Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sometimes My Story Ideas Are Just Too Good for Me

The weather has been unbearably heavy, hot, and humid in New England the last couple of days. I'll try not to complain because at least this is to be expected in August, unlike the cool, rainy weather we've had for most of the summer. Still, the weather makes it hard to sleep since I don't have air conditioning, and this results in my dreams being even weirder than usual.

The other night I had a very complicated dream. Why is it that the ones that seem so complex and interesting while you're asleep are so dull and simple when you wake up?

This particular dream was about a village (I think?) that was attacked and destroyed by a mysterious force (Evil Lord? Bomb? Uncontrollable Fire? I leave this threat up to you to choose as you see fit). The sole survivor of the tragedy was a rat.

Yes, a rat. This may be my first rat dream. I've had lots and lots of death dreams and uncontrollable car dreams and spider dreams but rare is the dream about rodents. Go figure.

There is some sort of explosion in the church where the rat makes its meager living. The rat is thrown into water (perhaps the baptismal font?) and survives but does not know what caused the blast. When he surfaces, the threat is gone and the village destroyed. He then goes on a quest through various cities throughout Europe. I don't know if this is because he is seeking revenge or simply seeking the meaning of life. Again, open to interpretation.

This is the best part. As I was waking, I remember clearly thinking to myself how this would make a fantastic story (I'm sure I don't need to elaborate on why. The many merits are, by now, obvious.) "But only Neil Gaiman could do the story justice," I told myself.


I don't know if I meant that only Neil Gaiman could salvage this wreck of a story and somehow spin it into literary magic, or that the high concept required Neil's deft hand. Perhaps I meant both. Either way I'm sure Neil will be glad to know that I'm cultivating story ideas for him in my sleep.

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