Lizzie & Ethan Dream

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Based on a dream and with potential to be a novel. This involves a young man in 1820 who wakes up 200 years later in contemporary NYC to find himself in the body of a pampered, teen girl, Elizabeth "Lizzy". Adapting to life in a world he barely comprehends, Ethan-as-Lizzy searches for what happened to him.

Submitted: June 24, 2019

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Submitted: June 24, 2019



I was so struck by this dream set and its vividness that I decided to recount as much as possible and share it.

Both dreams involved a lot of dialogue but I was mainly able to preserve much said and the language use from the second one.

Beginning in 1820, the dream followed Ethan Mathis at his table at night working on his studies. He had light, shaggy hair and wore plain shirts and trousers. As he's writing, his father comes to his room and argues about his future with the family financhial services company. This felt most like the early parts of the film, Jumanji. 

Ethan has a young lady friend, Mary, who is a year or two older than his fifteen. In her letters, she is trying to get him interested in British poetry. His father scoffs at him about this because he doesn't see her as marriage material and their time is wasted. His father threatens him in bold terms to do his duty or else he will be sent somewhere he will learn duty. Ethan is restless in bed that night and looks out his window on 1820 New York and sees a meteor shower flash through the night. He wishes to the shooting stars that he could escape his life. 

Hard cut to him startled and waking up in a different bed. He is a young girl around his age but in 2020 New York. Despite being horrified at her personal changes and befuddled by everything around, he/she has a father who looks the same and has the same name but is doting and gentle on his daughter, Elizabeth or Lizzy. His maid is also present in appearance and name but doesn't see anything amiss.

She reacts with bright-faced embarrassment to the "frail, waifish" (her words) body she seems stuck in. She sulks in her bath and after when the maid dries and brushes her long, crinkly blond hair. She freaks out over hidden orchestras of music playing on a radio. She is further befuddled by "moving paintings" on glass and especially flummoxed to understand their workings. As an aside I thought in the dream, the electric motor didn't exist yet in 1820, nor the typewriter. 

Beyond the strange world for her is this bizarre body. None of the clothes this girl owns are "proper". She confronts her father, saying, "A...proper lady should be properly attired...even though I...but yet!" 

He doesn't understand her meaning and thinks she just wants the credit card to go shopping. He/she is left to her own devices, a well-to-do daughter with no real responsibilities. In a way, she judges, she got what she wanted but still frowns at the face and form she wound up with. 

She asks the maid where she can inquire about unexplainable subjects or nature beyond our own and she says to Google it. On her phone. She puzzles over the slice of polished rose gold glass and metal. After finally getting it to turn on or "glow with unearthly light", she is blocked by the fact it wants a password she doesn't have. Warily, she dresses in the strange clothing the maid says she normally wears, including a large, white image of a cat-like person (Hello Kitty) and ventures outdoors.

Whereas in his/her time where were still a monumental 123,000 people in New York, the crush of people and things has her edging along the corners and trying to absorb all the human noise and understand it. On the advice of the maid, she first attempts the underground caverns but, after having several machines beep at and overwhelm her, followed by a crush of people and the appearance of a "snaking metal beast", she retreats.

She slowly gets braver about the "noxious beasts" above ground and finds her way to a branch of the New York Public Library. Once there, the books and papers and documents provide her with a lull but the computers or "lighted moving paper" leaves her struggling. 

Chancing upon a librarian who is patient, she struggles to explain, settling on that she isn't familiar with technology. Also of note, her language use is dated but also her accent is early 19th century American and it sounded closer to modern day British English. She sounds posh.

Navigating the keyboard is also frustrating as it would not be invented and standardized until the latter half of the 19th century. She eventually gives up and returns to her phone. The librarian suggests trying her fingerprint on the phone and that unlocks it. 

At this point, Lizzy/Ethan meets Miss Siri, a woman speaking to her through this odd device. I can only remember the feeling but not the dialogue of where she asks Siri where she is and how she knows so much. Slowly, she gathers a sense of the area and even learns how to pay for a ride with the phone to get back home.

At home, she meets her lady friend, Mary, from 1820 but she doesn't know Ethan despite the best efforts Lizzy makes to explain. She recounts her adventures thus far and her wish on a meteor shower and flaps her arms with frustration that none of this was what she intended. The lingo differences lead to some confusion with Mary noting that a thing is "a mood" and Lizzy inquires what mood that is. Mary gathers something is different but is incredulous that Lizzy is possessed by a young man from the 19th century. 

Eventually, Mary suggests looking him up. After more fumbling she finds Ethan in a brief reference from a book about plague fears in Manhattan in 1820. Ethan Mathis died on June 30th 1820, found mysteriously decease that morning. In the dream, Lizzy is living in June 30th 2020. This visibly rattles Lizzy. Mary tries to grapple too, asking, "Did you dream about this guy from long long ago?" Mary admits it is really weird he died on this day, 200 years ago. But it is otherwise a bewildering dead end. 

Lizzy sulks and Mary tries to cheer her up by inviting her to a party. Lizzy/Ethan's idea of a party is much more sedate than the "apes striking rocks" that Lizzy/Ethan notes from Mary's phone.

Then the second dream picked up with Mary and Lizzy still talking. Lizzy asks Miss Siri on the "phone" to forgive her manners. Ethan's father always thought them poor, which was why he sought to send him away to get a proper education away from the rough nature of the city with its flood of Irish immigrants his father always complained about. 

But he doesn't really get an answer so much as a wiki link on titles and sighs as he/she notes Miss Siri seems quite the bookish sort, steadfast in duty and service. She/he wishes that the same could be true of themselves, that way they may not be in this mess, being outside of their time and body.

Hitting upon the idea (unintentionally) to try the police department from Mary, with her much more contemporary disposition than in the version she knew from 1820, Lizzy inquires if the manners of the day would make it proper that, they being two ladies, no matter issues of the spirit or what unnatural transfiguration has occurred, it would be best if they embrace in gratitude for a marvelous idea.

Mary - "Uhh, sure." Still unfamiliar with having a young woman's body, Lizzy/Ethan does so haltingly. 

So far as making an "inquest to the constabulary" about records relating to her original body's supposed death, she has no interest in exploring the "metallic caverns" again or chancing the glass and metal beasts that rumble along like wild horses. She will walk.

She also notes that Miss Siri or Lady Siri is the most forgetful sort because she doesn't recall the nature of their conversation a minute ago. In bringing up Lady/Miss Siri to Mary, Mary informs her Siri "isn't real...a real person". Lizzy is perplexed and aghast, thinking at first that Mary is making out Miss Siri to be a slave (slavery wouldn't repealed in New York until 1829, I read that in my research between dreams). 

Mary qualifies, "Well, she's a computer or something" and Lizzy retorts that computers are real, she saw several in her trek to the public library. "I still don't comprehend the way it is fashioned to provide light and images without candles and what variety of levers and nature drives it but it is as real as you or I"

Mary just stands there blinking. Privately, Lizzy apologizes to Lady Siri as she feared this later date version of her lady friend seems most uncouth. She also confesses to Lady Siri that the "arcane velocities of these horseless transports" will drive her to illness while within his waifish, pale body. Mary arches a few eyebrows over the way Lizzy talks about female nature. 

After much indecision, Lizzy, who last time went out in something best approaching trousers and a Hello Kitty coat, over whether best to assume the appearance of a lady or blend into this "rough and rapid" era, eventually decides upon a simple dress without the expected ruffles and flourishes of fashion. 

Then, I ran into a montage segment where she talks to random people and foregoes a hot dog and other unfamiliar food. This leads to her rattling of all the details of her day to someone who simply asked, "How you doing?" 

She ponders where Lady Siri is in the physical world that she is speaking to her like this. The New Yorker listens for longer than I would but then politely gets up and leaves her alone without another word said. She puzzles a bit at someone telling her that Lady Siri is "on her phone" because the dimensions are too small to comfortably accommodate a person. She has to be somewhere else.

She notices the frowns and apologizes and hopes that her manner doesn't come across as unusual. "I am new to this place. This form. Although, it is my home. But it has changed a lot." One lady nods her head and assures her she ain't even the weirdest thing she's seen this week in the city.

She asks her about where she hails from. Brooklyn, which was little more than farming country in 1820. Arriving at the metro NYPD station, she goes up to the front and makes known her inquest. She struggles a bit with the accent of the guy at the front. This part was a little iffy, so far as I remembered, but the sense was the officer wondered if someone was pulling a prank on him and Lizzy pleads this is sincere. 

Eventually, they send her over to a mental health officer, who was similar to one I met in the ER a while back but with even more of a New York accent. She takes it slow with Lizzy and makes sure her home life is alright and tries to figure out what is going on. As it turns out, the officer is a bit of a history buff and knew some stuff from NYC in the 1800s but more towards the end of the century.

The officer informs her it would not be till a riot after Ethan's time that a proper police organization was established and records before that time would not exist here. Scenes were missing here but mostly she points Lizzy towards a private investigator who is also a history buff who might help her in this research.

Once Lizzy leaves, the action actually stayed on the mental health officer. The other officers teased her about having a "Quantum Leap" case. She scoffs and corrects them that the dude in that could only travel within in his lifetime, so this...whatever it is, would be totally different. Then, she sulks because she can't remember the main character's name.

This is followed by Lizzy/Ethan exploring the city, searching for the PI and contrasting what she remembers to how it looks now, with an overload of information. She talks to Lady Siri and actually manages to open up things the original Lizzy wrote on the phone and sees an acquaintance of hers who lives nearby and sent "instant short letters" back and forth. She puzzles at the contractions and shorthand Lizzy used.

The dream then ended on a cliffhanger as she hears a song playing at a restaurant nearby and suddenly feels lightheaded as the music sounds familiar even though she has never heard it before. She returns to a question from earlier about if he and Lizzy are sharing this body or if Ethan is now the full owner and resident..but she passes out with the music and that was it.

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