FEVERDREAMS - Prelude 1 | Varyer


Prelude 1

Fever Dreams are moments of vivid false reality. Oftentimes bizarre, they come in our weakest and most vulnerable moments. Paired with sickness and a depleted physical state, fever dreams remain mostly unknown - yet lead to dramatic discoveries about our psyche, and the state of our mind’s well-being. Spatial distortion, moments of dramatic discovery, and deep rest are common.

Artist and photographer Kendall Hill’s publishing debut, FEVERDREAMS takes viewers on a journey of rapid self-discovery throughout one night of dreams, focusing on the flourishing and fading connections of our youth’s final frontier.

In the preludes for FEVERDREAMS, three installments set the groundwork for the 2024 release, describing how bodies of water are imbued with mystical, time-traveling powers, where we physically are in the world, the social climate, and other guideposts for the six chapters found in the book.

We begin our dive into the FD FD = feverdreams universe by learning more about Acoma, the “water city” where the entirety of the book will take place and recall memories from. The preludes pre-date the physical book by 20 years (identifiable by “Little Eon”, who is also a character in Chapter 1 and has grown up by this point).

Prelude 1: The new water & the old mesas serves as an introduction to Acoma and to understanding the larger, important plotlines of the story. We get a sense of the social climate of the city 20 years prior to the book, and immediately jump into our rising action with the disappearance of Zeeck Ferrell.

In prelude 2: Into the dreams, we will learn of the things ZF saw during his mystical water encounter over the 18 days he was missing. Somewhat a “therapy session”, Zeeck will retell what he saw in his fever dreams induced by the water. The characters of the town will hear first hand the powers of the water, as will the readers, and realize the dangers it can bring.

In prelude 3: Ripple Effect, the final prelude, the town will wrestle with what to do about the mystical waters and if they want to regulate them or allow people to use them whenever they please. Ultimately deciding to allow them to be free and open for people to use because of a compelling argument by the city’s youth.

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Prelude 1

The new water & the old mesas

The waters have been in our town since the beginning of the Second Shift. Before it all, we were hardly considered a coastal city, but when the great glaciers began to thaw, waters rose across the globe. Thousands were displaced, communities had to rebuild and find ways to not only move on, but also cope with the loss of life, the change of times.

Our small town was drenched, with newcomers and bodies of water. A large coast formed to our west and north, (and weirdly enough, the water flowed out to more of the west, rather than inwards to our new coasts. The water always moved from west to west) creating a massive sprawl of beachland and inner rivers and lakes. Once a collection of high mesas, red rocks and dirt roads - streams and ponds of deep blue water filled into the cracks of Acoma.

Many turned to religion again, looking for signs in all these unnatural occurrences and phenomena that became our new truths. Priests and Imam came from across the highlands to see the massive lakes, to touch the water and bless it. Our mesas hadn’t seen any consistent water in centuries, and for a long time the droughts got worse year after year. It was unexplainable; some considered it magic or prophecy. Though as time went on, the bad far outweighed the good.

Especially when our neighbors began to disappear in the waters.

Map of Acoma islands

Well, first there was old Zeeck Ferrell. This slim, big glasses type wise and somewhat cooky guy who would walk around the neighborhoods early in the mornings and would go on long geology explorations and camping trips. Somewhat an off-the-grid type, but all around just a loner at heart - no one bothered him and he didn’t like being around people much after his beloved wife passed some off 17 years prior. Loved his dog Chewy - I mean, that’s actually how people found out he was missing. Place smelled like shit even from the outside, could hear the dude howling all night long from the end of the block and I guess some neighbors finally did some exploring.

The dog ended up being fine, they released him into the wild or something after a few days of the big town search for old man Zeeck Ferrell began, figured if the dog found him that there would be lots of barks and howls. Those same some neighbors headed the FIND OLD MAN ZEECK search parties, gathering anyone they could and creating 10, 20, 30 mile radiuses of searchin’. Called the local news and ran stories in the Acoma Daily and the next two towns over.

Map of Acoma islands

That went on for about 9 days before finally giving up and packing those little orange reflective bags and flashlights deep in their closets in sorrow for a failed mission done bad. Donated all the snacks and “Welcome home!” decorations to a children’s foster home.

Nine more days passed, and little Eon who played outside on his bike just on the edge of the city on his parent’s long driveway and liked to ride his bike just a little outside of the lines but not so far but not so close to the strict boundaries his parents had set for him but was fast enough to go far without his parents noticing and still be back in time, saw something. It was approaching sunset, and from anywhere in the city during sunset you could see glistening water sparkling on the horizon line if you just looked west. Little Eon saw a man, covered only with a waist length jacket tied around his upper hips walking slowly, softly, begrudgingly into town from the horizon.

It’s Zeeck! It’s Zeeck! It’s Zeeck! It’s Zeeck! It’s Zeeck! It’s Zeeck! It’s Zeeck! It’s Zeeck! It’s Zeeck! It’s Zeeck!

It’s old man Zeeck! It’s old man Zeeck! It’s old man Zeeck! It’s old man Zeeck! It’s old man Zeeck! It’s old man Zeeck!

He’s alive! He’s alive! He’s alive! He’s alive! He’s alive! He’s alive! He’s alive! He’s alive! He’s alive! He’s alive!

The water behind him, our sun creating a dark silhouette that blocked out any noticeable features a seven year old would need to confidently identify someone. Or at least that’s how Eon explained it the next day at school in so few words. Eon stood there, paralyzed in fear and awe for almost a whole minute before calling out in screams. His mother and father came running, hell, half the town came running. Eon crying, pointing his finger directly at the man’s head, the sun glistening behind that head, the crowd in front of that head’s eyes trying to distinguish from afar if it was really the man who they thought it couldn’t be. There were gasps, screams, suddenly “It’s Zeeck! It’s Zeeck! It’s old man Zeeck! He’s alive!” began to bellow and holler from within the belly of the crowd. Bodies went flying down the road, and before anyone got to him, you could see Old man Zeeck’s figure drop to the ground. On his knees, he swirled in slow motion before hitting the concrete, the sunset catching him with little effort, his body paralleling the horizon line.

We got to him in what amounted to seconds but felt like hours. Zeeck lying there motionless, a corona of heads above his attending to his new wounds and exhausted body. I didn’t see much, but I did see his eyes. They rolled back and forth from the top of his head to the bottom of his tear duct, everything pink but the red veins and a black, distant eyeball. I was pushed to the back of the crowd, and Zeeck was lifted above all of our heads, scurried to the town emergency room. The rest of us stood there for a few moments, many dispersed after some more moments, but not me. I would’ve stood there all night, I never took my eyes off the horizon.

Prelude 2 - coming soon