It takes a brave soul to reveal their dreams freely to the world. What if they laugh? What if they see it as silly and contrite? Although for just about everyone, dreams come and dreams go, there are relatively few who would have the inclination or ability to hone the craft, and spend hours upon hours, perfecting the motion and flow of their dreams to present to and share with the public. There are fewer still whom the public would agree, that produce dreams worthwhile sharing. For dreams reveal the very deepest of Id’s… and far more about the dreamer than the dreamer may care to reveal.
That’s the generally accepted theory at least. And why with little Carol Oneir that even her most ardent critics, generally took into account her young and why her parents carefully screened as much of the reviews as they could from her – letting only a couple of middling ones through, to allow for growth, reduce suspicion so that she wouldn’t try to find anything else.
It’s true, Carol’s self-assurance and confidence in her own abilities did help her continue her dreams longer and help keep them going for longer, before her brief vacation on producing dreams. But even before the dream that changed things, Carol knew, deep down that there was something more.
Or at least, that was the only thing I could assume as we all started becoming something deeper. Something more, not just a puppet that would dance to Carol’s whims, but people that would make the story livelier, as we added the little details a person couldn’t be expected to paint individually, as we added more emotion, through reacting to the plot and it’s developments, as we were shepherded down particular pathways of the plot (and occasionally changing it’s direction), rather than being man-handled into each position. Sure we were dreams, and bound to Carol’s desires and wishes. But people all the same. And people are bound to feel resentment at having our every move directed. People that shared the core of self-assurance that made up Carol Oneir – and reacted stubbornly to the edge of contempt that had become to creep through into the dreams.
Of course, we were still influenced by Carol; that’s just what made it worse. We could pick up on her little wiffs of annoyance as she gained exposure to the world, learned that particular plots were overdone and as she began to wish for a different kind of hero, an heroine that swash-buckled her way through adventures, a stage boy that was ambitious for a more important role and a villain that saw deeply into the motivations of others and just wanted to put on a good show.
When so many people suddenly come into the world, it can be quite confusing indeed to work out what to do with all of them… People need places to live, places to work and places to eat after all and while the Chrestomancy estate is quite large, there is a limit to the number of people that it can take in…. Chrestomancy’s estate had quite a lot of paperwork to fill out and interviews to perform in order to work out where to quickly reassign them…
Not that Mr Ploys, dream wizard saw it that way, slightly devastated by explaining to the company that marketed Carol Oneir’s dreams that there would need to be a short hiatus as Carol regained her inspiration for creating dazzling new worlds... The journalists went quite mad.
Fortunately, Chrestomancy’s castle didn’t need to deal with that particular mess, and of the cast of thousands, most we’re willing to be assigned in groups and nominated themselves as such, which reduced the work load slightly…
- Some who were actors and performers at heart, found themselves joining circuses and travelling theatre troupes, many who were awestruck at the suddenly influx of talent that was willing to easily drop everything and come along, and now they had a couple of brand new talented acts to feature.
- Some, who were more inclined to take for granted that they would one day return to Carol Oneir’s head, and find it a bigger, more expansive place, took upon positions, to explore the world and bring back fabulous stories. They became deckhands, journalists – a small group even started up their own fabulous pleasure cruise.
Additionally, there were favours to call in and vacancies in other worlds….
But in the meantime, there was tea to be had. Nothing quite like a good cuppa, Melville found for sorting things out, and Carol agreed as she hid her smile in a cup.
Eventually more and more places had been turned up, and special arrangements made to allow people to go through. Having come originally from dreams, they wouldn’t cause the same
– A kingdom in world 12f, that had been hit hard first by war (due to an invasion from another world, which Chrestomancy had helped sort out), then by disease (now easily treated by medicinal advances) and had been working hard to recover and prepare themselves better in the future, gladly accepted doctors, butchers, bakers, school teachers, farmers, crafters and their families, into replenishing their villages and training apprentices, easing the lives of the old and sick.
- Additionally, as they wanted to reinforce their magical barriers with physical ones, gladly took up as many skilled and unskilled labourers as they could.
- It was tricky at first, with the kingdom needing to trade heavily in order to ensure that they could afford to pay the construction workers, and ensuring that they had sufficient food supplies to feed the new larger population…. Not to mention the culture shock of different ways of doing things…. But when your population had been reduced by a third, and influx of approximately 2000 people, including some hard to replace talent, was most welcome indeed.
But you couldn’t exactly banish someone against their will and it was some of the tricky individuals that we’re hard to place…
The first trial Lucy had, when she came out, was working out how to be a person that she wanted to be - and from there where she could go. For her everything was all about things that she didn't want. She didn’t want to be dependent on men, nor did she want to spend all her time doing traditional feminine things such as cooking or sewing. She ended up being placed in an Amazon village; which came as quite the culture shock, still. When she arrived she saw a woman run straight up a tree, vaulting off to land directly on a horses back ridding hard into the sunset. Her goal was to learn how to do that too.
Carol herself, worked to expand her horizons, staying in class and working to resolve her boredom by learning new things, no longer able to call upon dreams to distract her. She met some annoying people and some fantastic people and learned to escape her mother’s tirades of how her talent would come back.
Carol knew that she needed to make sure her internal world view would be large enough to take them all into account – while there were some faces she didn’t really want to see again, it did feel quite empty without the cast of thousands.
And it was exciting people able to spend time with interacting with friends and fans, like going horse riding with Janet Chant, it was also interesting .
A year came, and went, Bimbo gratefully stepped inside, looking forward to his favourite resting chair, but not everyone was ready to come back, just yet at least. Some were still on their exciting trips tracking down rare stories, exotic scenery and exciting details to bring back to Carol; others were making their way back but had been delayed due needing to work off the debt of having the opportunity to trapeze around and through the world.
Of the people who moved to 12f, some came back in a snap, at the first opportunity, having felt quite homesick, or unwelcome and an outsider in the strange world. But others had made a place for themselves in that new place and felt that they had too many commitments to leave.
A lot of the circus troupers and theatre production types came back as soon as their contracts or tours had been completed. Unfortunately many had found that the wider world wasn’t as appreciative of their talents, unless it was woven into a greater narrative. (There were also a lot more freedom in a dream, that isn’t bound by gravity.) It was also a lot more consistent with finding a new work place.
Lucy was having the time of her wanted to continue her knife fighting lessons. She was getting the hang of making daggers appear and vanish then appear again in a few meters away - and with archery and horse riding lessons she would be able to ride herself to safety in the next movie.
Some like, Paul, obviously wanted to come back, but were still arguing over the exact conditions of their return, their pride not allowing them to make any concessions.
Much to the surprise of everyone, Melville, who had been the person who had stayed most in contact with Carol and her plans, had asked for an extension in the real world. He felt he would be more useful as part of the negotiations and that there was so much inspiration to be had with studying for his next big role, in the next dream cast, as part of the political staffers of Chrestomancy castle...
But that was okay. Carol had a big plan for the first dream coming up, with Martha taking her first leading role, in a comedy of misadventures and a challenges of where she swaps places and becomes the person she wanted to be exactly, the wealthy, stylish Susannah with access to fabulous magical goods. Except, for the fact that the reason why Susannah wanted to switch places is because Susannah wanted to go in hiding....