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Fermius Firefly

A Dream Log, whenever I remember the dreams I've had.

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Location: San Marcos, United States

Fermius is a pen name drawn from a series of short fiction I wrote when I published the small press magazine Stellanova (on paper.) I play RPG games to escape from my daily grind as a technology wage slave for the state of California. I eat out a lot in order to do my part in supporting our increasingly service level economy. I am butler to 2 feline masters. If you ask them they will tell you I'm not very good at it, late with dinner, don't have enough hands with brushes in them, and sometimes I even lock them out of their office.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Quiet Remote Place

I dreamed that a group of my friends and I traveled up into the mountains as far as we could by car, and then, when the road was at an end, packed our clothing, bedding, food, water, and tools into bags and satchels and a couple of wheelbarrows. We hiked up over a pass that was only just barely a pass, several times having to pick up the blue and red metal wheelbarrows and carry them over rocky ground too rough for them to roll.

We crested the ridge to look down into a valley that had obviously been settled at one time. There were massively overgrown trails, a rickety rope bridge over a small stream, and several ruins of buildings. There was a herd of deer in the fields, which were full of oats and mustard. (Both the deer and the fields I think.) Blackberry and raspberry bushes grew in a profusion of thorny meandering hedges, the gentle western slope of the valley was covered with peach, pear and apple trees, as well as walnuts and pecan trees. Vine of peas and beans were reclaiming various old pieces of farm machinery. Roses grew over one of the ruins, great tendrils of pink and white variegated flowers that you could smell all the way up the ridge. It was getting dark and we made our way down to the original trail that led into the valley. It had mostly fallen away, and was blocked in several places by rock slides. It would be a long time before we could clear enough to make the road passable again, if it was even possible for the dozen of us to do so.

Then there was a Hollywood style movie montage of time passing, buildings replaced with earth berm houses, using the old windows to bring in natural light, lumber reclaimed to make a barn and a watch tower, with a zip line down to the edge of the valley. We'd managed to bring up a generator (taken from Little Red, I suspect) and made a water wheel for power. I managed to rig an antenna to the tiny wind-up emergency radio so we could get music and news. People hiked out to the cars to make runs back to town for various supplies, at least for a time.

The state came and repaired the road, even though we didn't ask them to. We were able to move all the cars up into the valley, except little red.

A few months later, everything went crazy. It was an alien invasion that caused a panic, and subsequent pandemic, followed by an invasion of emaciated, diseased refugees. Folks who'd been camping out lower down on the mountain. About two dozen of them shuffled into our little valley from the recently repaired road. They climbed over the gates we'd put at the property line, but wandered listlessly around the settlement, not seeming to be aware that they were surrounded by edible plants.The fever seemed to leave them alive, but with addled brains. We hoped that they would recover, and their brain functions would return to normal. Fortunately only a few of them were violent, most were just confused and wandering, with a decided tendency to take the easiest path that led up and out from the trees. They'd lost all desire to eat or drink, at least until something fragrant, like oatmeal with black berries in it or bacon was offered. Even then, they ate and drank little.

Some of our village wanted to round them up and shoot them, but saner heads prevailed and we lured them into the barn where they could be out of the weather, and we could try to get them food. It was difficult, as we could see they were all sick, and we didn't actually want to get close to them. We sent people out to gather up tents and sleeping bags from the various campsites they'd abandoned. Our own supply of blankets was severely depleted. Food and drink eventually helped some of the sick recover, but others continued to decline. I kept worrying that this was going to turn into some sort of zombie apocalypse, but that didn't happen. We spent a large part of the dream chasing down sick folks, and then luring them back to the barn in the center of the valley. (That was where the main leech field for the septic systems started as well, so there were facilities in the barn for our guests.)

We'd lost contact with the outside world, the radio grown quiet and our cell phones no longer connecting to the network. We didn't know if there was medical help available. We sent someone down the mountain to find out, but they returned only a few hours later saying the roads off the mountain were impassable, and that someone would have to hike down into town. I wasn't sure our little valley could feed all of our refugees indefinitely, if they were to suddenly find their appetites, but knew that there were plenty of edibles up and down the side of the mountain, if we could get enough people foraging we would be okay. The apocalypse was in our very mild fall, so we'd just brought in a good harvest and had plenty of supplies.

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