It’s been said that I have an over-active imagination. Normally, this isn’t much of a problem. I sometimes have a tendency to take conversations off weird tangents, but I try to keep this to a minimum (depending on the audience). When I’m asleep, though, there are no such holds on my imagination, and that’s when the magic happens. Many examples can be found in The Troll Warriors of Sheepbane.
Last night was one of those nights. Take a very mundane concept, dial the WTF up to 11, and insert my sleeping mind.
Airports. For some reason they feature in my dreams quite often. I have a recurring dream where I’m at an airport, ready to take a long flight, usually to the United States to visit friends, but when I get there, just in time to board, I find out I left my passport at home.
This was not that dream.
First of all, my recurring airport dreams often take place at Schiphol (though usually a thoroughly scrambled version of it, with triple security checkpoints and three times as many moving walkways), and usually feature me departing from that airport rather than arriving.
No, this dream featured an airport somewhere in the west of Germany, and I had just arrived there by plane. Clearing the gate wasn’t much of a problem, and making our way to the exit went pretty smoothly. Just like most European airports, really. It’s when I got to the parking lot that things got weird, or more accurately, when I tried to leave the parking garage. I stepped into my car, drove to the exit, and discovered I had no card to open the gate out. Grumbling, I parked my car again, walked back into the airport, and asked a woman at the security checkpoint where I could get a card for the exit. She directed me to the first floor, where I quickly bought the card and went for the elevator to take me back to the parking lot.
There were three of them, all of them made of glass. A bunch of people queued up after me, and when the elevators arrived (all simultaneously, which should have set off all sorts of warnings had I known I was dreaming). I got into the leftmost elevator with two very nice-looking old ladies (who, despite this being one of my dreams, actually were nice old ladies). Just before the door closed, the woman I had asked for directions earlier rushes up to the elevator, and yells to me: Sir, your car has been moved to level negative 26. I thank her just as the doors close. I turn over, looking at the elevator control panel, and notice there are no less than a hundred subterranean parking levels. I push the button for -26, and one of the old ladies says they’re going to the same floor. The other old lady then turns to me, and then expresses her hope that this time the elevator ride will be more gentle. She has barely finished her sentence when the cabin is released from its holds, and we’re suddenly in free fall. I scream (did I ever mention I’m afraid of heights?), as do the old ladies, and the elevator’s digital counter rapidly starts dropping. After a second or two, the falling cabin is grabbed by some sort of breaking mechanism, and it comes to a halt in as gentle a fashion as my dreamscape’s physics (I prefer to refer to them as WTPhysics) allow. The elevator doors open, and we get the hell out of there.
This is when things get even weirder. As is generally the case when you’re trying to find something in a dream, it’s nowhere near where you expect it to be, and even when you do find it, it’s gone when you try to give it a second glance. In other words: my car is not on this floor. I turn to speak to the old ladies, but they’ve vanished. The only people I see are a bunch of security guards with German shepherds (really, brain? German airport so German shepherds?), and they yell to me that I need to get out of the parking lot as soon as I can. I tell them I can’t find my car, and they tell me to check the floor above. I rush up the stairway (which is right next to the elevator), and run into another security guard, who yells something about the floor below having been cleared. I run up, checking several floors, only to find my car on the top one, the one below ground level (exactly where I parked it! It wasn’t moved at all!). I run toward it, but three security guards grab hold of me, telling me there’s no time, and they take me back into the airport. Just as we enter, the woman who sent me to floor negative 26 walks up to me and apologizes for dragging my back in. A white flash surrounds the airport, and a low humming sound fills the air. Somewhere in the background I hear someone yell that the whole airport has gone out of phase. The woman explains that this is a necessary step of running an airport, that once a day the dimensional link between the airport and the rest of our universe needs to be purged, which involves moving the entire airport outside of our universe. The whole procedure should only take an hour, and they offer me refreshments while we wait.
All I remember thinking at this point is: I’m never using this airport again.