I had a dream last night (when I wrote this) - probably nothing unusual in that. What was unusual was remembering much of the rather vivid dream in the morning. …… The first segment was in the amber light of late afternoon, near sunset. What folk were left (humankind was scarce) lived in a series of artifical caverns, with the entrance a large opening in the east of a large hill.
Before sunset you had to be back in the caverns, because the night was dangerous. The night was owned by folk that were once human, who looked human, but were now something else. They could not go about in daylight, but if they caught you out at night, you would become one of them. Once “touched” you would no longer age in the normal fashion, but would become something evil.
I did not much like living in the caverns, and had wandered further afield during the day than most. As I came back toward the large brightly light entrance, the side of the hill and the ground below were in shadow. As I came to a plain bridge crossing a small stream, I could see the Touched in the shadows, and knew the entrance could no longer be reached.
Careful to avoid notice, I went south along the east side of the stream. After a bit I came to a place were the stream could be crossed. The hills were lower, so the ground between was still lit by the sun. I climbed west and up into the hills.
In the hills were the few homes of those individualistic enough to not want to live in the caverns. To survive the night I needed to find shelter. But approaching any of the homes was dangerous. Some had fallen and were inhabited by the Touched. Those not fallen would be suspicious of and possibly hostile to the unexpected visitor.
(… don’t remember what came between …)
In the next segment, I stepped out the front door on a night brightly lit by a full moon. The neighborhood was much like the endless anonymous miles of suburbs in west-central Orange County. My house was small and single story built in the style of fifty or so years ago, as were the other houses in the neighborhood. There were no street lights near.
Across the street was a fair sized park, and across the park was the usual four lane divided arterial road, lit with traffic and street lights.
My house was on a corner. I do not know what brought me outside. It was late. The neighborhood was dark and quiet. It seemed that everyone else was asleep.
I noticed a locomotive - of the large old steam kind used just prior to WWII - coming east down the street toward me. I looked for tracks in the street, but expected and found none. This was unusual enough, but as the locomotive banked silent and graceful around my corner, I noticed the wheels were about a foot off the ground. The locomotive went north on the street between my house and the park. At the end of the short block, it then took the next left, moving away from the park just a bit more quickly than I could follow.
After an astonished moment, I went back inside. What else could I do? Ask my mostly-sleeping neighors if they had noticed a floating locomotive in the middle of the night?
A few hours later I became aware of a gathering in the park across from where I had seen the locomotive make its last turn. Dozens of others had seen the same odd event, and were gathered to find some sort of explanation.
A few official looking folk had showed up and were going to explain events as soon as everyone had gathered. Rather than wait around for the last few stragglers to show up, I went back to my house for a short time. When I came back out, I found the crowd disbursing, with no memory of any unusual events. Going back to where the crowd had been, there were a few confused folk who still retained memories of the odd event.
Somehow at this point I found that I could fly, or more exactly, float - much as had the odd locomotive. The few who had not lost their memory, when encouraged, found that they could float as well, though with difficulty as great concentration was needed.
(… another lost transition …)
Later a new artificial tunnel was found that spanned clear across the continent. Who had created the tunnel was a mystery, though a supply of gadgets were found that needed to be installed before the tunnel was usable. As built the tunnel was unlit and somehow dangerous. There were small units that had to installed in the ceiling at regular intervals, and could only be installed by those who had been given the gift of the odd limited form of flying. Walking was somehow impossible in the unequiped sections of tunnel.
In spite of the unexplainable existance of the tunnels, they did not attract much attention. The tunnels were only really usable for walking, being too small for cars, and somehow unsuitable for any other sort of use.
(… another gap …)
We were at a very large aircraft hangar or warehouse with the stacks of boxes containing the gadgets to be installed in the tunnels. Those who had the limited gift of flight were receiving practice at flight, and instruction on the equipment to be installed - though the instructors had neither the gift of flight, or a clear understanding of the purpose of the gadgets.
There were long rows of the large buildings with a wide span of concrete between. Impatient with the instructors and the slow pace of the other students, I went outside the large open hangar door, and a distance up the sloped span of concrete, into the shade cast by the row of buildings on the other side. There I was joined by a similarly impatient fellow student. We had not been there long before a water came over the top of the building, as though from a large intermittent-stream type sprinkler. To avoid getting wet, we were forced back into the open hangar. …… Where do dreams - discounting trite abstractions like “the subconscious mind” - where does this odd stuff come from?