Tuesday, January 27, 2015

What if I had an Emily of my own?

We were getting a robot of my best friend Emily to keep at home because I don't get to see her very often and I miss her. I was supposed to choose what era Emily to get. Did I want teenager Emily with braces, from when we first became friends? Senior Emily, a little more graceful? College Emily, Youngest At Her Proper Grownup Job Emily, Bride Emily, Pregnant Emily, or her current form, Mama Emily? Each had different powers and strengths, and would remain the same forever. At first I was excited and happy while trying to choose, remembering different times we spent together. It was fun to reminisce.

But then I started to be worried that I'd pick the wrong one and regret it. I wouldn't have much in common with Teenage Emily anymore for instance. Even if I picked the most recent Emily, she would become obsolete as the real Emily continued to grow and evolve and learn and change.

I decided not to get a robot Emily at all. An Emily who will not be slightly different and new each time I see her wouldn't really be an Emily at all. We'd have nothing to talk about, since she wouldn't be analyzing the world, constantly questioning and coming to conclusions and decisions, aging, studying her own changes.

The only best Emily is Emily as she is now, the cutting edge, most learned Emily, with her separate life and family. The Emily I rarely see but treasure every minute we do spend together. I look forward to the next Emily.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Black Boots of Power

I met a deer who had 3 bodies and 12 legs. He was giving himself and anyone who would listen a pep talk, about how each body had a mind of its own. To get anywhere, he needed to distract his other bodies. So he could never think about what he was doing once he made a decision or else his bodies would know what was going on and rebel.

Nearby, a livestock auction was going on, and a young pig sold for a high price and was very proud, because only show pigs sold that high and it meant he was compellingly handsome.

I went with my father to find the secret house we lived I when I was first born. He showed me some photos he had taken from where my crib had been, and it made me remember old thoughts from when I knew no language nor what anything was. Just mysteries all around, but I didn't know yet how to question or search for knowledge because I didn't know what knowing was.

We found our old house on an Indian reservation, and no one had lived there since we moved away. It looked weathered and old on the outside, but inside it was clean and nice and warm. It was nicer than my mom's current house and she wouldn't have to pay anything to live there, and all her old paintings were still hanging on the walls.  So I was going to ask her if she wanted to move in, but then I stepped back outside and all the Indians were slaughtering sick animals outside. I felt like I understood something about what they were doing instinctually, because of my Indian blood, and it wasn't bad because those animals had to die so they wouldn't suffer or infect others, but I was still scared by it and knew my mom should stay at her own house rather than come here. My dad and brother were busy collecting the animal parts they wanted, and my brother was upset because the eagle wing he had been saving was poorly preserved and it was crackling apart.

I left the old house and had to duck and dodge past all the animal guts. I saw some men flying past above and I pointed out to my brother that one of them had fake legs. He followed them to get a better look and learn their ways.

I moved into a capsule apartment building, and a neighbor had some really badly behaved kids who menaced everyone. I told her that her kids were terrible to all the other people who lived there, so we wanted her to teach them how to empathize and value other people. She promised she would, but in the meantime they were still on the loose, so I caught the attention of a scary spirit man with big metal teeth and sent him to chase the bad kids. He couldn't hurt them but he would scare them every time they thought about scaring someone else.

With that solved, I went back to my apartment. A very beautiful young man, my lover,  was waiting outside. He was gorgeous but very delicate, so much so that all his colors were just tints. His skin was very pale and his hair was sort of silver brown, flashing in the light and very pretty. I tried to kiss him but when I touched him he wasn't solid. When I closed my eyes he was only static.

I told him I would teach him to call on spirits to protect him. He revealed to me that he was only half real, and was half spirit too. I gave him a pair of badass black cowboy boots with spurs and said "That's true for everyone. You're as real as you want to be. These boots will ground you and give you substance in this world, but it's only because they make you feel strong. Remember that it's your attitude and your actions that create you." And with that he put the boots on and became fully solid. His cheeks flushed with vitality, and his hair turned cherry red, and he picked me up and kissed me.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I am Colossus

I dreamed I was Colossus (yes, of the X-Men).  But my back story was totally different.  I was a robot, built during WW2 in Japan.  They made me big and barrel-chested, with red hair and a beard, all metal and actual red, not like red hair.  Their plan was to use me to attack places and proclaim it an act of aggression from Russia so that the Allies would think Russia was turning traitor.  But they needed a human mind to put into the robot and they used a real Russian mutant who could project his mind into other bodies and had him possess the robot body, then killed his real body, thus trapping him in the robot and wiping out his personality and memories.  That was how I came to be.  When they sent me to go attack something in the name of Russia, I was about to do it, but the X-Men came and got me and taught me to be good and everything.

The dream fast forwarded a few years of fighting alongside the X-Men and adding colorful Russian-accented banter as I loosened up and became my happy-go-lucky Russian self.  Then one day, we were boarding up into the X-men plane (this was not the Blackbird, but more like a military plane).  We folded our seats down out of the walls, and strapped ourselves in.  I opened a compartment in the ceiling where I had hidden a bunch of condoms and passed them out to the team.  Nightcrawler asked what they were for, and I answered "For safety!" and everyone laughed.  Typical me!

We landed for our mission.  I didn't really have a role in the plan, so I went to a bar.  I was shocked to recognize an old friend there from before I had been forced into this cursed metal body and my old memories began to come back.  I was afraid he wouldn't believe me, so I didn't tell him who I was, and I abused my day job selling "Revolution" brand jeans and beer to give him free stuff to make him be my friend, and he invited me along to meet some friends of his at another place.

It turned out he had actually been a traitor and had joined the Japanese, that he was the one who told them about my abilities and had gotten me captured, and his friends were some of the people who had worked on me and killed my human body.  I freaked out but they had been ready for me, and when I tried to escape, they captured me using a special weapon like a tranquilizer gun that worked on robots.  Kind of a taser thing.  They were going to reprogram me to be properly evil like them and go killing their enemies and destroying evidence of their Nazi cooperation.

But one of the Japanese scientists was really a good guy, and he had tried to rebel when they first killed my body but had failed to save me.  His spirit had been crushed so he remained working with the evil guys, just doing the science part, telling himself it was enough to just not be behind the scenes building things, not the one actually doing the evil actions.  But when I showed up he knew it was his chance to finally redeem himself, so he showed me that the goofy Russian bosy was a disguise and I had been built with the ability to transform into a way more badass, powerful, sleek, Gundam style robot.  And I could fly.

I carried him on my back and flew away from the evil dudes, and they tried to shoot me down.  I managed to dodge, but my scientist friend was hit.  We landed on a roof somewhere, momentarily safe, but he was dying.  His final farewell to me was a code word that unlocked the brainwashing they'd done to me, so I was no longer confined to this cold metal body.  My memories came flooding back, along with a bunch of new powers I had never known I possessed.

Then the evil guys finally located me and attacked with all their weapons, decades' worth of inventions designed specifically to take me out.  I fought like a demon, using my powers to blast the programming out of their machines and the consciousnesses out of their bodies.  But the most powerful of their weapons were shielded against me, and they landed some serious hits.  My body was overheating, and some of my limbs and guns were so mangled they were useless.  I knew I had to take the last of them out, so I kamikazed and threw my body onto their biggest, most sophisticated weapons and exploded myself.  The explosion triggered the bombs in the weapons to go off and blew the whole place up in a white hot flare that wiped out the whole top of the tower.  I had won.

And my mind had gone into a seagull that was flying away from the blast.  I flew away, back to rejoin the X-Men.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Quentin Tarantino's Boat

I was hanging out with some of my artist friends, and one of them knew Quentin Tarantino.  One of my friends, Carmen, had a movie idea she wanted to pitch to him, so we called him and all we got to say was that we wanted to talk to him, and he was like "Oh! Oh!  I'm so there." and he appeared.  He was panting and explaining that he flies all over the country to meet with people and talk about ideas.  We were like "Carmen has an idea!" and Quentin said "Wait, we have to do this right.  I like to rent out the convention center of a town or small city, somewhere small enough that it's a big fucking deal to have anyone go there.  Like Denver City, Utah."  Tony and I got all excited and said we'd been to Denver City twice (even though that's not a real place, it was true in the dream).

So Quentin made some calls and was like "There's a place in Florida that's perfect.  C'mon, we're taking the boat."  I was momentarily confused because we were in Oklahoma and being the experienced road traveler I am, I was pretty sure a boat was not the best way to get to Florida.  But then Quentin's people drove up in a gigantic plywood canoe parade float thing.  And I was like "Ohhh, yeah, that kind of boat will work!"

So we all made a supply run to a gas station because we knew you can get bad sunburns on a boat, but all they had on display was hunting stuff.  We asked the clerk where all their Mexican items were and he took us upstairs where they had all the sandals and sunglasses and sunblock, and we stocked up and got in the boat and took off through a huge expanse of golden wheat fields.  We even fished over the side of the boat and caught chickens.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

God Sent Me To Help Lando

I dreamed I was chosen by God to help Lando Calrissian.  I went to the beautiful hotel he was living in and had to try to find him.  I wasn't anyone special to anyone there so I had to make my own way to get to Lando.  Someone had wrecked a motorcycle in the parking garage and left it in the trash, and I dragged it out.  It was old and rusted and dirty and wouldn't run, but as I touched it here and there it became like new, sparkling and perfect.  Because it was never a popular bike, now that it was shiny and pristine it looked really unique and beautiful to everyone.  When some of the famous motorcycle-loving guests saw my bike, they challenged me to a race.  They knew my bike was nowhere near as powerful as theirs.  I accepted, and when they laid out the rules of the race I didn't pay any attention.  When they said "Go!" I merely putted over to where the crowds of spectators were and let them all see how beautiful my bike and I were.

A group of women wanted me to join them for a party in the VIP area of the hotel.  I left the bike and the race and went with them, but we found the VIP areas were all too full of people.  It was nighttime and cold out, but I suggested we go to the outdoor pools.  They all thought I was crazy, so I went out by myself.  As I walked to the pools, multi-colored lights under the surface of the water turned on, and fountains flared water up into the air.  Steam rose off the pools, because it turns out they were heated.

In the pools were little grottoes where small parties could sit in the hot water and relax and have conversations. A hand came out of one of these and beckoned me to join.  It was a group of Lando's former lovers, women and men both, and they told me I had better be careful because I was just his type.  I asked what was so bad about him and they said he was haunted by some feeling of guilt and failure that he would never talk about.  They all loved him dearly, but he couldn't really love anyone without loving himself, and so he would pick one lover for a while and then throw them out and take up with another, and keep stringing them all along, making them all miserable.

Then a waiter appeared and said Lando wanted someone they couldn't find, and to appease him they wanted to just bring any of his old harem back to him.  The lovers all clambered to be chosen, but the waiter pointed at me and said "You don't look familiar, maybe new blood will keep him occupied."

So I was sent up in a special golden elevator that went only to Lando's penthouse.  When I arrived, the entryway turned out to be a maze.  It was all tiled and decorated like a Greek bath, and dotted with pools.  It looked like a fancy re-textured Mario 64 map.  Since I played so much Mario 64 I got through with no problem at all and finally found Lando.

He was a mess.  His chamber was torn apart and his furniture destroyed.  Despite the destruction everywhere, he looked immaculate.  He wore white and yellow and gold, topped off with a flowing cape.

"I'm here to help you," I told him.  His face darkened and he looked on the verge of a screaming rage, but as he looked at my face and met my eyes and I stayed calm and cool, the violence dissipated.  He seemed to know who sent me and why.

He laid before me two pairs of boots.  They were much like his own, yellow and gold, but differed slightly from each other.  One pair was stiffer and went up to the knee, and the other was a little softer and went up to the calf, and had a flatter sole.

I tried on each pair, and then chose the shorter ones.  It apparently had significance, because his eyes widened and he started whispering incessantly to himself.

Then he handed me his blaster and pointed at a vase on the other side of the room.  I aimed at it, and then moved slightly to the left and pulled the trigger, exploding the target.  He nearly fell over backward from astonishment.

"I bear a message," I told him.  "Your son forgives you.  You never did anything wrong, and the guilt you feel is pointless.  You cling to a tree which has no roots--climb down and let the wind blow it away."

He began to cry and thanked me.  I left knowing the old Lando was going to be himself again.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Thunder Lizard War

I was a prisoner in a village in a jungle.  There were a few other prisoners and we were locked in a barn type building.  We were starving.

Our captors were other villagers turned totalitarians, crazed with patriotic fervor, and they had arrested or killed so many people that the village was dying.  There weren't enough people to tend the farms.  The livestock was gone.  The fields were dry and filled with weeds.

My mother was living in the woods somewhere with a small group of escapees, and she sneaked in during a disturbance to give me food.  It was a sandwich, and it was amazingly good, but the bread was hard to chew so I couldn't eat it fast enough and the guards came back and found me chewing furiously.  One of them knocked me to the floor and stuck his fingers in my mouth and took my half-chewed bite of sandwich and screamed at me, demanding to know where I had gotten the food.  I wouldn't tell him and he beat me, trying to get me to talk.

I still wouldn't tell him, so he pulled me to my feet and shoved me out the door.  He and a group of other totalitarians surrounded me and shoved me along a path.  We went past various buildings, all empty, and fields that had gone to seed.  I knew they were taking me to be executed, and I was really scared.

At one point a small gap had opened up between a couple of the totalitarians and I lunged through and began to run.  We were in a forest, definitely tropical, but we were still within the area of our village and there were paths through the forest.  The men were chasing me, and though I was fast, they were fast too.

I ran past buildings, and thought about going in them to hide, but each one had dead bodies and the stink of blood and fear and decay.  One had a *lot* of bloody bodies and some kind of creature still killing people inside.  I wanted to help them but I knew it was one of the totalitarians' attack beasts and with no weapons, I'd just be killed right along with them.

I kept running, but I realized they weren't really trying to catch me, but herd me along in a certain direction.  Toward were I'd be killed.  So I stopped and tried to hide among the trees, but they knew right where I was and grabbed me and forced me onwards.

We were further from the agricultural part of our settlement than I'd ever been, and I was realizing our culture had once been great--around me now was a big market, with narrow streets paved with painted wood planks and shaded with big colorful cloths hung across the walkway, and low wooden buildings full of goods, but no food and no people.

As we kept going I could somehow feel this cloud of fear and death thickening, and I resisted more and more until the men had to carry me.  We started hearing sounds, faint screams and crashes, that grew louder as we went.  I felt more and more crazy and desperate, and was kicking and struggling, but the men held me tight.  They started to seem scared too and our approach slowed and became very cautious.

The sounds stopped.  It was just creepy quiet.

Then we came to a big crater.  It had once been market like we'd been walking in, but it had been smashed and crushed and was now a 20-ft dropoff to bloodstained, broken boards and wreckage and torn earth.

The there was a big crash and another scream very close to us, and we saw the roofs of some nearby buildings collapse violently, shards of wood exploding into the air.  The destruction seemed to be moving.  Towards us.

"The cavamon!" the men were yelling.  It was the legendary giant attack beast, the thunder lizard the totalitarians had been using as a weapon to gain control of our people.

The men tried to throw me over the edge into the pit, and in mindless terror I pulled some kind of cat-ninja move and yanked on the clothes of one of the men so he started falling in, and I kicked off him and landed on all fours inside one of the broken buildings.  There was a wall between me and the men now, and the one who I'd yanked on fell into the pit and was yelling for his friends to help him.  I couldn't see what they were doing, but knew they weren't going to help him.

Then the crashing started again and I ran.  I could hear the man who fell in screaming as the cavamon got him.  I came out of the wrecked building into another wooden walkway and ran.  To lose the other totalitarians I ducked into a shop.  It was full of little painted wooden trinkets, which I noticed were shaped like alligators or dragons.  Some kind of lizard.  They were supposed to be the cavamon.

As I came out the back of the shop into another covered walkway I realized this whole gigantic market was all cavamon effigies of all different makes and sizes.  Clay cavamon pots, wicker cavamons, fabric cavamon kites.  It seemed none of them agreed on what a cavamon looked like, exactly, except for a mouth full of sharp teeth.  Some of the effigies showed it eating cattle, some had it eating humans, some breathing fire.  Some gave it four legs, some six, some two.  They all portrayed the cavamon as fucking huge.

I kept running, but as the crashing sounds faded in the distance my pace slowed.  The totalitarians didn't seem to be following me.  I heard the cavamon roar in the distance.  It sounded just like a Jurassic Park T-rex.

The market walkway turned into dirt, and the buildings and cloth coverings were replaced by trees and leaves.  I was in the jungle again, and the path here had once been wide but was starting to grow over.

Someone yelled.  There was a totalitarian guard here, and she took off chasing me.  I ran into the forest, and ran and ran.  I startled another escapee, who happened to be the General from Akira.  We knew we were on the same side, so we ran together.

We came to a waist-high chicken-wire fenced creek.  I hesitated at the fence, somehow knowing it was supposed to be a crime against the state to go beyond a fence, and the totalitarian chasing me gave a shout of triumph.  I turned and looked at her in her uniform and hopped over the fence.

She gasped and stopped.  I began to run in the shallow water.  The General jumped in after me.  The totalitarian finally decided that catching an escapee was more important than the fence law and jumped over, but then seemed to have a panic attack and just didn't chase me.

So I was now a fugitive in a jungle, running along in a muddy stream.  I transformed myself from skinny girl into my friend Justin, who I guess I figured was more physically prepared for this kind of thing.  The General frowned a little, not quite approving, so I made my arms more muscular and he gave me a satisfied nod.

We eventually came to another village.  I wanted to go in and try to find food, or get some kind of help, but the General refused and went a different way.  I hopped the fence again and went into the village.  It had a different style of architecture, still pretty primitive, and it seemed as empty as my old village.  I saw some people and realized this village had the same totalitarian problem, and they tried to capture me.  I ran, feeling pretty confident that they couldn't catch me.  I wanted to see what was up with this place.  It wasn't all filled with bodies, but it was still empty and fear-shrouded.

Then I found what looked like a fair.  It was kind of like a market like the other one, but looked like it hadn't been there as long, and there were people here.  All wore totalitarian armbands, though they seemed to do it begrudgingly.

Their wares were all dragon-themed.  Pots, baskets, whistles, masks.  I was able to steal some meagre little vegetables, but there wasn't much food here either and the people had gaunt, sad faces.

Then I saw totalitarian soldiers marching a line of prisoners along.  The totalitarians were trying to rouse the other people into shouting names and throwing things at the prisoners, but the other people seemed too tired and apathetic and just kind of stared.

I ran ahead to see where the prisoners were going.  And I heard another fucking Jurassic Park roar, though this one sounded kind of smaller and reedy.

In the middle of the market/fair was a big cage, and in the cage was a dragon.  It was long like a Chinese dragon, and it was red, and it was chained up.  Its cage was littered with bones and half-eaten corpses, the older ones were livestock and the newer ones human.

I freaked and ran.  Some guards chased me, but I hopped the fence again into the stream and ran up the stream.  The General was gone, I was on my own again.  I ate my stolen vegetables as I ran.

After a while I realized that the stream was getting deeper, and the walls of the stream were wooden.  There was a raft in the water, and I got on it.  If you stood on it right it went upstream, much faster than I could run.  But as I continued up the stream, the signs of habitation increased.  There were things like oars sticking out into the stream.  I was afraid the stream was going to go right into the middle of another nightmare town, so I got out.

Right away there were people.  I was scared of them being totalitarians too, so I stayed well away from anyone, but there were many more people here.  Their fields were still growing, and they still had livestock.  I started to feel like this place might not be so bad.  They seemed to want to help me, and they gave me food.  Real meat and potatoes!

But the food was on a stick.  I was suspicious.  I ate it all right, but it smacked of carnival food, and as I went further into their town my stomach sank.  It was another fucking fair.

But I had to see if they had a people-eating beast too.  I crept deeper into the fair.  Their trinkets were definitely lizardy, but there was no miasma of fear here.  Yet I could hear people talk about the Thunder Lizard.  I thought maybe they just hadn't had their beast long enough to burn through all their livestock and start feeding it political prisoners.  I thought maybe I should cut my losses and get out of there before I got too close.  And just when I was about to turn and run, I saw the beast.

It was a brachiasaurus.  A plant-eater.

They had it in a tall building, not really a cage, just a roof and stairs up to a platform where you could be near its head.  And it looked loveable!  People were feeding it by hand and it nuzzled up to them like a horse.

I was so relieved I fell to my knees.  I realized this was probably what started it all, that this village had a brachiasaurus that attracted visitors and boosted the economy, so other towns wanted their own Thunder Lizard, but in trying to one-up the brachiasaurus they got scary ones.  The more dangerous, the bigger the economic boost, but the greater the cost as well.  The dragon needed a lot of meat to sustain, and the gigantic cavamon thing needed tons more.  More and more drastic measures were taken to sustain the monster, until it ruined my old village and turned it into a hell.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Spirit Bird's Secret

Tony and I were on the road and we stopped at a weird hotel that didn't have proper elevators--instead it had open platforms that went up and down through holes in the floors, like in a video game.  Those were freaking me out a bit because we had a lot of luggage and I was afraid that since there was no railing, our bags might stick out and get smashed by the edge of the next floor.  I asked the staff if there was another way up, and there was: this very new-looking carbon fiber ski lift.  Like a chair on a cable.  It went very fast, too.

Neither method would work with our luggage, and it was almost daytime again anyway and we weren't tired, so we decided to just keep driving.  We got a little lost trying to leave the hotel and came out on a loading dock, facing the back of a huge amusement park with hundreds of rides, all painted blue, packed so tightly together it looked crazy.  I realized, that though I remembered for some reason knowing about the place and knew that it was famous for having so many rides that you never really had to stand in line anywhere, the real secret of the place was that they were really all one big connected ride.  The whole place was like clockwork and gears so that the rides, even though they went in and out of each other, would never collide, like the machine guns of old propeller-driven planes being mechanically timed to go between the propeller blades.

Apparently that was a big industry secret, and an employee chased me back into the hotel.  We found the front door and got in the car and kept driving.  The car wasn't like our car in real life, it was more like Luke Skywalker's speeder thing in the beginning of A New Hope; red, no top, just a windshield.  We went a new way along Lake Superior, and drove further and further away from any towns or cities, and at one point the road just ended at the water and our car apparently could hover about 10 feet above the water, so we just drove out over the lake.

The sky was getting lighter, and we followed the shoreline.  We were really in the wild, no other people around anywhere, and the trees were old, old growth.  Not tall or huge, but they seemed weathered and wise.  Seagulls and geese and other birds flew around us, and then a big eagle or an owl flew in front of us.  We could barely see it, it seemed to be made out of a wisp of mist at first glance, but it was really shimmering energy that swirled with all colors.  We could see a trail in the woods coming up again, and we thought about landing the car and driving, but the spirit bird was not turning.  She was sticking to the shoreline, and we decided to follow.

It turned out she could talk, sort of, it wasn't like a voice but more like a thought that came into our heads but we knew we could both hear it.  She said "Hello, humans.  We don't usually see your kind here.  Most of you have forgotten how to fly.  I'm going to take you to our most secret shore, one you cannot get to by roads or land."

We followed, and the shoreline became rocky and chaotic and shrouded in mist, and we had to fly our car carefully not to crash into the cliffs or the gnarled old trees sticking out of them.  It got steadily more and more difficult, and though as it got closer to sunrise, we still couldn't see well due to the mist.

Finally we came out through a big crack between two giant rock formations, and the shoreline opened up and the mist cleared just as the sun came up over the horizon behind us, bathing everything in gold.

The rock formations were huge, easily as tall as skyscrapers, but with wide open areas of smooth water between them.  No trees grew on them, because they were bare rock.  They were filled with holes, like enormous sponges with pockets and tunnels big enough to put a house through.  The rocks, all hard and even in texture like basalt, were a riot of colors, jade green and mauve and turquoise and gold.  As we flew close to one of the formations, we saw the surface of it was peppered with sparkling mineral deposits, mica and fool's gold and hematite.