This was a long dream.
At first I was in an old house, a kind of boarding school for troubled children. Each child had some strange and bizarre mental disorder. I can't remember most of them, but I'll get to one of the main children later.
The children, all dressed in Victorian era clothing, went on a field trip in the mountains. It was a beautiful trip, filled with these towns I've dreamed about previously, including the one where a giant stage was built on the edge of a peak. It was winter, but not crushingly winter, if you know what I mean. The bus left one of the towns, but it was short three people, plus myself, though I was more of a floating spirit in this dream.
The three people, two adults and one child, had no way of contacting the bus, and after waiting for a while, they decided to make the trek back to the boarding school by themselves. Insert dream visions of sweeping vistas where the three walked along glaciers, around majestic peaks, and so forth.
I realized the three wouldn't last long walking through the mountains so came up with backstory of one of the adults. She was a young adult, maybe 20, and she used to live with her aunt in one of the nearby towns. They walked to her aunt's house, only to find it was abandoned. The power was on, but none of the lights worked in the ground floors.
They went to the basement to find it was full of long letters written in a script only the young woman could read. There was food in the basement and the lights worked. The little girl who had been complaining strongly about hunger, tucked into the meal while she listened to the older women.
The young lady had started reading the letters and came across one with the numbers to open a safe in town and a warning that once opened, things would move quickly. The aunt seemed to have some kind of vision about the three of them. The young lady was intrigued, but on the suggestion of the older woman, decided not to open the safe.
They went into town to get supplies, suddenly careful not to mention the bus to anyone, but gossip was heavy in the town and they learned the bus had come through and had been looking for them. The other teachers on the bus were distraught they had left their precious teacher, older student, and young boarding girl behind and would take a reward for anyone that saw them.
The young woman made sure to tell everyone she was visiting her aunt and had nothing to do with the bus. The young girl... Somehow she came into the town with the paper with the numbers to open the safe on them and when they went to the post office, she saw the PO box that was actually the safe. She opened it and pulled out children's books and more letters and descriptions of the boarding school.
The boarding school, the letters wrote, was actually and evil place. After each field trip, they would round up everyone there and take them away, never to be seen again.
When the little girl told the others about the letters, they decided to go to the school in secret and sneak in and see what they could find.
My dream jumped here, there was something about them closing up the aunt's house, but then they were just at the boarding school with very little between.
The boarding school was a mess of a building. Built on the mountain, it was in multiple levels. The outside of the house was a long dorm. It was crawling with men in dark clothing and no children were around. The girl decided to sneak into the dorm via a window that led to a storage room. She left the window open and snuck in.
None of the children were there alive, but they were all around dead. There were long pits filled with meat eating worms and snakes and she could see the remains of some of her friends down there. With horror she kept looking around and my memory is vague, but all the students and adults had been used in large pits with various creatures in strange black magic rituals. The hole place, the little girl decided, was a factory for black magic.
Distraught and horrified, she went back to the storage room to leave, but as she did, one of the black mages felt the cold of the open window and shut it. She was not strong enough to open it, nor get in the storage room once the mage closed the door. She was trapped inside the building!
My dream shifted. It was years later at a modern school. The girl was a teenager now, but something happened to her mind. She could no longer retain her memories, they were tied up in things and people. It was crazy. For classes, she had to go to her locker and pull out the items that kept the memories from each class in them. For math class, the memories were tied up in rulers and calculators. For science class it was notebooks filled with chemical equations and such.
She had two lockers. One with the primary memories, and a second with the darker, older memories. To get to the second locker she had to open the first and find the scrap of paper with the combination to the second.
I had focused on the locker combination. 36-18-4. I remembered the combination, but she didn't. She was very frustrated by this and the bell was about to ring, but she had to get her items for the next class.
One of her best friends was with her, and she could remember the first number. The first friend was joined by a second, and she could remember the second number. Right as the bell was ringing her third friend came and she could remember all three. In desperation she opened the first locker, but realized she had to get into the second. Never in her scattered memory could she remember having to have people around to know the numbers to the locker.
She opened the first, dug out the objects for the next class, and took the paper to the second locker, only to find it was opened. Her three friends were quick to explain they had been curious why she had been given an extra locker and had a friend who could break combination locks hack into the locker so they could see what was in there. None of them could understand the old, moldy children books, dusty and crumbling dead flowers, and other Victorian era items in there.
The girl had to explain about her memories being attached to objects. At the same time she was pulling out item after item, searching for something that would tell her if she'd ever had to have people around to remember things. Her fingers brushed one of the children's books from the aunt's home and memories flooded back to her.
Before she had gotten to the modern school, she hadn't been able to control her memory powers and had done some horrible things.
The one I remember most clearly is she had a pet dog that stored a lot of thoughts for her. Happy thoughts. She didn't understand how to take care of the dog because the dog had no memories stored of animal care. So when she was done playing with the dog and remembering things because of him, she would stuff him into a closet and go on her merry way, not realizing she should have put him in his crate and fed and watered him. Naturally the dog got sick and near death before someone at the place she was staying figured out about the dog and came in after her to take care of it.
She was back at school, then, thinking of her memories. The ones stored in the dried flowers, she realized, would be gone soon. She couldn't pull memories from one object to another and she couldn't figure out how to store a memory in something specific. For example, her car held the thoughts for how to drive in the various parts. So if her car broke and they replaced something that held the thoughts on how to brake, she wouldn't know how to stop the car.
I started to wake up at this point and realized what a sad girl she would be. Unable to remember anything unless she had the object, and unable to function without some things constantly on her person. She wanted to figure out the boarding school and what had happened, but to do that she'd have to collect the objects that held those memories. And memories like that took her right back into the place she had been, as if she was dreaming. So finding those objects would mean her having a vivid dream about them, including her being stuck in the boarding school, hiding from the black mages while they did terrible things to her friends.
I really woke up at this point and started writing this all down but holy cow! What a long dream!