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Old 04-04-2008, 07:15 AM   #1
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Earth, Sky, Fire and Rain - chapter 24 (4/4/08)

The saga continues... Bit of a language warning in this one.

Disclaimer - all false; don't know the band, don't know very much of anything, really.



end of chapter 23:
--------

"I know. Do you want to tell me what it was about, then?"

"It was nothing much, just Mag in the woods, thinking about Moryn being killed. Then someone came along and told her a woman in the village was having a baby."

"That Lenya?"

"Yeah. Did I say that out loud?" I was a little concerned about that.

"I wasn't sure that was what you'd said, it was only a mumble."

"Hmm."

"I suppose it was silly to think that they'd stop straight away. Maybe your brain is still processing all that stuff."

"Perhaps," I allowed. Who knows? Maybe he was right.



-----------
Chapter 24:
-----------

The other thing I didn't like about this whole situation was my own uncertainty. I was unable to make up my own mind to the point of surety, and so I found myself at the mercy of other people's arguments and opinions – namely, Ed's and Glen's. It seemed that I tended to agree mostly with whichever of them had spoken to me most recently, and that irritated me. Was I so easily swayed? Did I only accept Ed's words because I was under the influence of something, even if it was only sleep deprivation? Was I willing to suppress my illogical suspicions just to make Glen happy?

Still, in the absence of other factors, I could dismiss these as merely dreams, my brain processing a backlog of thoughts and images. Never mind that Mag was as real inside those dreams as I was outside of them. Never mind that they were forcing their way into my head while I wasn't even properly asleep.


The next night, the phone rang. I picked it up.

"Hello?"

There was silence on the line. I thought of telemarketers and was about to hang up, when a voice spoke.

"Lisa? It's me."

Once again, I froze. It was Ed.

"I don't want to talk to you. Go away!" I said stupidly.

Glen heard my voice, and came in from the kitchen. He looked a question at me.

"I had a dream last night," Ed began, apparently ignoring my outburst.

"I'm not interested in your bloody dreams!" I slammed the phone down, shaking.

Glen was scowling. "That wasn't the famous Ed, was it?"

"It was. I never should have given him my card." I stood up and paced the room, angry with myself for several different reasons. And with Ed, for daring to stick himself into my life, for intruding on my fragile peace at home.

Glen looked as if he would have liked to say a few words to Ed himself. He checked the call register on the phone, but Ed's number must have been silent. "Find that email, I want this guy's number," he fumed.

"It's a work number, he won't be there at this hour," I said. "I'll send it on to you, though." I didn't want to think about what Glen might say to Ed... or, indeed, what Ed might say back.

"If he rings here again, we can get the police onto him for harassment," Glen said.

"After two phone calls? And he's in Dublin, I don't think Interpol would consider it a priority."

"I know you won't want the bother of changing our number, and getting new cards and everything. But we can't let him just intrude like this all the time."

"We don't know that he'll do it again," I said. "I think I made my feelings pretty clear on that matter."

"He might not care," Glen said, scowling. He was convinced, after all, that Ed had fed me drugs and taken advantage of my fragile mental state. And had been prevented only by a broken fingernail from taking advantage of rather more than that.


-------------------------------------
"Well, I don't think I've ever seen that look on yer face before."

"I just got hung up on."

"Hah! Bet it's been a while since that happened. Who was the cheeky bastard?"

"... I told you about the woman I met in Wales? The geologist?"

"The one who knocked you on yer arse? What're you doing, ringin' her for?"

"Look... I know it sounds crazy, but we've been having these dreams. The same ones, from different points of view. We talked about them, while I was in Ystradffin. And I'm still having them. Nearly every damn night. I feel like I'm losing my fucking mind."

"... Yah, interestink. And vot do you zink zis has to do viz your childhood, hmm?"

"Fuck off, Lardence."

-------------------------------------



I didn't sleep well for the next couple of nights, although there were no dreams. Glen took to answering the phone whenever it rang, which wasn't very often anyway. But I was living in dread of the next dream, the next phone call. The dreams at least, I knew, would not be deterred. I hated that this whole mess had followed me back to my home, and was intruding on every aspect of my life. At work, I would catch myself staring into the distance, and not recording the core logs like I was supposed to be doing. I knew I wasn't getting the job done as quickly as I could have, which stung my professional pride. I'd wander off, internally, at other times too. Glen hadn't said anything, but some of my friends weren't so shy.

"I was just thinking, that giant pimple in the middle of Lisa's forehead looks as if it may give birth to an aardvark any day now."

"I think you're right, Anne! Wouldn't you agree, Lisa?"

"Hmm? Yes, I suppose so."
I hadn't heard a word they'd been saying, of course, and they both fell about laughing. It was a Saturday afternoon, and the three of us had met for coffee/cake/afternoon tea, whatever you wanted to call it.

Clarisse dug me in the ribs. "So, who is he, then?"

"What? Who?"

"Come on, this fella you've been fantasising about. Did some spunky specimen walk past and I missed it?" She made a show of looking about in distress.

I must have left my sense of humour at home that day. "I'm more than happy with Glen, you know that."

"Of course I know that," Clarisse said, rolling her eyes at my straight face. "You're not even married, so you're definitely not dead. No harm in looking!"

"I bet she met some rugged farmhand while she was away, last," Anne put in, waggling her eyebrows over her coffee.

Something must have showed in my face, so I crammed a scone into it. Clarisse's eyebrows rose.

"Tell," she said peremptorily.

After a very long pause, I did. I kept it to the bare bones, and left the dreams largely out of it. It made me look a lot worse, but it was believable, at least.

"I don't believe it!" Anne said, when I'd finished. So much for that. "You've always been so happy together, I can't imagine you running off and kissing some strange man."

"I honestly don't know what came over me," I said, again, shrugging helplessly. "But Glen and I are okay now. It's just a stupid thing that happened, there's no more to be said."

There was no more light-hearted banter about perving at men, that day. And for a long time after that, it was a topic that was suddenly awkward whenever it came up. I resigned myself to more long-term consequences than I had expected.

-----

Safely employed for the winter as I was, I'd been slack about checking my email again. Perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised to see something from 'drevans39', but I was anyway. Surprised, and then annoyed. The preview pane showed me enough to realise, at a glance, that he had emailed me his dream, and that it seemed to be almost exactly like mine.

I deleted it.



----------------------------------
"I'm told you've been losing sleep."

"Is that so."

"Is that all it is? Bad dreams keepin' you awake?"

"I'm telling you what I told him – I'm fine. It's nothing."

"It doesn't do any of us any good if you're zoning out all the time. Go home, get some sleep."

"Oh right. You can get away with staggering in with the mother of all hangovers, but I'm not allowed to be tired? We've all worked on no sleep before, what's the big deal?"

"The deal is, it's not all of us this time. There are no huge deadlines looming over us. It's just you, and we're worried."

"I appreciate that, but it's fine. There's no problem."

"Well, if you decide you do want to talk about it, you know where I am."

----------------------------------



The dreams continued. Lenya's baby, a girl, survived the birth, and after, but the child was weak. She suckled poorly, and grew slowly. Lenya seemed to put all of her energy, and her body's reserves into the baby, and she was slow to recover as well. It added another layer of uncertainty and stress to the village, which it didn't need. At least the birthing-woman was healthy again.

Gradually, the stone circle took shape. Holes were constantly being dug, under my guidance, while Ewain and Fenwyn took turns leading teams of men to the quarry and back, supervising the cutting and transport of the stones. The men that remained in the village split their time between tending the crops and animals, and preparing to raise the stones once they arrived. Piles of rubble, used to prop the stones up and slide them into place, shifted from one hole to the next around the outside of the circle.

A man had been killed in the quarry, caught under a rock fall. His body was brought back, along with the next stone, and interred on the hilltop, but outside the circle. A place of honour for his spirit, but I was taking no more chances with burying bodies inside the growing ring of stones.

No. Mag was taking no more chances. Not I.

And after every dream, often only hours or minutes to go by the timestamp, I got emails from Ed. I barely glanced at them at first, deleting them with a flash of annoyance, but after a couple of weeks, the bits of preamble I glimpsed grew more and more agitated. Finally I saw the phrase "I'm begging you", and relented a fraction. I read the whole thing.

"I don't think you're even reading these," it began. "But if you are, I'm begging you, please tell me if you're dreaming the same things. I need to know that I'm not going completely insane." I had to puzzle at that – how would him knowing what I was dreaming determine his sanity?

It went on, "My friends probably already want to call the funny farm.

"The last dream I had, Ewain was not happy that Mag had buried Ortral outside the circle. He didn't tell her, but he made sure that the stone they brought back was from the rock fall that had killed him. Ewain wanted the power of Ortral's blood, his life, to go into the stone, and the circle. Even though Ortral was of Air rather than Fire, I remember Ewain thinking that. His motives are... twisted. I don't know how this is going to end, but it doesn't bode well, I think.

"I don't know how it's going to end in the real world, either. I can't help thinking that regardless of how this is happening, it's still happening for a reason.

"One more thing – I realise this may not be possible, for a number of reasons, but is there a way you can send me any of the geophysics scans you took of the area? I need to test a hypothesis."

I finished reading, feeling half a dozen things at once. After glancing at maybe ten of these emails over the last fortnight, I had finally surrendered my disbelief that Ed and I were dreaming the same dreams, but it was in a weary sort of way. I'd gone to the effort of buying a little bug-detector from an electronics store, swept the house from top to bottom, and obviously found nothing. No one spying on us, no hidden cameras or microphones. I'd done that while Glen was out, and promptly thrown the bug-detector away. I'd even gone to a doctor and asked for a blood test, looking for hallucinogenic substances. I gave them some hair too, to see if there had ever been anything untoward in my system (within the last six months, at least), but everything came up clean. It hadn't been my regular doctor, and I hid the results at the bottom of the dustiest box full of my oldest books.

So, after all those emails, in the certain knowledge that there was no way he could have known what I was dreaming, I believed that Ed and I were dreaming the same things. There seemed no point to remaining stubborn on that point; all the evidence pointed that way. That didn't mean I believed all the rest of it, though. And I did not believe that there was any real connection to real life. Certainly no over-riding grand purpose behind these dreams.

That request for the geophys, though... that made me think. Perhaps Ed thought he could identify some of the reflections, based on things he saw in the dreams. It seemed more likely that he would look at the geophys and make the reflections fit whatever he had in his head, but I suddenly wanted to see what I could see. But then, I'd seen the geophys before I'd started dreaming these dreams, so perhaps everything I'd dreamed would fit them; if only because my brain fabricated the dreams to match the reflections. I'd never pored over the scans and wondered what they were, but all the information had gone into my head while I was working on it. Who knew what my subconscious was capable of cobbling together?

With that in mind, was there any point to my looking at it? Or in sending it to Ed, for that matter. On the other hand, was there any harm in it?

I hovered over the "reply" button, then finally clicked it.

"Yes, I've had the same dreams, although I didn't know about Ewain's internal thoughts," I wrote. "As far as I'm concerned, it has ended in the real world. I'll see what I can do about the geophys."

I sent it.

And I hadn't told Glen about any of these emails, either.

------------------
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Old 04-04-2008, 07:35 AM   #2
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great chapter !
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Old 04-04-2008, 07:39 AM   #3
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it's getting more and more freaky every chap!



Love it!
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And if U2 EVER did Hawkmoon live....and the version from the Lovetown Tour, my uterus would leave my body and fling itself at Bono - for realz.
Don't worry baby, it's gonna be all right. Uncertainty can be a guiding light...
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Old 04-04-2008, 08:03 AM   #4
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Are you sure you're feeling alright, Ali? *touches Ali's forehead*. Not getting a fever or anything? I mean, you gotta be unwell to ....hang up on Edge!!! That aside, this is such good fiction. I can see that a lot of work has gone into it's production... and all for us...

So looking forward to the next chappy... oh yes and I liked the 'Fuck off Lardence' I wonder how many times the guys have said that to one another...
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Old 04-04-2008, 12:00 PM   #5
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*speechless*
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Old 04-04-2008, 06:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by youvedonewhat
Are you sure you're feeling alright, Ali? *touches Ali's forehead*. Not getting a fever or anything? I mean, you gotta be unwell to ....hang up on Edge!!!

Well, I was a bit feverish a couple of days ago...

Thanks guys ... and wow, it's not every day you see Frankie speechless...
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Old 04-05-2008, 08:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alisaura


Well, I was a bit feverish a couple of days ago...

Thanks guys ... and wow, it's not every day you see Frankie speechless...
So, are you ready to post the next bit yet?
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Old 04-05-2008, 01:07 PM   #8
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i like it.
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Old 04-06-2008, 01:56 AM   #9
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So, are you ready to post the next bit yet?
Maaaaaaybe...

Bad YDW, here I am trying to restrain myself... although maybe restraint isn't something I should worry about too much in here ...
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Old 04-07-2008, 02:46 PM   #10
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No restraint!!! Restraint is for wimps! More please.

Of course, my favorite part was Larry being a smartarse!
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Old 04-07-2008, 03:21 PM   #11
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No restraint!!! Restraint is for wimps! More please.

Of course, my favorite part was Larry being a smartarse!
"Fuck off, Lardence" ...
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