Dreamed 1984/2/11 by Wayan
for you with environmental illness
My brilliant but maddening friend David is hosting a party in Silicon Valley. I arrive to find his apartment is a hacker heaven. Grubby, but high tech all over. Taking over. There's an IBM mainframe in the garage. "Well," he explains, "it was on sale..."
The TV's on. Political speeches. The Presidential primary. ALL the Democratic candidates sound better than Reagan. How can people vote for that fool?
Soon I learn. David's gifted, many of his friends are--Val, Charlie, Claudine, Pat, Felicia the artist... yet most tell me they don't bother to vote, aren't even registered.
Maybe they shouldn't vote. When I really talk to Catherine, find she's a political idiot. Shocks me how ignorant.
Go home discouraged. Met no one attractive but Catherine, and...
We live in The Wind In The Willows. We're all talking animals. I'm a delicate graceful fastidious creature with a soft cream-colored pelt, an ermine, maybe? But big ears like a chinchilla, and I don't eat meat; seeds and greens. Whatever I am, I'm leery of humans--they might want to skin me, sell my fur.
My best friend is Rattie; he lives in a nearby burrow. Not a water-rat as in the book, but a sewer rat. Humans scorn his species as vermin, but we don't. Rats didn't make the sewers! Or the sewage.
I bike over for a visit. A careful visit. I need cleaner water and food than Rattie. Oh, I'll nibble and sip to be polite, when he offers, but I mustn't eat or drink much of the ripe stuff he likes--too risky.
My friend's great treasure is a beautiful Blue Egg. He shows it off nestled in the bowl of a ladle. It doesn't match--scrounged, of course--but it looks pretty.
One day, the Egg's gone. We swore to aid Rat if it's ever lost or stolen; it means little to us, but our friend does, so we help him search. Suspect it was stolen, but we're baffled how anyone could have gotten in.
Rat's so nearsighted he doesn't even realize the crag we live on is a ruined castle. The place has a rounded central tower and four more in a square, with high saddles between. It's all adobe, half-melted in our gentle rains... like one of those ancient, bulgy mud-brick fortresses in the Sahel.
We live in little burrows high in the walls. A human couldn't squeeze in.
When we report the theft to the Chief of Animal Detectives, he puffs his pipe and says "Don't you realize where you two live?" Well, no. Ratty's not interested in human names, and I have to avoid humans.
But I think back to all the castles I've read or heard of, in human tales... and a name comes up that fits: Minas Ithil! This could be that ancient fortress in Middle Earth thousands of years later, eroded to smooth curves. Its occupation by the Nine Riders left it renamed Minas Morgul, 'Tower of Black Magic'. Even after Sauron fell the place was toxic for years. But it's safe now.
Well, nearly. Rat's place is still a bit stinky... But then, he chose it for the atmoshphere.
"So... you know who lived and ruled here?"
And to my astonishment, Ratty, with his myopia, looks up as if he's the best-read rodent in the world and shouts, just as I do: "GOTHMOG!"
In Lord of the Rings, he was the lieutenant of Saurons's nine Riders, and led the war after Eowyn and Merry together felled his captain the Witch-King. He was based here a thousand years. His ghost must still be lurking round! Who else would know every crack in the old castle wall like that?
Gothmog stole Rat's egg?
NOTES AT DAWN
Get up... and find I'm VERY sick. Guts. Food poisoning. Something I ate, of course. At David's party.
34 YEARS LATER
I've always had gender-bent dreams, and just as many species-bent dreams. But out of thousands, almost none were both; I recall only five before Ermine (Gyrlfalcon in 1971, Freebird Tower in '75, Reduced to the Studhouse in '80, Artifact and Watership Downtrodden in '83). Such double-bent dreams usually bore major messages--or warnings. In Ermine, both were clear:
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