Report #00036: Subconscious Nocturnal Oddities
It’s a rare thing for myself to be bothered by dreams. I had one that was so troubling for days after once that my brother finally said I should go speak to one of the priests to set my mind at ease, and that led to speaking with a druid, and… Well, I just try not to be bothered by them anymore. That’s too much talking to folks who want to see more than just a dream for it to be worth the bother. I’ve had some strange ones lately, though! I don’t mean the strange dreams everyone has. Nothing like the one where it’s your first time walking around in Stormwind and you run into a mage wearing an omlette for a hat, and he tells you the bankers are all waiting for you to get to the Trade District so they can set up everything for the Cheese Festival.
I mean truly strange dreams!
I’ve been dreaming about being in Northrend again. One night, it was my brother and myself going into Azjol-Nerub with nobody except Serhilde to watch our backs. Another night, we were exploring Gundrak. Now, my brother says I’ve got more faith in the Light than some priests he’s known, but I don’t have that much faith! There’s faith, and then there’s being a bloody git. Not only would I never go in there with just himself and the bear… Well, I just can’t see any reason to go back to Zul’Drak at all! That place did its damage to myself once already.
There’s one dream, though, that was plenty strange without being particularly frightening or unpleasant. I took Serhilde and Little Brann with myself one evening and set up camp out in the mountains that run near the pass between Dun Morogh and Loch Modan. I haven’t always been able to take them along when I travel in the last few months, and Serhilde gets plenty restless in Ironforge. It’s good to get her out into the mountains and snow and let her run free a bit.
We were curled up, the three of us, near the campfire that night and I was thinking how much my life has changed over the past year or so. I got to thinking about Frostbolt, and how I don’t see him so often anymore. I get to thinking he’s run off back to Winterspring to be with the other big cats like himself. Then I’ll wake up one morning and find him stretched out on the floor in front of one of my bookcases. The animals I call family fight perfectly at my side when the need arises, but I’ve never had much control over them when there’s not an emergency. I don’t suppose I’d want to, either. Part of being family is being free to go your own way when that’s what’s best for yourself.
I sort of spoke to the bears, but sort of to myself. Maybe to the fire… I’m not certain. I said, “There was a time Frostbolt and myself knew each other so well it was as if I could see the world through his eyes at times. I’m not certain what changed. I just… couldn’t one day.” Brann looked up at my face for a second, then started digging into the bag of cheese I’d taken along. Maybe everyone was right. Maybe I should have fed him more meat when he first came to live with myself.
I fell asleep right next to Serhilde. It still seems odd to myself that the women of Brunnhildar Village thought she was too small to be a warbear. She’s plenty big, plenty strong, more than plenty brave, and very soft and warm when you’re sleeping in the snow. I was drifting off toward sleep, and the last thing I could sort of remember thinking is that I wondered what it would be like to be a bear.
Somewhere in the night, I realized I was walking around. I was moving rather slowly, just not seeing any reason to hurry at that time. Not that time mattered too much. Every moment was simply “now”. No reason to think back past now, and no reason to think ahead of now. Only what happens now is real. One paw forward now… shifting my weight across the snow now. Each time I shifted my weight and set down a paw, the reality of “now” changed. Not that I was giving it so much thought. This was… is… simply the nature of things.
The air was filled with many scents, but I took little notice of most of them. They were commonplace and insignificant. One scent, though, had my attention. It was food. Different than the small plants I ate. This was flesh. Not fresh kill, blood flowing and entrails steaming. Flesh heated over fire. Not as good. Still better than berries.
My weight shifts, my paws sinking into the top layer of snow as my body moves toward the scent of the flesh. The small creatures with the long ears and twitching whiskers make so much noise as they hop through the bushes, but I let them pass by me during this “now”. I have eaten them, and will again, but somewhere beyond “now” I know the female warming the flesh over the fire becomes upset when I eat the small creatures with the long ears. I will not upset her.
She is an odd creature. I comprehend the meanings of her sounds and gestures, but they are different from the ones I knew before. I knew the sounds and gestures of much larger females. They were like my own kind. Hard, but fair. No weakness. Only survival. This female… she has much weakness. She is of a different kind than the large females who raised me in the far away snow. She has much strength, as well. She must because she survives. She takes creatures other than myself into her den. She is warm and soft. She has killed. Animals. Her own kind. Wrong things that smell sick and dead, and I knew I should run from them when I saw them move like living things. The female did not run, though, so I stayed by her. I would not let them taste her blood and entrails. She is an odd creature… not of my kind, but she is my cub. The other bear is also my cub, even as he is the female’s cub. They are mine because I simply “know” they are. I do not question it. I simply play with them, work with them, eat with them, sleep by them, protect them.
She is odd. Weak, but strong. Gentle with her own. Ready to kill to protect us. To protect the den. A bear with no fur and the wrong smell.
My paws stop moving. The smell of the fire-warmed flesh has been making me hungry for a very long “now” as I moved closer. The female brushes snow from my coat with her hands. Now I sink my teeth into the flesh. The small cub eats the same food as the female… some of the meat, and the strange milk that is not milk. The female calls it “cheese”, but this sound means nothing to me. I understand what her sounds mean to her, but all that means something to me is smell, taste, sound, instinct. Sleep. The need to sleep matters to me.
And then it was morning, and I realized I am bloody well not a bear! I am Fizzy Stouthammer, and these dreams are a strange bit of foolishness my mind gets up to when I’m sleeping. I took some parchment out of my bag and scribbled down what I’d been dreaming, and that’s how I wrote it up here. If I’d counted on my own memory there wouldn’t have been much to write. It doesn’t much seem real now, which I suppose it never was. And that is the normal way of dreams… to disappear like that once I’m awake again.
The only thing is… I could have sworn Serhilde was laughing at myself the next day. In some sort of “bear laughing” way.