The air is charged with inexplicable tension as a group of workers in reflective gear bustle about, carrying strange battery-like devices in their arms. It's a pitch-black night on the edge of the airfield where I have parked my car, lazing on the bonnet and windshield and watching planes take off the runways. All appears normal but the scene is tinged with a presentiment of disaster.

Soon another plane will take off eastward in my direction. It barrels down the stretch of runway and achieves flight, wheels lifting off the tarmac, but there's something off-balance about it. It soars clear over my head at speed but instead of ascending into the sky, it falters, nosediving catastrophically somewhere in the distance behind me.


Pursued by vague, shadowy entities through a bright, open office lobby. Blank white spaces, open staircases allowing expansive views and a front wall with bright floor-to-ceiling windows. Modern, minimalist architecture. I grow tired of escaping them and focus with the intention to either wake myself or send myself to a different part of the dream.

Instead of waking, I find myself in a highly unusual apartment, long and narrow. The apartment boasts similar expansive windows but they have been covered with colorful paper, allowing colored light to stream through but blocking out the view. A bed nook is built into a strange spot toward the middle of the room. The wall closest to the entryway is stacked to the ceiling with shelves laden with all sorts of plushies. The far side of the room is cordoned off with a waist-high barrier and filled with plastic balls, creating a ball pit. The entrance to the studio apartment space (the entrance nook with bathroom and kitchenette) has been blocked by large queen-sized mattress.

Between the papered-over windows and mattress pushed up to block the entryway, it feels like a space belonging to a paranoid and secretive person, not intended for anyone to see. My suspicions are confirmed when I try to leave and find a clue on the wall near the front door - next to photographs and a framed university degree, a small newspaper clipping stuck haphazardly to the wall. Skimming it over, I can glean that it's a short interview with the CEO of a rapidly-growing business. Among discussions of his work are questions about his personal character. He describes himself as a "private person" to the interviewer and confirms that he is not currently in a relationship. On further pressing, he indicates the most important thing about a prospective partner is that they will not insist on living together.

Just as I reach for the handle to leave, the knob jostles as if being unlocked and forces my retreat. I try to press myself to the far corner of the room and slide down to be obscured by the balls in the ball pit. The man squeezes past the mattress barricading the entryway. For a while I am forced to hold my breath and stay perfectly still. I only have a limited view of him and mostly what I can see is that he has pulled off an expensive-looking suit and slid into a comfortable fluffy pajama onesie. He speaks to himself (and his plushies) a lot as he rearranges some items and snacks on something I can't see but I can hear.

I wait long enough for him to start to settle down into the strangely-placed bed and start to drift off. Unfortunately, I either miscalculated the time I should have tried to slip out or he was a light sleeper, because he was on his feet and in front of me in a flash, moving with intent. I start to speak - to attempt to explain my predicament and apologize for being here - but before I can get past even a sentence he brings a hand to my neck and slices my throat open.


Two troubling dreams experienced one after the other:

Carving my way through an overgrown rustic garden. It's a sweltering summer day and humidity clings to my skin and hair. Large swaths of rich green dominate my field of vision, some of these plants (and weeds) matching my height. I find my way to a small graveled clearing and find someone I know there. We barely exchange a few sentences before something I can't remember raises my ire and I pick up a shovel from nearby, swinging it at her head. The blow throws her off-balance and to the ground. I discard the tool in favor of my bare hands and fall upon her, striking her in the face with my fists. She cowers and cries and begs me to stop, but I do not relent. My body feels full of poison as I punch her again in the mouth and she weakly spits blood. Someone is watching this incident take place and they ask me what I'm doing. "It doesn't matter, it's not even real," I reply without looking up. The voice informs me that what happens here can "flow to the real world", and I wake up soon after.

When I wake I experience blinding pain in my left eye socket. It's so intense I actually need to leave my bed, retrieve an ice pack from my freezer and sit with ice on my eye for a good twenty minutes. The orbital floor/bone feels bruising or even fractured. I don't know if I thrashed and slammed it on my headboard or if I was trying to claw my own eyes out or what. I return to sleep and the next dream isn't much better.

At a crystal clear bay with pure white sand. The scene strongly resembles a spit of coast I have seen many times in dreams before, often with an airy wooden beach shack constructed on the backshore. The sun directly over the calm, barely-moving water offers a startlingly clear view what lies beneath. Twisting streaks of undulating light play upon the sandy ocean floor. My friends venture into the water but I am not ready to join them. I return to the shack to retrieve a different phone and underwater photography gear. I spend about thirty minutes assembling the housing, changing into more suitable swimming gear and applying sunscreen. As I move to leave, my friends return and have had their fill of this place - they are ready to return home. They have absolutely no consideration for me and are not interested in accommodating my wants. I lose my temper and start telling them exactly how I feel about them, culminating in me picking up various small furnishings (e.g. a lamp, a decorative vase) and hurling them across the room.


Visiting a small village somewhere in the mountains. A thin sheet of sparkling snow still blankets the scenery, melting to give way to verdant springtime pasture. The buildings in this remote, pastoral area are comprised of cobbled stone on the exterior but these are facades concealing ordinary modern homes behind them (as is the case in many European villages to preserve the history/character/aesthetics of the area).

I have come here to interview two forgotten Hollywood celebrities. More than fifteen years ago there was a wildly popular child actor who had been performing from the age of eight. She was the recipient of multiple awards throughout her young career. When she turned seventeen, she was supposed to feature as the child bride protagonist in a movie about the Quiverfull movement. Being an intense method actor, she relocated with her eighteen-year-old male co-star to a remote Scandinavian town, seeking to simulate the isolated conditions of her character. She and the co-star formed a relationship and she fell pregnant. She quickly realized she actually enjoyed this lifestyle, married her co-star and neither of them ever returned to the US to shoot the film.

In the past fifteen years they have had eight children and adopted eight dogs. It is difficult for me to find her, but I do find her husband and he is eager to speak with me and very approachable. He possesses a strong physique, a long dark beard and a partially shaved head, making him appear closer to a man cast for some fantasy series than someone likely to be encountered in day-to-day modern life.

Of their eight dogs, one is a pug named Harold. One is an Italian greyhound, white with a red cape and spots, named Pippa. Two have obvious German shepherd ancestry due to their ear and head shape. One is a golden retriever, another a black-and-tan dachshund. I spend most of the time looking and interacting with them rather than the eight children.

At the end of January, I found myself in demanding, full-time employment until July, and then I undertook a whirlwind travel from the start of September until November. Thanks to this hectic schedule and many competing priorities, I stopped dreaming almost altogether. Below are recountings of the very few dreams clear enough to remember for the entirety of this year.


Instead of smartphones, people had enslaved dragons the size of house cats that could communicate across distance with other people, access the news, retrieve pictures (holograms) etc. A piece of hot news on everybody's dragon were predictions of a comet that would pass by the earth soon. This comet could potentially send out a wave of energy like an EMP that could deactivate the mass charm spell all dragons were under, unleashing absolute chaos.
I was in a hotel in a fantasy universe equivalent of Vegas with my partner. We debated on whether you're supposed to make your dragons face away from you or otherwise cover them up when you have sex. We discussed how it was probably better to do that, as all of the dragon's memories (photos, recordings) get backed up to that universe's equivalent of the cloud, which is a universal consciousness shared by all dragons.


Dream about a canon divergence in one of my ongoing D&D campaigns.
The party returns to Keltokel and to their preferred accommodations there, the Place of Green Moss. To their surprise, Bronislaw is there, having somehow found the place from a vague description of where they usually stay in the city. He has been antagonizing the groundskeeper into allowing him to remain free of charge through a mixture of threats and claiming association to the party.

Bronislaw declares he's grown bored of the mountain and wishes to join the party in adventuring. He then notices Elzbieta with the party. A massive fight ensues and culminates in Elzbieta issuing a "it's him or it's me" ultimatum, as she refuses to travel with her ex step-son. Govannon attempts to intervene and calm the situation. in the end, Elzbieta makes the decision for herself to remain in Keltokel while the party ventures into the wasteland with Bronislaw. She takes several hundred gold from Govannon for lodging and provisions, and leaves with his younger sister.

Over indeterminable time, Bronislaw rapidly grows stronger while tailing the party through the wastes. They find numerous ruins under the sand, full of undead and loot, and load up Bronislaw with all manner of artifacts to enhance his spellcasting. Rather than a conventional wizard weapon, he continues to use his bow and fires long-range spells in the form of magical arrows.

Vague dream about browsing an overstuffed, nigh-overflowing second-hand shop. Found a working Gameboy Color and Pokemon Gold cartridge for $40, got so mindboggled about that low price for a perfect condition retro console and game that I woke up.

Short dream about an anonymous person developing a must have usability/performance add-on for Guild Wars 2. Because they were from /gw2g/, they named the add-on "Rhisiart" after my partner because they thought it would be funny (his character is something of a 4chan meme).

Not a dream, but multiple instances of me discussing false memories brought about by my dreams with friends. Multiple times I dreamed about a social media site that I "used for a few months in 2014". On the main page it had a left-aligned content feed and a sticky/floating sidebar on the right. It was essentially like Tumblr in use where you could make posts with text, images and/or embedded video, and could browse the site by tags to find other people posting about stuff you want to see. On several occasions I found myself Googling defunct social media platforms from that time period (e.g. soup.io, waterfall social), but none of them resemble what I was "remembering".
A tall, strong woman from a warrior clan is chosen to be offered up as the Demon King's bride. This decision was partly consensus, partly the woman's free offering, reasoning that someone had to go, willing or forced, so it might as well be willing. This offer of a bride was part of a new pact forged between the warrior clan and the Demon King.
The Demon King is an enormous brick wall of a man, 8ft of broad, tanky muscle with well-distributed fat coverage, less like a bodybuilder and more like a strongman. His skin is a dark, almost velvety red-orange. His hair is long and mane-like in appearance, seeming unkempt and connecting to his facial hair. His face is severe and mean-looking, completed by two nubby, flesh-tone horns high on his forehead, almost too small to recognize.

Beyond his imposing stature, the man has a gravity to him. He is quiet throughout most of this introduction. Intellectually, the warrior woman knows what he is and what he is known for, but up close he is calm like a deep lake. One expects a man known as the king of all demons to radiate malice or be bombastic in some way, but he is still and almost impassive.

As she interacts with him, she quickly leans he possesses the ability to read a mortals thoughts and feelings when they are physically close, presumably by hearing their heartbeat. He says he is impressed that the warrior woman does not fear him, but says he can clearly feel a "pain" she is actively suppressing. This pain is the knowledge that she can never return to her home and will never see her loved ones ever again.

The warrior woman - the First Bride - spends her first days within the Demon King's realm at his side in his throne room. He is interesting to talk to. He describes himself not as an evil, chaotic entity who delights in suffering, but a necessary and unavoidable force of nature. Without him, humans have nothing to struggle against and strive towards, and so they rot away. To enjoy a cool drink of water, one must first know the feeling of thirst. Brutal catastrophes pave the way for charity and gratitude. He claims the more he recedes from the world, the more humans grow stir crazy and invent conflicts for themselves, turning on each other when they have no obvious common enemy. He also believes that God's heaven, where there is no suffering, hunger or pain of any sort, is actually the worst hell of all.
Other things that became known during the course of the dream: the "First Bride" is indeed the Demon King's first bride, as he will eventually take on more brides, but the "First" has seniority and authority over the others. The job of the Demon's brides is to similarly sow discord in the human world, and also to birth his children. All demons (except the king himself) are killable and must replenish themselves the same way that living things in the mortal world do, but this process is rapid compared to human gestation and maturation. The Demon King can be killed for a time, but he will eventually reform "as long as humans still exist in the world" - he will only disappear when humanity disappears. The brides eventually cease being human and slowly transform into demons themselves over time and exposure to the realm. Many of the "footsoldier" demons just sort of pour out into the world as rpg enemies, but some disguise themselves as humans and sneak into the human world to cause problems that way.
Dreamed that I wrote a novella called "The Tower" and won some modest awards for it.
The story is told from the perspective of a male first-person narrator. The country he moves to is never named or described, so it's unknown if it's real or fictional, but it is described as a place that is frozen in time before a certain war, particularly the district the protagonist lives in and where the story largely centers.
He describes unusual antique city infrastructure, bits where newer developments clash with old, parts where they hadn't demolished but simply re-purposed older structures or just plain built on top of them. The "tower" in the title is a dilapidated building in an especially old and run down part of town. Whatever it used to be, in present day it's still somewhat used for its parking garage. On the ground level it has a short thoroughfare/arcade to the other side with a few storefronts: a laundromat, one of those sketchy little electronics stores, and a little place owned by an old guy and his immediate family where they handmake dumplings and some other smallgoods.

This is situated in a dead, impoverished, potentially dangerous part of town, so there's not much visitation. There's nowhere to go on the other side of the thoroughfare, so people don't walk through there. The garage and the thoroughfare itself drop away into a tunnel system that branch out under the streets and connect to neighboring buildings, these were apparently undercity evacuation routes a long, long time ago. Now they're mostly full of grime and debris since the only people hanging out in them at all are homeless and drug users.

The narrator talks about this place with the man who makes dumplings. When he first moved here, he'd gotten lost during a snowstorm on the way back to his apartment by foot and took shelter in this arcade. Seeing he didn't have much, the man owning the store fed him free of charge with the condition that he'd keep coming back. So he did.
The narrator returned almost daily. Whenever he'd make a new acquaintance, he'd bring them to this place for dumplings. It was open all night along with the two other fronts so when he felt lonely or the heating didn't work at night, he came here and slept in the cafe. He develops a strong and lasting relationship with the owner and eventually comes to learn the stories of the people who own the laundromat and the electronics store as well.
One day he passes by an older woman, probably housing insecure herself, sitting on a sidewalk and offering tarot readings to the people ignoring her as they pass by. Remembering the act of charity that transformed his life, our narrator feels a sense of duty to humor her. He pays her more than what she's asking and the first card she draws is, of course, the tower. The narrator feels a sense of impending doom and does not stay to hear the rest of the reading after the first card is read.

It's not long before the import of this reading becomes clear: the owner of the place the narrator eats at says that he's been served a notice. The run-down building is being evicted, presumably for demolition, but maybe not - that depends on whether the city can justify the expense. It's not as if this is prime real estate and there's any reason to build something new here, maybe they'll just let the frame rot indefinitely.

Either way, these three businesses and their owners are now scattered to the wind. The dumpling man found another place he can afford the rent on, but it's an hour away on the opposite end of town. He says he's relying on seeing the narrator there, too, but there's this kind of unspoken understanding it's probably not gonna happen.
Over all, the themes were something like "warmth and community can be found in expected places", followed by "nothing gold can stay" and "life is not really ever in anybody's control".