September 22nd, 2002

sexy max

dream of a thousand cats

jameel will like this one.

prelude: in an earlier dream (which I may or may not have actually had), there existed an item called "tub buckets" or something like that, which wasbasically a little plastic bag of really tiny shoes. the key things to know about tub buckets is they're actually made of leather, yet they're the kind of thing you buy a for a dollar in the toy section of random gift shops or dollar stores.

so i'm over at jenn's, battling insomnia. i have a weird dream, then wake up and go out on the back porch for a smoke. i meet dana there, chat briefly, and notice there's a few inches of snow on the ground. and Jenn's cat Thing is on the porch, behaving strangely. I soon realize this is because another cat has invaded her territory,. Well, sort of a cat. It was housecat-sized, but it looked remarkably like a cheetah. So, as I tend to do when strange cats are around, I try to simultaneously make friends with it and make sure it's not going to get into a fight with Thing. But the cheetah is skittish, and runs away and hides when i approach it. I want to show the cat to jenn, but it gets startled and hides whenever anyone comes out of the house.

Apparently there's going to be a party in the morning, so Jenn's up getting the house ready, and there are people over already helping her out. Apparently Logan lives in Jenn's house, and has a large colletion of wooden weapony things, rather small, brass-knuckle/knife type things, but made of wood. they're in a display case in the forwardmost room of the house, which doesn't exist in reality. Maria's new bow is also there. The house is also sitting on a hill, with a coupe flights of stairs down to the street.

people start filtering in (eventually everyone and their mother will be at this party). i'm circulating, being rather more sociable than i would in reality. not that i'm actually talking to anyone. but a good time is being had by all. and i here and there i notice another cat lurking around the premises. Soon I'm on cat patrol, because there's more than just the cheetah out here.

flashback: in the earlier dream (which i may or may not have actually had), there was another party, during which there was a card game, or conversation, or something, in which this guy who we'll call Nate (not a real person as far as I know...i'm just pretty sure he had an N name) aquired a bag of tub buckets, which he wanted to use to make some sort of garment. but a bag of tubbuckets only contains like twenty shoes, and they're all less than three inches long--not enough material. so he asks jameel where he got them. jameel offers several suggestions, but he's not sure about any of them. so some promise is made or deal is struck that, at some point in the future, jameel will tell him exactly where he can find a large enough supply of tub buckets.

back to the party. people keep going in and out, and I discover that cheetah has infiltrated the forwardmost room of the house (which doesn't exist in reality). and not just cheetah. Jenn's cats are kind of wigged and so am I because, though I never see more than one cat at a time, there's bunches of cats here. cheetah cat. leopard cat. fat cat, who when he stands up to play with a string falls over backwards and is too fat to right himself, thus looking very silly. and kittens. tiny, ungodly cute kittens, purring and playing and fitting in the palm of your hand. three different kittens, at least. no, now there's more. there's a very laid back black cat. and before long the cats are visible two or three at a time, and i'm trying to find Jenn to alert her to the fact that every cat in town seems to be converging on her house. but the party is very crowded even disregarding felines, and jenn's always in a different room than i am.

Maria is at the party, delighted by all these cats, but clearly, something must be done, because now we have not just a seemingly infinite supply of cats, but also an large number of people (mostly children) coalescing on the street and on the stairs and in the house to see the marvel of the cats, or to see if their cat is there. utter chaos is at hand. so, with the help of some friends (and I don't know who these friends are, but they remind me of people who i've only met briefly, but probably would've gotten along with quite well if i'd ever got to know them) i manage to get the cat-curious people gathered on the street (fortunately my dream has no cars) and the cats seem to be gathering on the stairs. the people actually invited to the party are now either on the porch helping me, or back in the house partying, or have already left.

anyway, i work out a system of sorts, which involves me shouting at the top of my lungs for people to be quiet so we can sort this out. when they settle down, i attempt to explain how i plan to deal with the situation. but there's a kid on the steps who's playing with a cat, playing too rough i think, and i start to get worried because...that's not a cat, that's a dog. a dog! pandaemonium ensues. but we get that straightened out somehow and people settle down again. so finally I yell, "so how many people here actually own a cat?" three or four hands go up. I invite them to come up the stairs one at a time and describe their cat to my assistants, so that if we do find their cat in the multitudes, we'll know where to send it. After that, we proceed to, "who wants a cat?" and I'm noticing a strange purple light in the crowd of people, reminding me oddly of a certain kind of demon in Diablo II.

"Hmm..." says one of my assistants. "That looks like some evil danger."

"Hmm..." says I. "Keep an eye on it." My cat-chaos-control-system is running itself smoothly enough now, so go back to the house and start running around alerting everyone to "evil danger! evil danger!" fortunately, the few partygoers remaining are much like the cast of buffy. jenn starts getting people organized while connie starts working on magic spells to protect the house and someone else, maybe mav, looks into the possibility of locking the front door. jameel's the only one who actually comes back to the front porch with me to get a look at the evil danger.

the cats are all gone. the people wanting cats are all gone. my assistants and a few partiers are still on the porch. in the street stands a big scary black-clad demon with a purple glow around his feet. He makes his way up the stairs, and we brace ourselves. he arrives on the porch, throws back his hood to reveal a spiky, horned, scaly black head, and proclaims:

"I was promised tub buckets!"

So Nate, it turns out, was an evil demon. Jameel apparently didn't find out exactly where to find the tub buckets, so he's sort of standing behind some of the other guys, trying not to be too obvious. Also, it seems I went to school with Nate, and there's this incredibly ugly nun or brother who used to teach us and happens to be on the porch, ans he/she says to me, "oh, is that Nate?" and I say, "yeah, he went evil." Jameel and I reach an unspoken understanding that he is to stall while i go get weapons or help.

unfortunately, the scoobies are still too busy fortifying the house to worry about those of us who are about to be messily slaughtered on the porch. I grab Maria's bow, but then realize there are no arrows. i scour Logan's weapons rack, but everything seems too small and wooden to be of much use. by this time i figure there's a 90% chance Jameel and the others are now messy puddles on the porch, so i grab a kitchen knife and head back out.

everyone's still alive. Evil Demon Nate is standing eye to eye with Jameel, who is throwing out suggestions of where one might find tub buckets, but he lacks the certitude Nate is looking for, as this is no better than what Jameel told him at the earlier party. So finally he draws himself up and says something very melodramatic, something like:

"You have failed me, Al Khafiz. I will not take you now, but beware, your time is short. my evil lurks in the eyes of your companions." or something like that. Then he vanishes in a purple poof.

epilogue: some time later, Jameel, whi is now looking rather demony himself, is hanging out with a friend (or maybe a minion, cuz he's looking awfully demony too) in some sort of torchlit underground lair. they're talking, and then the minion's eyes turn green and smoky and get really large and start to protrude from his head. These were ILM (pre-prequels) quality special effects here...i like it when my dreams have large budgets. And the minion starts speaking in Nate's voice, saying, "Your time has come. I told you I lurk in the eyes of your companions!"

at which point Jameel makes some wicked cool gesture, and sucks nate out of the minion through his eyeballs, and Nate's all slimy and dead, as is the minion, I think. Then Jameel might have done a loud Villain Laugh, and I woke up and thought, this is the coolest dream i've had in years, i've gotta write it down.

I don't know what became of the cats, but I'm sure no harm came to them, because my system was friggin' brilliant.
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