TRESPASSERS IN MALANCHAI
Dreamed (early?) 1996, by Hyal (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This dream happened when I was in the 4th grade. Before I tell the dream, let me warn you now that it's really creepy--not the dream itself, but where it came from.
I dreamed I lived on another world similar to the earth. I was a part of a city of bastets [lionlike bipedal people, resembling the Egyptian goddess Bastet]. In fact, I was one of the city patriarch's two sons. My father was a proud lion bastet whose strength was unmatched and had led our city to victory in many battles against the lizard people. My mother, a proud, beautiful bastet lioness gave birth to a set of twins. My brother was born strong and healthy, with a full mane, the mane of a king. I, however was born weak and maneless--a prince who could never be king. While I was growing up, my father favored my brother and trained him to become a magnificent king, while I was always forced to do chores. Although my father and mother were ashamed of me because I was maneless, my brother and I were very close. When my father would teach my brother how to wrestle and spar and fight like a true king, my brother would pass that knowledge on to me. So, while our parents shunned me, my brother and the general populace still respected me as a prince.
After a fighting lesson from my brother, I often left town, loping into the wilderness to test my new skills. My ultimate goal was to hunt a Mahagabeast--a 4800-lb creature with a bad attitude. It could easily kill anything but the strongest of bastet warriors, i.e. my father. I never found one; I did fight creatures like Darylbeasts or Drakakas. While these beasts were dangerous, defeating one would not win my father's respect.
After each one of these adventures, I would sit and relax alone on my favorite rock, far from town, looking out over the sea.
One day, while relaxing on my rock, I saw a small boat with a wishbone-shaped mast and red sails approaching in the distance. Intrigued, I focused my attention on it and watched it as it went through the Malanchai Ruins. In accordance with the laws of old, the Ruins are forbidden to any bastet not of royal blood to enter. I was royal blood, so I decided to follow the boat into the Ruins to find out who was on it. Standing atop a tall ruined pillar, I observed as three female creatures sailed through the ruins. The females looked similar to bastets, but not exactly like us. I assumed that our races were distant cousins. As the boat went deeper into the ruins, I decided not to follow because I deemed the explorers no threat.
In fact, when I returned to my city, I never said a word about these strange trespassers in Malanchai, not even to my brother.
Life went on as before. A few months later the lizard people attacked; my father and brother led our people to battle once more. I was told not to come, but I defied their orders, and when the two armies met on the battlefield, I stood out in the middle of the field unarmored and weaponless, and challenged the leader of the lizard army: "I am a prince. In defeating me, you'll defeat the heir to the throne." The lizard chieftain agreed. The fight was fierce; I won't go into details. In the end I killed the leader of the lizard army and gained the respect I wanted. My brother still became king; the dream ended with the birth of his son some time later.
The whole dream was so long and intense it was like another real life; but one thing stuck out. The part in which I saw the boat was extremely strange. It literally felt as if another dreamer was exploring the Ruins in 'my' dream. I've searched since the 4th grade for a reason why I felt this in the dream, and even now as a sophomore in college, I remember my dream very vividly.
I believe I've found the reason why that part of the dream felt so strange. I just read your dream Fishergirls on the World Dream Bank. I believe you dreamed you were one of the three sailors on the boat in MY dream. Your entry says you dreamed Fishergirls in 1996 too! Chances are that they were dreamed around the same time. What are the odds? I think it's a miracle that I found your dream.
I agree the parallels in content are startling: Fishergirls has three furry female sailors on a small boat with a wishbone mast and red sails, exploring a maze of sunken ruins on an alien world. And the dream-styles are similar: "Fishergirls" was epic too, lasting weeks of subjective time, and felt utterly real--a whole life. The dreams' issues are also parallel. In "Fishergirls", I too was a misfit, was seen as ugly/gender-inappropriate, and felt unloved and unappreciated by my family; I set out to become a hero, just as he did. The only differences: the Fisher culture was obsessed with discovery and exploration, not fighting, and my two best friends sailed with me; while among the Bastets, Hyal had only his brother for support and had to fight his climactic battle quite alone. But note that in both dreams help comes from peers, not older mentors. It's a do-it-yourself world.
There's a slight but intriguing time-discrepancy: Hyal is pretty sure he dreamed this in early 1996; I dreamed Fishergirls that July. It makes me wonder if we were both picking up real adventures, both of fisher-cats and bastet princes, on some distant world. But Hyal apparently got hot-breaking news while I only picked it up several months after their real voyage. Obviously, other models are possible--though not, I think, pure coincidence; that's contorting chance pretty far!
But imagine it--are dreamers all over the galaxy dropping in on events, living them vicariously in first person, though not always quite in realtime? Is someone, or many sleeping someones, living your life along with you right now? Now that (given the embarrassing things we do when we think we're alone) is a bit creepy.
I don't find the dream-sharing itself creepy, though. It cheers me up. Doesn't it imply that dreams are real, that dreamworlds are real? In fact I'm beginning to think half the dreamers in the oneirosphere go around bonking into each other. Maybe we need traffic lights.
But if that's true, then, "'twas ever thus". The only real change is that now we're catching a few of these weird collisions, because of the Web! You couldn't compare a million private dream-journals, but surely dream-trespassing happened all along... unnoticed.
--Chris Wayan 2006
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