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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.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Other Worldly Fall Through

I had one of those dreams that would take far longer to relate than it did to have. Myself and my cell phone were out for a walk when I crested a low ridge and fell right over the other side onto a different world.

I could tell it was different by how light I was, and the fact that the sky was full of nebulae and stars so close you could see they were small disks. There were no grasses, only broad leafed plants with leaves that turned to follow the brightest parts of the sky. I had no cell reception at all, so I turned off the phone completely to conserve the battery.

I wandered around a bit, coming across a path, whether made intentionally or a game trail of some sort, I couldn't tell. I moved down hill, figuring at least that might lead to water, eventually. The scents in the air were very purple and orange, with a touch of brine every so often. Insects flitted about, but I didn't see or hear any birds. There didn't seem to be any plants over about twelve feet tall, either. Everything had a pretty manicured look to it, though, so I began to think I'd wandered into some sort of garden.

I made my way down to the bottom of the trail, which curved along the edge of a steep slope. I looked over the slope and below me stretched out a nearly endless expanse of land and oceans. I knew in an instant it was a world far larger, and far different than our own little globe. As far as I could tell, it extended into every direction, blending in with the grey black of the sky. I could tell the little world I was currently on rotated slowly about an axis that would make this little trail eventually level or even feel like it was the top of the hill. I headed back away from the edge, hoping to find some signs of habitation.

I came across a camp of about thirty people. As soon as I entered the camp they asked what I was sent up for. It was a language that I had never heard before, so I don't know how I understood the question, nor how they would understand my answer.

I told them that I actually fell down. That was apparently the wrong thing to say as they all drew small makeshift weapons and advanced on me. As they drew close I noticed that they weren't all human, many of them had triangular ears and tails, puffs of fur grew from their cheeks like a lion's mane, and some even had whiskers and small flat noses.

"Look," I said "this is where I came from." I turned on my phone and opened up the photo gallery to show the pictures of myself and the kitties. That actually stopped them. They had never seen anything like it.

I tried to explain that it wasn't magic and the battery was not going to last long if I couldn't get back to my home to charge it.

They conferred a long time, and decided that I was some sort of wizard, and they really didn't want me there messing up their balanced society. Apparently they were all exiled here from the world below, they'd managed to scrape together enough resources to stay alive, but they were stuck as jumping off the world would likely be fatal, and they had received some supplies from below, as occasionally someone had jumped off and survived. The occasional survivor sneaked to the catapult that had put them there and fired up news and goods. The reports were also that survivors who returned to their home area were executed if caught. They knew this because their bodies had been launched up to the rock as a stern warning not to try it. I realized that the only people I could understand, and who understood me were the cat people. They had some sort of limited telepathy, it seemed.

They debated whether to strip me and take my stuff before throwing me off the rock, and during that debate I slipped away, heading to the edge of the rock, again. surveying the world below. Apparently that was not what they were expecting, as they headed for the uplands and the forests and caves to search for me. (At least what I could hear from when they discovered I was missing.) I would guess the whole rock was nor more than six or seven miles around, so a few square miles of fairly verdant territory. I found an area where there was a makeshift "Dock" at the edge of the rock. I guessed that this was the proposed drop-off point. I looked out over the edge and saw a huge water filled crater almost directly below me. I was really thinking a hang glider would come in handy right now. The sun came up, or, more precisely, the rock rotated into a position where the fiery globe in the sky that was this world's sun could reach where I was on the rock. I could see that there was a ladder on the side of the platform, so I climbed down. It turned under the rock and led down to a small ledge. I realized that if I slid down the ladder, and let go before the ledge I would be aimed right at the crater lake below the rock. So, not knowing what possessed me to do so, I let myself slide down below the rock and then let go as I neared the ledge.

Something in the mass above me seemed to counter my weight, and I didn't fall nearly as fast as I thought I would so I realized I was in danger of overshooting the lake below. I opened up my shirt and tried to use it as an air brake. That was partly successful, but wouldn't really have been effective. What was effective, however, was the force holding the rock up in the sky, it seemed to pull me into an orbit, or more accurately, a falling spiral centered on the crater lake below. My only regret now was that I had no way to protect my cell phone from getting wet. I balled it up in my shirt as best I could.

I don't remember hitting the water, but I woke in the bottom of a small boat, my shirt and phone balled up on my chest. I unwrapped it, and the inner folds of cloth were still dry. I couldn't have been in the water long.

"We fished it out first, it seemed really important to you." One of the fishing cats communicated to me quietly.

I thanked her. They dropped me off on the shore outside of a town before heading to their own village.

I looked up the street and realized that most of the signs were just pictures, but the few that contained text were completely unrecognizable.

I wandered up the street, looking at the various shops, realized that my cards and what little money I had were not likely to be worth anything here. I greeted folks as I walked, and they were friendly enough, but it was clear that no one but the cat folk were able to understand me, and even then it only seemed to be a fairly small subset of them.

I came upon what looked like a large town hall. I looked around for a seat, figuring I would just sit and watch for awhile, try to get a sense of the society, the way things work. It was pretty crowded and I eventually found myself in a little rectangular pen like area with several open stools. I sat in one, just to catch my breath and get my bearings a little bit. It was obvious after just a short while of looking around that the more cat-like cat people tended to be the less well off looking. There was a good spectrum of wealth shown among all the peoples there, but there were a couple of obvious trends like that.

I finally decided that I needed to move up to the gallery with the "poorer" folks, in the hopes that I would get some inkling of what was going on. Unfortunately, I had sat down in the "Defendants Paddock" and was no longer allowed to leave. I tried to explain what had happened but folks just laughed at me. A bailiff made me sit back down.

The judge/mayor came in, a red-haired woman who, oddly, I could mostly understand, even though she didn't look much like a cat person. I just assumed her words were so reinforced by the cat folk in the audience that I was getting them as a sort of telepathic overflow effect. There were a half dozen "cases" on the docket, not all of them criminal matters, some were civil matters. The Judge went through all of them, and then looked up to see me sitting there after all her files were done.

"Who are you?" she asked, and I could tell it WAS her that I was understanding.

When she realized that her audience couldn't understand me, and had begun wondering how she could, she had the bailiff remove me from the room.

I ended up in the police station, but not in a cell. It was obvious that I wasn't allowed to leave, but otherwise they brought me lunch and a light blanket when it started to get chilly. The evening shift came in, and one of the officers was a cat woman who was able to talk to me. The Judge arrived shortly after my interview with the officer.

The conversation, and another meal, was quite pleasant, and the Judge was pleasant, but very obviously concerned about my story. I could tell that she wasn't really willing to believe it, until I showed her the pictures on my phone, which sputtered and died after a few moments. It apparently had gotten some water in it after all. I had to convince her it wasn't magic, or at least no more so than the fact that we could understand one another.

After our long conversation about where I was from, she pointed out that she could have me arrested for being a vagrant, as I had no money and no place to stay. I could see she was weighing her options when the feline police officer rescued me, saying she had a spare room and I could stay there and help with the dogs until I found other work.

By the time the officers shift was done, I was bone tired and barely remembered the route to her home. I fell into her too small guest bed, and immediately fell to dreaming. (All I remember from the dream within this dream was sitting next to a busty woman in a blue linen jacket, immaculately tailored and with very shiny silver buttons.)

In the morning I got up and helped prepare the breakfast table and then washed up afterwards. Shortly after that the officer got up and took me out to where the dogs were. They were huge, about the height of a pony or small horse. She explained that the puppies were pretty tame, but their mother was still very feral.

She was indeed, and much larger than her children, the father of the puppies must not have been a particularly large specimen. I looked into the mother's eyes and immediately knew that she was much smarter than her handlers were giving her credit for. I jumped down into her pit. There were calls of alarm from the others, but we approached one another and greeted one another. I rubbed her face and ears and then took off the choke/spike chain from around her neck. She stood up and stretched. Then sat, looking at me. I gave her a roll I'd been saving from breakfast. I started walking her around the pit, stopping when she started to pull. (A lot like when walking J's dog Lucy.) We eventually jumped out of the pit and took a stroll around the grounds. The other handlers followed us with weapons and ropes, ready for her to make a break for it. I could tell she wouldn't as she wanted to stay close to her puppies. She kept looking at me like I was going to try to ride her, but I just ruffled her neck fur, gently rubbing down the injuries where the spikes had dug under her coat. Eventually we made our way back to the pit, and she willingly ran down the ramp and stretched out to nurse her newest litter of puppies.

I made sure I had more treats for her after dinner. As I walked out to the pit to feed her, the Judge fell into step with me. I was surprised to see her. As we walked, I realized that she was a cat person. "Did it hurt when your ears were docked?"

Her hand flew up to her ear, hidden by a tiara/turban sort of headdress, then she dropped it quickly looking around to make sure no one had seen. I also guessed that her bustle hid the fact that she had a tail, or at least the stub of a tail. I immediately felt sad for her. She could tell. I promised I wouldn't say anything, as her people adored her and were obviously prospering under her leadership.

Her conversation with me indicated that she would be much happier if I didn't stay in the area, and after seeing me feeding the "feral bitch" she lit upon the "perfect solution." When the puppies were weaned, I would take the dog and leave for a stint in the wilderness, find a feral mate for her so her puppies would be full sized next time. She also indicated that she would not be broken up if the two of us didn't return. Ever.

I told her that would be difficult, as I too was rather fond of the people of her village. I promised I would consider it, though. That seemed to strike her as true, and I realized than that the telepathy was much stronger between people who shared common passions. I think that very much disturbed her, but she knew I was serious about not being a threat to her village so she was content to let me free, but keep a close eye on me.

The dream continued on for quite some time. One night I went to a dance, like our English Country Dancing, except I had to learn the calls in a different language. I tried to dance with the cat women, as most of them could tell me the right (or left) way to go. It was a lot of fun, and everyone had good humor about my lumbering attempts to be graceful.

Another evening we had a huge bonfire and barbecue with story telling. Again I had to have "translators" for several of the stories. I showed my hippo photograph and described the San Diego Zoo. I tried to draw a picture of a giraffe, and that got everyone laughing.  I worked with the dogs, including the feral mom.

Eventually the dog and I were out working with the police, tracking large animals who'd broken into some chicken coops, or chasing after a lost child, or just patrolling the village after dark with my hostess. However, I never rode her like the police rode her grown puppies. It suited us fine. (It was then that I noticed that I was easily fourteen inches taller than any of the villagers, and bigger than all but the blacksmiths and warrior types.) I had little trouble keeping up with the pack, even when they were running. (They were a little faster, but I could run far longer.)

At some point my hostess actually paid me, and then told me about the kingdom'c bright city center, where there were rumors of magic looking glasses like my own, and people who know how to make them work again. I wasn't sure mine would fully recover from the water damage, but when I powered it up, it did come up, and there was no crackling. Still no signal, though. I agreed that a trip to the capitol was probably in order, so we spent my wages on outfitting me and the dog for travel. I was amazed when she allowed me to put a puppy backpack on her, but she seemed to be excited about the trip, too.

This was the point where I woke. I really didn't want to, as I wanted to find out more about this interesting world.

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