Ben Sorenson awoke wondering what the hell this dream was about, but was quickly distracted by the need to urinate. He lurched out of bed, stumbling, still half-drunk to the toilet. Readying himself to aim, he heard a voice call out:
My husband screamed as he cowered behind the toilet, repeating, “Kill yourself. Please, kill yourself.”
The attack would begin in five hours. Brown passed the time making a sketch of their objective, the Castle of Light, with its circle of seven lofty towers, all aglow with some mysterious radiance, a different colour for each tower. It was the jewel of Calday. Taking it would humble the enemy, that was for certain, and if they could not take it, they would destroy it, reduce it to rubble with pneumatic artillery.
The tree reacted like a sleeping snake, surprised and awakened by an unwary walker’s foot. As I stooped to retrieve the black fruit, knotty limbs reached for me and coiled around my arms and legs and lifted me, squeezing and pulling.
Cara lifted the mushroom cap and stared at its underside. Innumerous indentations faced her like long, skinny, stretched mouths, row upon row, dangerous as shark teeth. She flinched, dropped the cap, and wrung her hand through the air. She couldn’t shake the repulsive feeling of close contact with those squishy, ravenous maws.
A few minutes later the door burst back open, and Jiala the jester cartwheeled in on one hand. His other held a scepter with a small replica jester’s head on it, complete with matching hat and festooned stick. Barclay sneered as Jiala hopped to the door and closed it. This newcomer’s emerald and ebon checkers, from tights to cap, blended in so well with the quilt that one could hardly tell where the bed ended and the fool began.
The Scrape nightclub was a slice of savagery, hidden in the western desert of New Pangea, in the smoldering town of Slash Valley. The valley got its name from prowling Utahraptors which The Scrape had managed—not to tame—but to monetize.
Dad whispered. “That’s a Dimetrodon sail. The spines are a touch lighter than the grass. The top matches the dry tips of fronds in summer heat.” He traced his finger down to the muddy body. “He blends with shore, then . . . .” He moved his finger left.
I may be low on company, but one thing I have in spades is time for thought. Far too much time, and, if I’m honest with myself, probably far too much thought than is healthy for me.
Coming around the edge of a collapsed roof, I nearly run into a writhing mass of coloured clouds, bits of tech twinkling in their gaseous innards as they swirl and pass through each other, with hypnotic grace. It’s impossible to say precisely where one begins and the other ends, as the colours meld and form gradients at the edges; yet each cloud is clearly a separate entity.