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Dreams: Part Two: Doggatorface

Dream Part Two - Doggatorface

Several meters into the olive dark of the pipe, the sound of the horse’s clopping hooves stopped, leaving splashing water and low, growling.

Horses don’t growl.

Its shadow had shrunk to the size of a small pony in the circle of light at the opposite end of the pipe. Once it reached the bow of light at the other end, I saw the horse had transformed into a large dog. When she stopped at the rim of the pipe, I could see her profile; her fur was gray and she had the heavy, bunched shoulders of a boxer, yet her snout was wolfish. As I hurried to catch up, she looked over her shoulder at me and her face morphed into a cartoonish jumble of asymmetry and squiggling lines. Her mouth rotated with triangle teeth. She huffed at me, then faced forward again, and the normal features returned.

I reached her side at the lip of the pipe and we both peered out from the opening. The water here was a translucent jade, bisected right below the concrete by a strip of raised land that ran all the way to the shore, which curved up into a soft hill at the top of which was an illustration of a small house. The lines of the house were drawn in redbrick crayon, with four-square windows, a crude doorway and purple smoke rising from the chimney. The arc of an orange sun floated just above the right side of the house. The afternoon sun shone bright through the drawings.

The door opened and a real woman stepped out and waved at us. “Come and visit at last. We will have talk.” She went back inside the house, leaving the door open.

The dog and I jumped down onto the land bridge. Immediately gargantuan shapes rose out of the water on both sides, pushing up mounds of water that washed over my feet. The dog hissed as the shapes coalesced into the biggest alligators I had ever seen, some 20 to 30 feet long. They brushed their flanks against the shore of the bridge, then each rested its horrible jaws on either side of the strip. Clearly they could easily scramble up and munch on us, but they remained still, following our passage with their yellowed, oligocenic eyes.

We ran the remaining distance to the base of the hill, climbing our way to the open door and entered.

The space inside the two dimensional drawing was three-dimensional and welcoming. A living room furnished just short of hoarding, each luxurious chair or lamp or table pressed up against each other. A man wearing blue jeans and a T-shirt sat in an easy chair placed before a diamond coffee table. His mouth silently opened and closed.

The woman greeted us just inside the door. She wore a strapless dress that had been made out of eggplant.

“I am so glad you are here!” she said to the dog, bending down and burying her nose in the dog’s neck fur. She pulled a cookie out of an eggplant pocket and gave it to my grateful companion.

“Come over here to sit and listen,” she said, indicating a long couch diametric to the seated man. The dog and I walked around the jumbled artifacts. The woman and I sat on the sofa, and the dog bounded up and lay down, her chin on my knee. Her eyes were placid and focused on the man.

His mouth continued to move as words began to emerge.

“ . . . flies. So many flies. Flies in sauce; flies are the boss. Why do the roots of illness gnarl in the happiness of lovers? Why is the mote in your eye the only boat to the safe shore? SO MANY FUCKING ANGRIES IN THE CHURCH BUTTER! You will never believe that the sun I drew pre-dated the big bang, and that within my semen swims missiles of xenobiology to smush the mush brains of me and all the other elses! SO MANY FUCKING ANGRIES IN THE CHURCH BUTTER! I am the straight man in your tragicomedy, dearest, dearest, dearest . . .”

The dog leapt from the couch into the lap of the now-talking man. Her face shifted into the terrifying visage I had seen before, and she ground her teeth into his forehead down to his chin, growling and digging out chunks of flesh and bones and organs and glands, swallowing and digging for more. The man flailed at her with his hands and knees, but he was now silent.

The woman got up, saying, “Screaming. Screaming. Screaming.” She walked around a wall into another room and returned carrying a plastic grocery bag. Shaking it out, she went to the easy chair and spread it open on the floor in front of the dog and man.

The dog slurped up one last strand of artery, swallowing, then bent over the open bag and vomited her belly’s contents into it. She coughed a few times, then sat down and looked up at the man.

He stood up from the chair and put his hands in the pockets of his jeans. His face was hallowed out like the skin of an avocado. A splinter of bone fell free from a patch of blood on the back of the shell, landing with a clink in the scoop of his chin.

The woman tied the handles of the bag into a square knot and handed it to me. It was heavy and sloshing.

“Feed this to the gators on your way back. They will be grateful,” she said.

I glanced at the dog, motioning her to follow me outside. She ignored me.

The woman said, “She lives here now with us. Go on now. Try to divide the remains of his face evenly.”

I walked out the door down the hill, swinging the bag like a wet and heavy pendulum.

Dream Over

Dreams: Part One: Horsewaterpipe

Dreams August 29, September 1, 2014

Part 1 - Horsewaterpipe

I had these dreams on separate nights, but the mood of each made them brethren, brethren of water.

I was on a hill in a field overlooking a country road with my hand on a horse.

The mare and I stood in the shadow of a great bridge that spanned over the field, the road and beyond. The bridge was much too grand to have been designed for the slender lane; the road’s embankment curved down into deep blankness, and I guessed there was water down there, but it was hidden by the slope.

My left hand rested on the horse’s mane. She didn’t have a saddle, but I understood that I wasn’t supposed to ride the horse, instead my task was to lead her away from the bridge along the road.

I started down the hill, gently gripping the mane, and the horse calmly accompanied me to the road. When we reached the pavement, the traffic on the road increased dramatically. Cars rushed by under the bridge, and the wind from their passing spooked my companion. She snorted, pounded her hooves on the asphalt.

A Mini Cooper stopped under the bridge, the driver waving at me to cross. I shook my head, pointing down the road, indicating we didn’t want to cross. He honked his horn and shouted out the window, “Hurry up and cross, asshole! The pressure is building behind me.”

I ignored him and led the horse along the curb. The guy in the mini drove up beside us and slowed, yelling, “Damn you for wasting my time, horse and man!” Then he sped off, and a surge of violent, noisy traffic followed him. The horse was again startled by the chaos, and she broke away from me and bolted across the road through a narrow gap between the cars.

“Stop, —!” I cried. “—.” She didn’t have a name.

I danced across the two-lane, screaming, “Horse! Horse!”, but the animal just pelted down the grassy embankment toward a muddy and sluggish creek and plunged in. The water eddied around what appeared to be columns of paperback books stacked neatly in groups of four, which were suspended a few centimeters above the surface. Trying to read the title on the volume closest to me, I tripped and crashed down into the water. It smelled like the gator enclosure at a neglected zoo.

The horse swam around the islands of books as if exercising. I called for her to come to me, but she whinnied and doubled around a paperback tower underneath the bridge, then swam in a straight line in front of me to my right, where the creek flowed into an enormous concrete pipe. I pushed through the water to catch her, yet the dirty water rippled before me, revealing the shell of an enormous snapping turtle. The turtle dipped down beneath the surface, its head aimed for my crotch. I squealed, water from its dive splashing into my mouth, and slammed into its carapace with the back of my hand. It retreated for a moment, then sunk back towards my private bits. I grabbed one of the paperbacks from a nearby stack; the pillar didn’t topple, just merely descended one unit from the removal. I cracked the spine of the paperback against the snapper’s outstretched neck, and the creature jolted and swiftly spun in the water, swimming toward the other shore.
Not wanting to get the book too wet, I hurled it onto the nearest bank of the creek and swam after the horse. My errant companion had climbed up into the pipe, where the water was less than a foot deep. I spat out lizardshit water, coughing “Waitwait!”

The horse cantered down through the pipe into a murky green.

I followed.

Dream Part One Over

Dream: Annihilation Invades My Dreams.

Dream: Annihilation Invades My Dreams

I’ve never had a novel take over my dreams in this manner. Up until now, my dreams have been fabrications of my mind. Although the experience was fascinating and strange, I hope I don’t have a lot of these in the future. Who wants to be an unoriginal dreamer?

I was in a mall with a bunch of other writers getting ready to see a horror movie. We were scattered around the food court, chatting. One writer sat at a table, hovering like a frozen dead man over a scale model of a western town. His eyes were whorls of concentration. I slapped him on the back, breaking him from his focus. He looked at me, startled and irritated.

I laughed. “You were in the writer’s trance, right?”

“I WAS,” he said. “I bet you’re in it all the time.”

“Not as much as I’d like to be,” I muttered.

Someone called my name from another table. He had a pilot product of new technology, a mindbookmovie. It was a novel in which the reader literally becomes immersed in the narrative, but locked into the imaginative intent of the author. The book was Annihilation and part of its sequel by Jeff VanderMeer.

“You gotta try this out,” the guy said.

I immediately felt guilty, because I had read only the first book, and this might contain spoilers, but the attraction to delve into something so new was too strong. So I sat down and opened it and immediately I was in . . .

. . . the tunnel (the Tower! the Tower!), walking down the spiral steps. Everything was so incredibly vivid! The air was rich and heavy and hot. I continued down the stairs. I heard quiet sounds from below that were growing louder. I knew what I would encounter, yet I didn’t stop my descent. After several minutes, I came upon the anthropologist. Beside her was this squat cylindrical robot-thing beeping and beeping at her. The anthropologist was reaching around the curve of the stairs, her face reflecting green light. I was fucking horrified, and I turned around and started to run up the stairs. But my running stopped. The stairs began to move themselves, an escalator rising in a spiral. Both sides of the walls were covered in the bristling green words, but out of fear, I avoided trying to read what was written. At one point, the stone of the right wall gave way to a bay window, through which I saw a hand-shaped creature staring out at me from behind a desk. That must be the Manager, I thought. As the escalator carried me to the top, a great, choking fear clutched me, a knowledge that my destination was no less terrifying than what I had left behind . . .

. . . and I was yanked out of the mindbookmovie by my Father.

“What’re you doing? You haven’t read that far, yet. You’ll ruin it for yourself.”

I was relieved. “How do you know that?”

“Jeff VanderMeer told me. He’s outside.”

Dream Over

Dream: Bus to China

Along with dozens of other speculative fiction writers, I was on a bus for a trip to China.

I looked out the bus window at our guide. She was tiny next to the huge fuel dispenser, yelling and banging on its side with her purse. She was crying. “I’ve been planning this for years! And now, and now, I don’t know the fucking code to squeeze the juice from this can!”

Near the front of the bus, a particularly clever science fiction writer said, “I’m surprised I decided to go on this trip. I’m not a stupid person. I mean, we’re in Oklahoma. Somewhere in Oklahoma. The Bering Strait is even wider than it is on the maps. How are we going to get to China on a bus from Oklahoma without drowning?”

Several writers said:

“I don’t know.”

“I don’t know.”

“I don’t know.”

“I HATE car racing!” said the fantasy writer sitting behind me. As I turned left to investigate this person, I noticed a flat screen television was mounted on the left side of the bus, playing a stock car race. VROOM, VROOM, VROOM, the cars went. VROOM.

I tried to turn completely around to talk to the writer, but I merely got a peripheral glimpse of her face before she pushed my head away.

“If you want to talk to me, keep looking at the screen.”

“Okay,” I said. “How come you hate this so much?”

“It’s boring and unrealistic.”

Even though I shared her negative opinion, I found myself defending the sport. “But they are so fast, and the wheels don’t last as long as most wheels. It takes concentration, ex domestic lager and lots of diet choke!”

“You’re full of shit, and the back of your head looks like a dead coconut. Damn! I want to get there!”

This hurt my feelings, so I pushed my head against the glass. Our guide was on her hands and knees, scraping her nose against the petroleum-stained cement. A horror writer I didn’t know had exited the bus and was examining the dispenser. A handle emerged from the right side of the dispenser, out of the reach of our small guide. He pulled it and the construct clucked like a chicken. A narrow bar appeared on the front, displaying rolling symbols like those on a slot machine. The rollers stopped on three dying panda bears. Something unlocked.

Our guide stood up, smiling at the writer through tears and blood. Her nose was halfway gone, and I noticed that she kept her nose clean.

“You did it!” she said. “Now we can start our journey!”

I looked at the front of the bus and waited.

Dream Over