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ID FLOWERS

Dreamed 1989/10/8 by Chris Wayan

The villagers warned me to avoid the Krel ruins, especially the graveyard. Especially after sunset. They say "The flowers there make dreams come true--they killed their creators with Monsters From The Id." I've heard the full tale; what came true weren't wishes--those tame beasts of the conscious. What killed the Krel were dreams come true. Real, raw dreams made physical, stalking the night, like tigers loose in your house.

Still, the Krel died out eons ago. And you know it's time to stop listening when farmers get Freudian. I climb the hill.

It's quiet enough up here, in the clear blue evening. The flowers really are as big as advertised: one gravestone has a single bloom a good three yards wide! Six petals, pale blue shot with cream and rose. I ignore the warnings and walk up close. Seems to be a multimedia device: each petal is a large, irregular screen! But where do you input? Find a slot in the stalk. I tear a page from my sketchbook and slip the drawing in, hoping it'll scan and appear above, but it falls right out.

Then the plant wakes. A deep hum, and flowerlobes start to squirm. Like a sleepy octopus! I shiver, scared. What if it grabs me? A second nearby flower also stirs. Oh, great. A whole forest of giant flycatchers, and I'm the fly. Line drawing of a unicorn

Lines appear on the petal-screens. Unicorn sketches! It DID read the page I tried to input.

Then... other pictures start to appear. A photo of me feeding in the page. Then, an image of the flower devouring me! I flinch back but then faces of weirdly beautiful spirit women appear. Dragons, cat-people... Slowly I see it has no agenda, it shows me my memories, my fears, my dreams, and especially... desires. The images get stronger, solider by the minute. I know that if I stay they'll become real!

Krel flowers aren't imagers, but factories--printers. Dream-setters!

No wonder the villagers fear them. My deepest nightmares will come true. This is how the ancient Krel must have died--they built these devices to realize their desires, but forgot about Monsters From The Id. The first night, they'd have gone up in a holocaust of dreams come true.

Yet... I'm not scared. Not very, anyway. The only frightening image in it was the reflection of my own flash of panic. Most of what recurs in the screens are unicorns and animal people! Wolf girls, otter girls...

I don't know why, but the fact is, my Monsters from the Id look... kinda nice.

I stand my ground and wait. I'll let my dreams come true.

THE NEXT MORNING

The dream is based on "Forbidden Planet", a Freudian 50s sci-fi film based in turn on Shakespeare's "Tempest": Dr. Morbeus (Prospero) is an archeologist who lives alone with his daughter (Miranda) and robot servant (Ariel) on the dead world of the Krel, aliens who built vast generators that materialized their thoughts and desires. But they forgot about dreams, and died the first night, under the claws of (here comes Caliban) "Monsters from the Id!"

The dream of the Id flowers is saying this deeply American suspicion of dreams still affects me. Other Ids may or may not be monstrous; but on the whole, MY monsters are friendly! I can let out my dreams and urges--they're no scarier than human beings.

Less.

The only puzzling thing is... why was my dream-realizer a huge blue flower filled with faces? Nothing like that in the film.

I get up and paint the blue flower on the computer, though it comes out purpler than the dream. Put faces and unicorns in the petals, grainily emerging as the flower wakes. Grotesque graveyard. Crude, but powerful. To me anyway.

I wake a blue cyberflower in an alien graveyard, and images from my Id start materializing.

TWO DAYS LATER

In art class, my old friend Edith shows a picture she painted on the night of my dream. Of a giant blue flower turning into a face.

Oh. The psychic monster the villagers wanted me to fear was... me.

Telepathic flowers from the Id.

small blue flower small blue flower small blue flower small blue flower small blue flower



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