Monday, July 9, 2012

Dream Scribbles

I've been having these really vivid dreams lately for some reason. No idea why, but it happens every once in a while. The other day I dreamed of a Scottish/English fued set in Scotland in a time period somehwere between Dystopian and Sci-Fi. It had total story potential because a lot of the essential elements were in place, right down to a ticking time bomb (story device used to force a time restraint on the hero and raise the tension), a moral dillemma, and, of course, epic Scottish accents.

Last night I dreamed something on a slightly smaller scale, but it was still interesting. This time I decided to write it down, and just now I thought "hey, why don't I post it on my blog?" I'm a writer, after all. I really ought to post some of my writing.

So here it is. Since I was one of the characters in this dream, I wrote it in first person through my perspective. Feel free to comment on my writing style and such. I'm always open to critiques. ^.^

“King Arthur?
  He nodded, peering through the cracked shutter of the abandoned hovel. I moved next to him, catching a glimpse of the grey bearded king atop a steaming white charge.
  First villagers, and now a king. Had he done something more than just refuse to work under unfair conditions?
  “Why on Earth is he after you?”
  Benedict didn’t answer, and I dropped the matter. I could ask him later when we were either safely away, or sitting in the King’s dungeon with nothing else to do.
  I glanced at his face. His dark brows were lowered in a frown through which only a flicker of the pale green in his eyes showed through. Outside, the horses of the King’s guards snorted and nickered, but here inside the hovel, everything but the sound of our breathing was silent.
  Benedict’s gaze flicked to the door.
  He was tired of waiting. We’d been in here hiding for hours now, first from the villagers, and now….
  The king dismounted. He ordered his men to fan out and search the area. No doubt the villagers had told them which way we’d gone.
  We dropped down against the wall beneath the window. Thankfully, the door was still barred, with a little dirt that would need to be scraped away before it would open. We’d entered through an obscure hole at the back of the hovel. One which we’d also covered up. No one would guess we were in here unless they saw or heard us, and that was unlikely.
  I heard the King’s footsteps just outside the window, and watched his shadow obscure the sunlight peering in through the shutters. He stood there for a moment, and then—
  I flinched, my heart racing. Splinters rained over our heads as the bulk of the shutters flew into the room. I covered my head with my hands, forcing myself to hold my breath. I could feel King Arthur peering into our hiding place, right over our heads…. Beside me, Benedict didn’t move, didn’t breathe, just like me.
  At last I heard the King’s footsteps leave.
  Then I got an idea.
  “There’s a dimension portal not far from here.” I breathed, barely a whisper, looking to the side at him.
  His eyes narrowed a fraction. “You want me to—“
  “It’s the only escape we have.” I said. “And we have to go now.”
   Only a moment slipped past before he nodded. A bang sounded at the door, making us both start violently.
  What?? Why was the King trying to get in, he must know there’s no way we used the front door!
  My gaze swept over the interior of the hovel. If we ran now, Arthur’s guards would hear us and give chase. There was no way we could reach the portal before they grabbed us.
  A pile of cloth caught my eye. I darted over to it on silent footsteps as the King landed another kick on the door. Bits of dirt from the ceiling broke loose and littered the air and floor. I snatched up the cloth. Old monk’s habits.
  God be praised!
  I didn’t bother to see how they smelled, or felt, or even looked, but instead threw one to Benedict, and pulled the other one on over my head. Glancing down, I was relieved to see my figure was fairly well obscured. Otherwise this plan would have failed before it started. There weren’t any female monks, as far as I could remember.
  Rummaging through the one remaining habit, I also located a blanket, and a bunch of shredded rags. I motioned for Benedict to go lay on the dusty palate in the corner. He hesitated. I walked over and grabbed his arm, pulling him over and giving him a push. This time he complied, as the door to the hovel caved, shattering into the interior in chunks of wood and dirt.
  “Follow along.” I whispered to Benedict as he laid still, and pulled the hood of his habit over enough to obscure his face.
  I straightened and turned. The King ducked inside. He paused a moment, no doubt getting used to the reduced lighting. I didn’t wait.
  “What is the meaning of this?” I made my voice as low as possible, praying he’d be convinced it sounded like a—
  The King reached forward and shoved back my hood.
  There goes that idea.
  On reflex, I slapped his hand away. He would arrest me, anyways, if he knew what was really going on, so what was one more felony?
  “Kindly keep your hands to yourself.” I snapped. “And please tell me why you find it necessary to crush your way into a person’s place of rest?”
  “Who are you?”
  “My name is Hannah.” The name just slipped out. “I’m resting here to take care of this monk here.”
  The King’s gaze shifted past me to where Benedict lay motionless on the palate. I noticed how Arthur was stooping slightly to be able to fit in here with the low ceiling, and realized how much taller he must be than me. Judging by the size of his frame, too, he was much, much stronger than I, as well. Pretty much everyone was. I was used to it.
  “In case you’re worried, he is actually a monk.” I said. I wondered if he could hear my heart pounding. I tensed my muscles to keep from trembling, even though I didn’t feel very scared at the moment. “I borrowed this habit because it’s warmer than the cloak I was wearing.”
  I suddenly wondered why he didn’t recognize me. Surely the villagers had given him a description.
  It doesn’t matter.
  With a disbelieving glance, the king stepped towards Benedict’s bed. I moved in front of him. “Please, sir, he is very ill. For both your health and his, I would rather you gave him his space.”
  At this the king hesitated. I raised a brow expectantly.
  Arthur moved to straighten, most likely something his kingship was used to doing when presented with rather short, impudent females such as myself, but the ceiling prevented him from going any higher.
  “Have you seen two fugitives go by here while you’ve been tending to your…..patient?”
  I frowned in feined thought. “Fugitives?”
  “Yes.” He eyed me. I began to feel uncomfortable. If he made for Benedict, there was really no way I could stop him…. “A man and a woman. They’re both wanted by royal decree.”
  Oh, how exciting.
  “I’m afraid, sir, I’ve been busy tending to my friend here.” I replied after a sufficient moment of thought. “But I do recall someone very distinctly and unceremoniously tramping over the roof of this house about….three house ago, I believe. I thought perhaps it was some village children, for the villagers came searching a little while later. They didn’t come near the hovel, however, and I was not inclined to solve their problems for them. I have enough of my own.”
 “Well, then…” The King’s gaze once again lingered over Benedict.
  I forced myself not to look over, as well, to check and make sure nothing about him would give us away. No part of his tunic showing, no part of his face….
  I heard Benedict moan. My heart skipped. I turned, and walked over to him. Thankfully, the king stayed put. When he did move, his footsteps went away instead of closer. I ‘helped ‘ Benedict sit propped in the corner, and handed him my discarded canteen of wine.
  I think he’d expected water, because he coughed after taking a sip, and I caught the sharp look he gave me under his hood. I gave him one that told him to quite belly aching and play the part. I left him cradling the canteen in his hands, huddled in the corner with the hood of the habit properly hiding his face. He still coughed at intervals. I couldn’t tell if it was faked.
  When I turned around, the king was sitting by the doorway with his own canteen and the medieval equivalent of a cold meat sandwich (which was really just a hunk of bread and a hunk of meat) on the edge of his cloak beside him.
  I blinked. “What are you doing?”
  “I’m sorry, I should offer to share my lunch.” He held up the bread.
  I blinked again.
  He isn’t buying it.
  I wanted very much to throw something at him. But of course, that wouldn’t help anything.
  “Sir,” I said. “This is the house of a sick man. I find your trespassing on his privacy an intolerable thing.”
  King Arthur stopped chewing. The silence between us drew out until I thought for sure he’d figured out who we were, and was about to pounce.
  Outside, a soldier called his name.
  I waited. My brow raised. Wrong thing to do, but I couldn’t help it. The king rose slowly, almost bumping his head again, and walked out of the hovel. I watched him walk a good distance away to where the soldier stood who’d called for him. Several more soldiers joined the group. I had forgotten to count how many there were to begin with, so I wasn’t sure if this was all of them, or if there were still a few out hunting for us.
  “Come on.”
  Benedict was up in an instant, stripping the habit off. I pulled mine off, as well.
  “But what about—“
  “It doesn’t matter. He’s not buying it.” I said, looking at him. “We’ve got to run. Now.”
  He set his jaw, and nodded.
  If we could slip out right now while the king was occupied, while most of the soldiers weren’t looking for us, we might make it.
  Benedict made me go through the narrow opening first. I pushed the uprooted bush out of the way, ignoring the dirt that fell over my face as I did so, and slipped out into the sunlight sprinkling through the treetops. Benedict wriggled through after me, less graceful for he was both taller and bigger than me. But at the moment grace was the last thing we cared about.
  With a furtive glance at the surrounding trees, a desperate prayer that the king’s talk would take more than five minutes, and a glance at Benedict, I rose silently. He met my gaze with determination hard in his jade colored eyes.
  Then we ran.

That's all I have. I woke up after that. Possibly I'll post some more Dream Scribbles later, or I may even take this story and lengthen it of my own accord, turn it into an ongoing blog series. On the other hand, I still have For the Greatest Good to discuss with Dana to see if we could possibly turn that into a series I post on here.We'll have to see. Siani really likes Benedict as a character.

Also, I would encourage any writers out there -- and even non-writers -- to consider writing down dreams. Not necessarily exactly as they were, but shaped to make as much sense in the real world as they did in your dream world. You'd be surprised how much inspiration one can get from a dream.

Dia duit,

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