An evil sorceress, basically Malificent al a Angeline Jolene, (or possibly Annie Lennox) was breeding cannibalistic snapping turtles who also liked to eat books. This was part of her long-term plan to beed a giant sort of turtle-dragon, which she would enchant by feeding it magic books. The fire-breathing, enchanted snapping turtle-dragon played a key role in her plans for conquest and revenge.
I'm not clear where she lived, because I'm pretty sure I dreamed at least twice. For most of the dream she lived in the shadowy caverns and waterways underneath the castle of an old magician. Or else she lived in a largish house tucked away at the end of a golf course at a fancy resort.
I was the old magician's apprentice; sometimes (at the beginning of the dream) I was a youngish man, other times I was a twelve or thirteen year old girl (in the middle).
Earlier in the dream (this happened as back-story) I had found an old underground cellar in the castle. Underneath the rotting timbers an underground stream flowed, and I had dropped the leaves of an old, beat up book one by one into the stream. The pages contained a spell, which enchanted the snapping turtles living there.
There was a tribe of Goblins or Gnomes living under the castle. They weren't High Elves; more like indigenous natives or the Goblins out of Labyrinth (or Muppet Rats). The Sorceress didn't rule over them, but they were afraid of her and usually did what she asked.
A fiery dragon-turtle had hemmed the Old Magician and me into the stone hall of the castle. My sense is that the magic of the walls kept the flames out of the hall, but they licked along windows and archways. The Sorceress appeared, and I rushed her (or the dragon). The point of view switched to a bird's-eye view from the rafters of the hall. Rushing in wasn't the smartest move, but it did distract folks long enough for the Magician to get the upper hand.
Now that the Sorceress had been defeated, I was directing the Gnomes to maintain the waterways underneath the castle. In the darkness they rebuilt a course-way and reservoir in order to redirect the stream so it wouldn't stagnate in slow muddy underground swamps.
The lead Gnome (in a plucky, bumbling comic role) had stacked a bunch of stone bricks up, but the water had built up behind the dam and as he stood proudly in front of it in a ta-da moment, the water burst through.
I was talking to the Sorceress in an author speaks with the character way. She was in lab with white table-tops cutting up live turtles and feeding them to other turtles, and putting hungry turtles in the same enclosures to encourage them to fight. We had a behind-the-scenes conversation, which I don't recall much of; something about her plans. I was pointedly not looking at the turtles.
In the second or third iteration of the dream....
As a young girl, I went to help the sorceress. She seemed nice, and it was neat to go to her house. When I got there, I forget what we did -- I think I was helping her take care of animals. She said she had to leave somewhere, and we locked up her house and animal pens and then she followed the stream-way back up toward the Old Magician's stone castle.
She didn't wait for me, and I have the sense that she was speedily traveling over the curving creek, which I had to run along the bank.
I came across a river gazebo. One of my girl friends and her nurse(?) were there, dressed in 19th century clothes. It's possible she was a mermaid, because a mermaid with a glowing green tail was in the creek.
But the sorceress was beginning her conquest, and so river snakes were appearing everywhere. Twenty at least infested the gazebo, and I had to stop and walk around them very carefully. Insert Poisonous Snake Anxiety here. This part of the dream ended with me trying to open the door to get out.
When I woke up, I tried to figure out what the snakes meant. The whole dream has a very Jungian feel to it, with shadow selves and underground water.
I haven't had a dream like that since something like 1980, when I used to dream about a poisonous snake threatening to bite me in my Grandmother's basement. I have dreamed about snakes within the last few years, but they've usually been singular or non-threatening. The snakes in the latest dream felt like the anxiety scorpions I used to dream about when something was bothering me at Arcosanti; so it's possible something was bothering me (like my stomach).
Fire-breathing snapping turtles are new.