[CN: child abuse, rape, PTSD, hostility to consent]
This was a doozy. The dream started with a girl (maybe 11 or 12) and her father. They were part of a group of humans who had landed on a habitable world to settle it, only to find that there was two groups of humanoids already there and in the middle of a war. Because the humans were almost indistinguishable from one of the humanoid groups, the other group (who looked very much like dragons or giant lizards, but with opposable thumbs) decided we were also their enemy. They began attacking us and the father was trying to broker a peace treaty. In the midst of negotiations, the leader of the dragon-people showed up with a small human child in chains, saying something about “bringing a snack along”. The girl reacted very strongly to this and basically confronted this enormous dragon-man (he was much larger than most of his species, which is partly why he was the leader), and he was intrigued by her, and proposed a trade. Her father objected, but she agreed to go with the dragon leader if he let the child go. She was terrified of being eaten, but she couldn’t just let another person be killed, especially a child. So the dragon leader took her with him when he left, and basically made her his pet. Often he would bite her, just enough to break the skin and make her bleed, but not actually take a chunk out. Although the dream never showed any sex, it was also heavily implied that he used her in that way as well (although they weren’t technically physically compatible, there were plenty of ways for him to abuse her). She became very quiet and withdrawn, and although the dragon leader sometimes took her to further negotiations or diplomatic meetings where her father was, she was forbidden to talk to him or even acknowledge him, or else suffer harsh punishments.
The dream then skipped a number of years, and the girl had grown up into a young woman. She’d been freed a few years earlier, when her captor had died of old age, and his family didn’t want to bother with her. Unfortunately her father had died before she was freed, so she never got to see him and explain everything. She had received an education while enslaved, so once she was freed she went to college and got her teaching degree. Now she was a teacher at a school, but it was on the border that the humans shared with the dragon people, and the peace was very uneasy. Sometimes the dragon people would show up and parade through the halls of the school, just to show they could. One day, they showed up in greater numbers than normal, and seemed to be inspecting all the classrooms. She watched with terror as they came closer and closer to her room, but her students didn’t understand why she was so frightened. She overheard one of them say that they were looking for her, as the grandson of her captor had decided that she was a fine trophy who needed to be brought back to his family’s keeping, to prove that they could have whatever they wanted. Her mind flashed back to her time as a slave, and she ran from the school. Miraculously the dragon people didn’t notice her leave, but she continued to run, knowing eventually they’d figure it out and come after her. She couldn’t stop reliving the horrors she’d endured as a slave, they played over and over in her head as she ran. She entered a forest that was extremely alien, a place most people refused to enter, as the trees were black (not just dark, but actually black) and seemed to suck away all light, making the interior of the forest pitch black. Cries of animals or maybe lost souls echoed inside the forest, a place of sheer terror. Somehow she made her way to a clearing, and collapsed on the ground, unable to run any further. She heard footsteps approaching, and half-buried herself in the sandy grey ground in an attempt to hide.
A young woman, who was me in the dream, found her there. She whispered to me and begged me to hide her. As I had the ability to use some magic, I turned her body into a small dog, and stored her soul inside a piece of soap. Just as I finished taking her things and bundling them up, a man showed up and demanded to know who I was and what I was doing there. I told him I was a traveler, and he somewhat rudely demanded that I continue my travels with him. I agreed, however, because I felt that it would be safer for me and for her to go with him. He led us out of the forest, and I put the piece of soap on my shoulder to keep it safe (???). At one point we ended up base-jumping off of a very tall cliff into a valley below, where it turned out he was going to settle down and make a life, and he expected me to be his servant. Because I was afraid of the other woman being discovered, I turned her back into a person, albeit a different-looking one, and stored her emotions in another piece of soap, so she wouldn’t have to feel the terror or suffer from PTSD anymore. Unfortunately, it made her very vulnerable (very much like a blank slate), and once I brought her home to the man who was my employer, he convinced her to marry him and then get a job so he could stay home and do nothing. I also tried to get a job with her, to keep anyone else from taking advantage of her, but I was fired almost immediately for telling off a customer. I realized then that this was a much worse situation than I thought, and I needed to give her back her emotions so we could both escape somewhere else. Unfortunately, I had lost the piece of soap where I’d stored them. I searched all through town, terrified that I’d lost it during our jump (remember, it was on my shoulder, not exactly in a secure place), or that it had fallen into the sea and dissolved. Every time I found a piece of soap (which were all magical objects in this part of the dream), I would hold it up to my forehead and if it resonated I knew I was close. One piece glowed a bit but it wasn’t the right piece (maybe someone else’s emotions, but not hers) and so I kept searching in frustration.
And that was where I woke up, still searching for her emotions so I could turn her back to normal. 😦