Yet another false start for my book. I had the idea of a dream society that created dreams in a very businesslike way, but I got too caught up in the 'how' and lost my plot. I've since changed almost everything.
Case file 099999.
Artemis leaned back in his plush chair, running a sharp fingernail along the outer rim of the open cardboard box that sat atop his desk. This simple box held one third of the most legendary case file in SDS history. The other two thirds rested in twin boxes that sat taped shut on his office floor, basking innocently in the light cast by his desktop lamp. He hoped they would remain taped forever. In ten years, the boxes would be cast into a blue fire and turned to ash. Only then would he be able to rest in peace.
The case had gotten far more press than intended. He’d even received calls about book and movie deals, a few of which were rather tempting. If not for his partner’s unwavering displeasure over the idea, he might be sitting in the lap of luxury right now. Instead, he was picking at the case’s bones, trying desperately to bury the carcass, even as he relived it.
Like most case files, it started out pleasantly. It was opened by Katze, a senior partner of the SDS and mastermind of dream weaving. Katze, Artemis’ boss and mentor at the time, was showing him how to weave a particularly complex dream.
“Oftentimes,” Katze began, “young weavers have trouble creating a complex dream. If you plan too much, the dreamer becomes emotionally detached, watching the dream unfold like a movie. This provides little exercise for the psyche, as you can imagine. If you plan too little, the dreamer fills the gaps with poor personal choices. This leads to strange plot developments and dream tangents. As with everything, the weaver must strike a balance between freedom and direction.”
The example was to be played out by a particularly vivid dreamer. Katze had a good rapport with this particular dreamer and even shared a large portion of her waking life with the girl.
“Case file 099999. Very fitting that the last of the five digits should be used to train such a prodigal youth,” Katze grinned at Artemis, who blushed.
Aside from a few weavers and a janitor or two, the office was devoid of life. The dreamer they would be collaborating with was a day sleeper, so by the time they got started, almost everyone had gone home.
“What should this be? A good dream?” A long pause. “…A nightmare?” Katze’s grin broadened and Artemis’ blush darkened. During his first year at the company, he’d gained a reputation for weaving particularly masterful nightmares. For some reason, pleasant dreams eluded him for his first several months of employment. He hadn’t been aware that this reputation still haunted him, especially amongst the upper ranks.