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Bumbree Syndrome

Dreamed 1984/3/14 by Chris Wayan

The Wicked Wizard of the West locks us in an attic, turns over an hourglass, and tells us we'll be killed when the sands run out. The sort of thing you expect from him--he's the most powerful of us all, but he's always been cold... and by-the-book.

If I sound calm about our impending deaths, it's because Bumbree the Witch is working for him, and she's just not the Wizard's Henchman type. Her real job's running a cafe for us midnight folk, a place called the Mumbled Fox. Bumbree's fine at that, but this? She's a walking appetite--social, hungry, horny, and not too fussy. If we can't tempt or scare or fool old Bumbree, we hardly deserve to live. Dream: in the castle of the Wicked Wizard of the West, I use an umbrella as a crossbow, while Princess Chinch and the Witch Bumbree look on.

My friend Princess Chinchilla twitches her whiskers in worry. Willowy, gentle and shy, Chinni's just too refined to handle Bumbree. We need crudity--so it's up to me. I look round the attic in desperation, and amid the junk, spot a huge old umbrella. The rotting cloth has separated from the handle and the ribs. I reverse the bones, creating a shieldlike thing on an eight-foot handle. All the energy in the spring-open mechanism now has no resistance from the unfolding bell of the 'brella. There's nothing there to spring but the central shaft. We drag it to the window and I shout down to the Witch, "You think we're helpless against your magic, don't you! Watch THIS!" I push the unfolding-button. ZING! The inner shaft shoots through the window grille and out of sight. And from this tower, that's at least a mile--and it was still rising. My best guess: three miles to earth. This is a fearsome weapon!

And probably, to horny old Bumbree, exciting. How phallic can you get?

I ask Princess Chinch to find another stick--it hardly matters what kind, with this kind of kick behind it. We'll be ready for him. And he'll enter alone; for I know Bumbree, and she'll hang back... to kiss the winner's ass.

I wasn't quite right: Bumbree did have some honor. She tried to fight us. She transformed herself into a Fearsome Beast. But she's still Bumbree, and all I need do is tickle her. She likes petting too much; she can't snap at a source of pleasure! Suckered by comfort, Bumbree rolls over.

And the Wizard's no fool. Faced with an eight-foot crossbow that Bumbree warns him is no bluff, he backs down. Bumbree fawns and begs to be petted...

And thus, Princess Chinch is saved.

But then strange beings descend from the heavens--tall, cool aliens, with high bulging foreheads. They kidnap us, and make us fill out questionnaires. Questionnaires on our dreams. They explain that the Dream Universe is always here, and just as stable as our universe; we dreamers have the delusion it's unreal just because our experiences aren't very coherent. Apparently, though we land in different places each night and lose focus and wander even inside a single dream, each species of dreamer tends to land in one region of the dream universe. The Questioners, on the other hand, range very widely, kidnapping beings of many species, and forcing them to answer surveys. I'm not their first human subject, so they don't expect much dream-skill. They warn us "Do not leave: this place is far outside the dream-realm your kind can tolerate."

I have no real objection to filling out questionnaires instead of being tortured by wizards, but I'm insulted by their low opinion of me. I decide to show them. The testing demons give us a ten-minute juice break, but I don't just stretch and bitch like the rest. I sneak out.
Dream: I meet angels like photographic negatives, with black wings and silver hair.

I return an hour later, grinning. I tell them where I've been--their own native dream-realm. Just stumbled on it, it's true... nor did I stay long. Boring! So sober and smug. Academics...

So I flew on till I found a realm of air, where I met some weird angels: pale, pale skins and silver hair, but black, black wings. A cool look. I flirted...

The Questioners know these people, they seem impressed at last... and then they do it again! There's an all-woman cult that worships such angels, and believe in them so passionately they dream of them. So just because I'm a human woman, the Questioners assume I'm a cultist; they praise me as "admirably devout!"

Well, I'm learning. I'm learning to be pleased that they underestimate us. Sexist morons aren't as likely to be good jailors. I'll be leading a jailbreak--and this time, not just to explore the neighborhood.

Because these folks aren't worth hovering around.


Princess Chinchilla is the fragile, refined side of me, worth a little protection. A month earlier I'd dreamed I was an elegant little animal, maybe a chinchilla, living in a sort of adobe/sand castle with my dear friends, who all happened to be... sewer rats. They kept bringing me delicious overripe rat-treasures, like rotten eggs. I felt so torn! Break their hearts by spurning gifts of love, or eat them and get sick? For I just wasn't their species. What nourished them, poisoned me.

I'm not quite sure what this follow-up dream was teaching, beyond this: Quit taking crap. Including academic, expert crap. About dreams, and what's possible, and not.

"There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of..." But not many more. It's just that we forget what we dreamt--or discount it.



I stumbled on a photo of a chinchilla. Looked like a plump little long-tailed rabbit. Not at all what Princess Chinch looked like! She was more of a blend of ermine and fox. And so, in that earlier dream, was I.

LISTS AND LINKS: cross-gender dreams - cliche witches - royalty - mages - weird dream devices - guns & catapults - phallic symbols - dream humor - testing - dreams on dreams - cops and other intimidating authorities - angels - other worlds - a 2nd Lee Miller black/white reversal: Black Magic - that earlier dream where I was the Ermine

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