, made of polished wood, rattan cane, bound with copper fixings, the wings were covered in bright silks, rose and fell by force transmitted fom the pedals, I sat on a bicycle saddle, steered with handlebars, behind me, a bright silk rooster tail turned, pedal harder to rise, gently to maintain height and motion, push the bars forward to dive, pull back to climb, I heard a clanking, and below and to the left, I saw a larger flying machine, with a steam boiler, pilot at a wheel, like a ship's wheel, standing, braced. Behind him a filthy stoker leaned on a shovel, and tapped a boiler gauge. They were on an upper deck, below and behind them, were rows of seats, wooden slatted things, about ten passengers, wearing goggles and gloves. some waved. Below the control deck, and at the front was a small cabin with celluloid glazed windows, I could dimly see some people inside, bright clothes, nobles, no doubt, first class. The great wings, two sets, flapped ponderously, covered not in bright silk, but heavy duty canvas. Chuffing and clanking, the air-liner pulled ahead. I was looking for a country inn, a place to set down for a meal and a bed for the night, they were signalled by a cluster of tethered balloons about 200 feet up, the colours of balloons denoted the facilities each offered, hot food, accommodation, steam baths, minstrel gallery, air boat exchange Ah, you can exchange your airboat here? you don't own the airboat, it's a commodity, you show a wristband that seems to denote credit, i think, and you pick up a fresh, adjusted, cleaned and provisioned airboat in the morning, could be a plodder, a two or more seater, with ample luggage space, or a nimble lightweight, like mine.
I was hungry, tired. And not sure why I was there or where I was going, but a walled town, far away, on the horizon, with a great castle, seemed to be my goal. I was aware that I had entered this world as a stranger, that everything in it was new and interesting to me, I was aware that I was elsewhere at the same time, sleeping, and a little afraid that if I fell asleep at the inn, in a room above the stableyard, i might wake up back in my own, familiar world, before I had seen enough of this, before I had found my purpose here.
And so it happened.
Starcitywoman may recall this discussion of dreams. Actually, I've been reminded that the first line was in her dream, not mine, I do apologise, I'll dust it off and return it as soon as possible, but this is scarily like being married, I mean, the cds are all mine, I think that painting's one I had before flork, but fragments of my dreams, wisps of my reality, I'm no longer sure, Anyway, if anybody wants to claim the elephant, please do, soon, because it really doesn't fit in some of the recent dreams, yet it's been there. How about: each morning, before we launch ourselves into a new day, we just take a few moments to tidy up, pack away any strange artifacts? That way there'll be no strange minglings of dreams, and strange, busty, gleaming silver space-suited starship crews won't wander unannounced into my carefully crafted, late seventeenth century coaching inn dream. Whoever released them, it was most disconcerting, and my coachman was so distracted by the tactile shiny ladies that we almost missed the tide- and that would have caused havoc over the three year voyage.......... It occurred to me, where would they find electricity for their hair driers in seventeenth century Oxford? Then I realised the hairdriers were probably rayguns. Anyway, please take care, and keep your dream characters separate to mine, it confuses me so much."

It seems people like my dream. I manufacture them nightly, but with so perishable a product, few survive to be shared. How annoying, it is never possible to return to one at will, and to see the next chapter.
Trap one of yours, (keep a glass preserving-jar near your bed, seal the dream from air, I think that, and daylight, are their enemies,) mount the dream on your blog, or as a comment here, I'll be interested to compare delusions.