Grimoire and Pact
Dreamed 2013/8/4 by Chris Wayan
I edit The Sian Expedition, a narrative of antarctic exploration on Kakalea, a world where the people look like centauroid Barbies. I struggle to make the ship's log look handwritten but legible on the Web--not easy. Fonts are either pretty but illegible, or legible but clunky, or too rare to be on most browsers.
My sister and her boyfriend visit. He shows me his newest abstract art--stronger than the last series.
Mike drops by. Invites me to a Grateful Dead festival in McLaren Park with a very good cover band. I say I'll bike, but then don't. Wind kicked up, fog rolled in, & I suddenly feel tired of people, want quiet.
Sculpt a couple of centauroid dancers who I'll pose in dioramas and photograph for Sian Expedition. Add details, work on (loose) tail. Still unsure of Spira's fur-pattern. Filia: faint stripes. Try a test diorama for Filia dancing on some fake fur...
Finish Michelle Tea's Mermaid in Chelsea Creek. Grim little town, narrow lives. Sophie's mom was so damaged she really can't love her much. Even Sophie's best friend dumps her in favor of the first boy who shows any interest. She meets her longlost dad; he's a drunken wreck. Her grandma's the one who wrecked him--and Grampa, who she turned into a dog. Literally. This ain't magic realism. It's the (polar) opposite of my Kakalea, which, despite its eco- and techno-poverty, is socially a utopia.
Or at least better than New Jersey.
Dream 1: The Slobber Family
Rare plants are found producing strange sugars that are toxic in too-large doses. Humans can metabolize small amounts, but only after a lot of slow exposure.
I meet an extended family that's immunized themselves over years. Or maybe they've acquired weird bacteria that can metabolize the sugars. They indulge in a lot of unsanitary practices to pick up new bacteria--they constantly kiss and slobber and lick each other like big dumb dogs, to share flora.
So of course they all wanna lick me & kiss me. And I'm so lonely and horny I'm tempted to let two of the family daughter do that... even though I know that to outsiders they're toxic.
Wake, feverish, heart pounding. It's 4 AM. Write the dream; back to sleep.
DREAM 2: Grimoire and Pact
I inherit a grimoire. Fairly enlightened as these books go--the otherworld isn't satanic, just tricky. A methodical guide full of cautions about summoning fairies and working magic--well, commanding fairies to do it, it turns out. Claims the only magic humans have is to bind the fay and exploit them! That doesn't seem right. My whole family has second sight. We're not ordering fairy slaves around.
Though our house is infested with red worms I know are larval fairies. Like insects, fairies go through multiple stages--egg, larva, pupa, nymph, adult. I go round and check their progress. Two are still larvae, but three matured enough to attain their pupal, second-stage form: graceful horses, some winged, some unicorns, about Barbie-size. One of those is on the cusp of the third stage: she even occasionally shifts into a nymph, like a slender teenage human or oversize Victorian flower-fairy, tall as my thigh. Interesting--she has wings as a nymph (common, but not universal) but reverts to a horse--not a pegasus or unicorn. One stage doesn't predict the next, then.
In both the equine and nymph forms are adorable. In fact they turn me on! Plus they're strong enough now to work a lot of magic if I command them. But do I have the right to? I know the fay themselves often bind others as servants and even fuck them; sex is just a favor or game. I guess that make sense when life is long and fertility's low. But slavery and rape still repel me.
There's one more mature fairy too, a girl I rather like, though I'm less strongly attracted to her. So I try the grimoire's initial chapter on her instead, with this modification: I try to immunize her against compulsions she feels are wrong, including my own orders! Not full freedom--for all I know, these fairies are predatory or will run wild without some binding--but I give her a strong veto over dangerous commands. Long talk with her about it in the kitchen. She lies on the floor. Seems okay with my caution--it's better than any human wizard's treated her before. Not that that's saying much.
She acknowledges humans have reason to fear fairy glamors, but says it seems humans in larger groups are far more susceptible to bad judgment and mob mentality. I agree--dense cities get crazy. And yet...
San Francisco's crazy, a place of crazy refugees fleeing worse craziness, and yet we do have a modus vivendi based on constitutional ideas of liberty and respect for all. We'd call fairies people, even if some do have compulsions to prey on humans. So, after all, do lots of humans. Learn to defer it--trade for your pleasures. Learn to restrain the urge to grab, in exchange for the vast benefits of public safety and community.
But there's a subtler issue she may already be thinking of. Slavery's common in Faerie; what happens if fairies do grasp the principles of human civics? If they do here, will it subvert and destabilize the rulers of Faerie? Will they retaliate, subvert us? I may be enlisting these fairies in a radical venture with big risks--but equally big payoffs, too.
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