I had two dreams last night. This post includes a summary of both and the full story of the first. The first involved interdimensional travel (of course, as all my dreams seem to feature that lately), lost love, communication issues, memory loss, cats, kittens, and a terrifying invasion of ants. The second involved a board game, its real life counterpart, demons, contracts, secrets, time travel, and death. The first dream is fading as I try to remember it, but I'll fill in the gaps as best as I can. I remember a character whose father was an inventor, and whose family fostered cats as a way to deter pests. The very first time this character traveled to another dimension, I believe, she did it by accident. She ended up at a train station, where futuristic hover-trains were coming and going almost as fast as the people around her. She was disoriented, afraid, and only just starting to realize what she had done. That was when a boy swooped in from the crowd and said he could take her to a place that was safe; a place where other dimension travelers had found refuge in the past. The girl was extremely grateful, and didn't even mind when she had to sleep on an uncovered, unsupported mattress in his little sister's bedroom. At least she had a place to sleep. After two full days, she figured out how to return to her home dimension. Her family was ecstatic to see her, and her father immediately began working on a machine that could replicate what she did -- to make the power accessible to anyone and everyone. He tested it frequently, and left a diary and labeled audio recordings (on CDs marked with sharpie) so his family would always know where he had gone and when he planned to be back. These notes also came in handy when he returned from one trip and didn't remember his family or his previous life at all. He became suspicious and skittish, and it took weeks for his children to finally sort through his notes and reminisce among themselves in his presence enough for him to finally start to come back to himself. Just as they all thought he was nearing a full recovery, however, he vanished. He left another CD, telling them he had tried to return to the dimension that had taken his memory in the first place -- to discover exactly what it was that had been done to him the first time around. His oldest daughter, the original main character of this dream, started to get worried after a few days. She decided to use her own power to go after him, and hopefully bring him home. She told her siblings before she left to watch the cats carefully, because she had seen a few colonies of ants in the back yard and that made her think the cats were having some kind of trouble that was keeping them from doing their job. She arrived first in the dimension where she had met the boy before -- the one she now thought of as her Prince. After looking for her father for awhile, she decided to return to the home of her Prince to try and speak with him again. When she was just about to knock on his door, however, she heard his mother speaking to him in the garden. He looked like a little kid being scolded, but when the girl listened carefully she discovered he was actually being forced into an arranged marriage. It was for the sake of their shelter -- their practice of taking in people who were lost, like they had with the girl herself. The marriage would allow them to keep that practice, so the Prince could not refuse without destroying everything he'd built for himself and his future. The girl, heartbroken as she was that she couldn't pursue the boy she loved, still only considered trying to talk him out of the marriage for a second or two. His dream was to carry on the practice when he was of age, and for her to get in the way of that wouldn't be fair to anyone involved. Besides, she still had a missing father to find. She would continue her search, and give the boy up for good. It was more painful that way, but she saw no other choice. Somehow, she did end up finding her father. He wasn't fully there, a bit disconnected from reality, but he remembered her most of the time and ultimately agreed to be taken back to his home. When they returned, however, they found only terror and chaos at home. The ants had taken over. There weren't just tiny, creepy crawly ones, either. Leading their armies were huge mega-ants, the size of people. The ants swarmed the house and flipped it over, revealing their home in the foundation underneath -- where they had been trapped, forced to remain in one spot or risk the hunting skills of the house cats. They were enraged by their imprisonment, and began tearing apart the entire town in their anger... except for one park. The family instantly knew this was where they could find their cats, and persuade them to come home. They discovered the reason the cats had left home was because they were offended. Nobody had noticed that one of them was pregnant, nor that the kittens one of them had adopted were actually baby skunks and not cats at all. They were offended, and protective of their babies, and the whole clan of cats backed them up. It took a lot of kindness to the kittens and their mothers and a lot of bribery with treats and toys, but the family eventually got the cats to end their strike. Using their own weapons and abilities to fight the mega-ants, they could let the cats take care of the main colonies. Before long, the ants were defeated and the smaller ones devoured and the family could return to a relatively normal life in their somehow fixed house with their clan of cats and adopted baby skunks and dementia-suffering inventor father. The girl never traveled to another dimension on her own again, and the machine that could replicate her powers was covered and hidden and locked away from anyone who might be tempted to use it. They were staying where they belonged, as far as I could tell when I woke up.