Monday, February 13, 2006

Reverie Redux

Yesterday, half-way through a post complaining about the over-use of the Significant Dream as a plot device, I remembered I had done the same particular thing.
Used a dream.
Nothing like being a pharisee, is there?
Mea culpa.
Therefore it's only fair that I put the section up.
Besides, Bonnie told me too.

Just after my Damie returned from the 12th c. and contrempts with the Family Dragon (the Sockburn Worm), she interfers with a suicide bomber. As a result of that scramble, bruised and a little battered, she has undergone interrogation, received some medical attention, been given a sedative, and is under police guard in her hotel room, asleep.

"Still later, he received an agitated call from the policewoman who replaced Brimley. Dr. Tempest seemed in some distress. She was having difficulty restraining her.

Connors found Damie thrashing about and calling out in the throes of an obvious nightmare, and the woman unable to quiet her.

Instinctively, having reached himself many nights for comfort to that side of the bed that once held a warm body, only to find it empty and cold, John put the dithering woman aside and cradled Damie firmly in his arms.

With a tenderness he thought he had forgotten, he rocked and soothed her until she quieted.

Damie fought the wyvern in her dream. The writhing coils tightened and tightened; and she was trapped, until the suffocating coils dissolved into protecting ones that held her surely; and the dragon's face that had been Daoud al Zaim's became John Connors' face.

The dragon repeated, over and over, in a deep, dark voice, "It's all right, Damie love, you're quite safe now...It's over...It's all right..."

It was a lie, she knew. But it had been so long since she had been held tenderly that she was comforted by it. So she laid her head on the dragon's chest, and with a sigh like a little child, slept again."

Anonyma: A demi-modaine, especially if a high-flyer, ca. 1860>.

the (her) Antipodes:(1) the female pudend; late 19th c.>; (2) the backside; since about 1840.

Apartments to let: (with have) (1.)brainless; silly; from early 1860; (2) In 18th.c. descriptive of a widow {one assumes that what's empty here is not her brain.}


Sandra Ruttan said...

I don't necessarily think its unfair to use a dream as a clue to the dreamer about something they're trying to work out.

The truth is, our subconscious mind continues to work while we're sleeping, and sometimes I've gone to bed thinking about one problem and woken up with a solution.

The first time I remember reading of the "dream" thing was when I was a kid. I was a fan of the Great Brain series, and in the book Me and My Little Brain the boy talks about his older brother (the Great Brain) explaining how if you go to sleep thinking about a question, you'll wake up with the answer.

Which he does. I don't remember a description of the dream, but its been a long time.

Of course, my dreams are usually just as bizarre as me, so they wouldn't help much in a story, but our minds are complex and I think its entirely possible the brain will be working through issues while we sleep.

If only it would do the taxes and budget then too.

Bernita said...

Perhaps you've hit on an escape clause, Sandra.
If the dream is for the dreamer, not obviously directed at the reader.
And it is true that our subconscious not only strings together the bits and pieces of our days and thoughts, it also sometimes works on solutions.
Sometimes one can also direct it to do so.

Sela Carsen said...

Shame on you, Bernita. You had me scared. I thought you were talking about half a page or more of italicized dream weirdness. This is great! This is fine! This is a sharply drawn "beat" that gives us more insight into Damie, as opposed to self-aggrandizing, "look what a deep person I am" dreaming.

Don't scare me like that.

Ric said...

That doesn't count as a dream. Really, Bernita, it doesn't. A real dream sequence would take us into her dream rather than let us observe from this splendid vantage point.
For all your fussing, this is masterfully done. Drugged up, injured and disoriented. That's not a dream, but it still shows us character and action.

Savannah Jordan said...

I liked it Bernita: the pacing, the comparison/contrasting of the dream dragon/real life Connors. There is nothing here to claim culpability for, except a well written scene.

Rick said...

I agree with Sela and Ric; this passage is sailing under false colors. It is barely if at all a "dream sequence" in the usual sense.

The problem with dream sequences in general - which this is not - is that they are just like the dream sequences in old musicals, sort of a Disneyland special effects ride.

Bernita said...

Thank you,dear Sela and Savannah, my Ric and Rick.
You overwhelm me.
I was not playing games.
I honestly was afraid I violated what I had so blythly condemned in others and was feeling rather cheap and small about it.
I kept thinking, "well, at least it's short."
Thank you.

Erik Ivan James said...

One word Dear Gal: Brilliant.

Bernita said...

No that, Erik, but thank you.
Two words: Dear Guy.

Anonymous said...

That's a nice moment in that piece--a tender interraction. I think a dream here or there is fine. Just not the "it was all just a dream" variety.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Bernita, that was masterfully done! I like how it was short and succinct. Does that really qualify as a dream? Do I get a hint that Damie, subconsciously feels safe and protected by John Connors?

I forget to say it often enough, but the coat hangers crack me up!

Gabriele C. said...

I agree. that's not a pesky dream thingie, that's a very good scene.

A dream thingie would be: And then the walls of the room dissappeard and Damie stood on the shore of the lake. The surface rippled, grew into waves ..... [add at least two pages her fighiting a dagon with shifting faces). *grin*

Bernita said...

Thank you, Jason, I am relieved.
No, none of the "it was all a dream," - I felt I had enough straining of credulity with the time travel thingy without adding that dimension.

And you and Bonnie are right about what I hoped to establish.
John is the hero of the piece, not a character from the past. I deviated from the genre decidedly there.

Thank you, Bonnie. Your blog jokes crack me up every morning - then I run downstairs and tell them to my husband and gleefully watch him spew his coffee.He enjoys them too.

Bernita said...

That's good!
La Dame du lac!
Maybe I should rethink my prejudice and steal it...
If I didn't want to avoid the fantasy Dream Scheme, your version would have been perfect!

ivan said...

Well, Bernita, if you don't steal it, I will.
Shades of The White Hotel!

Mark Pettus said...

Not bad at all, Bernita. No wonder agents are starting to query you.


Bernita said...

That sounds sarcastic - and mean.

Mark Pettus said...

Oh, good lands, No. I was referring to Agent Kristen's blog. I had just read that she may have accidently sent a query to you, when I came here and posted. I apologize for any confusion. I wouldn't dream of being mean to you. Sarcastic, maybe, but never mean.

Bernita said...

It was a weak joke, Mark, between KirstEn and me over the accidents that sometimes happen.
KirstEn is a very nice writer, but she is not Agent Kirstin.

Mark Pettus said...

See how things happen. I missed the transposition of the i and the r, and you somehow missed that I adore you.

By the way, it was a good joke. I fell for it.

Bernita said...

Charming. Sweet.So sweet. So impossible.
"Men were deceivers ever."

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