Archive for December, 2011
Last night may have been the first time I’ve had a dream where I experienced it, in first-person perspective, as someone else. I didn’t notice during the dream, because I wasn’t myself. But waking up realizing you just dreamed of an experience that happened as another person is quite surreal. For a few hours (or a few minutes, using Inception math) I was Amelia Pond, born in Scotland, raised in Leadworth, swallowed by the crack in her wall. The girl who waited.
I was walking down the hallway in my house thinking what an excellent job I’d done with my hair today as I saw my reflection in a mirror. Stopping to admire myself for a moment, I caught a glimpse of something strange in the background. I immediately recognized it as alien. It looked as if it were made from a photographic slide with thin heavy paper extending from it making a body and legs. It walked awkwardly, reminding me of a crab. The slide was animated, and there was a face on it. The picture flickered and rolled a little, as if it were a very old CRT, but it was thin like an LCD. It produced its own light. I dashed into a room and peeked around the door frame, trying to stay out of its view, as I didn’t think it had seen me yet. I wasn’t even sure if it could see, but as it wasn’t walking into walls, I assumed it had some kind of sense about it.
The creature got just past the doorway and I grabbed it, folding it onto itself. I was surprised how neatly this happened, forming a perfect rectangle with the slide in the middle. I had expected it to fight or be difficult to do, but it seemed a natural state for it, like a beetle putting its wings back in place. A feeling of relief rushed over me. I wasn’t sure this thing was dangerous, but after the adventures I’ve had with the Doctor, I wasn’t going to chance it, and I put the creature in my pocket.
As always though, I was curious, so I stepped outside to see if there were more around. I didn’t see anything, so I decided to check my neighbor’s house. Walking in, there was delightful music and singing. “Phew!” I thought – they’re safe! I walk toward their living room, and see my neighbors dancing as I look around the corner, dressed in red and purple aerobic spandex. I noticed that their faces were older than I remembered, and decided I needed to visit my neighbors more often. Then I noticed they looked older still, and that if I paid attention, their clothes were changing, and there was a bit of syncopation to their dancing, almost as if they were lit by a strobe. In front of each of them sat a “slide crab,” as I’d decided to call it, and I could see an almost aural connection between each person and the creature. Suddenly, one of them turned around and saw me. I could feel it lock its gaze on me, and began walking slowly toward me. Luckily these creatures did walk much slower than me, so I was able to out-run it. My neighbor’s house had a bit of a circle in the floor plan, and I was able to view the living room through another door after crawling quickly into the closet-sized laundry room with vented doors.
As I sat on the washer watching them dance, I realized that in their timeline, everything seemed normal. But in my timeline, years were passing quickly. The syncopation and changes were because they were doing the same thing every day in their timeline, but it wasn’t quite the same each day. In my timeline, I was seeing a few seconds corresponding to each day. I watched them getting older, but they seemed happier than I’d ever seen them before as they just kept dancing and singing the same song over, and over, and over, and over.
With a jolt, I realized I had just watched the performance 4 times. Somehow I had slipped into their timeline, but gotten back out of it. It was joyous – the kind of joy people describe with an out of body experience, or reuniting with a long-lost loved one. The kind of happiness that feels tangible. I pull the creature I’ve kept out of my pocket. Each time I slip into the accelerated timeline, it glows with its own ambient light, its brightness directly correlated to the strength of my joy.
“Vworp, vworp! Vworp, vworp!” I hear the TARDIS coming and and snap back to where I should be. The blue light shines through the vents as it becomes visible, and then the Doctor steps out. I fling open the door and tell him he has to destroy the creatures! He asks if I’m OK, and I run and embrace him. He points his sonic screwdriver at a “slide crab” and it folds up like mine, but it also puts an extra layer on the outside. He picks it up and knocks on it – it seems to be contained in white plastic.
“Self-defense mechanism. The soul crab’s biggest weakness is that if it’s scared enough, it goes dormant for centuries,” the Doctor explained.
“What about mine?”
He pointed the sonic screwdriver at the one in my hand, and the protective layer appears. He does the same to those controlling my neighbors, and a couple more he found crawling around outside the front door.
“You called these things “soul crabs.” What do they do?”
“They steal your soul, Amy. The best part of your soul – your happiness. They speed things up and drain every bit of possible happiness for the rest of your lifetime, then fly away. They leave you a shell with no possibility of happiness. It’s worse than death. The face you see one carry is the face of their last victim. The good thing is, if they don’t complete it, it’s like someone pressed ‘abort’ and the victim is fully restored. Your neighbors and you are just fine.”
With that, we walked back to the TARDIS, bidding my neighbors goodbye, and close the door.
As the door closed, I woke up. I’ll never know what the next adventure was in the TARDIS, but I was so glad to be whisked away after that experience. After waking up, I felt like I had legitimately gone through the full fear, joy, relief, and other emotions Amy had during this “episode.” I was in awe of how safe and secure I felt as soon as I heard the TARDIS. My dream may be no Steven Moffat, but experiencing the story first-hand was better than watching an episode can ever be. And for those of you wondering, the Doctor had the face of Matt Smith.