Monday, February 27, 2012

A Balrog, an Elf, and Tinker Bell Walk Into a Cave...

    I was wearing boiled leather armor, a lot like the kind you see in rpgs, and I was fighting something that was like a balrog in a cave.  But my weapons were destroyed and it was time to run.  The cave was hollow and high with ledges that spiraled the walls around the gaping, black maw.  Evenly spaced doors were set in the walls on the ledges and I began to try and wrench them open.  But the balrog creature was hurling fireballs at me with such strength that when a projectile hit the ground or wall the spot would shatter.  None of the doors were opening and the heat was unbearable; I was tiring.  The balrog had a well placed shot  that rocked the ground I stood upon and shattered the ledge; I slid down into the pit.  
    The light faded away and I seemed to fall for ages.  The darkness in front of me gave way for a moment to show a crystal-like object taller than me lodged into the wall.  But just as quickly as it had appeared it vanished as I passed.  Eventually I decided to prepare myself for impact even though I would surely die.  Below me there was a sea green light and the space opened into a cavern.  Somehow, amazingly, I slowed down and fell gently onto a pale bed of moss underneath long, wavy grass that moved as if it were underwater.  I picked myself up and took note of my surroundings.  The sea green light had no discernible source and the walls glistened.  Nearby there was a chest that looked designed to belong to someone twelve feet tall and I felt compelled to open it.  I gingerly stepped across the springy ground and unlatched the lid; I heaved it back and saw a weapon inside.  It was a very large, very clean war hammer.  It took all of my strength but I managed to pull it out of the chest.  Then I heard a voice behind me, "I've been waiting."
    The voice reminded me of a cello and I turned to meet it.  A humanoid creature with wings hovered before me and it was the source of the light in the chamber.  It was awesome, in the classic sense of the word, and I held up the handle to it.  It lifted the weapon as though it were as light as a feather and then took flight.  It went up from where I fell and I followed its light to where I had seen the crystal in the wall.  It swung the hammer and smashed the crystal into glimmering pieces and there was a cry of pure rage somewhere in the distance.  As I gazed upward tiny, shimmering dust from the crystal fell lightly onto my face.  And then I could fly.  Concentrated pixie dust?

    And that's when I woke up.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

See? This Is What Happens When We Do Our Homework

    A group of classmates and I were doing a project for an architecture class; we were supposed to find interesting buildings and find out about their history if we could.  We discovered on the outskirts of a nearby town a large building that had been converted into a museum about the history of the town.  We called ahead and informed the owner of our project and he gladly invited us for a tour.  When we arrived at the place we took pictures of the outside, a massive, modern behemoth of glass and silver; it was sort of like that aquarium in New Orleans.  It seemed quite out of place, though, set in a yellowing field and crowned with grey skies.

Except no trees and no people.  We should've known.

    We knocked on the glass doors and the owner warmly welcomed us in; he took us first through a hall with several displays then ushered us into a stairwell.  He showed us into a massive glass-domed, white-tiled room; around its perimeters you could see another hall with displays.  He led us to to the sides so we could look at the   displays through the glass while he spoke on of various things.  While he spoke I found myself distracted by the magnificence of the room and turned my eyes inward.  It dawned on me that the floor was really rather dirty, and there lots of grates spread throughout.  The dirt and stains were rusty shades of brown and upon closer inspection I saw short white bumps poking through the grates.  I knelt down but pulled back in horror.  They were hands of skeletons wrapped around the metal.

You'd think we would've noticed the floor.

   I shuddered and stepped back to my group, quietly insisting that it was time to go.  The owner overheard and said of course, he would be happy to show us out.  He led us into the stairwell and shut the door behind us; of course it was locked when we tried it.  Slightly panicked, we ran down the stairs and found nothing; this was a different stairwell than the one we had taken before.  So we headed back up and past the door that we had come through; we started hearing noises echoing down through the stairwell.  There was a constant shuffling sound, punctuated by wails and moans of pain.  We didn't know what to do, we were frozen on the stairs.
    The first person came around the corner above us.  She was gaunt, even skeletal.  Her skin was pale yellow and her eyes were blank.  Her hair was stringy and looked as though it had fallen out in clumps; it was as if she had stepped out of a grave.  She didn't even notice us as we flattened ourselves against the walls and she passed down to the bottom of the stairs.

We all did this.

    With no other options we headed up the stairs passing a few more blank-eyed people on the way.  We saw halls full of these people until eventually the stairs became more and more populated.  We panicked, all of us, and took off in different directions trying to find a way out.  But all there was were those people; some didn't seem aware at all of their surroundings.  Others saw us, those others grasped weakly at our limbs in a pathetic manner.  If there was was a safe way out, no one found it.  Many hours later I watched as one of us somehow managed to climb up a wood paneled wall and then tinker with a window that swung outward when she pressed against it.  She fell to her death and that's all I wanted.  The quiet groaning and shuffling like broken butterflies, the flailing hands and empty eyes, they were all taking a toll.  I had to get out.
    I tried climbing the wall  like she did.  I tried but I couldn't copy her actions.  I put my hands to my head and began whimpering; I was already becoming like them.  I climbed a chair and jumped for the window but couldn't reach it.  My frustration and terror came out of me in a high pitched wail.
    "CUT!" a man shouted.
    I whipped behind me to find Colin Farrell lounging on a couch with a camera crew behind him.
    "That's it!  We've got it!  Let's pack up," he said, clapping his hands together.
    "This is a movie!?"

You'd think I would've noticed all the cigarettes and empty whiskey bottles.

    And that's when I woke up.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

An Epic Musical

    It's not often I have a dream that I'm not actually a part of, but this is one of those occasions.  This is also the only dream I have ever had that was a musical; the songs were originals as far as I could tell.  Sadly, I only remember bits and pieces of the actual songs, but I'll include them anyway.  The curtain rises...

    It was a world full of castles and princesses, knights and battles, magic and fish weapons, the greatest kingdom of all housed the most beautiful of princesses and every man wished for her hand in marriage.  But only one captured her heart; yet law decreed they would never be together.  So Lady Robbin and her knight, Sir Baskin, would meet at their secret place behind ancient stones bathed in moonlight.  There they sang sorrowful songs of their forbidden love and the ultimate ending of it.  She wanted to leave the kingdom so she could abandon the laws and marry freely.  Little did she know how soon that would be...

The Princess is in another castle!

    The very next day, Bowser-style, the wizard, Dark Lord Cilantro, magically swept into the castle and abducted Lady Robbin for his own!  All of her suitors were paralyzed with fear even though the King offered a large reward and the standard hand in marriage.  

Suitors: She's not so pretty,
She has that mole.

Queen: How could you say that?
You have no souls!

    But Sir Baskin stepped forth with his hand on sheathed fish tail, his group of Breyer Bandits at the ready behind him.  Dark Lord Cilantro would have done well to live in a more modest home that was less easy to find, but everyone knew he had a weakness for ocean-side property and spacious lairs.  So they found him quickly and bashed down the doors with a steady beat of drums to carry them forth in song.

Breyer Bandits: Your swords are no match 
For our strong spirits,
And you cannot catch
Our slimy weapons!

Sir Baskin: Come out and fight me like a man!
You'll never defeat our crew!
Fight you to the death, I can!

    The evil dark lord appeared in front of our hero atop a wall, while on a nearby tower a caged Lady Robbin appeared. Undeterred, Sir Baskin took out his favorite weapon, a halibut, and started slashing.

Just like this.

    It looked as though our hero was about to prevail, but from behind him came a goon with a knife which he plunged into the back of Sir Baskin.  Lord Cilantro's gleeful smile faltered when he saw our hero's own smile. "You can't kill me!" Sir Baskin cried, "I'm mud!"
    And with that, Sir Baskin turned into a Pokemon.

No mere blade can defeat Grimer!

    The knife clattered to the ground uselessly and Sir Baskin, in his mud form, knocked the wielder to his death.  Just as quickly as it happened, Sir Baskin resumed his human form; Lord Cilantro was frozen in horror.  Our hero swung his halibut one more time and the evil wizard plummeted to his death.  Sir Baskin and Lady Robbin were reunited and celebration began.  But the two lovers sneaked away to the sandy beaches nearby where they serenaded one another as the sun set.  She sat on a boulder as he explained to her why they couldn't be together after all, because he wasn't completely human.  He walked into the water, after one more kiss, and swam into the sunset.  Never to be seen again.

   Lady Robbin was really confused.

    And that's when I woke up.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Zombie Bomb

    My family had always lived in a modest house in a small town until the three children grew up and went our separate ways.  But now things were different; we all lived together in this gorgeous high-rise apartment in one of the bigger cities.  You see, no one lived on the first floor of anything anymore, or even the second floor.  Fire escapes still caused problems though; they were a necessary evil, if you will.  The following happened not long ago, but the outbreak itself started about a year ago.  Of course there was widespread panic.  Everyone thought it was the end of the world because, I mean, movies.  Sure a vast amount of people became zombies and would run rampant until they're killed, but they're more like a mild predator.  The CDC found a preventative vaccine pretty quickly so the only thing you needed to worry about was being eaten.  Eventually the zombies will disappear, well, that was the theory at least.  The vaccine wasn't one hundred percent effective.  But I digress.
    We were all having a nice lunch in the kitchen until we heard some rattling outside.  I, being closest to the window with the fire escape, popped my head out.  And of course there was a zombie version of Sam, my brother's girlfriend, and she did not look happy.  But zombies pretty much never do unless they're eating brains or swinging on swings.  Seriously, but can you blame them?  So Sam was one of the fast zombies, meaning there's no assimilation for her.  I quickly briefed the family and my brother decided he should be the one to take care of the situation.  My brother went into another room while the rest of us gathered together in front of the refrigerator.  Rather quickly Sam's hands come through the window and she is not in good shape; she looked like some dogs had been attracted to her "dead thing" scent.  She clawed her way inside and saw us, but that was the idea.  While we distracted her with our likely looking heads full of brains my brother came up from behind her and cut off her head.  We try to not get too attached to people anymore. So we cleaned up the zombie Sam mess and moved on.

"Why, yes, we love swings, thanks for asking!  And braaaaiiins."

    I mentioned assimilation before and you're probably wondering what that's all about.  For quite a few zombies the virus only made the person crave human flesh; so they didn't have as much of the rotting bag of flesh symptom and they pretty much hung on to all of their faculties.  They just uncontrollably wanted to eat you.  We called these zombies "Sentients" (although they considered that to be derogatory and preferred "Reanimated Americans").  There are good Sentients and there are bad Sentients.  The good ones really just wanted to assimilate back into society, there's therapy for that now; the bad ones just wanted to trick people into a false sense of security so they could be eaten.  Because of the bad ones there was a lot of segregation going on; Sentients had their own sections for everything from workplaces to subway cars.
    Because you could usually tell when a regular zombie was coming, since they make so much noise, people weren't too concerned about not having a weapon handy.  But there are a few weapons that were created just to get rid of a pesky crowd of zombies or, specifically, when a bad Sentient had caught you off guard.  They're basically hand grenades but with lots of spikes on the outside; they're very popular and called, you guessed it, the Zombie Bomb.  When you throw one at a zombie it sinks into the rotting flesh really easily, so it gets in pretty deep and then explodes.
    There was one time where there was a knock at our door and there were two dapper men in business suits with briefcases.  I opened the door only to find out they were trying to sell me something.  Trying to sell me death by salesman.  There were subtle ways you could tell they were bad Sentients, like excessive cologne or perfume, and especially the pancake makeup, not to mention the knife that was coming at me that day.  When you noticed that you'd just look at their hands and see a grey pallor.  There was a bowl where we used to put our keys right next to the door, now it's a bowl where we place zombie bombs.  So I grabbed one and threw it hard and slammed the door shut.  A second or so later and we had another clean up job to do.

A Sentient before he's done his exfoliating and make-up.

    My last story is most recent.  The good Sentients had been really doing their best to make assimilation happen.  Lately they had been throwing train parties that were very popular among us twenty-somethings.  They're exactly what they sound like.  Awesome.  I hopped onto one of those one night and the train took off.  There were a lot of Sentients that night and even more humans; it was packed.  Then the screams started.  That's when I realized the bad Sentients were using the good Sentients' efforts to get an easy human fix.
    And that's when I woke up.

    I feel this is pretty self explanatory.

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