I had a dream last night. You know how sometimes you have those hyper-real dreams that you seem to forget in the morning but then they come back to you in the afternoon? Yeah, one of those.
I’m not sure why I want to blog about it, but it seemed fun. Well, for a given definition of fun.
I’m at my parent’s house, on the border between Sydney and “The Bush” (commonly referred to as the “Outback”). Since it is about 50 miles from anywhere of note, the house is actually pretty big. The living room is on the second floor, and has a lot of windows looking out over the government reserve; a park of about 5 acres that is practically inaccessible to vehicles. We used to play a lot there as kids; our dad cut a hole in the fence and installed a shitty gate so we could get out there easily.
So, in the dream, I’m at home. Somehow I’m watching an old CRT in what used to be my room. I think it is now a room for my brother’s mother-in-law. That’s not part of the dream; my brother and his wife and child still live with Mum, and his mother-in-law lives in our house. I also think she has over stayed her visa so that is a bit shit.
I wasn’t watching anything important, and then all of a sudden, the emergency broadcast system kicks in. There’s those three computerised squeals of data, followed by the two-tone emergency tone.
“Warning,” a man’s voice says, reading the text displayed on the screen. “A long-range missile launch has been detected. Expect impact within 24 minutes.”
I’m not quite sure what to make of it. There are a heap of prank videos like this on YouTube so I figure it is a joke. I stroll casually into the living room, but then I see the flash (we’re working on Inception timelines here, after all). The room shakes like a mid-level earthquake, but most things are fine.
I take stock and find that everything is ok. Somehow, I know that my family is safe. No idea how, just dream logic happening there.
I turn on the TV and some vapid talk-show is on. Something like the “Today” show, where there are about 3 anchors that engage in meaningless conversation about current affairs. But this time, they’re talking about the nuclear exchange that has just happened.
I can’t remember exactly what they said, but apparently it was just a limited exchange. They discuss it like it is celebrity gossip. Or maybe that cheerful, “playful” tone that those hosts have is the only way they know how to read the news. Who cares. All I know is that a missile exploded close enough to me to have at least seen the flash and feel the shockwave. I figure they were aiming at the RAAF base about 15km from my house (although, in the dream, the geography is a little off). Due to the dream’s geography, we are spared due to being on the lee side of a ridge.
And then, it hits me. This will be my one chance to get a photo of a mushroom cloud. I nearly trip over myself trying to get my camera, and rush back into the living room to get my photo.
I can see the cloud through the window; now white against the azure sky. I try to take the photos from inside the house, but I can’t get a good angle. I head out onto the balcony, but then I see it. Black vapour, clinging to the roof of the car port and pooled in the corners of the balcony. Although I know that it is inanimate, my fear gives it animal-like qualities, making it feel like something out of a Stephen King novel. The fallout has arrived, in heavy, oily clouds. The yammering hosts on the TV start talking about how the rain is coming, and that you need to avoid it, but somehow I can already see the radiation creeping around my house. I snap the photo of the fading mushroom cloud and head inside.
That was when my alarm woke me up. I’m not sure why I had such a reaction to the “fallout”. Radiation typically doesn’t scare me. Like bumps in the night, once you’ve looked under the bed (or in a textbook) then your fear starts to fade. But, for some reason, not this time.
Anyway, that was my dream. I have heard that it is still at least three weeks before I get my cover, and I am re-living the NOART angst of Katawa Shoujo all over again. Still, waiting for the cover, just like paying for the editing or pressing my friends into doing QC readings will hopefully make it worth it for you. But, because I’m such a nice guy, I have a surprise for you. I haven’t asked if I can post this but at this point, jet-lagged and alone in a German city, I just don’t care. I want you guys to see that there is something coming, and to start getting excited about it. And, so long as my left pinkie can hold out, I’m going to start writing “Zemlya – Origins” shorts; little one-shot introductions to the characters in Zemlya. The first, I guess, is already up as “Arctic Gale 2 – chapter 1,” but I have a few more ideas. Edit – I’ve done Kate’s now. I think now that these should be read together to create a better picture of Zemlya.
I’ve also decided that if I can get 5,000 downloads this year then I’m going to post A Runner’s Afternoon 3. But that’s for later.