From The Blue Lady’s Children

Here are a couple of excerpts for Amalia’s Dream Sequence Blogfest, which is an awesome thing that you should check out. These are bits taken from my novel-in-progress currently titled The Blue Lady’s Children. It’s in pretty rough shape so these dream sequences may not even make it into the final draft, but if they don’t, at least they’re preserved here. Hopefully for your entertainment.

The main character is Evie, a freshman at Frost University of the Magical Arts and Sciences. Shiva (short for Shivanee, don’t get any ideas) is her roommate, Luke is a friend from class, Engela is her yoga teacher. The first segment is currently at the end of the first chapter, while the second comes later, during her yoga class.

* * * * *

I was awakened from a deep sleep, but not by anything in particular. I pushed the sheets off and slid out of bed, padding across the floor to the front door. I opened it.

Instead of the hallway of the dorm building, there was a sheer drop of about four stories. The ground was completely submerged in calm, blue water. In the distance, the moon was setting, its rays reflecting on the surface as if it was a mirror. To the left was the other dorm tower, also rising out of the water as if the ground were nothing but a distant memory. All the buildings that normally populated downtown were gone, with nothing standing between me and the horizon.

The water began to rise. At first, it was close to the base of the tower, and then slowly it inched up until it covered the first floor of the building, like a tide coming in at high speed. Panic rose in me. I had no boat and I didn’t know how to swim. Looking back, I couldn’t see any sign of Shiva; it was as if she had never been there. The water was over the second floor now, so that the moon seemed to be falling to meet it instead of the other way around.

I backpedaled into the room. What could I do? Nothing around me looked like it would float. Maybe the mattress? The desk? This was impossible. This couldn’t be happening. Water reached the threshold and poured over. It didn’t flood the room so much as flow in my direction like a stream. It was coming for me. I had done something to it and I didn’t know what.

“I’m sorry!” I shrieked. “I didn’t know, I’m sorry!”

The water flowed up over the edge of the bed to where I was crouching in the corner. The moon touched the surface in the distance as I screamed.

And then I woke up.

* * * * *

“Evie,” a soft voice said next to my ear. I opened my eyes and looked up at Engela, who was smiling, but a bit sadly.

“You are not with us in this moment, Evie,” she whispered. “Please try to focus on today’s lesson. The problems of tomorrow are for tomorrow.” With that, she tiptoed off.

Ugh. I told myself firmly to shut the hell up about the quiz and I focused on my breathing. Inhale, exhale, repeat. Clear your mind. Relax. Feel the toeness of your toes. Feel your toes relaxing. Inhale, exhale. Relax your neck, relax your shoulders, relax your back…

And then I was back at home, walking to the kitchen to make myself a cappuccino. My sister Kari was there already, eating cereal.

“Mom left you a note,” she said, gesturing at the refrigerator. My mom was always leaving me notes because she was usually off at work by the time I woke up. I went over to the fridge and instead of a paper, there were words written on the door in what looked like crayon. I couldn’t read them.

“I don’t know what this says,” I told my sister. Kari just shrugged and kept chewing. “I guess I’ll try to call her, then.”

“You can’t,” Kari said. “She’s in surgery today.”

“She had better not want me to pick something up from the store then, because I won’t,” I grumbled.

Kari stopped chewing. “I have to go to school.” She disappeared and suddenly I was walking to the bus stop. I knew that I was going to miss the bus again, but I would just fly if I had to. The bus zipped past in a blur, leaving a glowing trail in its wake. Someone was waiting for me at the corner, sitting in the middle of the sidewalk.

It was Luke, still wearing his tweed jacket. He had spread out some tarot cards on the floor, three of them, all in a row. They were turned over so I couldn’t see them.

“Which spread is this?” I asked. He grinned.

“Past, present, future,” he replied. “Want to see?”


He flipped the first card over. It was a picture of a frowning moon above two barking dogs. Some kind of scorpion or lobster was crawling out of a pool of water at the bottom. The picture started to move, but in a loop: the dogs barked, strange drops fell out of the moon like rain, and the thing in the water crawled toward land but never got any closer.

“Ah, The Moon,” Luke said. “Confusion. Anxiety. Unrealistic ideas. You think you know what you want, but you are not sure of your decision. You have been a victim of your own illusions. Until you can see things as they are, you will remain lost and uncertain.”

He flipped over the next card. It was the same picture I had seen earlier in the day, in Divination class. Death. Lucky number thirteen. In the card, he was a skeleton riding a white horse, carrying a black flag with a white rose on it. All over the ground were the bodies of the dead and dying, but unlike the card I had seen before–with men in crowns next to men in rags–these were people dressed in modern clothes. There was even some child that I didn’t recognize, watching the scene with an unreadable expression. Like The Moon, this card began to move; the flag snapped and waved in an invisible wind, and the Reaper reached down and grabbed the child, hoisting her up to sit in front of him on the saddle.

“You know this one,” Luke said. “You are on the verge of a great change. You cannot escape the inevitable, but you can control how you react.”

For some reason, the card didn’t bother me as much as it had before. I pointed at the third card. “And my future?”

Luke’s grin widened as he reached for the card. As he turned it over, everything faded to black and I felt a strange whooshing sensation. A hand touched my arm lightly.

“Evie, wake up.”

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16 Responses to “From The Blue Lady’s Children”

  1. Stephanie McGee says:

    Very interesting. I’m definitely intrigued. I love dream sequences.

  2. Iapetus999 says:

    Dreamy stuff. I liked the chasing water.
    Tarot cards seem kind of cliche. I want some real danger.
    Nice work!

  3. Wow, I liked the second one the best. I didn’t think the tarot cards were cliche for a dream, especially since she is at a college for magical arts.

    I like all the weird little things like the crayon writing on the fridge that is supposed to mean something. Very nicely done.

    Charity from My Writing Journey

  4. Valerie says:

    Thanks for the comments! Iapetus, like I mentioned, these sequences may not make the final cut; if they did, the first is more relevant. But as Charity suggested, this isn’t so much tarot cards out of nowhere as a continuation of something she experienced in a class previously. Still, it’s on the cutting board, so we’ll see what happens.

    Thanks again!

  5. Mia Hayson says:

    I think you caught the feel of a dream really well.

    The second one was my favourite but I did like how she’s apolgising to the water since it’s taken on a life of its own. Dreams get like that 🙂

    In the second one it was the little details like the crayon and the way the scenes changed so rapidly that caught my attention. I think you really created scenes that have that dream like quality!

    Well done 😉

  6. Amalia T says:

    I agree with everyone else– the second sequence was really the strongest! Not that the first was bad, because it wasn’t! But the second really felt alive as a dream with all the bizarre twists on normal things. Great details and imagery! That is some dream sequence mastery, right there! Thanks for participating!

  7. My favorite was the first one with the rising flood. I liked how you used the moon chasing her image to convey the height. Frantically seeking anything that would float…yikes, very tense.

    Great post.

  8. Gracie says:

    These are great. Carl Jung would be tickled to get his hands on these. 🙂

    I liked them all, but the second has the most jumbled-up dream quality. Though I’ve had dreams like the first… And the Tarot cards didn’t seem cliched to me at all.

    Nice work, Valerie!

  9. KM says:

    I love the idea that the moon was sinking to meet the water, and the bit about writing a note on the fridge with a crayon was funny and quirky. Nice touch there. Great job!

  10. Very dreamlike sequences. I really liked them both. 🙂

  11. Dawn Embers says:

    Sweet dreams. The first one has a lot of fast paced tension while the second is a little slower. I like the use of tarot cards and the simple, common spread of 3 card, past-present-future. Well done.

  12. Hayley says:

    This was a great post, I’m glad I got to it. I enjoyed both dreams, if you get the chance pop by my blog to check out my post it was a little late but still.

  13. Kelsey Leigh says:

    This was so amazing, and so vivid, and I knew exactly how she was feeling and it was just AWESOME! Favorite part: “Feel the toeness of your toes.”

    <3 Kelsey Leigh

  14. Donna Hole says:

    Both well written and very interesting. There was always a feel of the dream flowing through. Nice pacing and voice.

  15. Amber Lynae says:

    Very good dream sequences. I am interested to see what they both are foreshadowing.

  16. Poor Evie! All the horrid things she’s facing and the water!! That really had me!
    Come by and read my piece and let me know what you think. 🙂

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