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The Red Sphere

Dreamed 2006/12/13 by Madeline
email Maddie: airagorncharda at


I'm looking at a lab from a corner of the ceiling. I have no opinion about what's happening because I am only a viewpoint. The lab is dimly lit by large green glass liquid-filled tanks that are just barely in my view. I can't clearly make out what's in the tanks, but I think they're humanoid. Motionless, whatever they are. Unconscious? Dead?

The walls of the lab are metallic and covered in wires and pipes and generally ominous mechanical devices. It looks like there should be panelling in front of all of these inner workings, like the walls were never finished. A dark lab. Greenish tanks in background. Orange-haired girl's horrified face lit by a red sphere in front of her. Dream by Madeline. Image by Wayan, probably not very accurate.

A girl with curly orange hair, about 12 years old, wearing what looks like a hospital outfit (with smock and pants but no shoes or socks), is moving frantically around the room. She seems to be trying to find an escape. No one else is here, but a red ball stands on a pedestal in the middle of the room. She seems to fear it, but she also seems to think that it might be her key to escaping.

She steps forward, obviously terrified that it might hurt her, and reaches out. Her finger makes contact with the red ball--and she goes rigid. Her eyes go as wide as is physically possible, and she tries to take her hand away as her blood starts to boil in her veins.

She can't break the contact. Her hair sizzles on her scalp. I can see every capillary in her eyes bulge. I can see every vein in her body turn vibrant red. Her organs start to bake inside her, her boiling blood coursing through her veins slower and slower as her heart melts. Finally the wrenches her hand away and, with the last control over her body that she has, she stumbles backward-- right into a sheet of thin metal. Her body splits directly down the middle as she falls onto the unintentional blade.

As I wake up, the two sides of her skull are slowly falling away, showing her semi-melted brain which is stuck to the metal panel. The blood is dripping slowly down her face. The last part of the lingering dream that I was aware of was a faint squelching pop as her brain fell into the two halves of her skull.

Dream 2: CHOMP

Again, I am a viewpoint. I seem to be looking down from the top of the neon sign for a grocery store or pharmacy. It looks like a side street in New York City . It's the middle of the night. Everything is still and silent for a few moments. However, it's that kind of stillness and silence that comes right before something terrible happens. The air is tense and thick, and then I hear screaming.

People start running, screaming, around the corner. They all run into the nearest stores and try to hide. As a man is running, screaming at the top of his lungs, toward the store next to me, this creature comes barreling around the corner. Sketch by Madeline of a dream monster seen on a street in New York: about 1.8 meters at the shoulder, purple, eight legs, meter-wide jaws.

It is larger than a horse, with eight legs, enormous claws, and deadly looking teeth. Its face looks like Venom or Carnage from Spiderman (a lot like Venom from the 3rd Spiderman movie), except that its head is rounder and its eyes are larger. It doesn't have a tail, and its back has very visible vertebrae. It's bulky. It doesn't seem to be very coordinated, because it skids as it tries to turn, but it manages to get to the guy anyway, and bites OFF his head. His body falls forward with a dull thud and the creature steps on it. I hear a distinct crunch as his bones snap, and an even more prominent crunching sound as the creature chews up his head.

The last thing that I remember is a small shard of the man's skull falling out of the creature's mouth. The shard is about an inch long and a centimeter wide, and there is barely any blood on it.

I am reluctant to call it a monster, because that would imply that it was malevolent and I don't think that its intent was to be harmful. It was just hunting. I am also reluctant to call it an animal, though, because it felt very unnatural. Perhaps it was simply in an unnatural habitat.



I agree: Bones Don't Lie shares themes with these dreams but is intensely emotional, while Madeline here is a passive fly-on-the-wall. "Red Sphere" even seems to make a point of that, contrasting the numb, passive narrator who survives with the active girl whose initiative gets her killed. So maybe Maddie did pick up her friend's nightmare and worried about her taking reckless action. Still, the fleeing man doesn't fit... Seems like disaster just happens, no matter what you do. Except witness.

The lab (like the inside of a big skull with veins and arteries lining the walls), and the fried brain, and the head-chomping all worry me, too. But Madeline's been checked for organic illness--the doctors came up negative. Food allergies, chemical sensitivities? Anyone have suggestions? What can she try? Five years of headaches isn't something anyone should have to just shrug and live with!

Maybe that's the warning: Madeline is stoic. She says, "I am watching graphic and gruesome deaths but I see them with completely neutral eyes. I have no opinion on it, and it doesn't frighten me." Isn't this how she treats her headaches? Disconnection, because identifying and really feeling them doesn't help? Chronic pain (as I learned first-hand from undiagnosed food allergies that took me years to identify myself) can teach you passivity and withdrawal. You can numb the pain a lot that way. But that leaves you passive... and ill.

I still think the orange-haired girl made the right choice. She risked it, and even her failure eliminated one possible escape method. In the next nightmare, she'll try another... though not running away and screaming. We know that doesn't work too well. Unless you like being monster lunch.

--Chris Wayan

LISTS AND LINKS: nightmares - labs and mad scientists - heads (and headlessness) - initiative vs passivity - prisons and freedom - giftedness and... braaaaains - mistakes - violence - death - shared and apparently telepathic dreams - the same night, her friend Emily dreams Bones Don't Lie - less ambiguous diagnostic dreams - gender in dreams - monsters - You Are Lunch - Maddie gets swept away in: Thar She Blows!

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