[Green witch like from Wizard of Oz. Black clothes and pointy hat.]
[Lots of us standing, then walking, it’s the coliseum at Rome]
[Loading dock for a roller coaster, black rubber mat, white cars]
[The small cars shot forward, ascending rapidly as the clicking of the guide chain reverberated through the tunnel. It’s Space Mountain at Disneyland with a tunnel and shooting lights. After fifteen seconds it came out of the darkness and I see the enormous city spread out, its great sky-scrapers looking like toy buildings thousands of meters below. This is Manhattan of the future.]
[I feel scared, and elated, although I know it’s an illusion. It’s wonderful.]
[The cars peaked, then dove recklessly at the ground, accelerating for almost a minute and pulling up only moments before crashing. They spun, paused, looped, shot forward again, weaving between buildings until they ran out of momentum.]
I wake up.
[Lots of us standing in a small warehouse, no larger than fifty by fifty feet, its dingy white walls lit by cheap overhead fluorescent strips, its floor a disorganized mess of orange boxes. In the center of the room an enormous shark lay on a platform, its mouth at least three meters across and fixed open to show them the food cube deep inside. It looks like a life sized replica of the blue whale at Six Flags Marine World. The dread that came over me as we watched it breathe slowly and rhythmically was masterfully unnerving.]
[Feel a sinking feeling creeping over me]
[Behind me is a crude wooden door, I open it to see a small but neatly kept city park. There was a large square patch green grass ahead and to his left and a busy street full of cars and formally dressed pedestrians hurrying down the sidewalk on the right. They look like the ‘lady in the red dress’ scene from the movie the Matrix.]
[There’s a datapad in my pocket and I know what it says without reading it. The sunlight feels lovely.]
[Look again and the traffic and crowds to my right are now nothing more than a projection on a wall. The bricks are thin and cannot be gripped, like the adult education center near my church. A girl joins me, she is unhappy.]
[I turn around and see giant rising to its knees. large white-within-white eyes and a sinister smile of sharp teeth going ear to ear. It’s wearing a navy blue suit with white pin stripes.]
[A crowd runs at me. I see the drainpipe to and decide to climb it. The narrow gutter ledge cuts me off, and now there’s nowhere else to go, since the roof sloped at a sharp angle and the wooden shingles were covered with slippery algae. It’s more like a wall than a roof. I watch the crowd hide behind slotted benches and too small garbage cans. I feel bad for them.]
[No sooner has everyone settled than the giant emerges from the doorway with a lazy, shuffling gait. It came to a stop, flapped its arms like a bird, and caused a white mist to come up from the ground that paralyzed everyone who breathed it in.]
[Slowly and ungraciously the monster lumbers over to the projected people where Sally was hiding and put its mouth of shark teeth over her head. I look away. The mist clears. The giant heads to the boy hiding behind the garbage can next. He comes at me after that, with that calm certainty, lurching unsteadily as if walking didn’t come naturally, its white eyes locked on me. It stretched out a hand, and then just before closing its grip, vanishes.]
[I’m afraid but I pry off a dozen shingles off the roof for their nails and it’s time for revenge against the shark. I threw them to the ground as fast as he could, then slid down the gutter pipe and ran inside. The group picks up my nails. We get around it, I’m standing by the gills. We raised the small spikes. “Go!” We plunged the nails into the eyes, gills, and snout as it began to take on its human shape, rising from its hands and knees as it bled profusely from its wounds. The giant reached its full height before looking down calmly, wooden squares for pupils.
[We run back to the door, open it, and see a swirling violet colored portal.]
[We run back to the door, open it, and see a swirling violet colored portal.]
The Tedious Dream
[Blue skies, swirling white clouds. It’s hot. Black asphalt in every direction. I expected buildings and towers, and plants and jungles, and there is nothing. It’s a parking lot that goes on forever. I feel like this should be an airport but there are no buildings.]
[Turning around and see two blond women, identical in every way except that one looked relieved to see me while the other stared straight ahead.]
[We need to get the key. It’s here somewhere.]
[She tells me it’s not lying around anywhere.]
[It must be underneath the cement. We chip at it. Once it cracks we pull the pieces up with our hands.]
I wake up.
[I feel that some losers have made this world. It’s like the holodeck from Star Trek.]
[There’s a chain-link fence bounding some feted water with cat-tail reeds, a steel gray building made of concrete, and a passenger jet so large the building looks small.]
[Steel doors don’t work. It’s dark inside, lights flicker, mostly only the sunlight works, like a train tunnel.]
[I feel like I’m being watched.]
[The floor is covered in blood now. It smells.]
[A tiger jumps at me, we slide across the slippery floor. I stab it with a knife and block the heavy paws with the knife. I push it off me and it lies there, alive but subdued.]
[I hear a woman. Then a man. They have leprosy. They admit eating the tiger and drinking the dirty pond water to stay alive. They are happy to see me.]
I wake up.
[I see a yellow gravel road winding up a grassy green hill toward a bright blue sky. On the right was a picturesque forest that looked like it belonged in a fairy tale, and on the left were mountain slopes full of wild flowers. It smells nice here.]
[I now see a dilapidated thatched roof cottage, like from Highlander the movie, a non-human corpse, and a floating woman, with gray elephant skin, too long arms, a beak, talons. Her entire lower half is a complex, mechanical golden bowl that allows her to float. She makes threatening gestures at me.]
[A teenager who is part dog lies in the grass. He growls at me threateningly. I kick him in the mid-section. He’s subdued.
[I’m wrestling now with the hideous floating woman. I grappled with it, expertly ducked under the left arm, and pulled the wrist behind its back. I hold the arm and the thin wrist bones break. Pivoting its head it watches me and doesn’t resist. I grabbed the other arm and it breaks. I feel horrible.]
[I walk around and stab it. I feel worse. Someone has designed this to be this way. It’s malicious. Someone is out to get me.]
[Dog boy growls. I kick him again and he becomes my friend.]
[I look up the hill and see a train of such monsters going on for miles. A man covered in quills, a giant teddy bear with red eyes and a mouth full of sharp teeth. A little girl. I need to kill them all but I can’t because I feel such empathy.]
I wake up.
[I see dark red carpet, and feel good.]
[The high roofed room was ornately decorated with gigantic protruding angular golden faces and white marble pillars lining the way ahead on either side. It’s nice, not scary.]
[I press forward under a large arch and the décor changed from classic opulence to an incomplete construction project. Exposed steel beams riveted together stuck out at odd angels, making the atmosphere primitive and ugly, like Gotham City from Batman. There are stairs everywhere, its 3 layers tall.]
[There is a mahogany staircase to my left, upon which a dozen junior high age children were running up and down playing tag. I ascend it.]
[I’m army crawling slowly to the cul-de-sac of rooms on my right, but the closer I get the less able I am to make progress, to the point where I’m sliding in place as if on ice. I push with my feet, it works. I get back up and walk to the man. He has fine clothes and armed with a pistol opened it for him without looking down. Inside are school desk-chairs.]
[He puts a test in front of me. It’s a final. I haven’t studied and begin to panic.]
[The questions are easy. “What is a boat?” “What color is your chair?”]
[I feel sick now. It gets better.]
[I see stars. Millions of them, blues, greens, binary systems, nebulas, quasars, all seemed to be only an arm’s length away outside a window. They are captivating. I stare at them delighted in their presence. I need to stop wasting time. I see turn around and see Spartan living quarters: a single bed, a small table, and a waist high sink all made of brushed nickel. The exit is like a locker room shower—no door, just bend in the wall covered in small blue tiles. It’s a starship. A short woman with long black hair and a pretty face jostles me. I can’t understand her.]
[I have an arm band with a screen on it. It shows a middle eastern man who is in charge of getting me to work. I’m an IT guy now. He tells me to get back to it.]
[I walk down a metal grating. It looks grimy and dark, like a scene from Aliens. Two men are talking, I spy on them. They catch me. I accept their rebuke and go to a large metal chamber. It’s noisy here. I see my boss again talking to someone. I feel that that person is my high school friend, but I’m ambivalent towards him.]
[He hands me a red viewmaster. I press the disk into it and see a white haired ape dancing around in a meadow. The next page is the same ape swinging a stone ax. The third page is a medieval knight in armor brandishing the same ax in a similarly menacing fashion. Page four had some basic physics equations with red notes all over it.]
[I now see a thin woman holding coffee. She is tired of her job. She is our Captain. It’s her ready room, the same one from Star Trek Voyager. She is worrying and I want her to not worry because there’s no reason for it. My friend alternates between urging me to kill her and not. The crew has been replaced with murderous cannibals. I know this. I must get out of here.]
The Dream of a World at War
[There was fighting here. We are losing badly. I know this.]
[I see water running off wide, waxy, leaves in the middle of a bright green rainforest. Someone tries to help me get up and I turn and see him. He’s Filipino, my height. We run into the cave, hide behind the jeep and look up. A white A shaped plane flies overhead slowly, very advanced, more than anything we have. It’s Japanese.
[Two men are here. One is Italian, the other I’m not sure. They seem scared.]
[The Italian has a small radio. He uses it to nuke something in the distance.]
[The enemy is here. We fire our pistols into the jungle. I run to the command center once it’s safe. The floor is rocky and badly lit by LED strips. This place is a storage closet with CRT monitors everywhere. People are watching TV.]
[Further down the cave is a well-built south-east Asian man with enormous arm muscles bound to a chair. He sings to himself. He begins jerking wildly, his body goes rigid, teeth clinched. He falls over and vomits on himself. He is the enemy.]
[I feel that we’ve escaped. That we’ve won somehow.]
I wake up.
[I’m standing in the middle of a freshly blacktopped street which runs between unexceptional but colorful single story houses. The colors strike me, the blue skies, white clouds, green plants, mirrored sky-scrapers in the distance, and the purple mountains beyond them. It’s very comfortable here. The air smells sweet, the sun is warm, and the breeze is cool. A car almost runs me over.]
[I see a man, he’s instantly forgettable. He tells me to go into the house and get the job done. I know he means get the ball and bring it to the tallest tower.]
[The inside is even nicer than outside. It’s a garden. There are climbing ivies, blooming purple flowers, and orange butterflies in every direction. A waterfall runs down one of the walls disappears down invisible cracks in the floor. The house is dark however, and there is a shaft of light around the corner shining on a hatch leading to the basement. I descend the stairs and see a small pillar of uncut rocks underneath a little golden ball underneath another shaft of light. A sign tells me to leave. I cross the room, avoid the pool of water in front of the alter, and the sign changes. The hatch slams closed and I begin climbing the rocks behind the alter to escape. I’m out of the house and running now, jumping the fence, across the lawn and I hear the voice of the faceless man. I know where he is, he’s in the doorway, hands gripping either side of the frame, ready to catapult himself outside and give chase. The car is only four houses away but it seems like much more, as if I’m running in slow motion. I beat him to the blue coupe and shut the door.]
[My driver gives up the lead, idling the engine. Right before we get hit from behind he stomps the gas pedal hard enough to whip our heads into the rests and takes off. It’s a fight of the vehicles. He rams us, once, twice, a third time. Then he cuts us off and steers us into a tree. My driver stops playing around now and makes a hard U-turn, unexpectedly cuts over a curb into a children’s park and ends the pursuit.]
[We’re at a parking lot. We get out and walk on a levee. The stark white of the concrete we’re going on is in the middle of a park. Big trees everywhere, the handsome towers we’d seen from a distance are now on our right. The river, or canal, water is so blue that it’s almost like it’s alive. Crowds press on us happily, many people are joggers on the trail with us, most of them are mothers pushing babies in strollers.]
[We’re in a diner now, it looks like a cross between a fast food burger place and a 50s establishment. We sit at the booth nearest the kitchen, next to the side doors. They put food in front of us. We talk, but I can’t remember about what. As we do the people are falling to pieces outside and growing in number.]
[The zombies find us and bang on the windows. My companion vanishes, leaving me alone to them. I don’t hold it against him. 8 people appear to hold the doors against the zombies. A head and arm came through the nearest door, wedging it open. I ran over to help them close it, and stab the zombie in the head with my knife. Only it’s not a knife, it’s a rubber screwdriver. I pushed him out and jammed the door closed again. I get scratched. I feel sick now, stiff. It’s hard to see straight, but the zombies break in and leave me alone. I know I need to get the orb back to where it came from.]
[I feel tired, run down. This must be like what mono feels like. There is a white table cloth. I’m in a dining room. I see a British man holding food. Something feels wrong about this. I’m dreaming I realize. I can’t stop myself from dreaming.]
[I’m in a bed room now. It’s a state room. There’s maroon and wood everywhere. It feels sinister, deadly. It’s my home and yet it’s not. I leave the room and see a man who looks like the elevator attendant from a ritzy hotel. He’s British too.]
[The hallway is a submarine hallway. Metal. Cramped. I see the dining room again, I turn around and go back to my room. I see a wooden chest in the middle of it now. It has brass latches and is three feet tall. I put the bedding into it and carry it out into the hall. It weighs nothing and I’m tired again.]
[I exit to the outside where it’s deserted. It’s cold. The floors are dancing hardwood out here. I see an iceberg and know I need to get on it. I jump, land in the water, and feel cold.]
I wake up.
[I see a narrow foot path of packed dirt running through a knee high dark blue field that goes on in every direction. There are caves cut into the nearby foothills to my right and a medieval watchtower made of dressed stone far in the distance. This grass-like plant occasionally sprouts a bamboo stalk that ended in long, limp noodles. It can be stood on without the blades bending. The overhead sun gave off a weak, paltry light, like twilight, although the air was somehow warm and humid. I don’t like it.]
[I see a man, he’s a giant. Taller than a basketball player. He’s harvesting the plants, he speaks with in Elizabethan English and is angry with me. He leads me to his cave home. There are more of them in there. There’s a family. They are happy here. They want me to be part of the family. Now I’m angry at them for making me a prisoner. I know I shouldn’t feel that way, but it’s hard to help. They offer me a bedroom. I take it, it’s mine now.]
I wake up.
[I see scrub desert with small plants no higher than my knee everywhere. There’s a lot of sand. It’s cold, the light is going. I’m worried about shelter, I need some place to stay for the night. I notice a promising depress in the earth ahead. It turns out to be huge hole, at least a hundred feet down where a house, a small well, and a roofless barn made of animal bones are. Nearby is a ruined stone amphitheater. This was a retreat spot for high school age kids to come learn about God.]
[I knock at the door, with dirt in my boots. A thin woman with a boys haircut answers. She lets me in. She is like a nun, and her sisters have gone out for awhile. I lay down on her bed and she doesn’t object. I feel like I’m heading into the lions den, there’s trouble for me ahead.]
I wake up.
The Dream of the Way
[I see soft grass and a fast moving creek. It gives way to a broad valley. This place is wonderful. The wheat fields wave in the wind. It’s like Kansas. It’s green everywhere here. I come to a solitary water mill, and hang my feet into the water.]
[I walk more and see trees. They grew over the road in a tunnel, blocking out the already dim sun in a rather enchanting fashion.]
[I see a temple now. Its seven stories tall, with doors many times my size. I push them open easily and see columns on either side, it’s a medieval cathedral. The next room is more of the same, but busier. I see a man bow to me and open a door that I am to pass through alone.]
I wake up.
The Dream of the King
[I can’t see, everything is white. There is a throne above me, I know. There are people. I hear the voice from the King on the throne and the words are powerful, like a waterfall being poured over a cliff. “Sit” he says and I fall to my knees. The owner of the voice is delighted that I have assumed a posture he can bless me from.]
I wake up.
[I’m in a tower, it’s more like an arena than anything else. There are two windows letting light in. It’s cold here, like a winter morning. I see my enemy lying on a cot. He gets up and is holding an ax. We fight and I win. He vanishes.]
[I see a machine which I know to be a time machine. I pry the metal faceplate off, and see three things inside: a catch pan full of shiny black tar, a metal funnel above it, and a small gray box above both. Intuition tells me the tar compressed space and time, the funnel changed the form of its energy, and the box distributed it to the world. I try to pry off the funnel but can’t. I pull out the pan of tar and hear a trumpet blast.]
I wake up.
[I’m outside the tower, it’s the same place I’d dreamt about on a different day. The skeleton prince stares at me, his voice was higher pitched than it ought to be, he speaks with a lisp. He’s surrounded by an army. He greets me and I pretend like we’re on the same side so I can lay a trap for him, but he seems to read my thoughts and to show me he’s not to be crossed stabs his hand. I keep up the ruse and offer him the pan from the time machine, which makes another appearance.]
[He touches it, it consumes his hand. I push his head into it and my hand slips into the pan. I cut it with my knife but it doesn’t yield. I make the blade acidic and it does. I look around at the army challenging them but they’re afraid of me now. If they all attack I’d be lost, but without their leader they’ve lost the will to fight.]
I wake up.
The Dream of a House
[A sandworm with legs leaps at me. I grab it and subdue it, then walk up the hill to the Mormon church building. It’s redbrick with a white roof and steeple. My wife (who doesn’t look, sound, or act like the one in real life) is waiting there for me. I grab her hand, drag her inside and show her the auditorium which is our bedroom. I want to live here, this town is perfect. It’s got trees, mines, lakes, and the people are exceptionally nice. I leave her there and find the attached building, which is set up with white folding chairs and tables as if it’s going to host a wedding. I’m going to clear it all out and make it into a garage to rebuild my car.]
I wake up.
[I feel terrible, as though I’ve been caught in the act of adultery. I feel ashamed and embarrassed, I’m a disgrace. I’m in a cave, I think. The outside is sunny and warm.]
[I see a yellow corduroy couch next to a small wooden end-table. Above me hangs view screens showing pictures of vegetable gardens. Across from me sits a blond athletic man. I’m aware this is a dream but it isn’t. The pictures on the wall are of flowers now, and they’re changing again into green falling lines of code like the movie the matrix. The man vanishes, and then re-appears. He’s a ghost. He’s dead. He means me no harm, he’s here to help.]
I wake up.
[I see white walls and exposed steel beams arching gracefully up to the ceiling. To my right is a loading bay for freight letting in the soft orange glow of a setting sun. Opposite the bay a portico held up by smaller arches lead out to a large courtyard. The plants out there are all dead.]
[I feel cold. Deadly cold. I get off the green cot and don’t know which way to go now to get out of here.]
[A shadow appears in the doorway, followed by a man wearing a white jumpsuit similar to the starship dream. He knows me, but I don’t know him. He’s in bad shape, and he wants me to go with him right now, but I don’t trust him. Another man closes the door and runs across the room to the courtyard. We go out there together and I lean against a blue crate. The ground is covered in maggots. The two of them run up a fire escape ladder and are gone.]
[I hear a banging and see the side of a head. It’s a giant, brown, rotted mass of skin covered with thin clumps of wispy hair and veins, and the enormous eye that takes its place is frightening. It sees me. It’s the monster I’d dreamt about since I was three. I made an opening and wiggled through it, then came at me at an unbelievable speed. It wanted to eat me; I was in hell, that’s what happens here. My whole body tensed in pain in anticipation.]
I woke up.