So here's the latest in my semi-regular series of Fellini-esque dreams: My husband and I were trapped in a post-Apocalyptic nightmare set in a $3,000-a-night suite located in a high arch connecting two halves of a plush and elegant hotel somewhere in Dubai. Whatever it was that plunged our world into survival mode had turned the rococo lobbies and garishly ornate fixtures into amorphous purple and black blobs that were eerily backlit with yellow and from which billows of pink steam arose. Walls were liquid-y, and nothing was as it appeared. We were able to jump 20 and 30 feet at a time, but often were suspended in midair like video-game characters on a computer that needs upgrading.
Our world was populated with strange creatures — some benevolent, others not so much. Normalcy laid just outside the perimeter of what had been the hotel grounds, but a band of large, levitating, fanged slugs — whose random appearances were heralded by the sound of blaring alarms — was intent on devouring us before we could escape to it. There were rules to this survival game, but we had to figure them out as we went along: Accept nothing from anyone, because the Tricksters would present unsuspecting humans with what appeared to be helpful tools that in truth were homing devices that brought the Slugs directly to you. Give away nothing, because once the Tricksters gave the Slugs something of yours — be it a pen, a single hair or even a fingerprint — they were able to find you. Also, never allow your photo to be taken — for the same reason.
But just as there were rules that spelled certain death, there were those that could save us. The surest way to survive a slug attack was to cozy up to one of the featureless monks who meandered in and out of our line of vision. Having one by your side when confronted by a ravenous slug would instantaneously liquefy the vile thing.