A Dream and a Story

[Author’s Note: Experienced a number of weird dreams last night. This particular one being the most noteworthy. Both stressful and fascinatingly weird.]

***

A friend Kylee asked me to help her search for a mutual friend Brenna who had gone missing a few weeks earlier at a beach.

While news reports touted foul play, kidnapping, and numerous other theories. Kylee suspected Brenna had fallen prey to something else. Kylee asked me to join her as she investigated something she and Brenna noticed on an earlier visit – and not wanting to go alone. My having a background in marine biology couldn’t hurt.

Up along some cliffs she points to these strange long kelp like vines, explaining that these were not here when she head visited a as a cold or even a few years back. They were new.

I thought to take a cutting to look at under my microscope. Cause they obviously grew pretty quick for them to climb up the cliffs as they had. Most touted the grown as just another sign of Global Warming. But I still thought it puzzling.

We cut a sample, and it was both slippery and sticky. And it almost seemed like the piece we cut off moved a little. I expressed that maybe it’s not really a plant. Something more along the lines of a symbiotic species like an anemone.

We started to head back, when I heard Kylee”s voice from behind me say my name in a panicked and shocked tone. I’m

I turned around to see the kelp vines briefly pull back away from her. Than a moment later they all launched back wrapping around her ankles, yanking her to the ground as they began to pull her toward the cliffs edge. I launched forward to help pull her free only to fall to the sand myself. But I had the knife with me. And quickly began to hack away at the vine wrapped around my ankle and stab a couple others that crept approachingly forward. Finally cutting myself free, only to turn and watch Kylee nearly encompassed by the kelp vines to be pulled over the cliff’s edge followed moments later by a splash.

I ran, and ran until I reached the parking lot. I could see large tentacles of kelp vines reaching afterward. I could see a group huddled in the center of the parking lot. Some locked into their vehicles, vines around the tires and doors. And s bunch crammed on a couple pick up truck beds. A hundred and fifty yards away was a cinderblock structure, the showers and restrooms, with vines stretching out. Likely there cause of the water source.

Crossing quietly I made it to my car and got a container with oil and doused myself with it. And some windshield wiper fluid.

I grabbed a flashlight and with knife in the other hand. Quietly approached the infested structure.

A few tentacles came toward me, but as hoped, they were repelled by the onslaught of chemicals. A couple made contact, but quickly withdrew before I could being my knife to bear. And then writhed in the sand seemingly attempting to clean off the oil that now coated them from contacting me.

I thought I heard something. “Ick. Ick approaches.” It was weird. Because I couldn’t quite tell if it was a whisper. My own thought. Or the rustle of the withdrawing kelp tentacles.

Whatever they were. They were not merely plants. Perhaps if giant kelp merged with sea anemonies. And at one point, I swear I saw a bulbous mass with a pair of eyes that reflected the light of my flashlight in a milky glow.

“Ick”

I heard it…it was clearer that time.

“There is more Ick to come if I am attacked.” I shouted for whatever good it would do.

“Don’t touch. We won’t touch.”

This was in my head. I had to be imagining. There were those milky eyes again. And a second pair on another bulb. Then gone….

Perhaps more like kelp + anemone + octopus. Definitely more alive and animal like.

I entered the vine encrusted structure. The air inside smelled dank, of piss, lowtide, and oil.

“What does the Ick want?”

That could not be my thought. This time I thought back … “my friend….Kylee”.

Then I heard all around me a rustling echo of the sound “Ick demands the Ky-leee”.

“Will go..if has Kylee? Ick go?”

I thought affirmingly “Yes”

“Which is the Ky-leee”

I thought about Kylee, her deep laugh, her smile. She knew something wasn’t right here. She suspected something. I came….but I wasn’t prepared for this. I’m sorry Kylee. I wasn’t prepared.”

“A master approaches”…

Suddenly, all the vines seemed to withdraw then reformed on the floor as a tight woven mat. And a bulbous creature held about 10 inches aloft on kelp tentacles approached.

“Is late…too late.” This time it was different. It was audible.

“Why too late?” I retorted.

“Three. We could do. Ten maybe. Thirty we cannot. Drowned already. Ingesting. Absorbing. Already.”

I didn’t cry. Too much adrenaline. Body maxed with fight or flight chemicals.

“Please. No. Ick.”

(Two more of the bulbous heads appeared. Somewhere smaller.)

“Sorry said. We understood not. We preserve the Ky-leee. Bring. Not Ky-leee. Preserve Ky-leee. Sorry said. Sorry said. Preserve the Ky-leee help. Preserve the Brenna help. Please no Ick”

Then one of the smaller bulbous shapes came closer. In a deep but softer tone I heard “Touch. No hurt. Trust. The Jason Trust.”

It was confusing as all hell. Was it asking me to trust it. Or stating they could trust me. And how did it know my name? Duh, obviously these creatures had some telepathic mental communicative ability. But there was a familiarity that was inexplicable.

A lone small tentacle approached and touched the right temple of my head. I was awashed with imagery. I was seeing myself, the tentacles creeping up behind me just before they wrapped around my ankle. Then all I saw was sand and rocks. Pain and panic. Then the cold of ocean water. The burning of lungs. And darkness. Then little bits of glitter…then being spread apart and fading and slowing of thought. Then a voice “The Ky-leee”. A reawakening. The shimmer of particles coalescing. Moving. Being collected. Slowness of thought regained. Strangeness. Awareness. Sadness. Fullness. Familiarity. A glimpse of another coalescening formation of sparkles. “Send The Kylee. Send Too send, The Br-enna.”

“The Jason Trust. The Ky-leee said, The Jason Trust. Is The Ky-leee. Is not The Ky-leee. Sorry for the Jason that The Ky-leee not his The Kylee. The Ky-leee said The Jason not the fault. Forgive us.”

In a daze I collapsed down wrapping my arms around my knees shivering. Overwhelmed. The right or flight adrenaline wearing off. The sobs and convulsions begun. A second tentacle approached from the small bulbous creature that was not Kylee but somehow was Kylee, and gently wiped the tears. Leaving a scent reminiscent of kelp and clams.

I glanced down “Kylee?” I said, then looking to the second small bulbous creature “Brenna?”. The first touched my cheek and chest with a tentacle each, and blinked. The second, seemed to arrange a number of tentacles into wing like structures and I saw the sparkle of glitter.

The third larger bulbous creature spoke up again. “Not all of your Kylee, your Brenna. Essence. The essence, The Kylee. The essence, The Brenna. Absorb. Grow. Learn. How communicate.”

“So you ate and absorbed them?” I inquired accusingly, “Is that what you do? Is that what you plan to do? Devour and absorb all of us?”

It appeared to deflate. Then spoke again….

“Darkness. Deep. We feed. Kelp I s yummy. All we know. We feed. Kelp is yummy. Others yummy. Others not yummy. We eat creature. Yummy. Ouchy. Both. We eat more Yummy. Ouchy.”

The small bulbous creature that corresponded to the beautiful woman in once new as Kylee chimed in “Glaucus Atlanticus”.

I look to her, to it…I don’t even know anymore. “What do I call you? Do I call you Kylee or the monster that ate Kylee?”

“The Jason. The sad. I am not Kylee. I am the essence of what made your Kylee. Portion of your friend, her core. The Ky-leee. Same. Not same. Have memories. Have thoughts. Like dreams. But The Ky-leee remembers The Jason fondly.”

Tears streamed down may face. More than a thousand tentacles could wipe. I tried to muster a disarming smile. “Okay, I am goin to call you The Ky-leee. I’m not sure I can think of you completely as the same. Cause you’re not. But like some ghost in the machine, you are still sort of her.”

“The Ky-leee thank The Jason” the bulbous creature seemed understanding.

“One more thing” I blurted.

“Yes?” The bulbous creature replied in it’s deep soft tone.

The Jason blushed as he spoke his next words “You’re still intriguing to converse with. But I’m not sure I still consider you one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever been privileged to know.”

There was a sudden amount of rustling of kelp tentacles and various sounds similar to a whoopy-cushion from all about the structure. Apparently, the bizarre kelp like creatures had developed, or more likely, absorbed the elements of humor.

“Absorbed is perhaps most accurate. Yes, we had consumed several Glaucus Atlanticus. A creature famed for being able to eat the poisonous man-of-war jellyfish and then absorb and utilize their sting. But in so doing. We also absorbed the Glaucus Atlanticus. And when we later felt ourselves being consumed by a multi-tentacled creature, it was the absorbed cells of the Glaucus Atlanticus and small tentacles we grew from it that struck the devourer dead, and stopped it from eating us. So we slowly devoured and ingested it. Something was different. We knew the devourer. We could feel the devourer. We could see like the devourer. Somehow, in consuming the Glaucus Atlanticus we had been compatible enough on a cellular level that it’s ability to absorb established a symbiosis. When we ate the cephalopod. We did not simply ingest it for nutrients we absorbed it in symbiosis. We were now made of us, Glaucus Atlanticus, a cephalopod. Now we grew, now just vines to feed on kelp. We grew tentacles. That which sought to eat or harm us, we now devoured. We sought more octopus. For with absorbing of the cephalopod, we grew…not simply in size. But in understanding. How to be. How to be something else. How to wait patiently. For hiding. For hunting. We ate. We grew. Other creatures we encountered. We consumed. Absorbed. Some. Not all. Some offer growth. Some offer nothing.

The We, become aware. We know We are The We. Not all. Some of We still dumb, not The We. But dumb We still attached to and listen to The We.

Dumb We consume The Bre-nna and The Ky-leee. The We, when see essence, extract from Dumb We portions. Birth The Ky-leee and The Bre-nna. Few others too, before. The Me, before… Not no The Me The Who. Not understand The Human thought. Not absorb yet.

Then we encounter Ick. Ick not like Yummy. Ouchy Glaucus Atlanticus. Ick not like anything The We consume. The We that consumes the Ick, that We die. The We choose, all The We, not eat Ick. Ignore Ick. The We encounter large Ick. Ignore. All The We touched by Ick die. The We not ignore Ick. The We stop Ick.

Humans = Ick. We defend. We devour. We stop Ick. We think. We did not understand. We knew Ick bad. We knew human and Ick. We knew human bad. We thought. We wrong thought. We consume The Me, others, than The Bre-nna. The Bre-nna not seem bad. Study essense. Human bad. The Bre-nna human. The Bre-nna bad. The Bre-nna not seem bad. The Ky-leee consume. Human = bad. The Ky-leee = human. The Ky-leee != Bad. The We confused. Study.

The Jason come. The Jason bring Ick. The Jason = Human = Ick = Very Bad. We destroy. But Ick. Avoid Ick. The Jason come. The Ky-leee being studied. The We inquire The Ky-leee essence, how stop The Bad The Jason. The Ky-leee essence, replied confused The Jason Good. The We say, no The Bad The Jason. The Ky-leee say The Jason The Good. The Ky-leee trust The Jason. The We confused. Coalesce The Ky-leee, birth The Ky-leee essence into cephapolyp. The Ky-leee suggest The Bre-nna too.

The Me, The Ky-leee, The Bre-nna meet The Ick Jason, which threatens more Ick. The We scared. Trust The Ky-leee to trust The Jason.

My brain is finally begining to encompass some sort of understsnding in the midst of the simultaneous lost. The We as they call themselves, still unsure if that is as a species or one continuous interconnected symbiotic mass, is killed thru contact with oil and gasoline and likely other toxins.

And now humanity has encountered another sentient species. One that has already encountered the harm of humanity’s own failures and the damage of our pollution. One that is strangely both frightening in its appearance and potential malignancy – to devour is bad enough but the fear of one that can devour and absorb your essence. That can be utterly frightening. And yet, how many would choose a burial for a loved one. Or choose their own burial if such could both be greener than how we presently bury our loved ones. And also preserve their essence in a way that can allow loved ones to still have some connection.

I speak, but very somberly … “There are ways. It will be hard. Some will be scared. Some will be fascinated. Some will respect. And some will want to destroy or study without respect. Do you understand. Can you comprehend what I am saying? The Ky-lee you need to help them understand the good and the bad. Humans are not able to have peace amongst themselves.

I need you to understand. I need you to convey. Lest you just all humans. I have ideas to help. Can you see them? I need you to see them?

All three of the bulbous creatures touch a tentacle to my forehead. As I visualize. I picture the outcomes in my head from various actions. And an idea for a plan to establish peace for the two species.

They observe the scenario. I show a world where they fight humanity. And are eradicated by chemicals just as humans use them on crops. And the oceans of the world harmed even further by the way between The We and Humanity. Then I depict the rebuttal to the question to arise next – what if The We win? I show them a world in which they absorb and gain more knowledge and overcome humanity. And when The We feel they have overcome the evil producers of Ick. The world is immersed in bright flames that scorch the entire world and poison the sea. Thousands of nuclear detonations turns the entire earth uninhabitable. The Humans will not lose alone. This imagery caused writhings and contentions throughout The We and I could feel the any I caused.

“Wait!” I pleaded…there is more…there is hope…I envisioned a work in which The We were slowly revealed. First to a select few scientists and persons of note, then to see individuals of political prominence. Meanwhile, I visualized how the We could garner favor. Monitoring beaches for predators and ensuring they were safe. Especially observing small children. Rescuing them from drowning. How every life saved work result in a tale of s mysteriously rescue by a head with two milky white eyes. How they could make themselves even more appealing. The Bre-nna could show them how to look like fairies. How small children record from drowning would react better to pink and blue and rainbows. And how each tale would create favor toward them. Each rescue.

But that I admitted that some would always be fearful, hate, and be cruel. That when those of humanity act. The hardest part would be to not retaliate despite every instinct to. Not to drink a ship full of Innocents. Showing that would lead to war.

Rather, lean to the good will of the others. Lay your beloved dead in the beaches. Arranged in signs, help in a hundred languages. Plead to the children. Leaving a memory in each one you’ve rescued. That if such continues, The We won’t be there to keep the beaches safe and rescue other children. When the media investigates the date, written on the beach of the first rescue. And discovers not a single child has drowned at a beach since that date. Understanding will sink in to many.

Meanwhile, humanity has lost some of our greatest visionaries and inventors. Noblest minds. The We can provide the option to continue as part of something larger. But it must be by choice. And if the individual chooses to one day go, The We just promise to disperse their essence. So they can choose to move onto the next life or adventure, be it a heavenly one, a rebirth, or nothingness. We must respect their choice. Eventually, loved ones may choose for their essence to be joined to The We as an alternative form of burial. The We will need to sift, for the essence of some humans is evil and wicked. Such essence should be filled where able, permitting only the good portions to be coalesced and dispersing the worst of mankind’s tendencies. And this part is key, for over time, The We will contain many essences of loved ones, that it can not be harmed without hurting the ones we love. And war between Humanity and The We will become infeasible. Yet, sadly, war between Humanity and itself remains. And that will be something The We will one day need to face as well, the challenge of not warring amongst one another. But perhaps living together, both species can move beyond such.

It won’t be easy to achieve. It will take time, care, and a willingness to be hurt and forgive. If that can be done, than I envision a world in which we can live in peace and in which together, we can mend the oceans of the world. And many ways, Humanity and The We would become one on symbiosis. But it must be fine freely. Never by force.

“The Ky-lee correct was. The Jason is indeed, creative very. Thank you. We see. We understand.

Question Others ask. What to do if The We finds an already drowned human? Too late for us to save for the surface? Shall we absorbed or disperse its essence?”

I paused for a moment, and responded “Best the essence be neither dispersed nor coalesced, absorbed and held until we can find the humans kin or until the had passed. Perhaps a year, a decade, or a century. Then coalesced enough to inquire how their essence would choose. But hold the essence for a century. By that time, most loved loves will have passed. And if they have chosen to be dispersed, few will if any will remain to be sneered by their loss.”

“The Jason is exhausted.” spoke the small bulbous creature now known as The Ky-leee.”

I looked down at the strange creature picking it up in my hands, tears began to start down my cheeks. I’m sorry I wasn’t more prepared. I’m sorry I couldn’t save you.” And brought the feature up to my face and kissed it’s strange slimy bulbous form. Wondered how I would convey this news to her family and friends. Then proceeded to sob all more.

Suddenly, I felt tentacles wrap around me. And that deep soft tender voice whisper “Jason, had this not happened to me, to your Kylee, than we would not have had a bridge to allow both species to cross.”

The larger bulbous creature exclaimed The Ky-leee. The Jason. Both. Saved Both. The We. The Humanity.

The smaller held my cheeks between two tentacles. “The Ky-leee. Forgive. The Jason.” And then spoke again saying “The Jason. Forgive Need. The Jason.” as a third smaller tentacle lightly touched upon my lips.

“The We. Go. Now. Return. The Ky-lee on Moon. Full. Communicate. Update. With The Jason.”

THE END

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