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Flight and Fetters



Entry for the "Sweet Dreams" contest (Article for this contest is here...)

WIPs, sketches, and studies for this thing are now posted on my blog, if you're curious. (I got a little carried away on this...)

So. The theme of the contest is dreams that are maybe borderline nightmares. Well, I suppose a lot of my dreams would qualify, a lot of them feature some combination of the absurd and dreadful... And I have hundreds and hundreds of dream notes kicking around. Hundreds. So picking ONE dream wasn't easy.

However - this one had a nearly perfect balance between the lyrical and the tragic, and a plot that almost made sense. (And gobs of melodrama, of course - typical dream-style.)

And having done this, I'm sorely tempted to do a series... There's a lot more scenes from this dream alone I want to illustrate. (And there's a lot more weirdness where this came from... :o )

Ludicrously long description of ludicrously epic dream follows, and no, I'm not making any of that up, that whole shebang was indeed the actual dream (it was a humdinger...)

Dream of 4/29/99 - "The King of the Sea"
I and my companions are entrusted to guard the realm. We attend the launching ceremony of the infant prince, who is to be sent across the sea to join his parents. Neptune rises from the sea, huge, with skin as red as coral, to give his blessing to the voyage. The prince is then borne across the sea on a pillow of flowers carried on the shoulders of four tall bearers who stride through the waves. But halfway across the sea, the prince slips from his cushion and sinks. The bearers don't notice his absence until they've nearly reached the royal pavilion. Alas! what can they do? They can't face the King and Queen without the Prince! Just then, two red figures rise from the waves and replace the prince on his flowery pillow, completely unharmed; and so the prince is duly presented to his parents, thanks to the servants of Neptune…

I and my companions stay at the house of the Good Witch. Some of us recognize the witch currently in residence as one who had once been an evil witch, but she claims to have become a good witch. We accept her as our hostess, despite our suspicions of her, and make ourselves uneasily at home. Later, one of our companions, the fair one, goes wandering in the garden. As he is lost in reverie, the evil witch (yes, she's still evil) sends forth some of her evil minions to kill him: poisonous snakes and toads and lizards. These lurk amid the greenery, waiting to strike surreptitiously. But just as a particularly venomous snake detaches itself from a branch and slithers towards its intended victim's neck, a hand emerges from the shrubbery and seizes it. The serpent strikes at the hand – and is absorbed into it. The hand belongs to the true Good Witch, who has returned after a long absence. She drifts through the garden, asleep and decked with flowers. As she drifts, she sings, charming all the venomous creatures to her and absorbing them into her skin…

The evil witch, having been exposed for what she is, decides on immediate revenge. She summons the hordes of evil underground goblins who have, for ages, been plotting a massive invasion of the upper world. The goblins send forth a great stone fortress out of the earth. My three brothers are trapped within, and I barely escape by clinging to a makeshift platform borne by seabirds. The goblins fire on me with their massive arrows and destroy my platform; I ride away on the back of a seabird. The goblins shoot my seabird, and I am imminently doomed to fall into the sea. But at that moment, I rediscover my power of flight. I swoop back to the fortress and strike its highest tower with a magical blade. The tower cracks, and disintegrates into a double spiral. I seize two of my brothers before they fall from the disintegrating fortress and mount them on seabirds, that they may fly away with me. But alas! My youngest brother has been manacled to the fortress floor, and I cannot loose his bonds. I watch in horror as the entire fortress sinks back into the earth and into the sea, taking my brother with it. In despair, I leap into the abyss after the fortress, hoping to rescue my brother…

As soon as I have entered the abyss, my two free brothers crown me with the crown of Neptune. Am I to be lord of the sea, then? My skin begins to turn as red as coral, and barnacles cling to me. Then, amid the laughter and mockery of goblins, my youngest brother rises from the abyss. Alas, my brother, but not my brother! He has been changed, and become half-demon. He begs me to kill him, as only death can free him from his demon form. But, as he is half-demon, he must also try to kill me. He rises in a half-cobra shape, laughing demoniacally as I prepare to defend myself…
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the-arkz's avatar
Congratulation for being winner on sweet dreams? contest
here [link] is the prize as I promised before