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Jay Lake
Date: 2010-06-13 05:39
Subject: [personal] Still dreaming of a zombie apocalypse
Security: Public
Tags:dreams, personal
Another one for the dream log. This was actually Friday night/Saturday morning, but yesterday was so utterly crazed that I never got around to writing it out. I remember it now mostly because I spent some time describing it to my sister in conversation.

I'm in a small town, deep in the American west. It's completely deserted, and rather trashed, as if a small horde of looters had passed through briefly on their way to somewhere more interesting and hadn't bothered to settle in for any serious arson or destruction of property.

I know some rules about this world in my dream, as if I'd been there a while. For example, you can secure a building against zombies but it requires a fair amount of quasi-magical ritual to Seal each exit and window. This means if you screw up and open a door, simply closing and relocking it isn't enough. You have to ritually re-Seal it. In the dream, I'm a visitor, a refugee, and I don't know which rituals work in this place. This means anything I touch I can screw up, leaving the way open for screaming, mindless death.

Another rule I know is that the only places of safety are defended smaller towns — big enough to hide behind walls, small enough to be able to tell when something's gotten behind your walls with you. You don't want to defend Manhattan or even Peoria, you want to defend Radiator Springs. In order to get from place to place, you have to move very fast, so there's an irregular economy of people driving old hot rods at insane speeds along the remains of the Interstates. Towns on windy two-lane blacktops are toast, and have been abandoned, leaving a very limited collection of safe spots strung like flawed pearls on the concrete strings of American highways.

I'm in this place to meet someone who will take me somewhere else safer, more populous, on whatever undefined dream quest I am pursuing. But my contact is missing, their fortified ranch house quiet, innocent of even cats or roaches. I wander around the house, calling for them, forget myself and open the Sealed door to the garage. It's a potentially fatal mistake, one I cannot repair. I am clumsy in this special, quasi-magical way, breaching Seals and finding only dust, not even bloody skeleton bones.

I am alone, my ride is not coming, and I have opened all the gates of my last refuge.

Weirdly, this being one of my dreams, the entire time I have a soundtrack of generically dippy pop music, sort of like listening to Alanis Morissette while butchering hogs. That is somehow the most threatening of all.

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zxhrue: please do not put the bones
User: zxhrue
Date: 2010-06-13 14:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:please do not put the bones

whoa. don't even need to flesh this one out much, just clean it up and send it off as a short. 'course if you do decide to expand upon it, I know I'll read it.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2010-06-13 14:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
But how would I get the pop music in? :p
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User: jtdiii
Date: 2010-06-13 15:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
An old radio, or sound system.

Pick a song that would act like a brain worm and comment on it. The users will mentally add the music every time you mention hearing snippets of it and on how inappropriate it is.
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zxhrue: please do not put the bones
User: zxhrue
Date: 2010-06-13 16:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:please do not put the bones

well, if you have hot rods you have at least some infrastructure for making electricity. and if people are defending small relatively isolated towns, having am or ham radio to be able to communicate with other enclaves will be a big asset in terms of both information sharing, and community identity. not being able to play one's own music (because using enough juice to broadcast is not the same as every-one running their own sound system) would make listening to wastelands radio that much more omni-prevalent, thus a source of constant background music.

then it's just a matter of the dj so far as selection goes :)
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