A fun couple of dreams, very much Big Trouble in Little China mixed up with Grimm's. The first discreet moment I can remember, when dreams crystalized from an ocean of unattached images into an iceberg of narrative-- there's more going on underneath in the subconscious than you can see on the surface, ne?-- was watching a bunch of monks with halberds. You know, one of those shaolin halberds that have all the different prongs going out, the crescent moon sickles, the kris blade-- these were lightning monks worshiping something more strange than Thor, Indra, Susano-o or Zeus. The polearms were the personification of the bolt; they were on very long shafts & the monks did all sorts of acrobatics & flourishes with them, dozens of them in a dance-skirmish. So I of course stole one. We were on the hunt & I needed a weapon! I ended up unscrewing the blade from the staff, tucking it into my belt-- a source of stress, hiding it there without being stabbed-- & used the shaft as a quarterstaff, as a walking stick. That was what the characters all did in on of my campaigns. I was at some sort of Pan-Asian flea market, browsing around, but looking for something-- some ritual, some monster, some relic, I don't know what. There were other people in the market looking for the same thing, & looking for me-- rivals, minions, enemies, a whole plethora. A young woman grabbed me & pulled me aside from the bazaar-- I thought I was going to have to fight her, & fumbled like an idiot at my belt, but instead she gave me a knife. Not an ancient knife, but a slick, modern minimalist fighting knife. Something that would actually be useful in a fight. I tied it to my leg in a sling like Han Solo's blaster holster & tried to play it cool.
There was a part with a car. Oh, the mad man or the possessed monster or the evil genius or whatever-- I remember now! We were in the future, & the stores were practicing with biometrics for theft prevention. The store had a machine that would monitor you, based on a datastick on your keychain; you had to leave your keys at the door. The enemy-- a guy halfway between Clancy Brown & Doc Brown-- had somehow taken control of the machine & overloaded it, so that he could use your body's signature to kill you instantly. He did it to someone to make a point-- & again-- one he exploded in a riot of meat & blood & the other he just stopped, just turned off. It was a weird hostage situation. His wife was there-- half hostage, half accomplice, who could say? I told the guy that I hadn't left my keys; that my roomate & I had switched keys since I had to borrow his car, & since my roomate was out of range, there was nothing he could do to me. & I beat him to death with the fire extinguisher before he could test my statement. Or well, I hit him in the head with it, & a bunch of teenagers who had been trapped ran in & started kicking him & punching him, too. I told the wife she had to come with me, & I got the keys I was using & we went out to the car. She said it was fast thinking, bluffing him like that; I said I never bluffed. But I had bluffed, I'd lied for the split second of advantage.
The headquarters that I worked out of-- as a sort of monstrumologist, a troubleshooter, a dabbler in the occult, whatever-- was a Chinatown herbalist. I don't know why my dream was so Asian in set & scene; even the guy's wife was an Asian woman. Oh, probably because of the Mongolian art show! The herbalist wasn't some Eighties movie cliche, he wasn't some magical orientalist caricature with a mogwai hiding behind the counter. He was a homeopath, an acupuncturist! I knew that I'd met him in an earlier "case," & he had a reoccurring problem that was easy enough to deal with, but he'd arranged payment for ongoing services by leasing me space rent free. Like, I had to periodically refresh the poltergeist wards or something. There was also a man who sold potions, snake oil-- he'd been an earlier client & the contact with the supernatural had destroyed his life. He'd had nowhere to go so the acupuncturist let him start selling his potions out of the shop & they'd done so well that the two had gotten into a partnership. Which was good, because there was a third guy, now-- some petty businessman from the previously mentioned Asian swap meet, someone who had had their livelihood & relationships ruined by casual contact with me on the job. Some sort of John Constantine casualty. I convinced the herbalist to take him on to run the books; he was an accountant, & I figured that having a club of people who'd made loose contact with the otherworldly could make a good sort of Scoobies gang.