What Goes Around

I was a professional witness to a powerful Yakuza family based on Hawaii. For reasons absolutely unfathomable to me, an organised crime family needed me to be the witness to observe and confirm that the forms of Family justice had been properly observed, and punishment conducted in the proper manner.

I was accompanying the Oyabun's daughter, a young adult and already truly a member of her family. She was a machine, and I was entrusted to take care of her - not that she needed much caretaking, since she was a well-tempered killing machine, capable of handling any threat.

I witnessed as she cut off a man's little finger, with signet ring (not depicted, but worth more than double the price of the one illustrated above). She pulled off the ring, and disposed of it by catapulting it into the Pacific off the edge of a grassy, forested cliff. The finger was wrapped in a box and origami paper to be delivered to the Oyabun.

The Oyabun himself disposed of the boss of the nine-fingered man. For her crime of exposing the Family to the scrutiny of the authorities, the Oyabun took it upon himself to dispense justice in person, while sitting beside the boss.

She hardly felt the tanto slip between her ribs. The Oyabun might have been cutting fish to make sashimi, and there was hardly any blood on the blade when he handed it to me, wrapped in white silk, a single red spot spreading symbolically outward from the centre where the blade sat.

Lastly, her job done, the daughter remembered that she had a duty to perform, as well. We bowed deeply, mournfully, and then she calmly walked into a busy street and got run over by a bus.

It was a harrowing dream ... but it ended with superb irony, almost as if I were watching an episode of the Lenkov Hawaii Five-O reboot being played out as if on a screen. Steve and Danno had been taking some well-earned leave, and had gone out to sea to sink a few tins, shoot the breeze, and of course to catch some fish.

Steve landed a huge one; and it cut to later that evening, to where Steve was cutting up the fish to serve at a celebratory luau. He gutted the fish ... and the signet ring fell out onto his chopping board.

That concluded one of the oddest dreams I ever experienced.


Set Voice To Stun

I was at a SF convention, and the fans were out in force. I was an estabished author of science fiction books, and I'd started up some sort of book series about psychic agents in the far future.

The series was a tribute to the late James H Schmitz' Hub series, featuring an all-female cast of powerful agents, most notably Telzey Amberdon, a PSI 18 telepath: a true prodigy. My series was a homage to that, and it was set in my own shared universe.

So I was going up some stairs just off the main hall. Apparently, there were either more dealer rooms on the upper storey, or quarters for the guests. The stairs were brightly-lit, painted a creamy yellow, and there were crowds of students on the stairs.

I was on my way out when this drunken yahoo, looked like some sort of actor, came along and stood on the island halfway up the steps where they turn around, and began some sort of tirade at me about how science fiction was silly, made-up, kids' shit unfit for a proper consideration by the media, and how preposterous my ideas were.

I stood there a moment, as the moron actor went back to their stall. Then I just quietly went down the stairs. The young people on the stairs parted like the Red Sea to let me pass. They could see that I was pissed off mightily.

I found the halfwit's stall, and stood there, surrounded by his fans, and turned my voice volume to maximum.This is what I said ...

'Of all the asinine suggestions I have ever heard, the spurious claim that science fiction is an unworthy storytelling medium is the most absurd, the most specious, and the most lacking both in factual truth and necessary imagination.

'If it hadn't been for the incredible minds of authors such as Arthur C Clarke and Isaac Asimov, Mary Shelley and Ursula K LeGuin in imagining speculative futures, the world would be a far, far poorer place. People of all ages and genders got into solid, practical STEM careers on the back of science fiction.

'So many advances in engineering, space drives, robotics, artificial intelligence, medicine, biology, mathematics and technology only came about because some kid picked up a cheap pulp magazine, or read a book, or watched a show like Star Trek or Babylon 5, and dreamed of making their tech real - and then other kids saw their present day, and dared to dream of an even more wonderful future, and damn me again if more kids picked up those books or watched those shows, and wanted to make a future work for them, where there is BIPOC and ace and LGBT representation, and a Black woman can work on a Starship and not be a maid.

'Science fiction is the roadmap. STEM graduates are the travellers on the road, forging new roads, and don't you ever disparage a future of enfolding tech wonders that gave you your fucking job, you stultified wretch!'

I then turned to look at the absolutely silent hall. Every single face was turned to look at me as if I were wearing an octopus for a wig or something, but that's a dream for another day.

All I said at that point was to say 'Thank you for coming to my TED Talk,' followed by miming dropping a mic and walking out to thunderous applause.

I woke up at that point. I had to check to make sure I hadn't actually said any of that rant out loud in my sleep.


Moral Decision

I was tutoring a young girl in the ocarina. Her mother owned an occult store. We were all good friends, and she trusted me with the tutoring, mostly because I was (a) educational for the kid, (b) very good at tutoring.

I was in the store, buying a small crystal ball in a beautiful wooden case covered in a patterned fabric. The owner demanded £39.45, which I paid without hesitation because, you know, if you've got to dream, what's the point of dreaming of being broke?

I made my way home, and stopped halfway to drop in on the daughter. She offered to polish the crystal ball, and I waited.

And waited.

And waited.

It turned out that the kid was sitting on the thing, with no intention of handing it back to me, polished or unpolished. She then told me that she was going to phone her Mum and ask her if someone had stolen the crystal ball from her store.

So I picked up my own phone and called the mother instead. She rang the girl back and got her to let go of the item, at long last, so I could go home.

To my amazement, the girl turned up the following morning, on the stoop of my home - which basically looked like the railway station in town, only decommissioned and with the rails removed, and the land all around basically returning to grassland.

The girl turned up with her ocarina in hand, expecting me to tutor her.

I was faced with a moral choice, to forgive or to condemn. I forgave and told her to sit on the platform next to me, to begin the lesson.

When the mother called on me later, she asked me why I'd continued to give her daughter a lesson. I replied "One, I had a choice: if I'd cancelled all the lessons going forward, I'd have planted a bad memory in the daughter, one she would be looking back on and regretting the rest of her days. She might have done something rash on her way home, like throwing away her ocarina or even smashing it; and the kid showed a lot of promise, and I would not want to kill that creative spirit in her at the very time she was best poised to learn to be creative.

"Two, I didn't want to ruin her life like that. Not my place to be petty and vindictive.

"Three, the only person ever authorised to punish a child is the child's parent. Not my business to make the girl face the consequences of her mistake.

"Four ... I wanted to tell the girl a profound truth: all kids make mistakes. Most kids grow up in time and become adults, like me, like her mother ... but we never learn to not make mistakes, and in fact we make new mistakes, and bad things happen to both kids and adults even if we do not make mistakes, like rain or unexpected bills. The only difference being, we can all learn to love the rain, but only the adults worry about the bills, so that their kids never have to until they are adults, with kids of their own, and it'll be their turn to worry about the bills."

And on that note, the alarm sounded. I never got the mother's or the kid's reaction. But I hope I did well enough by them.


Ivy-Strewn Walls

I've had this dream before. It has never ended well.

In this dream, I'm part of a group hired to explore a mansion which has long been abandoned for unknown and mysterious reasons. Team A is exploring the interior; Team B, the exterior beyond the ivy-strewn walls, and my team, Team C, is exploring the grounds within the 40-foot walls.

My team has just completed our survey, with no answers, when one of the team says one of the most terrifying lines you will ever hear in any of my dreams.

'Hold on there. That's odd.'

General rule of thumb for my dreams. If I find it odd, it's generally going to be terrifying to everybody else.

The odd thing is a vertical crack in the western wall in the SW corner. It wasn't there before. By the time we get there, the crack has already opened out, and it turns out to be double gates, concealed by the ivy, opening inwards towards us.

Just beyond this set of gates is a broad set of forty stairs, leading up towards another wall way above us, and a set of huge double doors, apparently sealed shut. Probably with age.

Team A's leader, the overall leader of the mission, is busy within the interior. He instructs us over the walkie talkies to go up the stairs and see about trying to at least measure the doors, if not open them. I can't convey the scale of these doors enough - they are massive: you could fit two semi trucks through them, side by side, witn enough space for a third semi truck between them.

My team is almost at the top when Team B arrives at the foot of the stairs. Team B's leader looks up at us, and says this.

'I think you ought to come down from there. Don't go near that door. See, the thing is, we've gone all the way around the area outside these walls, and I can tell you that from the outside, there's no gates; no stairs, and certainly no big double doors.

'Just exterior walls, covered in ivy.'

At this point, there's a loud, deep clunk from the door. It's being opened from the other side ...


Laird of Hardnosed Ambition

I was attending a convention in another town. It was north of where I live - that was all I knew. It might have been Scotland. There were no landmarks to confirm, save that some of the walls looked like mediaeval fortifications.

I'd been in this place before - a dream I'd had a few months back. At that time, I was in the back of a taxi, trying to get to a castle - but the driver insisted on taking a long, circuitous route through crisscrossing streets laid out in an American square grid pattern like city blocks.

In this dream, I was at the castle, and I met a woman called Lorna. She had short, dark hair, an oval face, and she was just an inch or two shy of six feet. She said that she'd come to the convention to meet the guests, and she rattled off some former stars of Game of Thrones and one or two of the extras who'd turned up in Star Trek: Picard as XBs. The actors Isa Briones, Michelle Hurd, and Santiago Cabrera were named, which somehow made sense - if they had been there, chances are I'd have forked out the heavy pile of dosh to have booked this con.

I got the general impression that this fan-run media convention had cost me a pretty penny, and that for my money there were all sorts of guest perks available such as nice hotel gifts laid out for visitors - I'd snatched up all of their 1Tb thumb-sized flash drives and microSD cards, but I'd discreetly turned up my nose at the cigars and champagne.

It was the last day of the con, and delegates were given a short break of two hours between panel discussions to go out and visit the town. The guest celebrities had been whisked away on a short tour of the historic town, so there was little to do but to go out in the autumn sunshine.

Lorna came up to me and asked if I could join her. There was a part of the town she had always wanted to go to. It looked like a row of bungalows to me. I lost Lorna somewhere, and sat on a low wall opposite one of the bungalows to wait for her. A delegate of the hotel approached one of the flats, looked at me and said "I'm not sharing," and went in - there were two scantily-clad female models, sex workers whom I'd seen earlier at the convention, doing some sort of commercial cosplay as video game characters for a forthcoming console game.

Wondering where Lorna was, I rounded the corner and saw that just past these bungalow flats was a much posher part of town. And in the middle distance, I saw Lorna and a female friend chatting with some chap who was riding in a limo. He looked rich af, and Lorna looked around before she and her friend got in.

She never saw me, but there was no mistaking the look of hardnosed ambition. This was what she'd come to town for. The convention had been an excuse.

I tried to make my way back to the convention, but the shortcut involved scaling a low castle wall, and it didn't look like a part of the castle which was open to the public, so I walked the long way back. Besides, shortcuts in my dreams aren't - if I take them, I literally spend the rest of the dream wandering around and never get to my destination.

The dream skipped ahead. It was already the end of the convention, and guests were being given parting gifts. Apparently, I was checking out already, the bill having been settled - and they'd offered comp laundry, so my clothes for the con were fresh in their sack, washed and pressed and sealed up in those vacuum laundry bags for no extra cost.

The hotel lobby looked just lavish, decked out in a kind of medieval style, with the reception desk set between the entrance doors, facing into the lobby, meaning you'd have had to pass by the reception desk coming in or going out. I saw coats of arms on the front of the desk, but I couldn't tell if they were real heraldic coats of arms, or if they'd come from Game of Thrones or Harnworld.

I ended up taking two of those cigar cases home after all, as gifts to the few friends of mine who still smoke, but my bags were positively groaning with 1Tb flash drives and microSD cards worth hundreds of pounds. So I guess my time at the convention had been profitable for me, too.

And that was it.

I never wondered what happened to Lorna or her friend. A person with that kind of ambition and ulterior motives really has no place in my life.

Pic is unrelated, sort of.


Circus In My Head

In my dream last night, the staff of an entire three-ring circus wandered through my head.

I was in my home from a much older time. The Ringmistress arrived first, a handsome figure. She climbed up the stairs and waited at the top, then gestured for the rest of the performers to climb up the stairs.

The door to my room was opaque on the outside, but I could somehow see outside as if it were gauze. I saw the athletes, clowns, some jugglers, the sword swallower with her long swords, a fire eater and then a long parade of apparently topless women, wearing only shoes and sequinned shorts, holding their arms over their breasts. Then there were more clowns.

Everyone was heading further up the corridor, to where it made a right hand turn to head towards Mum and Dad's bedroom at the far end. I was wondering how that room could stand up structurally with so many people on it when the first of the circus' grey horses went by, with a juggler on him juggling clubs.

Then the circus' fortune teller somehow found her way into the room, and she was rifling through my occult books, critiquing me on my accumulated knowledge. I woke up at that point.


Rick Astley

I was a time traveller, ten thousand years into the future. Some enthusiastic historians led me into their Museum of Old Terra in order to attempt to verify the nature and function of various artefacts.

Their religion section listed various songs which they believed to be hymns in praise to various gods from my time, and one artefact was The Holy Disk - the last Rick Astley vinyl in existence. The historians had discovered that there was a pattern to the grooves, which they had resolved into music and, of course, the Great Hymn which demonstrated the unconditional loyalty of their god, Riqastli, to His followers:-

Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down ...

Then the historians took me around the corner to where they had the only known work of art depicting Riqastli ...

Apparently this was the only image they had of the man who was reputedly The Holiest Man To Have Ever Walked The Earth. So when they asked me if this was indeed their Riqastli, I had to say "That is indeed the image of The Holiest Man To Have Ever Walked The Earth."

One global holy war averted, I went back to my time machine. Society creates its gods in its own image. But their holiest gods never give you up, never let you down, never run around and desert you ...



I was in charge of maintaining a fleet of lift cars capable of taking passengers to any part of some kind of shopping mall. These weren't like elevators, with only a lifetime of vertical movement within a single shaft - these were more like Star Trek's turbolifts, and they moved around within the mall, essentially travelling like monorail cars along a ceiling track from which the cars were suspended.

My job was to maintain the fleet. The problem was, the cars had been hacked. The contractor had done a cheapass job, and the control panels could be accessed by microUSB ports covered with tiny rubber caps, and even via Bluetooth. Nobody told anyone that the panels had Bluetooth, and that all of them were on all the time.

Some schoolkid had hacked the entire fleet, and half of the cars were sending members of the public to random locations, particularly if the passengers in the cars were kids whom the hacker didn't like.

The fleet comprised forty cars. 27 of them were in service, ten were undergoing maintenance, and three had vanished. It turns out that the kid had discovered three ghost stations on the turbolift network, opening onto underground areas of the mall which had never been opened but which had been reserved for times of national emergency. The hacker had sent three of his worst enemies on a neverending trip cycling between these dark, half-forgotten stations, traumatised.

I got up at 5am. As far as I can tell, those poor kids are still down there.


Flying Dream

Flight dreams don't come that often, but they're always joyful.

This one felt personal. Imagine returning to your childhood home, and finding that you're a couple of decades early because you're looking at the home as it once was, before the surrounding council houses and residences. Back when it was just a lonely old house atop a sloping garden, all fields.

What made it a flight dream was my cloak. I wore a cloak made of a black material which could stretch either side of me on a thought, becoming wings which generated lift. I was walking down the bottom road, a broad but rutted old highway. Calling upon the cloak, I began to fly up along the old field towards the house, flying no more than about five or so metres above the grass until I reached the house.

When I landed, the owner came out to meet me. His wife watched from a first storey window, petrified - she had seen me flying towards the house.

I explained that I will grow up in the old place - just that, for some reason unknown to me, I hadn't even been born yet. I was a traveller through time, and I had no idea how I'd come to be in this period, so early in the house's history.

I didn't tell him that he would be gone from the place by the 1970s, and that we would be the very next owners. I didn't need to tell him his future. I think his missus may have guessed.

The one thing I did do was to show to the owner that I could fly. I extended the cloak, took off, rose to around ten metres, followed the curvature and slope of the field, then took up a thermal and rose to a few hundred metres until I caught the local jet stream, then I just sped off towards the east a few minutes.

I told him that it would take about half an hour for me to get back, once I disengaged from the jet stream. I was right. and by the time I got back, a storm cloud was closing in from the east, lightning flashing overhead. I landed back on the grounds of the old place, and the owner asked me why I'd chosen to land early. I informed him that the air was about to get blustery - as I spoke, the wind picked up, proving me right.

The dream ended just as the old man invited me in to spend the night. I have no idea what he'd have thought of me, or my 21st century sensibilities. Or my weird occult creed. Or the things I had seen, in the years to come.


Oliver Haddo

Aleister Crowley had the honour of leing parodied, albeit negatively, by three well-known contemporary authors: W Somerset Maugham, to whom he was Oliver Haddo in "The Magician;" Dennis Wheatley, who portrayed him as Mocata in "The Devil Rides Out;" and M R James, who cast Crowley as the karcist Karswell in "Casting The Runes."

In every case, Crowley was savagely demonised as a lecherous, hateful, spiteful, petty charlatan and a sexually-deviant monster.

Bear in mind that Crowley was open about his bisexuality, at a time when it was considered illegal, may you burn in hell Queen Victoria, but that was enough in those pre-Wolfenden days to give authors licence to paint him as a literal and metaphorical anthropomorphised Satan on Earth.

And that was how I felt in this morning's dream.

The venue was a hotel carvery, like the one on the ground floor of the Manchester Hilton, which I had the pleasure of visiting in '16.

In my dream, which was set at a convention, I was picking my breakfast from the carvery's breakfast buffet, and I noticed things like the women staring at me, then looking away with a cocked snoot if I glanced in their direction; a young man coming up to the young woman right in front of me in the queue, whispering and pointing at me, causing the woman to turn around, gasp, and abandon her tray; and a father loudly ordering his kids to stand behind him.

In the end, I ate alone, feeling like Oliver Haddo and Aleister and Boris Balkan from The Ninth Gate, feeling people staring at me as if I were smoking a cigar indoors or wearing a gimp suit or something. They all felt like people who had, perhaps deliberately, misinterpreted everything I stood for in life and turned it around, so I looked like the manifestation of all of their petty evils and prejudices.

But could I tell them that they were wrong, and they could all go fuck themselves? I guess I'll never know, because the alarm went off right at the worst part of the dream.


Shelter from The Storm

The proper name for this level crossing is the Croesnewydd North Fork level crossing. The signal box is the white building on the left. Presumably, the cottage on the opposite side of the rail would have belonged to an old fashioned signalman, back in the day.

This town and the rails have a long history. However, history is not what I dream of, when I come across this place in my dreams.

This railway crossing feels like a natural border. Everything beyond the crossing is outside of town, Terra Incognita.

This morning, I woke up within the dream and realised that I had been using an abandoned shack as shelter against a storm during the night. It was still raining, and the thunder was angry and loud.

I also realised that the first trains of the day were about to come along, so I had to get out of the shack quickly, before I was spotted.

Don't freak - it turns out that there had been a real storm last night.

However, I woke up for real back in my own bed.


First Class

There's this thing where my friend and I, both X-Men fans, occasionally swap fanfics. My favourite is when I'm tasked with writing a fanfic where I meet Emma Frost.

This morning's fun dream sent me into the final scene of X-Men: First Class.

Moi: I know we've had our differences.

Emma Frost: Where's your telepath friend?

Moi: Gone. Left a bit of a gap in my life, if I'm to be honest. I was rather hoping you would fill it. [glances at my team in the cell entrance] Join us.

Emma Frost: Alex, I believe.

Moi: I prefer ... Spiral.


Home and Obey

For some reason, I was invited back by the Home & Away staff to come back to the show, reprising my rogue Welsh hypnotist character. There have been some cast changes since the last time I had this dream, and a lot of them had never been tranced before, but I got the entire cast tranced just like last time.

The rest of the show had had Willow, one of the newcomers, having joined the year after my hypnotic shenanigans, looks up at the house on the hill which I'd bought in 2016 in cash, and John and Marilyn's attempts to deflect her, before they revealed that I'd given them the keys and told them to look after the place till I got back, with a regular payment sent to them to take care of maintenance and for their service.

All this had already just been shot before it was my turn to drop in, coming out of a bus with my cases beside me, camera panning up my nice suit to focus on my eyes as I whisper 'I'm baaaack ...'

Next time on Home & Away: I wander into my house, catch Willow there, and trance her (as in, the actual actress who plays her) without even breaking a sweat. The last words before the credits roll come from me looking at the woman with her eyes closed, deeply entranced, and saying 'Now what am I going to do with you?'


Party Monster

I was with one of my lovers at a party. I knew that my lover was into poly relationships, and I was happy to give her that space she needed. This was by arrangement, and I was happy that she was finding so much love in her life.

However, this party made me feel uncomfortable as hell, because while everybody in the party was somebody she knew, none of them knew who I was - and I didn't know anybody else either.

There were pairings, couplings, and one tall blonde approached me, shook her head, and made a beeline for a coupling which became a threesome. That blonde looked like a supermodel.

I looked at the person who'd invited me to the party. She was preoccupied. So I made sure she was all right, and headed on out. On the way out, the tall blonde referred to me as "that monster" in passing to one of her partners.

The following morning, I was sitting at one of the outside tables in a cafe, having coffee and a croissant, and my lover came and sat with me. She came to apologise for her blonde friend's outrageous behaviour at the party. She'd picked the friends specifically for the event, hoping that the blonde would appeal enough to me to keep me at the party while she enjoyed the company of the two old lovers she hadn't seen in years.

Obviously, she hadn't picked her friends carefully enough.

The blonde came along, at that point, and sat down beside us at the table, but I can't tell you what would have happened next because the alarm went off.



It was past midnight, and I was either chasing someone or being chased - the details were vague on that score.

I was running in a tree-filled park east of where my folks live. In the real world, there is a small park where this park is, but this one bore no resemblance to the real world one.

There were stone steps leading down, and they came to an abrupt halt at a circular pit, carved into the ground. The pit was a couple of hundred feet across and some forty feet deep, with a leaf-lined floor. In the real world, this would not exist, and there'd be a long lake here instead.

Surrounding this pit were many old trees. Apparently, this natural arena had an audience - younger people, kids, young adults, wearing mostly rags. Apparently they lived in the area, staying out of the way of the cops.

I stood on the flat floor of this pit, and the locals dropped rope ladders down and clambered down to join me. Their leader, a pretty young woman, warned me that the cops were on their way already, and that if I was to evade them and live another night, I had to climb up one of the rope ladders and get into the trees.

It seemed that the cops on the ground were incapable of looking up, apparently. And the tree cover apparently masked our IR signatures, the noises we made, and even our scents from the dogs.

Halfway up, I could hear people approaching in a hurry, beating at the undergrowth. I could see the waving columns of light from handheld flashlights.

And the alarm went off.


Recruitment Drive

It has been a while since I had a dream to write about here, but this one was fun.

So there's this cafe in the bus station. It's a nice place. I was sitting at one of the tables, and two young women were sitting beside me.

I managed to catch their attention. They seemed interested in me. I didn't talk about me at all. Maybe that was it.

Just out of curiosity, I told them I knew of a little trick. They'd seen fidget spinners before, but they weren't prepared for a fidget spinner hypnosis induction, with the spinner acting as a spiral.

So I set it spinning while the women watched. I let them know that as the blades of the spinner slowed, their minds would also slow; and when the blades stopped, so too would their minds, and they'd drop into trance.

And that was exactly what they both did, gazing at my fidget spinner.

So I instructed them that I would bring them out of trance shortly, only they'd feel a bit of a pull to go back into a trance, like a weight drawing their minds down, and also I told them to forget that they'd seen the spinner in my hand, and it would be as if I was showing them my spinner for the first time.

When they came back, I could see that they were slightly less alert than they had been before. They seemed surprised when I brought out my magic fidget spinner, and sank straight back into trance without hesitation, deeper than the first time.

This time, when I brought them out, the pull to go back into trance was even stronger. their eyelids were half open. This time, they reacted as if they hadn't seen a fidget spinner before in their lives. Trancing them was so easy; you could have just snapped your fingers and they'd have gone down.

So I fractionated them a fourth time; and this time, they responded to the world as if they were on morphine. This time, when I put them into a trance, I knew that they would not be coming out of it until I was done giving them instructions.

Which I did.

I made sure to give them an anchoring trigger, to drag them right back into a deep trance with a single word; and a couple of other triggers to enjoy. Then I brought them up out of trance, with no memory or awareness of having been in a trance, and they came back into the room as if only a few seconds had passed.

One of them got up. She was apparently off home. I activated one of the triggers. Instead of going home, she headed over to the store next door, and came back with a lighter and a packet of cigarettes. This apparently shocked her friend, since the woman didn't smoke. Neither did she, but when I activated her calibrating trigger she, too, went into the store to come out with something she'd never normally buy.

I told them they could smoke them outside, and they got up to come with me. Both of them had kind of forgotten that they had intended to go home.

The alarm went off, just as they were climbing into the back of a taxi with me.



I found myself waiting for someone in a public place. Apparently, I was waiting for the Italian Cultural Attache.

The Attache turns up, immaculately dressed, and I greeted him, apparently dressed in my ordinary street clothes. The Attache behaved as if nothing was out of the ordinary.

The Attache had come to me out of courtesy. I'd been asking about gaining access to historical documents about Florence in Italy, and he'd been smoothing the bureaucratic process and unruffling a few feathers.

And then he asked me "You said you had brought along a plus one."

I looked around, and there she was. Jodie Whittaker, the actress. Naked, apart from heels and a matching handbag. She stood alongside me and lit up a cigarette.

Sometimes, my dreams are my only salvation from terminal boredom.



I was on my way home from some event taking place in another town, dragging a heavy suitcase behind me. I had more than an hour to go before my train home.

The front of the railway station was a huge, imposing building in a classical style, at the end of a large and busy courtyard. I noticed some stores near the entrance, including a second-hand bookshop, so I wandered in and took a look around.

It turned out to be a treasure trove. Under the counter was a single Loompanics issue of the Principia Discordia. Across the room, languishing in a clearance bin at 20p each, multiple copies of Zohra Greenhalgh's books Contrarywise and Trickster's Touch; copies of Peter J Carroll's Liber Null & Psychonaut; and a single copy of Joanne Harris' book The Gospel of Loki.

On the shelf awaiting clearance, under heavy discount, a complete Encyclopedia Harnica and every Harnlore, lovingly maintained and kept in magazine binders. Several copies of Harnworld articles were also present, including a few not in my collection.

I woke up before the dream ended, but I had the impression that I would have boarded the train home with my suitcase stuffed with books, and the bookseller would have wondered what to do with a small pile of clothes that somebody had dumped on the pavement outside his store.


The Big Job

So the dream I had was just full of celebrity actors. Carel Struycken, Ed Wasser (who'd played "Mister Morden" in Babylon 5), Adrianne Palicki, Adrienne Barbeau, Angela Lansbury, Mark Ralston, Deep Roy, and the late Ron Glass, all running around in my dream like one hilarious episode of Murder, She Wrote.

There was an Oceans Eleven - style con job to liberate a very large deposit of cash which included some of Jessica Fletcher's savings, hence Angela turning up here and there. Adrienne (Barbeau) was a "reporter," "Anita Smith"; Ed Wasser was "Dr Morris," handing out the sedative injections as a "fever" swept a bank courtesy of a drug being slipped into the food and drinks by Carel Struycken's character "Temperance."

My dream never made it clear why the staff and security were eating and drinking in a bank. Shush. My unconscious was on a roll here.

Ron Glass was typecast as "Father Carmody," actually "Jim "The Gecko" Harrison" because of his sticky fingers (he was a pickpocket, not a second-storey man). Adrianne (Palicki) was both Wasser's assistant "Nurse Rowley" and "Anita Smith's" unnamed camera person, and she was apparently a former quick-change artiste, and if that gave you an image of Adrianne Palicki naked, feel free to indulge.

It all turned out to be a beautifully-orchestrated scheme to murder someone. Deep Roy, who'd appeared in the dream here and there, was an author whose stories had been cruelly rejected by an editor, "Larry Butler" (Ralston), who then went and plagiarised Deep Roy's character's book. "Butler" knew that Deep Roy's character was not very tall, but did not suspect that Struycken's character "Temperance" was, in fact, the author's brother, and who'd fed "Butler" drinks from a glass which had been smeared with a trace of peanut butter, knowing that "Butler" had a lethal peanut allergy.

I got as far as Jessica Fletcher nabbing Deep Roy's character, but not apparently in time to save any of the other characters, whose murders he'd arranged after they'd stolen the money: apparently, he'd sprayed the notes with a contact poison, which killed all the swindlers once they came into contact with the now-lethal money.

And I guess I learned something here today. "There is no profit in revenge," or maybe "J Michael Straczynski, please get out of my fucking head."

Image of Jessica Fletcher from Murder, She Wrote (Angela Lansbury)
from Pinterest



So I dreamed that I was on the top floor of some sort of public area - it could have been a mall, or a museum. There was a big stairwell that curved around in a spiral, at least six or seven storeys going down.

Mum and Dad were with me, and they'd given me a snack: Mediterranean style fried red peppers and sun dried tomatoes, chopped fine and sandwiched between two Jacob's Cream Crackers. I'd taken a bite, and I heard this screech.

I looked across, and it was apparently Theresa May, screaming at me for eating something - the first thing I'd eaten in eighteen hours. Apparently, I was letting her down by breaking a fast which she'd been organising for me and several others, to lose weight, which frankly was news to me.

So as I watched, Theresa May rushed down the stairs, still screaming, and she was honestly having a nervous breakdown, going by the sounds of her, all because I dared to be eating some actual food.

I can't tell you what my snack tasted like, because the alarm went off. But I imagine it would have tasted scrumptious.

Not cricket.


Room 2156

Convention time, and I had been given the access fob to the room at the hotel which was the venue for the convention. I'd come down to check out the hotel, and then decided to come back to the room to put my stuff away, since I'd just dumped it all inside the room.

I always get the elevator at the back. There are two, in the middle of a long corridor, basically the hotel's east and west wings. I was in the east wing.

A woman entered the elevator car in front of me. I got in, and checked my fob. It was not on the twelfth floor; it was room 2156. 21st floor.

I got out of the elevator, and the corridor was dimly-lit and almost silent. I could hear voices coming from the rooms. 2156 was a long way away, down along the corridor to the right, around the corner and the next, and more or less heading back in a westerly direction towards the end of the corridor. 2156 was right at the end, near the steps.

This part of the hotel was silent - it didn't sound as if there was anybody there at all. 2156 was on my right. I came in, and my stuff was right where I'd left in in the room. It looked a bit bare, but then I realised that this was just the vestibule - that there was a corridor off to the left. I went down the corridor, carrying my stuff. There was a big panoramic window on my left, and I could see the other wing of the hotel, curving around like a blocky C, embracing the hotel complex far below.

The short corridor opened out into a larger room, with a big panoramic window looking out at the city, a patio, and the bed area behind a curved wall. Beside the bed was a coffee table, and on that table were all sorts of fun toys: some of those military flashlights with a million lumen output that they advertise in all the spam, and sixteen tiny thumbnail - sized flash drives. I checked the capacity listed on their sides.

Four terabyte capacity. Each.

Not only that - the flashlight had a cap which, when unscrewed, revealed a USB plug and a flash drive with a 16 Tb capacity. "I'll 'ave that," I found myself saying.

So behind this partitioning curved wall was the dresser and some drawers, presumably for socks and underwear. I opened the drawers, looking for somewhere to put my fundaments, and discovered boxes stuffed with more of these tiny flash drives, 4 Tb and 8 Tb capacity. Dozens of them per box. Stacks of boxes. So I just found space for them all in my holdall and packed the lot of them into that.

Then I vowed to go shopping in town during the convention and buy myself another holdall for the spare flashlights, mobile phone battery packs, chargers, and even a couple of fleshlights in the bottom drawer - with a full range of attachments.

The alarm went off before I could do more than absentmindedly wonder whether this room was normally reserved for A-list celebs and their entourages or something. This was one dream where I really wish that I had the superpower of being able to bring material objects into the waking world from my dreams.


Alien War

What do you do when you are caught on a bus when it turns into the latest battlefield between two covertly invading alien species, who have independently chosen the Earth as theirs?

Not much, apparently. Wake up in a cold sweat, in my case.

I was on a bus. It was the end of a chase. I was looking around, and every passenger was looking at me with cold, empty, unemotional, alien eyes. The Body Snatchers had run me to ground at last.

One of the aliens had boarded the bus, which was parked on the side of the road. I knew her. She handed me two sleeping pills, and told me to take them. In front of me, two of the passengers had brought forward a pod.

'Just take these two pills, and all your worries will be over,' she said to me.

I looked at the pills in my hand. 'I'd like that,' I replied, 'but there's a problem. I'm not sure if you're aware, but the Earth is already under attack by a terrifying alien species, and it isn't you. It too is a species which duplicates its host - but this species does so directly, by assimilating the tissues of the body, down to the cellular level, starting with the living blood.'

By now, some of the myrmidons on the bus had spotted what I had already seen. Some of them were pointing. One of them was howling like Donald Sutherland at the end of the 1978 Body Snatchers movie.

I didn't want to turn to look at the unfolding body horror behind me. I caught a glimpse of a face, its skin drawn beyond breaking point, splitting open to reveal red musculature beneath, and an alien sibilant hiss drowning out the myrmidons' howls.

'I think the tissues of some of your pods have been colonised by this other species,' I said, as the Thing climbed out of the driver's seat. 'You've been denying them valuable assets, stifling their colonisation efforts. And they don't like that.'

I looked down, feeling my arm lengthen. 'It looks as if you've just bought yourself a war.'

At that moment, I woke up. And of course, my first instinct was to check my arm. To my disappointment, it was its normal length, and ended in its usual hand and fingers. I'd been looking forward to getting a functional tentacle.

And yes, I was on the side of the Things. When faced with a choice, go with the least human option. Less cruelty.


Go Bag

My go bag containing everything I need for when I'm staying away from home. It's a large blue zipped holdall, it weighs a ton, but it's a burden I am always happy to bear.

I live in that go bag while I'm travelling. Everything stays in that go bag, because you never know when I might have to pull the ripcord and leave in a few minutes - or even a few seconds.

So I found myself in very familiar surroundings. I was squatting in the Remote Town Landlord's place again. It is this sort of a bungalow, a sprawling building in its own grounds, surrounded by neighbours' houses in a residential part of Remote Town. I woke up, looked out of the window at a neighbour's house, and I realised that I was naked. It was a bright, sunny morning, but it was early, so nobody was awake next door yet.

And then I heard a powered gate opening, and I realised that the landlord was coming back. All my clothes were laid out, and I put them on sharpish and got out before his car could come around the corner. I knew the alarm code and where he hid his house key; it had been ages since I'd been here, but he'd not changed his pattern at all.

One thing had changed. He was on his own now. No sign of the wife and kid from the last time I'd squatted in his place.

I have no idea when I will be coming back here, or whether I'll be expecting to see the landlord glaring at me, or the locks changed, or even the police. My dreams here are weird, sometimes.


State of Emergency

So I was in town, specifically in an area of town called Hill Street. At the top of Hill Street is a bank on the corner, some stores on the opposite side, and what used to be the old Boots chemist till they moved out to somewhere out of town. There is also an alley between buildings.

Not in my dream.

In this dream, the bank was there, but where there's a greasy spoon cafe there was an entrance to some sort of subterranean baths. I went down a flight of spiral stone steps that looked to date back to Roman times, and saw three burly men in swimming trunks, discussing business as they trod the glowing blue waters.

Where the alley was, instead there was a covered mall and rows of small shops on either side. The alley had the same dogleg shape, but it was darker, and the glass panels overhead were grimy from years of neglect.

Just past the alley, unexpectedly there was a bright shop, with its entrance doors wide open and people milling about in the street outside. I spoke with the manager, a nice-looking chap in a dark suit. Looked a bit young to be a manager, but there you go. He sounded inexperienced, too, but he was learning.

I heard the sound of people pounding on metal. I looked back, and I saw that the mall shutters had closed. The manager listened to the pounding and said "Get out onto the street before the outer doors close."

Outside, the crowds were gathering, confused. I wandered down to the Island Green shopping estate, through more crowds. It was cold. Rain was starting to fall.

Then I got a text, and opened my mobile phone. The text read "Please stand by. At 13:30, check your phones for an urgent message."

It was 13:29. As I watched, the time changed to 13:30 and a new text came in. It read "Telephone and internet services are now suspended due to a national state of emergency. Please stand by." The crowd began to react with shock, fear and outrage, but I got a call.

It was a clipped military voice calling me by name. I answered. It asked to confirm my location and asked me to move to an open space.

There was a helicopter overhead. And soldiers drove up in a large truck bearing military colours and markings, and asked me to get into the chopper when it landed. I saw a Colonel inside the darkened interior of the chopper, and a lot of women soldiers manning consoles on either side.

And that was it.


The Machines

Never had such an insane dream before. It felt like being inside a full movie.

I was part of a human enclave, one of the last left on Earth in some post-apocalyptic science fiction story. Very Twelve Monkeys / Terminator in its feel. I got the impression that the movie had begun some time ago, and I’d only just tuned in.

There were people out there manning ridiculously large guns against these oncoming SIs, but you might as well try and stop the tide. The dream began with me staring down the barrels of one of those advanced guns. The gun was complex, reconfigurable, beautiful to watch, the barrels changing around like spirals, the ammo chains like a thick umbilicus stretching all the way back to the enclave proper.

Apparently, I could channel spirits and even machine spirits. I could channel spirits at will, and I had but to concentrate on any slip of paper bearing the name of a person to channel their thoughts.

I felt myself getting possessed by a machine spirit, and apparently a friendly one; but the link was severed unexpectedly and I woke up lying on the floor.

Another time, I was channelling the ghost of the inventor of the machines, called SIs, which were coming for humans - the reason why we were living in these enclaves, because they'd already wiped most of the rest of humanity out. All the major cities were gone.

The next human spirit I was channelling told me that her enclave was being run over by two Sis, one babbling about purity, another one about heritage. Then the voice fell silent.

In every case, I felt myself channelling those voices, like someone in a trance.

I never saw the SIs, but I just woke up wondering where the hell I was and found myself hearing that little voice I’d heard before, one of the machine voices, saying “Where else? You’re at the start.”

Picture from Forbes



I can't remember much about what I dreamed this morning - I was among a crowd of people, it was dark, it was icy cold, and people were drawing big blankets through a ditch filled with water and throwing them onto a pile, presumably to freeze into some sort of structure of iced-up blankets. There might have been a shelter beneath that pile, something that had been dug into the almightily cold ground.

Like a blanket igloo, fashioned like a papier mache sculpture only with blankets of ice instead of newspaper strips soaked in glue.

But one line stuck out from that dream - something somebody said to me, paraphrasing Bulwer-Lytton.

E.G. Bulwer-Lytton once said "Art and Science have their meeting point in Method."

But this person's line to me was this.

"Experience and Perception have their meeting point in Consciousness."

"Experience" refers to one's engrams, one's collection of rules - one's natural organic knowledge base of physical and emotional responses and reactions. "Perception" refers to the stimuli of one's senses, which trigger specific patterns of engrams to activate their coded behaviours. The two coming together produce a set of behaviours which the mind interprets as Consciousness.


Calon Lan

So this was to be a Star Trek dream.

I was fixing a little ship, my own one-man command, little more than a souped-up runabout on a slightly larger scale really. There was this flat space in the mountains, and I was sitting underneath my ship, happily singing "Calon Lan" while trying to reconnect some gubbins in the impulse drive, when I was interrupted.

There was a Starfleet crew. They'd arrived to survey the planet, and spotted my life sign and the ship, so they'd come down to investigate, and see if they could help. And of course, the leader thought I was some sort of an alien because she'd never heard any language quite like the one I was singing with, and the universal translator was having a hard time trying to parse what it was I'd been singing.

I told her that I wasn't surprised - it was Welsh:-

Depicted: The Delta Flyer from Star Trek: Voyager


The Hardest Thing

Funny how you think of the line from the recent season of Doctor Who:-

“It’s funny: the day you lose someone isn’t the worst. At least you’ve got something to do. It’s all the days they stay dead.”

I recently had someone come up to me and ask me how my brother Sean was. He hadn’t been in circulation for a while, and he’d been looking for Sean since he came back.

I had to ask him a number of times to sit down, and he really wasn’t hearing the tone of my voice, so I just told him straight that Sean had been dead for five years.

I never told Mum about this.

Just recently, I was watching a TV show, and this poor bastard was just unable to do right for doing wrong, and he never could get his footing, and I was gnawing at my knuckles, tears pouring from my eyes, because I wasn’t thinking about him. I was thinking about my brother, lurching from one bad situation to another to another.

I could not tell Mum about that.

And just this morning, I was chatting with Sean in my dreams. He was still alive, and the thing ended with him going through a door. And I asked him if I would see him again, and he looked back with great sadness as if to say “Maybe later. Not for a while.”

Damn. That’s practically every single morning this week that I’ve woken up in tears. What is wrong with me?



I was passing by the Art College, and a lecturer approached me asking me if I could volunteer some time.

He gave me a child's sweater, a colourful little thing, and some cloth-cutting shears, and asked me to cut up the jumper. Any size and shape I liked.

So I did as he asked, and I cut the thing up in long strips. I was still as it when the lecturer came back.

"Actually," he said, "I want to see your reaction."

"To what?" I asked him.

"What if I told you that that sweater had come off a Syrian refugee boy ... who'd died in transit, blind, separated from his parents?"

I have been feeling teary all bloody day. If that lecturer turns up in another dream, I an going to kick his arse so hard ...


Hello, Old Friend

I can recall some really important dreams from my earliest life, when I was barely able to walk.

One of them involved a long, long climb up a mountainside, aided by a winged unicorn which came out of a disembodied television screen, to reach a city on an impossibly high plateau, up there amid the stars. At one point, close to the end of the dream, I managed to catch a glimpse of it, at the top of the plateau; and I realised that even though I had climbed as far as I could, I still had an infinite distance to go to reach that place, and that however long I lived, I would never be able to see that plateau again or reach that city.

The other was when I found myself desperate, for some reason, for a really good cup of tea, and Mum said she would get me one. I told Mum when I woke that I was waiting for a cup of tea, and she told me - of course - that it had only been a dream.

There was one time that I tried to fly the way I could in a dream. Sadly, my two-year-old body refused to levitate, no matter how much I wished it to rise up from the ground.

And then there was the first real dream I recall having, when I saw the Grim Reaper leaning over my bed, letting me see his skeletal face, his hollow eyes, and silently caressing my baby head with long, fleshless, bony fingers. I could not describe to Mum what I had experienced, because I had never seen a skeleton or bones before, other than the big bones Dad used to have to feed to the dog. I simply did not have the words.

But much later, on seeing his face, I kept having an odd sense of deja vu; and it was only when I saw the Hammer horror movie The Devil Rides Out for the first time that I realised that I'd seen the Reaper long ago. Before I could identify what bones even were, let alone that what I was looking at was a skeleton.

It's for this reason, and due entirely to this dream, that I'm not even remotely afraid of the Reaper. It's why, every time I see someone draw out the Death card from a Tarot deck, I can be heard to murmur the words "Hello, old friend."

Some people believe in angels, and ask me if I believe in guardian angels myself. I tell them no, because whatever it was that came to visit me in my cot, it was no angel ...

And when it's my time, I do hope he will come for me, the way he did when I was a kid; this time, to take me home. He's no stranger to anybody. But to me, he's family.


Loyal To The End

This one is breaking my heart, even as I type it up more than 12 hours after having it.

I was a bad guy. My place had been compromised. People were running around. Things were burning and exploding, roofs collapsing. Sparks flying from consoles. It was the end.

I'd gone on the PA advising minions and henchmen to help one another to escape. But my own personal minion, Cog, was nowhere to be seen. Cog was loyal like a puppy.

At the entrance to the fancy lifeboat, which was crowded with minions, I turned to the muscle henchman and told him to get my people to safety, and once he was safe he was to make sure they were all covered. Then I went back to the sanctum sanctorum, and there was Cog, lost and confused.

And he looked at me with huge eyes. He knew I'd come for him. And I told him we'd never be apart. And it wouldn't be too long now, so he might as well close his eyes. And the alarm went off with Cog resting, content, in my arms.

Well, the alarm went off but I was already awake, sort of sobbing.

In the end, you've got to look after your people. And you keep the ones you care about the most, closest to you, and never let them go. The ones who look up to you.

Yeah, so I failed Bond Villain School for showing compassion. So sue me.

What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know goes away
In the end
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

If I could start again
A million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way


The Night, The Stars, The ... Banquet Table?

You know those series which end with a terrifying final confrontation somewhere, and the protagonist is led to some location where the conflict will take place - like Agent Cooper going to the location where the entrance of the Black Lodge is in Twin Peaks, the room where Number Six meets Number One in The Prisoner, the frustrating confrontation between Neo and Colonel Sanders in the second Matrix movie and so on?

This was the dream I had this morning. I'd been chasing down someone who'd been responsible for an unspeakable atrocity in the Arndale Centre. I know, it's the Arndale Centre, who'd notice an atrocity in the middle of an atrocity, right? But this was different.

Someone had gone and cloned my grimoire. Plugged in the flash drive, cloned the contents. Every document, every working, all the pied piper files. And they'd played the track I call Pan Pipes over the tannoy. Lust and fear in equal measure. They were still cleaning up the bloody, humping, rutting mess. Last I heard, the tacticals had had to go in with fire extinguishers and tasers because they could not get the water cannons indoors. And of course, nobody had warned them about the Pan Pipes, so it all looked like one ongoing fustercluck.

I'd fought through all the acolytes that the thief had thrown at me - I can do a little digging, and I knew they all had a backdoor behaviour modification trigger, similar to "Eta kuram na smekh!," which sent them all to sleep, so I had used it. And all that remained for me was to walk over their unconscious naked bodies and enter the open doorway, which did not have a door so much as a red velvet curtain, to see what lay beyond. To enter the belly of the beast. To beard the monster in its den at last.

And what I saw inside was this:-

An empty landscape, far from everywhere.

The Milky Way arching overhead.

And before me, a massive banquet table, laid out for a feast.

At the head of the table, where the Boss Villain was supposed to be sitting in a high backed chair or throne, there was ... a full length mirror.

And then the alarm went off.


Conlanger Convention, Emilia Clarke, Breaking The Bars Of The Cage

I was a guest at a science fiction / fantasy / horror fan convention in Bristol, one of those run along the lines of Eastercon rather than those horrific media Comic Con con jobs. The common theme was "constructed languages," so there was a heavy Stargate and Game of Thrones presence, as well as us Klingonists. A few conlangers were there representing other fandoms, such as Tolkien's Elvish and other conlangs not used in science fiction shows as yet. My job there was to be a panellist at various discussion panels throughout the event.

One interview had me leaving the hotel to chat with some radio program, or was it a podcast, under a tent in bright sunlight. Street noises and busy people, and me discussing Klingon and the latest Star Trek effort to come out of CBS Paramount - Star Trek Beyond, the All Access Star | Trek coming out soon, and of course the forthcoming 50th anniversary of Star Trek on September 8 2016.

I mentioned the 50th anniversary of the Klingons' first appearance, which will be March 23rd 2017.

On the way back into the hotel, I saw one of the other celebrities standing outside trying to have a smoke, being buttonholed by fans. It was only Emilia Clarke. Apparently Maisie Williams had come out with her for a smoke, but Maisie had gone back in before her, leaving poor old Dany surrounded by walking sweatglands.

I checked the time going in, then said "Emilia, hey, you're going to be late for that televised interview thing. You asked me to remind you.' Emilia smiled, excused herself and rushed into the hotel with me, then - once we were out of earshot - she thanked me. I told her that this was a thing I've often had to do, to break things up when a convention guest gets caged by fans with no sense of personal space.

She asked if she could hang around with me for a short time, and I was about to suggest that we either head for the convention bar, the carvery or my room when the alarm went off.



I was in the Temple of the Damnation Army again, cleaning up the floor. It didn't matter that I was the High Priest; I made a point of putting my name on the cleaning rota like everybody else.

One of my Acolytes, a young man with a bald head, came up to me and whispered in my ear. One of the new recruits awaiting Processing was an undercover journalist. They knew who it could be, but they were not entirely sure. She was a pretty young blonde woman, wearing shades and earbuds constantly. She had been briefed that the recruits had to undergo hypnosis before they were allowed into the Temple.

Clearly, she was unwilling to undergo a trance, and she had no idea what hypnosis was capable of - but her little devices just served to make her stand out from the other recruits.

The Acolyte asked if I should set her aside for special preparations, and I replied that I had a better idea.

So I commanded ten or eleven of the prettiest Acolytes to gather in the secondary ritual room, a hexagonal chamber with a secret exit. They were to wear only bathrobes, and once inside they were to lock the door and leave through the secret exit. They were also to play the "Roman Orgy" CD we keep in the room to play over the PA.

If she wanted an expose, I felt that we should give her one.


Fox Cub

Mum, Dad and I were watching a family of foxes; a male, a vixen and a lone cub. We were out on the road, somewhere up in North Wales, near where Mum was born. We'd parked somewhere to eat, and the fox family had come out to play.

We were in the car. I was sitting quietly in the back seat, and suddenly the cub was sniffing at me. It had come up to the car and jumped in, and now it was climbing onto my shoulder. Even as it curled up, the car door shut. Dad got into the car, and began to move off.

For some reason, at first I couldn't get Dad to stop yammering long enough to tell him the cub was still asleep on my shoulder. And when I did get to tell him, he stubbornly refused to consider turning the car around. We were driving along the road, Dad fixedly staring forwards, not looking at anybody, as if he were possessed or something. The landscape was changing, becoming urban, concrete walls either side, and I knew that unless I got him to listen it would be past the point of no return. And this was our conversation.

"Its parents are missing it."

"We can't go back."

"Dad -"

"Don't say another word. I won't hear it."

"I've got to put it back."

"We'll come back next week."

"I can't look after it!"

"Next week."

"It will die."

"Oh, don't be so dramatic!"

Then the alarm went off. And that was it.


The Home & Away Hypnotist

Non-Brits, note that the "Home & Away" to which I refer is an Australian TV soap opera. Mum can't get enough of it.

I had, by the time of this dream, starred in a one-off event TV episode of Home & Away, where the Aussie cast had come up to Wales to enjoy the scenery, and I make an appearance as a rogue hypnotist - a hypnotherapist who got struck off for unethical practices. Bad guy sort. Troublemaker.

Now the thing is, a few weeks down the line, the producer and director had invited me to appear in the soap in Australia, down in the show's setting of "Summer Bay," so I turn up on the show, getting off some bus in nearby Yabby Creek, ask a local where Summer Bay is and enquire if there's transport there.

I next climbed out of a taxi, with my cases, and go and find the house I had bought in cash apparently. I was some sort of a rich louche rogue hypnotist, apparently, who could buy homes like packets of sweets.

The thing was, as a hypnotist for real, I had been told by the producer and director that I should trance the actors for real. They were not to act in any way, and as a matter of fact they all had scripts which led them to believe that I was some sort of harmless, if slightly crap, stage magician who was perfecting a new magic routine. What made my job easier was that half of them had already been thoroughly entranced by me six weeks beforehand and post-hypnotic anchoring triggers implanted in their psyches, and I know for a fact that my triggers can last for more than two years between triggerings (some of my more successful clients have permanent triggers!), so re-trancing them was as easy as commanding them to sleep.

They had literally no clue. Not even when I commanded them in their tranced state to remove their clothes (the cameras panned round so as to show their backs when they denuded themselves) and they obeyed. Me, I enjoyed watching them from the front because you might as well enjoy your handiwork.

I even got the actress who plays a cop in the show to disrobe for me. That was actually fun for the actress as much as it was for me; apparently, the actress had a fetish for being tranced. Some people like having others hypnotise them and instruct them to do erotic things. Who'd have thought?

The alarm went off and woke me, just as the good news came down the line that there was going to be a special live edition of the show coming in a few weeks, and it would be centred around my using hypnosis to build a base of believers and collect a cult of devoted dupes.


Cursory Rhymes

In the YMCA Shop where I volunteer, I opened a box containing kids' books. One of them read "The Big Bumper Book Of Cursory Rhymes."

Inside were such gems as

"Jack and Jill - Jack and Jill did stuff, okay?"

"Pop Goes The Weasel - There is faffing about, and then the weasel explodes."

"Sing A Song Of Sixpence - Hitchcock's The Birds invade the Kingdom."

"Ring A Ring A Roses - Everybody dies of the plague."

"Wee Willie Winkie - Demented little guy menaces the streets at night in his underwear."

"Jack Horner - A boy contaminates good food with his grubby thumb."

"It's Raining, It's Pouring - Old man dies of expanding subdural haematoma caused by head injury during a rain storm."

"Row, Row, Row Your Boat - Don't go out onto the water, stoned."


Dreams of Strong Cops

I'd just watched an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit last night, and the scene at the end of the episode must have stuck in my head.

I was in a New York bar, passing by a table. Alex Eames from the old Major Case unit and Olivia Benson from NYPD's Special Victims were sitting at a table, enjoying drinks. I passed by their table and felt like I'd just brushed past two major Marvel characters, on the scale of Melinda May and Black Widow. Power coming from these women was palpable.

So I was sitting at my table, drinking a club soda, and they approached me. They'd seen me looking at them in passing, and at first they behaved as if they thought I was unaware that they were cops. I invited them to sit, or stand - they chose to stand - and they asked me why I'd been giving them the eye. I told them that I'd either pegged them for two yuppies celebrating a major win and landing a decent bonus apiece, or some sort of agents or police detectives who'd just broken some sort of case. They showed me their badges. I wasn't bothered.

I invited them back to my place, because I was about to cook some pasta. They declined, until I told them that I was making the pasta from scratch - pasta flour, eggs, some salt. I had tomato puree, salami, some other ingredients - pesto was in there somewhere - and I could easily stretch to three people.

I then cut to the kitchen, where they stood watching me cook this pasta, kneading the dough. I cut it into small rectangles and put ingredients into them - instant ravioli, which I slung into a pan to boil. They came out perfect.

The dream then cut to some other situation, much later. I was in bed, with both women in bed with me, one either side. None of us had any clothes on. It was at this point that things got really hot.

I used a technique called sleep hypnosis on both women, something I'm very familiar with - I have used it on many of my lovers - and gave them instructions for their waking state. When they started getting up, I used one of the triggers on them, and watched them return instantly to a deep trance. I gave them further instructions at that point, and when I brought their conscious minds back into the room it was as if they were just getting up.

I had to test the extent of the instructions again, by watching them both get dressed and just as they were getting ready to set off, I gave them an instruction that basically made them just stay where they were, standing, carrying on chatting, and another instruction to make them take all their clothes off again while we chatted about inconsequential stuff.

It was fun to watch them strip naked, talking about their old partners and boring stuff about getting the paperwork done. A moment later, I released them to put on their clothes - which they thought they were putting on for the first time that morning. No memory of having worn those clothes earlier.

Once again, once they were fully dressed, I just hit them with the "strip naked" instruction again, and watched them remove all their clothes in front of me.

I could do that all day, but the alarm went off. Bad alarm. Bad, bad alarm.


Executive Producer FRED FREIBERGER

There was this undiscovered 80th episode of Star Trek, right out of the vaults of Paramount Pictures. It had remained unaired because it was such a radical departure from what Star Trek looked and felt like that nobody thought it should ever be shown - particularly not since it would happen to be the last episode of the series (so they ended the show with "Turnabout Intruder" instead, which was worse).

What makes this episode special is that the USS Enterprise hardly appears in it at all.

In this episode, Chekov (Walter Koenig) got accidentally sent back in time to mid 1960s America. He wakes up in an orchard in Southern California, almost gets killed by an angry farmer thinking that the Reds were finally invading the United States, and stumbles upon two young men, Davy Jones and Michael "Mickey" Dolenz, on their way to a recording studio to audition for roles in an upcoming TV show.

Chekov realises that if he is to survive living in the late Twentieth Century, he's going to have to blend in. So he joins the band, meets Pete Tork and Michael Nesmith, learns to fake a SoCal accent, develops a cover identity for himself as "Paul Cheadle," and spends the next five years doing concerts, TV shows and movies as The Fifth Monkee.

Then one day Kirk and Spock finally come for him and he can finally put aside "Paul Cheadle" and rejoin Starfleet. His disappearance causes ripples of speculation across the world. Some people speculate that Paul Cheadle got heavily into LSD because of his talk of a future where men and aliens would travel together out to the stars, before throwing himself off the Golden Gate Bridge. Others speculate that, since once in a while his cover would slip and his Russian accent would come through, he could have been a spy working undercover for the KGB who simply got recalled back to Moscow.

The damage to the time stream was minimal; but the last scene, as the Enterprise warps away from the Earth of 1966 (the only time you get to see the ship), shows a 1960s style bank with a very modern ATM on the side and a young man withdrawing money from it, and next to it a shop window with Polaroid photos of the major stars of the time. There's a load of photos of the five Monkees hanging around with the Stones, having a lorra laughs with that Liverpool girl Cilla Black, a big picture of their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show and so on.

And one of the pics shows the five Monkees on the set of the Enterprise bridge (so technically, while you do get to see the Bridge once, you only see it as a studio set), with Gene, William, Leonard, De, Jimmy Doohan, Nichelle and George standing in the back in civvies, with Jon Colicos still in his Klingon getup (this was from late season 1), and the five Monkees at station on the Bridge; Micky Dolenz at Engineering, Michael Nesmith at Uhura's station, Davy Jones at Navigation, Pete Tork at Helm ...

... and as the words "Executive Producer FRED FREIBERGER" appear in the corner you see, sitting in the Captain's Chair, with the saddest eyes you ever saw, the Fifth Monkee, Pavel Chekov.

Groovy, man. Live long and prosper.



I was in some sort of a building, and I had the task of smuggling an item out of this building for some reason.

The item was, would you believe it, a Browning automatic pistol, which I had concealed between two folded towels. I was dressed like some a member of staff, and carrying the towels was one of the duties of staff apparently because suited security guards kept letting me and my silent female partner through all the blocks unsearched.

Then two guards in what looked like police riot gear stood in our way. I could hear a weird blooping. They said it was radiation, and we needed decontamination. It didn't sound like a Geiger counter though. Nonetheless, they led me and the woman into another room, where I was asked to put the towels down in a laundry basket. One of the orderlies whispered "I'm the next link in the relay chain. Leave the towels and the package with me," before leading me to a room with a bed and a chair and ordering me to sit for an hour to await the results from the decontam.

And that was it.


My Three O'Clock

I have no idea where this woman came from. I really have no control over where my dreams take me.

I was dreaming of being in an office, overlooking a large business through a massive panoramic window. Based on its location, high above the premises, I had to be the owner. Lucky me.

The secretary called on the intercom. My three o'clock had arrived, ten minutes early. Her name was Agneta Hansdottir. I told the secretary not to let her wait, but to see her in right away. I'd been waiting for her. Something about her being some sort of a graphic artist. I was hoping we would get to collaborate on a project.

She wandered into the office, and I'd never dreamed of anyone this tall or elegant before. She was a blonde, she had a kind of a swish when she walked, and her hands were long, thin and delicate. She herself was Amazonian in proportion, and someone as short as I would have had a good deal of difficulty in meeting her gaze unless I were standing on a chair or something.

I think she got the job. She had me at "hello."


The Wrong Road

I was in a car, coming home from some sort of event out of town.

I was a passenger in the car, and my sisters Bird and Julie were also in the vehicle. Bird was driving. Julie was in the back seat.

Mum and Dad did not appear in this dream and, unusually, my late brother Sean did not appear either. Just my two living siblings.

The road kind of looked like the back road we used to take to get to the folks' in Brynteg, but I could tell that this was somehow the wrong road. I told Bird, but she did not believe me.

I was, however, fully vindicated because around the very next bend the road came to an abrupt end with a hedge cutting straight across the narrow single lane road. I told Bird to reverse down the road again, but she went straight instead of following the bend - and we ended up crashing through the flimsy hedge on the side of the road.

On the other side of the hedge was another narrow road; one which had not apparently been used for years, judging by the overgrowth. We were still only halfway through the hedge. I told Bird that we could still get back if we reversed course and backed out onto the main road.

But no, Bird knew better. She reversed the car further into the lane so she could turn us around, despite my warning that if we came fully onto this mystery road we would not be able to get back - and that we would all be killed.

Once again, Bird knew best. She pulled us through the hedge and onto the new road. She turned to me and said something like "See? It's just another road. Nothing special."

I pointed back. Bird looked.

The hedge had sealed up. There was not only no way back; there was now no sign of that other road at all. Just this road remained. Whatever happened to us, we were committed.

I remembered this road. I'd been down it - or rather up it, since it seemed to be gently rising in both directions despite that we'd been driving along on a flat plain in the previous road - and I knew where it lead, whichever road we took: the Chessboard, an ivy-covered ruin of gigantic stone chess pieces in a narrow gully nestled amid trees and carved rocks, the remnants of a small stone quarry.

I told Bird to listen to what I had to say. I had been here before. I knew some of the rules. And if she and Jules wanted to get back alive, she would have to follow my lead.

Otherwise, she and Jules could kiss goodbye to any chance of seeing their kids alive again.


Censorious ISP

My ISP has been giving me grief today, blocking access to websites containing "content unsuitable for 18 year olds."

I'm the bill payer, I am an adult, and I'm the only resident. No kids or vulnerable adults here.

ISPs are being told to crack down on content that is dangerous to this government, in the guise of censoring pornography. It doesn't take any effort at all to tick off violence, gambling, crime, blogging, protests and legitimate activities to promote democracy and weaken corrupt tyrannies from taking over the government as "extremism" and "pornography" and block access to them.

In the long term, it means that my blog might suddenly stop because I won't be able to access the thing at all - not, at least, through my ISP, which is TalkTalk. I doubt any of the others are going to be any different. I can't access half of these sites from public terminals these days because it's the same in town.

So if I seem to vanish, and my posts dry up, you know why. And if I do go dark and quiet, I do apologise in advance. You'll be able to email me to correspond with me directly - at least, until the day they cut me off from there, too.

Crossposting to everywhere else.


The Shadow

There was a windowless room, and an arched door in the wall which led nowhere. The white paint of the doorjamb was flaking, revealing black paint beneath. The black paint was something special, and needed to be charged up - that had just been done, and the door opened inwards on blackness. I took a step into the blackness and began a journey through seven membranes.

Each membrane was some sort of barrier, as much emotional as physical - self-doubt, jealousy, fear, aversion, anger, foolishness, lack of judgment. Pushing through each barrier took a bit of effort, but when I came through I was in The Shadow.

I was elsewhere, in the Cold Realm, the Abode of Shade; a place of grey monochrome twilight beneath eternal swirling clouds, a place of shattered black mountains and black soil everywhere. My feet crunched underfoot; the soil was rich and alive with the stuff of broken dreams, the energy of nightmares given substance and allowed to mulch for thousands of years, ever since we evolved the ability to dream.

There was a citadel in the distance, nestled in between the mountains of a range of jagged peaks, their sides glistening like broken-off lumps of uncut obsidian.

Between where I was and the citadel was a forest; the Forest of the Night Trees. The people of the citadel fed from the Night Trees, which were rich in this Shadow stuff called Dreck. The fruits of the Night Trees are a deadly poison to people - even the smallest piece, or tiny trace of the juice, induces vivid hallucinations. Indeed, mixed with certain pharmaceuticals the juice of the fruit of the Night Trees is called Tears of the Gods, and allows people to astrally travel to the Shadow.

Anyone trying to come back from the Shadow has to pass through those veils, which serve to brush away all the Shadow matter - even Shadow matter stuck to the soles of one's feet - and to snag things such as Night Trees fruit and seeds, and the solid black fossilised sap of the Night Trees, called Black Amber. Black Amber can store Soma (the stuff which lends substance to the things in good dreams) and Dreck, and it can be worn as jewellery or ground up into a black paint that can be used to make portals into the Shadow, like the stuff around the door jamb of the portal at the start of the dream.

Thus I found myself back here, in the room, looking at the door which was now closed and locked, the Black Amber portal paint discharged. I was holding a 1kg lump of uncut Black Amber blacker than jet, and a handful of Night Trees seeds in the palm of my hand.

Pictured: Whitby jet


April Hiatus

I'm taking a break for the month of April 2015, while I get Project A done.

Back on 2015 05 03.


SVU Dream

I was apparently a suspect in a case which had the Special Victims Unit of the NYPD, from the TV series Law & Order: SVU, on my case. Somebody was going around entrancing women and raping them, then erasing their memories.

Everything was tied in with a hypnosis website, something similar to one you might have heard of.

So two of the detectives, Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish) were assigned to the case, and they both visited my site separately. And both of them were entranced by a post on my blog.

It was very disjointed. Neither of them remembered much after seeing the site, but I assured them both that they enjoyed the sessions that followed - and that they'd given their full consent.

I had them standing on the balcony of my apartment wearing only negligees for several minutes. I didn't videotape the sessions, or compel them to do anything they didn't want to do. It was just fun, putting them into trances, letting them slowly go under - the one thing most of my clients really just want from me. To succumb.

They fancied me for the crimes, but I assured them I was innocent. Turned out that someone else was doing something similar, but he was dosing up his victims with GHB to scrub their memories - a more straightforward case than they thought it would be, making me one big red herring.

Then Benson asked me why I'd allowed the female officers to attend a session. Why not the men? And my reply was "Because you really don't want to be living with the image of John Munch in nothing but tighty whities in your memories for the rest of your lives. Some things, Man Was Not Meant To Know."


FCC Net Neutrality Vote Countdown Clock

The most important fight of the internet's history is upon us. This is the countdown to Tom Wheeler's crucial vote to allow, or ban, corporations from killing net neutrality.


On Point

For some reason, I was on protection duty. There was this family - mother, her boyfriend, bunch of kids - and somebody was attempting to pick them off. Rooftop sniper type.

The streets were narrow, tall, curved. The boyfriend got one in the back of the next as we approached the hotel - the front of the hotel was this colonnade, rather like the Grosvenor Hotel in the middle of Chester.

Somebody had been feeding the sniper our whereabouts. I'd figured it to have been the boyf, till he caught one and went down.

That left the blonde and her three, or was it five, kids.

I saw one of them, a girl, standing at the window. Roofs across the way. I roughhoused her to the ground to get away from the damned window. There he was, roof opposite, silhouetted against the sky right across from us. I was screaming "Sighting confirmed! Sighting confirmed! Point three! Point three!" into a head mike.

The location shifted. We were in some subtropical country. Hot, dusty, mountains in the distance. The sniper could strike from anywhere.

Then it turns out that the contact I'd been speaking to on my head mike happened to be a TV show producer. We had been his entertainment. He'd been feeding the sniper our locations and setting up the kills. And now the sniper was going to come after us.

Except that the producer had decided to prolong the agonies by making this final show of the series a two-parter.

So in this dream, I finished off the producer with a device in his car, and told him "Your show has been cancelled."

Thing is, if I was doing a cosplay, people automatically think I'd make a great Penguin from Batman - that, or if it were LoTR or fantasy LARP, I make a perfect hobbit / halfling.

When the hell did I start dreaming of being some sort of ex-SAS type?


"All Right, Let's Do This!"

I was climbing some stone stairs. For some reason, all I had on was my underpants.

Ahead of me, at the top of the stairs, was a set of double doors in a large arched doorway, set in a stone wall in a long corridor. I opened the door and entered.

The room was some sort of a vestibule. Stone walls. Stained glass. The pulpit was unusually tall. The room was higher than it was long, this squarish room with a vaulted ceiling very high up. Rows of pews filled the floor, facing the pulpit. They were occupied by rows of people in their Sunday best. And there was I wearing just underpants.

I just pushed past them and made my way towards the pulpit. All I said to them was "All Right, Let's Do This!" - apparently, they had been awaiting my cue.

As I drew near, I realised that everybody had to climb the stone steps leading up to the pulpit, because there was another little doorway up at the top, behind the pulpit, leading to another area beyond. Some sort of a ritual area.

I began climbing the narrow stone steps, feeling a grim sense of deja vu.

And that was it.