Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I was in a castle.  There was an art and video game convention going on and a bunch of my old classmates were there.

My buddy Lake was demoing a character he'd designed and there was some kind of holographic projector, so we could see the character at life size.  It was already rendered in 3d and animated, so Lake was controlling it realtime making it jump and climb and do attack moves.  The character basically just looked like him in a long red coat.

Suddenly the castle was under attack by a medieval army.  Lake grabbed my hand and said we had to hide because we were royalty.  He told me he didn't just look like me but that he was really my brother and we were prince and princess.

My old classmate Marco was there too and he already knew who we really were.  He knew the castle really well and said he could hide us.  We followed him through a maze of secret passages and down a well shaft and a couple spiral staircases until we were far underground.

We came to a room that was almost like a cave with a big shaft that went straight up further than we could see, and in the middle of the room was a brilliant blue hot spring that turned emerald green on the edges.  Under the water there were two giant eggs.

Lake and I had each found one of the eggs when we played in the underground mazes as kids but we had forgotten about them.  But Marco was a longtime family friend and had known our parents before they died and we had to disguise ourselves as character designers.  He was a prince from another castle.

Marco left to go fight the invaders and Lake and I looked for a long stick or something to poke at our giant eggs in the hot spring with.  But the eggs heard our voices and began to hatch.

They were dragon eggs!  The dragons came out of the hot spring, turning it back into regular cool clear water, and came to us.  My dragon was red with black eyes and Lake's was black with red eyes.  We climbed onto our dragons' backs and flew up through the shaft and got away.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Son of Gimli

I was a dwarf, beard and all, and Gimli was my father.  I was a teenager and I wanted to be a warrior like my dad.  We were fighting in a war that had started over the government declaring pizza a vegetable.  My old high school was on the pizza-is-not-a-vegetable side and other schools joined them until there were so many people we took over a huge convention center and subway station.

The war was all out, and the collective of schools drafted a bunch of us into an army, including me and my father because everyone knows dwarves are awesome fighters.  But it was a futuristic war and we had guns instead of axes.

We were sent to take over the whole subway system, but the other side was expecting us so we had to go over land rather than through the tunnels.  They were numerous and really well equipped and they picked us off left and right, but a small group of us made it to the next station.

Our mission was to set off these bombs that looked like grilled hamburger patties in tinfoil packets.  Once we saw what we were supposed to do we just about deserted, because the bombs wouldn't give us enough time to get away.  We'd been sent on a suicide mission.

My father gave a rousing speech about how it was our duty and an honor and all that and got us all worked up, so we ran in screaming and set the bombs and took any cover we could get.

I survived.  A few of us did.  But my father didn't make it.

We took a now-captured train back to the base.  When we arrived, our base was full of enemy soldiers occupying the station.  Our side had surrendered even before we got to the other base and nobody had told us, so my father had died for no reason.  I started screaming and crying and ripping up anything I could get my hands on.

I went to the area where the administrators were but they wouldn't let me in to yell at the people who had sent us on that stupid mission.  They had my father's axe though and I took it and destroyed a bunch of stuff in the room, and they kicked me out.

I slid down a long railing because angsty teenage dwarves don't take no fuckin stairs.  Some kid at the bottom was totally awe-stuck, and told me it was an awesome "bloggerface" (apparently that was what that move was called).  I sneered at him and headed off to go pick a fight with the soldiers.

But then Donato Giancola appeared.  He hugged me (he had to kneel down, me being a dwarf) and told me he was upset about Gimli's death too, but that sometimes we do our parents the most honor by not being like them, and that I didn't have to fight.  Gimli wanted better for me.

I realized he was right and I cried a bit and then kissed the top of his head and left the convention center to go become my own dwarf.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Day We Sank The Aerial Lift Bridge

I was in Canal Park in Duluth, a touristy area right on the lake. Someone decided the neighborhood needed to move further north up the shore because a big storm was coming.  Canal Park was actually all on floating platforms, and they unhitched everything and began floating it all up the shore piece by piece.  It looked so strange seeing all the buildings out on the lake.

My little brother Derrick and I were watching all this from the lift bridge.  We could see the black storm clouds coming in over the lake, with cloud-to-cloud lightning flashing and the wind whipping our clothes.

We decided to go home and get out of the way of the storm, but found we were too late and all of Canal Park was out on the lake.  There was no way to get back into town.

Then they unhitched the bridge and we drifted out into the lake.  Some of the buildings had been pulled ashore on the east end of town.  There were a few sailors manning the bridge and they put me and Derrick to work to help sail up to the new location.

But then the storm started.  It took only a few minutes of the strong winds and huge waves before the bridge twisted and capsized and started to sink.

Derrick and I swam away from the bridge so we wouldn't get pulled down by all the heavy metal as it sank.  Some of the crew didn't get away fast enough and drowned.  The rest of us tried to stay above water.  Derrick and I grabbed onto a big fish sculpture from a fountain in Canal Park as it floated by.  It was metal but hollow.  The survivors from the crew also managed to grab various Canal Park sculptures, the sailor in the raincoat, the Native girl with the twirling skirt, and we hung on for dear life.

Finally the storm passed over and a boat came out and rescued us, but they blamed us for the bridge sinking and called the deaths murders and put us in chains.  They left us on the deck as night fell, and in the middle of the night someone came and said they knew we were innocent and cut our chains.  We stole a lifeboat and rowed to shore near Fitger's.

Derrick and I headed up the hill.  We knew we'd have to get out of town and figured we might have to steal a car to do so, but Derrick wanted to look around for a cool one to steal.  We settled on an old Porsche, a bit rusty but pretty cool, and we tried to steal it but the owner came out and caught us.

It turned out though that he'd seen our story on the news and thought we were innocent, so he decided to help us.  He turned us into cats and gave us cheese tortelini to eat.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Golden Wings

There was a family of black dogs in a run-down neighborhood. A bunch of cruel people killed the mother and all the puppies except one, and that one puppy grew up nearly starving and only got food when he could steal it, and he got beaten and chased off by mean people all the time.

When he was fully grown he turned into a young man, and he didn't know how to talk or how to be a human.  He would still steal food, and the same mean people couldn't see that he was a human, they still saw the scrappy dog and still beat and chased him.

A new couple moved into the neighborhood, and they could see the young man was a human and not a dog.  They had pity on him and tried to get him to come into their house to feed him and help him, but he was too used to tricks and cruel treatment so he ran away.

He came to the ocean, and turned into a seagull and flew for a long time.  He flew near a big yacht, and there were cruel people on it who threw rocks and cans at him.  One hit him and it turned him back into a young man, and he fell from the sky onto the boat.

The people made him a slave and dressed him in cast-off clothing, but he was too fearful to do anything but hide from them.  Whenever they found him they beat him and ridiculed him.

Then one day an older woman saw him.  She was a good person and the cruel ones had kept him hidden from her so they could engage in their mean-spiritedd fun without her finding out and judging them.  But when she saw the young man she knew exactly what was going on and she locked the doors to the other parts of the boat so he would be safe from the others, and then began earning the young man's trust bit by bit.

She gave him food and nice clothes and got him to try the pool and hot tub, and she talked to him constantly in a sweet and calm voice, trying to teach him to speak.  She got close enough to him that she could touch him, and soon he trusted her enough to let her wash him and cut his hair and shave his beard.  Underneath the grime he was beautiful, and the more she cared for him, the younger she got.

Finally one day as she talked to him he smiled for the first time, and when he opened his mouth to speak, the most beautiful and amazing sound came out, and though it wasn't loud, all the people all over the world heard it.  Those who were cruel at heart and took pleasure in treating other humans and animals badly turned into trees, and would be trees until their souls became kind and clean.  Those who were nice and had tried to help him grew glowing gold wings from their backs and learned to fly.

When the beautiful sound of his voice stopped, the young man was gone.

Friday, November 25, 2011

That's Right, Beeyotch

I was on the edge of Lake Superior and remembered that I'd always been able to breathe underwater and thought "If I can beathe underwater, why do I spend all my time on land?  That's stupid."

So I waded into the water and it was super cold.  Of course.  Lake Superior is always super cold.

I swam out further, trying to get my body used to the water, but it was just too cold for me to let my head under, so I didn't get to try breathing underwater.  I just went back to shore.

I still wanted to take advantage of my power though, so Tony and I went to the top of a big hill and found a river flowing down.  He could breathe underwater too.  We got into the water and it wasn't cold, in fact it was pretty warm.  It was warm enough that it had tons of plants and mosses and slimes growing in it so I still didn't want to breathe that water.

We stuck to the surface out deeper where we wouldn't get slimed and followed the flow of the river.  It was fed by springs that looked like little fountains and the area all around it was a beautiful forest you couldn't get to except by the river.

When the river flowed back near civilization again we got out to go back to town.  We found ourselves in some kind of walled-in private property that belonged to a company that was doing all kinds of random things like making combined tent-sleeping bags and giving rides on the end of the line of a crane, which I did hanging from my ankles and it was scary and definitely not concerned with being safe, but it was fun.

Then this lady came up to us to yell at us because we weren't supposed to be there, but she said so in a sweet voice full of passive-aggressiveness.  I didn't have any patience for it and I said "Don't be passive aggressive, save us all some time and tell us what you really mean."  She said fine and accused us of trespassing and I had an argument with her, saying we were just following the river and found the place by accident and that there was clearly no reason for the place to be off-limits aside from making those who got in feel special.

She couldn't say I was wrong, so she just left.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Convert

I was at some kind of sewing contest. There were tables set up with sewing machines on them and piles of random fabrics and the point was to sew the best thing from scratch.  I wasn't competing but I wanted to sew and I dug around in the scrap pile and there were tons of half-sewn things I had started and decided were crap and gave up on, and I was momentarily afraid these people who took things very seriously would see these ugly projects, so I buried them under other fabric and left.

Outside there was a sort of normal neighborhood but on the corner was a huge ancient building that the locals were explaining to me was their school.  It was built of very rough stone, and it was really tall, maybe 600 feet (this neighborhood had only 2-story buildings aside from the school) and it had the stairs on the outside, spiraling up around the structure making it get thinner at the top like a pyramid but a more severe angle.  The stairs were narrow and had no railings.  There was a woman on the stairs, and a few children.  Someone walking with me explained that the school had been built from ruins of past civilizations in the area, and told me the woman was one of the teachers.  You could tell by her feet, because the stone steps were rough and sharp but no one was allowed to wear shoes on the stairs, and her feet were thickly callused.

We continued walking and came to a couple parking garage-type structures with a narrow alley between them, and there were two warring factions occupying each.  The soldiers looked modern but were no older than teenagers, and their uniforms and helmets were varying shades of gray.  Both sides looked the same.

A small group of soldiers came running out and told me they were so glad to see me and started filling me in on the enemy's positions while escorting me into one of the parking garages.  I was aparently some kind of famous war hero and they expected me to turn the tide of the battle, which wasn't going well for them.  I could see why, they were disorganized and seemed to have no discipline or training, and I gave them a run-down of tactics and made a battle plan.  We were to split up, take positions all over our wall facing the enemy, and snipe them from many directions.

I had a really good position and ended up shooting several enemy soldiers.  Our guns, instead of shooting bullets, shot a handful of pebbles, not lethal at all, in fact not even hard enough to hurt.  But apparently this was normal, as the enemies, when hit, left the battle.

Our side finally was doing well, and I got bored and remembered I was actually a vampire.  I leapt across the narrow alley to the other parking garage and jumped onto the leader of the opposing team.  Everyone was too shocked to shoot (and they were wrestling with the hypnotic, powerful effect of my sexy vampire pheromones) and I bit the leader dude.  The two of us started glowing as I consumed his mind and he became dangerous and cool and sexy like me.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Super Jump

I was at some kind of very small convention.  There were only a couple other artists there, and we were at one long table along with small press and some indie board game companies.  Nobody had much of a professional looking setup, and I felt kind of embarrassed about my lack of preparation but comforted that everyone else was in the same boat.

Except that for some reason my work was hanging from the ceiling.  

It was either a prank or I won some kind of contest, I wasn't sure, but it was kind of an honor and the other artists were high-fiving me, so that was good.  But then I had the problem of needing the work that was on the ceiling (it was a sketch) for a demonstration.  It was a 20 or 30 foot ceiling.  So while everyone was kind of laughing and teasing me jocularly about how I was going to get it down, I was getting more and more worried.

So I said fuck it and decided to jump up there.  I tried once and it was not much higher than I jump in real life, and everyone laughed like I was just making a silly joke.  Of course I couldn't get that paper, they thought.  It made me even more resolute to get it myself rather than wait for help.

I jumped again, and this time I jumped pretty high.  My feet were far above everyone's heads.  They stopped laughing.  But I still didn't get my sketch.

So I jumped again.  This time I jumped so high my fingers touched the ceiling, but just barely, and I didn't get my sketch.  I was attracting a crowd who were getting pretty excited about my awesome jumping skills, some of them clapping or whooping and some of them just staring open-mouthed.

I jumped one more time and this time I pulled my sketch off the ceiling, but I didn't quite get a grip on it, and it went flying around all over the place the way paper does when you try to throw it, back and forth slicing through the air currents.  I was so determined to get it this time though that my willpower alone kept me aloft and I could control my fall back down enough to chase after the paper--but I still wasn't agile or fast enough to catch it as it whipped past me one way and then another and I continued to fall slowly back down.

So, my obsession with getting my paper back now consuming my whole being, I thrust my hand out and sent my will out and fucking ORDERED that paper to come back to me.  And just as I crashed back to the floor, this time just falling rather than landing on my feet, the sketch flew into my hand at the last second so when my hand hit the floor I pinned it down and it was MINE.

Everyone around cheered, and I had the secret satisfaction knowing that while they thought the paper landed under my hand by chance, I had made my will into a physical force and MADE the paper come to me.

In celebration, my friend Ryan gave me a little box of differently-colored clay and little clay things he'd made, and then Tony and Ryan and I all made little dudes out of clay and little weapons and helmets for them and it was fun.