Two Odd Reversals June 27, 2010Posted by contrapuntalplatypus in Creative Writing, Flights of Fancy, Nature, Poetry, Through the Looking Glass.
From time to time I will write fantasy or sci-fi novels in my dreams (or to be more specific actually live the plots, usually as a participant in the story but simultaneously an outside observer) and occasionally even remember them when I wake up. Usually they contain some odd perspective or twist I would almost never think of in my waking hours…
I had one such dream a few nights ago. The story opened in what appeared to be a fantasy world inhabited by my people, a winged humanoid race rather like elves or fairies with some magical abilities. Halfway through the novel our pristine homeland was invaded by a strange new race of magicless but enormous and powerful giants that appeared to be intent on taking over the world and imposing their civilization. The two races began a inter-species war for control of the land which lasted most of the novel.
So far a fairly typical fantasy novel, perhaps…but a few chapters before the end of the book an extraordinary realization dawned on me (the “author” observing the plot and writing the novel…)
The “fantasy world” was our world set in a long-ago, prehistoric past. The “giants” taking over the world were the newly-arrived Homo sapiens and “my” people were an ancient fairy or elven race which had inhabited the world before human civilization appeared. When both races realized this in my dream and finally understood one another’s motives, they ended the war and negotiated a settlement to coexist in peace. They would divide the day between them: the humans would control the world while the sun was in the sky, but the night would belong to the elves alone.
I don’t think I’ll ever write that novel, but it’s fun to think about…
In any case, this reminded me of a sonnet I wrote a few years back with a different, but similar (and equally “eerie”) “perspective reversal”.)
A race of conquerors with iron hands,
They came with fire, greed, and hungry knives,
And drove the native dwellers from their lands,
Slew most they found; as chattel kept some wives,
Leveled all homes, of fertile fields made sands,
And on the edges of their teeming hives
In shadowed night let lurk some furtive bands
To eat the refuse of their glutted lives.
Yet trembled at the fateful prophecy;
No Empire lasts forever, nor no might.
Rain will ruin road, wind wither wall to tree,
And city slide from fading human sight –
Then rat, hen, spider, bat, fearless and free,
Shall roam at ease through regained Eden’s light.